“For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight.” 1 Corinthians 3:19
In the wake of the deadly tornadoes that decimated Moore, OK, a popular comedian and noted atheist mocked those who prayed for the tornado victims and challenged people to actually do something for the ravaged community. Many people expressed similar sentiments, questioning the usefulness and power of prayer. In their minds, why pray to an entity that allowed such a tragedy to happen in the first place? To them, it just didn’t make sense.
I’m glad I live in a country that embraces free will and the right express one’s opinion. In the spirit of exercising this basic right, I will say that, as a Christian, I find this type of thinking foolish and dangerous. To me, prayer and belief in God gives one the strength to withstand life’s inevitable storms. Belief in God does not mean you will not face worldly tragedies or disappointments. Belief in God helps you react to such circumstances with the hope, knowledge and comfort that He is with you and will see you through according to His will. That, in itself, seems to be the biggest hurdle many face in their faith- God’s will versus our will. When God’s will supersedes our will – which it always does – one’s faith can become rattled especially if there isn’t a full understanding of Scripture. Those with no faith place their hopes within themselves or upon other people. The problem with this is man’s abilities are limited; placing one’s faith in him will leave one empty. The man of faith prostrates himself before the Lord and receives the comfort and answers that give him the strength to accept and persevere. God’s power and mercies are limitless. He does not leave us, even when we are facing unspeaking hardships, pain and losses.
Praying to God is doing something. For it is during these moments that we receive instructions placed upon our hearts, not to be seen and praised by men but to please God. Doing something may be more than donating to a charitable organization. One may be prompted to also give their time, spiritual gifts or talents to help rebuild lives and communities up close rather than from afar.
That makes sense.
“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” Psalm 46:1
You believe in God. You trust in God. There is nothing, NOTHING, that can shatter your faith.
Or so you thought.
Then there was that car accident that wrecked your car. How about the bad report from your doctor regarding that routine test you took last week? Maybe, you were laid off and now the money from your (meager) savings has run dry. You may have experienced all three scenarios, back-to-back-to-back.
Wait, you say to yourself, I’ve done everything I was supposed to do. I go to church, I tithe, I volunteer my time and money, I’ve shunned the people and activities that I know leads me down the wrong path. I study my Bible daily. I pray daily and I keep the Lord’s commands. Why is all of this happening to me? What have I done to deserve this?
The answer to that is simple. You live. Belief and trust in God does not keep trying times from you, rather it provides you with the confidence and assurance that God is with you during those hard times. That confidence and assurance gives you peace and strenthens your faith. What is your personal goal as a Christian? Are you looking for a “spiritual insurance policy” that ensures nothing but rainbows and blue skies? Or, are you seeking a deep, meaningful relationship with God steeped in love and the promise of spending eternity praising Him? This is not to imply that those who seek God aren’t sometimes rattled by the inevitable twists in life. However, if a relationship with God is present, those who seek Him can draw on His Word and not their emotions for guidance and reassurance.
If this is your season for trying and diffult times, don’t wallow in, “Why me?” Use this moment to draw closer to God and experience the comfort in knowing He will see you through.
May the Lord be with you today and always.
“Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He Who promised is faithful.” Hebrews 10:23
Strengthen yourself in the midst of your struggles. Don’t allow doubt and worry to cause you to lose sight and fall away from the Lord. Steadfast faith will keep us from growing weary. Persevere. God is with with us.
“What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him?” James 2:14
Do you live your life in a way that reflects your in faith in Christ? Do you believe in Him, yet don’t imitate his ways?
It is not enough to only believe, but your works should reflect that belief. As James 2 further states: “You believe that there is one God? Good! Even the demons believe that – and shudder (v 19)”. Yes, even demons know who Jesus is, but they do not obey Him. Conversely, deeds without faith are just as pointless. Faith and deeds should work together in our lives because our deeds are a reflection of our faith. If you are easily angered, show indifference to your neighbor and possess an unforgiving heart but profess an undying faith in Christ, your deeds are not a reflection of your faith. Christ is forgiving, loving and accepting to all, regardless of race, creed or social background. We, as His followers, should be, too. Honestly examine yourself today. Do you talk a good talk? Or, are you walking the walk?
God bless you today and always.
“I know You can do all things; no plan of Yours can be thwarted.” Job 42:2
Bad things happen, and when they happen it can be a real test of one’s faith. During those times we can’t help but wonder why. Or, more specifically, “Why me?”
Although His plans are often not clear to us, God is and always will be in control. Whereas our vision is limited, His is limitless. We are confined by time, He is not. Trust God during your difficult seasons. Don’t let what you don’t understand keep you from trusting Him.
God bless you today and always.
“Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and then turn and tear you to pieces.” Matthew 7:6
Very few people access the Internet to read Christian devotionals. Most people, when given the choice between the Word or gossip, would choose gossip as the way to start the day. Just as if given the choice to read the Bible or watch Internet pornography, most would choose pornography. Most people think the Bible is too judgmental and has too many antiquated rules. Some feel it is merely a collection of ancient folktales that have no bearing on today’s society.
We, who study the Word and meditate on it, know this is not true. Our love of God and our knowledge of his precepts propels us to share what we know with others. In doing this, we often engage in conversations with non-believers. While we should spread the Word, we shouldn’t allow ourselves to stay in situations that may jeopardize our belief. The non-believer will attempt to poke holes in every statement we make. If we converse with them long enough, we may find ourselves questioning why we believe. In these instances, I am often reminded of the mustard seed. If faith the size of a mustard seed is all that is needed to move a mountain (Matthew 17:20), then doubt the size of a mustard seed may be enough to destroy all the Lord has built inside us. No, we should follow the Lord’s instruction when encountering others who reject the Word: “If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words shake the dust off your feet when you leave that home or town” Matthew 10:14. Shaking the dust from your sandals represents separating yourself from those who steadfastly reject Christ.
Because of free will, we cannot make non-believers accept Christ as their Lord and Savior. Let’s pray for wisdom and discernment to know what to teach and to whom so that we do not become weary in our walk.
May the Lord be with you today.