Happy Sunday brethren! Hope you are having awesome time in the presence of God, I am. Let me share this with you:
Its been a while I mixed with sunday sunday gatherings of believers. Today, I woke up around 4am and while I was trying to read my Bible, taking warm lemon water and charging my phone; it impressed on my heart to join other children of God for a worship service. I lingered a little bit at home watching CNN to listen to the news around the world, but I finally made it on time to the gatherings of believers which is very close to my place. I don’t believe in travelling from Judea to Jerusalem to worship God according to the Lord Jesus when He said, “Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”
John 4:21-24 NKJV
Yes It is better you fellowship around your neighbourhood, where people can know your character outside of church service, not by crossing seven land and seven rivers to where you will go and pretend to be who you are not at home for some hours like actors and actresses. Again, I do not have preference as in the name of a gathering centre, so far they believe in what I believe in, it is about Jesus Christ, it is fine by me. So, this morning, as I trecked along the road and greets my neighbours nicely and invites passersby to join me in a friendly chitty chat to follow me to worship, I arrived at the hotel that housed the gathering on time to sit in the front seat and we truly enjoyed His presence in worship. After a while, an usher whispered into my ears to leave where I occupied in the front seat to the back, I told him if he was not kidding I would be heading home; so he simply let me be, I am in my Father’s house damn it, if it is in your house, you may tell me where to seat. Anyway, Service progressed nicely with prayers, announcement, and we got the shortest sermon I’ve ever heard by a gentleman who said he was in a hurry to go somewhere as if he was hired to make appearance. I thought within me why they did not engage someone like me who have all the time to talk about His Kingdom.
Then it happened before the speaker stepped down from the podium,,, he said the spirit of God told him to invites people who want this year to be memorable for them in terms of financial blessings to the altar area for prayers if they are ready to give money in return even if they don’t have the money he called out right there, they must bring the money to the Pastor latest 12pm tomorrow afternoon or else God will not take it from them again, the blessing will be revoked. He said It is this giving that will make their 2017 great. This man strategically targeted three levels of individuals; the poor, medium class and the rich as he apportioned three package of levies on them. In no time the gullibles as usual quickly rushed out. He promised them great fortune in return. I asked myself if God has turned to money doubler? What is this evil in the holy place? What is wrong with believers? What is wrong with the preachers? Must you con people of God or armtwist them because you have need? For mutual respect, understanding and openness, why can’t you just ask in accordance to Matt. 7:7? What about those who fell for his gimmicks and schemes, don’t they read their Bibles? Where was it written in the Bible to peddle “thus says the Lord”? These kind of people must have been patronizing casino as they are looking for a quick rich avenue. Hummmnnn….. My heart went out to those who do not know their right from their left because they are lazy to test all spirits with the infallible Word of God which they don’t have time to read, and if you don’t read it, how will you know the Truth, how will the Truth sets you free? I became restless in my spirit, and I turned to the man that sat beside me who is one of their ministers, and asked; Sir, may I ask you something? He obliged. I said according to the Bible which says, ” know how you ought to conduct yourself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth. I Timothy 3:15 NKJV
The pillar and the ground of Truth
If this place is the pillar and ground of truth, Can you point to me where this kind of event is written in our constitution (The Bible). He mumbled some things he was not sure of, and I said to him, sir, why could he not have taught the people the principles of giving according to the scripture, and leave the rest to their conscience, the message of Jesus Christ according to Matthew 6:33 says, “seek first the Kingdom of God and its righteousness and your needs will be automatically met (paraphrased). This man does not even care how people live their lives for God, both believers and unbelievers were invited to take part in this money doubling exercise inside the church because he did that before making altar call without warning those that have not received Christ that if they are not living right for God, His blessings is not meant for them. Why must we deceive people to give inside the church? The man quickly excused himself from me that he was to take Sunday School class. On my way out, I engaged another couple which I saw amongst the gullible that went forward for the exercise. We chat about the event and I see that they are not grounded in the Word to know better.
