“But where can wisdom be found? Where does understanding dwell? Man does not comprehend its worth; it cannot be found in the land of the living.” Job 28: 12-13
Man understands on his level. His wisdom is his own. Many well-intentioned people will offer you guidance and wisdom during your trials and tribulations. Although they mean well, their understanding is limited. Much like the advice offered to the suffering Job by his friends Eliphaz, Bildad, Zophar and Elihu, human wisdom cannot provide complete answers or comfort. Only God is able to provide us with the endurance, strength, discernment, and peace needed to persevere through life’s inevitable troubles. We don’t have to always reject a sincere friend’s guidance, but the only truth we should accept is God’s. Turn to Him now.
May the Lord be with you.
“When times are good, be happy. but when times are bad, consider God has made the one and the other. Therefore, a man cannot discover anything about his future.” Ecclesiastes 7:14
Solomon, the king who asked God for wisdom (2 Chronicles 1: 7-12) and became the wisest man in the world (1 Kings 4:29 – 34), confirms in this verse that God is in control of all our days, the good and the bad. When things are going our way, we have the tendency to become comfortable and expect our situation will not change. Of course, it will. Trials and hardships come to everyone. Our good days and bad days are blended so that we are not able to predict our futures. When obstacles surround you, remember God is in control. Just as he blessed you with good times, he will sustain you through the bad. Good will come from your struggles.
God bless you.
“If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord, he is a doule-minded man, unstable in all he does.” James 1: 5-8
We can ask God for wisdom to help us through trying times. This type of wisdom is not only knowledge but the ability to make wise decisions in difficult situations. When we ask, though, we must also believe that it will be to given us. This belief is certain of God’s existence and obedient to His Word. God’s Word is not like the advice we receive from a friend – open only to consideration with the choice of whether to follow or not. No, God’s Word is definite and assured to be the perfect path to travel. His loving-care abounds. Although he does not grant every selfish request, He will align our desires with His will for our lives.
May the Lord be with you today.
“How long will you simple ones love your simple ways? How long will mockers delight in mockery and fools hate knowledge? If you would have responded to my rebuke, I would have poured out my heart to you and made my thoughts known to you.” Proverbs 1: 22-23
Ouch! Words can sting! No one likes being called simple or a fool. Bear in mind, however, that in Proverbs a “simple one” or fool does not denote someone’s mental abilities; it reflects one’s character deficiencies. The simple or fool is not a stupid person, but one who is rebellious, quick to anger, lazy, etc. He or she cannot differentiate between right and wrong and will not listen to or follow true wisdom, which is God’s Word.
The moment we feel our wisdom is higher than or our judgement is better than God’s, we become prideful fools and simple ones. Don’t run the risk of having God’s grace and mercy turn from you by letting the court of public opinion cause you to stray and accept wrong as right. You will oftentimes find yourselves at odds with friends, neighbors and even family when you choose to follow God and not the world. Don’t let the fear of ostracism sway you from the straight and narrow path. God is with us. Remember, “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you” (Matthew 5:11-12).
God bless you.
“My heart is not proud, O Lord, my eyes are not haughty; I do not concern myself with great matters or things too wonderful for me.” Psalm 131:1
We’ve heard the phrase, “My haters are my motivators.” It’s a witty retort for those who unduly criticize and, in the wisdom of the world, seems like a good incentive to work hard towards your dreams and aspirations. But, of course, it is not. Trying to impress people is a never-ending task. It is also a fruitless task. If a person was highly-critical and unimpressed with you before you reached your goal, that person will be just as critical and unimpressed during your success. He or she may smile and say the right things to be a part of your circle but, inside, he or she is the same bitter person. There is no true happiness for you and no appreciation of your hard work. In fact, that person may be plotting against you. That is the danger of people-pleasing; your reward lies in them.
Placing our desire in people ultimately leaves us disillusioned and empty but placing our desire in God leaves us content and joyful. Don’t strive to impress people who will never be impressed. Strive for true wisdom and knowledge of God’s Word. He loved you before and He loves you now. His love endures forever. Let God be your motivator!
May the Lord be with you today.
“For wisdom will enter your heart,and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul. Discretion will protect you, and understanding will guard you.” Proverbs 2:10-11
The June 21, 2010 Our Daily Bread devotional centers on wisdom and discernment. The suggested reading for the devotional is Proverbs 2: 6-20. This chapter in Proverbs exhorts us to pray for and develop wisdom and discernment in our lives. After reading the selection in my Life Application Study Bible, I reviewed the notes that clarify certain verses. In the notes for vv 16-17, the Life Application Bible defines what an adulteress is and explains that two of the most difficult sins to overcome is pride and sexual immorality.
One sentence in the clarifying notes on these verses, stood out to me: Pride appeals to the empty head; sexual enticement to the empty heart. The statement about pride convicted me. One definition of pride is a a high or inordinate opinion of one’s own dignity, importance, merit or superiority whether as cherished in the mind or as displayed in bearing, conduct, etc. In one of my previous postings, I shared my current employment situation. Despite management’s attempts to make me comfortable and include me in decision-making, I have held on to the feeling that they are doing so with ulterior motives. I have been feeling that I deserve more for the time I have given them these past years. I have been distrusting because of my past experiences with corporate takeovers and layoffs. I have written and re-written my resignation letter. Long story short, I have been making myself miserable. My position may very well end; but being bitter won’t change it. In fact, my bitterness and pride may very well be keeping me from my blessings. I need to stop leaning to my own understanding and pray for wisdom and discernment. And stop being so empty-headed!
Is there an area of your life where you, too, are being empty-headed? Take a moment to pray over your situation. Our understanding is limited, God’s vision is everlasting. Don’t let your pride keep you from God’s blessings.
May the Lord continue to watch over you and keep you.
“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.
“Wisdom will save you from the ways of wicked men, from men whose words are perverse, who leave the straight paths to walk in dark ways, who delight in doing wrong and rejoice in the perverseness of evil, whose paths are crooked and who are devious in their ways.” Proverbs 2:12-15
Keep the Lord’s commands on your heart and be on guard at all times. In all things, employ wisdom over emotion. It doesn’t make you weak to resist the temptation to react. Think it through and ask yourself, “How will this affect my future?” If you can’t think of anything positive stemming from your actions, then don’t do it. Don’t let your friends, acquaintances, or socio-economic condition force you into doing something you know is wrong. We are losing too many of our young men and women to split-second decisions that have tragic consequences. The Troy Davis execution and countless others where the condemned’s guilt is questionable are sad reminders. Remove yourself from situations that lead to moral and physical death.
May God continue to bless you and your family. Make it a good day.