*I do not own the copyrights to the above photo*
Romans 12:1-2 (CEV)
"My Christian friends, God has been very kind to us. Because of that, I really want you to serve God with your whole life. Offer your bodies to him like a sacrifice that continues to live. Serve him with everything that you have and that will please him. That is the true way to worship God.
Do not become like the people who belong to this world but let God completely change the way that you think, so that you live differently. Then you will understand what God wants you to do. You will know what is good. You will know what pleases God. You will know what is completely right."
If I were to ask you if you resemble people in the world, you will quickly answer "No"! You will also let me know that you are a Christian, blood bought, and fear the Lord God. Praise God for that! But I'd like to share some of the ways we Christians are resembling the world. Conformity doesn't always come in the form of the 'big things' or 'bad things'. Sometimes it comes in more subtle ways.
Let me preface my remarks by saying that technology has been helpful and useful, and I appreciate all that it helps me to do that I couldn't have done years ago. The downside to technology is that it has introduced, those of us who participate by having its devices, to great distractions and has made us mentally lazy at times. What do I mean by this? For example, I get more You Tube videos with religious messages than ever. Are they good? Profitable? They can be at times, but I'd much rather that individual pick up the phone and share a word with me that the Lord has laid on their hearts. That's where the power lies, that's the life changing stuff that impacts my heart, my mind and my soul. While the You Tube video is someone else's thoughts given to them by God and flows through cyberspace over and over again. Some believers think that this is the way to go when trying to encourage someone. They may even feel as though sharing these videos allows them to share fellowship and is counted as service to God.
I don't think God had social media tools in mind when He commanded us to encourage one another and edify one another in spiritual things. We cannot use the excuse of a Pandemic because this has been going on long before Covid-19 struck. Have we become lazy as Christians? Are we sitting in His presence, hearing His voice daily and enjoying fellowship with God? If so, why are we resorting to online video messages primarily as a way to pass along God's thoughts?
We have conformed to the ways and practices of the world whether we want to believe it or not. Many of us don't even communicate by hearing the other person's voice on the phone. We send a text instead. We call that 'keeping in touch', 'checking in', 'talking to' or 'hearing from'. This is not what God calls fellowship. Many of us don't have people over for dinner like we use to or make time for getting together. Bible study groups have lessened and dwindled. What I noticed that has increased majorly over the years has been group travels. While nothing is wrong with traveling with groups of friends; it's important to have down time, we seem to make time for it, plan for it, and it's on some of our must do list.
Technology is useful as I said earlier, but when it gets to the point where we are inseparable from our cell phones and are impacted by clicks and likes on social media or checking in regularly to see who is paying attention to our posts, that's conforming to the world by way of our behavior. When it gets to the point where we are following all the social media advice on how to sell our product, or how to get noticed, find the right circles, or how to get more clicks, we have conformed to the ways and practices of the world.
The ways of the world will cause us to ignore God and the things He has given us to do. Our occupation will be so consumed by investing in Bit coins and Cryptocurrency. Satan has devised these things to occupy the minds and hearts of people to the point where there is no thought of God. Christians are getting caught up with the same mentality. Satan is hoping to distract us and make us invest in things that will bring us wealth and prosperity. Little by little we will find ourselves trusting in these things and not in the Lord and the promises of His Word.
The perspective of Christians is changing more and more. Many are turning from the God of the Bible to the God of this world. The falling away is in full swing. Individuals who once believed and served God are now walking away from spiritual things. Even believers are failing to invest in the care of other believers as they ought. The phone calls have stopped, but if there is something to criticize or put one in the position to give advice, you may get an isolated phone call from them. This is not what God had in mind when He gave us the following scriptures:
John 13:34-35 "Love one another, everyone will know you are my disciples if you love one another." This cannot be done via You Tube videos or texting. What are unbelievers observing from you?
Romans 12:10 "Love one another deeply as brothers and sisters. Outdo one another in showing honor." This is a sincere and pure love that involves being around one another, helping one another, when need be, praying for one another and interacting with one another.
Philippians 2:4 "Everyone should look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others." Are we spending enough time around one another to know what the other needs?
Galatians 5:13 "Carry one another's burdens." Are we praying together? Do we have prayer partners?
1 Peter 4:9 " Be hospitable to one another without complaining." It's important to get together for home Bible study, and fellowship. Merely socializing isn't going to help anyone spiritually. Use Zoom for Bible study to edify one another.