THE FEAR OF THE LORD
For the unbeliever, the fear of God is the fear of the judgment of God and eternal death, which is eternal separation from God (Luke 12:5; Hebrews 10:31). For the believer, the fear of God is something much different. The believer’s fear is reverence of God. Hebrews 12:28-29 is a good description of this: “Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our ’God is a consuming fire.’” This reverence and awe is exactly what the fear of God means for Christians. This is the motivating factor for us to surrender to the Creator of the Universe.
Proverbs 1:7 declares, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge.” Until we understand who God is and develop a reverential fear of Him, we cannot have true wisdom. True wisdom comes only from understanding who God is and that He is holy, just, and righteous. Deuteronomy 10:12, 20-21 records, “And now, O Israel, what does the LORD your God ask of you but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways, to love Him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul. Fear the LORD your God and serve Him. Hold fast to Him and take your oaths in His Name. He is your praise; He is your God, who performed for you those great and awesome wonders you saw with your own eyes.” The fear of God is the basis for our walking in His ways, serving Him, and, yes, loving Him.
Some redefine the fear of God for believers to “respecting” Him. While respect is definitely included in the concept of fearing God, there is more to it than that. A biblical fear of God, for the believer, includes understanding how much God hates sin and fearing His judgment on sin—even in the life of a believer. Hebrews 12:5-11 describes God’s discipline of the believer. While it is done in love (Hebrews 12:6), it is still a fearful thing. As children, the fear of discipline from our parents no doubt prevented some evil actions. The same should be true in our relationship with God. We should fear His discipline, and therefore seek to live our lives in such a way that pleases Him.
Believers are not to be scared of God. We have no reason to be scared of Him. We have His promise that nothing can separate us from His love (Romans 8:38-39). We have His promise that He will never leave us or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). Fearing God means having such a reverence for Him that it has a great impact on the way we live our lives. The fear of God is respecting Him, obeying Him, submitting to His discipline, and worshipping Him in awe.
We asked when will deception stopped? When there is no fear or love of God, we degenerates to the level of animals that were created on the same sixth day with man; living in the jungle of survival. This should not be so. Read The Word Joshua 1:7-9, so that no one will rip you off. Please Do not allow anyone to deceive you in the name of the Lord.
Do not hesitate to share your thoughts after reading. God bless.
HUSBANDS, PRAY FOR YOUR WIVES
You’ll never love your wife more than when you pray for her. Humbling yourself before an all-powerful God and asking Him to do what only He can in her life—that’s a level of intimacy beyond anything the world has to offer. Praying for her makes you realize how much of a treasure she is, the woman God gave you. You’re pouring yourself into her complete physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being.
Let these prayers guide you as you cry out to God for her each day. (For wives, don’t miss your part)
PRAY AS THE HOLY SPIRIT LEADS YOU
Thank you, Father, for the gift of my wife. You are the giver of all good and perfect blessings, and I’m amazed how You show Your love through her. Please help me to cherish such an amazing gift (James 1:17).
Each day, circumstances and frustrations can easily steal the joy from ________. Please keep her from letting these challenges turn her focus from You, the author of her faith. Give her the joy that Jesus had as He accomplished the Father’s will on earth. May she consider each struggle as a reason to find hope in You (>Hebrews 12:2–3; >James 1:2–3).
When she feels tired, Lord, renew her strength. Surround her with friends who love You and will bear her burdens. Give her reason to feel refreshed by their encouragement (Isaiah 40:31; Galatians 6:2; Philemon 1:7).
May she know that the joy of the Lord is the source of her strength. Protect her from growing tired of doing what You’ve called her to do each day (Nehemiah 8:10; Galatians 6:9).
Father, You supply all our needs according to Your riches in Christ. I’m amazed that you care about us enough to meet our daily concerns and to notice every detail of our lives. Even the hairs of our heads are numbered because You take care of Your children (Philippians 4:19; Matthew 7:11, 10:30).
