“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

 

& :

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 ()? 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

“How much do you really want to know Jesus?” October 8

 

How much do you really want to know Jesus? How much we value knowing Him reveals a great deal about our hearts. The Apostle Paul who had all the Jewish credentials: education, a great family pedigree, and his own achievements, said he counted it all as garbage, literally “dung,” in comparison to knowing Him.How much do you really want to know Jesus? How much we value knowing Him reveals a great deal about our hearts. The Apostle Paul who had all the Jewish credentials: education, a great family pedigree, and his own achievements, said he counted it all as garbage, literally “dung,” in comparison to knowing Him.

 

Today’s Readings:
Jeremiah 1 & 2
Psalm 116.5-14
Proverbs 27.1
Philippians 3.1-21

 

How much do you really want to know Jesus?

 

:

Knowing Him

Several years ago I started listening to a worship song entitled All I Once Held Dear (Knowing Him). You may be familiar with it.

I believe when it comes to worship, it’s not about the style of music, but about the words. It’s the words that we are offering up to God in our worship. It’s the words that really matter.

I was greatly moved by the lyrics that come right out of this passage in Philippians.

But as I was singing and worshiping two lines toward the end grabbed my heart with a holy fear. The lines were, “Oh, to know the power of your risen life and to know You in Your sufferings.”

The thought occurred to me that this isn’t generic. I was saying to the Lord, “I want to know You in Your sufferings.” And that would most likely happen through suffering on my part.

We have all suffered in various ways. I have and I’m sure you have, but there was something that gave me pause about singing and saying I wanted to know Christ in that way. I had to ask myself, “How much do I really want to know Him?”

As I went to my Bible to read the entire passage, I thought about the Apostle who had all the Jewish credentials: education, a great family pedigree, and his own achievements, and how he said he counted it all as garbage, literally “dung,” in comparison to knowing Christ (3.8). Not just knowing Him in His resurrection power, but in the fellowship of His sufferings.

Verse 10, “that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death.”

bibleI don’t know about you, but I like the part about knowing Him in the “power of His resurrection,” but the “fellowship of His sufferings,” is another thing. But I’ve, also, come to believe we can’t have one without the other.

There will be times when we will suffer simply because we live in a sin-cursed world. There will be times when we will suffer because of the sins of others. And there will be times when we suffer because we are His and His light is in us. And darkness doesn’t like the light.

“And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed” (Jn. 3.19-20).

The Christian walk is not without tests and trials, but ultimately God takes care of His own. As the Prophet Jeremiah said:

“‘They will fight against you, but they shall not prevail against you. For I am with you,’ says the LORD, ‘to deliver you’” (Jer. 1.19).

And in the process of that suffering, we come to know Him in increasingly greater ways as we learn to depend on Him and cling to His promises.

 

 

Here are the lyrics to the song:

All I once held dear, built my life upon
All this world reveres, and wars to own
All I once thought gain I have counted loss
Spent and worthless now, compared to this

Knowing you, Jesus
Knowing you, there is no greater thing
You’re my all, you’re the best
You’re my joy, my righteousness
And I love you, Lord

Now my heart’s desire is to know you more
To be found in you and known as yours
To possess by faith what I could not earn
All-surpassing gift of righteousness

Oh, to know the power of your risen life
And to know You in Your sufferings
To become like you in your death, my Lord
So with you to live and never die

 

Today’s Other Readings:

 

& :

Our All-Knowing, Sovereign God

Jeremiah is often called “the weeping prophet.” He also wrote the book of Lamentations. Its name refers to a funeral dirge. Jeremiah grieved over the judgment of his people and the destruction of the once flourishing and beautiful city of Jerusalem by the Babylonians. The destruction was God’s judgment on a people who had repeatedly turned their backs on Him. But before doing so, God through Jeremiah called the people to repentance and warned of the judgment that would come if they did not repent. Continue reading

“Jellyfish, Pain and Heartache” October 6

 

Jellyfish, Pain & Heartache - God says He’ll complete the work He has begun in us (Phil. 1.6), but we often suffer unnecessarily in the process. Like Nemo and Dorie in the movie Finding Nemo, we ignore God’s instructions and end up "swimming through schools of jellyfish." Like the fishy pair, we survive, but not without getting stung and suffering a great deal of pain and heartache!God says He’ll complete the work He has begun in us (Phil. 1.6), but we often suffer unnecessarily in the process. Like Nemo and Dorie in the movie Finding Nemo, we ignore God’s instructions and end up “swimming through schools of jellyfish.” Like the fishy pair, we survive, but not without getting stung and suffering a great deal of pain and heartache!

