If we’re being honest, in times of trial, to “rejoice always” as we are commanded seems utterly ridiculous.
Certainly the Lord does not mean we should pretend to be joyful when we are really not. Does he? It doesn’t seem authentic to even seek happiness when trials, temptations, and tragedies are present, let alone to actually be happy in times like these.
So what does Philippians 4:4-7 mean when we are told to “Rejoice in the Lord always”?
Prayer is an amazing act. It is literally a conversation with God where we can pour our hearts out to him, thank him, intercede for others, and listen to what God is saying to us through the impressions the Holy Spirit places on our hearts and minds.
Psalm 3:5, Proverbs 20:13
What does the Bible say about sleep? This is an important question considering that anywhere from one-third of our life will be spent on earth with our eyes closed, slumbering away in our beds. That’s a lot of time sleeping! So what does God think about sleep? Can we sleep too much, too little, and how can we use sleep the way God intended?
Sleep, like everything else God has made, is good when it’s used right but also has the potential to be greatly misused.
2 Corinthians 1:11
As Christians, most of us have a general awareness that it is a good thing to pray for other people and to have other people praying for you. But perhaps praying for each other is more than “good,” perhaps it is crucial.
So why should we pray for others? What benefits are there to interceding for people? Why is it so important that we pray for each other?
For a New Testament list of Bible verses on the “Sabbath” by BibleGateway.com, click here.
So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, for whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from his.-Hebrews 4:9-10
Have you ever been burned out? Just over done from the grilling flames of the day-to-day grind we all endure? The natural remedy, we think, to being overworked is to get time away from work. Isn’t this one of the main reasons we look forward to the holiday seasons so much?
True rest is not the absence of responsibility; real rest is being in the intimate presence of the Lord. Therefore, if we seek to rejuvenate ourselves simply through the absence of responsibility, this is a quick fix that will not last because it is based in a works theology. We think we can gain our own rest through our actions, or in this case, our lack of actions.
Ephesians 2:10, Proverbs 6:10-11, Exodus 20:8-10
The difference between laziness and restfulness is that laziness terminates on itself. The lazy man seeks to rest as an end goal in itself. Biblical rest is not done to idolize personal relaxation, but to relax so one will be better equipped to work for God.
1 Peter 1:14-16
Holiness and humility go hand in hand. The Christian cannot have one without the other. All true Christians desire to be holy, which can only be given through the grace of Jesus Christ, but it seems some have a greater holiness playing out in their lives than others. Humility is always the underlying determining factor for who is walking in holiness and who simply desires to but is left struggling to do so. For as 1 Peter 1:14-16 explains:
“As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”
If we want to be holy, it starts with being like a child. Here are three biblical reasons why holiness without humility is impossible.
Psalm 22:1-3, 19, Psalm 136:1-3
plat•i•tude, [plat-i-tood], noun
1. a plane, dry, or trite remark, especially one uttered as if it were fresh or profound. Synonym: cliché. Examples: “Everything happens for a reason.” “Be a team player.” “God works in mysterious ways.”
God can use anyone. God even uses men and women who are in rebellion against him like he did with Pharaoh (Exodus 9:17). God can use men and women who love him and yet have moments of backsliding like Moses did (Numbers 20:2-13). While God can use anyone, he prefers to use a certain type of person.
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Perhaps the caring heart and character of God is the first lesson Jesus teaches us about in this parable because this is foundational to our desire in pursuing the Lord. If we don’t know he cares for us, why would we pray to him?
1 Peter 5:7 (NIV) states, “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” Peter motivates us to cast all our troubles onto the Lord by reminding us that God really does care. God really is good. If you don’t know he cares for you, if you don’t know that the heart of God is for you, or if you doubt the goodness of God, you won’t pray very much.