Showing posts with label Lamentations. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Lamentations. Show all posts

Thursday, August 3, 2023

Getting Lost - Self-Deception Series 22 – Purity 1111

Getting Lost - Self-Deception Series 22 – Purity 1111

Purity 1111 08/03/2023 Purity 1111 Podcast

Purity 1111 on YouTube: 

YouTube Flipped the Photo, AGAIN! I wasn't that lost! (I FIXED IT!)

Good morning,

Today’s photo of the Bluffs Edge Trail, winding through the wilderness along the coast of Lake Erie comes to us from yours truly as I captured this wooded scene on the return trek to our automobile during yesterday’s visit to Erie Bluffs State Park. 

Well, It’s Thursday and I am happy to report that we did make it out of Erie Bluffs State Park, no thanks to myself, because I became so focused on the twists and turns of the map that I had captured to my phone that I didn’t realize that I wasn’t where I thought I was and ignored the obvious signs that told us which way to go.  I began to take a left turn based on my “supposing” when my wife pointed out that “our car is over there!” on a path straight ahead.  I was in utter disbelief at the time because the twists in turns of the path seemed to match up with the map which “told me” that we had to bear left otherwise we would be taking a long walk to the other end of the park.  In my defense, and after a further review of the map, two factors came into play that led me astray:

1.    The map didn’t accurately reflect reality.  There were mown paths and little foot trails at the park that were not on the map!

2.    At a critical point on the walk out of the woods, we came to a 3 way unmarked intersection, at which we chose a path that was in the right direction, but I assumed we were at a point that was further west than we were. 

So, I assumed that we on the westward leg of Transition Trail, when we were on the Southern leg, and when our winding progress seemed to match up with the map, I took an unmarked mowed path to the left to be the “Black Oak Savana Trail” when in fact it wasn’t.  Luckily, TammyLyn was looking at where she was going rather than blindly following me and pointed out the shapes of automobiles in the distance that signaled “this is the way”.  

I really was sure I knew where I was going and even after seeing the vehicles I wasn’t convinced as I experienced the cognitive dissonance of my imagination and expectations being confronted with the contradictory information of reality, but I begrudgingly trusted my wife and followed her until it was clear that “that parking lot was “THE parking lot” and I humbly admitted I had been lost and didn’t know it.  

I had believed things that were not true and continued believing them until it was painfully obvious that I had been deceived by faulty information and false expectations created by my imaginative assumptions.   Just because you think something is true doesn’t mean that it is, and just because you are sincere in believing your false beliefs doesn’t mean they will take you where you want to go.  To know the truth, we have to accurately look at all the evidence and admit when we have made a mistake in judgement when reality reveals the error of our ways.

 And that brings us to our current series on Self- Deception, where we have decided to investigate some of the ways we deceive ourselves by walking through Step 2, Deception Vs. Truth, of the Steps to Freedom in Christ to see what ways we may have been deceived by “the world” and ourselves and in what ways we have wrongly defended ourselves. 

So we present the sixth of the  “Ways to Deceive Yourself”:

6 . Thinking that God is the source of my problems.

The scripture reference for this point is:

Lamentations 3:1-24 (NLT2)
1  I am the one who has seen the afflictions that come from the rod of the LORD’s anger.
2  He has led me into darkness, shutting out all light.
3  He has turned his hand against me again and again, all day long.
4  He has made my skin and flesh grow old. He has broken my bones.
5  He has besieged and surrounded me with anguish and distress.
6  He has buried me in a dark place, like those long dead.
7  He has walled me in, and I cannot escape. He has bound me in heavy chains.
8  And though I cry and shout, he has shut out my prayers.
9  He has blocked my way with a high stone wall; he has made my road crooked.
10  He has hidden like a bear or a lion, waiting to attack me.
11  He has dragged me off the path and torn me in pieces, leaving me helpless and devastated.
12  He has drawn his bow and made me the target for his arrows.
13  He shot his arrows deep into my heart.
14  My own people laugh at me. All day long they sing their mocking songs.
15  He has filled me with bitterness and given me a bitter cup of sorrow to drink.
16  He has made me chew on gravel. He has rolled me in the dust.
17  Peace has been stripped away, and I have forgotten what prosperity is.
18  I cry out, “My splendor is gone! Everything I had hoped for from the LORD is lost!”
19  The thought of my suffering and homelessness is bitter beyond words.
20  I will never forget this awful time, as I grieve over my loss.
21  Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this:
22  The faithful love of the LORD never ends! His mercies never cease.
23  Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning.
24  I say to myself, “The LORD is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in him!”