 

Today’s Readings:
Isaiah 63 & 64
Psalm 115.14-18
Proverbs 26.27
Philippians 1.1-30

 

Jellyfish, Pain and Heartache

 

:

Ignoring His counsel

stop gesture

Verse 1.6 is one of my favorite verses. It gives me great hope when it says, “being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.”

Isn’t it good to know that He is the one who will complete His work in us? And … He never gives up! But I wonder how often we make His work harder … on us!

Someone gave me a great illustration of this. I was explaining this passage and she told me it reminded her of the scene in Finding Nemo where Nemo and Dorie have been told not to try to go around or over the gap, but through it. When they get there, that just doesn’t seem right to them; so they decide to swim over it. They end up running into a huge school of jellyfish! They survive it, but not without getting stung and suffering a great deal of pain! How like our attempts to figure things out for ourselves, often ignoring what God says, and doing what seems right to us! (Prov. 14:12)

 

Today’s Other Readings:

 

& :

Filthy Rags

Human hand in glove holding dirty rag, isolated on whiteChapter 64 contains the following passage:

4 For since the beginning of the world
Men have not heard nor perceived by the ear,
Nor has the eye seen any God besides You,
Who acts for the one who waits for Him.
5 You meet him who rejoices and does righteousness,
Who remembers You in Your ways.
You are indeed angry, for we have sinned—
In these ways we continue;
And we need to be saved.
6 But we are all like an unclean thing,
And all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags;
We all fade as a leaf,
And our iniquities, like the wind,
Have taken us away.

This passage speaks of the greatness of our God and our universal need for salvation. We are like an “unclean thing.” All our righteousness, all our good deeds, all our attempts at trying to save ourselves or earn God’s approval are like filthy rags. We are unclean by nature, sinners from the womb.

But God …

Do you realize that the Bible is all one big “but God”? But God who is rich in mercy, who knows what we are, chose to die in our place!  Continue reading

“Good Doctrine Matters” September 12

 

Good Doctrine Matters - Good doctrine ... there I said it ... the "D" word. It seems like, in many churches, we're afraid of the word and of calling other biblical concepts by their traditional or biblical names. I understand the value of making preaching and teaching relevant. But have we gone to such lengths to avoid using biblical terminology that we're at risk of producing a generation of biblical illiterates?Good doctrine … there I said it … the “D” word. It seems like, in many churches, we’re afraid of the word and of calling other biblical concepts by their traditional or biblical names. I understand the value of making preaching and teaching relevant. But have we gone to such lengths to avoid using biblical terminology that we’re at risk of producing a generation of biblical illiterates?

According to Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary, doctrine is, “a set of ideas or beliefs that are taught or believed to be true.” Biblical doctrine is made up of the ideas and beliefs that the Bible teaches to be true. It’s the Bible carefully studied and understood.

Good doctrine matters because what we believe about God, His sovereignty, and His dealings with those He loves, determines how we’ll respond to the tests and trials of life among other things. It also determines whether or not we witness, how we interact with others, especially our spouses and children, and whether or not we have peace at the end of our lives. Good doctrine matters more than we know.

 

Today’s Readings:
Isaiah 15 & 16
Psalm 106.24-31
Proverbs 25.8-10
2 Corinthians 4.1-18

 

Good doctrine matters!

 

:

Good Doctrine Concerning Tests & Trials

 

One area where good doctrine is vitally important concerns the tests and trials we experience in life. Look at what Paul had to say about his own:

Verses 1, 7-10:

1 Therefore, since we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we do not lose heart:

7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. 8 We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed— 10 always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.

Many today come to God with a “what can He do for me” attitude. That attitude is fed by the popular “health and prosperity doctrine.” It’s a doctrine with great appeal, but it has a nasty downside.

What if you believe God will give you whatever you desire if you just have enough faith?

What if you believe God always wants His children healed physically, guarantees that our children will grow up to serve Him, and gives us freedom from all hardship?

Then … what if … God doesn’t make you rich or heal your body? What if your child gets sick? What if you continue to struggle financially? What if your husband doesn’t get saved or come back home or never changes? What if the man of your dreams doesn’t appear? What if you suffer physically? What if your children rebel?  Continue reading

“The Danger in NOT Judging Sin” August 23

 

The Danger of NOT Judging Sin - While we cannot know another person’s heart, it is a misunderstanding of the Bible to think we are never to judge someone else's behavior. In fact, there is great danger in not judging sin, especially to the person caught up in it.st 23" >While we cannot know another person’s heart, it is a misunderstanding of the Bible to think we are never to judge someone else’s behavior. In fact, there is great danger in not judging sin, especially to the person caught up in it.

