Archive for Proverbs

Anger and Bitterness part 7- Words of Encouragement

“Yes, if you forgive others for their sins, your Father in heaven will also forgive you for your sins.” Matthew 6:14

The bible says that we forgive others, even when they have really wronged us, God will forgive us when we have really wronged him. See how that works? Be treated how you want to be treated. If you put aside such anger and the harsh feelings, God will put aside his anger when it comes to the bad things you have done. It can help to make you right with God again.

“Patience is better than strength. Controlling your temper is better than capturing a city.” Proverbs 16:32

You want to know why patience is better than strength, much better than capturing a city? Because being patient is so difficult! This verse is saying that it is such a triumph to develop patience with people and with the Lord, because in reality, it’s hard to be patient. We all want things, we want God to listen to us and do the things we want him to do, at the time we want him to do it. But one really hard lesson I am learning is that God won’t work that way. He will put you in situations that make you wait for him to move; that make you completely trust him. I really feel that way in my life right now: like I can’t get anywhere or do anything or really live at all if God doesn’t act first. He is teaching me to be more patient. Sometimes, we get so angry at God when he doesn’t listen to us, but he is teaching us to be patient, teaching us that he does things when he is ready, and not necessarily when we feel ready.

“My friends, do not try to punish others when they wrong you, but wait for God to punish them with his anger. It is written: ‘I will punish those who do wrong; I will repay them,’ says the Lord.” Romans 12:19

Guys, this is true. When people treat us badly and act horribly towards us, we don’t need to go out of our way to punish them. God sees the things that they do; he sees the things everyone does. We can’t hide anything from him, he knows all that is in our hearts. And he will judge those guilty as guilty. He knows who walks with him, who lives for him. The bible also says,

“They are blessed who realize their spiritual poverty, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to them. They are blessed who grieve, for God will comfort them. They are blessed who are humble, for the whole earth will be theirs. They are blessed who hunger and thirst after justice, for they will be satisfied. They are blessed who show mercy to others, for God will show mercy to them. They are blessed whose thoughts are pure, for they will see God. They are blessed who work for peace, for they will be called God’s children. They are blessed who are persecuted for doing good, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to them. People will insult you and hurt you. They will lie and say all kinds of evil things about you because you follow me. But when they do, you will be blessed. Rejoice and be glad, because you have a great reward waiting for you in heaven.” Matthew 5:2-12

God will reward those who work hard for him. If we trust in the Lord, when we grieve, God will ultimately comfort us. A lot of times, it’s not instant comfort, but if we keep trusting in him, he will bring us that comfort. When we are humble and put others before ourselves and look out for others, God will lift us up. He will make the proud last, and the humble first. God does opposite things like that. If we seek out justice, God will satisfy us. If we seek out evil, things will not go well for us. God knows when we have pure thoughts, like I said, he knows what is in our hearts. When we work for peace in the world, while holding on to our faith strongly, we truly are the children of God. God loves it when we work for the good of others. And in many different ways, he will let us know that he loves it. People will persecute us. People will say bad things about us.

But if we pursue God even when our worlds seem to be crumbling (which they often do), God will reward us, and we will be a blessing to others, rewarding others with the good that is in our hearts. I try my best to live like this every day; pursuing God, even when my world seems endlessly difficult. Jesus says we don’t need to worry because in this world, bad things will happen, but we should have faith because he has overcome the world. He has overcome all of our problems, before we even have them. He has overcome all of our struggles and worries, before we even begin to struggle or worry. He has overcome all of our sins, before we even begin to desire the sin in our hearts. Trust in God because he is bigger than you, and he can easily handle things that are impossible for us to handle.

Holding on to bitterness and anger prevents God from using us in his awesome and mighty plan. We come to a screeching halt in our relationship with God. We hold on to past things that have happened, and we stop loving and refuse to care for certain people, and then it’s like a ripple effect in our lives. It effects the things we do, how we view the world, what’s in our hearts, and ultimately, how we decide to live our lives. Be encouraged by knowing that Jesus has already overcome the world! He has overcome your world, my world, his world, her world, their worlds, every one’s. We just have to begin to trust that, and then he can reveal that to us!

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

Jesus is your: Friend!

