By Maria Kneas
(an excerpt from Maria’s book, Strength For Tough Times)
The apostle Paul wrote nearly a fourth of the New Testament. He had amazing revelations about God. Much of our theology is based on his writings. Yet he said:
For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. (1 Corinthians 13:9)
Paul includes himself among those who only know “in part.” If the apostle Paul only knew in part, then no church, no denomination, and no individual has all the answers. All of us have areas where our understanding is limited.
What will we do if things don’t make sense to us? Will we become offended with God and abandon our faith? There was a time when many of Jesus’ followers became offended with Him and left Him. The twelve apostles were troubled, but they were loyal and remained:
From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him. Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away? Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life. (John 6:66-69)
There was a time when King Nebuchadnezzar commanded Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego to bow down and worship a huge golden idol. If they refused, then they would be thrown into a fiery furnace. They answered the king:
If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up. (Daniel 3:17-18)
What will we do if the unthinkable happens? Will we be faithful to God no matter what, or will we only be faithful if things work out the way that we think they should? The apostle Paul said:
For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day. (2 Timothy 1:12, emphasis added)
Notice that Paul said “whom” (a person), not “what” (theology, understanding, Scripture interpretation, etc.) Paul’s primary confidence was in the person, Jesus Christ. And that is where our primary confidence needs to be. The Bible says:
Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. (Ephesians 6:13)
This says that we can expect to have to face at least one “evil day.” You may know people who have had to face a number of them. But even though that time may be incredibly difficult, God will enable us to stand if we cooperate with Him. The apostle Paul said:
I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. (Philippians 4:13)
According to Jesus, tribulation is a normal part of life. It is to be expected. The important thing is that we can trust Jesus to get us through it. The Bible tells us:
Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes; fear the Lord, and depart from evil. (Proverbs 3:5-7)
What if something happens to us which doesn’t make sense to us? What if it seems to be contrary to what we were taught by our teachers, or pastor, or our Study Bible notes? What will we do?
Will we call God a liar? Or will we say that evidently our teachers didn’t fully understand (or adequately explain) that issue? Will we become bitter against God? Or will we choose to trust Him? Will we turn away from God? Or will we turn to Him for strength and comfort and wisdom?
God promised to make everything work out for our good if we love Him (Romans 8:28). When the pain and the tears come, will we trust God to bring good out of our situation?
We can ask God to increase our trust in Him and our love for Him. We can ask Him to make us faithful. We can ask Him to enable us to stand with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego—to be determined to be faithful to our God no matter what happens to us and the people we love.
The LORD God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds’ feet. (Habakkuk 3:19)
(photo from bigstockphoto.com; used with permission)
Update! It is taken from a Catholic website (LifeSiteNews), the article is written from that perspective. Key parts copied below:
Pope Francis’ new foundation appears to have more in common with French Revolution than with Catholicism
The Foundation’s mission areas are:
to support and design pathways of art and faith;
to invest in cultural and spiritual formation through events, experiences, paths, and spiritual exercises;
to promote dialogue with cultures and other religions on the themes of the Pontiff’s latest encyclicals to build a “social alliance.”
The purposes of the Foundation are included in Article 3 of the Statute:
“The Foundation has purposes of solidarity, training, dissemination of art and particularly sacred art; it promotes synodality, the culture of fraternity and dialogue. To this end, the Foundation: promotes a holistic formation, attentive to the spiritual and cultural levels, to the community dimension and to the commitment of service in the world;
encourages tourists to live the experience of pilgrims through spiritual, cultural, and artistic itineraries in St. Peter’s Basilica and in the spaces made available bythe Fabric of St. Peter; organizes itineraries, events, and experiences to promote fraternity and social friendship between Churches, different religions, and between believers and non-believers;
promotes the culture of peace in the various spheres of life, from the personal to the social and political dimensions; promotes “new encounters” nourished by social dialogue, by the sense of social forgiveness, by the purification of memory, by the promotion of restorative justice as an alternative to social revenge;
nurtures initiatives aimed at fostering the development of fraternal humanism, through the promotion of the principles of liberty, equality and fraternity, conditions for building a “universal love” that recognizes and protects the dignity of persons;
encourages projects for the care of creation, the protection of environmental resources, international solidarity, and social responsibility;
promotes social alliance, responsible entrepreneurship, social investment, human and sustainable forms of work; integral ecology, sustainable development, ecological transition, health and scientific and technological research, in light of the principles of the Social Doctrine of the Church;
supports responsible communication, the truthfulness of sources, and the credibility and reliability of those committed to building bridges;
takes charge of, in the symbolic embrace of …
supports responsible communication, the truthfulness of sources, and the credibility and reliability of those committed to building bridges; takes charge of, in the symbolic embrace of… the weakest people, the stranger and the foreigner, the different and the marginalized, and the cultural and social frontiersto reinterpret the sufferings of the world and offer solutions in the light of the Gospel and the papal…
1 Chronicles 16:34 O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever.35 And say ye, Save us, O God of our salvation, and gather us together, and deliver us from the heathen, that we may give thanks to thy holy name, and glory in thy praise.36 Blessed be the LORD God of Israel for ever and ever. And all the people said, Amen, and praised the LORD.
Matthew 8:24 And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he was asleep .25 And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish.26 And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm.
Psalm 91:He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.2 I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.3 Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence.4 He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.5 Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day;6 Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday.
Colossians 3:If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.3 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.4 When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.
All praises to glorify His name. Thankful, He will never forsake me.
I’m always asking God that I will not fall away or shrink back from Him. I love that scripture talks about having a steadfast spirit.
Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me.
My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast; I will sing, yes, I will sing praises!
T. I. Miller
Having wisdom requires fearing God.
Sincerity without humility is foolish.
No matter how much we study to show ourselves approved we too only know in part at best. no matter our eschatology or our soterioligy be prepared for Jesus to more fully explain where we are off the mark.
All of this.
Be thankful to the Father as the provider of every blessing, none of which we are owed. Rain faithful to Him as the provider of that which only He can supply, salvation of our souls.
Thank you my heart is breaking ~ this article is what I needed to keep my hope in Jesus-,