There are many scriptures that speak to the things we should be conforming to. God intended that in renewing our minds, we would think more in terms of what pleases Him and what builds His kingdom not Satan's. Let us re-evaluate how we're doing what we're doing and make the necessary changes that will honor God.
Are You Standing Out?
"The weak you have not strengthened, nor bound up the broken, nor brought back what was driven away, nor sought what was lost; but with force and cruelty you have ruled them."
What a sad picture of the extent of where things got to in Israel, among the Lord's people. The scripture goes on to say, "So they were scattered because there was no shepherd; and they became food for all the beasts of the field when they were scattered. My sheep wandered through all the mountains, and on every high hill; yes, My flock was scattered over the whole face of the earth and no one was seeking or searching for them" (Ezekiel 34: 5-8).
What is the spiritual work of a shepherd, also known as an overseer, or spiritual leader in the local church/assembly? The spiritual work of a shepherd is to feed the flock, strengthen the weak, bind up the wounds of the broken and to go after the sheep who have wandered away.
There were shepherds in Israel who failed to do this. These shepherds were acting as though the sheep personally belonged to them. They were neglectful of the flock. The sheep belong to God. 1 Peter 5:2-3 says, "Shepherd the flock of God, which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly; nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock." These shepherds were unfaithful and lacked concern for the flock.
In Israel some of these shepherds used coercion, forms of manipulating the sheep, threatening them which is cruelty at best. As a result, God pronounced punishment as a judgement against them via the mouth of the prophet, Ezekiel (during the Babylonian captivity).
What does that look like in our time? We have some of the same failings among the people of God where the sheep are concerned. There are shepherds who are ungodly shepherds. They neither risk nor sacrifice themselves for the sheep. They may even act as though the sheep belong to them and they can respond to them or not respond to them as they please. Some shepherds feed themselves and not the flock and for this God says He will hold them responsible for such actions.
But here is a most blessed word from God himself. He says, "I Myself will search for My sheep and seek them out. I will feed them in good pasture, I will feed them and make them lie down. I will seek what was lost and bring back what was driven away, bind up the broken and strengthen what was sick;" (Ezekiel 34:11-16). Praise the Lord God for this!! Yes, this right here!!
How many instances have sheep among the flock been neglected.? Their bleating's gone unheard, and their brokenness ignored broke the heart of God. And what about the sheep that went astray? Sometimes sheep are fickle and silly like that, they get separated from the flock and wander off. They become distracted. Who goes after them? Who tries to find them? And beloved, what about the ones who were driven away? Who even cared to bear their concerns or to hear them out? Who tried to sit down with them for God's sake? Is God disturbed by this? Yes, He is! The sheep belong to God, and He expects the shepherds, the overseers, the leaders to care for His sheep. So, what happens when there is failure in this matter? What does God do about it?
God goes after the sheep and rescues them from whatever situations they're in! This is so precious to me because I have firsthand experience with The Good Shepherd, The Good Shepherd who didn't rest at just giving His life for me. He continued to shepherd me. Praise The Lord! For He, He alone, not only came after me as a wandering sheep, He, on another occasion bound up my wounds and provided good pasture for me to feed in.
Let all who assume positions in the church as shepherds, leaders, and overseers take this very seriously; sheep belong to God, and He expects you to risk and sacrifice for them when need becomes evident. God expects that none of His sheep will be abandoned, ignored, or neglected for any reason. God loves and cherishes His flock of sheep, and He expects that you will do the same. God's sheep are priceless and hold much value in His eyes. No sheep are insignificant, useless, or not needed. There is no respect of persons when it comes to God and His sheep.
May God help us to love and value what He loves and values, and remember, we must give an account of how we handle the Lord's people!
"I may be able to speak different languages that people or angels speak. But that is worth nothing if I do not love other people. I would only be making a loud noise, like someone who hits a piece of metal. I may be able to speak messages from God. I may understand all God's secret things and know all facts. I may have great faith so that I trust God enough to move mountains. But I am nothing if I do not love others. I may give all my things to help poor people. I may let other people take my body to burn it. But that would not help me if I do not love others."
1 Corinthians 13:1-3 (EASY)
Are we noise makers in the ears of others; always having a bible verse to apply to everyone's situation? Do we go around spouting biblical knowledge and feeling proud of ourselves as we hear our own voices? Are you and I simply just a bible toting Christian without empathy, patience, and understanding? Do others feel loved by us?
