IF YOU NEVER WORRY, DON’T READ THIS EITHER (PART 2)

worry 7For the few of you, (two or three, or so it seems smiley face ) that are never tempted to worry in this day and age, please scroll right along. For all the rest of us, a timely reminder:

Do not be anxious [do not worry] about anything, but in everything, by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” (Phil. 4:6)

We could worry about a thousand things, yet this passage says do not worry about anything.  I can’t think of a thing that wouldn’t fall under the category of anything. Additionally, we are to bring everything to God in prayer. There isn’t a circumstance that is outside of His care for us, nothing that escapes his sight. In fact, God’s word says that He knows our needs before we even ask Him. (Matthew 6:8)

To overcome anxiety, according to this passage, is to come to the Lord in the right understanding of who He is. The passage, as stated by the synonyms “prayer” and “supplication” all indicate a specific, direct petition to God.1 This is shown in a context of humility and not rebellion. It indicates an attitude as one would approach a loving Father, as One who is “an ever-present help in times of trouble.” (Psalm 46:1)

It also tells us to come to Him with thanksgiving. In “Anxiety Attacked”, John MacArthur points out the example of the prophet Jonah. Even when a great fish swallowed him, he prays:

“I called out of my distress to the Lord, and He answered me…while I was fainting away, I remembered the Lord; and my prayer came to Thee…Those who regard vain idols forsake their faithfulness, but I will sacrifice to Thee with the voice of thanksgiving…” (Jonah 2:2, 2:7, 2:8-9).

I have a long way to go in this area, but what helps me stay in a mindset of thankfulness is to keep a journal of answered prayer through tough times. It helps to show me how much worse a circumstance could have been, and it is a way to record an ongoing testimony that I can draw from in times when I need more faith.

God never promised us that He would eliminate pain from our lives, but He has promised His supernatural peace if we trust Him. Read the next verse in this passage:

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Phil. 4:7)

The word “guard” here is the transliteration “Phroureo”, which is a military term, implying the vigilant protection of our hearts and minds as a soldier might protect his own.2

The next time you are tempted to worry, ask God for this peace that is beyond you. Ask Him to protect your heart and mind by the promise of His diligent care.

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Are you struggling with a specific care or worry? Why do you think it is so easy to hang on to? Take those specifics to Him. He already knows our every need.

What are some of the many mercies of God that you can draw upon in grateful prayer?

 

1. The MacArthur New Testament Commentary – Philippians, 283

2. Ibid, P. 284

 

 

 

 

IF YOU NEVER WORRY, DON’T READ THIS

worry

Dear Friends,

I hope all of you have had a great start to this new year. Praise God in everything, especially if all is well in your world right now. However, if you happen to be in the midst of a difficult time, you may be facing  2016 with  a sense of dread or uncertainty of what this new year holds. If you are, you are not alone. Given my last several months of 2015, I have at times wished time to stand still, so I don’t have to plunge back into the reality of what may lie ahead.

And yet the reality is that life does  go on, whether it happens to be pleasant or not…and while I don’t know what 2016 will bring, I knew I had to write to share an insight that God has been  bringing to my mind over and over:

Take one day at a time.

Simple, and yet so much easier said than done, at least for me.

Jesus addressed the issue with worry in the Sermon on the Mountain in Matthew 6:25-27, and Matthew 6:34, saying:

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

He goes on to add: “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”(Matthew 6:34)

What does it mean to worry? Well, when we worry, we are essentially saying we don’t trust God, because He already told us not to.  While in this context, Jesus was referring to worry about the daily provision of life (worry about having enough food, clothing, and shelter), which was a common concern in that day. However, I believe we can apply the principle to our trials and concerns today.

Worry is like assuming the responsibility of catching all the snowflakes of tomorrow’s blizzard, and never once stopping to consider that the sun may come out and the blizzard may never even materialize.

I’m reminded to reflect on God’s faithfulness as demonstrated in His word. He Himself sustained the children of Israel with manna from heaven, just enough for that day and that day only, (Exodus 16). He is the same God today, yesterday, and forever. Just like they could look back and see how He sustained them on a day-to-day basis, can’t we as His children also look back and see how much He has already brought us through?

