Who can understand God?

It’s not easy. Understanding God can be a challenge. We are often plagued by our own feelings of brokenness and we see things from that perspective. It is the perspective of the broken. We see God from that skewed perspective.

“For God speaks in one way, and in two, though man does not perceive it” (Job 33:14).

God’s ways are diverse. He speaks to us from different angles to help us understand. He wants us to understand. He has our best interest in mind. But we fail to see it.

We’ve seen plenty of dishonest, abusive people, and we somehow misunderstood God from that vantage point. We think he is like that.

Relax. Listen. God is speaking. Through each event in life, he is speaking.

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Don’t substitute ability for character

There is a lot of respect for people with a high level of ability. Those who excel in their skills much beyond others rightfully earn respect.

Even if they are lacking in character, their ability earns them respect. Shall we say ability supersedes character? Lack of character is ignored in light of great ability.

This may be due to the high value we give to performance. This may be the case for actors, athletes, politicians, doctors, and preachers. If their performance is exceptional, their lack of character is ignored.

I wonder how society would be if character was the point of entry for those who “perform” various public tasks with high visibility?

There has to be another way.

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When you’re in trouble, everyone has an opinion

Job’s friends tried their best to find fault with him. After all, they were here to help. They felt they needed to find a solution.

All three of his friends finally give up since Job held on to his stance that he was innocent. They had no more to say. They had said plenty, trying to “impose” guilt on Job because of his sufferings.

Then, a young man named Elihu speaks up and wants to put in his share of words to the whole situation. He says:

“I also will answer with my share; I also will declare my opinion” (Job 32:17).

In all this, God remains silent and observes. He allows us to speak our share of words and wisdom. You’ll hear a lot of voices all around you. Don’t be troubled. God is yet to speak out on the matter.

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That child is a person

This argument can begin with the abortion issue. If the child is only considered a person after birth, then abortion would be correct. Otherwise, that should be a crime and considered as murder.

But even after birth, when should a child be considered a person? Of course, we consider them a person from birth but do we treat them like an individual? When dealing with adults, we handle them with a certain level of respect for their individuality. But with children, we have a tendency to think that “they’re just kids.”

They are an individual just as all adults are. Children deserve to be treated and respected for their personhood, individuality, and their humanness.

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Can’t find the reason

How could it come to this? You’ve done nothing of such high magnitude to deserve what you’re going through. In fact, you’ve done good all your life. You have been kind to those who suffer. You’ve done everything you know to do good.

But life turned sour. Situations turned for the worse. The unexpected happened. And now you are in shock over the events of your life.

This is the exact place in life that Job has come. He responds:

“Here is my signature! Let the Almighty answer me! Oh, that I had the indictment written by my adversary! Surely I would carry it on my shoulder: I would bind it on me as a crown; I would give him an account of all my steps: like a prince I would approach him” (Job 31:35-37).

But there was nothing he could do because God seemed like his adversary. So he waited – and trusted in God!

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Give the next generation a head start

But we often get hung up with our own stuff. Our day to day tasks burden us to the point where we can’t even pay attention to the next generation. Thus we become incapable of showing the way.

It is our task to give the next generation a head start by preparing them and pointing the way to their future. Without this, they may end up taking an extra ten years or more to get a grip on how they need to move forward.

Learn to be a mentor or coach to the younger generation. But first, you’ve got to learn to listen to their dreams and their passions. Identify those things that make them tick and get them moving.

The next step is to help them see the big picture of the world and where they fit in. How do their dreams fit into the overall flow of what’s happening? Once they get that, things become clearer, and they are ready to move forward.

But this doesn’t happen overnight. The vision unfolds gradually as they experience life. Your task is to be there for them as a coach and as a cheerleader.

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When the tables are turned

But they’re turned against you. You are now on the lowest rung of the ladder. Can’t go any further down. At one time you were further ahead than everyone else. Now they’re so much further up that you can’t even see them anymore.

When Job was at his lowest, he cried out to God – and there was silence. He felt as if God was looking at him in his misery, but with no response.

“God has cast me into the mire, and I have become like dust and ashes. I cry to you for help and you do not answer me; I stand and you only look at me” (Job 30:19-20).

In spite of all this, Job remains faithful. He knew that God sees. He notices Job’s misery is not out of God’s sight.

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Confined to the pastoral ministry?

Is it some kind of a prison sentence? I’ve heard this statement from people who feel that the pastoral ministry is somewhat of a limitation. The pastoral ministry is only limited as you limit it by your mindset. If you can somehow free your mind to think openly and broadly, the future can be without limits.

I’ve heard it from many people. Their words are often filled with a sense of trepidation. There seems to be a fear that if they step into the pastoral ministry their life would somehow be limited.

What type of ministries are in your heart? What passions grip your heart for people in your community? Or, do your dreams take you across the globe?

Whatever your dreams for ministry, it is best done from within the context of the local church. The best option is to plant a church and from the beginning, set the pace for outreach. Set the DNA of the church towards openness to the community and to the globe. Then, You’re not following your dreams all alone. You have an entire congregation with you.

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Deserted by God

Recently I saw the frantic struggle of a young pigeon as its mother pushed it out of its comfortable place in the nest. The young one landed safely on the ground, but ran around trying to fly, and also trying to hide under a bush.

It was fearful of people, and fearful of being out of the comfort of its nest. The mother was preparing its young one for the next level of its life.

On the cross, jesus said, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? (Matt 27:46) The Father was preparing Jesus for the next level. He would be glorified. But at this point, Jesus experienced desertion.

Job said, “Oh, that I were as in the months of old, as in the days when God watched over me” (Job 29:2). He also experienced desertion by God and by people.

In the examples above, all three felt deserted and rejected. They were ready for the next level, but their experiences were desperate to severe. Keep looking up. God has a plan. For you, everything may seem out of control, but everything is under God’s control.

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More Jesus stories

While he was on the earth, his presence impacted people everywhere he went. For many, it was physical healing and for others, he cast out their demons, gave forgiveness of sins, brought peace, gave food, and in numerous other ways Jesus impacted the people.

What’s your story? What has Jesus done for you? Has he brought healing? Your story with Jesus is precious to you. A meeting with  the almighty is a precious and memorable experience. But it doesn’t remain as a one-time event. Rather it has repercussions that span our lifetime.

All over the world, people are experiencing the love of Jesus in many ways. Each person’s encounter produces another Jesus story.

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