I confess that I sometimes think of myself as being the one who takes care of _______. Forgive me for taking to myself what truly belongs to you. Her help comes from You. If she depends on me, I know I’ll disappoint her. But You never fail, and You make her like a garden that always has enough water. You’re always faithful, always enough. Help her to know that You are all she needs (Psalm 121:2; Lamentations 3:22; Isaiah 58:11; >John 14:8–9).
If she is tempted to look for comfort in anything else, may she instead realize how the power of Your Holy Spirit allows her to overflow with hope and peace. Nothing on this earth compares to the greatness of knowing You (Romans 15:13; Philippians 3:8).
You, God, are a shield around us. You protect us from the enemy who seeks to destroy, and you will not let us be put to shame. Your arm is mighty, and Your Word is powerful (Psalm 3:3, 12:7, 25:20; Exodus 15:9; Luke 1:51; Hebrews 1:3).
When the enemy attacks her, let her faith in You protect her so that she may stand her ground. Bring your Word to her mind so that she may turn aside his assaults and fight the good fight. Help her to remember that You give us the victory through Christ (>Ephesians 6:10–18; 1 Timothy 6:12; 1 Corinthians 15:57).
You have conquered and disarmed the spiritual powers, and everything is in complete submission to You. Because of the cross, ______ is a new creation, and nothing can separate her from Your amazing, unfailing love (Colossians 2:15; 1 Peter 3:22; 2 Corinthians 5:17; >Romans 8:38–39).
The enemy is defeated. You have crushed his head (Genesis 3:15).
Father, You loved us first—so much so that You sent Your Son to take our place. How incredible it is to think that while we were sinners, Christ died for us. Nothing we do could ever compare to the riches of Your grace (1 John 4:19; John 3:16; Romans 5:8; Ephesians 2:7).
Help ________ to grow first in her love for You. May she be increasingly in awe of Your power, beauty, and grace. May she know more each day about the depth and width of Your love and respond with increasing love of her own (Psalm 27:4; Ephesians 3:18).
Help her to love me through all my failures while I learn to love her as Christ loves the church. May we see each other as You see us, and may we enjoy fulfilling each other’s desires in our marriage (Ephesians 5:25; >1 Corinthians 7:2–4).
Please give her a growing love for others in all that she does. Show her how to be Christ’s ambassador in the world and to be a woman defined by love so that others may glorify You. Because of that love, may she share the gospel with everyone (2 Corinthians 5:20; Matthew 5:16; 1 Thessalonians 2:8).
WIVES, PRAY FOR YOUR HUSBANDS
Praising God and praying His will for your spouse is guaranteed to be your most rewarding work as his wife. With these five powerful prayers, you will be arming your marriage with God’s Word and investing in his role as your spiritual leader.
I praise You, the God of all wisdom for husbands. Thank You, God, for knowing the longings of my husband’s heart far better than I do. You know why he hungers for ______ and ______. You know how these yearnings affect his decisions and how those decisions affect our marriage.
You are the God who satisfies the longing soul. You fill the hungry soul with good things. Here is _____’s heart and soul, Lord. I lift him up to You and ask You to fill him with the good You know He needs (Psalm 107:9; Matthew 6:8).
The world offers _____ so many things to temporarily satisfy his needs. Temptations abound, but You are his shield and his defender. Please train him to resist the devil (Psalm 28:7; Psalm 59:9; James 4:7).
I celebrate that You triumph over every one of Satan’s schemes and the scars he has left on my husband’s heart. You are Jehovah Rapha, _____’s Healer. You are the restorer of his soul. Let the balm of Your perfect love and mercy touch the brokenness of his heart (Genesis 50:20; Exodus 15:26; Psalm 23:3; Jeremiah 17:14).
You joined Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the fiery furnace, and when they came out unharmed, they didn’t even smell like smoke. Use their courage to inspire ____ to fear You only. I trust You to give him rest and satisfaction while protecting him from harm (Daniel 3:8–30; Proverbs 19:23).
