Monthly Archive for February 2021
I Never Got Over That 2/19/2021
My wife was telling me something about dairy products today. Without letting our minds drift to that great song by Devo called, “Whip It,” she said it is amazing what happens to whipping cream. She was making a spiritual application. Well, in my wildest imaginations I could not start to track where this was going.
We were speaking about things we feel like we could not get over. We concluded that God can get you over anything, and use anything to fulfill His will in us. And that means the maximum fulfillment for our lives.
So back to heavy whipping cream. She said that if you whip it enough you get butter; but if you whip it too long you get buttermilk. They might as well call it “Bitter-milk.” If you have acquired a taste for buttermilk it means you must be a serial killer. Lol. Yesterday, at Brookshire’s, there was no milk, eggs, or bread; but all the buttermilk you could want!
So my wife said, “When we ruminate( keep whipping it up) over past disappointments, especially the ones where we were disappoint in God, it turns to bitterness. (See what see did there? Lol.) Must be why she tells me to really pay attention before she makes her next statements to me.
Think of this as expressed in Ephesians 3: 20 ; a great verse! “Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us.” We pray for one thing and God answers in a fuller way than we expected. We miss that a lot because we focus on how we want it answered, with little regard for what He wants to do in our lives. A true knowledge of God realizes that much more can be accomplished His way, than our own way.
J.B. Phillips “You God Is Too Small.” Chapter 10, “Perennial Grievance.”
“ To some people the mental image of God is a kind of blur of disappointment. “Here” they say resentfully and usually with more than a trace of self-pity, “is One whom I trusted, but He let me down.” The rest of their lives is consequently shadowed by this letdown.”
“,,, Some, of course, rather enjoy this never-failing well of grievance. The years by no means dim the tragic details of the prayer that was unanswered or the disaster that was undeserved. To recall God’s unfaithfulness appears to give them the same ghoulish pleasure that others find in recounting the grisly details of their “operation.”
Others find, of course, that a God who has Himself failed is the best possible excuse for those who do not wish to be involved in any moral effort or moral responsibility. Any suggestion of obeying of following God can be more than countered by another glance at the perennial grievance.
Such a God is, of course, in the highest degree inadequate. It is impossible for people who have persuaded themselves that God has failed, to worship or serve Him in any but a grudging and perfunctory spirit. What has usually happened to such people is that they have set up in their minds what they think God ought and ought not do, and when He apparently fails to toe their particular line they feel a sense of grievance. Yet it is surely more sensible, as well as more fitting, for us human beings to find out, as far as we can, the ways in which God works. We have to discover, as far as we can, the limits He has set for Himself for the purposes of this great experiment that we call life, and then do our best to align ourselves with the principles and co-operation with the purposes that we have certainly had no say in deciding, but which nevertheless in our highest moments we know are good.
God will inevitably appear to disappoint the man who is attempting to use Him as a convenience, a prop, or a comfort, for his own plans. God has never been known to disappoint the man who is sincerely wanting to cooperate with HIS own purposes.”
This covers only 1/3 of what Phillips had to say about this. I suggest you get this short book and be very enlightened by it.
His final statement on the subject is instructive: “ You cannot worship a disappointment.”
Those who say, “ I can never get over that” never seem to realize that this is not the only life we have! Do you think it cruel what God allowed to happen to Job? Only if you are thinking of this life. What has Job been doing for the past 3500 years or more? I can tell you; enjoying an ecstasy which cannot be put into words. Think of the great suffering of the apostle Paul listed in so many places in the N.T. In his own words He said,” For I consider the sufferings of the present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.” Romans 8: 18.
What has the apostle Paul been enjoying for about 2000 years? I can tell you that also; enjoying an ecstasy unimaginable to us now in this fallen life, in which God used this hardship to perfect us.
