Sometimes Your Place in the World Brings You Down

You know what I’m talking about. It happens to all of us when we go through the ‘valleys’ of our lives – when you shake your head in disbelief, despair, fear, frustration, maybe even anger. You find yourself lamenting, ‘Oh God, why me?’ Or worse, ‘Have you left me God?’ 

And yet, God is exactly who we want to reach out to. He is always watching and always ready to help:

To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven… Eccl. 3:1 NKJV

In the day of prosperity be joyful, but in the day of adversity, consider: God has made the one as well as the other, so that no one can discover anything that will come after him. Eccl. 7:14 CSB

‘Do not fear, for I am with you; do not look anxiously about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’ Is. 41:10 NASB

‘Even to your old age I will be the same, even to your graying years I will bear you! I have done it, and I will carry you; and I will bear you and I will deliver you.’ Is. 46:4 NASB

God is not idly sitting on the sidelines. Whatever is happening in your life, if you are a child of God, (in right relationship with Him), there is a purpose behind it, that many times we cannot fathom. (Is. 55:9) Nevertheless, He is always just a prayer away, waiting to come to your aid to get you through your trials. 

…they cried out to God in the battle, and He answered their prayers because they trusted in Him. 1 Chr. 5:20 NASB

And yes, sometimes it looks like your prayers are not being answered; but that’s where your faith is being tested and strengthened. While you wait, ask the Author of your faith for that strength:

He gives strength to the weary, and to him who has no might He increases power…those who wait for the LORD [who expect, look for, and hope in Him] will gain new strength and renew their power; they will lift up their wings [and rise up close to God] like the eagle [rising toward the sun]… Is. 40:29 & 31. AMP

“I do believe; help [me overcome] my unbelief.” Mk. 9:24 AMP

The foundation for faith comes from our trust in our all-powerful, truth-telling, ever-delivering God:

“For I am the LORD, I do not change [but remain faithful to My covenant with you]… Mal. 3:6 AMP

Now, we must also consider that some of the valleys in our lives are of our own manufacture – especially when we fall back into the ways of the world. There is always a price to pay:

Disaster pursues sinners… Pr. 13:21 ESV

“With reproofs you chasten a man for iniquity…” Ps. 39:11 NASB

That’s why we want to get those slips handled immediately by going forward in humility to the God whom we have sinned against:

Tremble [with anger or fear], and do not sin; meditate in your heart upon your bed and be still [reflect on your sin and repent of your rebellion]. Offer righteous sacrifices; Trust confidently in the LORD. Ps. 4:4, 5. AMP

The LORD is near to the heartbroken and He saves those who are crushed in spirit (truly sorry for their sin). Ps. 34:18 AMP

The LORD is good and upright; therefore he shows sinners the way. Ps. 25:8 CSB

For You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive, and abundant in mercy to all those who call upon you. Ps. 86:5 NKJV

And when you are back on track, God starts helping you journey towards your new ‘peak’:

His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for a lifetime; weeping may last for the night, but a shout of joy comes in the morning. Ps. 30:5 NASB

God is the only one who can deliver you from your trials, be they your fault or not. There is not any other kind of ‘idol’ (e.g. money or addictions) that can. They only leave behind hell to pay. 

Our Creator knows what He’s doing. Jehovah God has a good plan for each of His children; and as long as they stick with Him, He will make it come to pass. Furthermore, in a way that only He knows, God will dovetail the elements of your experience that were necessary for you to encounter, in a way for you to gain an ultimate eternal benefit:

…God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son… Rm. 8:28, 29. NASB

God’s grace in Christ is forever moving us through our peaks and valleys, toward our eternal redemption to an eternity that is unimaginable. Meanwhile, we need to keep our eye on that prize, and not on the moments of our life’s discontentment. For help in that process, we can lay our sufferings regarding the parts of them that we seem to have no control over, at the feet of our blessed Savior:

“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Mt. 11s:28 – 30. NASB

In fact, our entire focus should be on Jesus, and then all the aspects of our life will come together. He is the source of our satisfaction (Jn.6:35), He is the only way to the Father (Jn. 14:6), our doorway to heaven and eternity (Jn. 14:2; 8:51.) and the living Word of God that gives us all the answers and bolsters our faith, (Jn. 1:1; Heb. 12:2.)

We were put on this earth to do certain things that only we can do, to bring Him glory by reflecting it from ourselves to others in those deeds, which ultimately have their roots in loving the Godhead, ourselves and all others. (Mt. 22:37 – 39.) We do that by giving of ourselves in spite of what is going on in the world around us. 