Father, Your Word amazes me. The world is looking for the next “perfect” solution to their problems, and You are always offering it through Your Word. You sent Your Word to deliver, nourish, and counsel us. My heart’s desire is for ______ to feast on Your Word and find It immensely satisfying (Psalm 107:20; Proverbs 3:8; Psalm 119:24; 103).
With Your Word as His source of wisdom, I will rest secure in his leadership of our home. I trust Your Word to fill ____ with the insight he will need for our relationship, his work, and so much more (Ephesians 1:8,17; James 1:5).
Your Word will unite his heart to Yours. His oneness with You will lead his pursuit of oneness with me. Your ways will become His ways. Your faithfulness to me will become His faithfulness to me (1 Corinthians 6:17; Mark 10:8; Galatians 5:23).
Send him an abundance of confidants whose faith in You is bold and courageous. Let them be men who do not lean on their own understanding, but always acknowledge You and Your Word (Psalm 119:63; Proverbs 28:1; 3:5–6).
Thank You, Father for the gift of Jesus and His perfect example of humility. Jesus displayed His love for us with great humility and submissiveness to You. He denied Himself the comforts of heaven to save us. He chose to experience temptations, mockery, rejection, and even death. He rated our needs higher than His own.
You require _______ to love me as Christ loved the church. With great love for ____, I’m asking You to empower him to do this (Ephesians 5:25).
You know the pressure _____ feels to be successful and strong. You know how he is influenced to be self-reliant. You understand his fears and insecurities. He is simply human and at risk of denying his need for You, God. I do not want to see him destroy his life or our marriage because of pride (Proverbs 18:12).
I bring ____ to You, the river of life, and ask You to anoint him with a supernatural portion of Christ’s humility. With it he will be a ready recipient of Your grace. He will be free to boast about his weaknesses to You and wait for You to satisfy his needs with Your strength (Psalm 36:8; James 4:6; 2 Corinthians 11:30, 12:9–10).
You’ve promised that humility is rewarded with riches, honor, and life. Those are gifts I want for my husband, Lord. Help him to let go of any pride and false humility so that he can enjoy the abundant life Jesus died to give him (Proverbs 22:4; John 10:10).
There is no one who compares to You, Lord. You are worthy of our spellbound attention (1 Samuel 2:2; Psalm 16:8).
Give ______ eyes to see that You deserve the highest praise. Let him personally experience Your grandeur and strength. Let him live with great conviction that Jesus has authority over all things on earth and in the spiritual realm (Psalm 145:3; Ephesians 1:22).
You inhabit the praises of Your people, and I want ____ to enjoy the comfort and power of Your presence every moment. So, Father, please grant him an irrevocable gift of praising You. Let Your Spirit continually offer up a sacrifice of praise through _____ so that his lips always acknowledge Your name (Psalm 22:3; Philippians 2:10; Hebrews 13:15)
Teach him to praise You in his lowest moments. Train him to exalt Your name during the trials and before the victories. Let his faith in You lead him courageously into our own promised land despite the ominous giants of fear and doubt. Use the psalmists to mentor him in lifting His head to praise Your faithfulness despite his present burdens (1 Corinthians 15:57; 2 Chronicles 20; Numbers 13–14; Psalm 43:5).
You have promised _____ that a wife is a good gift from you. I want to be an excellent wife to my husband, one who consistently brings him honor (Proverbs 18:22, 12:4).
You know every one of my weaknesses and how they are impacting my role as ____’s helpmate. Lead me, Lord, to recognize the ungodliness hiding in my will, my expectations, and how I express my emotions. I want to surrender them to You for healing. Show me where I am investing my attention in things that will deteriorate my relationship with _____ (2 Corinthians 12:9–10; Luke 12:2; 2 Corinthians 4:18; Ephesians 1:8,17).
