Five Ways We Misunderstand God

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We must comprehend our Creator to fully enjoy His love.

God’s love for us is an everlasting privilege.

Our compassionate King has promised and proven His love for mankind all throughout His Word. It is a special treasure that is granted to us by His grace, but sadly is often taken for granted, whether it happens intentionally or not. God’s love is free to be experienced by everyone, but the extent that each person experiences Him depends on much he wants to know Him. Now, God and all His ways will remain a vast mystery to man until He chooses to fully reveal His glory in Heaven; but He also desires us to seek Him out of an earnest heart. While we must respect the fact that God has chosen to keep certain things a sacred secret from us, there are many wonderful aspects about God’s nature that He wants us to discover for ourselves.

First, it is important to understand that God is a Spirit and a Person, which means He has real feelings and emotions like we do. Every element of the human soul is directly modeled after God Himself, Who made man in His divine image. With that said, we must acknowledge God’s existence as a personal Being Who is more than capable of giving and receiving communication. While we realize that God is infinitely more powerful than we are, we must not forget that He wants to connect with us on an intimate, personal level. In order to achieve this level of emotional intimacy with God, we must understand Him and the nature of His heart to the best of our earthly ability.

 

Let’s take a look at five different ways we commonly misunderstand God:

 

1. We assume that He’s too busy for our problems.

This is one common misconception about God that we have all thought at one point in our lives. We think to ourselves, “God’s so busy taking care of everything going on around the world; surely He doesn’t have time to hear about my little problems today.” This might sound like overly simple reasoning, but God is GOD. He is omnipotent and omnipresent! He is infinite, and lives outside the bounds of time! It is rather foolish to think that the all-powerful Creator doesn’t have any time for us and our problems, when He took the time to give us life and a purpose.

While God has a much higher perspective than we do about our problems, that doesn’t mean He has no patience to hear about them. In fact, He WANTS us to unload ALL of our cares upon Him, because He cares about us! Surely the One Who made the human heart understands when it is carrying too much to handle. God wants us to realize that no matter how small an issue might seem to us, it’s not too small for Him to consider and provide an answer for. Because God is everywhere at the same time, that means He is always there for everyone to call on whenever they need Him. Isn’t that a wonderful, comforting thought?

2. We assume that He is impatient when we fail Him.

Here is another way we commonly misunderstand God. Every time we fail Him by sinning, whether it’s one time or repeatedly, we think that God is done with us and has no hope left in us. We tell ourselves, “Why would God ever have any use for me, when I’ll never be perfect like He is? He probably thinks I’m a lousy servant.” While it is true that we can never be perfect like God until we get to Heaven, our tendency to sin constantly doesn’t mean that God can’t use or doesn’t want to use us! God is so powerful that He is able to use us in spite of our sin! Our sin nature keeps us dependent on His mercy and grace, and reminds us that without Him we can do nothing.

Even though God desires us to repent from our chronic sins, He does not lose faith in our potential to serve Him. He is our Creator, and He knows exactly why and how He plans to use us. Sometimes the very weaknesses we have that cause us to sin can be turned around to form a specific strength to fulfill God’s purpose for us. Besides, God knows that we are frail, fallible human beings; it doesn’t surprise Him when we mess up every now and then. However, He wants to assure us that through Him, we can achieve victory in any areas, including our recurring sins. Far from impatient, God is always extremely compassionate.

3. We assume that He can’t see things the way we do.

Many people accuse God of being insensitive to their circumstances, passing judgment on His character based on the limited details they see in front of them. Even Christians do this sometimes, thinking that God has isolated Himself up in Heaven away from humanity and is oblivious to the reality of earthly suffering. However, just because God has a higher plane of perception doesn’t mean He is ignorant of how we feel. It is not only unfair, but blasphemous when we blame God by calling Him uncaring, when He has provided eternal salvation for all mankind. On the day that man sinned for the first time, God gave him His plan for redemption through His Son Jesus.

God is always with us every day, completely aware of everything we experience. He knows what we’re thinking and how we’ll emotionally respond to things happening around us. As our constant Companion, God understands our feelings completely, and knows why and how things affect us. Just because God sees the whole picture when we can’t doesn’t mean He is insensitive to how we see it. He wants to show us what steps we need to take in order to get to the next chapter. He wants us to experience His power to work miracles in our lives by bringing our emotions full circle to realizing His will. God not only sees things from our view, but also His at the same time, so He can guide us in the right direction.

