Wednesday, May 10, 2017

God's Plans Might Be Different

Sometimes looking at the world can feel intimidating. We see the billions of people and wonder “where do I fit in?” As we seniors head off to college and pursue our future careers, the road can be long and can begin to wonder if what we’ve chosen is what we’re meant to be doing. Sometimes the opposite is true. We have our hearts set on one thing and God says “I have another plan for you.” When I think of a dramatic change in plans, I think of two people in particular: Paul and Esther. Paul’s story is used more often, so let’s think about Esther for a moment. She was young, living a somewhat normal life when she was suddenly rounded up, entered into a beauty contest, and ended up being queen. If I were in that situation I would be completely confused and terrified. Obviously, this video is from the Veggietales version of the biblical account, but I’m sure Esther would have started  to question God at this point. As most of us probably remember, the confusion and sudden turn of events in Esther’s life led to the salvation of her people. While our purpose and path to get there may not be as extreme as Esther’s, the point still stands: God has a plan and a purpose for us. He can get us through anything. Instead of worrying about what we should do with our lives we should pray for guidance and when God shows us a different path, we should humble ourselves and follow Jesus’ example. “Yet not my will, but yours be done.” (Luke 22:42)

A Violent Christ? Kung fu Jesus?

In order to fit their pre-existing political ideas and ideologies, many people try to create Jesus into their own image of a violent one. They point to pictures of Jesus driving out the money changers, telling disciples to get swords, and even him saying that he came to bring the sword. However, these violent messages simply disappear once critical thinking skills and context is looked at and applied. Jesus tells us to unconditionally love our enemies and to refrain from violence against them. He does not win victories by shedding the blood of his enemies, rather he shed his own blood for them.

Doubting God
Throughout the bible God has shown his power and glory many times, but people, even Christians, can sometimes have doubts about something in the bible or something God says. That does not make you a bad Christian, it just makes you human. If you think about it, there were many people in the bible that doubted God as well. Eventually most of them came back to him and he welcomed them back with open arms. When you have doubts, there are a few things you can do. One option is to talk to your friends and family about it. Another option is to talk to your pastor and ask questions about it. The last one is the most underestimated. Pray and study God's word. I personally have found that through praying and studying God's word, he will guide you and show you the answer to your questions.

Hating your self

This video talks about how it doesn't matter what we think about us or what others think about us. The one thing that matters is how God sees us. It is the devil that makes us hate ourselves You will never live up to the standard of others and especially your own standard.  It is only the devil working trying to make us hate ourselves and blame God for our struggles. And yes we can not please ourselves on our own. That is why Jesus died on the cross to take away our sin that we may hate ourselves over.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Learning to Overcome Struggles

Everyone faces struggles in their life. Sometimes it's hard for us to see that God has a plan for us. We even question why he makes us go through all this suffering. When God makes us struggle we want the result right away. Mary Rose was diagnosed with Lyme Disease at a very young age. The doctor told them that thing will get worse before they get better. She already can’t walk and her heart is not functionally properly, and the only thing she think could be worse is death. The family member got upset with God, but eventually the realized that God loved Mary Rose way more than they do. Eventually Mary Rose was healed of Lyme Disease. They only way the got through that struggle was faith in God. After you really go through a struggle you really start to realize who much you can depend and rely on God.