“When I am overwhelmed, you alone know the way I should turn.”
Psalm 142.3a NLT
David was on the run, boxed in inside a cave, hunted by enemies.
How does God show us which way to turn?
What is the Bible verse that you keep coming back to, that gives you a lift when you’re down, that provides you comfort in your trials, that drives you to God in your sorrow? Please share it in the comments, with reference and text.
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Often times when a discussion is had between individuals who are on “opposite sides of the fence” about topics pertaining to salvation, key doctrinal differences and even Jesus himself, one side of the dialogue can be quick to defend his or her belief on the basis of the “peace” that is felt within one’s heart.
While peace is an important, dare I say even vital, aspect of Christianity, if the truth were told, as it is now, one’s feeling of peace does not always equate to one’s possession of said peace.
Examples of this are abundant within the pages of God’s word. From the cultural mindset of the antediluvian time period (Matthew 24:37-39), to the prophets and people of Jeremiah’s day (Jeremiah 14:10-15), to the willfully ignorant religious individuals that Peter warned about (2 Peter 3:1-12) there has always been and there will always be people who promote the importance and supposed validity of personal peaceful feelings above the true importance and true validity of knowing the peace that comes from possessing a right relationship with the God of the Bible.
Peace, imperfect peace originates from ignorance, self-fulfilled desires and seared consciences; all of which derive from one’s personal feelings (Proverbs 14:12). Peace, perfect peace originates from knowledge, the fulfillment of godly expectations and the directions of a properly trained conscience; none of which derive from one’s personal feelings (Philippians 4:6-7).
The point is that the human heart can be confused and contorted to the point of severe and deadly deception resulting in a feeling of justification regardless of the heart’s error (Jeremiah 17; 2 Thessalonians 2; 1 Timothy 4). This is why true peace is found in knowing, regardless of the ebb and flow of human emotions, that all things are as they should be because all things have been made as they will be by the revealed grace of God through the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Peace, perfect peace is quite different from peace, imperfect peace! So may it be the goal of every God-seeking individual to know the Prince of Peace in a way that the peace of God is not something we feel, but rather something that we have received through the gift of God.
“As he approached the road leading down from the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of his disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works they had seen: “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” But some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples.” He answered, “I tell you, if they keep silent, the very stones will cry out!” Now when Jesus approached and saw the city, he wept over it, saying, “If you had only known on this day, even you, the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. For the days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and surround you and close in on you from every side. They will demolish you – you and your children within your walls – and they will not leave within you one stone on top of another, because you did not recognize the time of your visitation from God.”” (Luke 19:37-44 – NET)
Read a story yesterday about a mom who punished her 11-year-old daughter for “twerking” at a school dance in which the school itself did nothing about. And some people think the preacher has no reason to still talk about the spiritual dangers of dancing to young people???
I for one was glad to actually read about a mother in the news that was trying to actually instill some self-respect into her daughter. I don’t know anything about the woman’s spiritual condition, but what I do know is that she obviously has some kind parental radar that’s actually turned on!
Parents need to put their foot down every once in a while when it comes to their kids, and it doesn’t need to stop as long as they are living under your roof. That’s right, your child needs to know who’s paying the bills, who’s buying the food, and who’s in charge of everything from their media diet, to the clothes they wear and right down to body that wears them until the baby bird leaves the nest.
I’m not saying kids shouldn’t have any freedom of expression – what I’m saying is that when they fail to show necessary discretion then it’s time for the parent to reserve the right of censorship, guidance and discipline!
If a parent refuses to put their foot down when it’s needed then the result will be a child that walks all over the parent. And if any parent thinks they’re doing their child a favor by being their friend instead of their parent or by not being proactive and reactive to the bad decisions they make, then they’re doing their child a disservice on multiple levels.
And parents, please, please, please don’t fall into the lame trap and so-called excuse that says, “Well, I did it when I was a kid so I can’t say anything about it.”
Just because you made a mistake doesn’t mean you’re not allowed to learn from that mistake or that you’re not obligated to try to instill some wiser wisdom learned from those mistakes into others. I just used a double, yes, even a triple negative in the previous sentence, but that doesn’t mean I can’t tell my daughter that it’s improper English to do so! It’s on me if I fail to warn my daughter about the dangers and stupidity of my past mistakes – and it’s on me if I stand by and allow her to intentionally make the same decisions because of some supposed hypocrisy accusation from her or anyone else. A person who calls that hypocrisy has no idea about what the word actually means!
Parents put your foot down as you raise up your child!
“Give your heart to teaching, and your ears to the words of knowledge. Do not keep back training from the child: for even if you give him blows with the rod, it will not be death to him. Give him blows with the rod, and keep his soul safe from the underworld. My son, if your heart becomes wise, I, even I, will be glad in heart; And my thoughts in me will be full of joy when your lips say right things. Have no envy of sinners in your heart, but keep in the fear of the Lord all through the day; For without doubt there is a future, and your hope will not be cut off. Give ear, my son, and be wise, guiding your heart in the right way. Do not be among those who give themselves to wine-drinking, or among those who make themselves full with meat: For those who take delight in drink and feasting will come to be in need; and through love of sleep a man will be poorly clothed. Give ear to your father whose child you are, and do not keep honour from your mother when she is old. Get for yourself that which is true, and do not let it go for money; get wisdom and teaching and good sense.” (Proverbs 23:12-23 – BBE)
Here’s a bare bones sermon outline based off a commonly used saying that I plan on preaching sometime in the future, Lord willing that is. Give it a look and see what you think:
Would You Look At That?
There are some things the Bible encourages us to not look at, but at the same time there are some things it encourages us to look at. Here are just a few:
We are to look at the things that are not seen (2 Corinthians 4:18)
We are to look out for things beneficial to others (Philippians 2:4)
We are to look for the return of Christ (Titus 2:13; Hebrews 9:28)
We are to look into the Law of liberty (James 1:25)
We are to look for new heavens and earth (2 Peter 2:13)
We are to look inward (2 John 8)
There are other verses in the Bible that follow this theme so there’s plenty of room and opportunity to add and to take away from the references given. And besides this outline, you can make another one by doing just the opposite and looking up the things that I mentioned when it comes to the Bible and things we’re encouraged to not look at.
There is no other book so varied as the Bible nor one so full of concentrated wisdom. Whether it be of law, business, morals or that vision which leads the imagination in the creation of constructive enterprises for the happiness of mankind, he who seeks for guidance – may look inside its covers to find illumination. As a nation, we are indebted to the Book of books for our national ideals and representative institutions.
What does the new year hold? Trying to keep my household above water financially, writing more Bible study articles, and devoting more time to prayer, asking God’s guidance and direction for my life, and the life of my family.