I’m not gonna lie. From the beginning looking forward, 2016 looks daunting to me. Yet it is my prayer for myself and anyone reading this that we can look back at this time next year and notice that God has  brought us through the good times and the bad. May we see that many things we fret about often have a way of working themselves out, that there is more stress in the “what-ifs” of each tomorrow than the tomorrow itself.

In the next few days I want to focus on Philippians 4:6-7, which tells us how to pray in times of trouble. We can go to the Lord with our needs, but also balance it with a thankful attitude. And the outcome?  He will supply us with an unexplainable peace when we do:

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Phil. 4:6-7)

May this next year be a year of unwavering trust in Him, that we may grow in faith and finish strong.

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It’s good to plan and prepare for tomorrow, but where do you think the line is drawn between planning and worry?

Do you tend to over-think and fret? Do you have a testimony to share about how you have overcome this struggle through prayer and God’s word?

To pray specific scriptures concerning worry, check out this list from “Room to Breathe”.

 

 

 

 

FOUR REASONS THE VIRGIN BIRTH OF CHRIST IS SIGNIFICANT

 

Nativity

 

Larry King, host of the former “Larry King Live” talk show, was once asked who in all of history he would most like to interview, if given the chance. King replied, “Jesus Christ.” Why? To ask Him one question: “Are you indeed virgin born?” The answer to that question, added King, “would explain history to me.”

A crucial question indeed, for the implications of the virgin birth as a historical fact would oblige the cynic to acknowledge Jesus Christ as the Son of God. You see, it is impossible to believe in Christ as the Son of God and not accept the virgin birth. For God to accept Christ’s death as payment in full, He had to be pure, unaffected by sin. That is what makes the virgin birth so miraculous.

To quote form D. James Kennedy’s book, “Solving Bible Mysteries”, the virgin birth is significant because:

  1.  If Jesus were not born of a virgin, then He would have inherited sin like the rest of us.
  2.  If Jesus were not born of a virgin, then He cannot be the divine Redeemer, because the   sacrifice    for sin must be perfect.
  3.  If Jesus was not born of a virgin, we have no Savior.
  4.  If Jesus was not born of a virgin, we have no hope after death.

The key here is that we can’t take one part of the life of Christ without the other. If we study His life, we see that He lived a perfect and sinless existence. It points back to verify His miraculous birth, (which, by the way, was foretold thousands of years earlier).

And the ultimate affirmation? The resurrection. Also according to Kennedy’s book, “The resurrection is the most firmly attested event of ancient history. Because we know that Jesus was truly raised from the dead, we know that His birth must have been just as miraculous”.

If God can create the universe and perform miracles in healing, in nature, in provision and rise from the dead, it is no problem to believe that He could perform the miracle of the virgin birth. This is a wonderful and great cause to rejoice for those who come to Him with saving faith.

“Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel…” Matthew 1:23

May the wonder of Christ’s birth fill you with joy this Christmas season.

 

WHEN LIFE HAS NOT TURNED OUT AS YOU PLANNED

LIFEDo you believe that whenever God closes a door, He opens a window?

That is, do you believe that when we come upon a dead end in life, that it’s because there’s always a better opportunity around the corner?

I wish it was that simple, but we all know that there have been many times when crawling out of the only open window meant being caught outside in the cold, harsh world. You want to kick that slammed door back open, or at least crawl back through the window where it’s warm and cozy and just start over.

But to no fault of your own, you can’t. The door is shut, that ship has sailed.

It could be a job loss, a break-up, a misunderstanding, a disappointment, anything.

It could be losing something that you cherished and thanked God for every day, something that you knew beyond the shadow of a doubt that He gave you. So you cry out:

Lord, why did you take it away?

What if you knew from an early age that God set a purpose for you, only to find yourself on a roller coaster ride of extreme ups and downs, none of which made any sense?

