Many people in our world feel that way. They have been burned in their relationships, so they pull in and break off relations altogether. What a shame. If we cut ourselves off from others, then we deprive ourselves of a lot of wonderful experiences. This is why God places such emphasis on forgiveness. If we will learn to forgive others when they wrong us, then we can remain open to the possibility of relationships in which we won't be disappointed. If we have no forgiveness, then we will miss out on the blessings of good relationships. Ask God for the ability to forgive, and He will bless your life.
Looking back in the Bible, there were many men and women who came to a point in their lives where they thought life was over, only later to discover it was merely an intermission. Elijah hid in a cave thinking his ministry was over; Moses herded sheep in the desert believing his dream to rescue the Hebrews was dashed; Jonah camped out under a shade plant and waited to die. Each of these men thought it was the end, but in reality, it was only an intermission. God wasn’t finished with the story of their lives quite yet.
I don’t know what you’re facing today. Perhaps your life has taken you to an unexpected place. Perhaps, like Moses, you’ve made a poor decision that resulted in you running from God and from man. Perhaps like Elijah, you’ve allowed someone’s threats to put fear in your heart, and you’re in hiding. Perhaps like Jonah, you’ve obeyed God, but feel duped because your obedience didn’t bring the results you’d hoped for. With your dreams burning in the background, perhaps you’ve stood on the hillside with fist raised in the air making declarations to God.
Sometimes in life, God makes our walls fall down. Because it is only when we lose hope in our trusted physical and material defenses that we truly learn to trust in God.
What are the great walls in your life? Are they people whom you depend upon? Is it money in the bank? Is it a strong army or a good president? None of these are capable of protecting us or are worthy of our trust. Let us remember that it is God Who fights our battles and it is He Who gives us shelter – now and forevermore.
We can use whatever circumstances we are given as opportunities to grow and thrive, or we can let our circumstances get the best of us and beat us into defeat. In life, success doesn’t necessarily go to the one who is most talented, brilliant, or savvy – it goes to the one who chooses to follow the path of blessings.
Friends, no matter what situation you find yourself in today, know beyond the shadow of doubt that it is one in which you can thrive. All you need to do is make that choice. Cling to God and to His Word and choose life’s blessings!
Try this exercise: think of a time when you received some "bad" news that ended up in the long run being good or even the best news? Can you think of anyone who lost a job only to find a much better one? Or someone who has gone through a painful, broken relationship, only to find a more healthy and loving one later on? Ultimately, were they not thankful for the changes that they had to make?
We won't always be able to understand how bad things can be good for us because we don't always know what God intends for us. But we can know deep in our hearts that God wants what is best for us so we can serve Him better. Knowing that everything in our lives is a part of God's plan helps us celebrate the good with the bad.
Wait a minute....hold your thoughts...
If you had to choose one word to describe our world today, what would it be? Wonderful? Tragic? Beautiful? Dreadful? While each of these might describe our world in part, I think the best overall description of the world in which we live is ‘decaying.’
In a decaying world, you can have elements of both good and bad. That delicious steak in your refrigerator is decaying. Now that doesn’t make it automatically inedible, but it is actively spoiling. And if left to its own, it will turn rotten.
Our world is in the process of turning rotten. Morally… spiritually… and physically, it’s slowly dying and will one day be no more. But as believers, God calls us to be salt, a preservative that is added to stave off decay and preserve life. That’s the role of the Christian here on this planet!
Actually the only faith that can guide us into the future is a faith in God. It should not surprise us too much if our best efforts at straightening out the world we live in are only partially successful. Nor should our failures stop us from trying. But each new crisis, each new problem reminds us that the only effective solution to mankind's problem is the Bible one. Until every man on the earth is a changed person, relating correctly to God and his other fellow earthlings, the world cannot really expect to experience perfection. But the day will come when this most improbable event will occur. Not all will submit to the changing process, but only those who do will remain to live in this purified, glorified earth.
God says He will make the earth new. Right now the best He can do is make individuals new. And He does this through Jesus Christ. Why not let Him do it for you today?
As a believer in Jesus Christ, you have a unique role of a preservative in the world. Morally you do that by following the precepts of God. Spiritually it happens by sharing Christ with the lost. And physically the world is preserved when you care for God’s creation. Be salt and help preserve life in our decaying and dying world!