Does God Ordain Suffering? Part 2

I don’t know how much straw a camel can carry. I don’t know how heavy a burden I can carry. We all have a tendency, however, to suppose that we can carry far less than we actually can.”
~C.S Lewis

Christian or not , suffering remains inevitable while you live on this Earth.
The last post we talked about the different forms suffering. You can find it here. https://behindclosedscreens.wordpress.com/2022/05/04/does-god-ordain-suffering-part-1/

We humans have a tendency to ask ‘Why’ only when it is a direct effect on us for instance; If one encounters a terminal illness, a child with a defect, imprisonment, a terrible accident etc.

Firstly it is quite unfortunate that we have adopted the world view of suffering. We seek to dull the physical and emotional pain.
‘if it feels nice don’t think twice’ and be assured you will end up piercing yourself with more sorrows.

We are told you get to choose how you will feel about it so in that case ignore it .

We have been taught to minimize the reality of our grief and pretend as if nothing is happening.
But this is not the approach in the Bible.
It is not sinful to mourn or admit pain. One thing we know is that God is always with us in our pain.

iStock images

We need to look at our suffering differently for the sake of the Gospel, for the cause of Christ.

If you are Christian you have definitely encountered the “Why” question.
I have to admit we cannot always have all the answers and it’s typically shown with the famous Job story. We don’t know why he suffered but we know that God allowed it to happen.

So I must say it is not as important to understand why as to the Truth that it is important that you trust God.

This is a smaller part of the big picture, we are only finite and truth is we will not always know why and God is not obligated to give us a reason but rather to Trust him and rest in the Truth that your afflictions and pain come to you for ultimate good and to his ultimate glory.

We are not completely left in the dark thou his word does highlight some ways God uses suffering unto his Glory;

God will use suffering to expose the sin in our hearts.
Pain has a way of cracking our hearts open and they are laid bare.
It can reveal our lack of faith in God when you begin to question ‘How could you let this happen to me God?’
The best example in the Bible was King David. He takes another man’s wife and kills her husband, they have a child who dies even after King David prayed so hard to God.
Nathan the Prophet is sent to King David who confronts King David and he repents ,he responds this with the famous Psalm 51.
If anything Suffering cleanses us , reveals and kills our present sin and helps us turn back to God.

God will also use suffering to wean us from the love of this World and redirect our thoughts and affections towards God.

Colossians 3:2 Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.

Matthew 19 :16-30 is beautiful. It speaks of a rich young man who seeks to know how he can have eternal life and Jesus tells him what to do. He says he has done it all.
See what Jesus responds to him;

Matthew 19:21-22 Jesus said to him, “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” When the young man heard this he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.

Please note he went away sorrowful for had great possessions in otherwards how hard it is to part with the Worldly treasures. Jesus said it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.

The afflictions we face are a constant reminder that this world is indeed not our home and they serve as arrows directing us not to hold onto what will fade but to hold onto what is unending.

1 Peter 2:11 Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul.

Suffering will also help us distinguish a true believer from a hypocrite.
Many call on Jesus name until that time comes. We may all call on his name but God cannot be fooled. He knows those who are his.
When suffering falls on any one it is an opportunity to discover the sincerity of our love, belief and hope in God.
A believer will cling to God and unbeliever will forsake him. It will separate the sheep and the goats.

Suffering is also an opportunity to bear witness to the world.

Romans 5:3-5 More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

We usually skip over the words of one who rejoices in sufferings.
It is not that it is pleasurable ,it is the unshakable hope we carry in God that is displayed.
Have you met a person who is suffering and yet peaceful and hopeful?
It is a beautiful display of God’s Grace in securing a man’s salvation.

Our frequent trials and afflictions are not in vain. Take heart that God knows and understands it so well.
Rest in the surety of his promise that he will never forsake you because he will Never.
It is a constant testimony through out the scriptures that the people understood that life is about self denial and cross bearing and that it is a constant fight.

The right response to suffering, afflictions, trials is to affirm what God actually says in his word. Even when we cannot exhaustively explain every part of it.
If you are suffering you must use the instrument (Bible) God has given us to weather the storms.

