Great stuff here! A definite read!
1. We stand firm. We do not move to the left, nor to the right. We keep our faith. We know what is right and therefore we must stand for what is right. When we are pressed down and shaken out let’s be sure that what is left is pure gold worthy of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
2. We rejoice. Satan will only spend extra time on you if you are a threat to him. This is a good thing, not the suffering, but the fact that you are a threat to him, this means that you are walking right and producing fruit for the harvest of souls for Christ.
3. Let God use this time to create in you a clean heart. Sometimes God allows trials and sufferings in our lives because we need to change something within ourselves. For some of us change can only come when we are pressed down and shaken out. For some of us (like Paul) we need to be kept humble and the only way for that to happen is by having a thorn in the flesh to remind us that it is God at work in us, around us, and through us.
When you are facing troubles I want you to do four things;
STOP! LOOK! LISTEN! GO!
• Stop: Try to see the will of God in every situation. Is He trying to use this time to grow you? Is He allowing this situation to occur so that you will change? Is He allowing this situation so that you will be humbled?
• Look: At your life and what is going on. Are you innocent for the present trouble, or do you need to seek forgiveness and repentance? Look with a true and honest heart and spirit at the circumstances and test and try yourself to be sure that there is nothing that you have done. God is holy and just to forgive.
• Listen: To the promptings of the Holy Spirit. God will use every situation, every circumstance, every trial, and every suffering to help us grow. He will use all of the negative that Satan throws our way to His glory if we are willing to stand in a godly manner (see my blog on; God does not promise to give us more than we can handle…), He promises to give us this escape to be able to endure.
Now go forth, prepare your heart; your worship; your thanksgiving; your testimony; your mind; prepare yourself for change; for learning; for growing; prepare yourself to be honest.
Prepare yourself to be torn and put back together with a renewed spirit and a clean heart. Be teachable, moldable, and mendable. Because if you cannot be taught than you cannot change, if you cannot be molded than God cannot help you become what He wants you to be, if you cannot be mended than God cannot fix what is broken and you will never be whole in Him. So prepare yourself for change during times of trouble and suffering. You don’t know what God has in store for you when you come out the other side.
As always, God Bless you till we meet again…
- Did Paul Really Have a Thorn in His Flesh? (rethinkingtheology.com)
- Do you have a thorn in your flesh? (prhayz.com)
- Thorns in the flesh, miracles, and magic (gospelofbarney.wordpress.com)
- The One Thing: Your Difference-Maker (seekersportal.wordpress.com)
Let’s all participate in this discussion, this is how we “sharpen” one another!
Creativity—are you born with it, can it be learned, or is it a combination of both?
For the longest time I opted out of calling myself creative.
I’ve always been fascinated with the human body and spent most of my 20s as a science geek, in the lab, conducting research, chasing after my PhD. As far as I was concerned, creative minds belonged to artists, writers, musicians … ie, “fun and spontaneous” people. Nerds like me were labelled analytical, procedural, practical, plus any other “–al” you care to attach.
At the time, I didn’t fully understand or appreciate that success in graduate school required immense creativity. Publishing original work is all about generating new ideas and discovering unique systems. It requires great storytelling and building a body of work that makes you an expert in your chosen field. Now tell me that isn’t creative!
Today, I find myself in the workplace…
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This is a beautiful story.
Unlike other years, the end of this school year calmly came to a halt. I did not find myself scrambling to finish grading a set of essays nor running copies of my final exams at 10 pm. I had posted my final grades days before they were due as opposed to, my usual, minutes.
On one of the last days of school, the principal held a little ceremony for retiring teachers. The ceremony was understated. It was held in the cafeteria, which still vaguely smelled of fried food and ketchup—a smell caked into the walls of cafeterias across the country. Spring colored plastic tablecloths and little flowers set the event apart from the mundane.
As we finished eating, the principal came up to address the faculty. She thanked everyone for another great year and then began talking about the people leaving. After cycling through a few pretty accomplished people, the…
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1. Repent. This is easier said than done, I know. If your sin has caused others to stumble ask for forgiveness. But also be ready to accept God’s forgiveness for yourself when you repent and ask Him to forgive you. Remember, God always forgives a truly repentant person, humans may not. This is not your battle to win, accept that if you have done the right thing and asked another for forgiveness you cannot make them forgive you.
2. Rend your HEART and NOT your GARMENT (Joel 2:13). This is true repentance. To rend your garment (tear) is a public display of your sorrow, grief, etc.; but to rend your heart is a private matter that is done before God. He alone knows when a person is truly repentant (rending their heart) or just putting on a show (rending their garment). Be sure that when you ask God for forgiveness, when you ask another for forgiveness, that you are doing it from a changed heart. True repentance leads to changed behavior.
3. Confess your sins. Confess them to God, confess them to yourselves and confess them to a godly person that will hold you accountable. Confession is hard because it calls to light those parts of us that we want to keep in the darkness. But when we confess our sins we own them, rather than them owing us. Confession is God’s plan for our freedom from the flesh. Without confession of sin we are slaves to our own flesh. This happens because we want to protect the sin; because if people know then we may be judged, and no one likes to be judged. After a time we condition ourselves to justifying the sin. Now the sin owns us, and it is our master. Confession brings about the freedom that we long for as believers. It allows us to conquer the flesh and its demands.
As always, God Bless you till we meet again…
- Confession and Repentance (gracewalkerton.wordpress.com)
- Forgiveness – Part 2 (pastorlamb.com)
- No Regrets (cbnindiablogs.wordpress.com)
- Forgiveness and Consequences (gbonsy.wordpress.com)