Monday’s Musings #255 & Never Alone

Never Alone & Monday's Musings #255

This week I had lunch with a dear friend. We are in the same season of life. It was a blessing not only to visit but to feel comfortable in sharing what we are going through these days. It’s not anything major but for both of us, it’s taking us on a journey we were not ready for. Yet to know we are not alone in our journey is a precious reassurance. Reminds me of the verse in Ecclesiastes, chapter 4, “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!” 

The Lord is so good to give us friends who will walk through life with us. I am ever so grateful for the friends I have in my life. Truly. Be that as it may, I am privy to an even more wonderful relationship that never, ever fails me.

When life gets challenging, the Lord never leaves us. When we hit lows, He is ever present. Our “times are in His hands” it says in Psalm 31, verse 15. If our times are in His hands, we can believe He will help us through whatever we are experiencing. Discouragement, sadness, and any other negative emotion that we might allow to encompass us during any season of life, He removes because He is right there with us. “Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence?” (Psalm 139:7) In addition, all of our sweet precious moments of joy are in His hands as well. Those times that make us smile and rejoice, He orchestrates.

All events that concern us, and the timing of them, belong to Him. They are at God’s disposal. Matthew Henry, in his commentary on Psalm 31, states that “David didn’t prescribe to God, he subscribed to Him.” In other words, he agreed with the Lord and accepted God’s design for his life. All of it.

See, we are never alone no matter where we are in life. Our God is a faithful presence. And we can (I will!) rejoice in that! “You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” (Psalm 16:11)

UPDATE: Last week I was not able to put the linky up. I had an injury to my eye and was unable to handle staring at the computer screen or bright lights in general. I am doing much better and praising the Lord for healing.

NOTE: I have had the pleasure of participating in The Enchanting Rose Tea Cup & Mug Exchange more than once. So, I am just passing on the information below in case it is something you’d love to do. I may even participate this time myself.

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Now I am ready to read what you have to share. So glad you stopped by.

Never Alone & Monday's Musings #255

Monday’s Musings Purpose:

To have others share encouragement about being a child of God, being a godly wife, motherhood, homemaking, homeschooling, healthy recipes, modest dress, etc. (I reserve the right to remove anything I deem unacceptable. Keep in mind this is a Christian blog.)

Monday’s Musings Must Dos:

1. Please link directly to the post you’re sharing. Be sure to link back here by using a text link or the logo in the side bar.

2. This link up party stays open until Wednesday evening. Know that sometimes I share your posts on Pinterest, Twitter and/or Facebook because I desire for our readers to be blessed.

3. It would be so awesome if you could encourage another by visiting their post and leaving a kind comment. Builds community, too. Thank you for visiting and linking up. Now, let’s get to sharing. Link following this post. Grab my link button in the side bar and place on your blog so others know about our community and can join in.

 

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I Believe God Did Not Create Evil, Part 2

I Believe God Did Not Create Evil, Part 2 | What Joy Is Mine

If you didn’t have a chance to read part 1, you can do so HERE.

Yesterday, I laid the foundation for today’s continuing post on why I believe God did not create evil. I highly recommend reading that first before reading today’s conclusion.

Now let’s revisit Isaiah 45:7 once more and look at what is meant by “create evil.” For the sake of argument, we will use the ESV version of this verse since it uses the word create. Create defined is “To produce; to bring into being from nothing; to cause to exist.” (1828 Webster’s Dictionary) Since we have already established that God does not create moral evil, then this verse must mean He creates something. And evil being the word written here, the question is what evil is being stressed?

To understand this verse more clearly, we must back up and read verses 5 and 6. “I am the Lord, and there is no other, besides me there is no God; I equip you, though you do not know me, that people may know, from the rising of the sun and from the west, that there is none besides me; I am the Lord, and there is no other.” God proclaims here His power and sovereignty. He is self-existent, self-sufficient, infinite and eternal. There is none like Him.

Knowing this, verse 7 in Isaiah chapter 45, reiterates this truth by telling us that nothing happens without His knowledge or purposed plan. After all, he formed light and darkness (Genesis 1) and makes peace and creates evil but not moral evil. The evil in this verse actually refers to the evil of punishment for sin or natural evil. Listen to this statement, “God’s sore judgments, famine, pestilence, evil beasts, and the sword, or war, which latter may more especially be intended, as it is opposed to peace; this usually is the effect of sin; may be sometimes lawfully engaged in; whether on a good or bad foundation is permitted by God; moreover, all afflictions, adversities, and calamities, come under this name, and are of God.” (Gill’s Exposition) Another way to say it: the crosses we bear like sickness, natural disasters, and diseases are under His divine direction. These particular sufferings we endure are for our greater good and for His glory. Job reminds us “Shall we not receive good from God. and shall we not receive evil? In all this Job did not sin with his lips.”  (Job 2:10) John Piper says, “Evil (not moral evil) is ordained by an infinitely holy and all wise God to make the glory of Christ shine more brightly.” (Parenthesis mine) God is purposeful in all He does and does not make up His plan as He goes along. We can trust His hand in all things.