James 5:13 Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise.

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Does God Ordain Suffering? Part 1

A great part of the difficulty we face in terms of really accepting this doctrine stems from the presence of suffering in our lives. We say that we believe that God is sovereign, but when we wrestle with events in our lives that are troublesome, bad things that happen to us, tragedies that befall us, we begin to question either the sovereignty of God or the goodness of God.
We ask ourselves: “How could a God who is sovereign and good have allowed these things to happen?

~excerpt Surprised by suffering R.C Sproul~

If you are a Christian and have not genuinely asked yourself this question then you are living in utter denial.
In a day and age where materialism and psychology has conformed us to thinking our greatest goods in life are physical, financial and emotional well being.
When we start to ask such questions, many seek to remove any association of God in suffering because he is a Good God. Right!!

Today suffering is inconsistent with the Gospel. If you are undergoing any kind of suffering then there is something wrong with you.
We have either wondered of this of ourselves or thought of it about another.

We need to understand that coming to Christ comes with so many blessings but it does not carry a guarantee of freedom from pain and suffering.

It’s important we understand what suffering actually is and why it would be unrealistic to think or imagine (because one thing humans are gifted with is an ability to imagine/dream) that suffering cannot be avoided till death.

Suffering is a product of the fall , a consequence of human sin against God.
Romans 5:12 Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned–

Suffering can come in many forms I may not mention all of them but one thing is certain. You know when you suffering.

Suffering can come through consequences of sin. You know God loves you when he set for you certain laws to govern how to live this life, disobey it and see what happens.
We all sin and fall short and the Bible is clear that there is consequence to sin.

Suffering can also come from People sinning against you. These are some of the things you hear people say it is unfair but as Christians you ought to expect this and know you live in a fallen world.

We also suffer because we are engaged in a cosmic battle for we do not wage war against flesh and blood but against rulers, authorities, cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.

It is in this suffering that one needs a clear understanding of God’s Sovereignty, his Providence and Power.

The one most interesting thing is how the Bible is consistent with suffering all the way from the Old Testament to the New Testament.

I will highlight one of the most common historical narritives and that is Joseph’s story.
Everyone sees how Joseph was blessed but quickly forget how much he suffered.
Joseph suffered at the hands of his brothers and this was brought on by his father’s favoritism shown towards him.
He went on as a slave to a foreign country, he served as a slave, he is accused by a pharaohs wife, he is taken to prison, he is forgotten by someone he helped.

Genesis 50:20 As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.

In hindsight Joseph speaks on God’s providence. God works out all things according to the counsel of his Will. The Lord is sovereign over all our suffering and no it will not magically disappear.

We can be confident that God works all things together including our suffering for our Good and his Glory.

If we can trust the sufferings of Christ for our sake then we can trust Christ when we suffer for his sake.
~A.W Tozer~

We shall pause here for today and in the next blog post we shall further seek to understand; Why suffering? and Why would God allow it?

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To Play The Hand That You Are Dealt

If a man is called to be a street sweeper ,he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted or beethoven composed music or Shakespeare wrote poetry.
He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say ,here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.

~Martin Luther King Jr~

I don’t want you to think iam one who has mastered this place Iam to share on but rather as one who desires and is learning and growing this place.

What place is this?
Contentment a place seldom mentioned today.

I believe contentment is less spoken about because we are living in a consumerism age and what do consumers do? We consume. It’s all around us, on the phones, Internet,the billboards heck even the people you interact with daily.

This may not pain as much as that it has also crept up in our places of worship.

If your a Christian and you trust God then you are supposed to be healthy, wealthy ,be problem free ,be happy all the time because God wants you blessed,he wants you to have money ,he wants you to have the best things in the world.
Sound familiar….

Does this mean you do not know any praying faithful Christian experiencing any kind of sufferings?
Okay let us leave others alone, what about you?
Shall we deny the different struggles you have to overcome daily!

Don’t get me wrong God is still blessing people but I think we have gotten it all twisted along the way and produced a group of people who are just always striving and desiring more and more and very oblivious of what is before them.

