Keith "K. L." Belvin

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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Don't Let The Holidays Replace The Lord.

Here it is Thanksgiving Day Eve, and around the world people are scurrying to get things in order for Thanksgiving dinner. Others are getting ready for the hard Christmas push to follow, starting with "Black Friday" the following day. 

It is this rush and push to prepare for the holiday season which causes negative emotions to surface. Emotions, which don't line up with what the Lord wants from us. Often we allow man made ideas and traditions to force us into actions which completely make no sense compared to the scriptures of the faith I practice. The Lord deals with us daily for the sins we commit and we should in return love and praise him daily. 

Psalm 68:19 New International Version (NIV)
19 Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior,
who daily bears our burdens.

This renders Thanksgiving Day null and void to me. If the Lord, daily, bears the weight of the mess we create, does it make sense to wait for one day  a year to offer our thank yous. There is nothing wrong with getting together as a family and with friends to enjoy each other's company, but giving and doing for others should be a daily thing. The holiday season will push how important this is at this time instead of all year round. If we did it daily the whole world benefits, since it's what the Lord would have us do anyway. 

This is also the time of the year where painful emotions of separation show up; a longing for those we've lost and are no longer with us. We become despondent, begin to mope, and sulk thinking of our departed loved ones. Some convinced themselves the holidays won't be the same without them. Well again, this doesn't line up with the faith many of us claim to have. It's OK to miss someone you've lost it's natural, but if we believe our loved ones are in a better place, like being with the Heavenly Father, why would we want them to be returned or with us? We should be at peace and pleased to know they are in a far better place with the Lord. John wrote about in the scripture below

Philippians 1:21-23 New International Version (NIV)
21 For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. 22 If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! 23 I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far

He mentioned "being with Christ is better by far". Why would we ever want our loved ones taken from such a beautiful sounding place? Also, consider the idea of walking with God, Jesus, and all the other family and friends in Heaven. Could we be any more selfish to want them back just to make ourselves feel better for this time of the year? I don't think so. I would love to join them and in time I will, but like Paul mentioned: There is "fruitful labor" which must be done here and that is what I am going to focus on. 

The holiday season is also the time where many will look for support from people who come up with all types of crazy plots and plans. Folks allow the holidays to touch deep nerves, so they turn to false prophets, charlatans, or anyone who can offer an answer to their painful situations. Our elderly fall victim to many of these scoundrels who are pain pimps. They look to use shame, fear or depression to get money or anything else someone who is willing to give away all for a peace of mind. 
During this season, those who regularly are emotionally together and spiritually grounded have to be strong for our brothers and sisters who are not. We have to be the light against those who would love to spread their darkness over the weak. We have to make sure people understand who we are and how Faith offers protection and how that protection extends to those who need it by sharing and exposing God's truth. One of the ways to do this is to help others learn who Jesus is and his sacrifice means in their lives. We have to teach what his sacrifice means to the world as well. We also have to teach others to trust in the Lord not what they think to be right. If we can get people to trust the Lord. We opened the door for them to see how he will guide them past the dark folks out there who would try to prosper off their helpless feelings. 
Its never easy to trust what you don't know. But if the truth and knowledge of trust is shared with love, compassion and openness we can form a trusting relationship with the Lord and he will make a way. 

Proverbs 3:5-6  King James Version (KJV) 
5 Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

Finally, during the holiday season, suicides increase. It's sad to me to think so many believe the only way out from under their pain is ending their lives. One thing the holiday season doesn't do is admit to people their pain is part of life.  Their problems may not hold the meaning many think it does. There are many examples of men and women overcoming painful situations who then go on to great lives. I believe there are those who internalize their situations and feel everything going wrong is their fault and there is no way out from underneath it. They see happiness as something others receive but not them. They choose the way out which makes sense to them. This is where we can show how the Lord works our our problems. We can show others how some of the problems we have are actually a test to who we are. And, if we are able to withstand those test, there are blessings waiting on the other side. 
The Lord allow one of his best to befall some very evil things at the hands of Satan. Job was that man. Even his wife thought he might as well curse the Lord and end it. His friends couldn't believe he was righteous. They said "You had to have done something to bring this upon yourself". Imagine having the devil sent to you to make you sick, your spouse telling you to kill yourself because of the sickness you're going through and your friends not believing a word you tell them? All because you are a stand up righteous guy, WOW! 

Job 2  New International Version (NIV) 

2 On another day the angels came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came with them to present himself before him. 2 And the Lord said to Satan, “Where have you come from?”
Satan answered the Lord, “From roaming throughout the earth, going back and forth on it.”
3 Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil. And he still maintains his integrity, though you incited me against him to ruin him without any reason.”
4 “Skin for skin!” Satan replied. “A man will give all he has for his own life. 5 But now stretch out your hand and strike his flesh and bones, and he will surely curse you to your face.”
6 The Lord said to Satan, “Very well, then, he is in your hands; but you must spare his life.”
7 So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord and afflicted Job with painful sores from the soles of his feet to the crown of his head. 8 Then Job took a piece of broken pottery and scraped himself with it as he sat among the ashes.
9 His wife said to him, “Are you still maintaining your integrity? Curse God and die!”
10 He replied, “You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?”

Well, there was a reason the Lord allowed this to happen. (Please read the whole book of Job to see how beautiful this story lays out) 
What you'll see is the Lord never leaves you to deal with the pain your going through on your own.  You'll see its OK to get angry with God but don't cross the line of cursing him or feeling he has left you. If you remain faithful to him and willing to do for others with all which is going on in your life, the Lord will take care of you for your faith and dedication.

Job 42:10 King James Version (KJV)
10 And the Lord turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends: also the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before.

Suicide is never the answer. The promoters of the holidays will not show you how the bad times can actually be the start of something beautiful. I know what I am saying seems negative towards the holiday season. So be it. I once loved this time of year for all the pomp and circumstance. Now I don't get caught up into what has been set up to take you on a emotional roller coaster ride, demanding you buy your happiness and the happiness of others you love. There is no need to be wrapped in all of the mess, if you start to see the world through the eyes of one with Faith one God. This will lift the veil of commerce and point you in the direction of salvation. Which cannot be purchased, no matter where you go or how much your net worth happens to be. 

I pray this helps someone during what can be difficult days. I am going to find as many as I can during this time and share Jesus with them. In time they'll come to learn he is the real reason for daily thanksgiving and the greatest gift a person can give to another. No turkey, tree, red suit or sack required. 

Take Care and God Bless...

K. L. Belvin 

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