Summing this up, God is sovereign over all that goes on in this world. All comforts and calamities come from his hand. He made no man do evil but did create those whom He foreknew would do wicked things. He is not amiss in this as He did knowing how He would get honor and glory by them. In addition, as God creates calamity, He does so to “work all things according to the counsel of his will.” (Ephesians 1:11) “Therefore let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good.” (1 Peter 4:19)

Friends, I share this belief of mine with you to offer you comfort and reassurance that we serve and love a good Lord. He is holy, sovereign, praise-worthy, perfect, loving and trustworthy. Thankfully, He is!

I Believe God Did Not Create Evil, Part 1

 

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I Believe God Did Not Create Evil, Part 1

I Believe God Did Not Create Evil | What Joy Is Mine

(There. I said it.)

She sat across from me and strongly stated how she believed that God created evil, most likely referring to Isaiah 45:7, “I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.“(KJV)  It took me by surprise and made me want to understand this scripture better because in my heart I did not agree with her comment. So, my journey began with researching other versions of this verse.

The ESV & NKJV use the words “creates calamity.” The NIV uses the words “creates disaster.” In choosing to read other translations, it helped me see a little clearer what Isaiah was sharing when he wrote the words in Isaiah 45:7, which were directed by the Lord.

Looking at God’s character first, it is written in His Word that He can have nothing to do with evil. Psalm 5:4 says, “For you are not a God who delights in wickedness; evil may not dwell with you.” God is a good God. “For how great is His goodness… (Zechariah 9:17) “Oh, how abundant is your goodness which you have stored up for those who fear you…” (Psalm 31:19) And since He is good, darkness (evil) cannot reside with Him. “This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is not darkness at all.” (1 John 1:5) He does not delight in the sinful things of this world. The evils we see daily of people hurting other people are not His doing but the acts of depraved human hearts.

Sin is what causes evil to exist in this world. Sin is the natural depravity of man against the divine will of God. The sinful heart voluntarily goes against the commands of God. God did not create sin but sin came by the willfulness of man to depart from the path prescribed by God. Hence, we are taken to the Garden of Eden and Adam and Eve’s disobedience to God. Neither one chooses to obey the Lord and His command. (Read Genesis 3) “So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.” (James 4:17)  Even though God did not make them sin, He is sovereign over it. He knew they would sin against Him.

When sin entered the world, evil intentions of the heart entered. Now the evil spoken of in Isaiah 45:7 is not moral evil (which is what happened with Adam & Eve), but evil which refers to calamities that cause misery. For instance, like natural disasters or illnesses. (More on that tomorrow.) Concerning moral evil, I believe God does not have a hand in that although He is sovereign over it. Moral evil does not take the Lord by surprise and He planned on it happening. However, He did not make it happen. “Let no one say when he is tempted, ‘I am being tempted by God,’ for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one.” (James 1:13)

Moral evil is not the created evil Isaiah speaks of in Isaiah 45:7. Let’s stop here for today. I am going to leave you to ponder and pray over what I just shared. I invite you to come by tomorrow and finish reading the rest of what the Lord has led me to write on this topic.

Note: This can be a sensitive subject. Please comment respectfully if you desire to comment. I will not publish harsh words. 

I Believe God Did Not Create Evil, Part 2 

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**Some photos on my blog are my own labeled NCPhotography. If any of my photos anywhere on my blog catch your eye, please email me for permission to use them in any way. I appreciate your cooperation in helping my photography stay protected and properly credited. Thank you.

Monday’s Musings #233 & Stepping Aside

Monday's Musings #233 & Stepping Aside | What Joy Is Mine

One of the best things us Christians can do in any situation in life is step aside. Yet, sometimes we find it is the hardest thing to do. When life throws us curve balls, especially, we often take things into our own hands instead of stepping aside and letting God do His thing. We think we can do it better or handle it without Him. But the truth is, we can’t on both accounts. Psalm 55:22 says, “Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved.

See, our trials do not take God by surprise. He knows they are coming. He knows all the details surrounding them. And He knows how we will be when they come upon us. So, why do we insist on walking through them in our own strength and wisdom? Why do we feel He won’t be enough so we gotta fill in the gaps? Why do we believe God isn’t fully present when we’re suffering? Why don’t we step aside? Jeremiah 29:11 reminds us that God knows the plans He has for us. So, It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man.” (Psalm 118:8)

Often when trials happen, we tend to lean on our abilities and knowledge instead of running to our Father. We forget He is able. Able to get us through and bring us out on the other side. Able to carry us then place us down gently on our two feet to stand. Able to hear and answer our heartfelt prayers as He sees best. Able to hold us close and bring us comfort in our hour of need. Able to remind us how much He loves us with an abundant love that never fails or lessens.

