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Truth in Times of Mistrust

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A nagging cough had me up at 2:30 a.m. I groggily sat up, popped the umpteenth cough drop in my mouth and turned on the news to hear the latest on the Coronavirus. I listened for about thirty minutes to one alarming segment after another on one network. During a commercial break, I decided to flip to another news channel, you know, just to get a different perspective. The other station’s headlines weren’t just different—they were alarmingly contradictory to the first one. Which station is relaying the truth about the situation? Which news is reporting accurately? Is “the truth” about the Coronavirus and what we should do somewhere in the middle of the two?

Although this has hardly been the first time I’ve yearned for the true, nonpartisan state of our nation, now is a particularly critical time to get to the facts and fast. People are sick and dying, and the Coronavirus spreading throughout the world is a sobering reminder that getting to the truth can be a matter of life and death.

My husband’s grandmother used to say, “The truth will slow walk a lie out.” In other words, it may take some time, but eventually, the truth will be revealed. Truth has a way of outliving even the most compelling lies. While we can take comfort in knowing, sooner or later, the truth will rise and stand, for most of us right now, we have time sensitive issues, so getting to the truth quickly is paramount. We need to know whether to wear a mask or now, how to work without getting the virus when we’re classified as essential employees, when and how to properly social distance, and what we need or don’t need to stock our shelves. For those who may fall ill, they want to know they will have the medical resources available to help them get better. Medical personnel want to believe that they will have the necessary supplies to protect themselves from getting sick or dying, but they’re hearing mixed messages. The truth is slowly being revealed, but it comes at too great an expense when it’s too late.

We all have many choices to make in the coming weeks and months, and how we make those decisions will impact ourselves and others in impactful ways—whether we may even know it or not. Getting and knowing the truth helps us to make those decisions. Crises have a way of stripping us of our superficial ideas, people, and things and cause us to ask ourselves who we really are at our core. We may ask ourselves what we really believe in and how should we prioritize these things. Seeking and recognizing these personal truths, especially when things are chaotic, can soothe our worries and fears if we are wise.

Where can we turn in good times and bad for the truth? We should go to God’s Word. John 17:17 tell us that the “Word is truth.” This must be a non-negotiable. The Word must be our foundation and roadmap for life success.

In the God’s Word, Jesus is the truth. There are no lies in Him and His Word. Jesus speaks in John 16:13, saying that the Holy Spirit, “The Spirit of truth . . . will guide you into all truth.” When we seek answers, we must turn to the truth of God’s Word and trust that as we pray, the Holy Spirit will lead us and equip us with the wisdom to make good, sound decisions. The truth is always close when we seek it. When we’re not sure what to believe, say or do, we can be comforted in knowing that God’s Holy Spirit will direct us.

Jesus also says in John 8:32: “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” When we are anchored in Christ and study His Word with understanding, we aren’t in bondage by false or untrustworthy information. We are free to put all of our trust in Him, and it gives us freedom from worry, fear, and hopelessness. When we read and study the Bible, we are able to “rightly divide the Word of truth” (2 Tim. 2:15b), which simply means we understand and apply God’s Word the way that God intends. He has given us access to the truth by our fellowship with Him. We know the truth, and it makes us free from the bondage of sin and lies.

Godly wisdom in times of crisis helps us to strengthen and stretch our faith in unimaginable ways. As we filter every obstacle, challenge, and crisis through His Word and prayer, He gives us overflowing peace, hope and endurance. When we refuse to be seduced into being fearful, hateful, untrustworthy and bitter, He enables us to recognize, give and receive love, goodness, patience, gentleness, joy, self-control, kindness, and peace.

Jesus tells us that if we “hunger and thirst after righteousness, we will be filled.” When we want truth and righteousness, He will give it to us. In these uncertain times, we must be more determined than ever to seek the truth and what’s right (righteous). When we do, we are gifted with not only a peace that passes all understanding for ourselves, but we are also able to spread it to others.

Please be safe, and know my prayers are with you

 

Blessings and love,

MaRita

 

 

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actions · Bible · christian · Christian Devotion · faith · peace · purpose · Spirit · worry

When You’re Hated . . .

It’s not a good feeling to be hated or even disliked. Often, you can’t even clearly identify the source of another person’s resentment. In other cases, you might know the source, but the hatred is a misunderstanding or genuine mistake. Have you ever been there? For the sake of peace, you’ve tried to extend an olive branch, but in return you’ve received an unforgiving response, anger, bitterness, or even denial of the issue. If we’re not careful, those few people who actually despise us can play tricks on us. We can spend too much valuable time pondering the source of their hatred, getting angry or staying bewildered instead of focusing on productive and fruit bearing endeavors. In a nutshell, being hated or disliked can either give us fuel to go higher or permanently ground us. It’s up to us.

As we all know, we can’t change anyone. God can change hearts if the person allows Him to; otherwise, we only have the power to change ourselves. We can decide that our bad feelings about being hated on will not dictate our actions, words, and deeds. We can choose to focus on all that’s good, positive and productive. It’s so easy to spend a lot of time worrying about the people who don’t like us, but it’s a spiritually dead plight. It won’t get us anywhere. However, as mature Christians, we can simply let negative emotions, actions, and words go.
I’ve realized that some of the most painful emotions come from unmet expectations. When we expect a certain outcome for whatever the reason and relationship and we are let down, feelings of hurt, anger, and rejection can follow. These feelings can lead to bitterness if we don’t cut them down at the root. Sometimes we have unrealistic expectations from others. They are not equipped or unwilling to give us what we may feel we need or want. We have to know that it’s okay. God, in His infinite grace and kindness, always provides an avenue for us to have our needs and wants met. We cannot force a loving response from someone who is in an ungodly place, for whatever reason. Trusting that God will supply all of our needs is paramount.

Jesus says in John 15:18, “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you.” Of course, we know that religious leaders felt threatened by Jesus because He was making their religion useless, unfruitful, and ineffective. Jesus tells us that, “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake.” When we are doing His will and we are hated for it, the kingdom of heaven is ours. God’s righteousness reigns supreme in heaven, and we must set that as our goal, not why someone doesn’t like us. When we live right and for God, we will be disliked and hated by some.

It’s critical for us to examine ourselves to make sure that our actions, words and deeds are Christ-like. It’s not always someone else’s issue. Sometimes it’s us. The only way that we can see ourselves clearly is by reading the Word and praying. God will show us ourselves much better than any mirror can. If we refuse to take a good look at our own actions, words and deeds, we can have “haters” who might have some legitimacy to their feelings. Many times others can see us better than we can see ourselves.

On the other hand, when we are confident that we are not at fault in any way, we can rest assured, knowing that if God is allowing it, He will use that hatred, dislike, bitterness and resentment meant to destroy us for our good. When others see us withstand the enemy’s darts without hating back, we win.

One final word to those who refuse to let go of negative feelings towards another person. Negative energy destroys you more than the person who is the object of your hate or dislike. Ask God to help heal you from the hurt, jealousy, or resentment today. People who are angry with other people, whether justified or not, hold on to offenses and live in bondage. Choose to live in the freedom of Christ’s love.

“ . . . let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith” (Hebrews 12:1-2).

Yours in Christ,

MaRita