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  • mark56397

May Newsletter

One of the hardest things we must do in life is to learn how to accept things in life. Most of us were taught to fight for our rights, stretch ourselves for greater things - to raise the bar and not be satisfied until we reach our goals. I for one completely agree with all that. But life does not always work out the way we want. Sometimes we go through valleys and sometimes we are on top of the mountain. The key is to learn to be content in every situation.

Paul saw life this way in Philippians 4:12-13, "I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through Him who gives me strength." One thing to note here - Paul wrote this from a prison.

David had a similar experience: He killed Goliath - instant fame; He led Israel as a young General - more fame; He married the King's daughter - pretty cool; and He was best friends with the King's son - even cooler. He was on top of the world. But King Saul had a jealous heart and tried to kill him twice. David had to flee for his life and hide out like a criminal. From the top of the mountain, to the darkness of a cave, where He wrote Psalm 16:2, "I said to the Lord; apart from you I have no good thing." He also said in Psalm 16:5-6, "Lord, you have assigned me my portion and my cup (food and drink); you have made my lot secure (place and position in life). The boundary lines (all his concerns) have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance (God will work everything out in the end)."

I don't believe David or Paul were resigning themselves to defeat. I think they had learned to accept from the Lord's hand, the good, the bad and even the ugly. To trust the Lord in all things and by doing so, they could do all things, through Him who gave them strength.

Anger is lurking in the weeds for those refusing to accept the ups and downs of life. One of the definitions of 'accept' is to receive. Another is to shoulder, bear with or endure. Neither have to do with resignation. So to avoid anger, in a trivial manner, we must learn to receive red lights as well as green lights. In a more serious way, we may have to shoulder or bear some grave news about our family, job or health.

Getting angry in and of itself is not a sin. It is what we do when we get angry that typically leads to sin. Paul said in Ephesians 4:26-27, "In your anger do not sin': Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold." Getting angry happens, but getting over anger is essential to mental, emotional, and especially spiritual health. Even Jesus got angry - "He made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple area, both sheep and cattle; He scattered the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables." John 2:15. Jesus did not stay angry, nor did He sin in His anger. His anger was never about Himself but about the will of the Lord.

If you are getting angry often or staying angry for long periods, a good question to ask is, "what are you refusing to accept (receive or endure) from the hand of the Lord"? To accept and trust Him with the ups and downs of life will certainly help you. Fact: we will not, nor should, we always get our way. God loves us way too much to let that happen.

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