Archive for the 'Small Thoughts' Category

Give Thanks In Bad Circumstances?

A Small Thoughts post.

It’s amazing how many times God tells us in the Bible to be thankful.

It’s mentioned three times within three verses in Colossians:

And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Colossians 3:15-17 ESV

There are an infinite amount of things to be thankful for, and we can never be thankful enough.

In 1 Thessalonians 5:18 it says to “gives thanks in all circumstances.” But how do we do thanks in bad circumstances? Should we be thankful for them?

Back to Colossians:

We can always thank God for saving us who are believers–and all the other things he does–and for the offer for those who aren’t. This is always bigger than anything we’re going through, even though there are circumstances, sometimes ongoing, that can be absolutely overwhelming at the time.

May we experience the benefits of being thankful because of what God has first done for us. We know this is God’s will for us (1 Thessalonians 5:18).

Remember those who are struggling this Thanksgiving.

Photo of a Bible

When People Insult You

I think the quote below is great. This applies to obviously unfair criticism. Of course, there are also times to take it into serious consideration.

Don’t take everything that people say to heart, or you may hear your own servant cursing you.
Ecclesiastes 7:21 GW

or

do not take seriously all words which are spoken, so that you will not hear your servant cursing you. (NASB)

One wise man responded to criticism by saying, “He didn’t insult me at all; in fact, he was talking about another man: the man he thought I was.”

–Philip Ryken, Ecclesiastes: Why Everything Matters

There’s a lot more to it than that; I just wanted to post this quote, which is a perspective I hadn’t previously thought about.

This post is in the Small Thoughts category.

Small Thoughts-No Answers in the Book of Job

When we are afflicted or tested, and it’s not a consequence of sin, we often try to figure out what God is trying to teach us, but to no avail. Then we think we’re missing out on it. Much of the time, God is refining us (1 Peter 1:6-7), or changing us into the likeness of his Son (Romans 8:29), or pruning us (John 15:2), or doing whatever he wants, without letting us know why or exactly how. Even worse, those who don’t believe in God’s providence think that these things happen randomly.

In the book of Job, we can see that God actually told Satan who he could afflict. Then Job tried to find out reasons why. His so-called friends came up with all kinds of illegitimate reasons. Even in the end, when God actually spoke to Job, he didn’t tell Job that Satan afflicted him or why God told him to.

We should practice healthy introspection by comparing our behavior to Scripture (Hebrews 12:13-21 as an example), be sensitive to God’s conviction, and pray, but then not try to conjure up a reason for what God is doing when he himself doesn’t tell us.

Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father?
Hebrews 12:7 NIV

I would occasionally like to try a new type of blog post. They will be short thoughts. I’m absolutely, most definitely, not trying to mimic Twitter, write posts because people have short attention spans, or abbreviate larger ideas or doctrines for the sake of making short posts. They really are small or short thoughts, not that they can’t be expanded on. They are my own thoughts and not authoritative or inarguable.

Small Thoughts-Resisting the Devil

I would occasionally like to try a new type of blog post. They will be short thoughts. I’m absolutely, most definitely, not trying to mimic Twitter, write posts because people have short attention spans, or abbreviate larger ideas or doctrines for the sake of making short posts. They really are small or short thoughts, not that they can’t be expanded on. They are my own thoughts and not authoritative or inarguable.

If I go on, the explanation will be longer than the post.

Today’s in on resisting the devil.

Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you.
James 4:7-8a NIV

Resisting the devil is wrapped in two commands. We resist the devil by living rightly with God, or living godly lives. I’ve heard of people doing things like rebuking Satan, and even praying out loud so that Satan can hear us praying, because he, of course, can’t tell what we’re thinking. We shouldn’t have Satan in mind, but God.

Obviously, whole books could be written on this subject, including Ephesians 6, but I think that little passage in James says a lot.