Sunday, April 20, 2014

Life is Not Fair But Why?

In our culture we often hear "You Reap what you Sow" but how can that be? Yes, our actions most certainly do have consequences no doubt about that!  But how can I personally be responsible for the bombings of 911, the shootings in Newtown CT, the events at this weeks Boston Marathon. How can I be responsible for the happenings of earthquakes and tsunamis and volcano eruptions?

For most of us, it's just a matter of being at the wrong place at the wrong time - period.

Different religions answer this in different ways.

Karma says no bad deed goes unpunished and no good deed goes unrewarded. Well, I've seen a lot of people live their lives in horrible ways that have consequences on others so I'm not a believer in this. I do think this is true but not in the sense that it's intended. God will punish those and reward those but it's not in this life.

The Buddhist give up the notion on self. Pain results from our desires and our wants. I personally have a hard time grappling with this.  So if I have no desire then I will feel no pain. So if I create an example out of this.  I just desire my special needs child to have friends - and his autism makes it hard to do so.  And when I see him upset because of social situation my sadness is because of my desire to have friends.  This makes no sense either.  We were created to be with people and my desire is to have him experience this in a good way.

And then there is Christianity that clearly states there will be troubles in this world. Yup, there are. For me, I have to look to the Bible and have faith. I see over and over again where God is faithful. And so by studying this I am able to answer - Yes, Life is NOT fair. But God always makes it right. For me it's just faith.  I don't have to have all the answers - life is to big to have all the answers. And so I will continue to place my faith in Jesus Christ and the salvation and eternal life that he has promised.

Back to why Life is unfair.  For me, I think it's simple. We live in a fallen world where there are evil forces acting upon us that we can't see. I look to the Bible to prove this. Jesus was tempted by Satan. Yes, Satan has an army helping here on earth because this is his dominion.  But not for long - God has his army and it is way bigger than Satan's and someday, Satan will be banished from this earth and it will be God's dominion (the books of Daniel and Isaiah are loaded with goodies in case you are interested in reading more).

But rejoice. Don't be down and upset that life is indeed unfair and that you can't make it right.  You don't have to. Jesus came so that you don't have to!



Saturday, April 19, 2014

Life Is Just Not Fair

Yes life is not fair and to that I say a HUGE "AMEN"!!  Honestly, if life was fair we would not have the salvation of Jesus who died for our sins..my sins..and your sins.  Why should the Son of God die for what I did wrong?  That makes no sense.  He did not sin when faced with the same trials that I face.  He made all the right choices.

I'm reading the book of the Life of Pi and I recently got to the chapters when the young boy is introduced to different religions and he remarks about why would a God do this for us?  A strong God give himself up for what we do wrong.  And the answer is simple - because He loves us.  It truly is that simple.

The Bible is full of stories of life's unfair situations and God's resolutions to situations.  He is so clever!  Honestly, we could never weave together such a story and have it all go back to love. But please remember when we think about how unfair life can be, we must remember that salvation, eternal life is not fair.  But rather, it's a gift from God.  And so when I think about how unfair life is I truly can say "Thank you Lord Jesus because I don't deserve it."

Think about all those who have been in the wave of destruction caused by an addict.  Was that fair?  And as the addict works through the steps and makes amends with those we hurt, is that fair that we can be offered forgiveness.  Yes, life is unfair!

I found the following about how life is not fair..it's long and so goes above the 5 minute devotion goal that I have set about for those blog, but I recommend reading it.

http://bible.org/seriespage/“life-not-fair-praise-god”-matthew-201-16



Friday, April 18, 2014

Yes, This Is an Unfair World

Genesis 39: (1-23 for the entire story)
19 When his master heard the story his wife told him, saying, “This is how your slave treated me,” he burned with anger. 20 Joseph’s master took him and put him in prison, the place where the king’s prisoners were confined.

But while Joseph was there in the prison, 21 the Lord was with him; he showed him kindness and granted him favor in the eyes of the prison warden. 22 So the warden put Joseph in charge of all those held in the prison, and he was made responsible for all that was done there. 23 The warden paid no attention to anything under Joseph’s care, because the Lord was with Joseph and gave him success in whatever he did.

In this story, Joseph (who was first sold into slavery by his own brothers because he was his father's favorite) was later thrown into jail because of a lie by a vindictive women. 

The fact of the matter is - we do NOT live in a fair world, there is no fairy tale ending here on earth, and nothing you do is going to make life fair. Something else may come along to mar it. It's a lesson I review with my kids - a lot!

What I find fascinating in this story is how Joseph reacts to what has happened. In order for God to be with Joseph and show him favor and success in whatever he did - I'm thinking Joseph must have been obedient and trusting and faithful to God even through the unfair times.

