For I considered all this in my heart, so that I could declare it all: that the righteous and the wise and their works are in the hand of God. People know neither love nor hatred by anything they see before them. All things come alike to all: One event happens to the righteous and the wicked; To the good, the clean, and the unclean; To him who sacrifices and him who does not sacrifice. As is the good, so is the sinner; He who takes an oath as he who fears an oath. This is an evil in all that is done under the sun: that one thing happens to all. Truly the hearts of the sons of men are full of evil; madness is in their hearts while they live, and after that they go to the dead. ~Ecclesiastes 9:1-3 NKJV
The War Without is that which happens all around us, outside of us. Those nagging problems and details which hound us while we are attempting to keep a happier outlook on our battle before us…yet, we are attacked to no end on every other front within our lives! There is no getting around it…IT IS A FORM OF HELL, to say the very least.
Within one to two months, 3 family members, which I love dearly have been diagnosed with cancer. One is going through treatments, one has since passed and was buried (3 weeks from diagnosis to death), the other is weighing their options. Then that wasn’t bad enough…a tornado strikes causing not just havoc within our lives but also within the community. There are several other things, but as with any other war…there are battles on every front, regardless of your beliefs with all of these situations. Sometimes you can look at this and swear that this isn’t just Murphy’s law attacking, but perhaps it is a reckoning! But with Murphy’s Law, if you are a Murphy, you at least have genealogy to blame it all on…eh? (Humor…keep it up, because it is the best medicine!)
God did not promise us an easy or pleasant life, nor a comfortable one. He promised us a life of pain, suffering, toil, sweat and hard work & labor (Genesis 3:14-19). ALL the days of our lives. We are never intended to retire, but to labor. Our purpose is to glorify the Living God who created us! As mentioned previously, we, as well as those who do not believe, have the sun rein down on our brows, the rain fall down on our heads…in God’s eyes we are the same, in that, He seeks us to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth! (1Timothy 2:1-4) And, really, it is all our fault. We, as the species of man, constantly want and want…covetousness of other things and other people’s things. It is in our nature to want more than we have, because it seems as though everyone else has better stuff.
On average, I would guesstimate, that the average household spends 30-50% of their income wastefully. Yeah, my guess. This is why so many homes are over extended in their finances. Of course, it does not help that the government entices, as well as every other big corporation, each of us to buy some product. Cable, for instance, I pay roughly $250/month. ($80 internet, $35 phone, $135 for cablevision.) $35 on a home phone…why?? With cellphone technology, why have a land line, anymore? Looking just at cable, I watch 2-3 shows weekly, my wife watches the same shows plus 2 others; so, 5 shows or channels. That equates to $27 per show or channel on a monthly basis. We as the species of man have a bad habit of becoming addicted to numerous things that tend to be unnecessary. Can we relax without such things…yes, but we enjoy our stuff and our down time too much! Enough with that, gone off the rails a bit…
God made us promises, Jesus even promised us to ask in His name and it would be given to us. (John 14:14) And then after we ask and do not receive…we wonder why that is? (James 4:3) Guess what, there is a caveat with that asking part. We must be in the will of God! Of course, it only took me 55 years to learn all this…the things you wish you had learned while you were younger and could do much greater things, hmmmmmmm…
The point being, that regardless of believing or not believing in God, we are the same in God’s eye. Each day is a new day to start afresh and make a new commitment to be better as a believer. A new commitment to seek out the God who created us and to serve Him with a loyal heart and a willing mind. (1Chronicles 28:9) God is there, waiting for each and every one of us! Our problem is that we are to damned lazy and proud. Would that by itself make our lives easier, now because we were promised a life of toil, labor, and sweat as was mentioned before. But our mindset must change to now how we can be rewarded in this life, but the prize at the end of our lives upon our judgement for our eternity. The Apostle Paul wrote:
And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. 1Corinthians 9:25
The Apostle Paul also wrote this:
Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. 1Thessalonians 4:17
In the end, the end game (so-to-say) is what we seek…or should be seeking, as Christians and followers of Jesus the Christ. Knowing that we are in turmoil should not be a problem. Some say when everything is going well…we should be a little concerned, then. When we are not doing things to Glorify God and further His work, all is going well…YOU end up doing the work of the evil one, the anti-Christ. BEWARE!
Keep something in mind, when you don’t have cancer…everything is serious in your eyes. But when you hear a doctor say the C-word while he is talking about you, to you, everything takes a back seat. EVERYTHING! Nothing matters, excepting your soul eternal. Everyone handles these things differently, as no one has done it or gone through it before.
Do you have a friend with cancer? Be there for them! Be the friend that they can count on during this tumultuous time in their life. There are those who cannot speak to their friend with cancer, because they do not know what to say. It is weird, they will look right at you and when you look they will turn their head as though they never saw you.
Are you a friend? A true friend?? Speak with them about what they are going through. Help them if they need it. Offer to assist or cook meals. Speak with them about their salvation.
“I’ve always said that I don’t respect people who don’t proselytize. I don’t respect that at all. If you believe that there’s a heaven and a hell, and people could be going to hell or not getting eternal life, and you think that it’s not really worth telling them this because it would make it socially awkward–and atheists who think people shouldn’t proselytize and who say just leave me along and keep your religion to yourself–how much do you have to hate somebody to not proselytize? How much do you have to hate somebody to believe everlasting life is possible and not tell them that?
“I mean, if I believed, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that a truck was coming at you, and you didn’t believe that truck was bearing down on you, there is a certain point where I tackle you. And this is more important than that.” ~ Penn Jillete, Penn & Teller
I pray that you will seek out a deeper friendship! With your friends, neighbors, etc.
May God Richly Bless You, My Beloved!
MK Murphy, PhD, DD