Sometimes it is difficult to forgive those who wrong us. Imagine
how hard it would be to forgive everyone, no matter what they had
done! This is what God has done in Jesus. No one, no matter what he
or she has done, is beyond forgiveness. All a person has to do is
turn from his or her sin, receive Christ's forgiveness, and commit
his or her life to him.
Paul told the Colossian Christians not to let others criticize
their diet or their religious ceremonies. Instead of outward
observance, believers should focus on faith in Christ alone. Our
worship, traditions, and ceremonies can help bring us close to God,
but we should never criticize fellow Christians whose traditions
and ceremonies differ from ours. More important than how we worship
is that we worship Christ. Don't let anyone judge you. You are
responsible to Christ.
Paul was content because he could see life from God's point of
view. He focused on what he was supposed to do, not what he felt he
should have. Paul had his priorities straight, and he was grateful
for everything God had given him. Paul had detached himself from
the nonessentials so that he could concentrate on the eternal.
Often the desire for more or better possessions is really a longing
to fill an empty place in a person's life. To what are you drawn
when you feel empty inside? How can you find true contentment? The
answer lies in your perspective, your priorities, and your source
Our troubles should not diminish our faith or disillusion us. We
should realize that there is a purpose in our suffering. Problems
and human limitations have several benefits: (1) they remind us of
Christ's suffering for us; (2) they keep us from pride; (3) they
cause us to look beyond this brief life; (4) they prove our faith
to others; and (5) they give God the opportunity to demonstrate his
power. See your troubles as opportunities!
Any trial a believer faces can ultimately bring glory to God
because God can bring good out of any bad situation. When trouble
comes, do you grumble, complain, and blame God, or do you see your
problems as opportunities to honor him?
A common belief in Jewish culture was that calamity or suffering
was the result of some great sin. But Christ used this man's
suffering to teach about faith and to glorify God. We live in a
fallen world where good behavior is not always rewarded and bad
behavior not always punished. Therefore, innocent people sometimes
suffer. If God took suffering away whenever we asked, we would
follow him for comfort and convenience, not out of love and
devotion. Regardless of the reasons for our suffering, Jesus has
the power to help us deal with it. When you suffer from a disease,
tragedy, or disability, try not to ask, 'Why did this happen to
me?' or 'What did I do wrong?' Instead, ask God to give you
strength for the trial and a clearer perspective on what is
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