Paradoxes of Scripture

Webster’s dictionary defines paradox as “a person having seemingly contradictory qualities.” As true believers in Christ we should be a paradox to the world. Our lifestyle should be contradictory to the lifestyle of non-believers.  As true believers, our lives should be lived in stark contrast to the world. We do this by conforming to God’s standards, not the world’s. We should live according to the Spirit of God and not the flesh. We need to understand, live and practice paradoxical principles!  God states that his ways are higher than our ways. (Isaiah 55: 8-10). God’s word gives five paradoxes. Let them be your guide for living.

1.  To receive you must give.
2.  To advance you must lose.
3.  To live you must die.
4.  To be exalted you must humble yourself.
5.  To be strong you must become weak.

The world should see a difference in you. You are not of this world but made for another. (John 17:16)

The Brevity of Life – Psalm 90

There is one certainty in life and that is death. Death comes to all. It is inevitable, no one escapes it. Life is short. Scriptures tell us “…you are a mist that appears for a little time then vanishes” (James 4:14); and “…in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them” (Psalm 139:16). One life is all you have to offer God. One life to serve him and live wisely. One life to love, cherish, help and serve others. Each minute lived never returns. You must ask God as the psalmist said, “…teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom” (Psalm 90:12). Do not waste the moments you have been given. Anchor your life to God’s word. Wisdom is skillful living. Skillfully live by his word no matter how long or short you may have.

God Does Reveal His Glory

In Mark 6:45-52, Christ manifests his glory to the disciples by walking on water. God wants to manifest his glory in your life as he did to the disciples. Allow him. We all have storms in life, and we all have a choice to make when we go through them. Your storm can either strengthen your faith or it can overwhelm you with doubt leading you to turn away. If you choose to respond with doubt or anger, your heart will be hardened. You will not see the miracle God may be performing in your life. Trust Christ during your storm, and allow your heart to be softened. With a pliable heart, you will see his glory and profound love. In the storm God wants to reveal his glory to you. He wants you to know that you have a personal Savior. One who knows you, sees you and is for you. Trust him and realize that he is all you need in life. It is during your storm and trial that you can truly see his glory. Allow your heart to be soft in the storms of life. Choose to see Christ’s hand at work, and firmly plant your trust in him.

Dealing With Fear

Mark 4:35-41

We all experience storms in life — the death of a loved one, a serious illness, the loss of a job, financial troubles. During a storm we may find ourselves doubting God’s goodness and love. God may be allowing the storm in your life to occur, because he loves you! Trials and difficulties happen for a reason. He has a purpose to strengthen, grow, mold and teach us to become more Christ-like. The single most desperate need in our lives is a reverential trust in God. He wants us to learn that he alone is the shelter in our storms. Faith is trusting him even when we can’t see it. These verses teach us not to fear the outcome of any storm because of his presence. God never leaves our side and is always working for our good. Trust his presence! His presence and a reverential trust in his promises is the anchor for our storms.