Some questions to ponder. I don’t know about you but I often lose sight of the answers and find I’m anxious when I needn’t be. We do need to allow God to work his good things in our hearts and minds.
This comes from The Word for Today which often has some good things to think about. (I’ve made the 5 questions into separate paragraphs for reading ease.
Friday, 28 January 2011 00:00
‘Nothing can ever separate us from His love.’ Romans 8:38 NLT
Paul asks five life-changing questions you’d do well to think about:
(1) ‘If God is for us, who can ever be against us?’ (Romans 8:31 NLT) The presence of God tilts the scales forever in our direction. Really, who can hurt us?
(2) ‘Since God did not spare even His own Son but gave Him up for us all, won’t God… also give us everything else?’ (Romans 8:32 NLT) Would God save our souls then leave us to fend for ourselves? Would He address our eternal needs and ignore our earthly ones? Of course not!
(3) ‘Who dares accuse us…? Will God? No! He is the one who has given us right standing with Himself.’ (Romans 8:33 NLT) Every voice that accuses you, including your own, means nothing in the court of Heaven. God’s acceptance trumps man’s rejection.
(4) ‘Who then will condemn us?… the One who died for us… is sitting at the place of highest honour next to God, pleading for us.’ (Romans 8:34 NLT) Let your accusers rise up and speak against you. Jesus, your defence attorney, silences them. Why? Because His grace covers you.
(5) ‘Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love?’ (Romans 8:35 NLT) Paul answers his own question: ‘Death can’t, and life can’t. The angels can’t, and the demons can’t. Our fears for today, our worries about tomorrow, and even the powers of hell can’t keep God’s love away…nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.’ (Romans 8:38-39 NLT) Isn’t that great?
SoulFood: Ecc 1-4, Luke 6:27-36, Ps 107:1-9, Pr 3:13-18
via The Word for Today.
In Christianity Today is an Q & A article of an interview with Billy Graham on Aging, Regrets, and Evangelicals. Among other things he says:
What advice would you give to people who are aging?
First, accept it as part of God’s plan for your life, and thank him every day for the gift of that day. We’ve come to look on old age as something to be dreadedÃ¢â‚¬â€and it’s true that it isn’t easy. I can’t honestly say that I like being oldÃ¢â‚¬â€not being able to do most of the things I used to do, for example, and being more dependent on others, and facing physical challenges that I know will only get worse. Old age can be a lonely time alsoÃ¢â‚¬â€children scattered, spouse and friends gone.
But God has a reason for keeping us here (even if we don’t always understand it), and we need to recover the Bible’s understanding of life and longevity as gifts from GodÃ¢â‚¬â€and therefore as something good. Several times the Bible mentions people who died “at a good old age”Ã¢â‚¬â€an interesting phrase (emphasis added). So part of my advice is to learn to be content, and that only comes as we accept each day as a gift from God and commit it into his hands. Paul’s words are true at every stage of life, but especially as we grow older: “Godliness with contentment is great gain” (1 Timothy 6:6).
The other piece of advice I’d give is the other side of the coin, so to speak. It’s this: As we grow older we should focus not only on the present, but more and more on Heaven. This world, with all of its pains and sorrows and burdens, isn’t our final home. If we know Christ, we know we have “an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fadeÃ¢â‚¬â€kept in heaven for you” (1 Peter 1:4). I know it won’t be long before I’ll be going there, and I look forward to that day. Heaven gives us hope, and makes our present burdens easier to bear.
I thought his take on old age worth repeating here. I hope it encourages you.
(via Q & A: Billy Graham on Aging, Regrets, and Evangelicals | Christianity Today | A Magazine of Evangelical Conviction.)
Good people will prosper like palm trees, grow tall like Lebanon cedars; transplanted to God’s courtyard, they’ll grow tall in the presence of God, lithe and green, virile still in old age. Psalm 92: 12-14 MSG
We can produce our greatest harvest of fruit in our final years. When the sun goes down the stars come out we can shine brightest in the closing chapters of our life. So why not live right up till the moment you die?
Old age is not a disease that we need to be healed of, rather it’s a normal progression of our life. God has promised that we will still be fruitful in old age (ie, if we allow it). Are we able to live with that promise? Or, do we like so many, try (in vain) to turn back the clock in an attempt to avoid the inevitable and so waste our creative energies on fretting about what’s happening to us, or do we use some other denial strategy?
God has good things for us in old age! Most definitely.
It’s time to grab hold of the promises of God about this, and though we might not be able to run, we can surely walk with a firm step and go for all God has for us!
A recent article at EurekaAlert! reports on studies being undertaken by psychologist Julie Exline at Case Western Reserve University:
Angry at God? If so, you’re not alone, says CWRU psychologist.
This complements a post of mine at my Healing Prayer blog written back in 2006 — Angry at God?
Anger can be a healthy response to troublesome experiences (death, sickness, suffering, disappointments, etc). Stuffing anger is not a healthy response in any situation… it will pop up again, and maybe more intensely.
Whether a person believes in God or not, anger at life’s situations is directed “out there” at some “force” that is somehow causing our grief or suffering. It pays to look at it.
Here’s a story that brings back wonderful memories:
Sun and salvation make a divine holiday for fun-seeking souls.
When I was in my late teens and early twenties I was part of a team that did the same sort of thing — we camped at Scotts Head, one of the beaches in northern NSW and had special programs for kids and parents. Back then we called them Beach Missions. There were loads of different activities for kids of all ages… lots of laughter, exhausting games, and time for significant conversation. Somewhere in all my stored stuff I have photos and slides of those days. One day I’ll find them and post some of the memories of those days.
One vivid memory from one year is of a cyclone that hit right in the middle of the mission… wild winds, wild rain, and a wild time trying to keep the tents from blowing away. Nobody got much sleep, and no one was injured. Everything was wet through!