Think you have problems? Take a look at the life of Joseph, the son of Jacob, as told in Genesis 37, 39 – 47. Here’s how all the highs and lows of his life played out:

  • As a boy, he was his father’s favorite (high)
  • He was hated by his brothers for it, and sold into slavery (low)
  • After being delivered from slavery, (high)
  • He rose to prominence in Potiphar’s (an officer of Pharaoh) palace (high)
  • Then, he was wrongfully accused of rape (low)
  • As a result, he was thrown into prison for years (low)
  • In prison, he interpreted a fellow prisoner’s dream. After getting out of prison, this prisoner (a butler), promised to speak well of Joseph to get him out, too. (high)
  • Yet Joseph was forgotten, and left in jail (low)
  • Years later, the butler finally remembered Joseph. Joseph was taken out of prison to interpret Pharaoh’s dream. (high)
  • From there, Joseph was elevated in rank right next to Pharaoh himself.  (high)
  • This put him in a position to forgive his brothers and save them from a famine in their land. (high)

If you ask me, that doesn’t look like an easy life of one progressive step of success to another, and for such a godly guy, you’d think life would be easier. Yet in the end, Joseph life came full circle. He looked back on it and the pieces finally made sense. It must have been such a soothing balm to his heart as he realized God’s hand in everything the whole time.

So back to that slammed door.  Do I believe that God can open a window of greater opportunity?

Yes, He certainly can.

And He can use that slammed door, (that one that feels like it’s slammed right on our heart till we can’t breathe, yeah that one), as a blessing to immediately bring us to a bigger, better circumstance.

Or…He can bring about the good in your life through a series of shut and open doors. Either way, His love is cast upon His children to the point of no denial in the end.

If you know Jesus as your Savior, if you are His child, know this. He is FOR you and not against you. I’m glad to know that, so I hang on for what’s ahead. Sure, I pray for blessing. Who doesn’t? Yet in hope, there must be submission to His authority in this not-so-perfect world.  We can make our plans, but it is the Lord’s purpose that presides.

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 Have you had a circumstance happen that left you absolutely baffled? Has someone handed you a raw deal? Have you come through it to see God’s ultimate purpose? I look forward to hearing your stories!

 

 

 

WHEN NEW WILL ALWAYS BE NEW

all things new

Who doesn’t like something new? Nobody, if you ask anyone in retail. There’s something about that new outfit with the price tag still on it, that new book with pages that have never been cracked open, that shiny-new grill that’s almost too pretty to use, that new iphone, or new whatever (you fill in the blank), that has kept the malls crowded and our pocketbooks depleted. Yet, we continue to go back to get more new stuff, since the new stuff that was once new is now old.

Take a look at kids on Christmas day. They tear into each present, paper flying everywhere, squealing with joy as they move from one gift to the next…till they realize there isn’t anymore, turn around and sadly ask, “is that all there is?”

I’m not sure there’s quite an exact synonym for the word “new”. Sure, there’s “novel”, or “fresh”, (according to my thesaurus) or even “latest” or “recent” but when we talk about something being “new”, it connotes a sense of hope… a “new” day, a “new” year, or a “new” outlook.

Newborns bring joy just by the fact that they are teeming with a life that’s just beginning. We love the idea of a new job or a new start. Heck, I always tell friends I feel like a new woman after just one day off!

When I think about newness, I reflect upon how desperately we need to be renewed. There’s a world of people who are in despair, caught in the same prison of the same old struggle with sin, whatever it may be. There are people who are sick of the constant gray cloud of depression, or abuse, or illness.

Even the physical world around us is tired. Nature groans in its turmoil on a daily basis. (Romans 8:22). Even as I write, we are under yet another flash flood warning as we are experiencing the remnants of Hurricane Patricia coming up from Mexico into Texas.

Maybe it’s that I’ve had a long week, watching a loved one struggle with age and all that comes with it. What I wouldn’t give to see him young and vibrant again, able to be the superman he always was.

Dear Lord, we are tired. We are weary, worn out, caught in between this trap of pain and the glory ahead…and yet we know that you do bring newness in this life. You have healed diseases and worked miracles.  

We also know that even in these victories, You will bring the ultimate NEW. You have made the sinner pure and clean in your eyes. You have brought us new life, and there will come a day when You have promised to make ALL THINGS NEW. You will make a new Heaven, and a new Earth. We will have new bodies that will never grow sick or old. We will run, sing, laugh and worship You in a new forever.

And He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new…” (Revelation 21:5)

As the song says, we’ve no less days to sing Your praise, than when we first begun.

