August 26, 2015

Peter as Pastor - Epilogue (P 33)

I have loved delving into the life and teachings of Peter.  I have thrilled to watch as Jesus shaped and transformed him into a giant pillar of faith and of the church.  I love his honesty.  I love his bluntness. I love his total lack of passive-aggressive behaviors.  I love his teachable spirit.  I love his quick repentance and turnings.  I would like to be more like this apostle of our Lord's.

We have come to his final words to his "beloved".  His last words and reminders to those believers that were so dear to his heart.  Let's listen ... perhaps they are for us as well!

Read 2 Peter 3: 14 - 18

So then ... when all is said and done ... since we are people who are anticipating Christ's return to earth ... there are some things we are "to do".  We are not to be passive observers.  We are to be active participants.

First - we are to "make every effort" (that screams diligence and determination, no?) "to live peaceful lives that are pure and blameless in His sight." (New Living Translation)    Really?  Even in this particular culture and time?  Yes.  Even now.

In The Women of Faith Study Bible, we read:
We don't know if it is a thousand years away or tomorrow.  But Jesus is coming.  Peter paints a vivid and shocking picture of the consummation of time.  Like a thief in the night, Jesus will return, the heavens and the earth will be consumed and a new order will begin.  A new heaven and earth will replace the old.  Yet this news does not seem to be the focal point of Peter's teaching.
Here is Peter's message about the end times.  It comes down to seven simple words:  What kind of person should you be?  Peter call us to invest our energy in living 'spotless, blameless' lives.
Our confidence that Jesus will return is not meant to draw us into complex speculations on when and where and how.  Rather, it should move us into godly living that will honor him and empower us to reach those who do not yet know his grace.

Is that your top goal?  Does it even make your list of life goals at all?  If not, why not?  Do we think it doesn't matter?  How do you define blameless?  Do you use comparison with our culture ... or maybe comparison with other church members ... to define it for you?  Are you willing to take this plea to God Himself and ask Him to shape your definitions?  To place in your heart and spirit the DESIRE for it?

God, help us want this!  More than we want anything else.

Second - we are not to get frustrated or angry or complacent as we wait for Christ's return.  Peter wants us to realize that this long delay means salvation for some!  Even when life seems so hard and so unfair and so cruel.  I'm not sure a person can be "at peace" with this thought unless they truly "love" other people.  They have to care about their salvation - their peace with God.  Peter had learned to care about the salvation of the Gentiles, as well as his own Jewish brothers and sisters.  He had to learn it.  So do we.

Do I truly care about others?  What about the 'others' who are not like me - at all.  What about other cultures, others countries, other nationalities, other faiths?  Do I care?  Do you?

Lord, help us love!  Your love - extended to others.  

Third - we are to grow.  I love verse 18.  In fact, I chose it as the theme verse for our Women's Ministry at my church.  "Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ." 
Grow.  Doesn't matter how old you are ... grow more.  Doesn't matter who knowledgeable you are in matters of scripture and faith ... grow more.  Keep growing.  Make every effort!

There are two branches on this tree of growth.  One is - in the grace of our Lord.  Grow in understanding how that grace, that unearned favor of God, belongs to you.  There is security there. There is peace there.  Also grow in your extension of that grace to others - the ones you want to be grace-ful toward ... and the ones that you don't.  Grow.

The other branch is the knowledge of our Lord.  Grow in your knowledge of who Jesus is ... what He was like when He walked on the planet ... what kinds of things He said ... what kinds of things He did.  Know more this year than you did last.  Know more - not to impress anyone - not to flaunt your superior knowledge to anyone else - but so that you will know the LORD, Himself, better.  Grow.

Lord, I desire to grow.  Be my stimulant and source.  Be my root and water. 
 Be my sun.  Grow me.  

Peter modeled these things for us.  We have watched him and listened to him.

Now it's our turn.  We do have more knowledge after walking with Peter.  So - what will we do with it?  That's the question as we close this study.  That's always the question.  What will you do ... now that you know?

I pray God's blessings on each of you as you read.  Thank you for joining me on this journey.

As we close ...
To God be glory both now and forever!  Amen.

July 30, 2015

Peter as Pastor - Not to Be Forgotten - 2 Peter 3 (P 32)

We have come to Peter's last reminders and instructions to his readers - his "beloved".  Who in your life is "beloved"?  I have viewed Peter all throughout this Bible study as a man of passion.  He not only loves his fellow believers ... they are "beloved".  That adjective descriptor means one who is "greatly loved; dear to the heart."  Over the top ... that's our Peter ... that's his love.

Read 2 Peter 3: 1 - 13

Peter returns to the theme he wrote about in chapter 1, before he got distracted by the warnings against false teachers.  This theme seems to be prominent in his mind.  It seems that Jesus' delay in returning was seriously undermining many believers faith.  So Peter reiterates what he has told them before.

It WILL happen.  Jesus IS returning.
The ancient prophetic writers promised it.
The apostles promise it.
Jesus Himself promised it.
Those who ridicule this truth will meet their own destruction.  

