It is easy to become discouraged by the world we see every day. We look around us and see wrong being done all around us and the people that are in control see no need to stop it. Instead, they argue about what should be done while doing nothing. If problems could be argued away, we would be living in heaven right now. In my simplistic mind, there are simple answers and I don’t understand why the powers that be can’t just agree on those simple answers and do something.

The solutions aren’t that simple though. I look at the actions of the nations, including this one, and see irrational stupidity every single day.

I’ve let this stuff get to me and suck the life out of my spirit, my hope and my faith. I have gone for years obeying the doom and gloom and allowing life to sit on top of me and weigh me down until I couldn’t move.

Here is the truth: Life is going to be hard here on this earth.

1 John 5:19 We know that we are children of God and that the world around us is under the control of the evil one.

We live in a country, no, an entire world, of those that turn their back on what God wants for us and goes in the direction of the one that wants to take us to our destruction. If I am a Christian and I have my eyes on God’s will, all of this stuff bothers me.

This might sound dreary and awful. But as this world clamors to find peace through imposing their will upon others and finding only war, poverty and pain, we can march to the beat of a different drummer and find calm in the midst of the storm.

The headlines may be terrible (and they usually are), but I can have hope and peace that feeds my faith allowing me to grow despite harsh conditions.

1 John 5:20 And we know that the Son of God has come, and he has given us understanding so that we can know the true God. And now we live in fellowship with the true God because we live in fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ. He is the only true God, and he is eternal life.

Christians get discouraged because they become Christians and think that’s all there is to it and they are good to go. Well, they are good to go to heaven but when it comes to going in a world that will oppose them, not so much. Others get discouraged because they believe getting good to go means carrying a list of rules around and if they don’t break the rules, life will be easy. Then, when life is still hard, they give up. Still others just can’t seem to live by the set of rules they have been burdened with and live a life of conflict between themselves and the rules.

John tells us that we live in fellowship with the true God because we understand and know him. If we must have a rule to live by, rule number one should be to spend time with God in prayer and his Word! We don’t get to know God by forcing legalistic behavior upon ourselves and doing what others tell us is right and wrong. We get to know him and take on his nature and allow him to change us and that change will alter our behavior.

People rely on the laws of the land to keep citizens in line. Every law in the book gets broken every day. What we really need is a force inside of us that encourages us to do good, even if doing bad is accepted by the rest of the world.

I’ve lived the life of rules for a long time. I found myself tiptoeing along the line between right and wrong for decades. There is no peace there. I can’t find rest on that line. I am constantly trying to keep my balance and not fall. But I fell anyway and the landings were hard and damaging.

A life of fellowship, finding common ground with God himself keeps me far away from falling into the abyss of pain known as sin.

1 John 5:21 Dear children, keep away from anything that might take God’s place in your hearts.

The easiest way for me to keep away from what takes God’s place is to check out God’s place often, daily, and make sure that I am in agreement with him, that my fellowship is pleasing to him, and correct whatever is wrong and be glad that he is with me still. Even though I am imperfect, if I spend time alone with him, he will be faithful to spend time with me.

I don’t face this world alone. The turmoil going on around me is raging and relentless but the God of Heaven lives in me, walks beside me and leads me down a different path. Life isn’t easy but it is doable. Challenges are met and there are rewards in the future. And when the times get hard and I am too weak to stumble ahead anymore there is shelter in his arms.

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7 thoughts on “Living with Stupid

  1. You used the term “Powers that be” up near the start of your post.

    Personally, I think you were hitting the target with that language. I know of no translations of Scripture that use that exact phrase, but “Principalities, powers, authorities” etc all pint there. Of course, these are the labels St Paul uses, and in Colossians he tells us that the powers were created by God to be part of his good creation. The same apostle even endorses human government in his letter to the Romans (a short leash, but its approval all the same).

    The problem is that the creation, which is full of powers, needs to see God in order to obey him. When the ocean tides know their Creator and see him, they obey his order – his Shalom. Look at Romans 8 and see this same apostle tell us that the creation waits like giving birth in pain for the revelation of the Sons of God. This is because the Sons of God bear his image before the powers that yearn to see him who rules over them. And well, meanwhile, humanity, which is created to bear his image, is full of sin and cannot.

    It seems counter intuitive to think that just merely the sight of God straightens out the world, but I have kids who get into messes all the time, and it is amazing to watch them straighten up when the see me watching them. And that’s me! How much more will the cracks and chips in the paint on the wall clear up when God walks in the room??? I mean GOD! When HE comes along, the real ironing out of problems finally happens.

