Do you get discouraged with everything going on in the world? How do you not feel like giving up? Tune in to hear what may be a friendly reminder of our purpose in the midst of the madness.
Category Archives: Wrong
In the Midst of the Madness Podcast Episode
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In order to be transparent it’s important that we admit struggles. I’ve shared that the past month a part of me wondered what’s the point? I know there is one, but some days I just wonder why do we do what we do? It was a good time to read Ecclesiastes because this question is answered in those scriptures.
I’m human so I struggle. Sometimes I see the hurt and pain and wonder where God is? Which is probably a good time to read Job when this happens, which thankfully was another good reminder this week. In the end, Job (42:3) says, “I spoke to You (God) about things I know nothing about–too great for me to understand.” So, while that’s not always the most comforting thing in the moment, it can be comforting because it’s a reminder. There are things too great for us to understand. God’s ways are too great for us to comprehend.
I’m reading a book, and as an aside he mentions someone who was about to give up on their faith. They went to Rwanda and saw the devastation of genocide and were about to give up on God. In the moment, they heard the Lord say, this is what happens when people walk away from Me. This is what happens when love and compassion leave a place.
That was what I needed. I needed to remember this truth: When God isn’t invited into a situation, the hurt and pain we see are the results. It’s not for lack of love and concern from God. It’s from God being uninvited to intervene. Today, search your heart, and ask God to reveal any areas that you haven’t given Him an invitation. I truly believe we will start to see some things change when we do this.
Filed under books, Christianity, Encouragement, God, Thanksgiving, Wrong
When Job prayed for his friends, the Lord restored his fortunes. In fact, the Lord gave him twice as much as before! – Job 42:10 NLT
Do you know the story of Job? Please read it. In the meantime, a quick synopsis is this, and trust me, I’m not really doing it justice by summarizing it. God allows the devil to ruin Job’s life. Job is faithful to God, but eventually, he cracks and questions what’s happening.
He has a wife that tells him to curse God and die, and friends who pretty much say he must’ve sinned in some way and God is punishing him for it. Suffice it to say, his support system is lacking. But today, I read the verse above and felt something say, slow down when reading it.
So the Lord is angry with Job’s friends because of how they misspoke about Him. He tells them to make a sacrifice to Him and have Job pray for them. Job! The friend that they discouraged as he was facing his trials.
Can you imagine how Job felt? He probably didn’t want to pray for them. They’d accused him of sin and, most importantly, didn’t speak truthfully about God. If he was like me, he probably thought to himself, “All I wanted was for them to pray for me to help me overcome this, and they didn’t. Now I’m supposed to pray for them! I’m supposed to ask God to forgive them?! This will be tough.”
But look what happened after he did. It says the Lord restored his fortunes. He had twice as much as he did before he lost everything! Now, might God have been willing to restore Job’s fortunes either way? I don’t know. Was his restoration contingent upon his prayer for his friends? I really don’t know. I do think it’s interesting that it says that after he prayed for them, his fortunes were restored. I think this is here for many reasons, and I’m sure in due time, God will reveal more of them to me.
Today, I think this verse is here for us to do. I’m not saying God is going to bless you just because you prayed for a friend or enemy today. I certainly believe it won’t be a bad thing if you do. I think this verse is here for us to try and see what happens.
Pray for someone today, not simply to have your breakthrough. Pray for someone to help them see how to restore their relationship with God! You will likely be blessed in the process, but don’t do it for you. Do it to point someone to God and enjoy the results of that!
Filed under Christianity, Encouragement, God, Sin, Wrong
Ecclesiastes 2 – Futility of Work
I came to hate all my hard work here on earth, for I must leave to others everything I have earned. And who can tell whether my successors will be wise or foolish? Yet they will control everything I have gained by my skill and hard work under the sun. How meaningless! So I gave up in despair, questioning the value of all my hard work in this world. – Ecclesiastes 2:18-20 NLT
The Teacher has sought solace in work. Now, let’s be clear about this, work is a good thing. Work is a holy thing because God did it. This book is not telling you that work is bad because it’s not. What is bad is finding your life’s purpose only in work.
The Teacher has worked hard. He’s trying to create meaning and purpose in life from work alone, and now that he’s had his work accomplishments, he’s reflecting on how meaningless they are. After all his hard work, one day, he will die. After he’s dead, someone else will take over what he’s left behind. And the same is true for us.
One day, we will die. Perhaps we’ll leave a company or organization behind. Maybe, like me, you’ll leave a classroom behind. And we don’t know if our successors will be wise enough to manage the work or foolish enough to banish working and responsibility. When work is your only purpose, that is a scary thought. When you work out of your purpose, that is a freeing thought.
If your only purpose is to work, then there is nothing to leave behind and certainly nothing you can take with you. But if you find purpose in your work, you can begin to leave a legacy behind.
Why was work meaningless? Because work by itself can’t give you God’s eternal purpose for you.
