I heard a preacher say, “The difficulty that God brings you through provides you with a ministry to others.”
I remember seeing a church sign, one of those where they post messages on the sign, it read, “God didn’t save you to make you comfortable, but to make you a comforter.”
What really counts when life on this earth has been completed is that we have fulfilled our purpose. God gives us a ministry. Will we recognize it? Will we do it?
1. God said don’t do it, (1Peter 5:7; Philippians 4:6)
2. It doesn’t help.
3. It is an enemy to your health.
4. God has already made provision for your every need, (2Peter 1:2-3.) You simply need to get in position to receive what He has provided.
5. God’s ways are always better than your ways, so if you could figure out something to do, it wouldn’t be as good as what God will lead you to do, if you will look to Him.
6. Worry is a subtle form of pride, and God resists the proud, but He gives grace to the humble, (1Peter 5:5.)
7. Most of things you worry about will never happen anyway. It is the devil’s deception.
What exactly does that word mean? Nobody knows. At my best guess, it’s a word that expresses amazement. It is a word of appreciation for something that’s out of the ordinary.
Did Jesus ever say, “Wow?” No, I’m pretty sure He didn’t, but if that had been a word of His day, I think He would have said it on several occasions.
- When Peter asked to walk on the water
- When the poor widow gave her last two small coins in the treasury
- When Mary broke a box of perfume valued at a years wages and poured it on Him
- When Paul said, “I count every thing in my past as garbage, when I compare it to what I have in Christ.”
There are other incidences, but you get the idea. Jesus never changes. Our faith in Him, His authority, and His word still have the “wow” effect.
Whether it’s the policeman or some other authority, we are constantly reminded that there are commands to which we must respond.
The Bible has many commands. There are three truths concerning any biblical command:
WE MUST DECIDE TO DO IT. If the response was automatic, there would be no need for a command.
WE CAN DO IT. God never commands us to do anything that He does not provide the wherewithal with which to do it.
THERE IS A POSSIBILITY THAT WE MIGHT NOT DO IT. Sadly, this is where all too many people live: in disobedience to the Lord’s commands.
If we make the decision to show the Lord’s command, “No Respect,” we deprive ourselves of the good life that He has provided for us in Christ. Failure to obey the command of policeman will bring unpleasant results, and even moreso, will failure to obey the commands of Lord bring unpleasant results. On the other hand, there are great blessings for those who trust and obey.
Rodney King’s big line of his lifetime was, “Can’t we all just get along?” There are some common sense, not to mention biblical rules to getting along.
Be considerate of others. Seems like that would go without saying, but it is often the missing link in troubled relationships.
Say “Thank You” to those to whom thanks is due. People love to hear those words, but more than that, when they do hear them, their regard for those who spoke them goes up.
Overcome evil with good. It is a very Christ-like action to be kind to those who are not kind to you. If the other person has any heart at all, it will make a strong impression that will probably pay big dividends in your future dealings.
Leave vengeance to God. In Romans 12, God says that vengeance is His, and that He will repay. Do you trust God to take you to heaven when you die? Then, can you not trust to take care of this little matter?
It depends on the subject. If it’s your marriage, you need to do everything possible to make it a life-long covenant relationship. If it is your job, or some other endeavor, there needs to be a way to know when to say, “when.”
We wouldn’t want to quit too soon. I heard a radio commentator say that John Edwards is probably kicking himself right now for getting out of the presidential race when he did. Maybe he quit too soon. Most of us don’t want to hang on too long, either. My grand-dad was like that about driving. He was crowding 90 years old, running over stuff right and left, but couldn’t see that it was time to quit.
In matters of faith, there is never a quitting time, but there are times when people get involved in areas of responsibility that they are not suited for, and in those cases, the wise words of Kenny Rogers should be heeded: “You’ve got to know when to hold’em and know when to fold’em.”
God told Jonah to go and preach to the people of Ninevah, but he went the opposite direction. He boarded a ship going to Tarshish.
The devil must be pleased when God’s people board their ships for Tarshish. We all have them. Every time there is the prompting of God to head a direction He tells us, the ship for Tarshish presents itself, just waiting for us to get on board.
Jonah’s reasons for getting on the ship to Tarshish included such things as fear, prejudice, pride, patriotism, laziness, and stubbornness. The devil will always furnish you with what you believe to be a reason.
We will find, as did Jonah, that the ride on the ship to Tarshish is not pleasant. There is a song that says, “Trust and obey, for there’s no other way to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.”
We will have gone a long way toward victory over the deception of the ship to Tarshish, as soon as we realize that there will always be one to present itself, but that all awaits it is a stormy sea and a prepared judgement.
God gave Jonah another chance. He is the God of another chance. His mercies are new every morning.