Also read about some things to consider when going through a test or a trial and some of the traps that can lead to sexual immorality.

 

Today’s Readings:
Job 37 & 38
Psalm 100.1-5
Proverbs 23.26-28
1 Corinthians 5.1-13

 

The Danger in NOT Judging Sin

 

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For the Purpose of Reconciliation

 

Our reading in Proverbs today has some strong warnings about the dangers of sexual immorality. The Corinthian church had their problems in this area and, instead of dealing with it biblically, they chose to look the other way. In our society today, we might call this “being tolerant”!

Sometimes we even put a biblical-sounding spin on it and say we don’t want to judge.

Read Paul’s words in verse 3 again, “For I indeed … [I] have already judged … him who has done this deed.” While we cannot know or judge another person’s heart or spiritual relationship with God, we are told throughout Scripture to judge sin. Jesus said, “You will know a tree by its fruit.” That means you must determine what the fruit is!

confronting comfortingst 23" >The point we most often miss in all of this is the purpose behind it. It’s not so we can be self-righteous or condemning. It’s so a sinning brother or sister can be reconciled to God. If a person stays in a lifestyle of sin, one of two things is true: either he or she is not really saved or they are in danger of God’s discipline (Heb. 12.5-11).

Later in chapter 11 Paul tells these same believers:

“For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep. For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened by the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world.”

Because of unconfessed and unforsaken sin, many were weak and sick and some had even died prematurely!

Certainly we all sin in many ways, and many of those things can be covered in love. But gross sins, life dominating sins like anger, abuse, and sexual immorality should be lovingly confronted in a biblical way. This is not easy to do, but necessary, if the body of Christ is to be the pure and undefiled bride she is called to be.

 

Today’s Other Readings:

 

& :

Things to Consider When Going Through a Test or Trial

 

prayer biblest 23" >In chapter 38, God turns the tables on Job and begins to question him! Remember God had already vindicated Job in the court of heaven and He will vindicate him again as He speaks to Job and his friends, but as John MacArthur says in his Daily Bible notes, “… He first brought Job to a right understanding of Himself.”

It’s alright for us to question God, but we must know in advance, we won’t always get an answer, neither will we always understand the answers we get, and we need to be willing to accept that He knows best. Tests and trials are opportunities to trust God in a greater way whether or not it makes sense to us.  Continue reading

“Suffering & Sin” August 8

 

Suffering & Sin - While we don’t know another’s heart and can’t assume their suffering is the result of sin, ... can sin sometimes be the cause of our suffering?st 8" >While we don’t know another’s heart and can’t assume their suffering is the result of sin, … can sin sometimes be the cause of our suffering?

Also, with broken families and the pressures of living in a post Christian world, older believers have a mission that has never been more important. If you are a senior adult, are you being a good steward of this responsibility?

And from our New Testament reading … Many people think they are children of God because they belong to a certain church, or because they were raised in a Christian home, or because they have “always believed in God,” or they have been baptized, or taken communion, or are “good people.” But can any of those things save us?

 

Today’s Readings:
Job 7 & 8
Psalm 92.8-15
Proverbs 22.17-21
Romans 9.1-15

 

Suffering & Sin

 

& :

Soulcare

 

In chapter 7, Job pours out his complaints to his friends and to God and tries to justify his desire to die and bring all this suffering to an end.

Though there are times when we have to exhort, even rebuke, one another because we have gotten into excessive sorrow or self-pity, there are, also, times when we just need to listen and let them pour out their hearts. Bob Kellemen calls it “soulcare.”

In chapter 8, another of Job’s friends, Bildad, responds but with the same underlying belief that Job somehow brought this on himself. Though not everything he says is wrong, it is his assumption that Job caused his own suffering which was wrong. Remember God Himself said Job was, “blameless and upright, and one who feared God and shunned evil” ().

That doesn’t mean our suffering is never the result of sin. Often it is caused, or at least complicated, by our own sin. Mike Wilkerson, in his book Redemptionst 8" >
says we are all fellow sinners and fellow sufferers. It may be that we were sinned against, sometimes in grievous ways. But we can respond to the other person’s sin with anger, bitterness, and unforgiveness, with denial, by turning to drugs or alcohol, by acting out sexually, or other sinful and self-defeating ways.

confronting comfortingst 8" >And there are times when we must lovingly confront one another, even when we understand that the person was also sinned against:

1 Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ” (Gal. 6.1-2).