4. We assume that He is never satisfied.

Many people fall into the trap of thinking they’ll never be enough for God, and plunge themselves into a vicious cycle of good works. Even though the Bible states that faith without works is dead, God doesn’t just want us because of what we can do for Him. In fact, the very best that we can do is like filthy rags in His eyes. God’s holiness is so unattainable, so incomparable, that it’s impossible to do anything that will meet His level of achievement in our own strength. However, God is satisfied with us because of the shed blood of His Son on the cross over 2,000 years ago. What God wants from us is to love Him with all our heart, soul, and mind; if we love Him completely, our actions will be more likely to please Him as well.

God sent His Son to earth as a grand gesture of His love for mankind, proving that God’s grace alone is capable of redeeming him and making him righteous. Does that mean we should just sit back and take it easy after receiving salvation? Of course not! We should always be working hard to further God’s kingdom of reclaimed souls while we have time before eternity begins. It just means that because of Jesus’ sacrifice, God is happy to embrace us as His children, no matter how imperfect we are. All He wants is our hearts’ devotion, and through Christ alone, we are good enough for Him.

5. We assume that He isn’t hurt when we ignore Him.

It’s easy to make the mistake of thinking that our lives don’t make a difference, and that God is not bothered at all when we forget our responsibility in our relationship with Him. We think to ourselves, “Oh well, I don’t feel like spending time with God today. It won’t really matter how long I stray away from Him; He’ll still be there for me tomorrow.” What a sad error it is to think this way! Just because God has thousands of angels praising Him every day doesn’t mean He doesn’t miss our presence when we stray away from Him. God gave everything He had for us when He gave us His Son Jesus to prove His love for us! He wanted our lost souls back in communion with Him so much, that sent a Part of Himself to minister unto us! How ignorant we are when we take Him for granted by forgetting to spend time with Him! It’s telling ourselves a horrible lie, that we don’t need Him.

Just as we desire to be acknowledged and respected as a person by other humans, God desires the same thing from us, but in the context of Creator and creations, Savior and souls, or Father and children. We owe Him our acknowledgment and respect as the very least thing we can give back to Him, to repay all that He’s done for us. If God made us as special, unique individuals, He desires us to talk to Him in our own special, unique way. The fact that He is infinite God doesn’t change the fact that we matter to Him. Showing our love to God by opening our hearts to Him is exactly what He wants, to share a real, loving, connected relationship with us. God has feelings too, and we deeply hurt Him when we treat Him as an impersonal, nonexistent force.

Here are God’s own Words to help us understand Him better:

1 Peter 5:7 ~ “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.”

Isaiah 57:15 ~ “For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.

John 4:24 ~ “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

Jeremiah 23:23-24 ~ “Am I a God at hand, saith the Lord, and not a God afar off? Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the Lord. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the Lord.”

Acts 17:27-28 ~ “That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us: For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.”

John 15:5 ~ “I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

Psalm 103:14 ~ “For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust.

2 Corinthians 12:9 ~ “And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

Exodus 34:6 ~ “And the Lord passed by before him, and proclaimed, The Lord, The Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth,

Hebrews 4:15 ~ “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.

Psalm 103:8 ~ “The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy.

Titus 3:5 ~ “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;”

Jeremiah 29:11 ~ “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

Jeremiah 2:32 ~ “Can a maid forget her ornaments, or a bride her attire? yet my people have forgotten me days without number.

Isaiah 51:12-13 ~ “I, even I, am he that comforteth you: who art thou, that thou shouldest be afraid of a man that shall die, and of the son of man which shall be made as grass;

Deuteronomy 8:10-14 ~ “When thou hast eaten and art full, then thou shalt bless the Lord thy God for the good land which he hath given thee. Beware that thou forget not the Lord thy God, in not keeping his commandments, and his judgments, and his statutes, which I command thee this day: Lest when thou hast eaten and art full, and hast built goodly houses, and dwelt therein; And when thy herds and thy flocks multiply, and thy silver and thy gold is multiplied, and all that thou hast is multiplied; Then thine heart be lifted up, and thou forget the Lord thy God, which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage;”

It’s time to re-evaluate how well we understand God.

