Things the World Does Not Need to Know

The airwaves are contaminated with information that is clouding the heavens and the earth, shutting out the goodness and glory of the Lord our God. The world is polluted with a poison that spews from the heart, lips, and fingers. Instead of using social media as a place for our secrets, our complaints or our achievements, let us be spreading the Good News of Life in the kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Should there be a difference in what we as Christians make public?
How do we determine what we share through social media?

These questions led me to search God’s Word for what He wants us to publicize. We will look at four areas: Our deepest secrets and sins; oudisappointments; our fears and anger; our achievements.
As we scan the following references, let us stop and meditate on those we should heed.

Our Deepest Secrets and Sins
Many consider that sharing our sins before the world can make others feel better about themselves. Let us read what our Lord has to say about our sins.

 I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.
Isaiah 43:25

He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea. Micah 7:19

And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins. Matthew 1:21

Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father: Galatians 1:4

In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; Ephesians 1:7

What We Should Remember and Share with Others
We learn from the following references that we are to confess our sins to the Lord.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
1 John 1:9

And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: 1 John 2:1

Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord. Acts 3:19

We have been quickened (brought to new life) who were dead in trespasses and sinsEphesians 2:1

When James 5:16 speaks of confessing our faults one to another, this does not mean the sins of which we have been forgiven. He is speaking of needs in present circumstances when in times of prayer for one another. This might also relate to the confession of faults against one another.

Disappointments and Sorrows
If we continue to talk about our disappointments – either from childhood or as adults – about our griefs, and sorrows – our minds and hearts will not heal.
What does the Bible teach us about these things?

Our comfort is given by the Lord through His Word and His Spirit.

 This is my comfort in my affliction: for thy word hath quickened me. Psalm 119:50

Let, I pray thee, thy merciful kindness be for my comfort, according to thy word unto thy servant. Psalm 119:76

For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope. Romans 15:4

One of the most remembered references is Psalm 23:4

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

 In the multitude of my thoughts within me thy comforts delight my soul. Psalm 94:19

Jesus promised to send the Holy Spirit as the Comforter in His place

 

Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort;
Who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.
2 Corinthians 1:3-4

We see in 1 Thessalonians 5:11 the means of comfort in the body of Christ among believers.

Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.

Our Fears and Anxiety
Fear turns into anger toward those we think are responsible for the ills and chaos of the world. Social media is the means for many to strike out — to make their anger known. This does not alleviate the problems that cause our distress. It simply causes more upheaval.
What should we do as believers, followers of Christ our Lord?

Paul wrote the following to the Philippian believers.

Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.
For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.
Do all things without murmurings and disputings:
That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.  Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. Philippians 4:4-9

I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me. Philippians 4:12-13

Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. James 1:19-20

Our Achievements
As children of our heavenly Father, we need not boast of our accomplishments. All that we have is of His mercy and grace and for His glory.

For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God. John 12:43

For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boastersproud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 2 Timothy 3:2

Nevertheless man being in honour abideth not: he is like the beasts that perish.For when he dieth he shall carry nothing away: his glory shall not descend after him. Psalm 49:12

 Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honour the King of heaven, all whose works are truth, and his ways judgment: and those that walk in pride he is able to abase. Daniel 4:37

The Lord shall cut off all flattering lips, and the tongue that speaketh proud things: Psalm 12:3

Let another man praise thee, and not thine own mouth; a stranger, and not thine own lips. Proverbs 27:2

Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised. Proverbs 31:30

 

Thine, O Lord is the greatness, and the power,
and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty:
for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine;
thine is the kingdom, O Lord,
and thou art exalted as head above all.
1 Chronicles 29:11

Dear Father in heaven, search us and know our hearts, try us and know our thoughts and see what is in us that needs to be displaced with your thoughts and words. Forgive us for wasting your time and the talents you have given us; enable us to use the means of communication in this world to proclaim your love, truth, grace, righteousness, and glory. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
Fran
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Words of Life ~ AFFLICTION

Fifteen years ago, I started thinking how good it might be to have a handbook that Christians could use concerning our particular language; the ordinary vocabulary that believers could study about our everyday life in Christ. All those years I shared some of this work with three of our granddaughters. Two years ago, we put together a list of words using the English alphabet to form Words of Life ~ A to Z ~ The Ordinary Vocabulary of a Christian.

Part-way through the list of A’s, we have been overwhelmed with our research and believe that this is a valued gift for all Christians. We come this week to the word AFFLICTION, one that will surprise and amaze all who truly understand how this word applies to us as God’s children.

