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Thursday: Deal With Difficulties Scripturally and Prayerfully — 10 Comments

  1. I sometimes play a word game on my iPad when I need a change of pace. You are given 6 or 7 letters and are asked to fill in a "crossword" based on those letters. Some of them are dead easy while others are quite challenging, particularly when the list of letters do not contain an "e". Sometimes I have one or two words to go and I cannot see any combination of letters that make the required words. It is frustration defined! Usually, by then I have been playing the game too long and Carmel tells me that it is high time to vacuum the carpet or take out the rubbish. So, I leave the game and forget about it for an hour or two. Then I come back to the game and almost immediately see the word that I want. And it usually surprises me because it is a common word that I use every day and not some obscure "scrabble word".

    I had a similar situation when I was doing my research. I would be working on a problem trying to figure out a way to solve it and I would come to a roadblock in my mind. This often occurred on Friday afternoon when I was tired. I'd shut down the computer and promise myself look at it on Sunday morning again. And sometimes during the church service on Sabbath, while I was listening intently to the minister, a solution would pop into my brain without warning. I reckon God has a sense of humour.

    If we are really studying the Bible, and not just reading it because that is what Christians do, then we will come up against the bits we do not understand. And if we are truly honest with ourselves we may have to admit that we are making no headway. That is the time to take a break. Pray by all means, but take that break and do something else because maybe God needs you to clear your mind so that he can talk to you.

    • Amen and thank you! It's often after sincere, quality, quiet time with God that I've received the answers to things that perplexed me. In those times, clarity for direction in personal situations or a deeper understanding of God's word would come. We must be willing, at times, to put all else aside and focus solely on God and His word. He will speak! He will make difficult things clear! Often, fasting during those times has made the difference. My mind is clearer and distractions are lessened. We then have to pray for a willingness to accept and act on what God has revealed.

  2. I never cease to be amazed at the fact that there is always an answer to our modern day problems in such an ancient text as the Bible. Reading and discovering the answer takes time, being patient is necessary and that is usually part of the solution. This understanding comes after much prayer and a strong faith that God will always give us an answer even if the answer is not really what we want. Just trust that God's way is the best way and His word is true.

  3. Sometimes I read the daily lesson quickly and say to myself, heard this before - but when I meditate on the lesson and its texts and even other's comments I find a message for me - today there were 3 thoughts:
    1) Acts 8:35 Philip started from where the Ethiopian was reading - this is important when sharing the gospel, first find out what they are thinking about and go from there.
    2) Don't let speculation or even understanding on a difficult or obscure text be brought to cloud clear texts.
    3) When God guides us through His Holy Spirit in response to our prayers, He does not contradict what He has revealed in the Bible.

    What did the LORD impress on your heart from today's lesson?

    • Hi Shirley,
      Thanks for your post and always asking questions that get us thinking. I am back in college after 30 years and just started a math class this week. Math has always been challenging for me and honestly I was dreading it. I spent an hour yesterday trying to understand one problem. I have 24 more to go. What was impressed on my heart today is that the Bible has answers for my everyday life.

      I have been thinking quite a bit about how similar the Bible and the study of mathematics are in that they both take time, effort, deep thinking, and perseverance. God has all the answers, in His Word, and in the realm of mathematics. I need only to trust in Him and do the work that I can do in this day. He will grow me in my understanding one day at a time. Here a little and there a little.

      I also appreciated Maurice's advice, to step away from it at times. I have given that advice to my own children in the past and I have found it to be true for me time and time again.

      It also reminded me that I need to take time to get deeper into Bible Study, rather than just reading the text. Going deep is how I grow in my understanding.

      I was attending a virtual conference this week at Loma Linda University on STEM studies and I wrote down one comment from a workshop presenter that was so profound to me in light of my math studies this week. The comment was "Everything in the Universe has mathematical precision which helps us to understand God's Universe". I thought that was a beautiful statement and it helped me in remembering that math has a point and was ordained by God, even if it is not my favorite subject, there is a lot I can learn from it.

