It was a lovely morning here in my part of Pennsylvania. The sunrise was crafted with a beautiful pallet of pinks, grays, blues and white, and my devotional readings we so timely. It was a peaceful time for me. However, thirty minutes down the road, another city was steaming with anger and violence. It has always amazed me how we live in the same world but have wildly variegated perspectives. As His followers, Jesus assured us we would have tribulation - it is certain we will come up against the enemy (most days in an incredibly subtle form.) How we handle it as adults directly affects the children we love and care for. As I thought about the sufferings we will endure as soldiers of the Cross, and how we will stand in direct opposition to so many (even within the Church,) Paul's admonishments in Second Timothy were quite clear -
Be strong in Christ's grace, endure the hardships - it is a battle - be diligent to study and show yourself a worker unto God rightly dividing God's Truth - His word is not bound, His firm foundation stands, He knows those who are His - name the Name of the Lord and depart from sin - do not be quarrelsome, stay away from silly arguments - be kind, and correct with gentleness - the Lord may grant your opponents repentance to come to their senses - love in the kindness of Jesus and teach compassionately with Christ's love - God does the winning and moving of souls. (my paraphrasing from 2 Timothy 2:9, 19, 23-26)
I don't know about you, but that brought me deep comfort today.
While life may have been easier in the Garden of Eden, temptation was not exempt from its entrance - just ask Eve and Adam. And, just as they were given the choice to listen and obey, we have been given that same choice. They knew the Word of the Lord, they had heard His voice often as they walked and talked with Him. Yet, it was still tempting to engage in conversation which seemed right but in the end was destructive. It is a promise, as the world around us fluctuates with viewpoints, opinions, and skewed, relative perspectives, God never changes and His truths are absolute. He is steadfast, immovable and He will set things right in the end.
In my little corner of the world, I have the most wonderful privilege of teaching students each day about their beautiful Creator who loves us so. I often wonder why I am granted such sweetness, and then I am reminded - the Lord knows who are His - the Father loves perfectly, the Savior intercedes daily and the Comforter leads beside still waters into paths of righteousness - all for His glory and purpose. It is my prayer to be strong in Jesus, endure with steadfast faith what I must, teach to His glory, and build with Kingdom purpose.