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Do you know what is true friendship?

Slow down and enjoy the view

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The Bible: map, mirror, microscope

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Slow down and enjoy the view

Is it possible to enjoy life in the midst of the business and frustrations of daily living?

All of us have expectations and aspirations for our lives. But most of the time they are blocked, creating frustration. And that frustration, if not properly handled, can lead to a miserable existence. So, how do we handle frustration? How do we learn how to enjoy life?

Jeremiah was an ancient prophet of God who had a sober message: God was going to lead the nation of Judah into exile. Life would not become easier, but harder. Since our lives can feel like an exile experience, let’s listen in to the advice God gave to people going into exile and not resisting the inevitable difficulties.

First, God tells them that the issue is not negotiable. “The Lord God says to all those carried into exile, ‘Build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce. Marry and have sons and daughters; find wives for your sons and give your daughters in marriage. Increase in number there; do not decrease.’”

I don’t doubt that these folks were paralyzed by discouragement, but God’s advice to them is to get on with their lives. Beating ourselves up in despair will not make things better but only make us angry at the wrong person.

Second, God assures them there is a purpose behind everything that will happen. “Seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper. Do not let the prophets and diviners among you deceive you. Do not listen to the dreams you encourage them to have. They are prophesying lies to you in my name.”

God never abandons His own. “Carried” implies personal involvement, as well as a certain care and tenderness. When we consider where God carried them, this is an amazing concept!

Finally, God shows them a bigger purpose beyond what they’re experiencing. “When seventy years are completed, I will come to you and fulfill my gracious promise to bring you back to this place. For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and you will find me when you seek me with all your heart.”

That the seventy years will be “completed” implies a purpose or goal. In God’s grace, even our failures and His discipline are part of our hope and future.

From this study in the life of Israel, from Jeremiah chapter 29, let me suggest a few principles for how we can enjoy our lives in spite of the business and frustrations we all face.

1. Settle down and settle in! There is an old saying, “Wherever you are, be all there.” You can’t live in two places at the same time, so don’t try. The proverbial grass is not always greener on the other side.

2. Get involved! A key ingredient to mental health is being “effectively busy,” getting involved in activities that touch our personality, gifts, talents, and interests. God has “carried” you to where you are now. What are you doing to improve things?

3. Trust God. Our frustrations are part of God’s curriculum for our lives. We must know what God has promised us, and not be fooled by those who tell us what we want to hear, no matter how religious they may be.

4. Stay in touch with God. The number one lesson of life is to teach us dependence on God. God’s love and grace shown in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ for our sins assure us that His plans for us are indeed “to give us hope and a future.” But they are only realized if we are in a right relationship with God.

To those who surrender their lives to Jesus Christ as their Savior He becomes their Shepherd, and they need not fear any evil (Psalm 23). They won’t just survive, they will thrive!

Think about it.



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Rev Jim Beerley

Monaco Christian Fellowship Perspective
by Pastor Jim Beerley

The Passion of The Christ - Free Bible