Life can be painful, discouraging, and disappointing. In terms of giving and receiving; sometimes we’re the grantor and other times we are the grantee. In all cases pain has a way of obscuring our sight and when all we can see is our pain, we will fail to see God. The pain we experience is a natural part of living in a fallen, sin-cursed world. In contrast, pain provides each of us an opportunity to either experience the grace of God or to extend grace to others. Therefore, it behooves us to consider what Paul said: “And He has said to me, My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9). So remember in the midst of the pain we endure God is still present and if we keep our eyes on the Perfecter of our faith we will not grow weary nor lose heart (Heb 12:2-3).
Father God, there are no words to express how filthy we feel every time we break Your heart. The guilt and the shame are overwhelming! Lord, we need Your touch right now. we are so sick of being “born again” and still doing the things we hate doing. Like Paul, we are conflicted. “For we do not do what we want, but do the very thing that we hate.” (Romans 7:15) We are so sorry! Father, we ask for Your forgiveness right now. We are shocked that our life has come to a point where even some sins don’t affect us at all. Father, we have some hard layers on our heart that need peeling. This hardness is a barrier between us that we can’t stand! We love You and we are so regrettably sorry for our selfish actions. Thank You for Your forgiveness, Lord. Without forgiveness we are nothing and with Your forgiveness we are whole again. We praise Your name for great is Your faithfulness despite our faithlessness. In Jesus’ name, Amen!
When was the last time God tried to get your attention? I have heard it said, “Managers light a fire under people; leaders light a fire in people.” The defining difference is simply the approach. Both strategies are intended to provoke change. Fire is often disguised as problems and God uses them to grapple our attention (James 1:2-3), to point us in a new direction (Pr 20:30), correct us (Ps 119:71-72), protect us (Gen 50:20), and perfect us (Rom 5:3-4). Problems are like ‘personal trainers’ and most personal trainers are acutely focused on achieving goals and not comfort. C.S. Lewis put it this way, “If tribulation is a necessary element in redemption, we must anticipate that it will never cease till God sees the world to be either redeemed or no further redeemable.”
The best investment to make is in people. I don’t care how much money you have, how much material assets you possess, nor the number of scholastic degrees you attain. At the end of your life all that stuff will belong to someone else. If you don’t believe me take a tour in a Egyptian exhibit! Here is the biblical skinny, you will exit the same way came to this planet. Naked you came from a mother’s womb, naked you will depart (Job 1:21). Tony Evans interpretation of Luke 16:9 is spot on! He said, “Jesus emphasizes the importance of people. We must see that people are highly valued in God’s economy. God measures our effect on people not by how many dollars we have in the bank, but by how we have bettered the lives of others and influenced them for good.” He also said, “When we stand before Christ, He will review our life from salvation to death. We will see how responsibly we used the time, talents, and treasures God gave us, and we will see the quality of our stewardship for Him. We will see the impact we had on other people and how much we invested in others for eternity.” Therefore, Invest in what truly matters; it’s not about us, it’s about preparing the ones that’s coming behind us!
How would you respond if you were told that you only had a few days to live? Of course, the scare would be monumentally life changing. My point is that most people will wait to the end of their life to start living their life. Jesus said in John 10:10, “The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.” So how do we get from living a life of dissatisfaction to living a truly satisfying life? There are so many keys, steps, ways, tips, and advice out there to choose from but which ones are truly beneficial? Well, I don’t believe in ‘life-hacks’ mainly because I believe in divine purpose. However, Charles Stanley said it best, “In all seasons trust God and leave the consequences to Him.” The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines trust as, “The belief that someone or something is reliable, good, honest, or effective.” God fits all four of these characteristics. Know this, you can move from #worry to #worship by realizing that trusting ‘in’ God is the only key in understanding every circumstance in your life (Jer 17:7 & 33:3).
We can profit from our pain & suffering because the God of all Grace uses these things to draw us closer to Him and to make us complete in Him (James 1:4). In his book, The Mute Christian Under The Smarting Rod, the Puritan writer Thomas Brookes offers the following observation. “God, who is infinite in wisdom and matchless in goodness, hath ordered our troubles, yea, many troubles to come trooping in upon us on every side. As our mercies, so our crosses seldom come single; they usually come treading one upon the heels of another; they are like April showers, no sooner is one over but another comes. It’s mercy that every affliction is not an execution, every correction not a damnation. The more the afflictions, the more the heart is raised heavenward.” As long as we live in this world, there will be battles. As long as we are here, there will be suffering. However, while our suffering might bring pain and sorrow, they also serve to make us grow in the Lord. Thus, they are a gift, just as 1 Pet. 5:6-7 says they are.
Tempered glass is aka safety glass. By code it’s required when installed in wet areas, vehicles,and in second story homes walk way areas. They also recently began manufacturing tempered screen protectors for mobile devices.
Tempered glass, like tempered steel, undergoes a well-controlled heating process which increases strength. Thus, when tempered glass is under stress, it will not easily break into jagged shards that can injure.
Likewise, a temperate soul—one who is humble and full of love—is also a person of increased spiritual strength. With increased spiritual strength, we are able to develop self-mastery and to live with moderation. We learn to control, or temper, our anger, vanity, and pride. With increased spiritual strength, we can protect ourselves from the dangerous excesses and destructive addictions of today’s world. In a way, we are all overseers and stewards of God’s borrowed resources and Paul reminds us in Titus 1:8 to be hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, and temperate. So the question is-is your temper-tempered? Proverbs 14:29 says, “He who is slow to anger has great understanding, But he who is quick-tempered exalts folly.”