“Some friends may ruin you, but a real friend will be more loyal than a brother.” Proverbs 18:24

This is soooo true! We must be careful with whom we become friends. A friend can either bring you down, or help you up, allowing you to become a better person in the end. A bad friend can get you into all kinds of trouble, get into bad habits (such as drugs, smoking, sex). They can actually cause you despair and ruin opportunities for you. These people get so close to you that you don’t even realize how much they are bringing you down. You have to step back and away from them to see how they really aren’t good for you.

But then, there are good friends, who help make you wiser, stronger, and they encourage you and give you all kinds of love. They try to lead you in the right direction, they are really there to help you. I want friends such as these, I want to be a good friend like this to somebody.

While in this world, we have to be very careful in making friends and deciding who is good or who isn’t good for us to be around, Jesus is always a good friend. Always a great friend! He is never afraid to be honest with us, tell us where we are messing up. He holds us accountable for the things we do. He guides us and makes us stronger by what we suffer.

He teaches and disciplines us… he also loves us, gives us peace at times, wants what is best for us, and actually knows what is best for us. He leads us to very uncomfortable places when we follow him, but these experiences ultimately help to build us up. When we can’t depend on others, we can depend on him. Strong, courageous, genuine, AWESOME!!

I pray that you surround yourselves with good friends, and be a good friend to others. More than anything, I pray that you discover what an incredible friend Jesus is.

Paradox: Become Greater By Becoming Less

We, as human beings, want to be treated like we are the greatest people ever. In our own sinful, selfish nature, we naturally want to put ourselves before others, be taken care of first, put everyone else second. We say “my life is about ME, ME, ME.” In our walk with Christ, our own evil heart wants to be the center of attention, we want to make decisions for OUR lives, we don’t want Jesus to make them for us. WE want to lead. WE always have the answers.

But that’s an interesting paradox when it comes to living for Jesus:

“Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Matthew 10:26-28

We must put ourselves last to become first. To Christ, humility shows much greater strength and deserves much more honor than pride does. A proud man in God’s sight is a wicked man, he is about himself, not concerned with the wellbeing of others, so long as he gets what he desires.

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:3-11

So essentially, because Christ, who in his nature is God, decided to humble himself and be a servant and serve others, rather than trying to be equal with God the Father, God made him the greatest person, ruling over all the others. Because of his complete humility and obedience and willingness to be beneath others, God honored him and gave him glory and gave him everything.

Strange paradox, but true. When we fight the desire in our heart to be first, and instead truly desire to serve others, help them when they are in need, show them how to live upright lives for God, and take care of their needs before we worry about our own, God will take care of us. When we make ourselves like nothing, we will bring him glory and he will honor us, and we will be the most blessed.

It’s because God admires humility so much. When we put others first, he puts us first. He loves humility because when we are humble, he really gets to be in charge of our lives, and we help others more, love others more, are more compassionate, caring, and we can change the world with such love. Humility means we stop being arrogant and recognize that others have needs, too. We serve others, and these other people we serve are God’s children, and he sees how we help them. To become great in God’s sight, we have to become less. We have to be second, instead of being first.

“Before a downfall the heart is haughty, but humility comes before honor.” Proverbs 18:12

“When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.” Proverbs 11:2

“In the same way, you who are younger, submit yourselves to your elders. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, ‘God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.’” 1 Peter 5:5

Jesus was abused, cursed at, spit on, died on a cross for us. He was obedient to his father to the point of death. He could have called angels to kill all the people who hurt him, who caused him nothing but pain and misery. He is God! But he did not. He loved them, he still prayed for them, still died for them. Humility. Serving others. Obedient. And God sees his son denying himself for the sake of others, and now Jesus is the greatest one ever, and it is impossible to get to heaven with out him. He is the greatest one in our lives, the most important, most significant.

When you want a position like that, and you aim for that, being proud and depending on yourself and being all about yourself, trying to exalt yourself, God makes you last and the least among men, and you will never achieve such greatness.

A lot of people don’t understand the paradox. When others are trying to make their names great, they get caught up in sin and really aren’t great. When I am trying to make Jesus’s name great, and I am serving others for the sake of the Kingdom of Heaven, he sees that, and I will achieve more than the selfish person.

Embrace the paradox. Or face the frustration of constantly trying to succeed and only finding failure. Make Jesus’s name greater. When it comes to yourself, become less.