Women Embracing Faith

Thinking Through the Bible

God’s Kind of Comfort August 20, 2008

Filed under: applications,introductions — womenembracingfaith @ 2:27 am
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When we are anxious or spiritually depressed, we would rather reach out for some quick fix than to study the Bible and apply its principles to ourselves. Sometimes we’ll just grab at any passage, looking for a psychological twist from it. Remember doing that? Thinking in terms of temperaments, personality types and disorders. Or we try to work ourselves into a more positive attitude instead of thinking through the biblical doctrines. Who has the energy to think through the doctrine of the trinity when we’re depressed?

But, God’s Comfort for our Anxieties comes from remembering these great themes of the Bible and praying for the Holy Spirit to make them real to us in our experience. For instance, the reality of God being in three persons (doctrine; great theme; principle) is that we bow before His majesty, thankful for His suffering, grateful for His presence. When we contemplate the Father’s majestic power, it makes us smaller, our self less important at the moment. When we’re overcome with thankfulness for our salvation and the price of the cross, our anxieties seem not so important. And as our hearts are strangely warmed with praise and gratefulness, we are aware of God’s Spirit working in us to comfort and strengthen us for that day’s duties. This is God’s kind of comfort. It is so much better than using the Bible as a psychological tool or an attempt to stir our emotions. Try staring at the cross!

I’ve learned this from Roger Ellsworth and Martyn Lloyd-Jones, among others. (You can google either one.)

“The New Testament pays us a great compliment by giving us its comfort in terms of doctrine…It all seems very strange to our modern ears, to those who desire immediate and direct comfort. But this is the very glory of the New Testament; it gives us doctrine, it regards us as intelligent human beings. It says, ‘Stand on your feet for a moment. Here is doctrine. Work it out for yourself.’ …It is not a direct comfort, but an indirect comfort.” Martyn Lloyd-Jones, The Miracle of Grace, Baker House, 1986, p. 36-37 (italics mine)

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Spring in Florida May 15, 2008

Filed under: applications — womenembracingfaith @ 4:03 pm
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Spring here is so much fun. I grabbed a roach off the kitchen counter last night; I use a paper towel, of course. This is after paying the bug man $59 on Monday! And just now I glanced thru the slates of the window shutters to see a black snake gracefully gliding along a branch. He is always welcomed because he hunts rats. We all thrive here together. And of course, today is beach day for my collie and I, and he is very impatient to get going. But, I wanted to leave you with something to think about…

“And we desire each one of you to show the same earnestness to have the full assurance of hope until the end, so that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises” (Hebrews 6:11-12).

To be earnest is to be serious and persistence. You can’t be lazy about seeking assurance of your salvation. No laying back and saying “Well, I looove Jesus!”

“But, what about your last post?” someone writes.

Thinking about its meaning and applying the Bible can be confusing sometimes, remember? What is clear is that God declares us righteous enough to be His child if we “have” Christ Jesus. That gives us such hope..spiritual life now and forever. But, we can’t sit back on our laurels and do nothing, becoming slow and dull of hearing. Instead, we need someone to watch. Someone who patiently and persistently keeps on believing and hoping. Who are you watching? I watch my friend, Lei Brady. I read Christian biographies.

Jake is nipping at my heels. Off to the beach! Remind me to think, and to be persistent and serious about the hope I have in Christ Jesus.

(Thanks for the unpublished comments of encouragement. I don’t have pictures of me all dolled up. This is Benjamin (oldest grandson) and I during one of his “swim” lessons.)

Carol