Happy Thanksgiving to you all! I am continually thankful for everyone (and anyone) who takes the time to read The Renewed Mind. In this video, Tim Hawkins shares with us why we ask the Lord to bless certain parts of the body that prepared the food and not the whole body. Oh, and have you ever thanked the Lord for the junk food you are about to eat? Well, this should bring a laugh before you sit down to eat turkey tomorrow…I know I’ll be smiling. Have a great time with friends, family and the Lord. God Bless – gc
(1Th 2:14) “For ye, brethren, became followers of the churches of God which in Judaea are in Christ Jesus: for ye also have suffered like things of your own countrymen, even as they have of the Jews:”
Suffering can come from unexpected places. The “like things” the Thessalonian Christians suffered were persecution and oppression at the hands of those they thought they knew. This meant neighbors, friends and even family probably came against these believers. In Acts 17, we see a riot caused by the fanaticism of the pagans. Christians believed they were doing the right thing as “followers of the churches of God.” Yet they suffered.
It’s easy to understand suffering when our wrong actions lead to it. It’s not so easy to understand suffering when we believe we are doing the right thing. It’s even harder when the suffering comes at the hands of someone we know, maybe even another Christian. If you aren’t prepared to suffer, you will not have a spiritually healthy response when it happens. We can sink into deeper suffering through deep depression when we aren’t prepared to handle the oppression of Satan or those who deal with us in the power of the flesh. One of the hardest things I had to learn was how to prepare to suffer.
Realizing that God can use the ungodly response of others to His glory through our response is a tough pill to swallow. Our belief in doing the right thing doesn’t protect us from oppression. When I wasn’t prepared to deal with the ungodliness of others, I relied on the only natural source I had: my flesh. This was immaturity on my part and only compounded the problem. The flesh will dig its own trench and stand its ground. The result is a stalemate between your flesh the flesh of others. Spiritually, this is the definition of defeat. Learning to trust God when we are confronted with ungodliness is something we gradually learn. We mature as we trust Him with our response, to heal the wounds of battle and give us the will to carry on.
Renewed Thought – Even though we may win the argument, we lose the battle when our defense comes from the flesh.
A prayer offered up for today:
(Psa 119:105) “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.”
Lord, I may be surrounded by darkness and temptation today, but Your Word shows me the path of righteousness. My body may be consumed by the pain of sickness and disease today, but Your Word promises peace in knowing and experiencing Your presence. I may be lonely and grief-stricken today because death snatched the one I loved from this life, but Your Word soothes the sting with the certain hope that we will sing together one day before Your throne. I may be oppressed by the viciousness of Satan and his followers today, but Your Word strengthens my soul to stand in the midst of the battle. I may be hurt by those who claim to follow You today, but Your Word is the cool balm that soothes the bitterness in my soul. I may feel lost and empty not knowing where I should turn today, but Your Word points me back to You as the source and sense of all direction for my life. I may doubt because I can’t see You working in my life today, but Your Word establishes that You will live Your life through my yielded life. Lord, thank You for speaking to me today.
Renewed Thought – God is speaking to you today. Are you listening?