A shelter from the dificulties of life


Thoughts about God and other neat things.


    With all the unspeakable sadness we hear about, man's inhumanity to man, disrespecting of our preborn,and desertion of family values, we long for God to pour our His Spirit over all the lands. A prayer fellowship at my home church is praying for salvation for those who are lost, for revival for our land, and for the needs of our nation.

     Almost 40 years ago, I heard a pastor's wife pose the question, "What would happen to our land if everyone started putting God first in their lives?"  I think of this question often and wonder how conditions would be different if people were to start practicing this thought.



Jesus and Emotions

Mark 3:1-6

           Mark 3:4 caught my attention. “He looked around at them in anger and deeply distressed.” I am familiar with the passages of Mark 6:34 and Mark 8:2 “Jesus had compassion on them.” and “I have compassion for these people.”

            I had not focused on Jesus’ emotions beyond compassion before. I know the story of Jesus in the temple when he took care of the moneychangers. I have come to marvel at this story of His ministry. (Matt 21:13;Mark 11:15-18) But I could only guess that Jesus was angry.

            In Mark 3, the Pharisees have confronted Jesus. A man with a shriveled hand was present in the Synagogue; the Pharisees were watching Jesus closely to see if He would heal this man on the Sabbath. Jesus asked them one question, but they remained silent.

            It was then that Jesus became angry and distressed, a result of the hardness of the Pharisees’ hearts. He might have expected the question of the Sabbath; it came up quite a bit. But what angered Jesus was the stubbornness of their hearts.

            Jesus knew emotions; he experienced all the emotions we can have. This magnifies the passage in Hebrews 4 “We do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses.”

            This idea of Jesus knowing and understanding emotions helps me when we, His children, have problems.



God’s Focus or Our Focus


          There are times in our lives where we experience events that don’t turn out as we believe they should. When these happen, we can be devastated. We didn’t get the promotion or the job we thought we deserved. We wanted something nicer than what we received for our birthday.

            We tell someone about the bad feeling we have. “I should have gotten that. . .  because. . . .”  What we don’t always realize is that God  may have other plans for us. Maybe that promotion could bring more stress into our lives. That job you want might not be what He has in mind for you.

            We might even argue with God. “But, God. . . I would be perfect for that position.”  “God. . .  I could do that job better than the one who’s doing it now.” When we debate with God we show selfish pride. We also disrespect God.

            Those around us suffer physical or emotional hurts and we react. We say things purely from our point of view. Like the friends of Job, we open more wounds for the  victims. They become more confused due to our misguiding them.  There again, we are operating from what we want to say.

            But when we follow the Lord, we belong to Him. We view all events and happenings through His eyes.  He becomes our guide in how to think. We learn to react to stimulus as He desires. 

            The process of changing our focus is a part of sanctification. Jesus, through the Holy Spirit, sets us apart from our past habits and points of view to allow us to reflect Him.  It is our job to yield to the workings of the Holy Spirit. It is His to change us into who we are to become.