It has been the habit of some to lean so heavily on the doctrinal side of things and forget that the example the Lord showed, when He walked this earth, was one of humility, grace, and empathy for others. The Lord came to give the knowledge and much needed information concerning God, His father, along with the Good News of Salvation. His message was not void of empathy. He brought also the Social Gospel, the one that fed the people, clothed the people and healed the people. Jesus met the everyday needs of people and that made His doctrine all the more impactful.
Are we sensitive to the needs of others or are we only interested in our own things? Are we prideful and boastful of our spiritual gifts and abilities and want to put them on display as often as possible? Any 'Yeses' to these questions means that we are 'Clanging Cymbals'; we are noise makers in the ears of others. We are also hypocrites because the words we speak do not match the way we handle and treat others. We see others as merely audience members who we want to look up to us while we look down on them.
If we love people, we will be patient with them. We will encourage them every opportunity we get because we want to see them thrive and grow, becoming more like Christ. If we love people, we will be kind. Jealousy would never enter the picture. We will put their interests and concerns above our own. There would be no interest or desire to please ourselves. We wouldn't be quick to become angry neither would we be glad when something bad happens to them, instead we would weep with them in times of sadness and rejoice with them in times of happiness (vs. 4-7).
There is an old saying that states, "People don't care how much you know, they only want to know how much you care." God is telling us by way of these scriptures, that if love isn't the motive behind the use of our gift, we are not being impactful at all. People eventually will want us to shut up, sit down and be quiet. Clanging cymbals grate on the ears and create headaches. The sound is annoying and aggravating to say the least.
Let's look within ourselves and search our hearts to see if the real reason behind what we do is laced with love or pride. Love or look at me. Love or I'm great. Love or jealousy. Love or envy. Love or the need for attention. Love or I need to fill a void within me.
Are you a CLANGING CYMBAL?
*No copyright infringement intended*
"But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or a thief, or an evil-doer or as a meddler in other men's matters." 1 Peter 4:15 (ERV)
There are consequences for gossiping about others. Passing along information you either heard, or that was told directly to you in confidence will costs you something.
Gossipers, tattlers, and busy bodies are dangerous people! They cause injury to others and generally they dislike or hate the ones they talk about. Let's visit a story in the Old Testament where gossiping became dangerous.
In 1 Samuel 22:7, 17, 21, we read of an account when David was running from King Saul. Apparently, David was in Nob and Doeg, the Edomite, who was over Saul's servants, told Saul that he saw David going to Nob to Ahimelech the son of Ahitub, to inquire of the Lord from him. He went on to say that Ahimelech gave David food and the sword of Goliath, the Philistine.
Saul now feels as if Ahimelech has conspired against him because he helped David and threatens Ahimelech with death. Saul goes mad and orders that the priests of the Lord be killed because they helped David. Doeg the Edomite killed not only the priests of the Lord, 85 men who wore the linen ephod, but also their wives, children, nursing infants, oxen, donkeys and sheep with the edge of the sword. What a blood bath! This was all because Doeg gossiped, tattled, and meddled in the business between King Saul and David! Many lost their lives that day!
Don't minimize the act of gossiping for it is dangerous, and injurious. The damage it does cannot be undone. We forget that God is the silent listener to every conversation we have with others. "And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account" (Hebrews 4:13).
Remember, careless talk will always lead you into sin. "Set a guard over my mouth LORD; keep watch over the door of my lips" (Psalm 141:3). This needs to be the prayer request we make to the Lord daily in order to refrain from speaking evil about people.
"Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear" (Ephesians 4:29).
The tendency is to believe that being a busy body, tattler, or gossiper is what 'Women' do; not all together true. There are men who do much of the same and in my opinion, it's even more disgusting.!
"Beloved (Christian), do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, "Vengeance is Mine, I will repay," says the Lord." Romans 12:21
Do you have a need to get back at others? If so, read this blog carefully. If you are a Christian who tries to make another person feel your wrath, for whatever reason, read even more carefully what I say about that.
The person who dabbles in revenge is setting themselves up for failure, not only in the attempt of it, but in their lives period! Revenge is a dangerous thing to tamper with. Revenge hurts the person who dishes it out. Revenge kills everything that was good about them.
I have lived long enough to witness the end of vengeful individuals. Sadly, they weren't prepared for what awaited them. It caught them off guard. You see, getting back at a person only puts a plan in place to destroy you. God's Word is true on this matter. I have seen people lose their blessing of success, and sphere of influence that they could have had. It didn't matter how hard they worked to achieve it, they lost it because God doesn't tolerate this type of hostility in His family. Christians trying to punish each other is a no, no.