Let the power of Your Word transform my motives. Coach me relentlessly to be a wife who respects her husband in word and deed. Cause Your tenderness, gentleness, kindness, and humility to become my own (Romans 12:2; Ephesians 5:22–24; Colossians 3:12).
I want to be a content wife who does not harass my husband with quarrels and fretfulness. Please use me to create a peaceful home for him. Use me to encourage him, bear his burdens, and reflect Your extravagant love for him (Hebrews 13:5; Philippians 4:11–12; 2 Thessalonians 3:16; 1 Thessalonians 5:11; Galatians 6:2; Ephesians 3:18–19).
May our souls feast on only on You (Psalm 63:5).
I pray these things with complete confidence in Jesus and Your Spirit at work in our marriage. Amen.
Blessed Weekend to you, hope your week was great? To God be the Glory! The Scripture says, He has made all things for His pleasure. His pleasure is to see us happy, blessed and healthy. Praise God!
Have you ever noticed how uniquely adapted each animal is to its environment and its way of life? On land, a duck waddles along ungainly on its webbed feet. In the water, it glides along smooth as glass. The rabbit runs with ease and great bursts of speed, but I’ve never seen one swimming laps. The squirrel climbs anything in sight but cannot fly (unless you count great airborne leaps from limb to limb), while the eagle soars to mountaintops.
What’s true of creatures in the forest is true of Christians in the family. God has not made us all the same. He never intended to. He planned that there be differences, unique capabilities, variations in the Body. So concerned was He that we realize this, He spelled it out several times in His Word. I charge you to take the time to read 1 Corinthians 12 slowly and aloud. Those thirty-one verses tell us about His desires and designs—which are more attractive than any thirty-one flavors!
The subject is commonly called “spiritual gifts,” and it is as helpful as any truth the believer can ever know. In a nutshell, here’s the scoop.
God has placed you in His family and given you a certain mixture that makes you unique. No mixture is insignificant! That mix pleases Him completely. Nobody else is exactly like you. That should bring you pleasure, too.
When you operate in your realm of capabilities, you will excel and the whole Body will benefit . . . and you will experience incredible satisfaction. When others operate in their realm, then balance, unity, and health automatically occur in the Body. It’s amazing!
But when you compare . . . or force . . . or entertain expectations that reach beyond your or others’ God-given capabilities, then you can expect frustration, discouragement, mediocrity, and, in the long run, defeat.
If God made you a duck saint—you’re a duck, friend. Swim like mad but don’t get bent out of shape because you wobble when you run. Furthermore, if you’re an eagle saint, stop expecting squirrel saints to soar . . . or rabbit saints to build the same kind of nests you do.
Accept your spiritual species. Cultivate your capabilities. Stop comparing. Enjoy being you! Wish you a blessed week ahead. Shalom!
Its a new week, may the Lord bless and enrich us in all ramifications in Jesus’ Name. As we go about our daily parole, we must remember to guard our hearts diligently for a better us. No one leaves his/her properties open to robbers, we hire security guards to keep them safe, why not our lives? Bad/evil thoughts are robbers of the soul…we must arrest them.
OUR HEART, OUR LIFE – GUARD IT
“Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life.”
Proverbs 4:23 NKJV
Most Christians including me struggles with this issue of coordinating our heart, especially in our highly technological advanced world where many suggestions is rampant; but taking control of our thoughts is essential. So the Book of Proverbs 4:23 states, “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” The “heart”is a vital organ in human body, it pumps life (blood) into other parts of the body, this heart includes the mind and all that proceeds from it. If the heart (mind) pumps poison into the body, gradual death is imminent. Someone said that every sin we commit, we commit twice, once in our thoughts and again when we act upon those thoughts. It is easier to rid our lives of sin if we attack it at this fundamental thought level rather than waiting for it to become rooted in our lives by our actions and then try to pull it out.