After a long journey into despair based on the facts of his suffering, Jeremiah made a mistake in concluding that God was out to get him.  He looked at His situation and God’s sovereignty and more or less assumed “God hates me” and was the source of all of his problems. 

This is a classic trap of the enemy and self-deception – where we take things that are “facts” – things that are true – and draw conclusions that are false from them.   Some examples of this are:

·       They didn’t answer my call, they must not like me or care about me. 

·       My wife left me, so I must be unlovable. 

·       My parents ignored me, I must be worthless. 

·       I was picked last on the team, so I must be useless.

Just like an illusionist uses misdirection to grab our focus to keep us from seeing the truth, we can focus on the facts of our situations, ignoring other things that disagree with what we believe is true, to the point that we draw a false conclusion – “We must turn left here!” for instance.  

But luckily, in the above passage, Jeremiah looks pasts the facts of his suffering and remembers the truth about God. God isn’t hateful, He’s loving.  God isn’t mean and abusive, God is merciful.  When Jerimiah remembers the truth about God, he leaves his despair behind and is filled with a hope that is based on the truth of God’s faithfulness.

And just like Jeremiah, we have to remember God’s faithfulness when we start to slip into hopelessness or condemnation.  God is not the source of our problems. Yes, the facts may reflect that we are suffering or people have rejected us but the higher truth of God’s love, acceptance, care, and provision remains true and when the going gets tough we accept the reality of our situations but we also put our hope in God and trust that He will be with us and will help us with His strength, comfort, and wisdom until the “facts” are seen according to God’s truth and perspective. When we spend our lives walking and talking with God and following where He leads, we are never lost for too long and even in the darkest valley we can have peace and joy because He is with us.    



For those who want more evidence for Christianity than my simple encouragements provide, I offer apologist, Frank Turek’s website, .

Today’s Bible verse comes to us from “The Quick Scripture Reference for Counseling” By John G. Kruis.

( While Bible verses on various topics of Counseling can be found with a quick google search, we encourage you to purchase this resource to support the late author’s work. ( )

This morning’s meditation verses come from the section on Affliction, Discipline, Chastisement, & Trials.

Deuteronomy 8:2-5 (NIV2011)
2  Remember how the LORD your God led you all the way in the wilderness these forty years, to humble and test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands.
3  He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD.
4  Your clothes did not wear out and your feet did not swell during these forty years.
5  Know then in your heart that as a man disciplines his son, so the LORD your God disciplines you.

Today’s verses fall under the eighth point of our counseling reference guide resource’s section on Affliction, Discipline, Chastisement, & Trials

 8. “God disciplined and tried His people on their journey to the promised land to teach them important lessons”. 

Today’s verses remind us that the Lord tests His people, but they also remind us that although He may humble us, the Lord does it as a loving Father who seeks to teach his children the proper way to go and to best represent His kingdom.    

Jesus quoted verse 3 from this passage when He was tempted in the wilderness by Satan: telling the evil one that “man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD.” 

We are supposed to live on the Lord’s instructions for us and we are to keep His commands.  And so the Lord will test us with the purpose that we will learn to depend on His wisdom and strength as we go through life.   So when we run into trials we can comfort ourselves by remembering that God has always tested His people and that the difficulty we face proves that God cares about us and seeks to refine our faith and cause us to agree with and follow Him.


As always, I invite all to go to where I always share insights from prominent Christian theologians and counselors to assist my brothers and sisters in Christ with their walk.

Today we continue sharing from  The Holy Spirit By A.W. Pink.

As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage you all to purchase A.W. Pink’s books for your own private study and to support his work.  This resource is available online for $0.99 ( 

A.W. Pink’s The Holy Spirit

17 - The Spirit Uniting in Christ

Spiritual Union

Spiritual union with Christ, then, is effected both by the external preaching of the Gospel and the internal “drawing” of the Father. Let us now take note of the bands by which Christ and the believer are knit together. These bands are two in number, being the Holy Spirit on Christ’s part, and faith on our part. The Spirit on Christ’s part is His quickening us with spiritual life, whereby Christ first takes hold of us. Faith on our part, when thus quickened, is that whereby we take hold of Christ. We must first be “apprehended” (laid hold of) by Christ, before we can apprehend Him:

Philippians 3:12. No vital act of faith can be exercised until a vital principle is first communicated to us. Thus, Christ is in the believer by His Spirit; the believer is in Christ by faith. Christ is in the believer by inhabitation; the believer is in Christ by implantation (Rom. 6:3–5). Christ is in the believer as the head is in the body; we are in Christ as the members are in the head.

