Defeating Our Resistance to God’s Thoughts

Bible Study

Slightly over four thousand years ago, God issued an unreasonable demand to a man named Abraham. “Offer your son Isaac as a sacrifice,” God ordered (Genesis 22:2).

Abraham didn’t question God’s motives, he didn’t argue with the Lord and he didn’t outright reject God’s edict. Instead, he immediately prepared to destroy the son he thoroughly loved (Genesis 22:3).

Nothing in Abraham offered any resistance to God’s unreasonable command. He flowed smoothly along with God’s thoughts. His body, mind and spirit willingly yielded to what God had in mind. “Abraham reasoned that God could raise the dead…” Hebrews 11:19.  Abraham thought like God thought. His mind offered zero resistance to God’s will and God’s ways.

But it wasn’t always like this. …

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Destruction Will Come to an End!

Destruction has been around a long time.

Three thousand years ago an ancient chronicler recorded these words about his world:  “In those days it was not safe to travel about, for all the inhabitants of the lands were in great turmoil.  One nation was being crushed by another and one city by another,” 2 Chronicles 15:5-6.

About 2,000 years ago Jesus predicted, “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.  There will be great earthquakes, famines and pestilences in various places, and fearful events and great signs from heaven,” Luke 21:10-11.  Is there no end to destruction?  Is the world doomed to suffer forever?

Good news!  Approximately 2,800 years ago a Hebrew prophet named Isaiah promised, “Destruction will come to an end,” Isaiah 16:4.

Why Destruction Exists

Many people blame God for the cataclysms that devastate the earth and annihilate life.  They reason that if there is a Creator why did he make destruction?  Why doesn’t he stop it?  They fail to recognize that perhaps God didn’t create everything.

Destruction didn’t originate in divine creativity.  It sprang out of the rebellion of angels and humans in whom he placed free will.

The original earth knew nothing of decay, death, natural disasters or of hatred between humans.  These devastating forces came about when Adam and Eve rejected the divine laws that bring peace.

As long as angels and humans loved the Lord and respected his commands, his presence shielded them from the possibility of ruin.  On the other hand, rebellion against God removed Adam and Eve from God’s protective presence and made them liable to calamities.  It’s not far-fetched to call simple humanity creators of desolation.

Jesus’ prediction of famines, earthquakes, pestilences, wars and revolutions doesn’t bring these horrible events to pass.   He understood the inevitable consequences of  mankind’s ever-increasing sinfulness.  “There will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again,” Matthew 24:21.       Had humanity never sinned against the Lord, destruction simply wouldn’t exist.

God Uses What He Doesn’t Create

            Although God didn’t create destruction, he uses it for mankind’s welfare.

First, God uses the havoc caused by mankind’s sinfulness in his people’s favor.   Love for God doesn’t remove us from the effect of destruction.  Natural disasters and warfare ruin church buildings as well as grocery stores and government offices.  Crime and violence injure and kill people who love Jesus and those who don’t.  What then is the advantage of serving God?

Consider Jesus.  All his enemies gleefully rejoiced over his torture, persecution and death.  Notice how Heavenly Father used Jesus’ crushing in his favor:

  • Provided an eternally glorified body for him.
  • Raised him from the dead.
  • Enthroned him at Heavenly Father’s right hand.
  • Appointed him eternal Ruler of the universe

Jesus’ experience serves as an example of Heavenly Father’s infinite desire to use everything in our favor.  “We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him,” Romans 8:28.

Secondly, God uses tragedies caused by mankind’s sinfulness in favor of people who have not yet accepted him as Savior.  Rest assured, dear friends, God longs to draw every human into salvation.   “God our Savior…wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth,” 1 Timothy 2:3-4.  However, humanity’s calloused hearts persistently reject the God who provides every breath for them.  This stubborn refusal brings about misfortune which tenderizes people’s hearts toward the Lord.  Motivated by adversity, they call on him for salvation.  “God’s kindness leads you to salvation,” Romans 2:4 declares.  “He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance,” 2 Peter 3:9. “Our Lord’s patience means repentance,” 2 Peter 3:15. So our patient God uses the destruction he does not cause to amplify his voice that pleads for mankind’s repentance and love!

The End of Destruction

Good news—we are approaching the end of destruction!  However, we must remember Jesus’ words, “When you hear of wars and revolutions…these things must happen first, but the end will not come right away,” Luke 21:9.        God’s people will see rough times just like his people of the past endured many tragedies.  The end of destruction is on the way but has not arrived.

