We read the Bible seeking answers. We pray in the hope of a response but often dwell in our problem as if we were alone. Where is God's response?
How many times have we cried out to the Lord for help and yet found apparent silence? But is it silence? Or is He trying to point us back to specifics in His Word?
Many scriptures incorporate the answers to life's questions. Sometimes we need to search before finding them, but they're there. When we find them, and there is no mistake, we're meant to believe and use those solutions.
Most of us struggle with biblical advice because the answer is often simple, perhaps one line or a half-verse. So we inquire elsewhere, such as a blog or magazine, or ask friends, or even pay for a service to tell us the same thing as God did. The Bible is an encyclopedia of circumstances or situations and their consequences—problems and answers. Whether matters to do with our own nature or obstacles with other people, civil duties, banking, workplace conduct, home responsibilities and behaviours, as well as many other effects. They are dealt with in scripture.
I have chosen a few typical issues which affect us all, and God's scriptural answers.
Isaiah 61:3 "...the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;"
For this issue, the Lord's answer is to enter a state of praise and remain in it until the blackness is gone. A life of praise is a permanent exit from the downward spirit. If we live in a state of praise and thanksgiving to God—of appreciation—we swing our entire outlook 180 degrees.
When all seems lost, and there is nowhere to turn
Habakkuk 3:17-18 "Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation. "
Job 1:21 "...Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord."
Daniel 3:17-18 "If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up. "
When all seems lost, it is not lost. Our eyes are on the wrong prize. We have our Lord and our salvation. Perhaps we need to elevate God, as well as the miracle of salvation, and focus on what they mean to us in real terms. These three examples are about normal people who found themselves in situations over which they had no control. They all came back to basics, faith in their Saviour.
Responding to someone else's anger towards us
A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger. Proverbs 16:1
He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city. Proverbs 16:32
In conversations, emails, texts and letters, our response is where the power resides. If we respond with a verbal slap, we escalate the issue, perhaps losing friends and family. If we respond as the Lord suggests here, we can actually strengthen the relationship by calmly working through the problem. Working out our own anger
Proverbs 15:18 "A wrathful man stirreth up strife: but he that is slow to anger appeaseth strife."
Proverbs 19:11 The discretion of a man deferreth his anger; and it is his glory to pass over a transgression."
We have the power and responsibility to ensure we do not get unnecessarily angry. There is a wave of righteous anger we are entitled to use, but that is to be used only in rare and particular circumstances. We have the power to control our anger. We are not at its mercy, as we sometimes think.
The Lord designed and made us. Let's not think He expects us to make our way through life blindly. We already know he is a marvellous God with more love than we can imagine. Let's take His wisdom onboard and live more complete lives. See how many answers you can find in your Bible.
Today's prayer: Dear Lord, you have placed your wisdom in scripture, which I haven't always taken. I apologise for that. Please help me seek, find and believe your solutions and put them into practice.
Photo by Marianne Bos