When I was going to college (some years ago), I was a rather introverted, socially-awkward, young and callow fellow. So to push my boundaries, I joined a bowling league. This experience helped me to become the introverted, socially awkward, old and callous fellow I am today. In the league, I learned that it was absolutely…
Imagine the appeal of a drive-thru church tailored to fit today’s culture: “Welcome to McChurch’s, where you can have Him your way. May I take your petition, please?” “Hello, yes, I’d like to order a Savory Savior Burger with extra blessings and a side of forgiveness. Um. . . better super-size that this week. Oh,…
But how should we express our gratitude to God? We can’t very well send Him flowers and a note of thanks. What, of course, comes to my mind, and probably yours as well is to praise Him in prayer, offering up our heart-felt gratitude before turning to our many petitions for healing and comfort.
He knows that people are worriers, back then and even more so today. Anxiety is the chronic pandemic of our age, countered with medication and therapy. However, medication and therapy are not the ONLY resources that we have. Christ’s counsel is sorely needed, and what He says can profit every one of us.
Think of the sun. (Ensure you are wearing your mental sunglasses!). In the morning, it rises and provides light for the world all day long and then sets at night. If we go out at night, we might see the moon. And there is light from the moon but that light is REFLECTED light. The source of the light is still the sun, which is shining on the moon and then being redirected towards us.
There exist many lists of the gifts of the Holy Spirit to be found in the Bible, none exhaustive, and each gift has a bearing on our RELATIONSHIPS with others. “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another” (John 13:34).
This verse is talking about temptations and our ability to resist them, NOT the overloads that life presents us with. Terrible things that are beyond our control do happen and we might indeed legitimately say, “This is more than I can bear.” But temptations are under our control; we always have a choice in the matter. And there always is a godly choice provided.
And what a wonderful blessing it is to realize that our TRUE treasures here in this life are not silver and gold, wealth and status, power and position, but rather loving relationships, with God and with those who have become our family. At the bottom of the human heart is the place where such loving relationships flourish. They are the foundation of joy in this life.
“Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Phil 4:5-7).
As you know, the above are well-known and well-loved verses intended to impart comfort to those of us flailing in the grip of anxiety and fear. You may wonder how such dreadful feelings as anxiety and fear could be a blessing to anyone. “Really?” you ask.
ASK KEVIN – Relationship advice for the Slightly Bewildered Dear Kevin, I am hoping you can help me with a difficult issue in my relationship with God. You see, I’ve been a good Christian for almost 12 years and, while things were good at first, lately I’m sensing a separation in our relationship that has been…