There is a new phenomenon that has occurred is changing our world. It is the big O word = Offense. Every evening the news reports another lawsuit because of a business, a person, a teacher has offended someone. Just this week the New York Times reported that the terms “fireman” and “policeman” will be changed to “firefighter” and “police officer.” The bill was passed to make the terms ‘gender-neutral’ to demonstrate our respect and appreciation for all of our first responders, regardless of gender.”
The list goes on and on. We have to walk on eggshells so we do not offend this one or that one. While I grew up, part of life was being offended, either intentional or unintentional but I got over it! Proverbs 19:11 You should not purposely offend or be obnoxious but if you live a consistent, God-honoring life you will offend someone. 2 Timothy 3:12 The Bible speaks of the offense of the Gospel. “…In that case, the offense of the cross has been abolished….” Galatians 5:11
You cannot avoid ‘offending’ people, so the secret to living is to live a life pleasing to God and not people. When you please the Lord, you can make your enemies into friends. Proverbs 16:7 GNT
Most of us have heard the expression “between a rock and a hard place.” The dictionary defines this phrase as “facing two equally unpleasant, dangerous, or risky alternatives where the avoidance of one ensures the encountering of the harm of the other.” Jacob facing an angry brother; Israel facing Red Sea;
We have all been at “that place” some time in our lives. James 1:2-4 In 2 Corinthians that speaks on our troubles not lasting forever and that these troubles and situations that we are faced with actually help to produce a glory that vastly outweighs any of them. “For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever. So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.”
We all experience times of adversity in our lifetime. As the saying goes, what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger. Turn to God and His words during times of adversity for strength and comfort. When we put our faith in him, he will help guide us to the path of happiness and peace.
And if you want to experience a rock/hard place in reality; go through Fat Man Squeeze at Rock City, Chattanooga.
I am a person who likes to plan out their day but I also realize that I will probably not complete all the tasks on my to-do-list. Just as I am really getting into a task; it never fails; someone interrupts me. But as a Christ follower are they really ‘interruption? (The Lord directs the steps of the godly..”. (Psalm 37:23a)
No one has ever been busier than Jesus Christ. [Mark 6:31} But I never noticed how He handled ‘”interruptions.”
1) A man of influence approached Him with an urgent request to help his sick child. Though Jesus was ministering to a large crowd:
2) Jesus immediately saw this “interruption” as an opportunity to meet a need.
3) The ever-present crowd made progress difficult. Suddenly Jesus stopped and asked, “Who touched me?” The first “interruption” is now being interrupted by a second “interruption!” A woman had reached out in faith and was immediately healed. But why did Jesus stop? (Never that of this?) The woman’s healing had already occurred.
Jesus stopped to draw attention to her healing because she needed to realize that she wasn’t an interruption or unimportant to Jesus; she mattered. With compassion, He calls her “Daughter” and affirms her faith and sends her home.
Jesus invites us to come to Him like this woman did. He assures us that we’ll never be an interruption. ‘I will never turn away anyone who comes to me.” John 6:37a
There is a saying that even Christians take comfort from during times of tragedy, “Time heals all wounds.” But unfortunately, that is not true. Time has no inherent healing power. Only God has healing power! I know people who are just as bitter and angry today as they were ten years ago. Time hasn’t healed their souls. I know people who are playing the blame game louder today than they were 30 years ago.
Only Jesus has healing power and so if you have a broken heart Psalm 147:3“. For the Lord comforts (For the Lord comforts his people and will have compassion on his afflicted ones.”) his people and will have compassion on his afflicted ones. No one can mend a broken heart but the Lord. Other people’s words will encourage you and bring a measure of healing but the ultimate healing is always from the Lord. He has the power, love and divine skill to actually cure you of the extraordinary pain that you are going through.
God is able to restore your soul (Psalm 23:3) and perform a spiritual heart transplant [Ezakiel 36:26] if that is what it takes to move you into health and hope again. This seems impossible when you have a broken heart but it is not impossible to God! The will of God is always restoration and healing.
If you have a broken heart, friend, I know Someone who has the expert skills to easily and perfectly mend it. Not only is He able to repair your broken heart, but He has the desire to do it.
You can’t control much of what happens to you in life. You can’t control who your parents are, where you were born, and a variety of things that have a significant influence on your life.
But you can choose how you react to what life throws your way. We have all heard people say, “They make me so bad!” Technically that is not correct. People may do things to you, lie about you or even cheat you but you have the choice how you will respond. The choice is always yours. Proverbs 29:11 (GW) says, “A fool expresses all his emotions but a wise person controls them.”
When we are mistreated, the proper reaction isn’t to blow up or clam up. Instead of responding in anger, God has a better solution. “A kind answer soothes angry feelings, but harsh words stir them up.” Proverbs 15:1
Here is the bottom line: Trust God to settle the score. After all, He has more and better resources to do that than you do.
In 1951, the movie The Day the Earth Stood Still was a box office hit! Today it is considered a film classic. When a flying saucer lands in Washington, D.C., the U. S. Army quickly encircles the spaceship. A humanoid (Michael Rennie) emerges, announcing that he has come in peace. His galaxy has been obsereving Earth and they are concerned about the Earth’s future.
As many of the world’s greatest scientists gather, Klaatu (the alien) pointedly tells them that the people of Earth have a choice. They can join the other planets in peace, but should they threaten to extend their violence into space, “this Earth of yours will be reduced to a burned-out cinder. We shall be waiting for your answer”. Klaatu then leaves as he came.
Though this was produced years ago, it shows us that America was concerned with its future years ago. Weapons have since developed that people in 1951 could never have imagined. Laser weapons. Heat-seeking missles. Drones. Dirty bombs. Iran and North Korea with nuclear weapons. We have the capability of destroying each other many times over!
While this film is fictional it is thought-provoking. How long can this world survive? How long before God says, “Enough!” Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassion never fail.” Lamentations 3:22-23
Have you ever heard someone say, “They make me so mad?” Of course you have, maybe you said that yourself. But is it really true? Can people “make” you mad? I know there are people that know which “buttons” to push to upset you. They know how to “get your goat.” But we need to ask ourselves, who is in charge of my emotions?
To say that someone, other than yourself can promote a certain emotional response from you is to they can control you to some extent. But the Bible is clear that each Christ-follower is to be controlled by the Holy Spirit and not our emotions. Eph. 4:31 Psalm 37:8
You are to be in control of your emotions. I am not saying we are to deny our emotions (Remember Mr. Spock?) but don’t allow them to control you.
You get angry because you allowed yourself to get angry.