“He that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit” with Him (1 Cor. 6:17). The same Spirit which is in the Head is in the members of His mystical body, a vital union being effected between them. Christ is in Heaven, we upon earth, but the Spirit being omnipresent is the connecting link. “For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles” (1 Cor. 12:13)—what could be plainer than that? “Hereby know we that we dwell in Him, and He in us, because He hath given us of His Spirit” (1 John 4:13). Thus, Christ is unto His people a Head not only of government, but also of influence. Though the ties which connect the Redeemer and the redeemed are spiritual and invisible, yet are they so real and intimate that He lives in them and they live in Him, for “the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death” (Rom. 8:2).

“But if the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwelleth in you” (Rom. 8:11), and this, because the Spirit is the bond of union between us and Christ. Because there is the same Spirit in the Head and in His members, He will therefore work the same effects in Him and in us. If the Head rise, the members will follow after, for they are appointed to be conformed unto Him (Rom. 8:29)—in obedience and suffering now, in happiness and glory hereafter. Christ was raised by the Spirit of holiness (Rom. 1:4), and so shall we be—the earnest of which we have already received when brought from death unto life.[1]

---------------------------more tomorrow------------------------

Join our “Victory over the Darkness”, “The Bondage Breaker”, "Freedom in Christ" series of Discipleship Classes via the mt4christ247 podcast!

at, You can also find it on Apple podcasts

( The mt4christ247 podcast is also available on Google Podcasts, Amazon Podcasts, Spotify, iHeartradio, and 

These teachings are also available on the MT4Christ247 You Tube Channel:

Email me at to receive the class materials, share your progress, and to be encouraged.

My wife, TammyLyn, also offers Christian encouragement via her Ask Seek Knock blog ( ),  her Facebook Group: Ask, Seek, Knock ( ) and her podcast Ask, Seek, and Knock on Podbean (

For those who require the assistance of a Deeper Walk International Prayer Minister to experience healing or your freedom in Christ, I highly recommend Christy Edge’s Life on the Edge Freedom Prayer Ministry. You can schedule a session by going to :     

“The views, opinions, and commentary of this publication are those of the author, M.T. Clark, only, and do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of any of the photographers, artists, ministries, or other authors of the other works that may be included in this publication, and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of any entities the author may represent.”

Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship

[1] Arthur Walkington Pink, The Holy Spirit (Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, n.d.).

Saturday, December 4, 2021

The Relapse that Wasn’t Worth it - Changing From my Old “Corduroys” to be a “Better Man”- Purity 593

The Relapse that Wasn’t Worth it - Changing From my Old “Corduroys” to be a “Better Man”- Purity 593

Purity 593 12/04/2021 Purity 593 Podcast

Good morning

Today’s photo of spectacular December sunset sky comes to us from the vantage point of a friend’s front porch in West Liberty, Kentucky.  It’s a beautiful view but as nice as it is our friend has decided that they want to see the sky from different vantage points all over the country because despite relocating to Kentucky from New York earlier this year they have decided to sell their recently acquired home and to exchange it for an RV to travel the highways and bi-ways of our country to see and capture more of the beauty of God’s creation that surrounds us.  

I can relate to that restless spirit to “come and see” as it has led me to seek the Lord and follow wherever He leads. My walk of faith has been an all inclusive trip that has included diving deep into God’s word and the teachings of the saints who have tried to unpack its wisdom; as well as an experiential journey that has led me to perform the good works that the Lord has prepared for me in my local communities as well as traveling to distant lands both nationally and internationally to answer His call.  

As much as we may look to the outside for our meaning and purpose for God, He also calls us to renew our minds and to turn from our worldly ways and to adopt His way for living our lives.  This inward transformative work can be a daunting task and as frustrating a process as changing the ways we how we think and act may be at times, the rewards of repentance are worth it.     \

I have indicated in my continuing testimony my ongoing victories over my former addictions to alcohol, drugs, and sex and know that the process of recovery and repentance can be one marked with victories and defeats as sometimes our best efforts are dismantled by our own weakness.  