    I think of John’s depiction in his Gospel account of Pilate presenting Jesus to the court after he has been scourged. There is that subtle but VERY POWERFUL verse where Pilate tells the court (attended by Jews who should readily see the pertinence of his words) “Behold! The MAN!” (John 19:5). This moment resonates with Genesis 1:26-27 when God creates humanity in the first place and sets him up to rule over creation on his behalf, like a vice regent. Jesus comes to do what Adam failed to do – RULE THE WORLD.

    And when we look at Jesus, we see God. That is the point. The same point we find in Genesis 1. And John’s Gospel, a book that opens with the words : In the beginning” very much wants to resonate with exactly that idea all through.

    We, the church, are the Body of Christ in the world today. We have the job of bearing the image – the suffering image of a loving Creator who redeems his beloved from the mess at the cost of himself.

    Our war is not with flesh and blood, but against the powers…

    I think you were hitting this nerve when you wrote of those powers.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. What a great response. We must see Jesus even when everything around us does not. Peter walked on the waves and churning seas when he looked into the face of Christ. He didn’t succumb to the circumstances around him until he looked away from Jesus and gave power back to the storm.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Yes. Peter is doing good when he has his eyes on Jesus, but when he looks at the wind and waves, he starts sinking!

        You know… a lot of scholars think that St Mark writes Peter’s account of the Gospel that bears Mark’s name. (I am inclined to see that as very likely too.) And Peter, in Mark’s account, takes a beating as a disciple. I mean, the only really good thing Peter does is drop the nets in chapter 1 and follow. Over the course of the rest of the Gospel, he slips a little more and more until he finally denies Jesus 3 times! By the time Jesus is crucified, there is no sign of Peter. Yet, when the women find the tomb empty, the strange man in white tells them to go tell Peter and the others to find Jesus in Galilee.

        I don’t point all this out just as a bit of interesting Bible trivia. I point this out because you bring up Peter and this story Mark tells is probably Peter’s story. And the really curious thing about all that, the thing your observation really brings home to roost, is that Peter’s version of the story of Jesus has only one mortal human being pronouncing that Jesus is “the Son of God”. Only one. There are others who pronounce it in Mark, but they are either God himself (the voice from heaven) or the author (chapter 1: verse 1), OR it is the demons Jesus casts out! The demons know who he is and pronounce it, but NONE of the human mortals in Peter’s version ever do UNTIL 15:39. And the one human who says it is a most unlikely character who has not followed Jesus or been with him at any point except at the crucifixion. In fact, it is likely the guy who drove the nails! He is the one who SEES Jesus for WHO HE REALLY IS. Everyone else just sees a death sentence carried out, but this guy sees a CORONATION of THE KING.

        Its a matter of seeing wind and waves or fixing your eyes on Jesus. And the whole gospel is geared around that very idea. It is why Jesus heals a blind man twice as if the first attempt doesn’t quite work (Mark is the only place we find such a staggered healing). It is significant that the ailment is BLINDNESS. It is significant that the healing of this vision comes to the guy in stages! And Peter never depicts himself as having seen Jesus with this kind of insight! Hm…

        btw… since we were talking about John (you were referencing his epistles, but I highlighted his Gospel) I was linking that Gospel to Genesis in particular. If you read John with your Bible open to Genesis and refer back to Genesis everytime you think you might be getting a whiff of a scent from Genesis, it will stun you all the connections. I still discover them between the lines every time I read John.

        One of the most important connections I have found in recent times is that when John depicts Jesus in Gethsemane, he does not use the name of that garden. Gethsemane goes unnamed in John. This is significant because John wants you to think of another garden. He wants to bounce sparks off the very first Garden – the Garden of Eden.

        And so in John we see Jesus pray in a garden, get coronated in a garden, and buried in a garden. And this comes to a powerful culmination when, on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene bumps into a man in the garden and mistakes him for “THE GARDENER”! It’s not actually a mistake. She is actually seeing Jesus as (what St. Paul calls) the LAST Adam (I Cor. 15:45). Again, notice that all of this occurs in a book which opens with the words, IN THE BEGINNING…

        Yeah, John is doing business with New Creation.

        Okay, I have effectively hijacked your post now. I apologize for that. But in the off chance your are interested, I truly hope this kind of insight will open up the scriptures for you as you explore them to see Jesus more clearly too.

        God bless you…

        X

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Amen! I call the world, “teh stoopid.” That’s a pun on how in the heat of internet arguments, people will actually have typos on their insults,some quite comical. I have a mind overly polluted with culture, scary movies, depressing news stories, and the darker sides of life, and so Philippians 4:8 is so critical for me, “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”

    It’s kind of interesting how that works, focus on the lovely and that’s what your world starts to look like,but focus on teh stoopid and that too will come your way.

    Liked by 1 person

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