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By Mary Lindow

SUFFERING AND SORROW ARE A PART OF LIFE

Knowing this, however, doesn’t make it any easier to cope when you find yourself in the midst of the deepest, darkest trials of faith, and mentally anguish and strain.

Don’t you wish Christianity could make you exempt from suffering? That would be great, but as most of us have learned, following our faith doesn’t give us a free ride.

We catch as much trouble as unbelievers—often more.

The difference, of course, is that we can turn to Jesus when things go wrong. Unbelievers might argue that we’re only turning to our imagination, but we know better.

At some time in your life, however, suffering will hit you so hard that you won’t be able to do any of those things, and that dark time will probably visit you more than once.

“Even in darkness, light dawns for the upright,

for the gracious and compassionate and righteous man.”

Psalm 112:4

 

WE ALL WANT THINGS WE DON’T GET.

Maybe it’s a person you’re sure would make a perfect spouse, and the relationship crumbles apart. Maybe it’s a better job or promotion, and you don’t make the cut. Or it might be a goal you poured your time and energy into, and it doesn’t come to pass or others sabotage it all.
All of us have prayed for the recovery of loved ones who were ill, but they died anyway.

It takes real spiritual maturity to stay faithful when things go wrong, but severing our relationship with God punishes us, not him. It’s self-destructive behavior that can put us on the path to a miserable life. The parable of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-32) teaches us that God always wants us to come back to him.

Whether your problem is discouragement, illness or aging,

sometimes all you have left is Jesus.

When you’re angry and bitter, you can still cling to Jesus in the midst of your tears. You can grab onto him and refuse to let go until he brings you through it. You’ll find, to your surprise that he holds on to you even tighter than you hold on to him.

 

JESUS UNDERSTANDS SORROW

He knows about being hurt. He remembers the terrible moment on the cross when his Father was forced to abandon him, because he was filthy from taking on our sins. Jesus won’t let you go.’

And as you age and start down the path from this life to the next, Jesus will take your hand to guide you. He appreciates all that you have done for him through the years, but what he has always wanted most is your love.

So there you are in the middle of one of life’s train-wrecks-dazed, wounded, wondering what shoe-or bomb-will be dropping next, and up walks Job’s comforters.

We all remember Job from the Bible. A rich, powerful man, a great father and good in every way was Job.

Then, in a series of overlapping upheavals, he lost everything and everybody except his wife-who turned out to be a whole lot less than sympathetic in her changed status.

Battered Job ends up sitting alone on a pile of dirt, scratching his boil-covered body with some broken pottery.

 

WE CAN IDENTIFY WITH POOR JOB.

Life drags us through some tough times of loss that make us feel every bit like Job. Caught in a vortex of pain, and wondering if we’ll ever make it to safety.

And, boy, do we recognize Job’s so-called friends who showed up to by all accounts offer support and comfort. As they sat with Job in his misery, they took turns playing a self-centered, self-righteous, can-you-top-this game of knowing for certain that every bit of Job ‘s disaster had to be his own fault or a lack of trust in God. They weren’t sure how or why because Job seemed so decent, but deep down, they insisted, he just couldn’t be all he pretended to be.

 

THIS IS FAMILIAR TERRITORY

You get fired, and friends smirk knowingly when you try to explain the political nature of the event. Your child gets into difficulty-well; you know the kind of comfort you’ll get from friends about that. (It probably started sometime during potty training.)

Yet others try to “help” you with what I call “prayer lecturing.” While praying “for and with you” they let you (and God) know just how lucky you should be to even have running water, had a meal that day and more! Not really comforting in any way, and very very short on compassion.

Yet, from the story, it’s clear that Job was completely innocent. Dreadful things do happen to completely innocent people, good people.
Because of their opinion of Job’s guilt, history has bestowed his friends- (and their current replicas) – the label, “Job’s comforters.”
So-called friends who add to a suffering person’s anguish by piling on false charges of blame and guilt and harsh reprimand for daring to show sadness or agony.

You may never have met anybody like Job, but you’ve met his comforters on more than one occasion. They seem to be everywhere.

 

WE CAN CHARGE SOME OF IT OFF TO JEALOUSY

Job had everything a person could dream of wanting-and then some-so jealousy was never more than a stone’s throw away. The green-eyed monster is a little more subtle with people living everyday, typical lives, but jealousy doesn’t need much ground to take root and grow with vigor.

 

WE DON’T WANT TO ADMIT BAD THINGS MAY HAPPEN TO US!

If bad things happen to people who don’t deserve them, they could happen to anybody, including me. If I don’t want bad things to happen to me, (who does?), I have to persuade myself and everybody around me that the victim’s actions caused the problem. If blame can be assigned, then I’ll be safe as long as I’m good.