Let me get this straight; about 70 plus years “here,” and eternity “there.” And the older you get the more you realize you are approaching the end of this adventure, this experiment, at blinding speed! And when it is all over “here,” we will understand “here” by looking through the lens “there” and back to “here.” The first thing we willingly forget in hard times is to view things “here” and “there” at the same time.
If you really want to help yourself learn to have the peace that comes during disappointing times, just really get a grip on II Corinthians chapter 4 and 5. If there was ever a great couple of chapters to memorize it would be these. It will help rescue you from despair in the middle of a disappointment.
I am not disappointed in God. I am disappointed in me. But the beauty of it is, that I am not even disappointed in me for long, because when I want to give up I pray for God to help my unbelief. He comes in with a flood of joy and raises me onto higher ground.
He will never leave me or forsake me, even though in my mind He should. It is just not in Him to give up on me, or you, or anybody who will lay down their limited view; lay down they basket of woes; lay down their disappointment in Him.
The God who allowed Himself to be murdered to save me can surely be trusted during the hard times down here. What if I don’t understand what He may be doing at any particular time? I trust what He did on the cross to save me. I know from that event alone what He is like.
I know He is for me and not against me.
This is how it really is: disappointment in God gets shallowed up in the promises of God. JWP
“Are You Ever Happy About Anything?” 1/12/2021
The recent and rare snow reminded me of days of old in North Texas as a kid. There we got snow about every 4 years or so. Rarely was the snow over 4”, but sometime we had more. It did not matter the amount. If it lasted into the next day then we did not sleep that night!
With 20 beagle dogs about the place we carefully avoided the yellow snow and would build our snowmen, and scoop up our ample portions to make snow ice cream. You poured the milk, mixed with vanilla and sugar, over the snow and gave yourself brain-freeze.
We put on dad’s boots and made gloves from the sock drawer. Dad would come out and watch 6 kids having the time of their lives. Even through his particularly life-hardened face you saw, if only for a moment, a kid’s face. He was remembering such days in which He himself enjoyed those rare occasions. It made me happy to know he once had some happy moments from his terrible childhood.
This recent snow made my heart so joyful! I have been sick of late, but it could not suppress my joy. God showed me the timelessness of such moments. Think about that a moment; “the timelessness of such moments.” That is when a temporal moment mimics an eternal truth. God has just about freed me from the disease of, “ I will be happy when,,,,” syndrome. What do I mean?
I decided to get on social media that day that the snow fell. That was my first mistake. Someone mentioned how wonderful it was that we had snow. Immediately someone commented that it was not the kind of snow they liked because it was too wet. Someone else was correcting someone’s spelling. Really? Another commented that it sure made the roads dangerous and I hope everybody is careful. That is code for, “I must be the only person who really cares!”
That brings me to this. “ Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, even though now, for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ; and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, obtaining at the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls. ” I Peter 1: 3-9.
Talk about happy? WOW! As the hymn says,“ Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine, oh what a foretaste of glory divine.” Those timeless moments down here are trying to communicate with you about a permanent situation to come. But no; not you. No, everything has to be just right for you to be happy. Then you will never be happy!
I knew after this wonderful snow event was spoken about on Facebook, it would not take long till some shriveled soul would say, “Yea, that’s good, but what about this situation we have right now in America?” And that complaint could be about the year 2020 A.D., or the year 55 A.D. , or any year you chose.
That brings me to this; there is no way, even God, could make such a person happy. That person needs a new heart. Only Jesus can give a new heart. You cannot build one on your own, because something will always come along to spoil it; and the spoiling, because it has no firm, unmovable foundation, as the one Peter spoke about.
That brings me to this: Could not God just let everybody go to heaven? He could, but it would become hell in a short time. You have to have a new heart, only given by Christ, to enjoy heaven. Grumblers over some imagined better snow, and many other topics, need not apply. Are you ever happy for long about anything? JWP
Please join us in today’s word. And let us know what you think….either in our comment section or in person at our next service. Join us every Sunday at our worship times–9:30am for Sunday School and at 10:45am for Worship Service. We’d love to see you here!