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Compassion (a Timeless Truths blog post)

black hands clasped

After a rough week, what do you most likely crave? More stress, more judgment, or more compassion? The answer is obvious – more compassion. After all, what could be better than talking to a friend who understands what you’re going through? Just having the opportunity to share with someone else what’s on your mind (and heart) can lift the heavy burden you may have been carrying. To know someone else cares about you enough to show you compassion can make all the difference in the world. Your circumstances may not have changed – but since you realize there’s someone else out there who can relate to you and who cares enough to actually show it somehow seems to make the struggles of life just a little bit easier to bear. 2 Corinthians 1: 3-4 (NIV) says, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.”

So, the timeless truth we would do well to remember is that – as children of God – we have something the world needs – compassion – and we would do well to show it to those around us – especially to those who are hurting. Since God has given us comfort (and compassion) when we’ve needed it, we have it available inside our hearts. We only need to let it flow through us and into the lives of others. In so doing, we will be touching other people’s lives with the very love and compassion of God – and that, in and of itself, will make all the difference!

(To read more about God’s love and how He shows it, check out a book I’ve written called “My Journey with God” available here: https://www.amazon.com/My-Journey-God-Ann-Marshall-ebook/dp/B00IKTUFW6/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8 )

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Stand your ground (a Timeless Truths blog post)

man on fence

Resistance … not the most “feel good” word out there is it? I’m sure all sorts of pictures could come to mind. A child disobeying a parent in public, refusing to cooperate; a fierce wind blowing across an open field… the same field that was calm only moments before as you had been enjoying a leisurely stroll to get out of the house and get some fresh air … and now, as you strain to walk against the wind you suddenly find yourself getting the cardio you hadn’t realized you’d been needing; an argument with a friend when one of you disagrees about the lifestyle choices of the other; vandalism of a church building when the vandal opposes the religious teachings of the pastor … because his words hit a little too close to home. Resistance … it’s a common, everyday issue we all need to face … in one way or another. The question is, how will we deal with it (in regards to our faith) when we suddenly find ourselves in the middle of it? Ephesians 6:10-13 (NIV) says, “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore, put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.” So, how does this play out in reality? Well, let’s suppose you had a friend who disagreed with your Christian lifestyle choices because they thought your choices were harmful, even radical. And let’s suppose when you courageously, lovingly, and gently tried to explain things to reassure them (with humble confidence) let’s say you faced resistance. Let’s say they became angry with you because they didn’t understand, they couldn’t comprehend your faith, and they just thought you were being stubborn and didn’t want to change. What would you do? Would you cave in and come into agreement with them … compromising your true beliefs and convictions … in effect, “watering down” the fire of the way the Holy Spirit had led you to live your life for Him … would you do that just so that your friend would get off your back and continue to like you … or would you come into agreement with God and His Word and realize that your friend wasn’t, in reality, the one angry with you … in reality, it was the “resistance” inside them … it was anything that was opposed to God and His loving ways … as Ephesians mentioned, it was things like the spiritual forces of evil … the forces that actually want to keep you down and defeated rather than up and victorious … would you realize this timeless truth and would you understand the need to fight the battle spiritually by using the spiritual weapons of the full armor of God (such as the shield of faith – see Ephesians 6:14-18 for the complete list). Would you make the choice to honor God above all? If you answered yes then you can be assured He will give you the strength you need to deal with any resistance His way. This means you can choose to not take your friend’s anger personally, but, instead, can choose to love them unconditionally even as you continue to stand your ground, keeping true to your convictions, believing that their resistance will eventually be dissolved … and when that happens, you will find that your faith has been strengthened as well. You will realize that it was only when you had been put to the test that you were able to find out how to lean on God’s power within you, then, from first-hand experience you will have realized how great and mighty His power really is … so great that whatever resistance you need to face in the future you can believe and have confidence that God will enable you to stand your ground!

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