Like it or not, everyone in this world goes through some type of adversity. At times it may appear that one experiences more than another. It's during those seasons that people begin to say, 'Whose side is God on, anyway?' They are of the belief that God caused these difficulties to teach trust or humility. Often many are of the opinion that God orchestrated the suffering to get them to 'look up'. Some ministers teach that the tests and trials are to make us better people. Despite the fact that we can become better christians because of a trial, God does not use them to make us strong. Our acting upon the Word of God, helps us to become spiritually strong regardless of it, NOT because of it.
The Bible says 'we are a friend of God' (John 15:15) And if He is our friend, why would He do bad things to us? Take a look at your friends, would any of them come over to your house with a vile of sickness and expose you to it? No, they wouldn't. And neither would God. God teaches by His Spirit, John 14:26 "But the comforter which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name He shall teach you all things..." He uses His Word to instruct or correct us, 2 Tim. 3:16 "All scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness." And God uses His goodness, Rom. 4:4 "...the goodness of God leads to repentance." Although we can learn from trials and tribulations, they are not God's method of teaching. When we are going through the experiences of hardship we come to realize areas in our life that need changes. The challenges make us aware of where we need to gird ourselves up in prayer, or walk in love towards others, and even where we might need to renew our mind to the Word.
The Bible says tribulations are going to come. "In this world you will have tribulations, but be of good cheer I have overcome the world." , spoken by Jesus in John 16:33 But it's Satan that comes to buffet us, to steal the Word, and to get us to fall out of grace and into unbelief. There are also times that we make wrong decisions which bring hardships. We know that great faith comes out of great trials, but so does tragedy, backsliding and heartaches. It's important to understand that although we are faced with troubles we can overcome, by remaining faithful to stand on the Word of God.
James 1:2-4 says, "My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing this, that the trying of your faith works patience, but let patience have her perfect work, that you may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing."
Let me just leave you with this thought in whatever you're facing. Stand boldly before the Throne of God, praise Him for His mercy and grace to help. Be confident knowing you have the petitions you desire - because He heard you. And because you're standing in the operational power of God's grace in faith, you can exercise patience. With the endurance and perseverance remain steady and don't give into the fears - but allow that patience to work and build up hope. Keep believing God, it's with Faith & Patience that we inherit the promises!
James 1:12 says, "Blessed is the man that endures (stands firm) temptations, for when he is tried he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord has promised to them that love him."
Have you ever noticed the negativity that surrounds us? Of course we know the news media gives us mostly bad reports. Surprisingly some people thrive on knowing the badness that's happening. I know of people that leave the news channel on continually bathing their thoughts with the news of wars, terrorism, murder, accidents, financial despair and the like. Commonly their conversation is as pessimistic as what they hear. It's as if they are chained to the worlds way of thinking.
Sadly, there are those that can only notice the worst of everything and everybody. In their discussion all they do is complain and criticize what's wrong. These people can find the 'grim' in anything! They make a normal statement sound like misery. How do you suppose they got this way?
It has been said, that what we focus on, we give strength to. Every day you and I made deposits into our spirit man! Regardless of conversations quality, when we hear it, it enters into our spirit! Then we draw from the most recent deposit and it comes out of our mouth. (Luke 6:45) Character/conduct begin in the mind and develop by what's been placed in our heart. Our actions are affected by these things. We begin to act like we think. So people that dwell on cynical thoughts or conversations, will tend to express them more.
The best way to stop adverse talk or behavior is to disassociate ones self from all negativity. 1 Cor. 15:33 "Evil company corrupts good habits." Then we must guard our heart and mind. Don't allow anything not of God to enter in. Josh. 1:8 says, "This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success." The word 'meditate', also means mutter to yourself. Renewing our mind to the Word of God, keeps us from being conformed to the world. (Rom. 12:2) Phil 4:8 says, "Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things noble, whatever things just, whatever things pure, whatever things lovely, whatever things of good report, if any virtue and if anything praiseworthy-- on these things."
