A Word for 2020: The Bible Still Has Applicable Lessons to Learn

by | Nov 23, 2020 | Bible Study

We can use some joy because 2020 has been less than joyful.

So I have a message for you from the Bible. Yes, the Bible—the book many believe to be out of date and out of touch.

Some people call the Bible old. Well, gravity is also old. Is gravity still relevant? I think so.

The Scripture is far from out of touch with reality. Just because the Scripture is unpopular does not mean it’s irrelevant.

So here’s the message. “Dear brothers and sisters, I close my letter with these last words: Be joyful. Grow to maturity. Encourage each other. Live in harmony and peace. Then the God of love and peace will be with you” (2 Cor. 13:11, NLT).

If a counselor said, “Be joyful and encourage others,” we would count that as wise.

If your teacher said, “Grow up and live in peace with everyone,” we would say that’s smart.

But when we quote a Bible verse, many discredit the Scripture’s validity.

But this verse is enlightening and relevant to 2020.

Let’s break it down.

Choose Joy

This is good advice for sure. Joy is better than sadness. No matter who you are, positive is better than negative, and optimism is better than cynicism.

Michael J. Fox is right: “Happiness is far less the result of our circumstances than our response to them. Psychologists refer to the ‘hedonic treadmill‘ as ‘the observed tendency of humans to quickly return to a relatively stable level of happiness despite major positive or negative events or life changes.'”

Happiness is not our end game.

We live in cynical times. Creating and stimulating some joy will turn that around.

The Bible says laughter is good medicine.

Joy is a choice.

Many want joy, but few want to rejoice.

Grow to Maturity

Many resist growing up, but most adults know that growing up is a part of life. Being young is fun; staying young is not.

No one wants to be the person who never matures.

Christians are no exception. Christians are called to be disciples, and disciples are learners. Learning is a way of life for the earnest disciple of Christ.

Conforming to the image of Christ is the highest call of the believer. Most of Christendom is focused on making heaven.

Heaven is a benefit of being a Christian. Heaven and hell are not the primary reasons Christ gave us salvation.

God commands us to mature into Christ’s image:

“Follow me as I follow Christ” (1 Cor. 11:1, MEV).

“Therefore be imitators of God as beloved children. Walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave Himself for us, as a fragrant offering and a sacrifice to God” (Eph. 5:1-2).

Christians are not saved to go to heaven, but to bring heaven to earth.

Encourage One Another

I recently shared an email with an adviser. The content was about the future of our organization and the difficult decisions we faced.

The adviser sent this reply:

“I am not surprised that you are out in front of these decisions. Many people fear sharing their inner struggles and face the reality of the moment. I am so proud to know you and the leadership you display.”

The reply from my adviser was so encouraging. The response fueled my confidence and calmed my fears. This is the power of encouragement.

I heard someone say once, “People are way too quick to criticize and way too slow to encourage.”

Encouragement shifts dark seasons to brighter moments.

And as J.K. Rowling wrote, “Happiness can be found in even the darkest of times if only one remembers to turn on the light.”

Encouragement is not always about our words. Encouragement comes in a variety of ways:

—Be a good listener.

—Express gratitude regularly.

—Send a note.

—Give your time.

—Share affirming words.

—Say thank you.

—Live in harmony and peace.

Harmony and peace escaped our 2020 experience. Americans are far from harmonious. Acquiring harmony would undoubtedly be a noble goal for America.

The political environment and the impact of the virus are real thieves to our peace and sanctity.

Peace never comes easily.

“And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will protect your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 4:7).

There is a peace greater than our circumstances.

When our faith is in God and not this world, peace is ours. God’s peace is a guard to our heart and mind.

Let’s look at our key verse again.

“Dear brothers and sisters, I close my letter with these last words: Be joyful. Grow to maturity. Encourage each other. Live in harmony and peace. Then the God of love and peace will be with you” (2 Cor. 13:11, NLT).