I hope that this post has been an encouragement to help you see the heart of God more clearly. He wants nothing more than a real relationship with you filled with mutual understanding! The more you understand Who God really is and all His ways, you’ll find it easier to trust Him in all of life’s circumstances. Most of all, the more intimately you get to know God, the more you’ll be able to enjoy His love wrapped around you! No amount of hugs from humans can compare to the wonderful feeling of being hugged by God’s love! When you invite God to work freely in your life, you’ll open yourself up to a whole world of possibilities provided by Him. Because the privilege of God’s love is eternal, you’ll discover new things about Him day after day, forever and ever! A relationship with God never runs out of adventure and excitement! So instead of complaining that God doesn’t understand you, try understanding God more accurately, and you will surely be rewarded.

– Gloria D. Hopkins

 

A Match Made In Heaven

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All relationships should be a clear reflection of the one we have with God.

“Male and female created He them.” ~ Genesis 1:27

When God made Adam and Eve for each other, He gave them a very specific role to fill for each other that couldn’t be found anywhere else. In spite of the many animals that populated the Garden of Eden, none of them could satisfy the need for a helper in Adam’s life. Sure, they probably made pleasant company, but none of them could actually talk and share thoughts and feelings with him. Being the sole creation made in God’s image was turning out to be a bit lonely for Adam. Since God’s creation was a perfect world that He Himself called “very good,” He immediately decided that Adam needed someone more like him to provide him with companionship. This someone would be much more like him than any of the animals, but also very different in many ways. That’s when God made the first woman out of Adam’s rib while he was in a deep sleep.

When God brought her before Adam for the first time, Adam was overjoyed, and called her “woman,” because she was literally taken out of man. She was bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh! What an incredible miracle it must have been for Adam to behold her for the first time! Standing before him was an identical replica of himself, but at the same time different on the inside and the outside. God gave Adam a specially created woman as a loving gift, who served a specific purpose of helping him and loving him.

Sadly, our modern world has completely forgotten what the meaning of true love is; and as a result of excessive selfishness, has significantly reduced the roles of both men and women. In this post, I wish to give a brief, gentle reminder to everyone of just how important men and women are to each other, and why each gender is valuable and special in its own way.

Since God created Adam first, we’ll start with the men.

God gave men the blessing of physical strength. They are meant to be protectors and defenders, able to provide for their families and fight for their country. However, although physical strength is one well known gift men might have, they are worth so much more than that alone! In the role of a committed relationship, men are capable of offering many treasures to women, and I don’t mean just material ones!

When a man is right with God in his heart, he will treat his woman like the special lady she is, by doing his best to give her his undivided attention, respecting her feelings, and trusting her with the cares of his heart. Behaving this way will make a special woman feel like a queen, and she’ll be more than happy to see her godly man as a king.

More than anything though, a godly man will be his woman’s best friend, and give her comfort and support whenever it is needed. One delightful trait that most men have is a hilarious sense of humor, which is quite helpful when they use it to try to cheer up the special women in their lives. A funny sense of humor is welcomed and appreciated when it is used in the appropriate situations and contexts. Making a woman laugh is a special ability that many men have, and it is worthy of recognition.

Most important of all these treasures is when a godly man proves he has an honorable character. A man who does this will show himself to be faithful, dependable, honest, sincere, compassionate, selfless, loving, and gentle. When a man possesses these virtues, he becomes a priceless treasure to the woman who loves him. The best way for men to have an honorable character is when they choose to honor God first in their lives. If a man loves God with all his heart, soul, and mind as he should, then he’ll have no trouble treating his woman the way she deserves.

Now let’s focus on the women, God’s equal creation to man.

God gave women the blessing of emotional strength. They are meant to be nurturers and lovers, able to provide men with families and refuge from the stress of the world. They were also created as physically pleasing to men, both visually and sensually. While many women are praised and celebrated for their physical beauty, they are worth far more on the inside! In the role of a committed relationship, women are capable of offering many comforts to men, and I don’t mean just physical ones!