This is the God we love and serve. So very able! We just need to step aside and trust Him. We need to let go of the reins and give Him control. Denying ourselves and relying on our Lord is where we find peace and contentment during all tribulations we will experience in life. So, today, step aside if you are going through a rough patch in life. Give it all over to God and let Him carry you. He is faithful and able. “Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us…” (Ephesians 3:20)

Welcome to another Monday’s Musings. Thank you for being here. What do you have to share this week?

Monday's Musings 233 | What Joy Is Mine

Monday’s Musings Purpose:

To have others share encouragement about being a child of God, being a godly wife, motherhood, homemaking, homeschooling, healthy recipes, modest dress, etc. (I reserve the right to remove anything I deem unacceptable. Keep in mind this is a Christian blog.)

Monday’s Musings Must Dos:

1. Please link directly to the post you’re sharing. Be sure to link back here by using a text link or the logo in the side bar.

2. This link up party stays open until Wednesday evening. Know that sometimes I share your posts on Pinterest, Twitter and/or Facebook because I desire for our readers to be blessed.

3. It would be so awesome if you could encourage another by visiting their post and leaving a kind comment. Builds community, too.

Thank you for visiting and linking up. Now, let’s get to sharing. Link following this post. Grab my link button in the side bar and place on your blog so others know about our community and can join in.

What Joy Is Mine Blog

 

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Stop by on Mondays to link up at Monday’s Musings.

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Thank you for supporting this site and our family.

You might find me sharing at these link ups during the week.

 

**Some photos on my blog are my own labeled NCPhotography. If any of my photos anywhere on my blog catch your eye, please email me for permission to use them in any way. I appreciate your cooperation in helping my photography stay protected and properly credited. Thank you. Photo Source.


Monday’s Musings #224 & When Troubled Times Come Upon Us

When Troubles Times Come Upon Us & Monday's Musings #224 | What Joy Is Mine

With all that has happened recently with the shootings in Baton Rouge and Dallas, it is easy to be angry and even feel vengeful. However, these are not biblical responses to troubled times. Proverbs 37:8 tells us, “Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath! Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil.” James 1:20 teaches us, “For the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.” Concerning revenge, Proverbs 24:29 says, “Do not say, ‘I will do to him as he has done to me; I will pay the man back for what he has done.’ 

When troubled times come upon us, we must always consult the Word of God for answers. When we run with our emotions, we will, without fail, speak the wrong words or take the wrong action. By wrong, I mean against what God requires of us. So what does God require of us? “The Lord requires of [us] but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with [our] God. (Micah 6:8, brackets mine) Justly defined is “to do what is morally right.” Mercy defined is “compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone whom it is within one’s power to punish or harm. To walk humbly with God is “to submit our understandings to the truths of God and our will to his precepts and providences being brought into obedience of God.” (Matthew Henry)

J.C. Ryle suggests, “the best remedy in troubled times is faith in Christ’s love and power.” We need to exercise faith in, and lean wholeheartedly on a sovereign Savior who knows all and sees all. During troubled times, we should be asking God to increase our faith in Him and not take matters into our own hands. Remember the promise in Isaiah 26, verse 3, “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.” Perfect peace for those who stay fixed on a holy and righteous God. “Inward peace, outward peace, peace with God, peace of conscience, peace at all times, under all events.(J.C. Ryle)

Troubles times will come. Trying events will happen. They will stir us up deep in our soul to feel things that we ought not to. Yet, there is hope. Hope to overcome the negative we feel when troubled times happen in our world. That hope is Jesus Christ and He has overcome the world. “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.(John 16:33) 

Today, in light of all that is happening in our world, let’s pray and ask God to give us a perspective that is His perspective, to give us hearts that love like His, to help us seek Jesus and the peace He offers and to remind us that He is all knowing with a purpose in place.

Well, another week is upon us and I am looking forward to what you all will share. Thank you for being here.

Monday's Musings #224 | What Joy Is Mine

Monday’s Musings Purpose: I would LOVE! to have you share encouragement about being a child of God, being a godly wife, motherhood, homemaking, homeschooling, healthy recipes, modest dress, etc. (I reserve the right to remove anything I deem unacceptable. Keep in mind this is a Christian blog.) Please link directly to the post you’re sharing. Be sure to link back here by using a text link or the logo below. This link up party stays open until Wednesday evening. Oh, and sometimes I share your posts on Pinterest, Twitter and/or Facebook because I desire for our readers to be blessed. Thank you for visiting and linking up. Now, let’s get to sharing. Link following this post. Grab my link button in the side bar and place on your blog so others know about our community and can join in.

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Get connected!! 
Stop by on Mondays to link up at Monday’s Musings.
This post might contain affiliates. Read our disclosure.
Thank you for supporting this site and our family.
You might find me sharing at these link ups during the week.

 

**Some photos on my blog are my own labeled NCPhotography. If any of my photos anywhere on my blog catch your eye, please email me for permission to use them in any way. I appreciate your cooperation in helping my photography stay protected and properly credited. Thank you. Photo Source.