There is also a difference between being tempted (a thought entering into the mind) and sinning (dwelling upon an evil thought and wallowing in it). It is important to understand that when a thought enters our mind, we examine it based upon God’s Word and determine if we should continue down that path or reject the thought and replace it with another thought. If we have already allowed a habit to form in our thought lives, it becomes more difficult to change the path of our thoughts, even as it is hard to get a car out of a deep rut and onto a new track. Here are some biblical suggestions for taking control of our thoughts and getting rid of wrong thoughts:
- Be in God’s Word so that when a sinful thought enters our mind (a temptation), we will be able to recognize it for what it is and know what course to take. Jesus in the wilderness (Matthew 4) responded to each of Satan’s temptations with Scripture that applied to the direction He knew His mind should take instead of beginning down the path of the sinful thought. When tempted to meet His physical need (turn stone into bread), He recited the passage about the importance of relying upon God. When tempted to serve Satan in order to obtain the glory of the world, He brought up the passage that says we are to serve and worship God alone and speak of the glory that belongs to Him and those who are His. When tempted to test God (to see if God was really there and would keep His promises), Jesus responded with passages that stress the importance of believing God without having to see Him demonstrate His presence.
Quoting Scripture in a time of temptation is not a talisman, but rather serves the purpose of getting our minds onto a biblical track, but we need to know the Word of God AHEAD of time in order to accomplish this. Thus, a daily habit of being in the Word in a meaningful way is essential. If we are aware of a certain area of constant temptation (worry, lust, anger, etc.), we need to study and memorize key passages that deal with those issues. Looking for both what we are to avoid (negative) and how we are to properly respond (positive) to tempting thoughts and situations—before they are upon us—will go a long way to giving us victory over them.
- Live in dependence upon the Holy Spirit, chiefly through seeking His strength through prayer (Matthew 26:41). If we rely upon our own strength, we will fail (Proverbs 28:26;Jeremiah 17:9; Matthew 26:33).
We are not to feed our minds with that which will promote sinful thoughts. This is the idea of Proverbs 4:23. We are to guard our hearts—what we allow into them and what we allow them to dwell on. Job 31:1 states, “I have made a covenant with my eyes; Why then should I look upon a young woman” (NKJV). Romans 13:14 states, “But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.” Thus, we are to avoid periodicals, videos, websites, conversations and situations that will set us up for a fall. We should also avoid spending time with those who would encourage us down these wrong paths.
We are to pursue hard after God, substituting godly pursuits and mindsets for sinful thoughts. This is the principle of replacement. When tempted to hate someone, we replace those hateful thoughts with godly actions: we do good to them, speak well of them, and pray for them (Matthew 5:44). Instead of stealing, we should work hard to earn money so we can look for opportunities to give to others in need (Ephesians 4:28). When tempted to lust after a woman, we turn our gaze, praise God for the way He has made us—male and female—and pray for the woman (for example: “Lord, help this young woman to come to know you if she does not, and to know the joy of walking with you”), then think of her as a sister (1 Timothy 5:2). The Bible often speaks of “putting off” wrong actions and thoughts but then “putting on” godly actions and thoughts (Ephesians 4:22-32). Merely seeking to put off sinful thoughts without replacing those thoughts with godly ones leaves an empty field for Satan to come along and sow his weeds (Matthew 12:43-45).
We can use fellowship with other Christians the way God intended. Hebrews 10:24-25 states, “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” Fellow Christians who will encourage us in the changes we desire (best if of the same gender), who will pray for and with us, who will ask us in love how we are doing, and who will hold us accountable in avoiding the old ways, are valuable friends indeed.
Last and most important, these methods will be of no value unless we have placed our faith in Christ as Savior from our sin. This is where we absolutely must start! Without this, there can be no victory over sinful thoughts and temptations, and God’s promises for His children are not for us, nor is the Holy Spirit’s power available to us!
God will bless those who seek to honor Him with what matters most to Him: who we are inside and not just what we appear to be to others. May God make Jesus’ description of Nathanael true alsko of us—a man [or woman] in whom there is no guile (John 1:47).
If we can strive and say like King David, ” let the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord.”
