Tag Archives: helping

What do I know?

Closeup portrait of smiling young girls isolated on white

by Paula Harrington

Recently, I received the news that a friend is now dealing with the devastation of a cancer diagnosis. I know the emotional toll news such as this causes on a family.

I know how it feels to sit alone in a crowded room and wonder how a good God could allow such pain to afflict his faithful children, fully aware of the fact that his own aren’t immune to the struggles of this life. Yet we still wrestle with the, “Why?”

A grieving father once said that life is short and full of many troubles (Job 14:1Job 14:1
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14 1 “Man, who is born of a woman, Is of few days, and full of trouble.

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). And his story, which may be one of the oldest in the Bible, was written for our benefit.

To show us that even in the thickest of grief, we don’t walk this world alone nor do we have the capability to fully understand the one who knit this world together.

Too often we focus on what we don’t know. We critique and meditate matters, that if given too much time, can make us stumble and lose heart. But thank God for that which we do know. For it’s in those truths that we find hope.

I don’t know a lot about this world, but I do know that even in the darkest of night when all looks lost, God has not deserted us (Hebrews 13:5Hebrews 13:5
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5 Be free from the love of money, content with such things as you have, for he has said, “I will in no way leave you, neither will I in any way forsake you.”

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  • I know that he is not only a God of then and there, but a God of here and now.
  • I know that we’re in a spiritual war with Evil and the enemy will stop at nothing to destroy our faith even if means destroying our earthly bodies.
  • I know that the God of Heaven and Earth stills our soul, makes our paths straight, is slow to anger, and abounding in love (Psalm 103:8Psalm 103:8
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    8 Yahweh is merciful and gracious, Slow to anger, and abundant in loving kindness.

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    ). I know he is our refuge and strength in a place that desperately tries to overcome us (Deuteronomy 33:27Deuteronomy 33:27
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    27 The eternal God is your dwelling-place, Underneath are the everlasting arms. He thrust out the enemy from before you, Said, Destroy.

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    , Psalm 46: 1-2Psalm 46: 1-2
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    46 For the Chief Musician. By the sons of Korah. According to Alamoth. Alamoth is a musical term. 1 God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble. 2 Therefore we won’t be afraid, though the earth changes, Though the mountains are shaken into the heart of the seas;

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    ), and I know that he has overcome this world (John 16:33John 16:33
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    33 I have told you these things, that in me you may have peace. In the world you have oppression; but cheer up! I have overcome the world.”

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    ).
  • I know that the bride of Christ will continue the revolution of love because his power lives through her regardless of how men may try to taint her (Ephesians 5:23Ephesians 5:23
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    23 For the husband is the head of the wife, and Christ also is the head of the assembly, being himself the savior of the body.

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  • I know there is a place being prepared for us and even though the one who prepares it knows of its peacefulness, comfort, and tearless landscape, and that we are better off once we enter there, he still weeps alongside us (John 11:35John 11:35
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    35 Jesus wept.

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  • I know that trials are temporary and fears are fleeting but we will never be separated from the love of God (Romans 8:38-39Romans 8:38-39
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    38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

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  • I know that this world is not our home but a catalyst for something bigger, something greater, and something eternal.
  • I know that words such as inoperable, terminal, and death are always trumped by the words faith, hope, and love.
  • I know there will come a day when he will wipe away all tears (Revelations 21:4).

What we don’t know about this life could fill volumes, but it’s in the certainties of what we do know that offers us the strength to face each day.

Even through the darkness, focus on what you know. It will take you to Heaven.

Commercial appeal: carry it forward

There is a series of adverts (commercials) that take up the idea of carrying a good deed forward. Have you seen them?

Someone carries out an act of thoughtfulness – holding the door open for a blind person. That act of kindness is observed by a woman who in turn helps a neighbor rake leaves. Yet another person observes the leaf-collecting couple and in turn picks up documents that have fallen from a harried businesswoman’s brief case.

The motto is: “Pass it (that is, the thoughtful deed) on.”

It’s certainly a lesson a Christian might learn. Look around you. Is there an elderly person who needs some company? A Christian who needs encouragement? A child who might enjoy a high five and the gift of a little time?

I’ll just be blunt: at what point in our lives do we notice that there are other people out there who need our help?

I understand that two-year-old children know only their own desires, pains, and want them taken care of right now! But if you are reading this article, I suspect you are older than two!

At what point do we begin to notice other’s needs and take the time to help?

Jesus’ principle is so simple, so true, and so effective:

“So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also for them, for this is the Law and the prophets” (Matthew 7:12Matthew 7:12
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12 Therefore whatever you desire for men to do to you, you shall also do to them; for this is the law and the prophets.

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How would I like to be treated? Can I start a craze of helping others out? Can I pass this craze on when I see it? This implies the ability to extricate ourselves from the mire of our own self-indulgence and help others.

Are you ready? Then pass it on!

Do We Have Problems Walking?

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by Richard Mansel, managing editor

One day, I could not walk. No phone or email alert warned me. I simply tried to stand, as I had done countless times before, and my body refused to work properly.

Disorientation and disbelief suddenly stood in my midst, sneering. This could not be happening.