While I was able to walk away from illicit and illegal drugs, one of which is now legal, in my own strength with the strong crutch of alcohol still holding me up, to be completely sober I needed the Lord’s strength.  

In 2015, my church started a recovery ministry and when they did I knew that it was time to finally trust the Lord to take away that crutch of alcohol that I was bound to. I walked strong in recovery for two weeks but then due to corrupting influences of a former relationship and due to my own weakness, I relapsed at a “rock and roll” weekend of excess at an old resort near Hunter Mountain, in Greene County.  

After two days of throwing off my restraint and indulging in alcohol, cigarettes, and magic mushrooms, (in for a penny in for a pound right?), I woke up Sunday morning heavily convicted and angry at my failure.  I was mad that this relapse “wasn’t even worth it!”

I had thrown away two weeks of sobriety for a “not so great time” with people I didn’t know who seemed ravaged by the effects of their decades of addictions, doing the same things and singing the same songs over and over again since high school.  They hadn’t grown in their maturity or learned from the suffering caused by their vicious cycles and seemed to be condemned to keep repeating them, to never escape from the lifestyle that would continue to destroy their health and possibly cost them their souls if they never turned to God.

So I was ashamed and felt guilty but unlike in times of the past, where I would have sheepishly lamented of the uselessness of trying to fight my addictions, I was filled with righteous indignation and recommitted myself to surrender to and to follow the Lord completely on the road to recovery.

As a forgiven saint, there was grace for my failure. God wasn’t going to disown me. Christ had paid the cost for all of my sins and that includes the one I haven’t done yet.  My relationship with God wasn’t over and when I asked for forgiveness and recommitted myself to Him that morning, I knew that He was with me forever and that no matter what missteps I make in life He will never leave me or forsake me and that instead He will encourage me to keep following Him into the life that He wants for me, a life defined by the fruit of the Spirit rather than the sins of the flesh. 

From that day in March of 2015, I have continued to surrender to and to follow the Lord and to walk in victory.  My latest battle has been with my food addiction to processed foods and particularly sugar filled treats and candy.  

I have made great advances in that fight this year but since October I have “given myself grace” to indulge in the occasional “cheat day”.  Unfortunately, while a reasonable person may be able to be measured in their choices to step off the path of righteousness, I have that addict’s philosophy to go for broke when I indulge.  Like an alcoholic who is incapable of seeing the point of only having a few drinks and figures if they are going to drink they most certainly are going to get good and hammered, when I give in to have some candy or other treat I usually have a lot.  

Just like an addict, my little indulgences on holidays and “special occasions” have led to more “special occasions” and to me secretly grabbing unapproved foods and hiding my activities.  Last night, it was Friday night, and I because I had been on my eating plan that is sugar free for several days decided that I was going to make it a “cheat day” and went overboard by eating several servings of candy. 

This morning I feel like I did back in 2015. I feel that my relapse wasn’t even worth it! The sweets didn’t satisfy, and  I pray that this will be a turning point from which I have a renewed conviction to not “keep going to the well” that has proven to be poisoned.  

Food addiction is particularly difficult because we have to eat but when we avoid processed foods and eat the foods that God created and that have not been enhanced or corrupted by the hands of men, we feel healthier.  So I am “outing” myself once again with the intention of picking myself back up and walking into the healthier life that God would have me live. 

There is grace for our failures and there is even room for the enjoyment of all of hat the Lord has provided but when we throw off restraint in a reckless way like I do, we need to recognize that the way of victory may require cessation rather than moderation. If we can’t just enjoy a reasonable amount of something, it might be more reasonable for us not to have any.  

Our walk of life is one in which we can take corrective action and when we see the same patterns of failure coming again and again, its time to get off the merry go round, ask the Lord to forgive us for our weakness, and to ask Him to strengthen and help us to go the way that we should go.  

As I was considering this message some lyrics from some old Pearl Jam songs from their Vitalogy album came to mind and of course my aged brain had confused them and made two songs to be one.   I had melded the lyrics of “Better Man” and “Corduroy” and was taken by how some of the themes in those songs reflected my past and my intention to be a “Better Man”. 

Corduroy is sort of an anthem of rebellion and independence that speaks of not wanting to “hear from those who know” and not “wanting to be held in your debt” with the result of ending “up alone like I began.”

