It Will All Work Out.

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“We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God: those who are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28.

Life is not an easy journey. We will experience times of sadness and sorrow, and there will be times in which we have absolutely no idea what is going on. Though we may not realize it, everything we experience is part of God’s plan. Paul wrote to the church in Rome that everything we experience, whether it be good or bad, will ultimately work together for good. Paul reminds us that no matter how bad the situation is, God can and will bring good out of it.

Paul was a man that knew a thing or two about being in bad situations. Immediately after his conversion to Christianity, he was chased out of town by a group of men that wanted to kill him. In fact, he was forced to leave under the cover of night, and had to be lowered from the city gate hidden in a basket. In all of his missionary journeys, he encountered great hardships. He was beaten, almost stoned to death, nearly torn apart by a riotous mob, arrested, imprisoned, beaten again, shipwrecked, bitten by a poisonous snake, put on house arrest, and eventually beheaded. Despite everything that Paul encountered, he had enough faith in God to understand that it was all part of God’s plan. Though Paul wasn’t able to see the big picture, he knew that God would not leave him high and dry; Paul knew that God would bring good out of the situation, just as He had done for Joseph in the Old Testament.

We must have faith in God when we are going through the valleys and trials of our lives. Though things may be tough and we may not understand what is going on, we must remember that God is in control. He will bring the situation to an end and He will bring good out of even the worst situations. We cannot see the big picture, but God is in control nonetheless. He will not let His people suffer, He will turn our pain into rejoicing.

The Deadliest Weapon.

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“For every creature– animal or bird, reptile or fish–is tamed and has been tamed by man, but no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men who are made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things should not be this way.” James 3:10.

We’ve all heard the saying “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” As much as we’d like to believe that words can’t hurt us, the truth of the matter is that words hurt, sometimes very much so. Our tongues, and the words we use, give light to what kind of people we are on the inside. Many times, the words we use do not add up with the lifestyle we claim to lead.

Try as we might, there is little we can do to control our tongues. We may try not to lose our tempers, or to speak out in anger, and we try to be more patient. However, despite all our best efforts, there are times in which we will say whatever is the first thing to come into our mind, whether good or bad. The tongue is a muscle that we cannot train nor tame. The words we use can hurt people more than a actual physical attack, and the scars left by our hurtful words linger and do not always heal. As James said, the tongue is full of deadly poison.

But our tongues aren’t completely bad, they can be used for good. It is with our tongues that we give voice to our prayers and our praise to God. It is with our tongues that we express sentiments of love and friendship. Yet these same tongues that can sing praises to God can also be used to hurt people, and more often the people we hurt with our tongues are the ones we love and care about. James issues a strong warning about cursing one another: since we are all made in God’s image, we are not only lashing out at man when we curse each other, but we are also cursing God, and that is something we should never do.

We must work daily on controlling our tongues. It is not an easy task, and it is one that we will struggle with. But we must not allow our tongues to be used to tear down others and to spew deadly poison. We cannot allow our tongues to give praise to God with one breath and curse our fellow believers with the next. We must remember that our words reflect the true nature of our hearts, if we have anger and hatred in our hearts, then naturally our words will be filled with hatred and anger. But if we have Christ in our hearts, our words should reflect that. We should not talk like everyone else, and we certainly should not use words that will hurt others.