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Chapter 3 Discussion Continued

posted Nov 2, 2011, 9:25 AM by Lynn Squire

Read James 1:2-7.

My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.

Consider the analogy of Mrs. Clumpit erecting walls against the prairies and what they reminded her of as a means of dealing with her grief.

  • How often do we put walls around our hearts? When we build walls, we are allowing our thoughts to captivate us, submitting to the rule of our fears.
  • Is this a good response to grief? While sometimes we need to retreat and regroup, spending time with the Lord in prayer and Bible study, we need to be careful we don't stay there.
  • How do we tear them down once they are there? Facing the truth about the situation. This may require us admitting and confessing. To confess means to agree with God. Where we've been hurt we need to forgive, even forgive God. Some walls are difficult to tear down, but if we work at it moment by moment, day by day, in prayer and devotion, we'll find God helping us.

When Israel rebelled against God and would not repent, they were taken into captivity by Nebuchadnezzar. What instruction did God give them in their captivity and how did it show His mercy toward them?

Read Jeremiah 29:4-7

Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, unto all that are carried away captives, whom I have caused to be carried away from Jerusalem unto Babylon;

 Build ye houses, and dwell in them; and plant gardens, and eat the fruit of them;

 Take ye wives, and beget sons and daughters; and take wives for your sons, and give your daughters to husbands, that they may bear sons and daughters; that ye may be increased there, and not diminished.

 And seek the peace of the city whither I have caused you to be carried away captives, and pray unto the LORD for it: for in the peace thereof shall ye have peace.

Learn to live peacefully where God has placed you in your life (this requires trusting God—relinquish your hold on your life and your loss and your pain to Him) and the situation you find yourself in. Don’t fight God. SEEK THE PEACE OF THE CITY, AND PRAY

Read Jeremiah 29:8-9

For thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Let not your prophets and your diviners, that be in the midst of you, deceive you, neither hearken to your dreams which ye cause to be dreamed.

For they prophesy falsely unto you in my name: I have not sent them, saith the LORD.

Who are you not to listen to? PEOPLE WHO WILL DECEIVE YOU.

The world’s psychologists and philosophers will tell you plenty of ways of how to deal with sorrow and pain. If what they say does not align with the words of God, don’t listen to them. Don’t listen to Dr. Phil or Dr. Laura or Opra. They’ve got it wrong. Sink your teeth into Scripture. Wet the pages of your Bible with your tears. Listen to Pastor, whom God has placed as your shepherd. But don’t close yourself off from others, in particular from God.

Mrs. Clumpit did what God told the Israelites to do. She built a life where she was.

Conclusion: We shouldn’t be afraid of sufferings or trials or grief or pain. Not that we need to go out and find it, but when it comes our way, and it will, we can settle back and rest in the joy of the knowledge of the Lord—rejoice in the opportunity to grow in your knowledge of the Lord, in your opportunity to share in the sufferings of Christ, in the opportunity to deal with your sinful nature.

Many counselors will tell you false ways of dealing with hardships. Usually it will be contrary to walking in faith. Instead we need to continue on in peace and prayer—walking each step in faith, trusting God to meet our specific need in His perfect timing, allowing His perfect peace to work in your heart.

Isaiah 26:3

Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.

Often the right answers to our situations seem overly simple, yet are the most difficult to implement. Breaking down walls of fear and bitterness takes a great deal of fortitude and discipline. However, God provided for us a help through His Holy Spirit. We are told to pray without ceasing and to carry every burden to Him. As we approach the Throne of Grace with our cares and the cares of others, flooding the way with our praises and thanksgiving, we find the strength to daily tear down those walls.


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