If I asked you ..What is your contentment based on? Would you be truthful?
That if you died today, in your heart you would not have a void saying Oh no God I didn’t get to have my dream wedding, or see my children grow up, or set off my dream.

Paul gets to this very issue that our contentment is either placed on that we seek to acquire or actually liable to lose in this life.

1 Timothy 6:7 After all, we brought nothing with us when we came into the world, and we can’t take anything with us when we leave it.

If your contentment is based on anything that you didn’t bring in this world or cannot take out then your contentment is founded on the wrong place.

I Timothy 6:9-10 But people who long to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many foolish and harmful desires that plunge them into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered from the true faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows.

Paul is very clear in the letter to Timothy that is by your own desires that you are trapped, that you are in ruin and this has caused us to wander from true faith and pierce ourselves with many sorrows.

You say if I had a little more I should be very satisfied . You make a mistake. If you are not content with what you have ,you would not be satisfied if you were doubled.
~Charles Spurgeon~

Paul instructs Timothy to teach these things  that some people would come to contradict the message but these are the wholesome teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ.

If we shall believe the word for what it says we shall deal with most of the sorrows we carry around like a badge.

See what Paul continues to say to Timothy.

1 Timothy 6:5-8 These people always cause trouble. Their minds are corrupt, and they have turned their backs on the truth. To them, a show of godliness is just a way to become wealthy. Yet true godliness with contentment is itself great wealth. After all, we brought nothing with us when we came into the world, and we can’t take anything with us when we leave it. So if we have enough food and clothing, let us be content.

He doesn’t say Believe in Jesus and you will always be healthy, believe and you will have no problems rather he says if you have food and clothing be content.

The bar has been set to the lowest frame. This could be scary to one who has the ‘Big dreams’ or one who has convinced themselves they have eaten when it’s from a prestigious restaurant.

But Paul calls these the wholesome teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ and this is the Truth that if you have food and clothing you ought to be content.

Being ‘contented ‘ ought to mean in English as it does in French,being pleased. Being content with an attic ought not to mean to be unable to move from it and resigned to living in it ,it ought to mean appreciating all there is in such a position.
~G.K Chesterton~

Your desires should not be at the cost of peace, joy, confidence ,the assurance of security God intends for his children to have.

God is sovereign he will give to every man his virtue, temper, understanding, taste that lifts him in this life and let’s him fall just in the niche he was ordained to fill.

Discontentment with our positions, portions. A craving for somethings God has wisely withheld from us. Do not entertain suggestions that God is severe with you or doubt his love and loving kindness towards you. It is an evil lie from the father of lies.
Knowing God will help you align your desires with his.

Spread out your petition before God and then say ‘Thy will ,not mine ,be done ‘ The sweetest lesson I have learned in God’s school is to let the Lord choose for me.
~Dwight L Moody~

My prayer is that we would think on these things and learn not to blame but be content in what is placed before us , everything has it’s wonders even in the silence and dark places and that God will arm us with Joy and wholly trust him knowing that he is the greatest treasure that cannot be shaken, moved or taken away.

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Easter Is For Life.

What a way to come back? A holiday season and just like many times we often make plans ,they may not turn out exactly as we planned but we may not say the same thing about God’s plans.

“The Death of Jesus is for life and not just Easter.”

Why did Jesus Die?

Humanly speaking some would claim of how he was betrayed and a number of people were responsible for his death.

And yet we cannot ignore that this is not just a mere man’s ploy but one that was ordained before our times.

Acts 2:22-23 “Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with mighty works and wonders and signs that God did through him in your midst, as you yourselves know– this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men.

It says here that this was a definite plan and foreknowledge of God.
I will start from our coming into this world because everyone here came into the world and we came in tainted and already sinners yes even that baby that bats eyes at you and looks so innocent.
We come into this world very far from God and this sin must be dealt with if we are to come near God .

Its common knowledge that Christ died for our sins and yet forgotten knowledge on how God doesn’t mince words with how sin is dealt with. Sin will always separate us from a Holy God whose character is Holy and Just.

All through the Bible the plot is clear from the beginning, the creation, the fall of man and consequences and finally God’s redemptive plan.

