If you never suffer pain, you will undervalue joy.
If you don’t know anguish, relief is boring.
If you ignore what misery is, you will be void of compassion.
If you don’t understand how your sin puts you into desperate straits before God, you will never grasp the imponderable wonder of grace and salvation.
If it’s always somebody’s else’s fault, you will never know what it means to forgive.
If you only love yourself, you do not know what love is.
Think about Job’s friends. They wanted to console Job. But their theology was too black-and-white. Through some 20 chapters, they degenerated from help to hurt, from wanting to encourage to discouraging. Eventually, they just argued.
Don’t be like Job’s friends. They started on the right foot. The Bible says that when calamity slammed Job, they sat with him in silence for seven days, grieving with him. They showed strong moral support.
But then they searched for words. They sought reasons to explain the unexplainable. They spoke eloquently and gradually became enamored with their fine speeches and forgot about the purpose of uplifting the victim. Instead of infusing solace, they spiked Job. Dogmatism doomed them.
Their lack of words spoke more powerfully than the florid poetry they poured out trying to convince Job he was wrong. In the end, they did more harm than good. Eventually, the dragged Job into the fray and provoked him to some unwise statements. At the end, God rebuked them.
If only they would have finished like they started, friends showing mute affirmation.
Certainly “truth” would be another area for definition. But my faith in the Truth impels me to act. The same love of the Savior buzzes in me, and I cannot stand myself if I am not about Jesus’ business.
Parenthetically, I renounce the idea that I am trying to earn my salvation. I am saved because of Jesus’ work on the cross. Because of Jesus work on the cross, out of sublime gratitude and with joy, I work to alleviate others’ suffering.
And you? How do you define Christianity?
Photo courtesy of Imprezzme.blogspot.com
Pain is off the charts these days. I believe the multiplication of evil prophesied by Jesus for the last days is to blame. There’s more disintegration of families, more sin abounding, so hearts are hurting everywhere from betrayal. Where love is supposed to be, rejection abounds.
English obviously correlates “cry” and “cry out” in the translation of the Bible. O my God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer, by night, and am not silent — Psalm 22:2 NIV. Distress
from The Landy – Out and About
is associated with shouting. Our desperation turns to prayer, our anguish to hope. Prayer, if anything, is pathos.
I asked God for His toughest assignment because I was cocksure of the solution: prayer. Then He allowed me a trial that blindsided me and left me staggering and confused. I had to laugh at myself: I got what I asked for, and then I didn’t know what to do.
Prayer is the outpouring of pain, a solution, not a reveling in hurt. Unlike cutting or pity-partying, it doesn’t celebrate the ouch in an upside-down way; it heals it. Turn not your anguish into alcoholism. You have a God above you who loves you and cares for you.
Posted in prayer
Tagged Bible, Christianity, cutting, depression, Faith, God, Holy Spirit, hope, inspiration, Jesus, love, pain, self-harm, suicide
from Steamboat Friday
Nebuchadnezzar wanted them really dead. So he heated up the executioner’s furnace seven times the normal heat. Even the guards who threw in Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego died. Talk about… mmm, overkill.
Even so, those three Jews, guilty of not bowing to the king’s idol, didn’t flinch. With great impending disaster bearing down upon them, they stayed faithful. They would only pray and believe in God. They wouldn’t do lip service to appease the wrathful king.
In the end, constancy won. King Nebuchadnezzar leaped to his feet in amazement and asked his advisers, “Weren’t there three men that we tied up and threw into the fire?” They replied, “Certainly, O king.” He said, “Look! I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods.” — Dan. 3:24-25 NIV.
from British Columbia ROCKS
After that, the three Jews walked free. Good ole Neb learned not to mess with the One True God. And a decree was issued giving testimony throughout his empire. It pays to remain steadfast, to remain unbowed before the world’s idols despite intense pressure.
Posted in Christianity
Tagged Bible, Daniel, Faith, faithfulness, fiery furnace, God, grace under pressure, inspiration, Jesus, life, lifestyle, Nabuchadnezzar, pain, resilience, Shadrach, threats, trials
From pinterest. (This is not me.)
Praise is very much like prayer, only that it is confident (full of faith) of the answer.
One of the “secrets” I have learned in decades of prayer is to have time to praise God. (Usually the “big secrets” that the “gurus” know are simple truths that other people already know anyhow.) This key to successful prayer transformed my prayer life, which previously was something of a whine session.
It also served the second purpose of filling up my faith
Another random photo from pinterest.
tank. As I remembered all the good answers God had brought to my prayers (I compile lists), I am filled with faith to pray for today’s challenges. Yessiree, it’s that simple.
Posted in faith
Tagged answers, God, inspiration, Jesus, key to success, life, lifestyle, motivation, pain, praise, prayer, purpose