This year, I found myself in situations where I was afraid- afraid mainly of the outcomes of things that were beyond my control. What will the result of this medical test be? What will the result of this court case be? What will the result of this application for XYZ be? I was fearful that the outcomes would not be be what I wanted and would change everything. Today’s reading gives me a different perspective to situations that are beyond my control:
For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.2 Timothy 1:7 NLT
What can power, love and self-discipline do for me when I am anxious about something I have no control over? I can declare boldly and with POWER, God’s supremacy over every situation. I can rest in the promise that because of God’s great LOVE for me, everything will work out for my good even if it does not “look” good. And finally, I can exercise SELF-CONTROL and wait for God to do what He does best in His time- He makes all things beautiful in its time. And the beauty of this is that all of this is possible because of God’s spirit at work in us. He has given us a spirit of POWER, LOVE and SELF-DISCIPLINE so that we can triumph on days such as ones that are filled with fear of the unknown.
Have you ever had a conversation about someone or something and felt worse afterwards? This year, a few of my conversations felt that way. There were lots of situations that I had very strong opinions about and did not hesitate to voice them out but I always seemed to feel less unburdened and more ungodly afterwards. I always felt like I had let myself down because of the flavour of those conversations which in my opinion were irreverent. Today’s readings is an admonishing about this exact issue:
But avoid irreverent, empty chatter, which will only lead to more ungodliness,2 Tim 2:16 BSB
As the year comes to an end and I start reflecting on how I can be better in the new year, this will definitely be something I would watch out for: empty, idle, and godless chatter and babbling about people and situations and instead try to be flavour my conversations with grace and season it with salt.
Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.Colossians 4:6 NIV
I have always wondered what it means to season one’s conversation with salt- I assume it was an expression that came from the ancient Near East. To take it literally, I look at the function of salt in adding taste, adding flavour, and preserving and I think this is what conversations with every one I encounter should be like. People should walk away feeling enriched and with their dignity preserved and that is what seasoning my conversations with salt mean to me. What does that statement mean to you?
In my last post I shared about a meeting I had over the weekend with a few friends and how that really encouraged me. During this time, we got to reflect on the year and a theme one of my friends focused on was the fact that nothing is impossible with God. As I reflected on my year, I realized many areas of my life where I had let God take control of but there were other areas where I had relied heavily on my own abilities or had placed my confidence in others only to be disappointed. I know cerebrally that God can do the impossible but sometimes by my actions, I had declared that there were things even God could not help me with. By not entrusting those problems with God and trusting Him for solutions, I had unconsciously decided that those problems were too big for God. In today’s reading, I was reminded of a hymn we used to sing in Bible study over 20 years ago:
…for I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him for that day.2 Timothy1:12
Through out the year, have there been things in your life that you have excluded God from simply because you don’t want to bother God with that? Or have you ever felt that He is too big for your small problem? or He has answered too many prayers and you don’t want to be greedy with one more request? Well Paul reminds us that God is able to take care of whatever we entrust to Him regardless of how big or small. He is the God of possibilities.
P.s. Thanks Nathan!