“Better Man” is actually a song about abuse, telling the tale of a woman who is trapped in a relationship with a man, and although she “dreams in colors” and “dreams in red”, “She lies and says she’s in love with him”, lamenting that she “Can’t find a better man, Can’t find a better man…”

Both songs are meaningful I guess because I was that independent spirit that would do things his way to point of my own detriment and that I know what it is like to feel trapped in cycles of addictions and abusive relationships but because of God I have a new hope.  

I don’t have to “…be damned, All alone like I began”.  God has saved me and encourages me to walk further into the life He has for me.  I don’t have to earn it.  I “Can’t buy what I want because it’s free.”  

God has called me out of the darkness to be the “better man”  that I never thought I could be. 

And even though I know this latest slip up was only candy and there is grace for it, I know that with God’s strength I can be a better man and no longer have to give in to these food binges that only result in a feelings of sickness, shame, and futility.    

I also know that my battle is not just my own.  There are others who are trapped in bad relationships and addictive patterns. And if my testimony can help even one person to seek the Lord and find their freedom in Christ, I simply must continue to “take my lumps” and keep walking towards the light and to become the better man that God has already given me the power to be. 

So keep walking and talking with God. Our journey of faith doesn’t end and the rewards for faithfully pursuing repentance and the Lord’s will and purpose for our lives is worth it.

Today’s Bible verse is drawn from “The NLT Bible Promise Book for Men”.  

This morning’s meditation verse is:

Lamentations 5:19 (NLT2)
19  But LORD, you remain the same forever! Your throne continues from generation to generation.



Today’s verse continues the theme that we have been discussing over the last few days: that God is eternal and does not change.  God remains the same forever and His throne continues from generation to generation. 

In my limited time each day I generally don’t have time to read the resource that I share on the blog after I speak about the meditation verse of the day. To be honest I sometimes don’t read the shared resources I post in their entirety at all but know they could help someone else.

Today I took a moment to read from A.W. Tozer’s advent devotional before I wrote the first part of today’s message, as I have decided to be intentional about making it a part of my preparations for this year’s Christmas celebration.  I enjoyed what I read and I feel that it is a fitting commentary for today’s verse.  So instead of sharing my thoughts I would direct all who read this to continue on, and for all who hear this on the podcast to forgive me if I studder through this most excellent text:    

As always, I invite all to go to where I always share insights from prominent Christian theologians and counselors to assist my brothers and sisters in Christ with their walk. 


Today we continue sharing from A.W. Tozer’s Advent Devotional – From Heaven,  for Day 8, as this current resource series will lead us to Christmas Eve.


As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase A.W. Tozer’s books for your own private study and to support his work.



Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path. PSALM 119:105

This revelation of Jesus Christ has to do with His relationship to the Father, to the human race, and to the church. It has to do with His relationship to Israel, to the nations, to our enemy the devil, and to the coming judgment.

Ministers faithful to the Word of God have always said that Christ can be found on every page of the Bible. In the Revelation, we see Him dominating the eternal future. The message of the book is the almost overwhelming portrayal of Christ’s victory, bringing about the final destruction of Satan and all of his works.

Part of our Christian restfulness comes from the fact that we are in the hands of a loving God who has already existed throughout all of the tomorrows. Because all time is in God, the flow of time never concerns God. He never has to run in an effort to catch up with the movement of time. The end of time is seen by God just as easily as the beginning of time.

That is why the Bible tells us that God knows the end from the beginning. That is why a godly man like John, caught up in the Spirit of God, could be shown the outline of future events. They were future to him, and they are future to us. That is because we are in the stream of time. They are not future to God because He is not in the stream of time.

Revelation is the only New Testament book that may be classified as “predictive” in its character and content. (It has been interesting to me to find in the writings of Blaise Pascal, the great 17th-century scientist and religious philosopher, his conclusion that no true prediction of mankind’s future can be found anywhere but in the Christian Scriptures.)

About the predictive quality of the Scriptures we ought to be in agreement. If there cannot be any valid foresight, no revelation from God, nothing to warn us or prepare us for tomorrow, this life on earth would have to be considered a gloomy business indeed. Thankfully, we have a definite word, a promise upon which we can lean. Peter, one of God’s special spokesmen, expressed it this way:

We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

2 PETER 1:19–21

As Christian believers, we are assured that no matter how dark it becomes around us, God will faithfully provide the illumination of His Spirit. The Old Testament offers in the release of Israel from Egyptian bondage a fitting illustration. When God was moving toward the climax of that deliverance, the darkness of night covered Egypt, but, miraculously, there was light in the dwellings of all of the Israelites. So, too, there is light even now for us who are Christian believers concerning our future. God’s Word is a light that shines in a dark place until the morning star rises in our hearts.