It takes character and courage to remain faithful when life is giving us lemons. We can't change the facts that this world is unfair, but we are in control of our reaction to it. I want to remain faithful to God in the hard and unfair times of life - not just the good times. What about you? What are you doing to remain in God's favor?



Thursday, April 17, 2014

When Our Past Begins to Haunt Us

One thing I do: Forgetting what is Behind and Straining toward what is ahead. Phillipians 3:13

If you are haunted by what you have done in the past, or what could have been then you cannot experience the freedom of Jesus Christ. Yes, having a life filled with addiction does rob you of joy, happiness, peace, love, satisfaction and more.

But, through Christ Jesus you can see what He wants you to become. The past might burn your heart with shame - but only if you let it. Jesus forgives and does NOT hold onto our sins.  That's why He died for us - to put the sins on the cross and take them away from us.

When you choose a new life in Jesus, your life ahead of you can be filled with joy, happiness, clean, fresh and sparkly  and oh what a future you can have. Everything is new with God - there are no negative thoughts about failures and past flaws - addictions.  But you have to accept Jesus and then let go the past. The two cannot live together.

I pray that today you let go of the shame and guilt and hold onto the freedom and salvation that comes with Christ Jesus.



Wednesday, April 16, 2014

In This World

John 16:33 



I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”











My heart is heavy with sorrow and sadness over the tragedy on this anniversary of the Boston Marathon.  And it's not that I am surprised that such horrible acts of violence can happen because I am well aware that they do - and all over the world every day.  Events happen all the time that break our hearts.








As I was watching the news with my son, I was watching his reaction closely.  He has special needs and so I was concerned as to how he was processing the information.  And his voice to me said clearly, "Mom, we can pray." How wonderful is it that he knows immediately "Who" to turn to.  He wanted to continue watching the coverage because he was fascinated by it.  But I told him that to continue to watch the same event over and over is what the horrible person wants us to do.  I asked him "Should we give control to this person by doing that?  Or should we give control to God and pray?"  Of course we need to be aware of such events but not get stuck frozen in fear.












I knew my son was interested because I participate in triathlons.  And he has been at the end of my races, watching and eagerly awaiting for me to appear so that he can run to me and finish those last few meters cheering me on (how I have wonderful pictures of this).  It reminds me of the end of times.  When we are finishing up our race here on earth and God is waiting for us at the end.  






We will be rewarded by Him and rest assured as I told my son...God does not turn a cheek on evil.  







Look what John writes in  Revelation 21:8 









"But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”










And so I will continue fighting the good fight here on earth, fill our lives with kindness, and love and generosity and I will leave the rest to God. To do otherwise is to give power to evil and to live in fear. And my God is a strong God, more powerful than any evil that Satan can drum up.









Be strong today, pray, and always show love.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Perfectionism Can Paralyze us

The Parable of the Bags of Gold

14 “Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his wealth to them. 15 To one he gave five bags of gold, to another two bags, and to another one bag,[a] each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. 16 The man who had received five bags of gold went at once and put his money to work and gained five bags more. 17 So also, the one with two bags of gold gained two more. 18 But the man who had received one bag went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.
19 “After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. 20 The man who had received five bags of gold brought the other five. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with five bags of gold. See, I have gained five more.’

21 “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’
22 “The man with two bags of gold also came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with two bags of gold; see, I have gained two more.’
23 “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’

24 “Then the man who had received one bag of gold came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed.25 So I was afraid and went out and hid your gold in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.’
26 “His master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? 27 Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest.

28 “‘So take the bag of gold from him and give it to the one who has ten bags. 29 For whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. 30 And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

When we measure ourselves by others, we might as well give up because there is always someone we are not going to be able to please. But, when we measure ourselves through God's eyes - our creator, then we should keep on trying over and over again. He doesn't expect us to be perfect and he knows we will not be because we are human. But when He sees progress, He is pleased. Even the little bit of progress is better than being done in by our own perfectionism. God is looking for that little bit of interest in our lives.



Monday, April 14, 2014

Prayer Is Essential

Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where He prayed. Mark 1:35

Are we too busy to pray? Are we too busy to build that relationship by taking a few moments to pray to the One who sustains us? "Prayer is the encouragement and inspiration for Christian service. It gives sincerity to everything that you embark on in the Master's name and gives you the deep satisfaction that you cannot get from any other source" (from Grace for Each Moment April 14)

I've been reading the book the Life of Pi and there is a chapter where he talks about how he came to know about Jesus.  And in that chapter he describes other religions and their gods, and what struck me was the fact that we can go directly to our God. We don't have to make a sacrifice, we don't have to use an interpreter, we can approach our God with our needs and desires and thanksgiving.  How wonderful is that?!?  but we can only do that if we have a prayer life with Him.

Be inspired today by a prayer.