 

How can we keep ourselves from being “overtaken in a trespass”?

 

How do we keep ourselves from ending up in the ditch because of some sin?

Continue reading

“Suffering, Crime & Child Sacrifice” July 16

 

Suffering, Crime & Child Sacrifice - What if you were called to endure suffering or hardship for the cause of Christ? Would you be willing to risk it all? Does crime sometimes pay? And what about child sacrifice? Is it something that only happens in pagan societies?

What if you were called to endure suffering or hardship for the cause of Christ? Would you be willing to risk it all? Does crime sometimes pay? And what about child sacrifice? Is it something that only happens in pagan societies?

 

Today’s Readings:
2 Chronicles 28 & 29
Psalm 84.8-12
Proverbs 21.6-8
Acts 19.21-41

This is a busy month for me and probably for most of you. I know it’s easy to get off track when kids are out of school and we’re taking vacations, etc., so I encourage you, to do your best to keep going. But, if you do miss a few days, just pick back up where we are. We have so much to gain from remaining faithful and so much wisdom to learn from His Word.

We still have all the epistles in the New Testament and the prophets in the Old ahead of us and I know God is going to show us great things!

bible mine

And if you’ve just recently stopped by to visit, I hope you’ll join us. Whether you started at the beginning or not, you will benefit greatly from a systematic reading of God’s love letter to us because:

16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work (2 Tim. 3.16-17).

On to today’s very important readings …

 

Suffering, Crime & Child Sacrifice

 

& :

Child Sacrifice & Abortion

 

Can you imagine a king (Ahaz) so evil that he would sacrifice his own children to false gods! And yet, it still goes on today! Children are sacrificed at the abortion clinic, to the gods of drug addiction and drunkenness, to the gods of sexual perversion, to the gods of “I’m too busy with my career” or “I want a divorce, because I just can’t be happy and I’m sure God wants me happy!” and many more.

Suffering, Crime & Child Sacrifice - What if you were called to endure suffering or hardship for the cause of Christ? Would you be willing to risk it all? Does crime sometimes pay? And what about child sacrifice? Is it something that only happens in pagan societies?You may think that I bring up abortion too often. I do so NOT to put any condemnation on someone who has had an abortion in the past:

“There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit” (Rom. 8.1).

The blood of Christ covers ALL our sins when we come to Him in saving faith. But I do believe abortion is possibly the greatest evil of our day and we must be willing to stand up against it no matter how unpopular it makes us!

The lie that abortion solves “a problem” permeates our society. But conception is more than an “unplanned pregnancy,” more than an inconvenience, more than an accident. It is the beginning of a new life and ordained by God no matter what the circumstances (Gen. 29.31, 30.22).

Abortion doesn’t solve a “problem;” it creates a much bigger one. The pain and consequences of abortion, not only end the life of a pre-born human being created in the image of God, but also leave scars on the heart and soul (and sometimes the body) of the mother, and often the father, as well.

Suffering, Crime & Child Sacrifice - What if you were called to endure suffering or hardship for the cause of Christ? Would you be willing to risk it all? Does crime sometimes pay? And what about child sacrifice? Is it something that only happens in pagan societies?If you or someone you know is contemplating an abortion or has had one in the past, I want to encourage you to contact a crisis pregnancy center in your area. They offer help and counseling to those who are pregnant and post-abortive counseling to those who have had an abortion in the past. Many offer counseling to fathers, too. If you live in El Paso you can contact the Pregnancy Help Center and Fatherhood Help Services.

If you are being pressured to have an abortion, you have rights, no matter what your age. LIFECALL can tell you how to protect your baby and your rights. They can even provide an attorney free of charge. God loves YOU and YOUR BABY.  Continue reading

“When You’re Mistreated or Falsely Accused” July 11

 

When You're Mistreated or Falsely Accused - How do you respond when you're falsely accused or mistreated? Do you respond with anger and bitterness, or with praise and humble trust? Does God have some specific instructions for how to overcome that kind of evil? How do you respond when you’re falsely accused or mistreated? Do you respond with anger and bitterness, or with praise and humble trust? And does God have some specific instructions for how to overcome that kind of evil?