When a woman is right with God in her heart, she will treat her man like the special gentleman he is, by doing her best to give him her unconditional love, respecting who he is, and trusting him enough to let him help her when necessary. Behaving this way will make a special man feel like a king, and he’ll be more than happy to see his godly woman as a queen.

More than anything though, a godly woman will be her man’s confidante, and give him advice and wisdom whenever it is needed. One special quality that many women have is the gift of understanding, which is quite beneficial when their man has had a bad day or is feeling discouraged. A woman with an understanding heart is welcomed and appreciated by her man when he needs reassurance and empathy. Making a man feel understood is a special talent than many women have, and it is worthy of praise.

Most important of all these comforts is when a godly woman proves she has an honorable character. A woman who does this will show herself to be faithful, dependable, honest, sincere, compassionate, selfless, loving, and gentle. When a woman possesses these virtues, she becomes a priceless treasure to the man who loves her. The best way for women to have an honorable character is when they choose to honor God first in their lives. If a woman loves God with all her heart, soul, and mind as she should, then she’ll have no trouble treating her man the way he deserves.

Men and women are very different, yet so similar at the same time.

You probably noticed that the final paragraph about each gender was basically the same, with the respective pronouns reversed. That’s because the most important aspect of a man or woman is the condition of his or her heart before God. Without knowing God as one’s personal Savior and Creator, it is impossible to effectively exhibit the positive traits listed above in a relationship. Also, it is important to remember that men and women both need to feel loved, but are designed to give and receive it in different ways. Men need to feel wanted and respected, while women need to feel cherished and appreciated. Although these needs are almost identical, they are distinctly separate because of how God designed each gender. While every person is already complete in God, a relationship with another person is meant to be another enhancement to our lives, should God choose to bless us with one in His will. God designed man and woman to complement each other, not complete each other. However, the key balancing factor is keeping God central to the relationship. When both hearts are united by God’s love, and a primary love for Him, then it is very unlikely that their bond will end.

How are earthly relationships a reflection of God’s relationship with us?

The most important ingredient in cultivating and maintaining true love is selflessness. It was God Who defined true love when He sent His Son Jesus to our world on earth, leaving behind the glorious splendor of Heaven, just so He could die in our place. Once a person receives spiritual salvation, they must learn to depend on God and fellowship with Him every day. God presented His eternal, unconditional love to us, all so we could develop an intimate relationship with Him. Earthly relationships are built on trust and communication, just like our relationship with God is. True love is not only shown by someone else being selfless, but also by reciprocation. Because God gave His Son’s life for us, the least we can do in return is give our lives to Him. It is only natural to return our hearts to the Creator Who made them! So the same applies to earthly relationships – when love is shown to you by someone you care about, you’ll want to show it right back! Just as the man usually initiates a relationship, God was first to show His love toward us. We have a choice of accepting or denying His love, just as we do with people on earth.

 

Here are God’s Words confirming how He made men and women for each other:

 

1 Corinthians 11:9 ~ “Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.

Genesis 1:27 ~ “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.”

Genesis 2:18 ~ “And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.”

Genesis 2:23 ~ “And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.”

Proverbs 31:10-11 ~ “Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far above rubies. The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil.

Ephesians 5:22-25 ~ “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;

Colossians 3:18 ~ “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord.

1 Peter 3:7 ~ “Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.

It’s high time we start appreciating each other as God meant for us!

My final message on this topic is meant to be an encouragement, not a reprimand; so please don’t misinterpret what I’m about to say. I realize that there are many godly men and women out there who are currently treating their significant others the way they should, and that’s wonderful. My purpose in writing this is simply a reminder of these things to ensure that we don’t forget them in the midst of our confusing, modern world.

So men, remember that your wife is your soulmate, and she is there for you to love and appreciate as your helper from God! Don’t take her emotional attachment to you for granted; she is meant to fulfill your need to be needed!

Women, don’t forget that your husband is your hero, and he is there for you to admire and honor as your protector from God! Don’t take his willingness to help you for granted; he is meant to fulfill your need to be supported!

For those of you who aren’t married yet, whether you’re currently single or in a relationship, I encourage you to be on the lookout for all the traits I listed above before you invest your valuable time and emotions in another person. Men and women are supposed to be God’s gifts to each other, and many problems arise when people develop a one-sided mindset! God wants us to love, honor, and respect each other just as we’re supposed to do for Him. When we treat men and women with the love, honor, and respect they deserve, then relationships truly can be a match made in Heaven.

