Some years back there was a slapstick comedian who used to regularly say, “I’m a victim of circumstance.” That line sums up the thoughts of a lot of people today.
There’s a growing number of people who look at the direction of their lives and see it getting out of control. They see themselves as “victims of circumstance.” The outcome is that stress, conflict, and depression are on the increase. Rash and foolish decisions are becoming more common, too.
Are tough circumstances getting you down? They don’t need to. The key is to live with a perspective of God’s covenant.
When people think of the Bible and living the Christian life, they often think in terms of living up to a moral code. That’s all.
But this falls so far short of the truth. Read more…
The more I think about it, the more I’m convinced that people’s lives are driven by their emotions more than they realize.
We like to think that we’re rational creatures who thoughtfully govern all our decisions and actions. But the reality, I believe, is quite different. So often it’s our feelings that drive us in one direction or another. And those feelings can often lead us to do some foolish things.
The big role that feelings play in our lives should not be surprising when we realize all the attention that the Bible gives to different emotions. Anger, guilt, bitterness, peace, joy, and hope are just a sample of the many emotions that the Bible addresses.
It’s interesting, too, that the Bible shows us that there’s an important relationship between the two most powerful emotions of them all – fear and love – when it says, “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. . .” (1 Jn.4:18).
Understanding this relationship will go a long way in helping you prevent negative emotions from leading you astray. Read more…
I’ve been reading about Jacob. It’s apparent that though he was a blessed man, his life had a lot of difficulty in it. Jacob’s relationship with Esau and his grief over Joseph are just a couple of examples of the hardship he experienced.
There’s a point worth remembering in this. The blessing of God does not necessarily come without trouble. So, just because you are experiencing hardship does not mean you aren’t blessed. This is likely why the the Bible commands us to be thankful in all things. In the midst of our difficulties we easily miss the way that God is blessing us.
When the Apostle Paul had the opportunity to speak before the Roman ruler Felix, he spoke about “righteousness, self-control, and the judgment to come” (Acts 24:25).
This made Felix uneasy. Felix liked to think he could just follow his own desires without regard to the consequences. But Paul’s words upset that way of thinking.
Paul’s message of righteousness, self-control, and the judgment to come challenges us, too. It reminds us that we all – no matter who we are or what position we are in – are accountable to God for the way we live our lives.
It doesn’t matter if you are a pop superstar, a big name politician, or just an average joe.
This truth brings into focus a critical question. How well are you running the race that God has set before you? Read more…