Jesus paid the price for redemption when he gave his life as a ransom .
God’s wrath against our unrighteousness was exhausted on Christ as a sacrifice.

It’s what we sing out loud ” Jesus paid the Price.”

Christ’s death made a way for us to be brought near to God.
Think about that!  You only know God ,can call out his name because he made a plan for you to be able to come before him.

Romans 5:6-8 For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person–though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die– but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

How much more can God’s character be revealed? While you were still sinners he died for us. Beyond all doubt God proved his love for us that he did not spare his son but gave him up for us all.

This doesn’t only prove God’s love but also his Justice.
God doesn’t forgive sin by turning a blind eye but forgiveness is costly. We see the seriousness with which he takes sin.

“We had to be forgiven so that we can know God. We had to be justified so that we can know God. Our sins had to be atoned for so that we can know God. This is what makes the good news good, that we were blind and now we can see “
~JHP~

God’s love is not a license to sin.

Happy Easter Holidays and catch you on the streets.

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God Is Love

Since God is unique and in a class all by Himself, there are times when in an effort to either understand Him or explain Him, we take the attribute of God that resembles us most and make our human experience the lens by which we see God.Let’s use the attribute “love,”

~excerpt holier than thou~

The Greatest commandment God gave to us was to love him with all our hearts, soul , mind and strength and to love our neighbors as we love ourselves.
How easy it is to recite these, you can see the award presented infront of you if they dared ask on the greatest commandment God gave.

I will quote a friend ‘ The Law is for us and not against us and it reveals God’s character.’
We don’t give much thought that this is a law commanded of us.
See, thing is the law is non negotiable you either obey or you disobey.

When God says love me it isn’t a request but a command of the highest order.
When God says love your neighbor it is not a suggestion either that you can easily shrug off, it is a command .

It’s unfortunate today love is taught as thou we are at the centre of it all (self worth , self love,  self esteem , self fulfilment) and God a servant to our emotional or material demands.

If we want to be at the centre, to give ourselves joy, to be the queens, kings with imaginary servants at thy feet then we have not understood love as God potrayed it to be.

Iam guilty of being a party with those who sing/sang “you can’t love others if you don’t love yourself” and today i beg to differ in a way that you can’t even begin to love if you have not understood God’s love.

1 John 4:7-8 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.

God is love, today many affirm this but we live as if God didn’t command us to love even those we deem unlovable.

Luke 6:32-35 “If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to get back the same amount. But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil.

God did not call us to do the impossible, hard ? Yes , because it’s not a natural inclination to love a stranger, enemy, etc but he showed us first hand what love is like.

Jesus does not say that God was moved to deliver us because he perceived in us something that was so worthy of so excellent a blessing but ascribes the glory of our deliverance entirely to his love.
~ John Calvin~

Its so easy to love what is good but God’s love is unfathomable because he loves a world even thou corrupt and sinful which is why you ought to be grateful for it and careful not to speak of his love as a right. God hates sin and it would have been most right if he hated the world.
That is the way of love he was teaching us about. A self sacrificing love.

We need to understand God’s love by his scriptures , we need the Holy spirit to help us live out the command to love.
We have also more often fallen victim (even I) to define God in an inadequate mirror of our family, friends, events , circumstances.
Truth is Gods love is unique, different , incomparable.

To truly reflect God’s character of love, we are called to be self sacrificing  to love Christ’s people and show love to even those we deem unworthy of it.

Wrong theology is dangerous because we cannot know God apart from his word but right thoughts are not enough because God is not just an idea.
~Faith Chang~

God is love and it doesn’t mean he operates without his other attributes.
God is all the time Holy, Omniscient, Sovereign, Just etc.

As Christians we have received the Holy spirit who gives us both faith in scriptures and personal experiences of the God of the scriptures and may we strive to walk in obedience through his Grace and Mercies.
May the Truth of his love bear on our hearts that we may live it out daily in our lives.

Note; God’s love is a diverse topic but this has been in my thoughts to speak on God’s love not as we potray it but as the Word would speak of it.

Mark 12:30-31 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”

Its interesting when you understand what is not merely being asked of you but actually commanded of you.
If you profess God then you ought to work out this salvation with fear and trembling as he works in us both to will and to do.