– Gloria D. Hopkins

Why It’s NOT A Sin To Be Sad

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It’s time for Christians to stop believing the popular myth that we have to be happy all the time.

Sometimes it’s just hard to be happy.

We all have bad days where everything around us seems to appear a mournful shade of grey. The tricky thing is, with human emotions being so complicated, there doesn’t even need to be a specific reason for us to feel this way. In our fallen world, we have to deal with sadness and other negative feelings as a way of life. While some people are born with natural dispositions that are more prone to these feelings than others, the truth is everyone is susceptible to experiencing the emotions that make the world lose its color.

Now, I know what you’re probably thinking: this is a negative post about promoting self-pity. Such a statement is quite contrary to my true purpose in writing this. My reason for writing this comes from a simple desire to clear up some common misconceptions that Christians might have about experiencing sadness and more complex emotional states, such as depression. My intention is that you will be comforted and reassured after reading this post, rather than wallowing in despair.

So let’s begin our re-assessment of sadness. We’ll begin with a few false ideas that some Christians have about it first.

Myth #1 –

If you’re feeling sad or depressed, it means you’re not right with God, and have sin in your life.

Unfortunately, I have heard this belief come out of many different Christians’ mouths. While it is always possible for a person to have sin, it is not a sin to be feeling sad or depressed in and of itself. Sadness entered the world as a result of sin, but it is not a sin to be sad. To hold this opinion is ignorant; to say it to someone who is struggling with sadness or depression is downright insensitive. If you make such an assumption about someone who is experiencing these feelings, you’ll end up sounding like the Pharisees in the New Testament, who claimed that a blind man was born that way because of his parents’ sin. To blame someone’s emotional pain on their sin without taking time to correctly understand their situation is an extremely hurtful thing to do.

Also, when Jesus Himself was here on this earth, He too experienced sadness, just like us. When his good friend Lazarus died, the Bible tells us that Jesus wept, and had compassion and empathy for Lazarus’ sisters, Mary and Martha. Whenever he was rejected time and time again by people in different places, I’m sure Jesus was grieved like anyone would be. Of course, Jesus’ most awful experience with sadness had to be all of the events leading up to His death on the cross. Agony in Gethsemane, betrayal by one of His own disciples, being falsely accused by the Pharisees, being denied not once, but THREE times in a row by Peter, his other disciple, being mocked, physically abused, harassed, condemned to die as an unjust punishment, and ultimately abandoned by His own Father in Heaven – ALL of these things caused our Savior unimaginable sorrow.

Now we all know that Jesus was entirely perfect and holy without sin; so to say that feeling sad is a sin or to be depressed means you’re not right with God is ridiculous. Believing such a thing would be implying that Jesus was a sinner, which is blasphemy.

Myth #2 –

If you’re sad or depressed, it means you’re not thankful enough for the things in your life.

While this might be true in some cases, it is unwise to make this assumption about someone based on a shallow judgment. Practicing thankfulness is a helpful way to overcome sadness and depression, but it is by no means a magical cure to solve all of our emotional problems. For example, if a family loses a loved one, they may be thankful for the time they were blessed to have their relative with them, but they would still feel a great deal of grief because that person passed away. In a more common situation, a person might feel very thankful to God, but still feel sad for whatever reasons or circumstances they’re experiencing.

A biblical example of this would be Job, who lost everything he had except for his life, and still refused to blame God. Job was a very wealthy man living in ancient times who loved God more than all his many possessions. When God chose to test his faithfulness by allowing Satan to oppress him, Job had every reason in his flesh to give up on God and question His goodness, but he didn’t, at least not for long. Job acknowledged that God had given him everything he had in life, and that it was His right to take it all away if He so chose. However, Job was extremely depressed and sorrowful after losing his family, just as any normal person would be. Being sad about his circumstances didn’t make him ungrateful or any less of a Christian.

It is very important for us to understand that how we respond to negative circumstances does not always determine our spirituality in other areas. We can still be thankful to God while not particularly happy about our given circumstances. It might not be easy, but it is possible.