The first time, I was just out of college in 1987. I went to bed at my parents’ apartment in Atlanta and woke up the next morning, unable to walk because of a knifing pain in my hips. The piercing pain accompanied me for years, as I faced the disability, as best that I could.

Time passed and I learned to deal with the pain and lack of mobility. Comfort returned and I was able to walk normally. No reason was ever determined for the problem.

Now, another day has come, when my legs will not work properly. One day they were fine, the next they were not. If I tried to stand, my legs would dip down, unable to hold me up. Tests found no reason for this disability, just like before. Treatments will begin and we will go from there. For now, crutches help support me.

I say this, not for sympathy, but for a larger spiritual lesson. Other people have problems far worse than mine. I will recover and be fine. God has a plan for me.

Spiritually, what can we learn from this situation?

Scripture describes the Christian life as a daily walk (1 John 1:7; 31 John 1:7; 3
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7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ, his Son, cleanses us from all sin. 3 1 Behold, how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! For this cause the world doesn’t know us, because it didn’t know him. 2 Beloved, now we are children of God, and it is not yet revealed what we will be. But we know that, when he is revealed, we will be like him; for we will see him just as he is. 3 Everyone who has this hope set on him purifies himself, even as he is pure. 4 Everyone who sins also commits lawlessness. Sin is lawlessness. 5 You know that he was revealed to take away our sins, and in him is no sin. 6 Whoever remains in him doesn’t sin. Whoever sins hasn’t seen him, neither knows him. 7 Little children, let no one lead you astray. He who does righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. 8 He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. To this end the Son of God was revealed, that he might destroy the works of the devil. 9 Whoever is born of God doesn’t commit sin, because his seed remains in him; and he can’t sin, because he is born of God. 10 In this the children of God are revealed, and the children of the devil. Whoever doesn’t do righteousness is not of God, neither is he who doesn’t love his brother. 11 For this is the message which you heard from the beginning, that we should love one another; 12 unlike Cain, who was of the evil one, and killed his brother. Why did he kill him? Because his works were evil, and his brother’s righteous. 13 Don’t be surprised, my brothers, if the world hates you. 14 We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers. He who doesn’t love his brother remains in death. 15 Whoever hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life remaining in him. 16 By this we know love, because he laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. 17 But whoever has the world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and closes his heart of compassion against him, how does the love of God remain in him? 18 My little children, let’s not love in word only, neither with the tongue only, but in deed and truth. 19 And by this we know that we are of the truth, and persuade our hearts before him, 20 because if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things. 21 Beloved, if our hearts don’t condemn us, we have boldness toward God; 22 and whatever we ask, we receive from him, because we keep his commandments and do the things that are pleasing in his sight. 23 This is his commandment, that we should believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and love one another, even as he commanded. 24 He who keeps his commandments remains in him, and he in him. By this we know that he remains in us, by the Spirit which he gave us.

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John 3-4). Sometimes, our spiritual legs become weak, we cannot walk properly, and we need medical care.

When we are spiritually ill, we need the Word of God (2 Timothy 3:16-172 Timothy 3:16-17
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16 Every writing inspired by God literally, God-breathed is profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction which is in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

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), a mirror (James 1:22-25James 1:22-25
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22 But be doers of the word, and not only hearers, deluding your own selves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man beholding his natural face in a mirror; 24 for he sees himself, and goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. 25 But he who looks into the perfect law, the law of freedom, and continues, not being a hearer who forgets but a doer of the work, this man will be blessed in what he does.

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) and a visit to the Great Physician (Deuteronomy 32:39Deuteronomy 32:39
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39 See now that I, even I, am he, There is no god with me: I kill, and I make alive; I wound, and I heal; There is none who can deliver out of my hand.

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). When physically injured, as humans, we can adapt to new realities and work around them. A measure of self-sufficiency can sustain us.

This cannot happen spiritually. We must depend completely on the Lord to heal us. “It is not in man who walks to direct his own steps” (Jeremiah 10:23Jeremiah 10:23
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23 Yahweh, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man who walks to direct his steps.

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, NKJV).

“But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6Hebrews 11:6
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6 Without faith it is impossible to be well pleasing to him, for he who comes to God must believe that he exists, and that he is a rewarder of those who seek him.

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Spiritually, things will not get better with time. Our faith will wither without constant attention. Clinging to the Great Physician is our only hope (Deuteronomy 32:39Deuteronomy 32:39
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39 See now that I, even I, am he, There is no god with me: I kill, and I make alive; I wound, and I heal; There is none who can deliver out of my hand.

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We can listen to a variety of people who have products to sell or opinions, or go to the only one who is truly knowledgeable about our condition.

Dining on spiritually healthy food and investing in prayer and fellowship are required, if we will return to our full health. Collapsing into the hands of our Doctor, without wriggling away, is the only answer. We must listen to and trust him.

If we cannot walk spiritually here on earth, we will not walk in heaven one day.

Thankfully, our physical condition has nothing to do with our ability to walk spiritually. No matter the body we are enslaved in, our spirits can soar like eagles.
We stand liberated by God’s Spirit, lifted by his loving arms because he loves us passionately.

How do we walk, spiritually? Are we able to run or do we fall flat? If the latter, we need the loving hands of the Great Physician to make everything better.