“Trusting God in Suffering” November 16

 

Trusting God in SufferingWhen God asks you to trust Him in the difficult things: when He doesn’t seem to be answering your prayers, when your child isn’t getting better, when the finances still seem impossible, when the doctor hands you a bad report … where will you go? Where will you find hope? What will you believe about God?

Trusting God makes all the difference in times of suffering. What can we learn about God that will steady us in tough times?

 

Today’s Readings:
Ezekiel 23 & 24
Psalm 127.1-5
Proverbs 28.24
Hebrews 11.1-16

 

Trusting God in Suffering

 

Ezekiel 23 & 24:

Understanding Suffering

 

What if God called you to make the sacrifice that Ezekiel had to make—losing his wife and not even being allowed to grieve (24.15-18)? Could you trust God to give you the strength to do it? Or would you fall into self-pity or a “why me” attitude?

How would you respond if the child you raised to love God becomes a prodigal, throwing aside everything you believe? Would you still trust God?

What if the doctor handed you a bad report? Or your child didn’t get better? Would you still believe that God is good?

What if you or your spouse lost a job or your savings or your retirement plan? Would you still be able to trust Him to meet your needs?

I know for some of you these questions aren’t hypothetical, they are reality. The truth is suffering is a part of life in this fallen world. Someone has said that we’re either in the midst of trial, coming out of one, or getting ready to go into one.

They may vary in degree and some may be easier to handle than others, but we all suffer.

When God asks you to trust Him in the difficult things: when He doesn’t seem to be answering your prayers, when your child isn’t getting better, when the finances still seem impossible, when the doctor hands you a bad report … where will you go? Where will you find hope? What will you believe about God?

Could you say with the psalmist, “I know, O LORD, that Your judgments are right, and that in faithfulness You have afflicted me” (Ps. 119.75)?

 

How to Grow in Trust

 

It’s hard to trust someone you don’t know.

When your toddler jumps into your arms in the swimming pool for the first time, he doesn’t trust his ability to swim, he trusts you because he knows you. When your doctor says she needs to do surgery, you’ll either trust her diagnosis, or you’ll get another opinion.

A toddler learns to trust his parents because of his experience with them. You may come to trust your doctor because of her care and knowledge in other situations or because someone you know recommended her. But somehow we must have knowledge of a person if we’re to trust in them.

We trust God first by faith. We make the choice to believe His Word and to respond to His wooing, but we walk it out by coming to know Him through His Word.

 

What can we know about God that will steady us in trials and suffering? 

Continue reading

“7 Ways to Avoid a Roller Coaster of Emotions” August 19

 

roller coaster of emotionsWhen we go through tests and trials, there is often a roller coaster of emotions. But we don’t have to let our emotions run the show! As believers, how can we learn to live by something besides our feelings and emotions?

Also read about the meanings of God’s name, how joy follows loving discipline, and how the truths of the Gospel contain the power of God.

 

Today’s Readings:
Job 29 & 30
Psalm 97.7-12
Proverbs 23.15-16
I Corinthians 1.1-31

 

7 Way to Avoid a Roller Coaster of Emotions

 

Job 29 & 30:

Don’t let emotions run the show!

 

Our friend Job is on quite a roller coaster. In yesterday’s reading he had some of the most incredible revelation from God and in today’s reading He thinks God has totally abandoned him.

Isn’t that a picture of the roller coaster of emotions we can all experience when we are going through a test or trial? The important thing to remember is that even though the feelings are there, they’re real, and they’re often strong, we don’t have to be controlled by our emotions. By that I mean, we don’t have to let them determine the way we act and respond!

In spite of all his roller coaster feelings, Job stayed faithful to God. Remember what his wife said at the beginning, “Why don’t you just curse God and die!” (my paraphrase). But Job didn’t waver from his faith in God, even though he didn’t understand why God was allowing all this calamity.

So how can we avoid letting emotions run the show in our own lives?

 

7 Ways to Avoid a Roller Coaster of Emotions: 

Continue reading

October 23 “On women teaching, modesty & pearls”

tattoosLadies, do you ever chafe against some of the Bible’s teaching on modesty, authority, and the role of women?

 

Today’s Readings:
Jeremiah 31 & 32
Psalm 119.49-56
Proverbs 27.20
1 Timothy 2.1-15

 

Jeremiah 31 & 32:

“Is anything too hard for Him?”

Chapter 32.17, “Ah, Lord GOD! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and outstretched arm. There is nothing too hard for You …

And verse 27, “‘Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh. Is there anything too hard for Me?’”