Filed under Encouragement, God, Mistakes, Sin, Wrong
Crown or Cancer Podcast
A worthy wife is a crown for her husband,
but a disgraceful woman is like cancer in his bones. – Proverbs 12:4
Am I a crown or a cancer to my husband? Crown or cancer to those around me? Am I a healthy thing or an illness?
Filed under Christianity, Encouragement, God, Mistakes, podcast, Relationships, Sin, Thanksgiving, Wrong
Anything I wanted, I would take. I denied myself no pleasure. I even found great pleasure in hard work, a reward for all my labors. But as I looked at everything I had worked so hard to accomplish, it was all so meaningless—like chasing the wind. There was nothing really worthwhile anywhere.
Ecclesiastes 2:10-11 NLT
Solomon is essentially saying that he enjoyed life. He had everything the world says we should want. He had servants, gardens, food, wine, resources, concubines, and wives. He denied himself no thing that we would deem pleasurable.
He even found pleasure in work, maybe even purpose in it (we’ll talk about work later). In other words, whatever he wanted, he had. Whatever he thought would make him happy, he had. No thing was off limits. Yet, in the end, he still had the same conclusion that he began with. It was all like chasing the wind.
It all brought momentary pleasure but no eternal value. It still left him wanting. So if pleasure didn’t bring a life purpose, he thought work might. Might it?
Filed under Christianity, Encouragement, Mistakes, Relationships, Sin, Thanksgiving, Wrong
Introduction to Ecclesiastes
I really enjoy the Book of Ecclesiastes. I forget how much I enjoy it until I start reading it. It’s one of the more relatable books to me. Why? Because if we’re honest, sometimes we’re just not feeling it.
I would say, it’s certainly not ironic, but this week I’ve not been feeling it. Not feeling like working and not feeling like making the extra effort. Yet, I’ve got to do it. I’ve got to work. I’ve got to try. But I don’t feel like it…What’s the point?
Do you ever feel that way? Like there’s no point to your routine. Work, maybe play, and back at it all over again. This never-ending cycle of the mundane routine feels draining, doesn’t it?
If you relate to any of that, then you can understand why Ecclesiastes resonates. The Teacher, in the Book of Ecclesiastes is battling the question of life that has carried throughout centuries. What’s the point?
Let’s journey through Ecclesiastes for the answer.
Filed under Christianity, Encouragement, God, Relationships, Sin, Thanksgiving, Wrong
Colossians 3:7 You used to do these things when your life was still part of this world.
Before you get on your high horse remember, you once walked in these things too. You’ve got to love Paul, because his writing keeps you humble or should keep you humble.
He’s saying in prior verses before this one that we should put to death whatever in us is worldly, because God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient—those who are practicing these ungodly things. However, before you point your finger at how bad off someone else is, remember you once walked in these things too. Not only that, but you walked in these things when you were living in them. In other words, you didn’t just dabble here and there, you were in it.
Colossians 3:8 But now is the time to get rid of anger, rage, malicious behavior, slander, and dirty language.
Now you must put away those worldly desires and ways of life. It won’t be easy because we’re so used to being surrounded by these things. Yet, we can be encouraged. If Paul is telling us to put them away, that’s because they can be put away. But how? The Power of the Holy Spirit will enable you to put away worldly desires and replace them with godly desires. It will take some work. It will take saying no to familiar things. It will require discomfort. But it can be done and it will be worth it.
Filed under Christianity, Encouragement, God, Mistakes, Relationships, Sin, Thanksgiving, Wrong
Right or Righteous Podcast Episode
Do you want to be right or righteous?
Filed under Christianity, Encouragement, God, Mistakes, podcast, Sin, Thanksgiving, Wrong
Right or Righteous?
Whoever pursues righteousness and unfailing love will find life, righteousness, and honor. – Proverbs 21:21 NLT
I’ll share this, God has been working on me when it comes to righteousness. I’ll keep this post short because I will discuss the topic in greater detail in a podcast.
He’s challenging me to understand the difference between right and righteousness. When I say right, I’m referring to the desire to always be right. Not the inherent rightness of righteousness.
It’s no coincidence that the verse mentions the pursuit of righteousness and unfailing love together. Perfect love keeps no record of wrongs (1 Corinthians 13:5), so righteousness can’t simply be about being right, it has to be more than that, deeper than that. See, true, godly righteousness pairs with unfailing love.
Jesus is the perfect example, right? Jesus is righteousness. Jesus is also unfailing love and its perfect example. Jesus, of course, was always right, but His pursuit was one of righteousness and unfailing love.
If you’re working to pursue the two, righteousness and unfailing love, you’ll find life, righteousness, and honor. In Jesus is fullness of life, righteousness, and honor. When you work like Jesus worked and pursue what Jesus pursued, you’ll be able to receive what Jesus has to offer.
So, how has God been working with me in understanding the difference between right and righteousness? Well, that’s a podcast chat, and I’ll just say it’s a humbling lesson.
Filed under Christianity, Encouragement, God, Mistakes, podcast, Relationships, Wrong