We may not like what God’s Word teaches us, but hopefully, we will come away with a greater understanding of why we as God’s children have to endure AFFLICTION.

We are using a lot of references and not a lot of my own comments so God’s Word can speak for itself. Please take time to read these, so as to understand why affliction is an important element of the Christian life.

We will divide this into five areas:

The first two will be highlighted in this post.

AFFLICTION of the Israelites

Hope During AFFLICTION

The last three will be included in our next post.

AFFLICTION of Jesus Christ, our Lord, and Master

AFFLICTION of followers of Christ; 

AFFLICTION within the body of Christ

 AFFLICTION of the Israelites
STRONG’S defines AFFLICTION H6031 ânâh, aw-naw’ to afflict, oppress, humble  All References  online.

“But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew. And they were grieved because of the children of Israel.” Exodus 1:12 The more the Israelites were afflicted, the more they multiplied and grew and became a threat to the Egyptians.

“And the LORD said , I have surely seen the affliction of my people which are in Egypt, and have heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters; for I know their sorrows;” Exodus 3:7

Seeing their affliction from the Egyptians, God brought them out of Egypt. They believed, bowed their heads and worshipped. (Exodus 3:17; Exodus 4:31) Yet, afterward, they rebelled in the wilderness.

The word used for affliction is the same word used for humble; when the Lord led them out of Egypt.

And thou shalt remember all the way which the Lord thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no.
“And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord doth man live.” Deuteronomy 8:2-3

All their suffering was meant for God to prove what was in their hearts and that they would learn that man does not live by bread only, but true life depends on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of the Lord.

We may not like the idea that the Lord afflicts His own people, but affliction is His means of teaching His children, to bring attention to their sin and rebellion and to turn them to repentance. He does not afflict other people for the same purpose. We will look at this further in our next post: this week’s chapter The Secret Place in Beyond a Mere Christianity.

“Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction.” Isaiah 48:10

“Why criest thou for thine affliction? thy sorrow is incurable for the multitude of thine iniquity: because thy sins were increased, I have done these things unto thee.” Lamentations 1:3  

“Her adversaries are the chief, her enemies prosper; for the Lord hath afflicted her for the multitude of her transgressions: her children are gone into captivity before the enemy.” Lamentations 1:5

“I am the man (Jeremiah) that hath seen affliction by the rod of his wrath.” Lamentations 3:1

“For he doth not afflict willingly nor grieve the children of men.” Lamentations 3:33

“But, behold, I will raise up against you a nation, O house of Israel, saith the Lord the God of hosts; and they shall afflict you from the entering in of Hemath unto the river of the wilderness.” Amos 6:14

The Psalmist understood the Lord’s judgment and faithfulness in affliction. His afflictions are according to His judgments, His word, and His statutes.

“I know, O Lord, that thy judgments are right, and that thou in faithfulness hast afflicted me.” Psalm 119:75

“Before I was afflicted I went astray: but now have I kept thy word.” Psalm 119:67

“It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes.” Psalm 119:71

Hope During Affliction

“And when we cried unto the Lord God of our fathers, the Lord heard our voice, and looked on our affliction, and our labour, and our oppression:” Deuteronomy 26:7

“When the heaven is shut up, and there is no rain, because they have sinned against thee; yet if they pray toward this place, and confess thy name, and turn from their sin, when thou dost afflict them;” 2 Chronicles 6:26

 “I am afflicted very much: quicken me, O Lord, according unto thy word.”Psalm 119:107

 “Consider mine affliction, and deliver me: for I do not forget thy law.” Psalm 119:153

 “Many a time have they afflicted me from my youth: yet they have not prevailed against me.” Psalm 129:2

 “O Lord, my strength, and my fortress, and my refuge in the day of affliction,” Jeremiah 16:19

The Lord promised to restore those He had afflicted (Micah 4:6; Nahum 1:12).

The word is the same used for troubled when God’s people had no shepherd. Zechariah 10:2

Gracious Father in heaven looking down, even as we are looking up to you in our afflictions, have mercy upon us. Open our eyes to the truth of afflictions in generations of the past. Help us to understand why you afflicted your people then and guide us by your Spirit of truth to know that if we belong to you, you will afflict us as you see fit. Prepare our hearts through this first offering, to look further into the New Testament in our next post to see the afflictions, tribulation, and suffering of those who follow Jesus, your Son. In His name, I pray.
Fran

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