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Book Review- Redeeming Love

No one warned me how my heart strings would be tossed about like monsoon winds had a home in my heart or that my heart rate would sway between life and near death or even that the emotions that am barely learning to harness would mock me in this time and come bouncing out like it’s a vacation.

Let’s say been a while…with all that said this is me saying this book is best read with zero distraction and don’t feel shy to chip off your sleep hours because its definitely carrying you towards a journey of a thousand miles.

A young girl Sarah born into a fallen world not like she could choose but born into a broken world and worse a broken family.
A father who wants nothing to do with her and wished she was never born and a mother who is torn between the fruit of her forbidden love and the only man she has ever loved but cannot be truly hers. He is a married man.

She eventually chooses Sarah and loses the package that came with being the mistress. No man, no home, no family (they had disowned her) she turns to the only life she ever knew. A life of prostitution. She dies of pain, grief, despair and leaves behind an eight year old Sarah with nothing to her but her beauty that becomes more of a curse to her than a blessing.

At eight years old Sarah is sold off and her journey of prostitution begins.
As a wise philosopher once said ‘you can’t know suffering by understanding it ,you must suffer to understand it’
Sarah loses her name, her sense of worth, her dignity, her ability to feel ,all of it. Before the men she’s the most exquisite thing they ever saw, before the women she is envied and before her eyes she’s the most soiled human walking the earth.

A ray of hope comes when a man (Hosea)with a heart after the lord’s saves her and marries her and this is not short of drama, he marries her while she is half dead and barely answered to the vows thus begins the journey to redemption.
A journey of a thousand miles ,it’s not without many many short falls, heart breaking moments, breaking down of walls, detangling of a lifetime of pain and hopelessness.
Sarah doesn’t make it any easier and the harder she tries ,the more Hosea is tested to live out his faith.

I must emphasize that it’s important it’s read within context because it can easily have a girl dreaming of such a non existent man. I had to say this.
The book is clearly drawn out from the book of Hosea ,this potrays the love of God. The depth, the height, the width , Power of his love . A steadfast love that never ceases.

Romans 8:38-39 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Ps; For the movie lovers it’s out but this is where the rule applies.. Read first , Watch much later.
I also know the book has been around for ages but am grateful I read it now,a good book is worth understanding.

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Happy February And A Sovereign God

Happy New Month blog fam. There is a beauty in beginnings it’s not knowing what tomorrow holds and having only hope to hold onto.
May hope be kept aflame in your hearts as you navigate this next month and what it has in store for us.

I came across a post that asked which God have we believed. God or the God of the Bible and that got me down this rabbit hole. I would want to be certain it’s the God of the Bible am believing hence this month will be us talking alot more on this God of the Bible

It’s also important to talk about because idolatry is now so subtle it can easily be missed it reminds me of the calf the Israelites built with the help of aaron because they were tired of waiting for Moses and even went ahead to sing praises to it for bringing them out of Egypt . A calf that could not see, move, speak. Outrageous right!! Unfortunately it’s not far off from the god we seem to be creating.

A God who forgets ,changes his mind, doesn’t keep his promises, who goes to sleep and needs awakening, one who can falter here and there i mean he let my sister, brother, father, friend die.
It’s as thou the clay can say to the potter ‘how dare you! I prefer my skin were a darker shade.”

Today I will speak on a Sovereign God something thats more foreign today.

I must emphasize thou that God is unique, he is infinite , he is eternal, he is not divided in parts holy tomorrow and merciful today, loving sometimes and hating sin on some days, being just in this one case and looking the other way on another case.
God is whole and is not anything else outside himself.
It’s important we understand God is not human.

“No one is Creator but God. No one has all power but God. No one knows the beginning and the end all at the same time except God. No one is all-wise but God. No one can forgive sins but God. No one can grant eternal life but God. No one has no one to answer to but God. No one is unchanging but God. No one is good but God. Who then can we compare Him to except Himself?
~excerpt holier than thou-Jackie Hill Perry

SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD

The Sovereignty of God is simply the Lordship of God.
It means God is always in control, he has authority and he is omnipresent.
Gods lordship is referred to vastly in the Bible thousands of times we may seem to agree until it’s made practical in your life.