Tozer, A. W. (2016). From heaven: a 28-day advent devotional. Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

---------------------------more tomorrow------------------------


Join our “Victory over the Darkness” or “The Bondage Breaker” series of Discipleship Classes via the mt4christ247 podcast!

at, You can also find it on Apple podcasts

( The mt4christ247 podcast is also available on Google Podcasts, Amazon Podcasts, Spotify, iHeartradio, and 

Email me at to receive the class materials, share your progress, and to be encouraged.


Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

What Did You Expect? – Managing Responses and Finding Peace Purity 572

What Did You Expect? – Managing Responses and Finding Peace  Purity 572

Purity 572 11/10/2021   Purity 572 Podcast

Good morning

Today’s photo of the Greek Coastline, presumably from a boat on the Mediterranean or Aegean Sea, comes to us from a friend who recently enjoyed their honeymoon there and who assured their friends that even though their trip was delayed a year because of the Covid-19 pandemic, Greece exceeded all their expectations.  

It’s Wednesday and for many of us this Hump Day will exceed all normal expectations for a Wednesday because tomorrow is Veteran’s Day and many of us will have the day off. So Wednesday becomes Friday, a phenomenon that I would say is extremely uncommon except for the fact that the vast majority of us will experience this “freaky Wednesday”  again in two weeks when we will be celebrating “Thanksgiving Eve”. 

Managing our expectations is one of the best ways to foster contentment as we can mentally cool our jets before we enter into an experience to avoid being disappointed if our reality doesn’t match up with the way we envision how things will come to pass.   

The holiday season is usually where most of us have learned of the pitfalls of getting our hopes up, as many of us have experienced our “worst Christmas” and were forever changed by it.  For most of us there was that one Christmas when the magic just wasn’t there as we either didn’t receive what we were hoping for under the Christmas tree or, even worse, we received a most unwelcomed yuletide gift of an unexpected loss, tragedy, or trial.  

That initial “Bad Christmas” was a pivotal moment in our lives as a part of our innocence was lost and we learned the lesson that we didn’t always get what we wanted or that tragedy, trials, and loss were a part of life that could even invade the joyous season of Christmas.   Now that “Bad Christmas” should have taught us to appreciate the good times when we can have them and to temper our expectations about life in general. 

However, those disappointments, trials, tragedies, and losses could also drive us into an attitude of self-pity and as I learned through my pre-marriage counseling sessions recently, self-pity is a cancer that can not only affect the one feeling sorry for themselves it can also ruin the relationships that the sufferer is in.   

The material we are reviewing (Saving Your Marriage Before It Starts BY Drs. Les & Leslie Parrott) teaches the valuable lesson that we are each responsible for our own emotional responses, that you partner’s responses should not be given the power to effect how you feel.

People are imperfect and will not always respond the way we expect so we have to be emotionally mature enough to not be pulled into despair or anger if our partner doesn’t give us the response we wanted from them.  

Our expectation of another to make us happy is unwise and if we hold the expectation that our partners will make us happy at all times we will either be filled with self-pity, resentment, or seek to blame them for our unhappiness. Self-pity, resentment and the blame game are the responses that lead to unhappy marriages, and in many cases divorce.     

When we respond with self-pity, resentment, or by blaming our partner, we tend to separate ourselves from them emotionally and stop communicating because of our unfulfilled expectations.  

To break the chain reaction that could result in a communications break down, we need to take responsibility for our emotional responses by managing our expectations and by communicating openly and compassionately when we run into disappointments.   

By considering the other person’s experience, what may be involved in our not receiving what we expected, and talking about it, we can learn how to effectively communicate what we need in our relationships and how we can support one another through life.   

The only One who knows our thoughts and needs perfectly is God and He directs us to love our neighbors as ourselves.  That means we are to consider their needs above our own and to love them.  So when we are disappointed by life or by people’s responses to us or situations, we should try to see the situation from the Lord’s perspective and see where we can be patient rather than take offense, and to act to help and heal rather than to cause harm or division.  

