28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28 NKJV)
It is the “All Things” portion of this scripture that can really get to people. Sure, we want to think all good things work together but it is far harder to think all bad things work together as well.
Bad things happen to good people. Bad things also happen to godly people. The rain falls on the just and the wicked.
We want to see ourselves as set above it. However, we are not told to expect this. In fact, we are told to expect the opposite and take up our cross. This is where the rubber truly hits the road when it comes to faith.
26 What good will it be for someone to profit the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? (Matthew 16:26 CSB)
I have known a lot of unhappy rich people and a lot of happy poor people. Money (profit) is not the margin of happiness. We always think that just a little more will buy us security, but it is a fleeting and vain thought. There is no security in this world.
It is said, “you can’t buy happiness”, and this is very true. But it often seems the path we follow searching for it.
Joy, true joy, is never found in money. True wealth is in relationships, first with The Father, then with others…
40 Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Couldn’t you men keep watch with me for one hour?” he asked Peter. 41 “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (Matthew 26:40-41 CSB)
Sometimes we are called upon after a long and weary day. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.
Thus, we must reach down into our reserves to give that little bit more, showing that our spirit is stronger than our flesh. Humans have a unique capacity for this. The ability to go on even beyond the state of exhaustion.
Even more so in the Spirit we are given the strength to continue when we are at the point of exhaustion. Doing for the Spirit what is needed with obedience.
8 The LORD will accomplish what concerns me; Your lovingkindness, O LORD, is everlasting; Do not forsake the works of Your hands. (Psalms 138:8)
The Lord is always working on what concerns us. Even through the many trials of life, God is there to work for us. However, we have to make sure we consider that our concerns are in line with God’s concerns. If we are out of line with God then we need to realign ourselves first.
Regardless, know that God is working to sccomplish His will in what concerns us.
16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. (Ephesians 6:16 CSB)
Flaming arrows may come at us from many directions. Not literally, but very definitely figuratively. As such, we are often broken down by the many negative things that can come our way.
However, we are given a shield of faith to help us to extinguish everything that is fired at us. Be they from the enemy, from friends or from any other source.
We must just learn how to properly yield the shield of faith for our protection.
2 I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— 2 for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. 3 This is good, and pleases God our Savior.
We have a lot of division in the country right now. At a time when we should be doing our best to come together we are torn asunder. Whether the divisions are on racial or political grounds, none of this is good.
We should be praying for each other, bringing petitions before the Lord for each other.
This is a choice we make; to be device or to pray for one another. No one makes us make the choice, it is ours alone to make. And more things are changed through prayer than through divisiveness.
8 And not be like their fathers, A stubborn and rebellious generation, A generation that did not prepare its heart And whose spirit was not faithful to God. (Psalm 78:8)
We typically try to approach life prepared. We like to know what we will need for taking a trip, or doing a project. Be it preparing for business or personal reasons, few would argue the need for preparedness.
Yet, do we take the same effort in our spiritual life? Do we consider taking time to prepare in the Word or through prayer. If not, we should more so than we do for anything else.
Spiritual preparedness is far more important.