But listen to this.  “In keeping with his promise, we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness,” 2 Peter 3:13.  Until that day arrives God’s Spirit will personally escort us through all the fearful times that precede Jesus’ return.

Jesus told us how to respond to the storms and stresses that afflict the world at the end of this age:  “When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near,” Luke 21:28.  “Stand up”— don’t cringe in fear.  “Lift up your heads”—don’t hang your head in despair.

“In keeping with his promise, we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness,” 2 Peter 3:13.  Creation’s deliverance from destruction approaches fast! “Let not your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me,” John 13:1.

From the archives of Rev. James Fields

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Profiting From the Path of Most Resistance

Profiting From the Path of Most Resistance

 Excerpt from Profiting From the Path of Most Resistance

When You Don’t Like Paths of Most Resistance God, what’s wrong with you?  Why don’t you heal me? Those angry questions in 1968 revealed my total distaste for the path of most resistance.  I can’t lose my driver’s license and still pastor a church.  What’s going to happen to me? …

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The Creator of Pleasant Effects

The word “death” describes an event that all humans avoid. Nevertheless our bodies eventually cease functioning and we experience the awful event common to all humans. We struggle through emotional adjustments to the absence of loved ones and friends who pass away. Being a Christian doesn’t exempt us from death or the feeling of loneliness when loved ones depart. …

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Controlled by a Fearless Imagination

Israel’s army was capable of defending the tiny nation. The army’s leader, King Saul, looked like an impressive warrior men were willing to follow into battle. Equipped for warfare and trained for battle, Israel’s army looked prepared for an encounter with the Philistine forces.

In spite of appearances, the Israelies proved woefully ill prepared for military engagement. “…Saul and all the Israelites were dismayed and terrified,”  1 Samuel 17:11.  “When the Israelites saw (Goliath), they all ran from him in great fear,” 1 Samuel 17:24.  They were controlled by fearful imaginations. They could only picture themselves slaughtered by the opposing army. They could not imagine themselves as victors. …

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Your Spouse’s Helper


Love makes us want to help the one we love. Therefore, it should be easy for us to desire to be a helper for our spouse. Regrettably, it doesn’t always work that way. We are so self-centered we concentrate on how our spouse helps us and overlook opportunities to be a helper to them. But this self-centeredness can be eliminated. In fact, that’s one of God’s reasons for creating marriage—to deliver us from self-centeredness. …

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The Objective of Endurance

“If we endure we will reign with” Jesus (2 Timothy 2:12).

Most people admire endurance. We appreciate the athlete who presses on in spite of injury. We marvel at the university student who maintains good grades in spite of family problems or financial struggles.Christ on the Cross

No one experienced trails and pain equivalent to the tough times that surrounded Jesus. Well, tough times also attack those who follow Jesus. Perhaps the unpleasantness is personal or it’s persecution because of our love of Jesus and obedience to him. Either way, the Scripture reminds us to keep the objective of endurance in view so we will not lose heart and give up. The objective stated in 2 Timothy 2:12? “We will…reign with” Jesus! Endurance makes us trustworthy servants able to assist Jesus during His kingdom on earth. When life is painful remind yourself of pains outcome–eternal service in behalf of the Jesus who loves us infinitely!

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You Can Do It!

Through the apostle Paul the Holy Spirit issued five very important commands.

  • Be on your guard.Philippians 4:13
  • Stand firm in the faith.
  • Be men of courage.
  • Be strong.
  • Do everything in love.

Each command describes Jesus.  He vigilantly remained on guard, he stood firm in his faith, he always acted courageously, he remained unbelievably strong in all circumstances and loved his heavenly Father supremely and mankind whole-heartedly.  The Spirit of the resurrected Jesus lives in the spirit’s of every human who surrenders to his lordship.  Empowered by the presence of Jesus we can perform each of these commands.  Truly, we can do everything through the mighty Spirit of Jesus that dwells in us!

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Scripture Sheets Made Convenient

About five years ago we started printing Scripture Sheets. We chose a subject like “Hope” and filled a half sheet of paper with verses related to hope, printed it and mailed it. Then, we began sending Scripture Sheets via email. Many people responded with comments like, “I really needed that Scripture Sheet.” Or, “Those verses spoke to me.”

Now, we have about 80 Scripture Sheets on our website www.comfortencouragement.org. On the home page click on “Our Gifts to You” and then click on “Scripture Sheets.” This will bring up a list of titles that you can open.
Scripture Sheets Made Convenient

You are welcome to download or print as many copies as you wish and share them. Comfort and Encouragement Ministries is here to bless people, to strengthen them and make them more powerful witnesses of Jesus.

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