God's word in today's world

Living with Jesus


Does it always go well with you? Do you always experience the bright side? Do you never sail into stormy waters? Does nothing ever go wrong? Well, that is certainly not how it goes with me. I struggle and strain.

Many businesses struggle. People hold onto their jobs with everything they have, but it doesn’t seem to be working. Relationships are being torn apart. Marriages break down. The world is just not nice. Then I read this verse: 6There has never been the slightest doubt in my mind that the God who started this great work in you would keep at it and bring it to a flourishing finish on the very day Christ Jesus appears.

Immediately I ask: So what am I doing wrong? Why does God pass me by? Why doesn’t God allow good things to happen to me? Why aren’t good things happening to me right until the end of time instead of me stepping into the whatever many, many times, yes, every day? Is God not letting me down?

Do you think it’s bad to think like this? A friend of mine told me about a little part of his day:

I don’t think so. Let me tell you what happened yesterday. Three of my workers were in an accident with a taxi and I had to arrange transport to get them to the doctor. Then I had to put in writing one warning and two summonses for disciplinary hearings because of refusal to carry out instructions. That was before 08:00. At 11:00 I received a fax from the union: 27 of my people had joined. And Paul talks about good things! Oh, please!

And I have to agree with my friend – I’m close to giving up thinking about all the hurt and suffering around us.

Paul’s story doesn’t look much better. 7… You have, after all, stuck with me all the way from the time I was thrown in jail, put on trial, and came out of it in one piece. All along you have experienced with me the most generous help from God.  Paul did not always experience moonshine and roses. But he still said that God was good to him. In a way, Paul saw the bigger picture and although he couldn’t see all of it, he knew that God would sort it out. In a way God used the things that happened to Paul for his glory. God turned the negative into a positive.

So where are we going wrong? I think Paul wants to tell us that to believe in God is not a guarantee against setbacks. As children of God we are not exempt from things not going according to plan. We must oppose the attacks of the world and not cower in sackcloth and ashes.

I don’t have the answers to all the questions in life. I don’t know why one person always has to suffer more than another. I don’t know why one after the other curve ball only hit some. But I do know that we have to live closer to God. Jesus must be more involved in our lives. Here, in our relationship with Him, we learn more about life and here we find more clarity about the way forward.

This is Paul’s heart’s desire for his people. Therefore, he prays for them: 9So this is my prayer: that your love will flourish and that you will not only love much but well. Learn to love appropriately.

We struggle so hard in our working life to keep all the balls in the air that we spend less and less time with Jesus. As a result we move further away from Him and do not have his guidance in our every-day life and in the decisions we have to take at work anymore. Later we feel so bad about this that we simply want to give up.

Well, I’m not going to! I’m going to get up and storm ahead. Let me go, so that I can run full speed ahead, because I want to stay in the shadow of my Lord. I will learn from Him. I am safe with Him. My spiritual experience with Him will teach me how to face every situation that comes my way.

Bible Reading

Philippians 1:3-11

Reflection

What storm is raging around your head?

Do you also see no way out?

How close to Jesus are you living?

Prayer

Father, may we spend more time with You. May we grow closer to You. In your arms we will find rest. Amen

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