Myth #3 –

If you’re sad or depressed, it means you’re being selfish or too self-absorbed.

Now I have heard this one too many times to count. It infuriates me to no end when I hear people display such ignorance and insensitivity. While experiencing sadness and depression can cause people to isolate themselves from others, it is not fair at all to automatically label them as selfish or self-absorbed. Even more outrageous is when people say, “You’re not the only one who’s gone/going through this,” or “There are so many other people out there who have it worse than you,” or “Stop being over-dramatic and exaggerating your situation.” Saying these things to someone who has a legitimate reason for being upset is distasteful to say the very least. For one thing, these statements and other ones like them are hurtful, because they invalidate that person’s feelings. They don’t hear it as encouragement or helpful words; they hear it as subtle criticism directed at them for how they’re reacting. For another thing, these statements diminish the seriousness of that person’s situation. Would it be right to say to a person who has cancer, “You’re not the only person who has this or has had it happen to them; get over it”? Of course not! People who are experiencing sadness or depression are dealing with a serious sickness just like cancer, except it’s emotional instead of physical.

In the Bible, there were many different people who were sick and needed Jesus’ healing power. Whether they were blind, crippled, leprous, or even already dead, they each had a serious need that deserved to be acknowledged and validated. When they cried out for Jesus to help them, did He talk down to them and tell them that their problems weren’t as important as everyone else’s? NO! Jesus displayed His infinite compassion for mankind when He was on this earth, proving His love for humanity. Even if some of His disciples tried to convince Him to keep moving and walk away from them, our Lord and Savior didn’t listen to them. He cared about every single person he healed, since he was acquainted with their souls before they were even born. Not once did Jesus ever criticize a person who needed Him and confessed their faith in Him. Jesus treated every person he healed with the same amount of respect and concern that he gave to everyone else.

We should all try to be more understanding of a sad or depressed person’s situation before we label them as selfish or self-absorbed. Just as Jesus had compassion and took pity on those who needed Him, we must do the same for those around us who are struggling with sadness and depression.

If you’re feeling sad or depressed, God understands, and it’s okay.

Now that we have debunked some of these popular Christian myths about sadness, hopefully you have gained a better understanding of how God views this emotion. It is completely natural to experience it, and it is NOT a sin. However, there will be some people who will try to quote Philippians 4:4, where it says “Rejoice in the Lord always” to disagree with this post. It is important to note the difference between happiness and joy: Happiness is a temporary state based on circumstances, while joy is eternal hope in spite of circumstances. You can still have your Christian joy while feeling sad at the same time. When Jesus’ followers witnessed His death on the cross, they were sad that He died, but they held onto His promise that He would rise again. That hope they kept was the definition of their joy in spite of the negative circumstances. I would encourage you to hold onto your joy, no matter how sad or depressed you might be feeling. At the same time, however, I’m here to tell you that there is no need for you to feel guilty or ashamed of being sad or depressed. God knows and understands your pain, and all the reasons for it. He is always there to comfort you and heal your heart. He wants to help you.

Here are God’s eternal words of promise and truth to assure you:

Psalm 34:18 ~ “The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.

Hebrews 4:15 ~ “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.

Isaiah 53:3 ~ “He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

Psalm 56:8 ~ “Thou tellest my wanderings: put thou my tears into thy bottle: are they not in thy book?

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 ~ “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

Psalm 55:22 ~ “Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.”

1 Peter 5:7 ~ “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.”

2 Corinthians 1:3-4 ~ “Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.”

While it is not a sin to be sad or depressed, God doesn’t want you to stay that way forever. I want to assure you that no matter what you are going through right now, God is capable of healing ANY kind of damage within a human heart. The process cannot be rushed, though; He is a Master Healer that does things delicately with intricate care. You must be willing to trust Him and take His hand as He performs a beautiful miracle in your life. If you keep your eyes fixed on Him with steadfast, unwavering faith, you will be amazed at the wonderful things He can help you achieve and overcome. Trust me, He certainly will.

– Gloria D. Hopkins

Finding the Dream: The True Meaning of Equality

 

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“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

 

ALL men are created equal.

On August 28, 1963, Martin Luther King Jr. gave his immortal speech about his dream of equality for all people in America. He believed in a world that would celebrate and embrace people for how they look on the inside, rather than just the outside. His legacy is remembered to this very day, inspiring millions of people everywhere to respect the truth that skin color does NOT define a person’s character.

