Archive for January, 2019

Becoming Thankful

Posted: January 9, 2019 in Uncategorized

give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18, ESV)

There are some verses in scripture that are just hard to digest at first.  This may be one of them if you do not read it carefully.  You may think, “Wait, is God saying I should be thankful for my accident (my cancer, my divorce, my whatever you may be facing)?”  That would make this a difficult verse to understand.

God is not commanding (and this is God’s command, not just a suggestion by the author of this letter) us to give thanks for all circumstances.  That would be crazy.  When my house burned and I lost nearly everything I owned in 1992, I didn’t thank God for the fire and for taking everything away from me.  However, I learned to be thankful even in the tough times.  In 1992 I wasn’t at this point in my faith.  I was angry at God and what “He had done.”  However, I have learned over the years of reflection just how God was there even as my house was burning.  My oldest son, Joshua, was 2 at the time.  He had been sick and had been placed in our bed so that he was with us instead of at the other end of a mobile home, where he surely would not have made it out alive.  We were renting from a family member and did not have renters’ insurance.  However, my cousin’s homeowner policy had a provision that neither of knew about that covered a limited amount of “family property.”  Wow!  God had shown up in big ways and I missed it.  Despite His goodness, because I had not learned to give thanks in all circumstances, I became bitter and angry.

I don’t know what you are facing today.  Chances are it is not as drastic as losing your home and everything you own.  However, whatever it is I am sure it is as significant to you as that was to me.  Learning to give thanks in all circumstances will not change the circumstances, but it will change you.  It will give you peace because it means you have learned to trust God.  It means that you come to trust what we say we know:

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28, ESV)

Do you trust Him in all circumstances today?

Worry Free 2019

Posted: January 2, 2019 in Uncategorized

Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” (Philippians 4:6, CSB)

Will the stock market crash or soar? Will there be another terrorist attack on American soil? Will there be another natural disaster? Life can be full of worry. Will I do well on my finals and get into that great college? Will that special person reject me? Will I ever get married? Will we have kids? Will someone I love die this year? Wow! There is a lot of uncertainty in our lives.

Satan loves to distract us from what God is doing by getting us to worry about things in the hopes that our worrying will somehow help change the future. Not a moment of worrying will change anything in the future, but it will help to expose a potential flaw in our Christian character that we can work on in 2019. When I am worrying, I am forgetting that God is in control. When I am worrying, I am denying something I say I believe, that if I trust God he will work everything out  for my good. (“We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28, CSB)

This doesn’t mean that we are “concern free.” It means that we should have a healthy concern over things in our lives, but we will trust God to help us take care of those things. “…in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving…” God wants us to be concerned, because in our concern we will turn to Him for conversation and help. God already knows our concerns, but He wants us to talk with Him about them. Let 2019 be the year that you become “worry free” and walk in the freedom of trusting Him. Pray through all the troubles and trials we know we will face so that we may have His peace. Jesus tells us “I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. You will have suffering in this world. Be courageous! I have conquered the world.”” (John 16:33, CSB)

God bless and Happy New Year!