Posts Tagged ‘prosperity’

Are You Wearing an Ugly Necklace?

Jul 05

Are You Wearing an Ugly Necklace 070511by Victoria Robinson

The psalmist lamented the prosperity of the wicked. Asaph said, “They wear pride like a jeweled necklace …” Asaph also came to realize the sin of envy plaguing his own heart. Oh girlfriends, if only we would be like Asaph and recognize our own shortcomings instead of focusing on the faults of others. The irony is that we are suffering from pride when we envy those who have pride. Thus we choose to wear an ugly necklace ourselves.

Asaph’s envy had turned to bitterness. Thankfully he came to understand how close he came to the edge of the cliff. When he comes to his senses he realizes it is the wicked who are on a slippery path and are going to slide over the cliff to destruction.

The wisdom found in Proverbs tells us to wear a beautiful necklace of loyalty and kindness and thus we will find favor with both God and people. It also shows us we will gain a good reputation as well.

Dearest girlfriends, let us not wear an ugly necklace of sin, but instead choose to wear a beautiful necklace of self-reflection by examining our own hearts.

Truly God is good to Israel, to those whose hearts are pure. But as for me, I came so close to the edge of the cliff! My feet were slipping, and I was almost gone. For I envied the proud when I saw them prosper despite their wickedness. They seem to live such a painless life; their bodies are so healthy and strong. They aren’t troubled like other people or plagued with problems like everyone else. They wear pride like a jeweled necklace, and their clothing is woven of cruelty. ~ Psalm 73:1-6NLT

So I tried to understand why the wicked prosper. But what a difficult task it is! Then one day I went into your sanctuary, O God, and I thought about the destiny of the wicked. Truly, you put them on a slippery path and send them sliding over the cliff to destruction. In an instant they are destroyed, swept away by terrors. Their present life is only a dream that is gone when they awake. When you arise, O Lord, you will make them vanish from this life. ~ Psalm 73:16-20 NLT

Then I realized how bitter I had become, how pained I had been by all I had seen. I was so foolish and ignorant—I must have seemed like a senseless animal to you. Yet I still belong to you; you are holding my right hand. You will keep on guiding me with your counsel, leading me to a glorious destiny. Whom have I in heaven but you? I desire you more than anything on earth. My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; he is mine forever. But those who desert him will perish, for you destroy those who abandon you. But as for me, how good it is to be near God! I have made the Sovereign Lord my shelter, and I will tell everyone about the wonderful things you do. ~ Psalm 73:21-28 NLT

Do not let your heart envy sinners, but always be zealous for the fear of the LORD. There is surely a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off. Psalm 23:17-18 NIV

Never let loyalty and kindness get away from you! Wear them like a necklace; write them deep within your heart. Then you will find favor with both God and people, and you will gain a good reputation. ~ Proverbs 3:3-4 NLT

 

Nurturing a Happy Heart

Jun 19

by Victoria Robinson

King Solomon told us, “A happy heart makes the face cheerful, but heartache crushes the spirit.” Therefor it is important to nurture a happy heart. Yet can one have a happy heart when times are bad? A godly widow recently told me that on the day of her husband’s funeral, she had joy in her heart. She went on to say that she did not tell anyone because she feared how that would be perceived. Given the darkness of losing her husband, that concern was so understandable. However, as a christian we know how it is possible for her heart to have joy at such an unthinkable time. This precious widow understood God knew what was best in His providence.

I love what the following commentary says concerning Solomon’s words, “When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad, consider: God has made the one as well as the other.”

God has balanced prosperity with adversity according to His providence so that man may be totally dependent upon Him. This trust in divine providence is the only sufficient protection against the evil which inevitably comes. 
Believer’s Study Bible

So how can we nurture a happy heart even when times are bad? First, it is important to make sure you are purging sin from your heart. The apostle Peter said, “Do you want to be happy? Then stop saying cruel things and quit telling lies. Give up your evil ways and do right, as you find and follow the road that leads to peace.” A heart at peace is a happy heart.

Praise and thanksgiving will also nurture a happy heart. The book of Philippians tells us that a thankful heart will bring us peace that will control the way we think and feel.

Girlfriends, King Solomon also taught us that we should enjoy life. The Believers Study Bible so eloquently says, “Enjoyment is godly cheerfulness of the heart which directly flows from gratitude for all that God provides.”

Dearest girlfriends, let us seek to nurture a happy heart and enjoy the life God has given us.

A happy heart makes the face cheerful, but heartache crushes the spirit. ~ Proverbs 15:13 NIV

… for the happy heart, life is a continual feast. ~ Proverbs 15:15 NLT

When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad, consider: God has made the one as well as the other. … ~ Ecclesiastes 7:14 NIV 

Do you really love life? Do you want to be happy? Then stop saying cruel things and quit telling lies. Give up your evil ways and do right, as you find and follow the road that leads to peace. ~ 1 Peter 3:10-11 CEV
 
If you obey the Lord, you will be happy, but there is no future for the wicked. ~ Proverbs 10:28 CEV
 
Always be glad because of the Lord! I will say it again: Be glad. Always be gentle with others. The Lord will soon be here. Don’t worry about anything, but pray about everything. With thankful hearts offer up your prayers and requests to God. Then, because you belong to Christ Jesus, God will bless you with peace that no one can completely understand. And this peace will control the way you think and feel. ~ Philippians 4:4-7 CEV
 
So I recommend having fun, because there is nothing better for people to do in this world than to eat, drink, and enjoy life. That way they will experience some happiness along with all the hard work God gives them. ~ Ecclesiastes 8:15 NLT
 
Be happy and shout to God who makes us strong! Shout praises to the God of Jacob. ~ Psalm 81:1 CEV

Easy Living

Dec 11

by Victoria Robinson

In the 1937 classic comedy, Easy Living, we find the leading lady, Mary Smith, broke and in dire circumstances. Through some very funny events, Mary, who is still broke, soon finds herself living in a luxury apartment. Mary is living an easy life, even though her life is imperfect. By the end of the movie Mary finds true happiness.

Does an easy life mean an idyllic life? According to a story found in the book of Jeremiah, not necessarily so. Imagine living as an exile from your homeland, yet still having an easy life. Sounds like a paradox doesn’t it? Here we find the Israelites having been carried into exile by God, the one no less, telling them to live a wonderful life. The truth we can take from this is to look at our lives right now, no matter how difficult, and look for the good things God has for us.

Jesus himself told us, “For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Yet He also told us, “In this world you will have trouble.” He also went on to say, “But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

Dearest girlfriends, I pray that no matter how imperfect our lives are, we would look for the “easy living” found in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” ~ Matthew 11:28-30 NIV
 
This is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says to all those I carried into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: “Build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce. Marry and have sons and daughters; find wives for your sons and give your daughters in marriage, so that they too may have sons and daughters. Increase in number there; do not decrease. Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the LORD for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.” ~ Jeremiah 29:4-7 NIV 
 
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” ~ John 16:33 NIV
 
Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. ~ Matthew 6:34 NIV