Peter also reminds his "beloved" of something about God that we, also, forget ALL THE TIME!
God does not work on human time lines.  Linear time is a thing of this created world.  It is human. Jehovah God exists outside of linear time.  We cannot, indeed must not, apply human standards of timing onto God.  Peter encourages his readers to quit doing that.  Jesus is returning.  The fact that it had not yet happened did not diminish the truth.

What is going on in your life right now that could use this reminder?  What prayers do you continually bring before your Father that SEEM to go unanswered?  Perhaps you, too, could use Peter's reminder to quit applying human timing to God.  Will you trust Him?  Any chance God knows more than you do?  Never forget Peter's words:  "The LORD is not slow about His promise, as some think of slowness ...".

Peter reminds ... again ... that we are in a time of waiting ... a time of faith ... waiting for the new heavens and the new earth.  Times of waiting are hard.  We don't like to wait.  For anything!  But some things are worth waiting for, are they not?  The new heavens and the new earth.  Anticipation. Dream about what it will be like.  We know from John's writings in Revelation that the pain, the sorrows, the tears that mark this current earth will be gone.  John also tells us that we won't even need the sun because beautiful light will stream from the throne of God.  Reread those phenomenal descriptions in Revelation 21 - 22.  It will thrill your soul again.  Anticipation.  It's coming.

I am reading from the New Revised Standard version this morning.  And I love the way these translators translate Peter's words in 2 Peter 3:13:
But, in accordance with his promise, we wait for new heavens and a new earth, where righteousness is at home.
Righteousness is not "at home" in our current world - regardless of what country or what part of any country you live in.  Righteousness is certainly not at home in our politics, in our business practices, in our treatment of peoples, in the distribution of the the world's wealth, in justice, and sometimes, even in our churches.  I long for a time and a place where righteousness is "at home".  Where it is the "norm".  I want to live there.  I want to make my home there.

It's coming ...

June 30, 2015

Peter as Pastor - False Teachers - 2 Peter 2 (P 31)

Have you ever wondered about how in the world you identify "false teachers"?  Most of us aren't very confident in our ability to do so.  Most of us are putty in the hands of a charismatic teacher.  How can you know?

At the end of chapter 1, Peter has written about prophecy - inspired by God - not open to personal interpretation.  Then he seems to take a side road.  Writing about prophecy reminds him of the problem of false prophets.  Israel had been plagued by them her entire history.  Peter knew that the fledgling church would be as well.  So he writes about identifying them.  We know it is an important topic because Paul also warns about them in 2 Timothy as does Jude in his little letter.  So, Peter, Paul and Jude all think that warnings about false teachers are important for believers.  Let's listen ...

For our reading today, begin with 2 Peter 1: 19 and read through 2:22

A sobering read, no?  Allow me to share a few observations.  I know you will have your own.  Post them for us.

First, the words Peter used leave no room for ambivalence toward the subject.  Destruction, exploitation, deception ... then condemnation.  Serious words for a serious problem.

Second, false teachers WILL bear consequences for their lies - and the consequences are severe.  Peter used 4 illustrations:  the rebellious angels, the people in the days of Noah, the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, and Balaam.  Peter assures his readers that God is not "idle" - He sees - and He will respond.

Third, the primary characteristic of false teachers is they deny Jesus as sovereign Lord and they live ungodly lives.  This is important because I have heard believers called "false teachers" when they have expressed a different interpretation of a particular scripture.  That does not make one a false teacher. We know that because of what we read about Apollos in Acts 18.  His understanding was off - not his heart.  That's different.

Warren Wiersbe provides a good working definition for us:  "False teachers are professed believers who know the truth but who deliberately teach lies in the hope of promoting themselves and getting financial gain from their followers."

Jesus called them "wolves in sheep's clothing" (Matthew 7:15).  Jesus told stories about "weeds growing among the wheat" (Matthew 13: 24 - 30).

This threat is from "within".   So we must stay alert.  We must pray for wisdom and discernment.  We must stay in tune with the Word of God.

OK ... how can we discern in our day?  What are some of the warning signs which should make our "false teacher detector buzzers" go off?

1.  They exalt themselves more than they exalt Christ.
2.  They talk of righteousness ... but there is no fruit of righteousness in their lives.  The talk is counterfeit.  
3.  There is a huge emphasis on making money, exploiting people for money.
4.  There are great claims that they can change people.  
5.  They are exposed to have hidden lives of lust and sin.

Peter, we hear you!  We choose to stay on alert.  We choose to be very careful about how we throw around the descriptor of "false teacher".  We choose to ask the Holy Spirit to be our divine interpreter for all things of God.  We choose to stay in God's Word.  We choose to use that Word as the plumb line for ideas and theories and teachings.

We choose to exalt Jesus as Lord.  

June 27, 2015

Peter as Pastor - Epiphany - 2 Peter 1 (P 30)

Have you had any epiphany moments in your life?  I would love to be sitting around a room with you sharing them together!  When have you seen God?  When have you heard from Him?  What has sealed your faith journey so that you will not walk away?  Those are epiphany moments!

