We are fully capable of doing this for decades, but there eventually comes a point where the days ahead are few and the memories behind are abundant. External appearances are often deceptive, and this is why God looks at the heart. A few years ago, I attended the funeral of one of the most extraordinary people I have ever known. Exodus 14:14. Each choice, whether to obey or resist, makes the next one possible. (This information is now available on audio CD!) He's with you through the entire process, even when you're exhausted and feel as if you've been traveling for so long. Some of them, like disciplined and devotional spirituality, are rooted in historical traditions, but others simply portray hands-on applications of Christian principles. Almost everyone we meet lives with some kind of hope, some reason for getting up each morning and going on with life. The best metaphor for life as a whole and for the spiritual life in particular is that of a journey. As David leaves Jerusalem, he speaks with one of the military leaders traveling out of the city. He created the process to make the promise even better. Where is this taking place? Rahab the harlot had little knowledge about the God of Israel, but applied the knowledge she had (Hebrews 11:31; James 2:25); the Pharisees knew the Scriptures but rejected God’s purposes. Our text shows us God’s work and God’s workers in process. These tips to improve your mental wellbeing are for you. But the fact is that we are as incapable of changing ourselves through our own efforts as we are of manipulating God to transform us more quickly. In their helpful book, A Layman’s Guide to Applying the Bible, Walt Henrichsen and Gayle Jackson describe four kinds of people: those with no hope, those who have a misplaced hope, those who have an ill-defined hope, and those who have a proper hope. But I submit that this new convert, who knew little but applied what little he knew, was more pleasing to the heart of God with his ungainly prayers than a person who is eloquent in public prayer but is harboring unconfessed sin. You made men ride over our heads; We went through fire and through water, Yet You brought us out into a place of abundance. The venerable Bede portrayed human existence without the resurrection as a bird that flies out of complete darkness into a window of a brilliantly lighted banqueting hall, only to dart briefly across the light and music of the hall and fly out another window into the blackness of night. The preparation process is rigorous and requires discipline. I believe the reason so many can swallow the camel of eternity and strain at the gnats of the temporal is that this earth seems so real to them while heaven seems so vague and distant. The Search OF the Savior: Why Jesus Came, Part 2 (Gal. (KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS) Genesis 38:12 And in process of time the daughter of Shuah Judah's wife died; and Judah was comforted, and went up unto his sheepshearers to Timnath, he and his friend Hirah the Adullamite. There are songs that say this and people say this over and over, but no one ever really listens. He feels supreme love for One whom he has never seen; talks familiarly every day to Someone he cannot see; expects to go to heaven on the virtue of Another; empties himself in order to be full; admits he is wrong so he can be declared right; goes down in order to get up; is strongest when he is weakest; richest when he is poorest and happiest when he feels the worst. Several movies and shows that will make you look forward to a new year. When we learn to see our past in light of our future, we see that our past has relevance, but our future reforms our past and determines who we are. The new year is almost here, which means that we can finally say goodbye to the year 2020! This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator. As humans, we want to rush this. While her family grieves her passing, their sorrow is tempered by an unflinching hope in the promises and character of God (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). .” A. W. Tozer wrote that “we must face today as children of tomorrow. If they had reached their destination without trials, they would feel as if they had done it through their own strength, not God's. A fundamental choice is a choice in which you commit yourself to a basic life orientation or a basic state of being. I am not saying that being alive to the ongoing process implies the elimination of planning and goal setting. The Refining Process God has to remove the impurities from our lives that hold us back from going all the way with Him. And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him” (Hebrews 11:1, 6). This is why Paul added the positive statement, “reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” This is a metaphor of a runner who strains his body in his determination to win the race. Now that the semester is officially over, we're able to actually sit back and enjoy the holidays for a bit. Love is the greatest virtue because it is the application of faith and hope to our relationships in the present: Positional(Deliverance from the Penalty of Sin), Progressive(Deliverance from the Power of Sin), Ultimate(Deliverance from the Presence of Sin). Americans have found themselves anxious about the pandemic, the election, and financial uncertainties. I meet many people who want to move into their destiny, not realizing that they must develop into their destiny. In the same way, the heroes of faith listed in Hebrews 11 welcomed the promises of God from a distance and longed for a reward that was unseen by earthly eyes. In Christ, we enjoy forgiveness of sins (past) and anticipation of heaven (future). When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.’ God doesn’t promise that a life with Him will be perfect because you will still be going through trails however He has promised that He will always protect you and be with you. But we don’t want to hurry God; He wants us to go through the process. As followers of the Way (Acts 9:2; 19:9; 19:23; 22:4; 24:14, 22), we are travelers on a quest, a voyage, an odyssey, a pilgrimage. As a qu… Paul revealed his heart when he wrote to the saints in Philippi of his longing for completeness in his relationship to Christ: “Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:13-14). It is to learn to respond to God’s providential care in deepening ways and to accept the pilgrim character of earthly existence with its uncertainties, setbacks, disappointments, surprises, and joys. This aspiration animates our present, makes us alive to the process of daily experience, and informs our planning. He created the process to make the promise even better. Imagine being secluded with a handful of handsome men for a few weeks, and your only focus is finding out who you match with the best. Jennifer Kustanovich, SUNY Stony Brook5. We must always trust that God has a plan and He has a reason for allowing something to happen. DAVID – “How to Live Through a Crisis” 3 C. REDUCE THE RISK OF INJURY TO OTHERS 1. Each “today” in Christ can be animated by an eschatological spirituality of hope. Sometimes it seems as if our destination is deceitfully close. Those who know Jesus are by no means immune to the problem of misplaced hope. Worldly hope tells us to pursue passing pleasures, but biblical hope warns us not to sell ourselves so cheaply. What was Paul’s vow? We can certainly attain an increasing level of spiritual maturity, yet we cannot truly complete the process until changed into God—until our human nature has been totally changed. It is a faith founded on fact, and there are credible answers to the intellectual barriers that are often erected against Christianity. The process is part of the vision. Many of us are tempted to bypass grace and take matters into our own hands as we seek some method, technique, seminar, or experience that will give us the results we want when we want them. Faith is only as good as the object in which it is placed. It also focuses on what it means to abide in Christ and to practice His presence. An understanding of the power, depth, and perfection of His plan must be acknowledged by you and me. I heard the testimony of an Atlanta businessman who described an experience he had before putting his faith in Christ. You can really meet the love of your life on a dating app, and I know that because I did almost four years ago. . In a culture that promotes instant gratification, it can be wearisome for us to wait patiently for God’s timing. We can’t do it on our own. In this way, we avoid the common pitfalls of camping permanently in denial or of camping permanently in sorrow. When we can embrace that His plan and process, the best possible journey to be on, something happens. As nature teaches us, growth is not uniform—like a vine or a tree, there may be more growth in a single month than in all the rest of the year. He holds a B.S. “But now faith, hope, love, abide these three: but the greatest of these is love“ (1 Corinthians 13:13). First, read through a portion of Scripture and then go back and make some initial observations about it: Who are the characters? A Reminder that God is Sovereign (Isaiah 40) This reminder is one that, at first glance, can seem … We have been engrafted into the life of the ascended Lord, and as “partakers of the divine nature” (2 Peter 1:4), our life is “hidden with Christ in God” (Colossians 3:3). The process is very important, just like in a woman giving birth. Each trial they went through taught them that God's end promise was greater than anything they could imagine. But God uses times of adversity and few alternatives to bring us into contact with a hope that will not let us down. You brought us into the net; You laid an oppressive burden upon our loins. We can picture our end goal and almost see it; however, we're still 10,000 miles away. All of our … A. W. Tozer put it this way in The Root of the Righteous: A real Christian is an odd number, anyway. “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. Several months after giving her life to Christ, Emily Meredith was diagnosed with a brain tumor. It is when we find our refuge in Christ that we lay hold of a hope that is an anchor of the soul, a hope that will not disappoint because it is both sure and steadfast (Hebrews 6:18-19; 1 Peter 2:6). We just observed that faith and hope are linked together; faith takes the risk of commitment before knowledge, and hope gives us the reason for the risks of faith. Some existentialists counsel us to accept the idea that life is meaningless and to live with courage in spite of the absurdity of existence. By doing this, what seems like defeat will be a set up for victory. Indeed, we will fail and disobey and do many foolish and grievous things throughout the process, but fidelity means that we get up and return to Jesus each time we fall. The world’s agenda burdens us with a multiplicity of worries and “desires for other things” (Mark 4:19) that can never satisfy the spiritual hunger of the human heart. When we place our trust in Him, we can be sure that He will carry us safely to the other side. Our task is to place ourselves under the conditions favorable to growth and look to God for our spiritual formation. Those who trust in Christ are, in effect, “betting the farm” on His claims and credentials; they are hoping that what He has promised, He is able also to perform (Romans 4:21). The Good News: In heaven, we will feel no pain, no sorrow, and there will be no death. The problem is that even when we are able to attain these ends, we are already thinking of the next one down the road. As the gospels illustrate, knowing and believing in Christ is a dynamic process (consider the disciples in John 1, 2:11, and 16:30-31; the woman at the well in John 4; the man born blind in John 9; and Nicodemus in John 3, 7, and 19). 4:4-7), 3. Holiness relates to where we are now, not where we need to be later. This biblical hope provides us with stability and direction because it draws us toward the promises of God. For example, I’m Glad You Asked, a book I coauthored with Larry Moody, outlines the answers to twelve basic objections to Christianity. As Walker Percy observed in his novel Lancelot, “To live in the past and future is easy. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. Hope is a powerful biblical motivator because it is related to the promise of long-term gain. There are two telling lines in The Iliad of Homer that seem to encapsulate the worldview of Greek mythology: “Such is the way the gods spun life for unfortunate mortals, that we live in unhappiness, but the gods themselves have no sorrows.” We live in unhappiness and death ends all—with such a perspective, it is not surprising that many Greek thinkers sought refuge from absurdity in variations of Stoicism and Epicureanism. Though we cannot change the past, we can change our understanding of the past as we embrace the unconditional love of Christ who blesses us with forgiveness, healing, and restoration. The essence of walking in faith is acting on the conviction that God alone knows what is best for us and that He alone is able to accomplish it. Faith in Christ has the property of growing through acts of obedience, and an obedient faith results in a greater knowledge of God. However, it is through that process that God actually fulfills His promises. It takes time and discipline to “run with endurance the race that is set before us,” but this discipline must be set in a context of a transcendent hope and dependence upon the Spirit of Christ who indwells us and enables us to run in His victory. I. Unfortunately, this is where we often stop. Laundry-list legalism with its inventory of don’ts (the filthy five, the nasty nine, the dirty dozen) and do’s would measure such a person as carnal and disobedient. The component of knowledge in our faith will be enriched when we renew our minds with God’s truth, and this requires the discipline of regular personal time in the Scriptures. Kenneth Boa is engaged in a ministry of relational evangelism and discipleship, teaching, writing, and speaking. Being a believer does not make us immune to the process. Paul lets us in on a discipline that can revolutionize our lives: “one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead . “Each day has enough trouble of its own” (Matthew 6:34). Too many of us allow the present to be dominated by the regrets and the successes of the past. Recall from the introduction that I created the twelve categories in this book to reflect the various dimensions of biblical truth as they relate to practical experience on a personal and corporate level. Many have slipped into the trap of hoping in Christ for their eternal salvation and hoping in the world for everything else. Proverbs 3:5-10 is an exploration of that why. Thus, the meaning of the present is largely shaped by our understanding of our destiny. It is to remember that we are in a process of gradual conformity to the image of Christ so that we can love and serve others along the way. Since the inner life matures and becomes fruitful by the principle of growth ( 1 Peter 2:2; 2 Peter 3:18 ), time is a significant part of the process. When women hope first in their family, their possessions, or their social status to satisfy their longing for security and significance, they too will be disillusioned. Everyone assumes that those around them know how they are feeling and what they are thinking, but that's not always the case. This year has truly impacted everyone's mental health in every aspect. Through The Process, God Will Fulfill His Promises, 2020 Might Have Been The Worst Year Of All-Time—But Somehow, It Was Just What I Needed, I Met My Boyfriend On A Dating App, And I Don't Feel Ashamed At All, 3 Things Everyone Should Be Saying A Little More Often, The Top 10 Christmas Movies To Watch This, And Every, Holiday Season, 8 Ways To Cope With Your Mental Health Pandemic, 14 'Grey's Anatomy' Quotes That We Feel In Our 2020 Souls, Tayshia Adams Picked The Right Man, And I Won't Be Taking Any Questions At This Time. If the object is worthy of our faith, it will sustain us even when our faith is weak. The blood of Christ paid the penalty of sin, the cross of Christ overcomes the power of sin, and our resurrection in Christ will remove the presence of sin. Songs About Being 17Grey's Anatomy QuotesVine Quotes4 Leaf CloverSelf Respect, 1. It has been geographically mapped that the journey through the desert that the Israelites took to reach the promise land should have only taken three days, but it took them forty years. This process of genuine response to what God is doing in our lives is more critical than the visible product. If you're having doubts that this year won't be better, all of the upcoming movies coming to Disney+ will likely change your mind. We are called to be apprentices of Jesus in kingdom living, and this requires time, development, and patience. We live today between the cross and the resurrection, but even now Christ’s resurrection life empowers us to live and love in the present. Few people can live for long without some sense of hope. As people age, they start to realize how true it is to say things more often but also know when to hold back. The first step in our why is to acknowledge our God and His plans. “So I did,” he wisecracked. The only firm foundation for our hope is the unchanging character of the living God. Primary choices are choices about major results, and secondary choices help you take a step toward your primary result. But the gospel is more than forgiveness and eternal life: it is also the power to manifest kingdom living in the present. The dynamics of growth are inside-out rather than outside-in. Biblical faith is intrinsically bound up with hope because it is grounded in a Person we have not yet seen (see Romans 8:24-25 and 1 Peter 1:7-9). When you feel defeated and your destination seems to fade from view, the Bible says: "The Lord will fight for you, you need only to be still." For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.” 2 Corinthians 1:4-5 - Thank you Lord that through every weakness and hard place, your strength is displayed in our lives. If we trust our own wisdom, our hands are too full of ourselves to receive the gifts of God. from Dallas Theological Seminary, a Ph.D. from ... More, Happy New Year: Past, Present, and Future Perspectives, 4. But you can, through us. God had something incredible planned for them, but He wanted them to go through the process to reach that promise in order to be able to experience His love for them and to place their trust in Him. Luke raises a lot of questions that he doesn’t seem to answer. Seen in this light, the primary point of this earthly existence is preparation for our eternal citizenship in heaven (cf. Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim” (1 Corinthians 9:25-26; see Acts 20:24; 2 Timothy 4:7-8). Here are three insights I've learned that can help you make progress toward your goals, plans and visions during dormant seasons. 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