 

 

POST #100 – 100 PROMISES OF GOD

Promises

 

Dear Friends,

Well, here it is, the 100th post since “Ministry in Words” was launched  almost three years ago! It’s a blessing to have the freedom and technology available at my fingertips that allows me to share God’s goodness to so many on a regular basis. I don’t take that for granted, and I give God all the glory for allowing me to continue thus far.

So what better way to recognize God’s goodness than to list 100 of His promises? There are so many, but these are the ones that have meant the most to me lately. My hope is that you keep it as a reminder of His love:

GOD’S PROMISES OF BOLDNESS IN SHARING THE GOSPEL 

  1. When I cried to You, You answered me, and made me bold with strength in my soul. – Ps. 138:3
  2. The Lord will be your (strong) confidence and will not allow your foot to be caught. – Pro 3:26
  3. In the fear of the Lord is strong confidence, and His children have a place of refuge. – Pro. 14:26
  4. For the Holy Spirit shall teach you in the same hour what you ought to say. – Luke 12:12
  5. Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God; – 1John 3:21
  6. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you- John 14:26
  7. And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual. – 1 Cor. 2:13
  8. For those who serve well as deacons gain a good standing for themselves and also great confidence in the faith that is in Christ Jesus. – 1 Tim. 3:13

GOD’S PROMISES TO DEFEAT OUR ENEMIES

  1. The destructions of the enemy are come to a perpetual end: and their cities have you destroyed; their memorial is perished with them. – Ps. 9:6
  2. I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised; so shall I be saved from my Ps. 18:31
  3. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies: You anoint my head with oil; my cupruns over.- Ps. 23:5
  4. O my God, I trust in you; let me not be ashamed, let not mine enemies triumph over me. – Ps. 25:2
  5.  By this I know that you favour me, because mine enemy does not triumph over me. – Ps. 41:11
  6. When I cry unto you, then shall mine enemies turn back: this I know; for God is for me.- Ps 56:9
  7. Through God we shall do valiantly, for He it is that shall tread down our enemies. – Ps 60:12
  8. For, lo, thy enemies, O Lord, for, lo, thine enemies shall perish; all the workers of iniquity shall be scattered. – Ps. 92:9
  9. Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom He has redeemed from the hand of the – Ps. 107:2
  10. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory, (over the enemy), through our Lord Jesus Christ.- 2 Cor. 15:57
  11. Now thanks be unto God, who always causes us to triumph (over the enemy), in Christ. – 2 Cor. 2:14
  12. Who has delivered us from the power of darkness, (enemy), and has transplanted us into the kingdom of His dear Son. – Col. 1:13

 GOD’S PROMISE OF FAITH AND ABILITY 

  1. So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.- Rom. 10:17
  2. To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit. 1 Cor 12:9
  3. I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. – Gal 2:20
  4. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith.- Gal. 5:22
  5. For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.- Eph 2:8
  6. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God has before ordained that we should walk in them.- Eph 2:10
  7. For it is God who is at work you to make you willing and able to obey His purposes.- Phil. 2:13
  8. Looking to Jesus the author and finisher of our faith.- Heb. 12:2
  9. The God of peace make you perfect in every good work to do His will, working in you that which is well-pleasing in His sight through Jesus Christ.- Heb. 13:21
  10. But you, my loved ones, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit. – Jude 20
  11. According as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through
    the knowledge of Him that has called us to knowledge and virtue. – 2 Peter 1:3

GOD’S PROMISES THAT EVERY FEAR IS CAST OUT 

  1. I sought the Lord, and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears. – Ps. 34:4
  2. God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear,though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the sea. – Ps 46:1,2
  3.  Say to them that are afraid, “Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompence; He will come and save you. – Is 35:4
  4. Fear not; for I am with you: be not dismayed; for I am your God: I will strengthen you; yes, I will help you; Yes, I will uphold you with the right hand of my righteousness. – Is 41:10
  5. Fear not, neither be afraid: have not I told you from that time, and have declared it? You are even My witnesses. Is there a God beside Me? Yes, there is no God; I know not any. – Is. 44:8
  6. No weapon that is formed against you shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against you in judgment you shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of Me, says the Lord. – Is 54:17
  7. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. – Matt. 6:34
  8. Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you: not as the world gives, give I to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid – John 14:27
  9. For you have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but you have received the Spirit of adoption, by whom we cry, “Abba, Father.” – Rom 8:15
  10. For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love and of a sound mind. – 2 Tim 1:7
  11. That through death He might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; and deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. – Heb. 2:14b, 15
  12. For He has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So that we may boldly say, “The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do to me.” – Heb 13:5b, 6
  13. You are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world. – 1 Jn 4:4