Getting even with someone is really an act of stupidity. It shows that the person doesn't understand anything about the God they say they believe in. It's an act of stupidity that always hurts the person who does it.
Reasons People opt For Revenge:
1. You said something that made them feel some kind of way
2. You didn't give them what they wanted
3. You took a stand for what you believe
4. You weren't impressed with them
5. You challenged them about something
6. You hurt their pride
7. They were jealous of you and envy you
8. They hate you
9. You're getting the attention they feel they deserve
10. They are in emotional pain of some sort
Check to see if any of these reasons reside in your heart. If so, get busy and get rid of them by dealing with the core of the problem deep within. It doesn't matter how many degrees you have, career you have, money, possessions, or who you are, being vengeful is ugly and a dumb way of dealing with what is really bothering you.
It's always better to take a good look within ourselves when we hear something we don't like or agree with. Ask ourselves, "Why am I feeling threatened by what was said? Why do I want to punish that person? Why am I feeling the way I feel right now? What is this really about?"
You see, there is always a core spot that is screaming when we feel vengeful. It usually is coming from a place of inadequacies, a need for affirmation, insecurities, and a low self-worth. There shouldn't be any words that bring us to the place of revenge in our spirits unless we are already feeling less than. These are areas within us that need fixing.
The problem also lies in the fact that who we propose to be on the outside, that picture of us that we want people to see, and that we believe we are, is not the truth of who we really are. The minute something is said, or not done, or challenges us in any way, the claws come out, and we start screaming from deep within, and we lash out in revenge. God warns us about taking matters into our own hands by way of being vengeful. He is trying to prevent us from hurting ourselves deeply in the end. Even when someone does something to you that was indeed wrong, let God handle them. He is the perfect one to give the right punishment for the deed done. In other cases, when it's simply that a person expressed how they feel about something that doesn't meet with your approval, you are not in the right to now punish them in any way. You don't have the right from God to try to ruin their reputation with others or to speak evil against them or do an evil act against them. God will punish you if you do; be assured of that. God doesn't play with His children and their sinful acts. Even if later, you confess the evil you've done, to God, the consequences of taking some sort of revenge will still fall on you. You will still be held responsible to God for how you responded to the person.
Stay clear of a vengeful spirit. Work out your issues with God. Examine your own heart thoroughly and ask God to help you to accept the truth of what was said. Perhaps God used those words spoken to you to get your attention about something He's been trying to tell you or warn you about. Don't shoot the messenger. Remember, when you are trusting God with your life, your abilities, your achievements, and your successes, He makes you to be a secure individual deep within, you won't have those feelings of revenge, or hateful evil behavior. If you don't have that confidence in God, I'd say that something is wrong with your brand of Christianity.
" Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation."
1 Perer 2:2
"But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen."
2 Peter 3:18
When I became a Christian, I wanted God to solve all of my problems. I wanted Him to put everything right that was wrong and going awry. My focus was getting everything straight just the way I like it. It didn't take long for there to be a shift in my thinking. God began to send disturbances my way; things that came in the midst of my life to shake it up. I later learned about God's 'Divine Interruptions'.
In the very beginning God did solve my immediate problems and set things right, but that wasn't going to be the end all be all for my spiritual journey with Christ. God intended on working the areas of my life that needed to get a visual on who He was and who He wanted to be to me.
If we are not careful, we will fall into a rut of only seeing God as a 'Jeanie in a bottle'. Rub twice and poof, we're home free. No! This does not define a relationship with God neither is it His goal to be a problem fixer without relationship.
When I started to get to know God, the person, and how He operates, I became more and more interested in what His objective was with me. That's a good place to come to. It can't be all about us. It's all about Him, yet it is about us. Getting to know God and how He thinks and what is important to Him is of utmost importance. In the midst of that He is concerned about everything that concerns us. I found myself becoming more and more attached to Him and how He was handling everything, and everyone in my life. I started to view my problems, trials, and challenges through the lens of God's eyes and what I had learned about Him. I saw that everything I was going through, up until then, was orchestrated by God for His purposes. He was going to make all of it turn out for my good. That meant that when the smoke cleared, I'd look back and see how it was all a blessing, and that it was good for me to had suffered those things.
God wants us to get to the point where we begin to see Him and some of His glory. He wants us to see how wonderful, how majestic, how glorious, and how great and mighty He is. Then, our issues and problems will look minuscule by comparison and troubles won't fill our gaze like before.