 

Today’s Readings:
2 Chronicles 17 & 18
Psalm 81.11-16
Proverbs 20.26-28
Acts 16.22-40

 

Have you been mistreated or falsely accused?

 

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Falsely Accused & Praising God

 

What a great story! Here are Paul and Silas in great physical discomfort, mistreated, falsely accused and still praising God!

And as they did, God opened the prison doors with an earthquake. Fearing his prisoners had escaped the jailer prepared to commit suicide, but Paul and Silas cried out to stop him! says that it is the goodness of God which leads men to repentance. The goodness of God working through Paul and Silas led the jailer to repentance and he and his whole family were saved!

 

What if we’re mistreated or falsely accused? How should we respond? 

 

We live in a fallen world and there will be times when we suffer. Sometimes we suffer as a result of our own sinful choices and sometimes because of the sins of others. Sometimes we complicate our unfair suffering by our sinful responses.

Other times we suffer because we are doing good and because of the light in us.

1 Peter 3.13-17:

13 And who is he who will harm you if you become followers of what is good? 14 But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you are blessed. “And do not be afraid of their threats, nor be troubled.” 15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear; 16 having a good conscience, that when they defame you as evildoers, those who revile your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed. 17 For it is better, if it is the will of God, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.

How should we respond to suffering or mistreatment? And how should we respond to the ordinary every day occurrences that come from living life with other sinners?  Continue reading

“Cure for the Curse Over Our Cities” June 7

 

My city and yours are under a curse. But what is the cure?ne 7" >My city and yours are under a curse. But what is the cure?

 

Today’s Readings:
2 Kings 1 & 2
Psalm 71.9-16
Proverbs 18.6-8
John 16.1-33

 

Send me!

2 Kings 1 & 2:

Don’t you love Elisha’s boldness in asking for “a double portion” of the Lord’s Spirit in his life! I wonder how much more we could do for the Lord, if we just ASKED Him to do something through us! It made me think of Isaiah when He really saw God for Who He was:

“Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying: ‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?’ Then I said, ‘Here am I! Send me.'”

Do we, maybe out of a false sense of humility, neglect to say “Send me!” or “Please give me a double portion, Lord!”

 

A CURE FOR THE CURSE

My city and yours are under a curse. But what is the cure?ne 7" >

Chapter 2.19-21 really spoke to me. It says:

“Then the men of the city said to Elisha, ‘Please notice, the situation of this city is pleasant, as my lord sees; but the water is bad, and the ground barren.’ And he said, ‘Bring me a new bowl, and put salt in it.’ So they brought it to him. Then he went out to the source of the water, and cast in the salt there, and said, Thus says the LORD. ‘I have healed this water; from it there shall be no more death or barrenness.'”

In John MacArthur’s Study Bible, he says, “The healing of Jericho’s water, through Elisha, freed the city from Joshua’s curse, making it habitable for humans once again (Josh. 6.26; 1 Ki. 16.34).

I thought about our city. It, too, is a pleasant city in so many ways. Even though we often complain about our dust, our hot summers, and our laid back attitude, there are so many things for which we should be thankful—first and foremost—our people. I believe El Paso has some of the most wonderful people in the world! And wherever you live, there are things about your city or town that make it “pleasant.” But we, also, suffer from a curse, Continue reading

August 29 “God’s promise in trials”

Older couplest 29 “God’s promise in trials”" >God has given us a great promise to hang on to when we’re going through tests and trials. God’s promise in trials is one every believer should memorize.

Today’s Readings:
Ecclesiastes 7
Psalm 103.1-5
Proverbs 24.7-9
1 Corinthians 10.1-18

Ecclesiastes 7:

Funerals and parties

There are so many nuggets in this chapter! Let’s start with verse 2. What does it mean when it says, “better to go to the house of mourning than to go to the house of feasting”?

Solomon is saying it’s better to go to a funeral than to a party, because a funeral causes you to examine your life and your relationship with God. But a party often distracts you and keeps you from looking honestly at your life.

This chapter also talks about the st 14 “God, authority & speeding tickets”" href="http://donnareidland.com/august-14-god-authority-speeding-tickets/" target="_blank">sovereignty of God and how the plans and purposes of God cannot be thwarted (vv. 12-14).

Solomon encourages us to do right, even though in a sin-cursed world, bad things happen to the good and the evil. He reassures us that the laws of sowing and reaping determine that it is better to do right. Peter echoed that truth in the New Testament:

“For it is better, if it is the will of God, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil” (1 Pet. 3.17).

Continue reading