Many years ago, while on a visit to England, a wealthy businessman became very fascinated with a powerful microscope. Looking through its lens, to study crystals and the petals of flowers, he was amazed at their beauty and intricate detail. He decided to purchase this microscope and take it back home. He thoroughly enjoyed using it until one day he decided to examine some food he was planning to eat. Much to his dismay, he discovered that there were tiny living creatures crawling around in it. Since he was especially fond of this kind of food, he wondered what he should do. Finally, he concluded that there was only one way to eliminate this dilemma. He would destroy the microscope that caused him to discover such a distasteful fact. So, he smashed the instrument to pieces.
You may say, “How foolish!” And you are right, but how many people do you know have the same reaction with the Word of God? The Word of God is like a strong magnifying glass. It shows every detail of our lives and for that reason many do not like it. In fact, there are those who hate it and would like to get rid of it. But know: “The Word of God is full of living power: it is sharper than the sharpest dagger, cutting swift and deep into our innermost thoughts and desires with all their parts, exposing us for what we really are” (Hebrews 4:12).
Mark Twain once said: “Most people are bothered by those passages of Scripture which they cannot understand, but as for me, I have always noticed that the passages in Scripture which trouble me most are those which I do understand.” Can this be the maxim for many? In great probability, Twain hit the nail right on the head. The Word of God can trouble people because it discloses many hidden wrongs in their lives. But this is a good thing.
Many years ago I was a realtor and it was then that I discovered the pros and cons of disclosure. For the seller of a house, disclosure can be detrimental and very costly. But for the buyer it can be very beneficial and a strong deciding factor. Also, disclosure is real estate law. Why? Because nobody wants to be conned by a cover-up; therefore, nothing can be hidden or covered, and every detail of that house must be disclosed.
Now on that note, wouldn’t be great if there were disclosure laws for marriage and every detail of our lives had to be revealed so nobody could be deceived? Many people marry a person who is covering up something that is hurtful and, in many cases, destructive. I truly believe that we will see signs in a person that are not right, but we ignore them and hope for the best. Later on we say, “If only I had heeded the signs.” God’s Word says, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? I the Lord search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings” (Jeremiah 17:9-10). For more info you can visit us at www.JoyChristianMinistries.com
Psychologists have discovered that children respond according to how they are treated. In a scientific study a particular teacher was told that half of her students were exceptional, while the others were average. After a year, the students she was told were superior had improved a full grade beyond the other half (those she was told were only average). The interesting factor was that all the students were exactly equal intellectually. The two groups were different only in the teacher’s mind and her treatment of them. The results were obvious and inevitable. Those she thought were exceptional became exceptional and those she thought were average became average.
Socrates said to the people of Athens: “Why do you turn and scrape every stone to gather wealth and take so little care of your children to whom one day you must relinquish all?” Exceptional parents raise exceptional children. An unknown author has written some profound thoughts that express the influence for good or evil that we exert on others. While his words refer to parents in particular they can also apply to all of us in general. After reading each thought, ask yourself, “What are others learning from me?”
If a child lives with criticism, he learns to condemn. If a child lives with hostility, he learns to fight. If a child lives with fear, he learns to be paranoid. If a child lives with pity, he learns to feel sorry for himself. If a child lives with jealousy, he learns to feel guilty. If a child lives with inferiority, he learns to feel inadequate and unwanted. If a child lives with lies, he learns to be a liar and believe his own lies.
If a child lives with encouragement, he learns to be self-confident. If a child lives with tolerance, he learns to be patient. If a child lives with praise, he learns to be appreciative. If a child lives with acceptance, he learns to love. If a child lives with approval, he learns to like himself. If a child lives with recognition, he learns to have goals. If a child lives with fairness, he learns what justice is. If a child lives with honesty, he learns what truth is. If a child lives with sincerity, he learns to have faith in himself and those around him. If a child lives with love, he learns that the world is a wonderful place to live in. If a child is taught the love of God by word and example, he learns to be steadfast, faithful, and successful.
Yes, we live in a time of social rot, expansion of evil, and pathetic morals. And the world isn’t improving. Have we reached a time where we should call it quits concerning having a family? Absolutely not!! Now is the time to take the bull by the horns and stand for what is morally right. We must take more of a strong role in our children’s lives. Let’s not forget history. Pharaoh was killing Hebrew babies when Moses was born. His parents protected him, taught him right from wrong, and lived a righteous life before him. In spite of a tweaked world, he became a godly leader.
Resiliency is the ability to return to your original position. A porcelain doll is not resilient, but a rubber ball is. If you throw a porcelain doll on the ground it will shatter. Throw a rubber ball down, kick it, stomp it, abuse it, and it will return to its original shape. John Ortberg, in his book, “If you want to walk on water you have to get out of the boat,” says a major theme that characterizes resilient people is their surprising exercise of self-control in a stress-filled environment.
Many POW’s and hostages reported that the single most stressful aspect of their captivity was the realization that they had lost control over their existence. Those who lapsed into a state of passive acceptance, what observers of the Korean prison camps of the 1950s called “give-up-itis,” were the least likely to survive the camps and recover. Amazingly, losing control over their lives was more critical to their psychological well-being than their more obvious sufferings, threats, hunger, beatings, & isolation.
The POW’s who triumphed over adversity shared a common trait: they managed to reassert a sense of command over their future. Instead of becoming indifferent they focused as much attention as possible on whatever possibilities for having self-control. Prisoners would place themselves on strenuous exercise regiments, memorization of stories, or invent new games. Some commanded their time by keeping a careful census of insects in their cell. They ingeniously defied their captives’ orders not to communicate with each other. Some developed secret signals such as taps on the wall that stood for letters of the alphabet. One prisoner used strokes of his broom to send messages in code, another sent messages by dragging his sandal. The POW’s encouraged each other by reminding themselves that their body may be captured but their spirit is free.
Here’s the key: the POW’s were resilient because they kept their minds active. They focused on what was good rather than on their captivity. Resiliency is the power to focus on hope and optimism. For, “Where there is no vision, the people perish” (Proverbs 29:18).
Scientists have studied people who survived traumatic ordeals when life did not turn out the way they planned. They found that people generally respond in one of two ways: many are simply defeated by trauma then some are identified by resiliency. Those who are resilient actually enlarge their capacity to handle problems and in the end not only endure but increase immensely.
A must-read, for anyone who has experienced trauma or feels like giving up, is Daniel. In chapter one, four young men have been taken into captivity then forced to come under the conditions of a foreign king. And instead of giving into hopelessness they keep their focus and remain true to their spiritual values. Being resilient moves them right into the palace. This Bible story reveals the power of having self-control. For more info you can visit us at www.JoyChristianMinistries.com
Pastor J.C. Myers, III
Pastor J.C. founded Joy Christian Ministries in 1992. He was Sr. Pastor at Joy Christian Ministries in West Sacramento, California from 1992-2016. He was succeeded by his 2nd son, Pastor Brandon Myers who had been under his father's ministry and teaching for 39 years.