There have been some very dark happenings in our community lately. There is a lot of depression. There is a lot of despair. There are people who always answer you with, “I suppose I shouldn’t complain” when you enquire about how they are. I like to put on a happy face when people ask me how I am too because I like to think positive and I believe that speaking negatively doesn’t help anyone. But tonight I’m wondering if we should always do the ‘put on a brave face’ thing. Should people think that everything is fine? Are we a society of fake people? Do we shy away from people who wear their heart on their sleeve and complain when they feel bad? Do we shun people who are negative because we see things on Facebook that say you must cut negative people out of your life. Only surround yourself with positive people because positivity rubs off on you and all that jargon.

Are we allowing social media to tell us how to live or are we going to book that the Creator of the Universe gave us and looking at what it says.

Hosea 4:6 says, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge…” Verse 12 says something that is so profound, “My people inquire of a piece of wood, and their walking staff gives them oracles. For a spirit of whoredom has led them astray, and they have left their God to play the whore.” God was speaking to the Jews. His people. Not a heathen nation. How far are we from the truth? How far do we have to look to know how far we are from the truth? We can just pick up our phones and log into social media to see exactly how far we have strayed from the truth, or rather how far we’ve always been from the truth. Do we see a pretty picture with a saying something like, “What you think, you become. What you feel, you attract. What you imagine, you create.” Nothing wrong with that is there? Sounds really great so we like it and share it. That’s a Buddha quote. What about this one? When you truly care for someone, their mistakes never change your feelings because it’s the mind that gets angry but the heart still cares.” That’s Radhekrishna. “The mind is fickle. It won’t obey you. Every time the mind misbehaves, use your discretionary intellect to bring it back to the equanimous position.” That’s apparently a Hindu quote. It sounds really great, although I can’t even figure out what it means. Either we do not use the knowledge we have of what is in the Bible, or we don’t know what is in the Bible, when we allow these seemingly innocent sayings to start corrupting our minds. We might as well be inquiring from a stick what our futures are going to be.

I believe that a big part of the problem is that there are deceiving spirits all around us who are whispering all kinds of untruths to us and we listen to them because we don’t spend enough time in the scriptures. John 8:44 says that the devil is the father of lies. 2 Corinthians 11:12 – 14, Paul is speaking about false apostles. “And what I am doing I will continue to do, in order to undermine the claim of those who would like to claim that in their boasted mission they work on the same terms as the we do. For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deed.”

That is aimed at people who are pretending to be doing God’s work, but are misleading people. If the devil can pretend to be good how are we going to be able to know who is good and who is bed? How are we going to know which social media post is a quote from the Bible and which one comes from a different religion altogether? How are we going to know which thoughts that enter our minds come from the Holy Spirit and which ones come from evil spirits? We aren’t going to know if we aren’t actually physically reading our Bibles and acquiring the knowledge that God wants us to have. The only way you get to know the author of the Book is when you read the Book. We need to be so versed in Scripture that we can’t be deceived by the enemy. We ought to be able to uplift and encourage the one’s who are struggling instead of avoiding them. Let’s do what 1 Thessalonians 5:11 says and start living the victorious life we are supposed to have, “Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.”

Your mercies are new

Renovations at our shop have been going on now for almost 2 months. It feels like two months going on for two years. The pressure of working in less space has been getting to me. My desk has been shoved behind a Coca-Cola fridge in the back corner of the shop. The seating has been moved out to accommodate the equipment that has come from the part that’s being worked on. The whole shop is going to receive a facelift and a lot of much needed TLC. It’s going to be really awesome when it’s done, but right now everything is a mess. At the end of last week I thought I couldn’t take another week of building!

Lamentations 3:17 says, “You have moved my soul far from peace; I have forgotten prosperity.” We feel like that sometimes. It’s very easy to fall into the trap of believing things are never going to change.
Then I realized that I was living under the circumstances and not above them. Psalm 121 says, ‘I lift my eyes to the hills…” Obviously help doesn’t come from the hills, it comes from God. But if we don’t lift our eyes off of the circumstances we aren’t going anywhere. We will never see the forest if we keep staring at the trees. We need to step back and realize that everything is temporary and leads to the next thing. We don’t need to know what the next thing is, only that there is a next thing. Lamentations 3:22 – 23: “Through the Lord ’s mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “Therefore I hope in Him!” The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, To the soul who seeks Him.”
His mercies are new every morning. We just need to remember that. Every new day brings new challenges but it also brings new mercy, new grace, new opportunities.
I undertake not to live under my circumstances but to look above them, to lift my eyes and see what the Lord has for me. To see the mercies that every new morning brings.