In other words, if I can claim that the cause of your problem is something you do that I don’t do, then what happened to you can’t happen to me. There is, of course, n
o logic to this, but it brings some shaky comfort to frightened hearts.
We see this thinking at work when people stare numbly at adversity and ask, “What did I do to deserve this?” Sometimes the answer is, “nothing.”

 

HAVE YOU EVER ASKED YOURSELF WHY ME?

And it doesn’t have to be bad; you could be excited from something wonderful. Most often then not I ask myself this after something I am looking forward to goes wrong.

Even at times when something goes wrong I lay awake at night and my thoughts wonder to what previously occurred. I am sure everyone does it at times, wishing for another try or chance.

You may lay awake thinking about your suffering, part of life’s suffering is misery’s shadow persisting/hanging on; not only do you suffer but you have to think about suffering.

I can’t prove this with statistics or find it any book I know of, yet I would say that more people either come to the faith or fall away because of this reason above all; the disturbance of suffering.


YOU SEE GOD USES TIMES OF SUFFERING…

...TO TEACH AND GROW US.

If you allow yourself to recount your sufferings, did you not learn more about faith while suffering then any other time?
 It has been said that; “Blessings are God’s whispers, he speaks in our conscience, but shouts to us in our suffering.”

“O my Comforter in sorrow,

My heart is faint within me.”

Jeremiah 8:18

Suffering becomes the only way to realize our hollow spiritual self. Pain is unmasked, and every person knows when something is not right when they are hurting. Pain insists upon being attended to.
So when you travel down this line of thought you come to the idea, why do I or someone else suffer when others don’t?

 

I KNOW SUFFERING IS EXHAUSTING AND PAIN HURTS

That is why it is called pain and suffering. If there were an escape a person of great wisdom and insight would have done it already. Yet Discipleship demands such trials to compel us towards renewal. Read Hebrews 2:10

God, for whom and through whom everything was made,

chose to bring many children into glory.

And it was only right that he should make Jesus, through his suffering,

a perfect leader, fit to bring them into their salvation.”

The real question is what to do when life has just punched us a good one, and Job’s comforters show up at our door. Nobody says we have to let them in. And certainly nobody says we have to entertain them. And, most positively, nobody says we have to believe them.

“For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives,

So also through Christ our comfort overflows.”
2 Corinthians 1:5

We can sort out the who’s-to-blame-for-what after we get some solid ground under our feet and a little energy back into our lives.

But we still won’t want Job’s comforters anywhere around us…

...We will want people who care.

"Compassion"

To me not to be kind
 is evil of the mind.

No need to pray or preach,


Let us our children teach
 with every fond caress,

Pity and gentleness:


So in the end may we 
God’s Kingdom cause to be.

Author - R.W. Service

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"THE GREATEST ENEMY TO SPIRITUAL GROWTH"

DEMEANING ANOTHER GENERATION OF LEADERS

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by MaryLindow 

It is highly recommended that you listen to the 

audio version/podcast of this message and join in with 

the prayers lifted up on behalf of the Body of Christ


There is a dangerous trend blooming much like a dandelion in the body of Christ that needs to literally be nipped in the root, and in no way approached with a cowering spirit! Somehow it's now a trending youthful "call from God" to be a cutting edge voice that is sent to “correct” the current Fathers and Mothers in the body of Christ. Hmmmm.....


I DON'T CARE HOW POPULAR OR TRENDY ANY MOVEMENT IS or any individual who is a gifted speaker is. If they have been given the privilege to address the body of Christ on any stage, in any pulpit, in any gathering, they are to be judged and held accountable by those in leadership for their actions and their choices when they speak to others.


I AM ADDRESSING SPECIFIC SITUATIONS where a young-(ish) man or woman is allowed to speak in a meeting and begins to demand that the crowd responds according totheir commands.

There should NEVER be even the hint of demeaning another generation of leaders publicly, or a shaming and finger-pointing message aimed at somehow "breaking the people" and getting them to be stirred up to do something. Whatever that"something" might be, if people are shamed into action, then it is truly not God's will or God's plan.

 

WHO GET’S TO ADDRESS PEOPLE FROM THE PODIUM? There's a lot to be said about not quickly allowing a novice or newcomer to your team to have absolute access to speak into the hearts of those who gather to hear of the specific (and most hopefully) -GOD ORDAINED vision that you, as a leader, have been commissioned and assigned to serve and honor! In 1 Kings 12 - Rehoboam rejected the advice of the "older men" who had stood with Solomon, listening instead to the "young men who grew up with him". It divided the Kingdom. HEAR that.

Pride can cause a novice who is actually termed "a new planting" meaning, “still not having put down roots”, to defend themselves and their more "potent" message. Pride can cause them to look down on others. If you allow it, pride will rob them ofthe most treasured mentoring relationships in their lives.