While our nation has made tremendous progress in achieving King’s ideal dream, there are still more than a few holes that need to be patched up in the philosophy of equality. Let’s look at a few points of truth that need to be cleared up before we can find his dream, the true meaning of equality:

1. Equality isn’t just black and white.

First of all, the concept of equality is not two-dimensional. It has many different facets that contribute to its definition, just like the many different people groups who make up our world. If we can establish the fact that equality is for everybody, not just for black and white people, then we will make great strides in achieving harmony and peace for all mankind.

Now, before this post gets misinterpreted, allow me to define the word equality:

equality

[ih-kwol-i-tee]
noun, plural equalities.
1.

the state or quality of being equal; correspondence in quantity, degree, value, rank, or ability:

promoting equality of opportunity in the workplace.

 

That is the internet dictionary’s definition, but here is my own personal definition:

Equality is the condition where every person is recognized as a unique individual, worthy of receiving certain unalienable rights such as respect, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of career choice and opportunity, and freedom of will.

In other words, I agree with the moral philosophy of America’s Founding Fathers, as stated in the Declaration of Independence:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Now that we’ve taken a look at what the word equality really means, let’s examine why it is so important. In the past, there have been many misconceptions about equality, leading to some extremely tragic historical events. Without getting into too much detail about these past sorrows, it is fair to say that much of past social injustices was caused by one little word, which brings me to my next point.

2. The idea of “race” is a myth.

The word “race” was an idea formed by Charles Darwin when he wrote his book called, On The Origin of Species. Instead of accepting biblical truths, he turned to his own imagination to produce a false explanation of the different people groups that populate the world. Unless you agree with his theory about evolution, there is absolutely no need to include the word “race” in one’s vocabulary, at least in the context of attributing it to different cultures of people. We are all descended from two people: Adam and Eve, the first human beings to live on this planet. When God created them, they possessed a genetic code filled with endless possible combinations! It wasn’t until after the global Flood in Genesis chapter 5 that people’s DNA began to change due to the extreme climate changes. Our ancestral bloodline traces all the way back to the Garden of Eden, where our very first parents lived. We are all brothers and sisters born into a huge extended family! This is what the Bible has to say about this topic:

Acts 17:26 ~ “And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;”

The fact is, there is only ONE race – the human race.

3. We are all equal in God’s eyes.

Every single person who has ever existed is an eternal soul created by an all-powerful, loving God, designed specially by His hands. God cares about all people, since he made all of us in His divine image. We are all already equal in that aspect alone, yet there is still another reason why we are all equal in God’s eyes. Here is the reason why:

Romans 3:23 ~ “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;”

Unfortunately, we are all born with an inherent sinful nature because of our very first parents, Adam and Eve, another proof that we all come from the same extended family. However, the story did not end there; God saw our helpless condition and provided us a way to be rescued from it, through the sacrifice of His perfect, Holy Son, Jesus. Because Jesus came to this earth as the Son of Man, He gave His blood for the redemption of all mankind, giving us yet another reason to see all men as equal. God the Father loved us so much that He wanted to adopt us all into His Heavenly family for all eternity, restored into divine union and fellowship with His holy presence. It does not matter to God one bit what we look like, or where we come from; His salvation is a free gift given to all men:

Colossians 3:11 ~ “Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all.

In the perfect world of Heaven, there is only one existential distinction – the Creator and His creations.

Let’s make the dream of equality a reality!

In conclusion, I hope that these three points have helped improve our understanding of the true meaning of equality. Now that we have patched up the holes in our society’s definition of equality using God’s Word as biblical proof, we can fully accept one another as a special creation of God who is loved unconditionally by Him. As Christians, it is our responsibility to share the gospel with those who haven’t yet heard the good news around the world, so that we can reclaim our lost brothers and sisters into the family of Heaven. Also, it is our duty to show love and kindness to everyone around us, no matter what culture or ethnicity they come from, so we can be a shining example of God’s love to them. If we can prove faithful in these two things, sharing the good news of God’s love and showing it to people, then we will be successful in finding Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream become a reality in the world around us.

– Gloria D. Hopkins