Move On Despite Grief

Mark 14:34   (KJV)   34 And saith unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful unto death: tarry ye here, and watch.

Sadness isn’t sin—even the deepest kind.

As believers, there are times when we get overwhelmed with sorrow, deep distress, and troubles. We’re real people with real emotions. But we don’t allow ourselves to get paralyzed by them.

mark-14-34-moving-on-despite-griefPeople can betray us; we can’t stop them no matter how hard we try if they’re absolutely determined to doing so. We can’t control them, but we control ourselves. We do what we need to do. We move on.

More often than not, it’s a waste of time trying to justify ourselves when we’re not in an official trial. It has been repeatedly said: “In most cases, it’s easier to build than to repair.” So, we keep on with our journey: regardless of people’s take on it, we do what’s good, right, and godly.

There are people we can’t convince no matter how obvious the proofs and how numerous the evidences. Some enjoy being biased; some choose to be blind because doing so caters to what they enjoy believing—no matter how flawed. We let them be; we pray for them, and we keep living in and pursuing the light of truth.

When God asks us to face our own cross, no matter how hard, no matter how sad, we don’t have double thoughts about it. We have a choice, but as believers, we choose only one: obedience.

We do what we need to do when we can do something about a situation. Otherwise, we accept it; we learn from it; we find ways and means to grow and be stronger from/in it.

 

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Pursue Unity

Ephesians‬ ‭4:3‬   (KJV‬‬)   Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

Unity takes work, but it’s a work we need to take.

We may need to work on our attitudes if unity is to happen.

Humility is an ally of unity, pride is an enemy.

Our similarities ought to unite us, our differences ought to complete us.

At times, unity necessitates peaceful dialogue. 

Peaceful dialogue matters most when there’s openness on both sides, with willingness to really find the truth, and to willingly and gratefully change when wrong.

Unity is kept when peaceful dialogue is done not as competitors but as a team, not as enemies but as allies, both desiring the best for the situation.

Firsthand Info

Acts 25:22  (KJV)   22 Then Agrippa said unto Festus, I would also hear the man myself. To morrow, said he, thou shalt hear him.

The visiting King Agrippa was informed by the then Governor Festus about the Apostle Paul and the situation at hand. The king didn’t carelessly jump into conclusion; he didn’t rashly give any opinion; he didn’t impulsively give Festus any advice; he wisely requested to hear Paul firsthand. Festus granted his request but not until the next day. There was no argument on the king’s part. He didn’t push for an immediate audience. He agreed to wait.

Much of the hurtful misunderstandings, destructive fights, wrong decisions and unfair judgments that have created so much chaos and havoc in relationships, both in familial and international scale, has been caused by unwillingness to check out things firsthand.  We  don’t process info properly. We hear something and we get affected. Now, that’s natural; what we hear will usually affect us. But it doesn’t mean we need to believe it and act on it immediately. Especially in dealing with really important or critical matters, we ought to make sure that we have all the info we can get to make a wise and fair judgment before jumping into any conclusion. Of course there are times when we don’t have the luxury of time to patiently gather all pertinent data. In most emergency scenarios, we need to make wise use of whatever facts readily available and act on them quickly. But if we have time, by all means: ask, listen, do research; we need to employ the valuable virtue of patience. It will lead us to right beliefs, right decisions, and right actions. And, it will spare us from many heartaches and headaches.

Dear God of truth and justice, please give us a heart that really pursues truth. Often, our judgments our clouded by our preferences. When a situation or an information favors our preference, we get overjoyed and under-informed. And with our unformed and incomplete basis, we march confidently forward only to find ourselves in very embarrassing position. Please remind us always that truth is our friend. Truth only threatens errors and lies. The more we find genuine materials that lead to further discoveries – the better. They may bring us closer to affirming truth we already believe in or to finding the truth that will save us from errors we may have held on to. Help us to have an attitude that is welcoming and approving of them. There are those who are in stark contrast with what we believe in. Help us to really love them and be friends to them. Many of them are on the same quest as we are. Although coming from different directions, we share the passion for the real deal: truth. – in Jesus’ Name, amen.

“Either – or” or Both

Luke 24:25-26  (KJV)   25 Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: 26 Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?

Even those closest to the Lord Jesus missed out on the facts of His death and resurrection. They saw overwhelming evidences that Jesus is indeed Who He claimed to be: the Christ, Son of the living God, Lord and Savior. But when He died; their faith “died.” Their minds were set on the glorious aspects of the Messiah. They saw the wonderful demonstrations of power; great! They expected an ever expanding trip from glory to greater glory. After all, the Scripture repeatedly and emphatically speaks of a Messiah Who will reign forever. Their expectations wouldn’t be amiss; He will indeed reign forever;  but it was lacking. There was another side they failed to see: the Messiah had to suffer first. His suffering didn’t disprove His “Messiahship;” it confirmed it. They saw an incomplete picture; that’s why even in the triumphs of the resurrection, they couldn’t rejoice – they had a hard time understanding. They missed the suffering part, now they were missing the glory part; they couldn’t rejoice when Jesus gloriously defeated death and victoriously rose from the grave.

To choose “either – or” when the Scripture speaks of “both” is to end up with many possible wrong and even dangerous interpretations, doctrines and expectations. Same is true when we choose “both” when the Scripture teaches “either – or.”  The Scripture teaches the Messiah – the Prince of Peace Who alone would bring ultimate peace to all of creation, but would also be a reason for divisions. The Scripture teaches of God’s sovereignty, but also teaches on the free will of man. The Scripture teaches that we can’t be saved by good works, but we ought to strive to do good works as saved people. The Scripture teaches a God of grace, but also a God of justice, a God of love, but also a God of holiness, a God to love and a God to fear, a God Who’s our Father, but also our Master. It teaches of woman not allowed to teach in the congregation but are allowed to prophesy. Whenever we pull towards one teaching and discard the other equally true teaching, we run into a very dangerous proposition. We don’t want to miss out on the truth. We therefore ought to open our hearts, be unbiased, and be humbly and totally submitted to it. This means all truths – whether it runs contrary to our preferences or not.

Our God of Truth, may we genuinely have a heart for You. You are the Truth. Please help us to be humble that we may wave a white flag of absolute surrender to Your teachings – no matter how different they may be from what we may formerly know. Thank you for all the beliefs we have that are faithfully aligned to Your Word. Please show us where we’re amiss, and may we do what’s right. In Jesus’ Name, amen.