Keep aloof from strife

“It is an honor for a man to keep aloof from strife, but every fool will be quarreling.” (Proverbs 20:3)

Some might consider a person who backs away from confrontation a coward. The Proverbs say he is worthy of honor. You might even say it is the brave thing to do. Why not be in the same mind as the Sinless One who, “when he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly”?

Overlooking an offense

“Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense.” —Proverbs 19:11

To hide one’s own sin from God is his shame. It’s useless, debilitating, hurtful, destructive. To confess and forsake one’s sin is the guaranteed pathway to mercy (28:13). And once you know His mercy—once you have received the abundance of grace, the eternal redemption, the complete forgiveness of Christ—you are all the more equipped, and all the more obligated, to be merciful to others. How can we justify harboring anger for others, continually recounting their sin, when God so brutally appeased His own holy wrath in order to forget ours?

God Understands Depression

Nobody understands depression like God does. Call out to Him. You will not be disappointed if you do.

“I am utterly bowed down and prostrate;
all the day I go about mourning.
For my sides are filled with burning,
and there is no soundness in my flesh.
I am feeble and crushed;
I groan because of the tumult of my heart.
O Lord, all my longing is before you;
my sighing is not hidden from you.
My heart throbs; my strength fails me,
and the light of my eyes—it also has gone from me.
My friends and companions stand aloof from my plague,
and my nearest kin stand far off.” —Psalms 38:6-11

“But for you, O Lord, do I wait;
it is you, O Lord my God, who will answer.” —Psalms 38:15

He Examines All Your Paths

“For your ways are in full view of the Lord, and he examines all your paths.” (Proverbs 5:21 NIV)

There is no place you can go, no path you can take, where God cannot see. This ought to serve as both a warning and an encouragement. Throughout my day, God sees me. Even more convicting, God is with me.

Yet if this were the only knowledge of God I had, I suppose it would mean little. If I didn’t know His holiness, the fact that He sees my sin would not terrify me. If I didn’t know His love, the fact that He sees my trouble would be of no comfort. But in all things He is perfect, He is present, He is near, He is approachable.

May we daily live in the knowledge that He is ever faithful to examine all our paths.

Take heart, Jesus has overcome the world

I understand (I really do) people’s heart and desire to preach the gospel in light of the tragedy at Newtown. However, please be careful and sensitive in the presentation–saying that it all happened because God has been taken out of schools sounds an awful lot like Job’s friends telling him that God was punishing him for his sins.

We are not obligated nor commanded to explain why it happened (since honestly, we don’t know). But we can say with certainty, Jesus loves with unfailing love. Jesus forgives with everlasting forgiveness. And His promise is eternal life, where there are no more tears, no more sorrow, no more suffering.

In this world, no matter what, you will have tribulation. But take heart, Jesus has overcome the world. We have a hope that, in the midst of unexplainable, unthinkable suffering, is an anchor for our soul. That anchor is ready and available for any and for all who call on His name.

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