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Archive for the ‘Crisis’ Category

“Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?” — God (Job 1:8)

When one thinks of suffering, Job traditionally comes to mind. Even God said that among people he was “perfect”. Yet, God allowed Job to go through troubles that make thinking people cringe. Why?

God does not answer that question directly but, like a good teacher, he leaves clues for those who really want to know.

Among those “in the earth” Job was as good as it gets but there has only ever been one completely free of sin and self — and it wasn’t you, me, or even Job.

“And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none.” — God (Ezekiel 22:30)

As good as Job was, there were things that could only be learned through extended emotionally difficult times. During these seasons compassion is learned, God’s ability and desire to do all the carrying, all the heavy lifting, all the providing is learned. We learn how to focus on God’s approval, to be attentive to his ways. We learn how to pray.

These things we must learn to walk with God and they can only be learned by walking with God through suffering. Strange as it may seem, it was God’s goodness that allowed Job to go through the difficulties. Job not only ended up with twice as much as he had before but he ended up with a changed heart, too.

Something to think about.

— fritz.
Related Post: “Job’s Misunderstanding” – May 31, 2011

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Whence should we have so much bread in the wilderness, as to fill so great a multitude? And Jesus saith unto them, How many loaves have ye? And they said, Seven, and a few little fishes … And they that did eat were four thousand men, beside women and children. — Matthew 16:33

Many don’t know this was the second time Jesus fed a multitude — the first was reported two chapters earlier.

So similar are the two that some think they were the same event. Not so, the timeline and details are different. What is the same is the disciples first reaction — “What?!”, they said both times, “Where are we going to get the food?!”

We stand amazed at those forgetful, faithless disciples — ’till we realize we do the same thing. No?

What is our first response to another danger or need? How often are we in disarray even after God just took care of our last crisis?

God can do again what he did before. We didn’t become too old, too sinful, or too anything to prevent God’s grace in Christ.

I’ve been carrying you on my back from the day you were born, And I’ll keep on carrying you when you’re old … I’ve done it and will keep on doing it, carrying you on my back, saving you.” — Isaiah 45:4 (Message Bible)

— fritz

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[Jesus] saith unto them, They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. – Mark 2:17b

Christ appears to be supporting the idea that religion is a “crutch” only for those who are lame and a cure only for those who are sick.

You could think that, if you were unaware of the Bible’s view of humanity.

“The LORD looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God. They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one.” – Psalm 14:2-4

The audience for Jesus’ discourse was fully aware, being scribes and pharisees. He was telling them in a backhanded way that everyone needs God’s forgiveness and real change. Sadly, only the ones who recognize their need sign up.

Bill Watterson expresses this same idea in one of his Calvin and Hobbs cartoon strips:

Calvin and Hobbs (click to enlarge)

But change is possible! I remember when my dad had so much pain he finally went to the doctor and was told it was his gall bladder. After that he radically changed his diet, lost weight and kept it off for years, and survived. He needed to do that much sooner, and knew it, but the change did not happen until motivated.

Get motivated now, why wait?

Prayer: Jesus, you are the healer for those not ashamed to admit their need! Come and work real change in my life for the good.
Sound Bite: Jesus heals those not too proud to admit they are sick.

– fritz@langgang.com

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>Crisis Management?

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“And when ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars, be ye not troubled…” – Mark 11:7

“Troubled”– it seems everyone wants to get us frightened by some crisis. From the weather to the nations, everything is in “crisis management”!

Jesus told HIS followers NOT to be troubled. It doesn’t mean we don’t care, it doesn’t mean we don’t act, but we choose not to be in a crisis.

God is our Father, he is personally caring for us, he will give us peace and wise actions to take at the right time.

-fritz

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My dad, a plasterer, built and patched plaster, cement, and Stucco walls and ceilings. On small weekend jobs he would sometimes take me with him to “help”.

Fixing a bathroom wall in one of Houston’s underground walkways, he started beating around the patch area with a hammer. “Why are you breaking off more plaster”, I protested, “we are supposed to be fixing the wall not making it worse!” More plaster veneer continued to fall.

That’s when he taught me something I never forgot.

He told me he was not beating hard enough to damage the wall but that he had to remove what was already loose because if he patched over it the loose part would eventually fail and the blemish would be worse than ever. Removing the loose stuff was part of fixing the problem.

Sometimes we ask Jesus to fix our problem(s) and matters seem to get worse. We feel like the banging of life takes away more than we had hoped and we wonder why God would allow, even seem to purposely make, more to happen.

That’s when we need to remember He IS fixing the problem. He is only removing what would fall away anyway. He is ensuring his “Patch” (don’t go off on a tangent about the term “patch”) will hold. The repair is coming, be patient and confident.

“Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven. And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear:” – Hebrews 12:26b-28 (KJV)

– fritz

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