Someone wisely observed, “God will never let anything come your way that you and He can’t handle.” What makes this a wise statement is the phrase “and He.” Too many times people will claim that God won’t bring anything into your life that you can’t handle, but that simply isn’t true. There are many things that happen to us in this life that we would not be able to overcome them, except for the grace of God. Thus, I believe there are times that God allows some pretty big and tough situations to come our way because He knows we can’t handle it. Those specific circumstances are designed to point us up back to Him. Why would God do that? Because many times we become independent in our own eyes and we forget that we desperately need God in everything we do. So yes, I do believe that you can handle anything that comes your way, but only if God is with you as you go through it.
It’s been said, “It does no good for a person to sit up and take notice if he just keeps on sitting.” How many times have we seen a need and fail to act on it? We may even have had good intentions, but never got around to acting on them. The Bible has something to say about this kind of behavior. “Because of laziness the roof caves in, and because of negligent hands the house leaks.” – Ecclesiastes 10:18 CSB. Neglecting to act when we see a need can be costly. If we were honest, many times we don’t act in the name of being “too busy,” yet when we examine what we are busy doing, it really wasn’t that important. What a waste of a great opportunity. So don’t allow laziness or business keep you from taking action when it is needed. In the end, you will find that you actually took time to make a difference.
Someone once said, “A highbrow is one who is educated beyond his intelligence.” Too many people in the world have a very warped perception of themselves. Yes, there are those who have a very poor opinion of who they are, but this is not healthy nor is it the social norm. However, I believe there are far more people who think too highly of themselves then they should. This is a trait that is unbecoming and it too is very unhealthy, especially for the Christian. The Apostle Paul gave us a very helpful warning on this when he wrote, “Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us.” – Romans 12:3b NLT. You see no amount of education or social status matters in the eyes of Christ. We are each equally guilty of sin and each Christian has come to faith only by the Grace of God. So the next time we are tempted to exercise the “highbrow”, we need to remember we are not as great as we might think
It’s been said, “All we are guaranteed is the pursuit of happiness; you have to catch up with it yourself.” We all desire to be happy. Yet those things in life that seem to bring us delight are very fleeting. Where do we pursue lasting happiness? In the Bible, the same word translated “blessed” can also be translated “happy.” I think that is a very telling fact because it tells me that blessed people are happy people. Therefore, to find lasting happiness, we must follow the lifestyle that brings to us God’s blessings. The only way to achieve that is to turn to the principles of Scripture. For instance, we are told, “Happy are those who don’t listen to the wicked, who don’t go where sinners go, who don’t do what evil people do. They love the Lord’s teachings, and they think about those teachings day and night.” – Psalm 1:1-2 NCV. So the secret to true happiness is not found in the pleasures of our physical life, but in the blessings that come from loving and living for the Lord.
It’s been said, “The surest sign that a man is not great is when he strives to look great.” Every man has a craving to be great, but the man who grows in Christ learns that these cravings for greatness are rooted in the flesh. For once a man comes to a saving relationship with Christ; he finds that all of life is no longer about him. He now lives in the reality that it is all about Jesus. So whether he becomes a man widely known in the community or he remains a man of obscurity, his eternal goal is to make Jesus great and not himself. This is the idea of glory. The natural desire is to keep glory for ourselves, but it is the Christian’s responsibility to reflect glory forward to Jesus Christ. This is not easily done, yet it is our true responsibility. We must remember that being great in the temporal means nothing in the eternal. It really is all about Him!
Someone once asked, “If you were another person, would you like to have yourself for a friend?” That is a very good question. True friendship is one of the most valuable gifts on the planet. To have someone who truly cares for you, that is not obligated because he is a relative or because he owes you anything, is truly one of life’s great blessings. Yet how many times have pushed our friends away due to our own selfishness or pettiness? The Bible teaches us that true friendship is an act of love. “A friend loves at all times” – Proverbs 17:17a (ESV). But we can’t sit around and wait for our friends to show love to us first. No, we are called to love “at all times”, which means we are to show love to our friends even when they aren’t that lovely. So if you find that all your friends are letting you down or disappearing, then it might be time to take a long look in the mirror. After all, you are the one who is in control of how you treat those precious jewels called friends.
Someone once pointed out, “Nature couldn’t make us perfect, so she did the next best thing; she made us blind to our faults.” While I don’t particularly think “nature” in the physical since causes this condition of thinking, I do believe the sin nature does do that very thing. We are each born with a sin nature and from that, we have an ingrained bent towards selfishness and pride. The Scriptures make it clear that those who trust in Christ are freed from sin and are even considered dead to sin. However, ask any Christian and if he were honest he would tell you that he still struggles with what the Bible calls the “flesh.” When we give into the cravings of the flesh, we are prone over look our faults, while at the same time, fool ourselves into thinking that those around us are worse off. This type of behavior is wrong and hypocritical. We are not perfect, but believers are called to follow our perfect Lord. In order to do this faithfully, we must have some honest self-evaluations. We must be willing to look at our lives through the lenses of Scripture and when we find anything that doesn’t line up with the Word of God, we must repent of it and change course. So friends don’t become blind to your faults, but instead, allow the Holy Spirit to polish off your rough edges so that you can be the masterpiece God desires you to be.
Years ago someone observed, “There isn’t much to talk about at parties these days until one or two couples go home.” Now as you read that you may chuckle, but it also has a stinging truth to it as well. We have all given into the temptation of talking about other people when they aren’t around. Sharing the faults of others gives us an unsettling delight. For in those brief moments we set ourselves in a high and lofty position over those we are talking about. Pointing out their flaws, makes us feel a little higher on the perfection latter. However, if we were truly honest, we would see that our high self-regard is really only true in our own eyes. Those “friends” that we are sharing juicy judgmental comments with are prone to share juicy judgmental comments about us behind our backs. Sadly, many of their comments may very well be true. Yet we must remember that it is not our place to find glee from our friends and fellow Christians’ short comings. We have been called by God to edify or build up on another in the Lord, however pointing out others’ specks while ignoring the logs in our own eyes only brings damage. So the next time a conversation drifts to throwing stones at other, turn to the old adage “if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.”
Someone once said, “When all the affairs of life are said and done, there is more said than done.” At the end of it all, what we achieve is far more important than what we dream. Good intentions are fine, but proven results are what makes a difference and what lasts. Yes, failure to plan is foolish, but only planning is even worse. This applies to all areas of our lives; our private lives, our professional lives, and our spiritual lives. Too many times we hear a message from God’s word and we think, “I ought to put that into practice.” Sadly, however, that is as far as we get to accomplishing God’s word in our lives. We must take up the charge from James when he tells us, “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.” – James 1:22 ESV. So don’t be deceived by just thinking about doing good things with your life, get busy doing it!
It’s been said, “It’s never the fall that injures; it’s the sudden stop.” While that is obviously true in the physical life, it is also true in the spiritual life as well. Many times we don’t realize we are falling into temptation and poor choices until it is already harmfully too late. In our present culture, society seems to salivate over the juicy stories of people, particularly Christians, who find themselves injured after a sudden stop with sin. The natural reaction from the world is to point fingers, judge, and ridicule. Yet this is not the ways of our great God. Yes, sin does disappoint and break the heart of God, but like any loving father, our God is there to pick us back up. He wants to lovingly dust off our dirty past and heal our brokenness. While we are prone to run and hide from God when we fall, what we must really do is humbly seek His love and forgiveness. Yes, we may bear scars for the rest of our lives from our sinful actions, but by God amazing grace, He can even use our broken past for His glory. So if you have found yourself in the middle of a sudden stop, let God pick you back up.