Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.
I am sure there are many of us that have heard something along the lines of; “that old Bible thumper”, or “they think they are better than me”. These are the kinds of comments that people will use as a form of discouragement for true Children of God. In fact, if you are not experiencing this type of persecution there is a good chance that you might be lacking in the dedication department.
Now I am not saying this is always the case, because Jesus went to some places where he was welcomed by the people. However, there always seemed to be that one person who wanted to question what he was doing. The lack of faith can be a powerful tool for enemies of God and those that follow Him. Our job, as His followers, is the spread the greatness of God’s love and not allow those of this world to discourage us in the process.
It’s been a while since I posted anything, it’s be a hectic start to the new year. Recently, I started my second job and been trying to find the balance needed to finish my last month of class and two jobs. My wife had been working double shifts at her job due to call-offs and this has thrown our schedules for a bit of a loop. Hopefully, things have already started on an upswing for us. If not, it is the will of God and we will accept this faithfully. I know that sometimes we tend to push this to the back of our minds, but God isn’t going any where. All it takes if for us to turn our problems over to Him and He will carry us through it.
1 Peter 5:6-11 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: 7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. 8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: 9 Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. 10 But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you. 11 To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
If not for the Grace of God I believe that my life would have taken much worse turns than it already has. I believe this comes from the prayers of others would cared enough to lift my name up to God even when I was too self-involved to recognize the need for Him. I believe this is a problem that many of us will face until the end of time: the illusion that all things good come from our accord. Good or bad, it comes from the Grace of God and His loving hand being placed over us for our protection. Don’t ever assume we can live good enough to make it on our own. Jesus even told his disciples that there was none good except for God.
Daily I am learning the importance of relying on God. Every decision that I make on my own works out in the worse possible way. It is when I ask for guidance that the better choices become more apparent and the end results are more positive. So I always stand in need of prayers from anyone who is willing to mention me. God bless!
My last two college classes are beginning on Tuesday. Just after the first of the year I will have my Associate’s degree. By the grace of God, I will have accomplished this by the age of 40. When you compare this to thing that God did in the Bible, it’s really small by comparison. However, it serves as an example of how important each and every one of us all are to God. While I may never slay a giant, part a sea, or walk on water (though I believe I could if it served to further the glory of God) hopefully my decisions will inspire someone else. Just maybe my faith can be an example to what faith can do for others.
This is where I pray to get into the swing of things, not because I want God to help me handle my schedule, but because I want God to hep me handle it in a Godly manner. Sometimes, it’s not what do, but how we do it. We must be willing to let God take control of things. His understanding is far beyond our scope of understanding (probably the reason we screw things up so badly). We have to be set apart from so many different things of the world. Otherwise, we run the risk of allowing worldly things to take too much of our attention.
Paul wrote about this in Romans Chapter 12, we should not let ourselves conform to the world. We have to live in this world, but we don’t have to accept immoral things that others do. It all falls back to Jesus telling the people to be a light and a city on the hill. We need to be a Godly example and not just go with the flow. That’s why I believe that we need to get into the swing of things first by asking God to guide our choices daily. He won’t force us to seek Him out, but He won’t leave us hanging when we do.
24 For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? 25 But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it. 26 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. 27 And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. 28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
There are times in my life when I question why things have happened and what is the lesson to be learned from them happening. When it comes to these times, I think of this selection and it helps me remember that I don’t have to know the reason. Instead, I need to have the faith that God is doing this for my benefit. I may not see the big picture, but I should have faith that God already knows what are the effects of this happening to me. I believe this where the whole Scripture about walking by faith and not by sight applies to our lives.
As I am sitting here typing this post, my 1-year-old granddaughter has pushed the power button on my laptop twice. She has crawled underneath my end table and gotten stuck and has caused me to have to deal with her several other times. This is a good example of what I am talking about because as aggravating as this is, I am still blessed with grandchildren to cause me aggravation. The joy they bring far outweighs the bad.
So my advice is this: appreciate what we have, keep your eye on the prize, and remember God knows more than we can understand.
As I had previously written, my wife has found a job at a nursing home. She is still studying for the CNA certification test and going to her classes working towards becoming an Registered Nurse. So now here her schedule is working five days a week and attending classes on the two days she is off. Currently, here schedule is working the day shift, but starting Saturday it will be switching to second. Even though it is getting tougher, she still thanks God for blessing her with the opportunities that she has now.
My schedule is still working second shift Monday through Fridays and my college work is completely online. I was given the opportunity to take a tax preparation course through a local tax company that would require attending classes 2 days a week before going to work. I was hesitant at first because the course was free, but the books and other materials cost $149. While that may not seem like a lot for materials, when you wife is returning to work after an extended break things stay tight for a while. I prayed to God and asked to guide me in the direction I needed to go.
The answer came in the form of a phone call from someone from their office. They had an offer to take the course and I would receive a scholarship to cover the cost of books and materials. This meant that the only cost on my part would be gas to drive to the class 2 days a week. Now taking the course does not guarantee a job with the company, but it is a step in the right direction. I believe that God does everything with a purpose for those who allow Him to be a part of their lives.
Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.