Do we even begin to understand who God is?—the omnipotent creator of the universe! He is not only omnipotent (all powerful), but He is omniscient (all knowing), omnipresent (present everywhere), and sovereign (totally and completely in charge and in control! Add to that—the fact that He is good (Ps. 119.68); He is love (1 Jn. 4.8); and He is holy (1 Pet. 1.15). And that’s just the tip of the iceberg! Continue reading

August 19 “A roller coaster of emotions”

roller coasterWhen we go through tests and trials, there is often a roller coaster of emotions. But we don’t have to let our emotions run the show!

Today’s Readings:
Job 29 & 30
Psalm 97.7-12
Proverbs 23.15-16
I Corinthians 1.1-31

 

Job 29 & 30:

A roller coaster of emotions

Our friend Job is on quite a roller coaster. In yesterday’s reading he had some of the most incredible revelation from God and in today’s reading He thinks God has totally abandoned him.

Isn’t that a picture of the roller coaster of emotions we can all experience when we’re going through a test or trial? The important thing to remember is that even though the feelings are there, they’re real and they’re often strong, we don’t have to be controlled by our emotions. By that I mean, we don’t have to let them determine the way we act and respond!

In spite of all his roller coaster feelings, Job stayed faithful to God. Remember what his wife said at the beginning, “Why don’t you just curse God and die!” (my paraphrase). But Job didn’t waver from his faith in God, even though he didn’t understand why God was allowing all this calamity.

Continue reading

August 6 “The Essential Character of God”

baby, fatherLife, including pain and heartache, happens to us all and if we don’t know the essential character of God, we’ll be tempted to blame Him and run away when we need Him the most.

Today’s Readings:
Job 3 & 4
Psalm 91.14-16
Proverbs 22.15
Romans 8.1-21

Job 3 & 4:

The Essential Character of God

In chapter 3 Job poured out his grief in very descriptive terms. He had just lost all 10 of his children. His grief was real and powerful. He wished he had never been born.

While today we might not tear our clothing and put dust on our heads, those who are grieving will almost always express their deep sorrow—through tears, wringing of the hands, crying out to God, etc. Strong emotions and outward manifestations of grief are not wrong, but must be kept in their proper place, amount and duration. They cannot be allowed to overtake our lives.

Notice what Job’s first response was after the initial shock and physical reaction (Job 1): Continue reading

April 2 “Total depravity, sexual immorality & cannibalism”

God offers full disclosure. He allows us to make our own choices, but we should not think we can disobey God and somehow be in control of where it ends. Today’s reading in Deuteronomy gives us a stark picture of total depravity.

total depravity

Today’s Readings:
Deuteronomy 27 & 28
Psalm 39.12-13
Proverbs 13.7-8
Luke 6.27-49

Deuteronomy 27 & 28:

Memorials and the Ten Commandments

Chapter 27.2-3, “… you shall set up for yourselves large stones, and whitewash them with lime. You shall write on them all the words of this law, when you have crossed over, that you may enter the land which the LORD your God is giving you, ‘a land flowing with milk and honey,’ just as the LORD God of your fathers promised you.”

Some people think it’s foolish to make such a big deal about things like having the “Ten Commandments” posted in the schools and other public places. But, apparently, God thinks it a pretty good idea to have reminders of the truth! We see God telling His people to set up memorials and reminders over and over in the Scriptures.

moses holding the ten commandments

The Scriptures themselves are reminders, too, and we should be faithful to read and meditate on them so we can remember His love, remember His promises, and remember His faithfulness.

The flesh of your sons and daughters

Chapter 28—it’s hard to read some of this, “…your high and fortified walls, in which you trust, come down throughout all your land; and they shall besiege you … You shall eat the fruit of your own body, the flesh of your sons and your daughters … he will not give any of them the flesh of his children whom he will eat …The tender and delicate woman … will refuse to the husband of her bosom, and to her son and her daughter, her placenta … she will eat them secretly …” Continue reading

January 18 “The unforgivable sin”

Unforgivable

Welcome to our Bible Challenge to read through the Bible in a year. I hope you’ll join us every day. Click on the Calendar or Bible challenge link (lower right) for more commentaries.

On to our reading …

What is the “unforgivable sin”? “Could I have committed it?” These are two questions that have been asked for over 2,000 years.

Today’s Readings:
Genesis 35 & 36
Psalm 9.6-10
Proverbs 3.27-30
Matthew 12.22-50

Genesis 35 & 36:

Called by God

In Chapter 35 Jacob’s father was about to die and Jacob was to become the patriarch of this family that has been chosen by God. God began to prepare him, in part, by showing him he needed to get his household in order.

Next God reminded him of the covenant promises. His twelve sons would be the heads of twelve families who would become the twelve tribes of the nation of Israel. And through one of them, Judah, the Messiah would come. Continue reading