Draw near to God and He will draw near to you! So, Are you there yet?
"He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city." Proverbs 16:32
A mighty warrior subdues individuals by overpowering them in some way. He conquers by force.
It takes self-control to not react or respond out of anger. The person who retaliates or tries to get back at a person because they were made to feel some kind of way is out of control. The person who takes vengeance on another for any reason is out of control. The person who goes and spreads malicious, negative things about someone is out of control. The person who influences others against another is out of control.
All of these actions come from a place of anger within the individual. They have not learned to rule their spirit. They are actually very weak. All they can do is to go around unleashing anger and bitterness on others. They refuse to learn how to deal with their emotions in a healthy, non-destructive way. They lack spiritual maturity when they are quick to get angry and follow through by acting on it.
One wonders if they have experienced emotional repression as a child where their feelings were rejected, not heard, criticized and not valued. Perhaps they ended up going through life feeling as if they always get the raw end of the stick. Sometimes it's those childhood deficits that bring about frustration and anger. Let's not forget that verbal abuse can play a part in this type of behavior as well. This can be a breeding ground for behaviors such as: jealousy, envy and a manipulative spirit within a child. Disclaimer, I am not a psychologists or mental health professional. I am only speaking from observation and what I have discerned as one coming from a background laden with dysfunction.
As an aside, if you are raising children, give them a safe space with you where they can express their feelings whether you, as a parent or guardian, agree with them or not. Don't make them swallow their feelings because eventually they will rebel. It is healthy to express one's emotions. That is why God gave us the ability to feel in the first place, and tears to cry. Just picture someone who at every turn tries to shut you down when you want to say something. What could that end up doing to you?
Becoming a Christian and having a relationship with God should aid us in the area of self-control
by helping us to handle disappointment, and rejection as well as handling offences. Somehow for some, anger keeps spilling out. This shows a lack in their spiritual development and their refusal to let God help in this area of their life.
Some Christians may even think that they can control such behavior, but they can't. Self-control requires a power beyond us. One must employ the help of God.
God's Word gives wisdom for handling anger. He gives us a right perspective from which to view the problem. One must be willing to get to the origin of their angry feelings and investigate why they are so quick to become angry and agitated in that way.
Yesterday, I tried to address how to avoid taking things personally unless it was necessary. Quick tempered people take everything personally. and it can lead to out-of-control behavior.
Let's face it, there's enough stuff out here and people to make us lose our mind, so to speak, if we're not careful; it's a tough and cruel world, but as a believer, God gives us tools to use and advice as to how to manage our emotions, our thinking, and our perspective. That is why it is imperative that we draw near to God so that we can be empowered and helped in gaining self-control.
You and I want to be godly men and women who know how to control anger for this is commendable!
"He who is slow to wrath (anger) has great understanding, but he who is impulsive exalts folly."
Proverbs 14:29 (NKJV)
Have you experienced situations that made you wonder about why the person said, did or behaved a certain way towards you, and when you searched your heart, you couldn't find anything you had done to them to warrant that behavior?
People are always telling us how they feel, what they feel, and why they feel what they feel. We can miss the message if we lack good understanding. What kind of understanding am I speaking of? The scripture text above explains it all. There are times when we encounter negative behavior from others; it can come from un-believers as well as fellow believers. The usual tendency it to become agitated in our spirits and it sometimes leads to anger, especially if we are seeing this reaction towards us on the regular.
How important is it to understand ourselves? I've learned that it is imperative that we have a good understanding about ourselves as well as human nature. Use yourself as an example; every reaction, response, or words you've spoken and how they were uttered was connected to something that was going on deep inside. Is that not true? There is always a reason for the way we feel, and how we respond out of those feelings. If you know yourself well enough, you'll begin to tackle the first part of the 'why' someone does what they do. They have a 'reason'. Now grant it, they may not have a legitimate reason for treating you the way they do but know that they have a reason. There is something behind the side eye, the cold shoulder, isolation, the stares, the attitude, and the insensitivity.
If we're quick to respond with anger, or angry emotion, it shows that we lack understanding of ourselves. The individual who responds this way is in all actuality, behaving foolishly. The thing to do is to take a step back and really look at the situation.
People are often revealing things about themselves to us, whether it comes in the form of negative behavior or pleasantry. There are things lurking deep within the individual that rises to the surface when we're around for some reason. You either bring out the best in them or the worst in them, and still, it may have nothing to do with anything you've done to them.