To speak on the Sovereignty of God is to speak on his God Ness on what makes him God.
His Control will mean that everything happens according to his plan, his Authority will mean his commands ought to be obeyed and his Presence means we encounter him in all our experiences, you cannot escape or hide from God.

Like I said we would seem to agree on the matters above until you have to make it practical in your life.
We have come to believe we can miss the will of God, to believe somethings could have gone a different way if only you had made a different decision , that all the evil bad things the devil how powerful and maybe God was asleep and one needed awake him.

Isaiah 14:24-27 The LORD of hosts has sworn: “As I have planned, so shall it be, and as I have purposed, so shall it stand, that I will break the Assyrian in my land, and on my mountains trample him underfoot; and his yoke shall depart from them, and his burden from their shoulder.” This is the purpose that is purposed concerning the whole earth, and this is the hand that is stretched out over all the nations. For the LORD of hosts has purposed, and who will annul it?  His hand is stretched out, and who will turn it back?

James 4:13-14 Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”– yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.

Then what God have we believed. What could prevent God from accomplishing his purposes? What could happen without God’s knowledge of it?

Gods authority exists in all areas of our human lives not just those we deem religious.

When thinking of the worst thing that could have happened to you, yes God did know about it.
 
Did he have the power to stop it?
Ofcourse he is lord over everything , nothing happens without his knowledge.

Why didn’t he stop it?
I don’t know, you may find out now or even never but that’s the beauty of knowing God that in all his sovereignty he is gracious and loving .
That all things work according to his good counsel, we may not always see it or understand it and that is okay it should be okay. He is Infinite how much more could one finite understand such a being.

Its also important to note that his saving Grace In Christ is part of his control over creation as the Lord.
Salvation is God’s work from beginning to end.

When God takes you to be his people, he fights your battles, he blesses, loves us and sometimes chastises us as a loving father would. All in all he is with us.
In the old times he dwelled in the tarbenacles and now he dwells with us particularly in Jesus.

God is king and lord of all.  Nothing happens without God’s willing it to happen, willing it to happen before It happens and willing it to happen in the way it happens.

The question is asked, “Who created God?” The answer is that God was not and cannot be created;He is because He is. Before the beginning, He was. After the end, He will be.
~excerpt holier than thou~ Jackie Hill Perry

Next time you hear ‘There is no one like God’ believe it and ponder on it some more.

Happy February.
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Can I Live A Christian Life?

One of the worst assaults on God’s word comes from those who say they believe the Bible but don’t know what it says”
~John Macarthur

That is the message that hit me today morning and it does call for alot of reflection if you really think about it.
It’s actually more heartbreaking to hear someone say ‘its even there in the Bible'(direct translation from local Ugandan dialect) when the message they trying to put across is no where in the Bible.

If you have ever at any one point taught something, anything.
How much of what you taught was a lie and you knew it?

What you know will govern the way you live,
which brings me to Christian living.

As a friend of mine readily pointed out “Christianity is not mindless don’t pack your brains. Scripture engages your mind.”

What is a Christian Life?

In summary it’s a life of repentance, faith and good works lived through the power of the spirit and with help from the means of Grace as a Christian is conformed to the image of Christ to the Glory of God.

Without Repentance and Faith there is no christian life .
We are commanded all through the Bible to repent and turn away from sin.
It is not simply the beginning of Christian life but it’s the shape of a Christian life day to day.
You can read more on Salvation here; https://wp.me/pc1DBU-gc

But thing is by nature none of us is willing to repent or believe in Christ unless worked upon by the Spirit of God.
So ultimately it’s a gift from God.
Although we experience the beginning of Christian life in terms of our repentance we also quickly understand that if it was not for God’s kindness we would not come to him.

Ephesians 2:1-5  And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience– among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ– by grace you have been saved–

Christian life comes with it’s privileges like adoption, forgiveness, justification, gift of the Holy Spirit but note that all this is in Christ because we are in union with him on this journey.

So what is the actual goal of Christian living.

We are predestined to be conformed into the image of the son of God.
To be conformed into what human kind was meant to be.

