One of the best lines of one of my favorite songs (Impossible, Da’T.R.U.T.H) has been replaying in my mind during the past few weeks. In the song, the artist says, “…Say yes He can, and yes He will, but if He don’t, I still—will bless Him aloud…” While I know that the statement may not be grammatically correct (don’t should be doesn’t for all those concerned), the message is very profound; praise God regardless of how He responds to your situations. It’s typical of humans to place conditions on our interactions, dealings, and relationships with others; could this be because it’s also human nature to be selfish? Jesus Christ walked the face of this Earth and demonstrated how to rise above our fleshly nature of valuing ourselves over others by doing the opposite and humbling himself to the point of a brutal and humiliating death on a cross (Phil 2:8). In striving to be followers of Christ or “Christ-like”, we must learn to take the conditions off and exude love and care for others in the same manner that Jesus did, unconditionally. One of the benefits of giving or doing for others without putting provisions in place that warrant that others “return the favor,” is peace. Many people never experience true peace and are angry or driven by negative emotions because they feel like they’ve “done their part” but the other involved parties have not. Sadly, some people will not only turn their nose up at other people (including physical and spiritual family), but will turn their backs on God when they believe they’ve met His conditions but He’s failed to honor theirs (See Doing The Least blog 4-12-12). Though it’s usually harder to have a positive outlook during situations when we feel like God is not responding in the way we hope for, we have to humble ourselves and rest assured on the fact that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose (Rom 8:28, NLT). Adopt the mindset that the youngsters Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, had when their lives were on the line before King Nebuchadnezzar. They said (paraphrased), “We won’t bow down before you because God is able to deliver us from you and your fiery furnace, and even if He doesn’t, we still won’t serve your gods or worship your golden image!” (Daniel 3:16-18) By the way, God delivered them in such a magnificent way! God can deliver you also from whatever you may be struggling with as well, for He is God, the great I Am; and even if He doesn’t answer your prayers the way you feel He should, He is still the Great God of Heaven and is deserving of your praise. It’s imperative that we strive to trust in God and live righteously at all costs and in all situations (not just those that we consider to be favorable or satisfactory) if we hope to truly have peace while on Earth and live eternally in heaven when our time on Earth is done.

MD 8/30/12