Part of this blog’s focus is to delve deeper into how Bible studies written with the authors perspective or agenda have either helped or hurt people. Comments are welcome and encouraged as the discussion is beneficial to those who have participated and those who are considering participation in the specific Bible study. Comments should be constructive and I reserve the right to delete posts that are hurtful or harmful to individuals. Also requests or recommendations on additional Bible studies is encouraged. I may not be able to look into every Bible study.
Getting real: My fears in this blog are: One more thing I start but do not finish. No one will participate.<em> (I will know I am finished when I write everyday with joy and anticipation of the comments and responses I receive.) </em> My marriage will be a bigger mess than I will be able to deal with. <em>(It already is and I must admit that God is making something beautiful from the pieces.) </em>
So where is God in our lives? So many times we give into our selfish desires only to find ourselves estranged from God.
Is life only for us to suffer through? Do we only become closer to Christ because we suffer through?
People stay in jobs, relationships, churches, places they hate because fear holds them back. People suffer from no work, no home, no food, no safety. How are these people better off from knowing Christ?
The thought is raised that we suffer to get closer to Christ. But I don’t remember the scripture that says “I suffered on the cross so that you could suffer through life.”
I do remember these scriptures though from the book of John 10:10 New King James Version (NKJV)
<sup>10 </sup>The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have <em>it</em> more abundantly.
and from Jeremiah: 29: 10-12 New International Version (NIV)
<sup id=”en-NIV-19646″>10</sup> This is what the LORD says: “When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my good promise to bring you back to this place. <sup id=”en-NIV-19647″>11</sup> For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. <sup id=”en-NIV-19648″>12</sup> Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.
I have been through some hard times. Some of them I brought on myself. Some of them were brought on by circumstances outside of my control. And some of them, I believe, were given to me by Christ. All of the hard times brought me closer to a loving and forgiving Adonai.
Why is life suffering? I don’t think it is. I wonder if sometimes we choose it or perhaps we just haven’t learned the lessons Jesus wants us to learn. I believe our western society is just now beginning to really “get” the message of Jesus Christ.
The message of loving and not worrying is provided for us in Matthew 6: 25-34. New King James Version (NKJV)
<sup>25 </sup>“Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? <sup>26 </sup>Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? <sup>27 </sup>Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?
<sup>28 </sup>“So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; <sup>29 </sup>and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. <sup>30 </sup>Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, <em>will He</em> not much more <em>clothe</em> you, O you of little faith?
<sup>31 </sup>“Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ <sup>32 </sup>For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. <sup>33 </sup>But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. <sup>34 </sup>Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day <em>is</em> its own trouble.
May our loving LORD bless you an keep you.