After the last series, I was not sure what to write about next. I am still not sure where to go from here. I need to be patient and listen to the Holy Spirit to guide me. In the meantime, I have been struggling looking for work. I was laid off the end of July and it has been frustrating, getting few calls. There also has been a couple family issues to deal with. So, this one is kind of reminding me that God is good and He provides. He will take care of me and I don’t have to worry, because I can trust in Him for things to work out. It is a time to remember that many in this world are struggling, a lot worse than I. I have been very blessed, as most people are in this country and many of us take it for granted. I have been to Haiti several times and each time I am reminded of this. Though people are in poverty, sometimes in danger, they still can find joy. I see it in their smiles, I see it in the love they have shown me. This lady in the featured picture was always smiling and singing praises to God, though she lived in an impoverished, struggling country. We can learn from people like her. God doesn’t always give us everything we want or get us out of the storm, but He is always there to help us through it. And I know there is more blessing ahead. So, don’t worry.
“Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?
“So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?
“Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”
Oh how we worry about the things we cannot control. Why do we do that? It doesn’t change a thing except making us stressed out. This is something I am always guilty of. Jesus says to give all your burdens to Him. If we lay our burdens on Him, we can have rest. We can have peace.
“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
I think this is referring not only to our daily troubles but also spiritually. When you have doubts, when your faith is weak, when you are discouraged, call upon the Lord and He will guide you. It doesn’t mean your life will be smooth and everything will be easy, as some of those prosperity gospel people believe, but He will get you through whatever you may be dealing with. He will give you the strength. Often times our hardships are what draw us closer to God and help us grow, even the self inflicted ones.
I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.
So often people take Philippians 4:13 out of context. It’s not about if we pray everything will be handed to us or that we won’t have hardship. It is that whether things work out or not we can have peace through the Holy Spirit and that God will get us through it. How we handle the hardships is what builds our character. It will work out, maybe not the way want or expect, but it will, maybe down the road much better than we imagine, and we can give God the glory no matter what.
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
Some may ask why God allows suffering. That is a hard question to which I do not understand fully (if at all). I know part of it is free will. Often times the suffering is because our decisions or someone else’s. Other times it is just the way of the world. We live in a fallen world. There is sin. God intended us to be in fellowship with Him, but there is free will. He wants us to love Him, but love cannot be forced, so there is free will for us to decide if we want to love God and live for Him, or live for ourselves and reject Him. Some choose wrong over right, evil over good. Sometimes, God calls us to help others. Are we obedient to serve those in need, to help those who are suffering? We are His hands and feet. What are we doing about it? Are we allowing God to work through us?
“Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’ “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’