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Friday, November 18, 2011

Single--for a Purpose

British researchers analyzed speed dating--meeting people by evaluating prospects at an event through a series of brief one-on-one meetings--to see if singles with a wide variety of potential dates had a higher chance of meeting a partner. The verdict: They didn't.1 Catering to singles has opened up new multi-million-dollar enterprises from single bars to computerized dating.

But we're mistaken if we take our cues from society on singleness. God doesn't think we need to spend time and money trying to "fix" it. Three times in 1 Corinthians 7, the apostle Paul talks about the unmarried, and he uses the phrase: "It is good." If you're single, God wants you to accept it as one of His gifts to you. Use your singleness to grow and become content with His plan.

Perhaps you've heard--or even made--thoughtless comments like: "What's a sweet girl/guy like you doing single? Maybe your standards are too high for a mate. I prayed for my husband/wife." Respect the singles you encounter, and share God's view of singleness: It is good.
...He that is unmarried careth for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please the Lord. 1 Corinthians 7:32b


Friday, November 4, 2011

Have You Been Dis-Appointed?

The word "disappoint" comes from an old French word meaning to remove someone from office--to dis–appoint one who had been previously appointed to a position. Those who are fired or "dis-appointed" suffer crestfallen feelings of discouragement. Hence our English word disappointment. This is one of the most difficult emotions to reconcile. We all know how it feels to lose a game, fail at a task, be rejected in a relationship, miss an opportunity, or lose a job. The Bible says that hope deferred (disappointment) makes the heart sick (Proverbs 13:12).

But we're also told God will never disappoint us and that His love never fails. According to Romans 5, we can glory in tribulation because tribulation produces perseverance, which leads to character, which develops hope--and God's hope never disappointments because the Holy Spirit sheds His love abroad in our hearts.

Someone once said "disappointments" are "His appointments." He has a way of working all to our good. If you're struggling with disappointment today, claim the love of God and the promise of Romans 5:5.

There are no disappointments to those whose wills are buried in the will of God

And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. Romans 5:5 KJV


Thursday, November 3, 2011

Problems and Perspective

You and your friend have been close for years--never a cross word between you. But suddenly, you find yourself reacting with harsh, impatient words. Where did that come from? And your friend looks at you with a puzzled expression as if asking the same thing. If you will look beneath the problem, you will find a new perspective. Perhaps there's a wound that needs healing, a jealousy that needs confessing, or a resentment in need of repentance.

Problems in life are tools in the Holy Spirit's hands to reveal things to us we might never have otherwise considered--truth about God, about others, and especially about ourselves. If we respond to the perspective God allows us to see, we can come out the other side more mature. Remember the problem Paul had that he asked God to take away--and God said "No"? Paul saw something new: God's grace is sufficient--so much so that he began opening his arms to problems in order to experience more grace (2 Corinthians 12:7-10).

The next time you experience a problem, pray for perspective--and open your heart to embrace what God reveals.

It is good for me that I have been afflicted that I may learn Your statutes.
Psalm 119:71