Striving to Worship Like Job

The book of Job offers an amazing story! Here’s a man who had everything—great family, properties, wealth and position—and Satan took it all away. But there’s so much more. It isn’t so much the perils that my focus landed on, but on Job’s determination to stay focused and always praise God.

He praised God when he lost his good health. That’s where I pulled up and parked.

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It’s Never Too Late

As we usher in the new year, watch the movies, eat lots of goodies and kiss your sweetie at midnight. But don’t forget the Creator.

Happy New Year!

2017 in Review, if You Dare

After Christmas, I always take the last few days of the year for personal review. What could I have done better? What opportunities did I miss? Are there amends I need to make? Ugh! Self-examination can be exhausting.

This is not an hour-long process. The first layer of discovery hits the usual culprits. I could have exercised more, eaten less, or offered more kind words to the down-trodden. Easy ones to see. But when I dig deeper I often find more than I bargained for.  I see the real me.

Am I seeking justification for any bitterness I hold in my heart?

The challenge is for you too. To help you get started … prime the forgiveness pump … check out the following video.

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Another Powerful Post from Brandon Adams

If you’ve been following me for any amount of time, you know that I enjoy promoting other bloggers and writers. Check out Brandon Adams’s latest post, Christmas is Bigger Than Your Opinion of It. Listen to his heart. Follow his blog. You will be challenged AND blessed. 

It was during a December that my family fell apart.

I do appreciate that the blow had enough grace to wait until the 27th before coming out of nowhere, but is there really ever a “good time” for such things to happen?

Anything that’s ever harmed family tends to feel highlighted, called out, by the approach of Christmas. The season has a way of reminding you of what you’ve lost (or never had to begin with). I know what it’s like to rely on the charity and love of non-family during the holidays, to struggle with the emotions, to feel left out of the joy because you’re dealing with things that (it seems like) nobody else is.

So I’m the last person to tell anyone to “just get over it and celebrate”. That’s not my approach at all. The Bible defends, even celebrates, our grace-given ability to honestly approach the throne of God with our pain, fear, and disappointment. Psalms is full of it. Jeremiah vents to God even though he knows exactly why God is inflicting his nation. Even Jesus does not try to hide his sweat and blood from his Father. He cares about our hearts. He has big shoulders. He will always listen to our tears.

BUT.

But.

Sometimes, I think, there are days when a swift kick in my own butt really is warranted.

The manger pointed to the cross. The cross pointed to the empty tomb. Victory over all suffering, and the wiping away of all tears, has been secured. It is coming. Though sorrow may last for the night, joy comes in the morning.

Does my life reflect that? My attitude?

I’m learning to find a balance between mourning and morning. I have come to believe that there are times for us to grieve and times to give Jesus credit for being bigger than our disappointments. Perhaps there are days – not every day, but some – when just taking a deep breath and thrusting aside the weight of the world is appropriate. Even holy.

It makes a good defense against self-pity, which grief can quickly and subtly slip into.

It makes a marvelous defense against despair, something the enemy is only too happy to twist our disappointment into.

It lifts our eyes to the horizon, to the second coming of Christ, no longer a babe in a manger but a reigning King.

Perhaps this would be a good exercise for you this season if you find yourself cynical and bitter towards the holiday. Try taking a day and dedicating your attitude towards God’s superiority and victory over your travails. Just a day. Though he graciously accepts Where We Are, the fact remains that only the cross and the empty tomb really matter in the end. Without that, we are more to be pitied than any man. With it, we are more than conquerors. Our hope is immutable. Our God is incredible.

That’s why I bought my first Christmas tree last year, and why I will do so again this weekend.

Find solace and comfort in God. But remember also that he is bigger.