God is also bringing to completion the World wide church of Christ through all the ages and we are a part of that.
Ever think of how this is supposed to end.

Above all that God is Glorified. The Universe will unite in wonder at the glorious grace of God in the completed church of Christ.

What’s our part to play as Christians?

One thing must be clear to live a Christian life is very dependent on the Grace of God .
It begins, continues and ends entirely by his Grace but he has availed means of grace for participation and these bring grace to help us on this journey.

I will mention the ones most known probably but also easily forgotten.

SCRIPTURE
We are told to delight in his law , to meditate on his word day and night.
The scriptures lead us in a way till the very end.
As I mentioned in the beginning it’s very important you know what the scriptures actually say, not assume it, or just hear it but actually open the Bible .

PRAYER
Now that we can have access to the Father ,it’s a great privilege for a Christian.
The lord opened the way for us that we may have access to God.
A relationship entails Communication and this is it.
A little something on Prayer here
https://wp.me/pc1DBU-gA

THE CHURCH
After we experienced lockdown worldwide of churches now more than ever we know that online can never replace physical meetings.

We go to church mainly because it’s how we encourage one another to wait on the return of Jesus, to repent and believe day by day.
Its important that you belong to a fellowship. Going to Church is one of the best habits you could pick on and keep for life.

Hebrews 10:24-25 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.

These are some of the most common means of grace availed for us on our journey of Christian living.

Philippians 2:12-13 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.

God works in us to will and to do, he doesn’t pull our strings like puppets but he causes us to desire and want to live a life unto him.
We work out that that God has worked in us first.

So Christian living is a dependent way of life. God has availed means on how we can work out this salvation but it is not without him.
He is with you every step of the way, he will help you, he will guide you to the very end
If you didn’t know ,hope you know now;You were never alone in this journey.

Let us rejoice daily in what God has done for us in Jesus.
In giving us his son he gave us all that we need for life and godliness.
May we make use of the means given to us to press home and may we live gladly in what he is working in us.

The scriptures teach us the best way of living, the noblest way of suffering and the most comfortable way of dying.
~John Flavel~

Note; If you have interest in learning to making sense of the scriptures. There is a way to help.
Feel free to reach me on my social media sites

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What Does It Mean To Believe?

Have you checked your feeds lately? This is perfectly rhetorical. It’s how you will find many messages professing love for God, being thankful to the God they believe and believe it or not I still receive prayer chains in this day and age. I know ,those that practically end with ‘Send this to five people and await a miracle’.

Having a conversation with a stranger meaning I met the person at a restaurant and we got to talking. Anyway the conversation somehow was directed to christian faith and as the conversation grew he broke out ‘I believe in Jesus Christ’ and well here is somewhat what our conversation yielded.

To say you believe in God, is it enough to post ‘Say a Prayer, Have Faith, I love you Jesus’
Surely it’s more than just knowing ,speaking it.
Let me give a slight example in our contemporary today.
You are on a weight loss journey and you are told of the necessity of good diet  and exercise and you believe it as a fact but that doesn’t shed the weight just because you believe.

Many of us probably believe God exists but that belief is no better than the one of demons.
James 2:19 You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe–and shudder!
See they believe and even shudder, to burst the bubble ,simple acknowledgement of God’s existence doesn’t make one Godly or a Christian.

Genuine belief in God is solely based on who he is and this is revealed through his Word.
To truly believe in God you must believe in Jesus Christ who is the exact representation of the father.

Hebrews 1:3 He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power.

This is how he has chosen to make us understand. In the past he spoke to our ancestors through the prophets in various ways but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son.

Hebrews 1:1-2 Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world.

See religions can sing kumbaya while saying we all believe in one God but however Jesus Christ will divide us.
One cannot have Faith in God as he really is unless that Faith includes Jesus Christ.

More than believing in God we must trust him for Salvation and that means coming to him through Christ alone.
There is only one mediator between God and Man and that is Jesus Christ.

What does it mean to believe in God?

Not only believing but delighting in the Truth of Jesus being a Son Of God who came to save us ,embracing and making Christ the Lord over your life by surrendering to him.

