Saturday, April 9, 2016

"Poison Or Peace"

"Poison Or Peace"

    Disappointment quickly morphs into bitterness if we do not respond to our Heavenly Father's working in us to trust and obey Him when things don't go as we desire.

    "My soul is weary of my life; I will leave my complaint upon myself; I will speak in the bitterness of my soul" (Job 10:1).
    "Let all bitterness… be put away from you" (Ephesians 4:31).

    Certainly we understand the challenge faced by battered Job regarding his weariness of life.  More importantly, the Lord knew the pains of His child in a completeness of caring far beyond any empathy and sympathy we feel.  "Thou, o Lord, art a God full of compassion" (Psalm 86:15).  Job likely did not know this about the Lord, and certainly did not understand God's caring to the degree that informs Bible-possessing Christians.  Thus, Job's disappointments led to his leaving his complaint upon himself rather than "casting all your care upon Him, for He careth for you" (I Peter 5:7).  This resulted in bitterness of soul, a condition that did Job nor anyone else no favors, unless we consider the lesson we learn from Job of how not to respond in hours of great trial (it does, however, bear mention that Job, by God's grace, did pass the ultimate test of his challenge.  He never cursed God to His face, as Satan sought to elicit in the Lord's servant - Job 1:11; 2:5).

    We are far better quipped than Job to face the disappointments of life.  Again, the blessing of the Bible graces us with its promise of God's "very present help in trouble" either directly stated or tacitly implied on every page from Genesis to Revelation (Psalm 46:1).  We also possess the indwelling Holy Spirit and the power of His leading and enabling in all things (II Peter 1:3).  Moreover, the fellowship and example of believers through the ages and with whom we live our lives bears witness to the power that prevents disappointment from proceeding to bitterness (Ephesians 3:17).  Thus, we do not leave our complaints upon ourselves, but rather approach the throne of grace in confidence that our Heavenly Father works out His Biblically-assured purposes in all things (Hebrews 4:16).

    Bitterness poisons the soul, both of ourselves if we entertain its galling presence, and of others affected by the foul stream that flows from unbelief.  "I complained, and my spirit was overwhelmed… Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled" (Hebrews 12:15).  Thus, we seek always to transform our disappointments into opportunities for faith rather than descents into darkness.  We will find our Lord's comforts more than enough to keep our hearts and minds from the poison, and more than enough to fill our hearts and minds with peace.  

"Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee, because he trusteth in Thee."
(Isaiah 26:3)
"My meditation of Him shall be sweet.  I will be glad in the Lord."
(Psalm 104:34)

Weekly Memory Verse
   Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body.
(Hebrews 13:3)


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