Sometimes, we’re given a choice. We can help someone or not help someone. We see someone get injured, and we can help or not help. For us now, the outcome doesn’t look to be different. We think someone else can help. Or we think the situation is helpless altogether.
Esther was in the same predicament. Haman was planning to get rid of the Jews. Esther was warned by Mordecai and told her husband, the King, the plan and saved the Jews just in time.
Mordecai told Esther, “Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14b) to encourage her that her role as Queen was God-ordained.
While we don’t necessarily run across situations like this every day (or perhaps in our own lifetime), situations we face may be happening because they’re God-ordained.
So, Esther was given the choice, and the decisions she had to make led to two completely different outcomes. The same for us, sometimes. We’re between two worlds - which path will you choose when the time comes?
Your Life's Not a Failure
Have you ever had a time in your life when everything was not going well?
Most of us have. Bad thing happens after bad thing, or things at work keep going wrong. Sometimes you feel like giving up.
“Why?” you may ask.
Habakkuk 3:17-18 gives a perfect example, and of course Job gives a bigger example. Let’s look, however, at the Habakkuk passage:
“Though the fig tree may not blossom, Nor fruit be on the vines; Though the labor of the olive may fail, And the fields yield no food; Though the flock may be cut off from the fold, And there be no herd in the stalls—Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation.”
The Jewish society was very agrarian. Many farmers relied on external factors for their job to be done as needed. They needed to produce food. They sometimes needed to take care of the sheep. They needed rain to produce crops, but if none of that went well, they still had God.
In today’s society, what we do for a living sometimes becomes our identity. However, when you make that your identity, and things go wrong, you think it’s you that’s going wrong.
However, as Christians, our identity’s in Christ. Our rejoicing should be in God, not in our work. Our salvation comes from God, not from ourselves.
Therefore, even if everything goes wrong in our work or in our personal life, that’s not our identity. It’s Christ who gives us our meaning. Your identity is in Christ, and Christ didn’t die for trash.
I was with one of my children at the hospital Sunday. When we were there, there was a boy crying for his father.
This made me realize a Spiritual point: While his father doesn't know what he wants but comforts him, our Heavenly Father knows what we want and comforts us.
Let us hold onto the truth of I Peter 5:7, allowing it to guide our hearts and minds: "casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you." With each burden we surrender, we open ourselves to experiencing our Heavenly Father’s love for us.
2 Corinthians 4:15-18: “For all things are for your sakes, that grace, having spread through the many, may cause thanksgiving to abound to the glory of God. Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.”
Are things around us going wrong? Do we get weaker and older?
Yes, to all above. How can we be encouraged, then?
Those weaknesses and frailties are only temporary. There’s a whole new side we can’t physically see. Through the trials and temptations that we go through and pass here on earth, we’re being built up Spiritually for the life ahead that we will have in Heaven, if we’re truly God’s child.
What we see now will be wiped away, but the eternal Kingdom is forever.
Indeed, the passage in 2 Corinthians 4:15-18 offers encouragement and perspective in the midst of challenges and the passing nature of our physical existence. Let's explore these ideas:
In conclusion, the passage in 2 Corinthians 4:15-18 reminds us that even when things around us may be going wrong and we experience the effects of aging and weakness, we can find encouragement in the eternal perspective provided by our faith. These temporary challenges serve a purpose in our spiritual growth and transformation. We are being built up for the future life we will have in the eternal Kingdom of God.
Just Praise Him
Psalm 9:1-2: “I will praise thee, O Lord, with my whole heart; I will shew forth all thy marvellous works. I will be glad and rejoice in thee: I will sing praise to thy name, O thou most High.”
When was the last time that you sat down to pray, and you didn’t ask Him for something? You just praised Him?
God does love it when we talk to Him about our situations, but He loves a grateful heart. Thanking Him for what He’s already done is a great thing to do, no conditions, no requests, just thanking Him.
Expressing gratitude to God is a powerful act of worship that can bring joy, peace, and perspective to our lives. It reminds us of the many blessings we have received and helps us cultivate contentment and trust in God's provision.
When we thank God for His goodness, we shift our focus from our problems and needs to His faithfulness and love. We acknowledge His sovereignty over our lives and recognize that every good gift comes from Him. Gratitude also helps us cultivate a heart of generosity and compassion toward others, as we become more aware of the ways God has blessed us.
So the next time you pray, take a moment to thank God for all the blessings in your life. Consider keeping a gratitude journal or listing out your blessings to remind yourself of His goodness throughout the day. And remember, no matter what circumstances you may be facing, there is always something to be grateful for.
“Brethren, if anyone among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins,” James 5:19-20.
Every one of us knows a Christian who has backslidden.
The Bible says that if we help a Christian get back on track with God, we’ll “save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins.”
Today’s encouragement is to consider a backslidden Christian that you know and to encourage him or her to come back to the faith. While it may take much more than that, a simple encouragement may go a long way in turning him or her back to the truth.
Waiting on God's Promises
Lamentations 3:25: “The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, To the soul who seeks Him.”
God’s promises will always come true. Moses had to wait and work 40 years before he was led to bring Israel from bondage in Egypt. Abraham had to wait years for the promise of a son to take place. Noah had to build the ark for around a century before he and his family was saved from the flood. Not all promises are fulfilled on this side of Heaven, but they will always be fulfilled.
The key is patience and waiting for God to fulfill them. It’s tempting to try and make them come to pass on our own. Abraham learned that the hard way. He and Sarai tried to make it happen through her handmaiden.
When you shortcut the path to God’s promise, you make a sacrifice - you sacrifice growth, patience-building, and God’s timing.
A lot of people love the ability to volunteer. They do this for multiple reasons:
For missions organizations, volunteers are especially a necessity, and we are no exception.
We are currently looking for volunteers to contact local Evangelical Churches in their area to fundraise on our behalf. In the future, there will be other volunteering opportunities available as well.
If you're interested in helping us through volunteering, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can learn more about our organization at https://www.pottershouseministries.org to learn more about us and the children's homes we're planning.
They're Not the Problem
”[I]f My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land,” 2 Chronicles 7:14.
It’s so simple to just blame everyone else for what’s going on. However, Scripture shows us that they don’t hold the solutions (God does), and healing comes from a revival of the saved, not from the purification of society.
We always want to look to other solutions because we feel that everything around us is evil (which it is). However, the solution isn’t better government or more pure (but unsaved) culture. Both of those would be good, but they wouldn’t solve the root problem - which is sin.
A revival of Christians is what’s needed, not less nudity in films, less violence on the streets, a purification of (still secular) society.
Until we as Christians (me included) realize this, we won’t see the change that is needed. Scripture tells us this clearly in 2 Chronicles 7:14. Yes, that was written for the Jews, but also for us (2 Timothy 3:16).
If “they” aren’t the problem, what can we do about it? James 4:2b-3: “[Y]ou do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.” When Christians’ motives become pure, we can see the changes that are needed.
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9).
I don’t mean to frighten you, but there are real things out there that aren’t ok.
No matter what happens to you, God is with you if you are a Christian. You could be facing the worst of circumstances right now, but God has your situation under control, whether you believe it or not.
Take any major person from the Bible…
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego…
All faced major but different problems in their life, but they all have one thing in common. What is that?
God was with each one of them.
And, if you’re saved, He’s with you as well.
So, the next time Satan gets you to start worrying, think of Joshua 1:9. The enemy, who is the destroyer, will be destroyed.
Oh, and whatever you’re facing, don’t worry. God’s got this.
Potter's House Ministries is a ministry devoted to helping individuals in Romania through different programs. Learn how you can help us or help start a fundraiser.