Sunday, June 24, 2012

The Vicissitudes of Life

The Weekly Alphabet Bible Study moves on with the letter V. Life surely has its changes--its vicissitudes. The way you handle these vicissitudes defines your attitude. Life will never be fair. The rain falls on the just and the unjust. Now that we know this to be a fact, how can we deal?

Mark 9:22-24 says, "...Have mercy on us and help us, if you can.” “What do you mean, ‘If I can’?” Jesus asked. “Anything is possible if a person believes.”
The father instantly cried out, “I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief!”

Just like the father who son was possessed by demons, ask for help. This father took his son to Jesus and asked Him to remove the demons--if you can. Jesus told the father, "All things are possible to those who believe."  If Jesus said it then, He says it now. You just got to believe. If you are still struggling with the concept, then just like that father, ask Him to help you overcome your unbelief.

As a believer, we have a Savior that always has our best interest at heart. You may not understand the test or the trial. Still there is Someone watching out for you and the changes you deal with. Therefore, trust God. Believe in Him. These vicissitudes are nothing compared to the God we serve. So if something comes along that causes you to not believe, ask God for help. He will oblige. 

Soli Deo Gloria,

SA Brown

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

You may not understand it.

The Weekly Alphabet Bible Study marches on. As the letter T mentions how you will be tested and shaken and stirred, some of us struggle with the ways of God. Yet, there are many times in the bible that He tells us you may never understand. He flat-out says you cannot understand Me, but He leaves you instructions when you don't.

Philippians 4:6-7 says, "Do not worry. Learn to pray about everything. Give thanks to God as you ask Him for what you need.  The peace of God is much greater than the human mind can understand. This peace will keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."

With that in mind, I would like to offer you my comfort when I feel like God doesn't know what He's doing. I'll admit, I have said that to myself. God, what are You doing? Truth is, God knows. You may not know but He knows. 

Prayerfully, I hope you know Him. That should be enough but oftentimes, it is not. How your heart, emotions, and flesh deceive you. Knowing God is enough. Knowing that He is a loving and caring Father is enough. Knowing He will withstand nothing that is good for you from you is enough. Knowing that He cares enough to correct you is enough. Knowing God... Learn to make that enough.

As I grow in my own personal walk, I hope I can inspire others to spend time with their Higher Power. Whatever you conceive Him to be, know that His will is better than yours. Always has been; always will be. Sometimes we all struggle with His choices and His decisions. Keep in mind that His actions depend upon yours (free will). Yet, He is so omniscient that He already knows your mistakes before you make them and has made provision for the consequences. (praise moment) God loves you more than you could love yourself. Embrace that love and all of benefits that come with it. He has already told us in Romans that all the good and all the bad work together for your good. Please understand that.

When the struggle comes (and it will come), I hope you can remember Philippians 4:6-7. Don't worry about your circumstances and situations; instead pray over them. Always be grateful for what He has done as you ask Him, humbly, for things you need. Experience God's peace which passes anything we could ever understand. He will protect your heart and mind as you do so.

A peace that passes all understanding? God can give you so much peace that you don't have to understand.

Deo Soli Gloria,

SA Brown

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Tests, Trials, and Tribulations

The Weekly Alphabet Bible Study is in the latter part of the alphabet. The goal is to be complete by July 4. So let's get it.

Hopefully by the title, you can tell what this week's letter is. Everyday, we have a chance to get better. God uses other people, our situations, and our own lives to test us. Each test gives us a chance to be better on the other side. 

Job loss, death, financial woes, betrayal, abuse. Just about anything you can think of that pushes you further than you believe you can go is a test. Your job is to get closer to God and ask for the lesson to be learned. You should make yourself palatable. Allow God to make you into what He wants. The way He makes these transformations is by bending you, breaking you, shaking you. There is no way around it.

In 1 Peter, we are reminded to "count it all joy" when you suffer for Christ's sake. But there are tests. There are trials. There are tribulations that are about you becoming the person He wants. 

Most of us know the story of Job. He lost everything, more than most realize. He went through it all. He praised God. He questioned God. I believe we have all been there. In the end, Job got double for the trouble. 

The point is that we ALL have things to deal with. There are no expectations; this is the rule. Deal with it. As you go through, please try to remember our example of Job. Job had no idea what God was doing in his life but Job knew it was the best thing for him. For me, I find myself quoting Job 23:10. You can borrow it if you wish.

Job 23:10 reminds me that He know where I am going and when He tests me, I shall come forth as pure gold.

Soli Deo Gloria,

SA Brown