Do you have the right outlook on life?
We seem to be a generation that gets easily disappointed, quickly discouraged, and subject to depression. Maybe it’s because we’re a microwave, sound-bite, high definition, google-fast information culture. Our Christian expectations are often the same, so that if you believe it, you should receive it … now or tomorrow. What’s the wait? Why is it taking so long? And when we have problems and struggles on top of not having what we hoped for, asked for, believed for… God must not have heard me, or He must not care!? What’s the good of believing if life just got harder instead of better. This stuff just must not work! So … you thought it would be easy?
Paul starts his second letter to the Corinthian church, by blessing God, the Father of mercies, the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles … Later on he talks about being pressed down but not crushed, perplexed, but not despairing, persecuted, but not forsaken, struck down, but not destroyed … so that the life of Jesus would become evident in our physical life here (2 Cor 4:7-12). But seriously, that could sound depressing! When the Bible talks about all God’s promises, and we see the power of God at work in people’s lives, including miracles, why should we experience pressures and problems?
» We need to know why problems come and where they come from. The Bible says that God is not the source of our problems or trials. Jesus told us that Satan is the one who brings us troubles, pressures, and persecution to steal away God’s Word from our heart.«
As they come into our lives we can choose to learn how to rely on His Spirit rather than on our own solutions. We may even have good and noble plans – like being a missionary, being married, giving away a lot of money, helping the poor. But unless those are God’s plans for our life, and we’re doing it God’s way, and in His time, none of our own plans will satisfy or bring lasting happiness.
Are you walking in the Spirit?
God wants us to learn how to walk in the Spirit. That means that He wants us to develop such a close relationship with Him, to really know Him, hear His thoughts and hear His Word. We also need to know why problems come and where they come from. The Bible says that God is not the source of our problems or trials (James 1:13-17). Jesus told us that Satan is the one who brings us troubles, pressures, and persecution to steal away God’s Word from our heart (Mark 4:14-17). Ultimately, what is being tested is our relationship with God. Even in trials and hardship, will we trust God, in His love, in His Word, and in His goodness even in the midst of the difficulties?
Peter wrote to his fellow Christians who were being persecuted, that “now, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, so that the proof (genuineness) of your faith, which is more precious than perishable gold, though tested by fire, might be found to result in praise and glory and honor when Jesus Christ appears (1 Peter1:3-9). When the pressure is on, as Eph 6:10-17 tells us, Stand strong in the Lord and in His mighty power.
When you stand strong in the Lord and in His mighty power, it doesn’t matter how difficult life gets, you can be sure that you have the victory in Christ, who strengthens you.
About the author:
Born in Stockholm, Sweden, Dr. Faro graduated with a Ph.D. in Old Testament and Semitic Languages, specializing in the Pentateuch, and a Master of Divinity, specializing in the biblical languages, from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Deerfield, Illinois, USA. She is member of several scholarly societies, including the Society of Biblical Literature, the Institute for Biblical Research, and the Evangelical Theological Society.
Dr. Faro is actively involved in research and speaking on the problem of evil, along with personal and pastoral response to suffering. She is ordained through the Fellowship of Christian Assemblies. Previously, Ingrid worked with Theological and Cultural Thinkers through Navigators to develop educational and spiritual formation materials; worked as adjunct faculty in Biblical Hebrew at North Park Theological Seminary in Chicago, Illinois; served as Director of Women’s Ministries at Lakeland Evangelical Free Church in Illinois; and has been teaching in various fields since 1984. She also lived in Israel while conducting research for her prior M.S. in Nutrition, with numerous return visits.
Ingrid Spellnes Faro
Instructor in Biblical Hebrew and the Old Testament
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