Jeff Bartell

A "bottom line" kind of guy

Having a Bad Day?

Have you ever wondered why things are not going the way you planned?  Especially since you have trusted Jesus as your Savior, shouldn’t things line out pretty well?  Life just isn’t like that.  It seems that we have constant struggles: with relationships, with finances, with circumstances, even within our own hearts.  Why do we struggle and fight?  Why do we suffer?  It’s an age-old question.

Certainly, many suffer for their own mistakes.  If you sin, there are consequences.  I hate it, but that is a fact of life.  We can’t forever blame everyone else or our environment or our upbringing.  Sometimes it’s just our own foolishness that brought trouble into our lives.  If that’s the case, the sooner we accept it, the sooner we can move on.

But that is certainly not always the case.  Sometimes we are doing great and still things go very badly.  Why is that?  In my daily Bible reading today I am in Judges 3.  Notice what it says:

Judges 3:1-4 Now these are the nations which the LORD left, to prove Israel by them, even as many of Israel as had not known all the wars of Canaan; Only that the generations of the children of Israel might know, to teach them war, at the least such as before knew nothing thereof; Namely, five lords of the Philistines, and all the Canaanites, and the Sidonians, and the Hivites that dwelt in mount Lebanon, from mount Baalhermon unto the entering in of Hamath. And they were to prove Israel by them, to know whether they would hearken unto the commandments of the LORD, which he commanded their fathers by the hand of Moses.

All of life is a test.  Even if you are saved, you are constantly being tested by the Lord to prove your true character.  God allows trouble in our lives to see whether or not we will continue to trust Him and obey His word – especially when it is difficult for us.  In fact, our millennial inheritance will be based on how well we have proven ourselves through the trials of life here on Earth.

Have you ever considered the issue of different church denominations?  I have always heard that “God didn’t make the denominations and God doesn’t want these divisions among His people.”  While I realize that the ultimate goal of God is for all of us to be unified, it is a unity of the FAITH (Eph. 4:13).  By now, we ought to realize that that will never happen until we meet Jesus face-to-face and He clears up all our false doctrines.  Until that time, He even uses division within the body of Christ as a test.  Notice this:

1 Corinthians 11:18-19 For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it.  For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you.

Heresies, divisions, false doctrine MUST exist “among you” for the expressed purpose of determining who is approved!  How can we show ourselves approved?

2 Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

Study the Bible!  Rightly divide it.  Understand that there are divisions and get them right.  All of life is a test.  God is watching.  So the next time things start going badly for you, before you get discouraged or mad or before you start to feel sorry for yourself, consider what God is trying to do in you.  What commandment is God waiting to see if you will obey?  That single thought can give you the perspective and strength necessary to respond properly and prove yourself to the Lord that you are faithful.

Now get out there and have a great day!

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Thanks for the encouragement bro! Sunday’s message was great for me too . . . I just have to remember that my focus needs to be on His return and what I’m here to do in the mean time . . . that really does put things into perspective for me. It makes the other things I think are “tough” not such a big deal.

 
 

Thanks Wayne. I agree. The tendency today is to downplay doctrine with a mind toward more “practical” applications – when it must be the doctrine that drives the practical application in the right direction!

 
 

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