Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16 (NIV)
Unresolved conflict. The churning within that promotes seething. The bile of bitterness welling up to choke off words. The cancer that eats away the softness of the heart and leaves stone in its place. Seek humility. Seek the face of Grace. When our own need of Him is seen, we suddenly look at others with more forgiving eyes. How could I not forgive while He so readily forgives me? This doesn’t make what the other person did right. It makes me right with God. Leave the judgment in the hands of the Divine Judge.
The fear of the Lord. It begins. Awe. Reverence. Worship. Not a cringing, cowering, don’t-strike-me-down fear. Holy hands lifted high, knees bowed down in adoration. Totally surrendered. Head over heels in love. Jumping with joy because there’s just no stopping you. Heaven on earth.
I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my daily bread. Job 23:12
A leanness of soul comes with a fast from His Word. Busyness. Distractions. Procrastination. Forgetfulness. He waits for the hunger pangs to set in. We seek to fill the empty spaces with all the delicacies that life offers. He waits for the discontent to rise to the top. We search frantically for the void to be filled. Again and again we feed on meals that do not nourish wondering all the while, “What am I missing?” He misses us, too.
To this end. Maturity. I labor. Hard work. Struggling. Wrestling. Warfare. With all His energy. His Omnipotence, not my strength. Which so powerfully. Dunamis. Dynamic power. Works in me. In me. Through me. Around me. For my good. For His glory.
To this end I labor, struggling with all His energy, which so powerfully works in me. Colossians 1:29
The angels gather around. Even the one called Accuser. Consider My servant. He only loves you because you’ve blessed him. Test him. A wretched man surrounded by a life in ruins. His children, just a memory. His possessions, blown away like dust. His health, shattered. His wife, curse God and die. His friends, it’s all your fault, you know. His faith, in tact. God doesn’t bless us with kindness based on our worthiness, He blesses us because He is worthy. If blessings aren’t about us, then neither is suffering. Rely on the source.
Not for the faint-hearted. To share in His glory we must share in His suffering. This looks different in every believer’s life. Addiction, depression, divorce, death, disease, loss, abundance, poverty, wealth. The result is the same. Character. His character. Reshaping our lives to look like His. New life. Reformation. Re-formation. The stench of self made fragrant in the fracas. A noisy brawl between life and death. Sweet victory.