On putting things in perspective

I’ve had a day of feeling particularly lonely and unhappy. So I was planning to write about contentment and loneliness. But first I sat down and opened my Bible to read what God tells us about contentment. Here’s some of what I found –

7So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. 8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.10 For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. [2 Corinthians 12:7-10]

6 Now there is great gain in godliness with contentment, 7 for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. 8 But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. 9 But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs. [1 Timothy 6:6-10]

10 I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at length you have revived your concern for me. You were indeed concerned for me, but you had no opportunity. 11 Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. 12 I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. 13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

14 Yet it was kind of you to share my trouble. 15 And you Philippians yourselves know that in the beginning of the gospel, when I left Macedonia, no church entered into partnership with me in giving and receiving, except you only. 16 Even in Thessalonica you sent me help for my needs once and again. 17 Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the fruit that increases to your credit. 18 I have received full payment, and more. I am well supplied, having received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent, a fragrant offering, a sacrifice acceptable and pleasing to God. 19 And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. 20 To our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen. [Philippians 4:10-20]

17 Only let each person lead the life that the Lord has assigned to him, and to which God has called him. This is my rule in all the churches. 18 Was anyone at the time of his call already circumcised? Let him not seek to remove the marks of circumcision. Was anyone at the time of his call uncircumcised? Let him not seek circumcision. 19 For neither circumcision counts for anything nor uncircumcision, but keeping the commandments of God. 20 Each one should remain in the condition in which he was called. 21 Were you a slave when called? Do not be concerned about it. (But if you can gain your freedom, avail yourself of the opportunity.)22 For he who was called in the Lord as a slave is a freedman of the Lord. Likewise he who was free when called is a slave of Christ.23 You were bought with a price; do not become slaves of men.24 So, brothers, in whatever condition each was called, there let him remain with God. [1 Corinthians 7:17-24]

I remembered these 2 things –

One – my problems aren’t that bad. Two – contentment comes from the LORD.

The Lord upholds all who are falling
and raises up all who are bowed down.
The eyes of all look to you,
and you give them their food in due season.
You open your hand;
you satisfy the desire of every living thing.
The Lord is righteous in all his ways
and kind in all his works.
The Lord is near to all who call on him,
to all who call on him in truth.
He fulfills the desire of those who fear him;
he also hears their cry and saves them.
The Lord preserves all who love him,
but all the wicked he will destroy.

My mouth will speak the praise of the Lord,
and let all flesh bless his holy name forever and ever. [Psalm 145:14-21]

What not to say to your single friends… #7

bridegroom

#7 – I’ll find you a husband/wife!

I had an interesting conversation after church tonight about singleness and how a church that is mostly families should be serving the few single people they have.

Towards the end of the conversation my minister asked me and another girl if we thought that it is his job as our pastor to find us a husband.  I’ll admit that I thought about it a minute before replying with a less than confident no. But the more I think about it the more confident I am about that answer.

His job is not to find me a husband (and for the record he doesn’t think thats his job). His job is to teach me. Teach me the bible, teach me how to make wise, godly decisions, teach me how to love and trust God, teach me to find satisfaction in God no matter what my marital status. He is to teach me how to live a life that glorifies God in whatever stage I’m at.

But that’s not just his job. Its yours too. And mine.

Isn’t that what we should be wanting for our friends? Shouldn’t we be encouraging them all to keep trusting Jesus with everything?

I’m not saying you can’t ever try and set people up (if you can find a way that isn’t really awkward!) I’m just saying that a change of martial status is not always the answer. Trusting God, on the other hand, IS always the answer. So lets point our friends to that instead.