All of a sudden you will notice, that those valleys in life will not be so deep or protracted as your problems shrink in the light of your servitude. And your life begins to take on the unbridled joy of your eternity, where your place in the world can no longer bring you down – because that place is God’s place…

Goodnight and God bless.

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Can You Explain Your Faith?

After accepting Christ as our Savior and doing our best to live a godly life, the most important directive Christ gave us, was to spread the gospel to as many people as we possibly can. (Mt. 28:19, 20.)

The only way to be the most effective in that endeavor, is to have faith in what it is that you are preaching / teaching. Moreover, you must also be able explain to the hearer (layman, agnostic, atheist, follower of false religion, etc.), why you have embraced your faith.

The gospel is no different than mathematics, physics, or any other kind of study, with regards to relating it to others; i.e. you must begin with the ‘basics.’ Look to teach and invite, not to make wrong and divide. You’re helping facilitate a possible love-relationship between them and God, by relating how you got one, what that has meant for you and what it can bring to them.

We can begin this conversation towards salvation by talking about cause-and-effect. For example, there are universal laws that we cannot break. Oh, we can try, but calamity usually follows. If we leap from a plane without a parachute, the law of gravity is merciless. SPLAT!

Physics tells us that a force is created when a mass is accelerated. Thus, if we stand in the face of an oncoming train, we are going to have an intimate exposure to its force. MORE SPLAT!

The same holds true when we violate the laws of God. He implanted the law of right and wrong within each and every one of us so that we could avoid transgressing them:

“For this commandment which I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you, nor is it out of reach. It is not [a secret hidden] in heaven, that you should say, ‘Who will go up to heaven for us and bring it to us, so that we may hear it and obey it?’…But the word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, so that you may obey it.” Dt. 30:11, 12 & 14. AMP

Thus, in our discussion with an unsaved individual, we can point out that everyone has an innate knowledge of right and wrong, and that bad things happen when we make the wrong choices. In fact, we are sure of it, because everyone makes the wrong choices at times – some more than others.

If this innate law of right and wrong transcends our behavior, who set the standard and why do we feel remorse when we transgress it?

We can interject at this time, that as a Christian, we believe there is a God who both created and directs this universe, and who also takes a great and loving interest in the behavior of the people that He put here. He left us a plan for getting the most out of our lives:

“…I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse; therefore, you shall choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants, by loving the Lord your God, by obeying His voice, and by holding closely to Him; for He is your life [your good life, your abundant life, your fulfillment] and the length of your days…” Dt. 30:19, 20. AMP

We make the choice for life or death on a daily basis. And so, as a Christian, we believe that it is imperative to choose life, by obeying that power (God), through doing the things that He deems as right. It is our desire to be living in His favor rather than being in enmity with Him.

Some people don’t believe in a ‘god.’ If that’s the case then, they must believe that the universe and everything in it occurred by happenstance. In that scenario, life really has no meaning, and this short span of years that we have on this planet is all we’ve got.

However, a great majority do believe in a God (e.g. Jews, Christians, Muslims), who is righteous, loving and long-suffering with regards to the inhabitants of this planet, and is concerned when they go astray.

We as Christians believe that God gave us a ‘good’ world, but that some people in it have chosen bad paths, contrary to His will. We attest that God is good and all that He creates is good. Furthermore, we hold it to be true that some people rebel against Him because the have fallen prey to an evil influence. This influence is a good angel gone bad – Satan. So, God did not create evil; it is a perversion of HIs goodness.

“He was a murder from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him When he lies, he speaks out of his own character; for his is s liar and the father of lies.” Jn. 8:44 ESV

We believe that all the chaos in this world stems from that angelic rebel and his followers, and that this condition will persist until God puts an end to time.

Why does the all-powerful Jehovah God that we profess, allow such a state to persist? Because the world’s condition is a result of a gift that He gave us – free will. We have the ability to choose between good and evil.

Given that God knows evil is persisting, why did He give us free will? Because God loves us; He created us and the only thing He asks of us is to love Him back. Of course, real love must be expressed voluntarily.

We love, because He first loved us. 1 Jn. 4:19 AMP

The problems occur because of those who choose not to love God, but instead to deify themselves – a lesson that they learned from the devil himself. There is no peace or happiness in the end for them.

We were created to consist and coexist with God:

“I am the Vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in Me and I in him bears much fruit, for [otherwise] apart from Me [that is, cut off from vital union with Me] you can do nothing.” Jn. 15:5 AMP

God spent centuries driving these messages home to His children, but evil persisted and many people were (and are) headed for death with no escape. Because He loves us so much, He sent a part of Himself, dressed up as a human, to deliver His children from themselves.

To be continued…

Goodnight and God bless.