THE GOD OF PURPOSE
“Behold, I am the Lord , the God of all flesh; is there anything too difficult for Me?” JEREMIAH 32:27 AMP
Does everything happen for a reason? The short answer is “yes”; because God is sovereign, there are no random, out-of-control happenings. God’s purposes may be hidden from us, but we can be assured that every event has a reason behind it.
There was a reason for the blindness of the man in John 9, although the disciples misidentified the reason (John 9:1–3). There was a reason for Joseph’s mistreatment, although his brothers’ purpose in what they did to him was very different from God’s purpose in allowing it (Genesis 50:20). There was a reason for Jesus’ death—the authorities in Jerusalem had their reasons, based on evil intent, and God had His, based on righteousness. God’s sovereignty extends even to the lowliest of creatures: “Not one [sparrow] falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will” (Matthew 10:29, NET).
Several factors help us know that everything happens for a reason: the law of cause and effect, the doctrine of original sin, and the providence of God. All these demonstrate that everything does happen for a reason, not just by happenstance or by random chance.
First, there is the natural law of cause and effect, also known as the law of sowing and reaping. Paul says, “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life” (Galatians 6:7–8). This means that in every action we take or word we utter, whether good or evil, there are certain inevitable results that follow (Colossians 3:23–25). Someone may ask, “Why am I in jail? Is there a reason for this?” and the answer may be, “Because you robbed your neighbor’s house and got caught.” That’s cause and effect.
All that we do is either an investment in the flesh or an investment in the Spirit. We shall reap whatever we have sown, and we shall reap in proportion to how we have sown. “Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously” (2 Corinthians 9:6). The believer who walks in the Spirit and “sows” in the Spirit is going to reap a spiritual harvest. If his sowing has been generous, the harvest will be bountiful, if not in this life, certainly in the life to come. Conversely, those who “sow” to the flesh are going to reap a life without the full blessings of God, both in this life and the life to come (Jeremiah 18:10; 2 Peter 2:10–12).
The reason some things happen can often be traced back to original sin in the Garden of Eden. The Bible is clear that the world is under a curse (Genesis 3:17), which has resulted in infirmities, diseases, natural disasters, and death. All these things, although under God’s ultimate control, are sometimes used by Satan to inflict misery upon people (see Job 1–2; Luke 9:37–42; 13:16). Someone may ask, “Why did I contract this illness? Is there a reason for it?” and the answer may be one or more of the following: 1) “Because you live in a fallen world, and we are all subject to illness”; 2) “Because God is testing you and strengthening your faith”; or 3) “Because, in love, God is disciplining you according to Hebrews 12:7–13 and 1 Corinthians 11:29–30.”
Then we have what is called the providence of God. The doctrine of providence holds that God quietly and invisibly works through the natural world to manage events. God, in His providence, works out His purposes through natural processes in the physical and social universe. Every effect can be traced back to a natural cause, and there is no hint of the miraculous. The best that man can do to explain the reason why things happen in the course of natural events is to point to “coincidence.”
Believers proclaim that God arranges the coincidences. The unbeliever derides such ideas because he believes natural causes can fully explain each event without reference to God. Yet followers of Christ are wholly assured of this profound truth: “We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).
The book of Esther shows divine providence at work. The banishment of Vashti, the selection of Esther, the plot of the assassins, the pride of Haman, the courage of Mordecai, the insomnia of the king, the bloodlust of Zeresh, and the reading of the scroll—everything in the book happens, like cogs in a well-oiled machine, to bring about the deliverance of God’s people., Although God is never mentioned in Esther, His providence, working through “coincidence,” is plain to see.
God is always at work in the lives of His people, and in His goodness will bring them to a good end (see Philippians 1:6). The events that define our lives are not simply products of natural causes or random chance. They are ordained by God and are intended for our good. We often fail to sense God’s hidden guidance or protection as events in our lives unfold. But, when we look back at past events, we are able to see His hand more clearly, even in times of tragedy.