Avoid becoming agitated and angry with others. Learn to look below the surface to identify what their problem really is. There are jealousies, envy, lack of peace, insecurities, and discontent that is usually found there. Did you know that how a person treats you is a reflection of how they feel about themselves? Do you know that it also speaks to how they feel about God? Yes, this is true!
Some may feel as though God has failed them in some way by not giving them what they feel they deserved, be it attention, affirmation, confidence, opportunities, and things of that nature. So, when they see you walk in the room with a smile on your face, confidently addressing those in the room, happy and contented as you minister using your God-given skills, they start hating on you by facial expressions, coldness, avoidance, etc. In this they are showing how upset they are with God, and how unhappy they are within themself, and they take it out on you.
We cannot go around taking these things personally unless there is a good and legitimate reason why we should. Just know this, 'Everything Ain't About You'! Keep it moving, pray for them, they need it. Keep your head up and continue to fulfill the purposes God has for your life. It's a New Year, make it count!!
W"He that dwells in the secret place of the most high shall abide under the shadow of the almighty." Psalm 91:1
So how are you doing? Did you get off to a good start this year? 2021 ended with a bang for many of us and rolled right into a New Year with much of the same. Everyone is wondering if things are going to get better. We wonder if it will be a 'Happy New Year'.
Well one thing is for sure; problems and challenges will always be there no matter what year we are in because this is life, period. God's Word encourages us to walk by faith and trust God for everything we need. We can have a happy 2022 regardless of the Pandemic, challenges, trials, or anything else that comes our way.
The above verse mentions the word 'shadow'. The shadow of the almighty God is something to think about. A shadow is defined as a shape that is produced by a ray of light cast on it. God's shadow is cast about us, protecting and securing us from all harm and danger. No one can enter that space because it is reserved for His children only. Satan comes to threaten us and to rustle us out from under that shadow, but he cannot enter there. As long as we commune daily, meditating on His Word, we will be safe and sheltered there physically, emotionally and psychologically. All of this is provided for us, and it's within a shadow. Imagine that.
Many are wondering and hoping for happiness this year. We want this Pandemic and its variants to leave our world and be gone. We all want to get back to the way things were, not that the world was in any better condition, but we were healthier. We want to resume all the activities that we were previously enjoying. Will it happen? I don't know the answer to that, but God does. The best advice I can give is to walk with God, by faith, and rejoice in the Lord daily. God is the source of our joy, our contentment, our peace of mind and our happiness. A relationship with God satisfies, gratifies, and keeps us stable and safe.
Take advantage of opportunities to fellowship with others via Zoom, What's app, and phone calls. Let people hear your voice or see your face as you communicate. Face time your Christian friends who you haven't seen in a while. Keeping in touch with others who are in pursuit of God is key.
I don't know about you, but I am looking forward to this year being a happy year for me and my family. I am trusting God for His help as I continue to enjoy His many blessings. Remember, He loves you more than you know, He will carry you through each day and He will never leave you nor forsake you. All you've got to do is trust Him by obeying Him and follow where He leads.
Skewed- A biased or distorted way of looking at something
By God's grace we have entered a New Year! What will be your outlook for 2022? How will you see and receive what's to come?
It goes without saying that each day brings its own troubles that we cannot escape. Unfortunately, we cannot avoid problems, but when they come, we have to be careful how we judge them. Personally speaking, I can see problems as an unnecessary burden, or I can see them from God's perspective. From God's view, He allowed them for my good, for spiritual insight into who He is, for spiritual development, and for character building purposes. Grant it, we are not expecting a New Year to bring problems so soon, but we should brace ourselves for whatever comes.
Satan wants you and I to have a skewed view on the situations we're confronted with. Take for instance, Joseph. He could have looked at all the haters around him (his brethren) and retaliated in some way. He could have gone into 'pity mode' or he could have cast it all on the Lord God and prayed for grace to endure. Joseph definitely did the latter.
What I love about the Lord God is that He gives attention to detail, so whatever comes our way, it has already passed with His approval. I may not know exactly why I find myself in a particular situation, but one comforting thing is that I am positive that nothing happens without God's permission.
The Apostle Paul said, "We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair, persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;" (2 Corinthians 4:8).
The Lord said, "I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world" (John 16:33).
God never said things would be easy for us, but He has promised to never leave us, or forsake us. He will be with us through it all. So, as you begin this year, walk with God, pray without ceasing (keep being diligent in prayer more than once a day), and keep trusting!
Have A Blessed and Prosperous 2022!