    • Lyn stated earlier this week that we don't need fish, we need to learn to fish!

      When I saw the topic this week, i thought...it's about time! I am going to get some answers to some difficult texts that have troubled me for so long!

      Not so, no fish, but something mmuch better, i have been given a lesson on fishing....for life changing truth!

      So now with patient care, determination,a desire to obey God, and live His Truth, I will take my 'line' of faith, with the 'hook' of the Holy Spirit, and cast it into the 'sea' of God's Word, and wait patiently and prayerfully for the fish called understanding/enlightenment to 'bite' my 'bait' called a desire to know God' will.

      I know that fish/understanding will come in varied forms, as there are varied fish in the sea:
      Commands,Statues and Laws
      Poetry etc etc etc.

      That is what i leave this week's study with.
      I will not let difficult texts cause me to hurry on to shallow waters again.

      I will become like the old pioneer William Miller, who would not move from a text until he had understood it.

      KJV Deuteronomy 29
      29 The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law.

      • Norma, what a delight to read your post! I hope that your hook remains well bated to bring up many fish - - letting you know that I am looking forward to your sharing the blesings of the catch with us! 🙂

      • Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind Matt 13:47

        Go sister, like how you list your points. God will guide you into the understanding of his word as he guides the fish to the net.

  4. There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death. Prov 14:12

    Difficulties Scripturally and Prayerfully
    How do I study the scriptures. Before I open the bible I will pray-Dear Jesus as I open your words, open my understanding to the study of your words. Give me a clear understand, help me to accept your words. Amen.

    Sometimes a text can be so easy in its understanding but we make it difficult because we do not agree with it. We say, I dont believe that is the true meaning or the writer didnt meant it that way. E.g many people are literally looking for 'the fountain of youth'. They heard about it and are desperately looking in many countries for it. They said if you use the water for drinking, baths etc you will remain young forever, aging will not come so easily. Many if not all humans want to be disease free or stay young or does not want to die. If we can skip death, we will do so readily. We tries to get rid or cover up the signs of aging. Some dont want to talk about it. Some used other thing to remain in a state of youthfulness. Studying is important for all Christians.

    When we read the bible and study it, the bible is not talking about a physical fountain but a spiritual understanding of one. Prov 14:27- The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death.
    Rev 21:6 And he said unto me........I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. Accepting Jesus as our personal savior is the key to this fountain of life.

  5. 'Keep it simple' is the best advise to deal with difficulties of any kind! We live by the Word of God!
    If you were given the choice of taking one book from the Bible and take it with you to a place were you will be alone for a long time, which one would it be?

    At this point in our journey through life, do we know if our Faith can survive a hostile environment?
    What is at the heart of the Gospel?
    What is the most important aspect that helps us remain steadfast under influences assailing our Faith? Is it by finding the 'right' answeres to difficult questions arising out of differences of interpretation?

    I venture to say that most of us would choose a book from the New Testament. Which book in the New Testament? One that conveyes how we conduct ourselves (remember, there is no one else to interact with)? Which book would you choose to be your most cherished companion?

    My choice would be the Gospel of John. It is the one that helps my mind recall all things essential to strengthen my Faith - to know that we are made by a 'Creator' which we address as our Heavenly Father, and to keep before my eyes the Savior who's sacrifice saved me and demonstrated to me the power of Faith unto Salvation.

    Our Savior, before His departure going back to Heaven, promised to send us the most gracious Gift which has the power to lead us into all Truth - the Holy Spirit. He fulfilled His promise! With His Holy Spirit we will never be alone - under any circumstances!
    Now we have everything to maintain our Faith-relationship with our Heavenly Father and to remain greatful to Jesus our Savior, to remain faithful to them regardless the difficulties trying to ensnare us. John 8:1-47


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