 

WHEN ANOTHERGENERATION MOCKS THE WORDS OF GOD Elisha went up to Bethel. As he was walking along the road, some childish boys came out of the town and jeered at him. “Get out of here, baldy!” they said. “Get out of here you old bald man!” He turned around, looked at them and called down a curse on them in the name of the Lord. Then two bears came out of the woods and mauled the forty-two the boys.

2 Kings 2:23

 

THE WORD FOR"CHILDREN" IN THIS VERSE IS TRANSLATED AS PERSONS OF THIRTY ORFORTY YEARS OF AGE and, though these are called "little", they were so well grown as to be able to go out of the city by themselves without anyone to guide them, or to take care of them and they were at an age capable not only of taking notice of Elijah's baldness, but knew he was a prophet. They were able to know what good and evil was and, from a malicious spirit inside of them, they mocked at him. Some Jewish writers say they were called "Naarim", which means"children” because they had shaken off the bond that was keeping people close, the commandments, and "little", because they were of little faith:

 

THEY MOCKED HIM, AND SAID TO HIM, “GO UP, YOU BALD HEAD! GO UP, YOU OLD BALDY!”  Meaning, not up the hill to Bethel, where his coming was not really welcomed since most of the people were idol worshippers, and maybe these children were sent out to intimidate him with their jeers to keep him from entering the city! They had heard about Elijah going up to heaven so they jeeringly told him to go up to heaven after him, and then they would have gotten rid of them both! “Who needs that old man telling us what to do?!”  

At the same time that they were mocking him for his baldness, and making a funny story of the wondrous works of God, the taking up into heaven of Elijah, which by behaving so disrespectfully to a “White hairedhead”, a prophet of the Lord, was terribly wicked, and therefore opened thedoor to an external attack from a destructive force. Two full-grown she-bears, who consumed them.

Folks, there are consequences for mockery and deception!

 

BEFORE AMAN OR WOMAN CAN LOOK DOWN ON ANOTHER, they must first assume he or she is better than the person they are speaking against. A proud man or woman is suspicious of everyone else. A humble man or woman is more suspicious of their own heart than anyone else. The proud heart will detect defects in others before him. But a humble soul sees the evil in his/her own heart before they see evil in others.

 

CONCEITAND PRIDE ARE THE GREATEST ENEMIES TO SPIRITUAL GROWTH! Newly acquired knowledge often leads to pride rather than wisdom. This is often true with the novice. There is no surer way to fall into sin than to allow pride to lead us into putting confidence in ourselves rather than God. This type of pride always leads to destruction, because it robs us of God’s power to stand against temptation.

 

WHAT WEACCOMPLISH AS MEMBERS OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS DONE BY THE POWER OF GOD. The novice begins thinking that what he/she accomplishes is his/her own doing. The people in Corinth had been developed in every way as well, with the knowledge of God, but pride in what they knew was about to lead to their destruction!

 

KNOWLEDGECAN BE MISTAKEN FOR MATURITY, but true knowledge is designed to bring us TO maturity. When we parade our freedom before others in an effort to reveal how much we know, we reveal our immaturity and are treading on dangerous ground! Knowledge put on PUBLIC display leads to revelry and scattering.

 

TRUE KNOWLEDGE BRINGS THE RESTFUL DISCIPLINE OF SELF-CONTROL.  Paul’s knowledge ofGod led him to lead a disciplined life for the benefit of himself and others. HUMBLING OURSELVES IS THE ONLY WAY TO GET THE ROOF OFF TOWARD GOD, AND THE WALLS DOWN TOWARD OUR FELLOW MAN

Once offences have been committed, whether intentional or unintentional, they must be dealt with! “I was wrong. I am sorry. Will you forgive me?” are healing words that only a humble soul would use. Whenever you find a man or woman willing to humble themselves before God and man, you have found a person who will be exalted, because “humility comes before honor.”

 

REMEMBER THAT SOME MEN’S SINS ARE OBVIOUS, AND ARE EQUALLY OBVIOUSLY BRINGING THEM TO SERIOUS JUDGMENT. 

"The sins of other men might not be apparent, but are dogging them, nevertheless, under the surface. Similarly some virtues are plain to see,while others, though not at all conspicuous, will eventually make themselves felt."

1Timothy 5:24-25


 "Don’t reprimand or publicly talk downto a senior leader in your church, honoring him as a father by first showing respect and humility. Treat the young men kindly as brothers, and the olderwomen as nurturing mothers. Treat the younger women as sisters, and nothingmore."

1 Timothy 5:1-2

 

 

Duplication and sharing of this writing is welcomed provided that 

complete source, podcast and website information for Mary Lindow is included.

Thank You Copyright © 2016

“THE MESSENGER” ~Mary Lindow

www.marylindow.com

www.globalprayerrooms.com

marylindow.podbean.com

 

 

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