Is there anything we can do about the negative people? Mostly stay away from them. If you work along side of one, the only thing you can do is to encourage them in thinking and talking positive. It's advisable that you keep your mind steady on the Word of God to not allow yourself to be inundated by all the pessimism. You just might be the great influence they need to break free from their negative habits. Break free from the worlds way of thinking...keep your mind and heart on the Word of God.
Pro. 31:27-31 talking about a virtuous woman says, "She watches over the ways of her household. And does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and call her blessed. Her husband also and he praises her. Many daughters have done well, but you excel them all. Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing. But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised. Give her the fruit of her hands, And let her own works praise her in the gates."
Truthfully a woman that is faithful to honor the Lord by being diligent to raise her children in the admonition of the Word of God, gains respect and peace of mind. The Word of God is like a stake that is tied to a young tree. It braces the tree and is an anchor, so that when elements of the weather come, it won't be moved. Teaching children God's Word in the early stages, reinforces righteous and moral character. It gives support and stability in their life when adversity comes, building trust and faith in our Lord. When that training is consistent, and the children have grown, others call her, 'Blessed', because the results are visual!
When Mother's look back over the years of nurturing, it easy to find faults or shortcomings in rearing. But be reminded, things were done with the knowledge that was available. Praise the Lord for His intervention in our children's lives, regardless of their age. We can pray and believe God for Him to bring them to the light of His Word and fill them with the knowledge of His Word. Do not lose heart or be discouraged, 'all things are possible with God'. (Mat. 19:26) And if you're a Mother with young children, be encouraged, your consistency will bring great results. Repetition is a good thing - after all 'faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.' (Rom. 10:17)
We pray you all have a lovely and blessed day!
We've all heard the story of Jonah and the whale. God gave Jonah instruction to go to Ninevah and preach to the people. Thinking he can hide from the presence of God, because he doesn't want to do this, he hops on the first boat out of town. If you've ever received instruction from the Lord and didn't like what you heard, you might have thought you could hide from Him. I've heard of people that moved out of town, started going to 'dark' places, got immersed in their job, and even began to hang out with people not associated with God. But, as you know, one cannot hide from God. He is omnipresent. Jer. 23:24 (ERV) "Can a man hide himself in secret places so that I cannot see him? declares the Lord. Do I not fill heaven and earth? declares the Lord." There is no sense in running from Him. The call is without repentence. Rom. 11:29 (NIV) "For God's gifts and His call can never be withdrawn." We are still accountable for the 'call' that He has placed in us.
Back to the story we find, in the middle of the voyage, a mega wind causes the ship to be tossed about. In fear of their lives the shipmates begin tossing things overboard to lighten the load. The captain started inquiring to why this must be happening. When they came to Jonah, he told them, he was a God fearing Hebrew. Realizing this was his fault they asked him what they could do to calm the sea. His reply is classic "Pick me up and throw me into the sea...." That's exactly what they did! Involving others in aiding our disobedience only causes trouble. People, generally, don't want to loose their life over our rebellion, especially if they don't believe in the cause.
It would seem that Jonah thought being out in the middle of the sea was another great hiding place. But God had something in store for Jonah! A mega fish swallowed him, to which he remained in him for three days and three nights. Looks like the Lord God had another way to get him to his divine destination. Yes, you guessed it, the whale finally took Jonah to the shore close to Ninevah and threw him up on it. Slime and all Jonah finally marched on into the city and preached the message God had asked him to do.
The Lord may have asked you to do something you don't want to do. Perhaps it seems beyond your means or uncomfortable. Because He will empower you to accomplish this task, you can do it! "Greater is He that's IN you than he that's in the world." 1 John 4:4 The Lord once asked us to give a very large sum of money, thousands of dollars, in an offering. At first thought, it was difficult. In fact, looking at our bank account, we could say it looked impossible. But how many of you know, what's impossible with man, is possible with Him! We trusted Him for the funds and promptly gave the instructed amount! God brought the money and we were able to obey. So whatever God has instructed you to do - by faith accept the task - and trust Him to help you accomplish it! Don't get stuck running and hiding from Him. Being in a place that is from disobedience is much more uncomfortable than being obedient.
Pastors Michael & Ginny Gulotta
Pro. 11:25 "The generous soul will be made rich, And he who waters will also be watered himself."