GOD’S PROMISES OF FULL FORGIVENESS IN CHRIST

  1. As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us. – Ps. 103:12
  2. I, even I, am He that blots out your transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember your sins. – Is 43:25
  3. And she shall bring forth a Son, and You shall call His name JESUS: for He shall save His people from their sins. – Matt 1:21
  4. For this is My Blood of the New Testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. – Matt 26:28
  5. For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures. – 1 Cor 15:3
  6. In Whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace. – Eph 1:7
  7. But now in Christ Jesus you who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. – Eph 2:13
  8. And be kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake has forgiven you. – Eph 4:32
  9.  In Whom we have redemption through His blood, even the forgiveness of sins. – Col 1:14
  10. This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. – 1 Tim 1:15
  11. How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? – Heb 9:14
  12. Who His own self bare our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live to righteousness: by Whose stripes you were healed. – 1 Pet 2:24
  13. For Christ also has once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God,being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit. – 1 Pet 3:18
  14. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.  – 1 Jn 1:7

GOD’S PROMISES FOR GUIDANCE 

  1. I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye. – Ps 32:8
  2. Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. – Ps 119:105
  3. The Lord will perfect that which concerns me; Your mercy, 0 Lord endures forever. – Ps 138:8
  4. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. – Pro 3:6
  5. A man’s steps are of the Lord; how then can a man understand his own way? – Pro 20:24
  6. Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: I am the Lord your God, Who teaches you to profit, Who leads you by the way you should go. – Is 48:17
  7. “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.” – John14:26
  8. “However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on his own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.” – John 16:13

 GOD’S PROMISES  OF HOPE

  1. Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart, all you that hope in the Lord. – Ps 31:24
  2. Behold the eye of the Lord is on them that fear Him, upon them that hope in His mercy. – Ps 33:18
  3. For in You, Lord, do I hope: you will hear O Lord my God. – Ps 38:15
  4. Blessed is the man that trusts in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is – Jer 17:7
  5. By Jesus also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. – Rom 5:2
  6. For whatsoever things were written before, were written for our learning, that we through patience of the scriptures might have hope. – Rom 15:4
  7. Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you might abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Spirit. – Rom 15:13
  8. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as you are called in one hope of your calling. – Eph 4:4
  9. But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love: and for an helmet, the hope of salvation. – 1 Thes 5:8
  10. Paul, in hope of eternal life, which God that cannot lie, promised before the world began. – Titus 1:2
  11. We are looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ. – Titus 2:13
  12. We have hope as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters into that within the veil. – Heb. 6:19

GOD’S PROMISES OF JOY

  1. You will show me the path of life: in Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand there are pleasures for evermore. – Ps 16:11
  2. Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning. – Ps 30:5
  3. Your words were found, and I did eat them; and Your word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of my heart: for I am called by Your name, 0 Lord God of Hosts. – Jer 15:16
  4. Blessed are you, when men shall revile you….. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven. – Matt 5:11,12
  5. These things have I spoken to you, that My joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. – John 15:11
  6. For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness and peace , and joy in the Holy Ghost. – Rom 14:17
  7. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace… – Gal 5:22

GOD’S PROMISES OF JUDGEMENT

  1. The LORD executes righteousness and judgment, (justice NKJV), for all who are oppressed.- Ps 103:6
  2. He that has pity on the poor lends unto the LORD, and what he has given will He pay him again. – Pro. 19:17
  3. He that gives to the poor shall not lack, but he that hides his eyes shall have many a curse. – Pro 28:27
  4. The LORD is a God of judgment. (or justice. NKJV.) – Is. 30:18
  5. The God of our fathers has chosen you, that you should know His will, and see that Just One, and should hear the voice of His mouth. – Acts 22:14