Notice the word “then.” “Then” is a word of the outcome. “Then” comes after obedience and compliance.

The Word of God works if we work it.

God says give, and it shall be given to you.

God says forgive, and you shall be forgiven.

God says give your life away, and you will find your life.

Look carefully—God says, “the God of love and peace will be with you, after you choose joy, grow spiritually, encourage others and live in harmony and peace.”

Let’s jump all-in to the commands of the verse, and the outcome will be automatic.

Notice the result—the God of love and peace will be with you—after you obey God’s commands.

And that’s good news. {eoa}

CHARISMA NEWSLETTERS

Stay up-to-date with current issues, Christian teachings, entertainment news, videos & more.

The latest breaking Christian news you need to know about as soon as it happens.

Prophetic messages from respected leaders & news of how God is moving throughout the world. 


MORE FROM CHARISMA

Have We Departed From the  Simplicity of Christ?

Have We Departed From the Simplicity of Christ?

Recently I heard a pastor say the following: "When I was pastoring and saw little fruit, I began to call those with potential to reach others for Christ to our home and to mentor them one on one. That's where massive growth happened in the people." Local pastors and...

Take the Fight to the Enemy, Before He Strikes at You

Take the Fight to the Enemy, Before He Strikes at You

Read Time: 3 Minutes 7 Seconds “When the Philistines heard that they had anointed David king over Israel, all the Philistines went up to seek out David; and when David heard of it, he went down to the stronghold,” (2 Sam. 5:17). When David heard that he was under...

Joyce Meyer: Becoming a Prisoner of Hope

Joyce Meyer: Becoming a Prisoner of Hope

Read Time: 3 Minutes 56 Seconds God is good. And He has a good plan for each of our lives. No matter what may be going on right now, God’s plan is unfolding. In the meantime, Romans 12:12 tells us to “be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer,”...

Victimized By Gaslighting? 5 Steps to Finding Freedom

Victimized By Gaslighting? 5 Steps to Finding Freedom

Read Time: 2 minutes 26 seconds The term "gaslighting" has gone viral across social media this year and Merriam-Webster chose it as their word-of-the-year, saying searches for the word spiked 1,740% in 2022 alone. We're breaking down what the Bible has to say about...

RECENT ARTICLES

WATCH: Vlad Savchuck: Life, Health and the Bible

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oZdzLoS3wCM During a recent visit to @HungryGeneration, Pastor Vlad Savchuk asked Bill Wiese to comment on his personal experience applying the Word of God to his own...
Miraculous Divine Intervention Birthed by Thanksgiving and Praise

Miraculous Divine Intervention Birthed by Thanksgiving and Praise

Read Time: 4 Minutes 2 Seconds When I first became a believer in 1970, my mother was one of my first “converts," giving her heart to Jesus as soon as I shared with her the beauty, the power and the opportunity of making Jesus the Lord of her life. However, my father...

I’m Going Defcon G on the Enemy

I’m Going Defcon G on the Enemy

Read Time: 1 Minute 32 Seconds The last six years have been the best of times and the worst of times. I’ve seen more death, destruction, disease and devastation than I care to remember. I’ve also seen the hand of God move in extraordinary ways. Indeed, sometimes I...

Prophetic Vision: ‘Now is the Time of Your Healing’

Prophetic Vision: ‘Now is the Time of Your Healing’

Read Time: 3 Minutes 41 Seconds I was remembering a time when my husband and I were praying over friends who had been in a situation for many years that had caused deep trauma to their souls. As we were praying for them, I became aware of an angel standing over them...

5 Ways to Improve Your Emotional and Spiritual Health

5 Ways to Improve Your Emotional and Spiritual Health

Read Time: 4 Minutes 50 Seconds Do you believe the Lord is concerned about your emotional and spiritual health? He is. He wants you to know how to improve your emotional and spiritual health to be resilient in turbulent times. One of the most powerful things you can...

Pin It on Pinterest