"Surprise Math quiz this week. Be ready!" the instructor warned. I grumbled. Can't he at least tell us which day he'll give the quiz?
Soon, the end of the semester closed in, with final exams looming before us. Coffee-imbibed days coupled with studying until the wee hours of the morning, my roommates and I crammed to withstand the inevitable.
Exams in school are one thing. They're expected—most of the time!
But life tests are different—they're unpredictable. We don't know if we'll get the job we want. Or if we will afford a home or be able to support a family. Then, other unexpected tests often come our way: handling illness, financial woes, the death of loved ones, and other losses. We don't always have a warning when these things will happen.
Jesus faced insurmountable testing during his life—including temptation from Satan. The Gospels describe these accounts; Jesus refused each temptation. When Satan confronted Jesus in a high place, he offered him all the kingdoms of the world if he would bow down to worship him. But Jesus replied, “It is said: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’” – Luke 4:3 NIV
Sometimes, our faith is tested, too. But if we remain steadfast, prayerful, and trust in the Lord, we can get through some of the most challenging tests or trials.
May you remain deeply rooted in God's Word, so that when trials come, you will withstand them with strength, courage, and perseverance.
“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” – 1 Corinthians 10:13
“Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.”
- Ephesians 6:11
“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” – Proverbs 4:23
Scripture from the NIV Bible, 2011
Photo courtesy of Vecteezy.com
Happy Labor Day! I hope you are fortunate enough to have the holiday off—or at least have had time off during the weekend.
Labor Day conjures up images of BBQs or picnics; however, historically, it was meant to honor those who suffered the effect of unfair labor practices. Only much later did it become a day off for civil or state employees. But many people still had to work—as is the case today.
Work is instilled into our minds and vocabulary at an early age, isn't it? You may have received advice from parents or teaching while growing up, such as: “Get a good education and you'll find a good job," or, "Choose a vocation that will enable you to support yourself."
We spend years devoting our time, talents, skills, and energy into making a living. We “make a living,” so to speak, but we also need to “make a life." (Says no one on their deathbed: "I wish I'd worked more hours"). So, take time—make time—for rest, for moments of solitude, and enjoy being with your family or friends. And, know divine help is at hand. Seek God and His Word for rest and encouragement.
Jesus took time for solitude, rest, and prayer. A few examples: In Luke 6:12-13, Jesus went to a mountainside by himself to pray. In Mark 6:30-32, he tells the disciples to separate themselves from the crowds (and their work) and find a quiet place to rest.
My prayer for you today is that you will find time for rest and renewal.
“For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day.” - Exodus 20:11 NIV
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For yoke is easy and my burden is light.” – Matthew 11:28 NIV
“It will be a sign between me and the Israelites forever, for in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day he rested and was refreshed.” - Exodus 31:17 NIV
Scriptures from the New International Version of the Bible, 2011.
Photo courtesy of Vecteezy.com
Through God's Word!"
Find inner peace through Positive Thought, through Faith in God and through God's Word.