GOD’S PROMISES OF PEACE   

  1. You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You: because he trusts in You. – Is 26:3
  2. And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance forever. And My people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation, and in sure dwellings, and in quiet resting places. – Is 32:17, 18
  3. Come to me all you that labour and are heavy laden. and I will give you rest. – Matt 11:28
  4. Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you: not as the world gives, give I to you. Let notyour heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. – John 14:27
  5. These things have I spoken to you, that in Me you might have peace. In the world you shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. – John 16:33
  6. For the Kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. – Rom 14:17
  7. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. – Gal 5:22,23
  8. For He is our peace. who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of partition between us. – Eph 2:14
  9. And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. – Phil 4:7
  10. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also you are called in one body; and be thankful. – Col. 3:15

 

Adapted from http://www.scripturepromises.com/

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Do you have any promises that hold a special meaning to you? Maybe one that stood out to you during a particularly hard time in your life? Were you made aware of any when you needed it the most?

WHEN THE JOB WEARS YOU DOWN: A CHRISTIAN PERSPECTIVE ON WORK

work

Why is it that sleep never seems sweeter than it is the moment I have to get up?

Once that alarm goes off and I hit the snooze button, it’s just not the same. *sigh*

I drift off again, only to dream of lying on a faraway beach with just sunshine, an umbrella drink, and books to surround me.  Ahhh…bliss…

Then the alarm rings again and I remember…oh yeah. Work. The thought jolts my eyes open. No job means no roof over your head, girl, Get up! Well, that’ll do it! So I throw the covers back, stumble out of bed, and join the ranks of civilized society.

Now, I love what I do and the people I work with, but I think it is safe to say that there’s difficulty in any job on some level. There’s deadlines and demands, and…well, personalities to face. *smile*

By the end of the day, sometimes I just feel shredded, like I’ve been put through one of those machines that make pasta.

pasta machine 2

Work can be draining

No one said it would be easy. In fact, as Christians, we already know from the beginning that it is part of the curse of mankind. After Adam sinned against God, (Genesis 3), he was told that everything he would gain would come from hard work. Even if we are retired or have money to spare, every meal, every luxury, every material benefit we have is a result of someone’s work.

To Adam He said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate fruit from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat from it,’

“Cursed is the ground because of you;
through painful toil you will eat food from it
all the days of your life.
It will produce thorns and thistles for you,
and you will eat the plants of the field.
By the sweat of your brow
you will eat your food
until you return to the ground…(Genesis 3:18-19)

God created Adam with the capacity to work. He was given the task of cultivating the garden and naming the animals, (Gen.2:15, 19), which could not have been a burden in the perfect world in which Adam lived. Following his sin against God, Adam and Even went from the lush and thriving Garden of Eden to a world that would only yield food by his hard labor. He now came to know the anguish of work and the frustration of fighting thorns and thistles that would produce scratches on his hands and choke his crops.

Now when we deal with the day to day imperfections of our own jobs, whatever they may be….they are reminders of our present-day thorns and thistles.

Work is a blessing

Even so, don’t we have a certain satisfaction in a job well done? Work is also a blessing in that it is part of what it means to be made in the image of God. When He completed creation, God was satisfied with the outcome and said it was “very good” (Genesis 1:31).We reflect Him when we work productively, and use the abilities and potential He has given us. Through work, He gives us a means to make a living, connect with others, and contribute to society.

One final thought: I believe we must never stop doing our best just because someone isn’t looking over our shoulder, or a circumstance or two doesn’t seem fair. As believers our one grounding perspective is to work as unto the Lord. (Colossians 3:23-24 ).

Are you grateful for your job? Express that gratitude with eagerness to take on extra work when you’re asked.  Feeling overlooked? He always sees the effort you put in and your heart in the matter. Feeling overwhelmed? See it as an opportunity for God to see you through.

He will give us His joy to look PASTA the strain!

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What are some specific ways you can work as unto the Lord in your workplace?

Why will there always be difficulties at work? How do you think anticipating the “thorns and thistles” of work change our attitude about it?

Do you think that God’s own productivity in creation tell s us something about how we should work?