“Running to God When We Want to Run Away” August 6

 

Running to God When We Want to Run Away - Life, including pain and heartache, happens to us all, but if we don't know the essential character of God, we will be tempted to blame Him and run away, instead of running to God when we need Him the most. Also, read about "the rod of correction" when it comes to parenting and one of the most freeing verses in the Bible.Life, including pain and heartache, happens to us all, but if we don’t know the essential character of God, we will be tempted to blame Him and run away, instead of running to God when we need Him the most.

Also, read about “the rod of correction” when it comes to parenting and one of the most freeing verses in the Bible.

 

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

 

Running to God When We Want to Run Away

 

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.

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

21 And he said:“Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return there. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.”22 In all this Job did not sin nor charge God with wrong.

“Blessed be the name of the Lord.”

“In all this Job did not sin nor charge God with wrong.”

Though he didn’t understand the “why,” Job knew the essential character of God. If you’re struggling to understand or accept God’s circumstances in your life, don’t run from God; run to Him. Get to know Him better. Learn about His attributes—beginning with His goodness, His mercy, and His holiness. Knowing Him will enable you to trust Him even when life doesn’t make sense.

 

Today’s Other Readings:

 

Psalm 91.14-16:

Those Who Abide Under the Shadow of the Almighty

 

Verse 14 begins with God saying, “Because he has set his love upon Me …” MacArthur defines that word love as “ ‘a deep longing’ for God or a ‘clinging’ to God.”

Is that you? Do you long for God? Do you long to know Him? Do you cling to Him in times of trouble, or doubt, or fear? God isn’t looking for strong, independent people, He’s looking for those who will be dependent upon Him—who will “abide under the shadow of the Almighty” (v. 1).  Continue reading

November 4 “The past & the need for restitution”

Pocket watch the pastJust because we have been saved and forgiven by God for sins we committed in the past, doesn’t excuse us from making restitution to people we have hurt or wronged. Is there someone from your past to whom you need to make restitution? Is there someone whom you have hurt and never sought forgiveness?

 

Today’s Readings:
Lamentations 3, 4 & 5
Psalm 119.145-152
Proverbs 28.11
Philemon 1-25

 

Lamentations 3, 4 & 5:

Yet He will show compassion!

In the midst of Jeremiah’s grief over the fall of his nation he came back to this in chapter 3.21-33:

21 This I recall to my mind,
Therefore I have hope.
22 Through the LORD’s mercies we are not consumed,
Because His compassions fail not.
23 They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.
24 “ The LORD is my portion,” says my soul,
“Therefore I hope in Him!”
25 The LORD is good to those who wait for Him,
To the soul who seeks Him.
26 It is good that one should hope and wait quietly
For the salvation of the LORD.

27 It is good for a man to bear
The yoke in his youth.
28 Let him sit alone and keep silent,
Because God has laid it on him;
29 Let him put his mouth in the dust—
There may yet be hope.
30 Let him give his cheek to the one who strikes him,
And be full of reproach.
31 For the Lord will not cast off forever.
32 Though He causes grief,
Yet He will show compassion
According to the multitude of His mercies.
33 For He does not afflict willingly,
Nor grieve the children of men.

His compassions fail not. Great is His faithfulness. The LORD is good to those who wait for Him. Though He causes grief, yet He will show compassion!

Is there an area of grief or heartache in your life? If so, spend some time meditating on this passage. Continue reading

July 24 “Biblical grounds for divorce”

The Bible says we are not to be unequally yoked, so is it ok to divorce an unbelieving spouse? Are there ever biblical grounds for divorce?

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Today’s Readings:
Ezra 9 & 10
Psalm 88.6-10
Proverbs 21.23-24
Acts 24.1-27

Ezra 9 & 10:

Marriage and divorce when unequally yoked

59 years had passed since the completion of the temple under the leadership of Zerubbabel. In these passages, the second group of former captives have returned under the leadership of Ezra. He has learned that the Jews who were already there, including many of the leaders, have taken pagan wives. This was strictly forbidden by the Law, had repeatedly led the people into idolatry, and had caused the nation to be taken into captivity. Yet, they had gone back to the same practices!

John MacArthur points out in his Daily Bible notes that even though there was a decision made that these wives as a whole were to be “put away”—that is divorced—each marriage was examined individually, probably to learn whether the wives had become believers. He also notes that other gentile women like Ruth and Rahab who had embraced faith in God were accepted and even included in the lineage of Christ.

So what about today? Can we divorce an unbelieving spouse? Matthew Henry in his commentary says, “As to being unequally yoked with unbelievers, such marriages, it is certain, are sinful, and ought not to be made; but now they are not null, as they were before the gospel did away the separation between Jews and Gentiles.” Continue reading

Ask the counselors: “A young widow asks about grief”

Lauren asks:

Question: I am 35, mother of two small children. My husband passed away suddenly last year in June. I have been working through my grief. I have shed many tears and have had many pity parties. However, The Lord always encourages me to keep pressing forward and to live with the knowledge that my husband is with him and that I still need to run this race of faith. I’m also a preacher. Many people think I have not grieved or reached this desperate place of grief. What are your thoughts? Can we as believers mourn, but mourn with the hope and expectation that to live is Christ and to die is gain? Continue reading