If God is TrustWorthy then Why do bad Things Happen?

My little dog Coco follows me around everywhere. And when he looks at me with his little puppy dog eyes my heart melts. He trusts me. Maybe a little to much. But he is loyal and trusts me as his owner. But I cannot protect Coco from everything. Even if I wanted to. He can get sick. He can get injured. He can get stolen or lost. And his life expectancy is rather short compared to my own. I wish Coco to be safe, happy, cared for and well. I do my best to make sure this happens. Why because I love him. I treasure my little Coco.

God’s love for us is unconditional. He is completely trustworthy. He desires to bless us his children. He desires good things for us. Much like how I desire these things for my dog Coco. But even though God is completely trustworthy, loving and desires to bless us his children we often experience troubles in this world. When faced with a trial, trouble, illness or tragic event it is easy to question whether God is trustworthy.

But God never promised us we would not face troubles. Just like I do not promise Coco he will not have troubles. God promises us to be faithful through the trials. He promises his love is bigger than the bad things we face. He is trustworthy to never forsake us or leave us. We face hardship in this life because evil still exists, illness and suffering still exist. But we can trust God to be the light, goodness to that evil and always prevail in the end.

My trust in God does not mean I do not face hardship, struggles or trials. My trust in God means that no matter the circumstances I know Gods grace is enough for me and he will have the last word.

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

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Wipe That Dirt From Your Eyes

Have you ever been talking to someone and they said something along the lines of “look at so and so, they are so blessed.” I think it incredibly interested to think about what people define as being blessed. Many times we humans think of a blessing as appearances, material things, wealth, talents, skills or even relationships. When you think of being blessed by God, what comes to mind? How do you define blessing?

I believe this an incredibly important question to ponder for how we view Gods blessing affects how we view many thing in life. But many of us humans view Gods blessing different than how Jesus defined blessing. In Matthew 5 Jesus shared what is known of the beautitudes.

He said: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you” Matthew 5:2-12

When I am feeling discouraged, disheartened or unblessed it helps me to go back to this scripture. For when I am struggling I often do not view my life as blessed. But God view of blessing is often counter to how we view blessing. When we change our view. When we view Gods blessing how Jesus defined blessing then we are better able to worship and praise God even in the midst of circumstances that may not seem blessed by this worlds standards.

So I challenge you to think about how you view blessing and how it compares to how Jesus defined blessing.

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Morality Vs Christianity

“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:17-20

I have struggled to understand the difference between Christianity, just being a moral person and well many of the main world religions. Almost all of the main world religions teach morals. They teach people to be “good” people for the most part. So what is the difference between what Christ preached and what basically all the main world religions promote which could be summarized as “moral” living?

Christ did not tell people they should stop being moral people. He did not preach a gospel that says you can do whatever you like. Actually he preached the opposite. He taught that by being a follower of Jesus we should be even more righteous than the non-believers. So what is the difference between Christianity and the other main world religions?

The difference is how we become a moral, righteous person. Christ taught that the only way to be made into a righteous person is through accepting Christ as your Lord and Savior. For no matter how hard we try to be perfect, follow the law and be moral all humans fail. But when we are Baptized in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit we receive the Holy Spirit. With repentance, faith and abiding in Christ we are molded and crafted into righteous people. For Christ came not to abolish the law, but to fullfill the law. We as Christians are called to be moral people and live by the guidelines given to us by God. But we needed Christ to die on the cross for our sin to enable us to be able to indeed live as God created us to live. For Jesus made a way for us to live righteous lives until we meet our Father in heaven.

This is the difference between Christianity and other world religions. Christianity is the only religion that acknowledges the fact that all humans fail to be perfect and provides a way to cover that imperfection with love and grace.

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The Blessing Game

I was recently meeting with a group of ladies. One of the women is a nurse. She had a somewhat sedated patient request to play the blessing game. A game where you each take turns declaring a blessing in your life. She shared with tears how this touched her heart and how she wanted to do this with her daughter. I have to agree what better game to play with your family. It could be at the diner table, during ride in the car. As you get ready for bed.

I was reminded of the time I started a gratitude journal. I was in a hospital for 3 months. There were many challenges including my health. But at the suggestion of a counselor I started a journal completed dedicated to gratitude. Each day I would write out at least one blessing from the Lord. It was so easy to get bogged down in negativity but through focusing my eyes on the blessing of Jesus in the midst of those circumstances brought joy.

So I want to challenge people to play the blessings game with your family. Or if your are single and living alone consider a gratitude journal to play the blessings game with God through prayer. You may find the game and journal a blessing in itself.

“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

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Sometimes You Need To Empty to Be Refilled

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I am currently house sitting. The house has a pool. The pool is being remodeled. When the workmen started remodeling the pool they first drained all the water. After doing some remodeling the pool was left empty. After a bit of rain the pool started to collect water. But this water was yucky. It was dirty, and had no filtration so it quickly became an ugly green color. Not crystal clear like you imagine pool water to be. This yucky water needed to be drained for the workman to continue there remolding. And eventually when the work is all completed the pool will be able to be refilled and filtered to keep it clean.

A humans mind is very much like this pool. Our minds are filled with many things. When God’s words and truth fill our minds it is like crystal clear fresh water. We may need to continue to filter the water and clean the pool to keep it crystal clear. When we fill our minds with things other than Gods truth and words it is like the pool that has collected rain water and all kinds of other things. It is dirty, smells bad and not what we want. You are going to have to empty the pool before it can be refilled.

I would argue the holy spirit, Gods truth and Gods words are like the pure crystal clear water. It is what we want to fill our minds and our pool. Similarly just like the pool still needs cleaning and filtering our minds need this to stay healthy. Practicing spiritual disciplines, repentance, faith, prayer, engaging in healthy Christian community, and studying Gods words, etc is a way of cleaning our minds and filtering our pool.

Sometimes our minds get filled with the wrong things. It happens. But just as this yucky pool can be drained, remodeled, then refilled, our human minds can be emptied, remodeled and refilled. For Jesus is our healer, restorer and liberator. There is hope in our Savior, Lord and King. Does your mind need to be emptied? Does your mind need a remodeling? Do you need refilling? We all need this at times in our lives. There is no shame in needing a tune up. If you feel like you need a tune up then and you do not know where to start or how to begin I encourage you to reach out to a church and pastor.

“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” Romans 12:2

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