Life can be full of disappointments due to circumstances, other people’s responses, and our own expectations. So keep walking and talking with God so you can see the truth about the situations you are in and act in a way that will foster contentment, settle disputes, and bring peace and love. 

When we walk in the way the Lord calls us to walk, we become minsters of His love and wisdom. When we act compassionately, we can not only be a light in the darkness for others, but we can also calm the troubled hearts that may be beating in our own chests by seeing that in God we have all we need for life and godliness and all the answers to life and death.   

Today’s Bible verse is drawn from “The NLT Bible Promise Book for Men”.  

This morning’s meditation verse is :

Lamentations 3:23 (NLT2)
23  Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning.

Today’s verse reminds us of God’s faithfulness and the blessings that come with each new day.  

Some days are filled with problems and trials. Sometimes friends and loved ones disappoint us.   Sometimes we can feel that nothing is going right and that we are all alone.  

In a life that is separated from God, the potential for days like these is very high because when we believe that our life in the here and now is all there is, there is no hope.  Science shows us that things fall apart and if we have no considerations for a spiritual dimension to our lives, life is a desperate struggle to find circumstantial happiness and to try to maintain it with the realization that every moment is another moment closer to our eventual extinction.

Platitudes of leaving a legacy behind or being remembered are cold comforts when the eventual extinction of the universe is considered in a worldview that doesn’t allow for God.  

But God is real, and His word reveals that He has a plan for a new heaven and a new earth that will override the expectations of our material observations.  

The word of God also reveals that the Lord is faithful because it is filled with the testimonies of men and women who have been delivered and transformed by God.  

The fact of God’s unseen presence is with us is documented in the word of God and can be experienced when one establishes a relationship with God by putting their faith in Jesus Christ.  

God created the universe and the way it operates and even for those who don’t believe in Him, He has created the order that gives us a new day every 24 hours from which we can start again.  The Lord is shown faithful even to the unbeliever by the regularity in which the new days come. 

“The sun will come out tomorrow” may be a hit in the musical Annie but it is a truth and a reality that is created by God and is only one evidence for His faithfulness.

So thank the Lord for a new day. Forget about yesterday’s troubles, or better yet learn from them, and take solace in the fact that no matter how the day goes today you will be able to seek rest at the end of the day and have a fresh new one waiting for you tomorrow because God is faithful, and His mercies are new every morning.     


As always, I invite all to go to where I always share insights from prominent Christian counselors to assist my brothers and sisters in Christ with their walk. 

Today we continue sharing from June Hunt’s “Evil and Suffering… Why? Is God Fair?

As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase June Hunt’s books for your own private study and to support her work.

C. What Is "Just"?

A fair and impartial judge, an honest and forthright business person, an objective and equitable employer—all represent what we know and appreciate about those considered to be just. Some people say, "Our nation is a just nation." Is this true? Consider the following definitions:

  • The English word just is a legal term that means either "conforming to a standard of correctness" or "acting or being in conformity with what is morally upright or good."
  • Justice refers to the law, jurisprudence is the science of law, and the "justice system" sets the legal standard.
  • The Greek word dikaios is sometimes translated as each of these words: "just, justification, right, and righteous."
  • Just and right are often used interchangeably throughout the Bible to mean...
    • —In right standing
          "See, he is puffed up; his desires are not uprightbut the righteous will live by his faith." (Habakkuk 2:4)
    • —Right conduct
          "He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God." (Micah 6:8)
  • Right standing and right conduct are always measured against a standard.
    • —When two people secure a marriage license before marrying, they are in right standing within the legal system.
    • —When a man is convicted of a crime, his wrong conduct is illegal.

Illustration: The chief priests found Jesus guilty of breaking the Jewish religious laws, but Pilate found Him innocent of illegal conduct according to Roman law.

"As soon as the chief priests and their officials saw him, they shouted, 'Crucify! Crucify!' But Pilate answered, 'You take him and crucify him. As for me, I find no basis for a charge against him.'" (John 19:6)


Question: "Why is God partial toward some people?"

Answer: The Bible says God does not show partiality. It may appear from our limited view that God favors certain people over others. However, God loves and cares for us all equally.

"God does not show favoritism." (Romans 2:11)

Biblical Counseling Keys: Evil and Suffering... Why?: Why God? Why?.

---------------------------more tomorrow------------------------


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