The devil ,demons know this Truth, they know he is a son of God but they do not value it ,it is a threat to them.
It ought to be valuable to you that when the Holy Spirit begins his work on you.
The transition is you will want to be with him, enjoy him, be with him, follow him.

To quote John Piper
“That we are now looking away from ourselves to Christ and embracing all that God is for us in him, that is what faith is, that is what belief is, that is what saves. “

I must add to believe in God definitely involves a change of life. Yes we know by the fruits there is no way around it.
Faith that does not result in actions is a dead faith.
What you believe will govern your life.
Depending on God you have believed , actions demanded of person should all be based on who God is and we know this how?
Through his Word.

Today we are tempted to remake God in our image, picking and choosing what we find agreeable.
Watch and Pray that you are devoted to one that is revealed in the scriptures.

The Consequences of your understanding of the scriptures will be felt in the practical living.”
John Macarthur

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Where Else Will You Turn To?

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When those around you have stopped trusting God, when everything around you seems to crumble, when it seems as if you have lost the battle.
Where else will you turn to?

How can a Good God allow these bad things to happen to us?
This question has either crossed ones mind, still lingers on ones mind or you are yet to ask it.
We may not comprehensively cover it today,some day, soon I hope.

But let us not quickly forget of our nature as humans. We are as fallen as fallen can be;in simple words we are all capable of all the evil you can basically let cross your mind.
It’s easy to point fingers forgetting you fall short daily.. Did I say daily? literally moment by moment.
We are not sinners because we sin, rather, we sin because we are sinners. That is, we sin because we are born with sinful natures.

Just as our nature will always reveal how much we need God , the suffering we face while on earth will always make us more aware of God and perharps that our eyes may be opened, our ears may hear and our hearts may be turned from darkness to light.

If anyone tells you that your life can be without troubles ,pain while on earth , it is a lie.
Open the Bible it’s never been more clear than the sun rise.
As long as you on earth, troubles shall come, sufferings shall come but we have a promise of one who never changes , who is true to his word ,who is the same today, tomorrow and forever .
He shall not forsake you. Cast all your anxieties upon him for he cares for you.

So where else are you going to go?
Where will you turn to?
If you have somwhere else to turn to then you haven’t fully grasped the concept of God the All Knowing, Almighty, Transcendent Holy One.
Truth is if you really believe God you will believe everything he tells you.

And I Quote R.C Sproul..
There are two basic reasons why Christians at times long for death. The first is our deep longing to arrive at our spiritual destination. The pilgrimage of our souls is not finished until we enter into our rest.

The second reason is the desire for relief from affliction. As I noted earlier in this book, the time of our death is in God’s hands. We must not take steps to hasten the moment of our departure. God is the author of life and is sovereign over both life and death. We may pray for death, but the request may be granted by God alone.”

I ask you again ” Where else will you turn to?”
If not the one who created everything on heaven and earth, the one who knows it all, he knows what you going to think before you think it, the one who is Holy, Good ,Faithful, All Loving.
The one who paints perfection even when it’s something we cannot fully comprehend.

Jackie Hill Perry in her book ‘Holier than thou’ writes….
When there is a storm, believe God. When there is stillness, believe God. He is too holy to deceive. Too holy to lead you anywhere but to Truth.

I desire that this message reaches many far and wide.
It seems like when troubles arise we are in much more despair as thou we don’t know the Truth and maybe we don’t.
It seems like when troubles arise we are quick to ask ‘Why Me?’ as if anyone else is more deserving.
It seems when troubles come, many have forgotten to seive Truth beyond trauma.
It seems when troubles come we have forgotten to fight with the right weapons that we don’t wage war against flesh and blood and we must put on the armour of God because after everything we must stand (Ephesians 6:10).
It seems that when troubles come we have forgotten where to turn to.
When sufferings come we ought to know it produces endurance, endurance produces character and character produces a hope that does not put us to shame, for his love has been poured into our hearts through the gift of the Holy Spirit given to us.
When Troubles come I hope you know that we can turn no where else but to the only living God, the Holy One, the one who remains forevermore, the All Knowing.
Blessed be to God the Most High.

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