Peter had one.  From what we have learned about Peter in this study, he has had many more than one. In our passage for today however, he references one of the most dramatic in his own life and walk with Jesus.  Read our passage from Peter first, then go back to the gospel and read the account of the 'moment' itself.

2 Peter 1: 16 - 21
Matthew 17: 1 - 8

What do you learn?  Peter reported what he learned.  In verse 16 we read that Peter learned Jesus was "coming".  Strange language since Jesus was with them.  But Peter saw the "coming of our Lord Jesus Christ".   Those first century Christians believed that Jesus would return - that He was coming.  They expected it.  They watched for it.  And they were beginning to get discouraged because days, weeks, months, years were passing and He had not come.  Peter writes to assure them that Jesus was, indeed, coming.  Because Peter himself had seen it.  He had seen Jesus returned.  He saw him that day on the mountain accompanied by two of Israel's faithful prophets.  Not perfect men, remember, but faithful men - Moses and Elijah.

It was a prophetic message.  One that had been spoken of for centuries.  The Holy Spirit had revealed this truth to prophets - they did not think it up to offer encouragement to a beleaguered people.  The message had come from God.  The prophets spoke what God, through His Holy Spirit directed.  Peter knew the prophetic messages.  And this moment on the mountain confirmed that message.  So Peter tells us that "we would do well to be attentive to this."  Are you?

Over two thousand years have passed since this writing.  Perhaps we need this reminder even more than those early believers.  We grow calloused to the reality.  We no longer watch with expectation for Jesus' return.  But Peter reassures all believers that Jesus, indeed, is coming.  He knows it ... because he saw it.  Do you believe it?  Will He find you faithful when the time is right?  Or do you subconsciously think the way you live today does not really matter?  Will you live today with that reality in the forefront of your mind?  He is coming, my friends.  May He find us faithful.

I love the language Peter chose to communicate exactly what this reality means to our lives here and now.  This belief, this truth, is like a "lamp shining in a dark place."  And our world is indeed a dark place!  As I write, the events in Charleston, S Carolina have recently transpired.  Innocent people, gathered in a church to worship God, gunned down senselessly, insanely.  Darkness.  As I write a group of people from my home church are on their way to Haiti.  They will encounter poverty and human misery that marks the lives of so many people.  They will encounter voodoo and evil. Darkness.
This world is a dark place and in desperate need of a lamp.  Here it is!  This belief - this 'knowing' that Jesus is coming - is like a lamp.  He is coming.  And He will make things right.

What happens when He comes?  It will be like "day dawning ... and the morning star rising in our hearts."

Dawn is coming.  
I believe it.  
I know it.  
Thank you, Peter, for sharing this epiphany with us!    

June 13, 2015

Peter as Pastor - Reminders - 2 Peter 1 (P 29)

We don't know how much time has elapsed since Peter's first letter.  Many scholars are not convinced that Peter even wrote this second epistle that bears his name.  Some think that another 'writer' penned the words, even after Peter's death, and applied his name to it for authenticity.  That was not an uncommon practice at the time.  Those scholarly debates are interesting (if such things interest you!) but they need not diminish our ability to glean wisdom from these pages from our biblical canon. Since Peter's name is on the letter, I plan to respond to it as if Peter were, indeed, the writer.

Let's begin ...    read 2 Peter 1: 1 - 15

Peter writes to believers.  He shares faith with them. His intro leads me to believe that he does not see himself "over" them ... they are all on equal, shared ground.  He loves them.  And he again longs for "grace and peace be theirs in abundance."  Not just a little ... abundance - overflow - excess - more than enough.

Grace - that undeserved favor of God
Peace - that sense of calm deep in one's soul that belies all chaos and circumstance

May they be yours as well.  May they be mine.  In abundance.   Today.

I have raised 3 girls into adulthood.  Translation?  I had 3 hormonal, teenage females in my house at one time. Some of you understand.  I felt like it was a frightening world to send teenage girls into 15 years ago.  It still is ... maybe more today than then..  Every time they left our house,  I reminded them of something ... "Remember who you are."  You see, I knew how easy it was to forget that.  I knew how quickly the world and circumstances could rob you of your true identity.  I knew something of the temptations the world dangles and their seductive power.  So the reminder ... over and over again ... the reminder.  "Remember who you are."

Peter loves his readers ... and he wants to remind them of something so incredibly important.  He does that in verses 3 - 12.  In verse 12 he says he intends to keep on reminding them.  In verse 13 he says he will refresh their memory as long as he has breath in his body.  In verse 15 he says he will remind them often enough so that they will recall these things even after he has died.

OK ... what was the reminder?  Transformation is a process.  It is a process that requires desire, diligence and determination.  We are in such a quick-fix culture.  Sick?  Take a pill.  BAM - done.  Overweight?  Take something.  No change of lifestyle or eating habits required ... just take a metabolism enhancer.  BAM - done.  Want to be a spiritual person?  Say a quick prayer every morning.  BAM - done.  Peter reminds believers that to be transformed into a person who reflects the image and glory of the Lord requires a tenacity of spirit.  It requires a focus on the goal and a determination to grow a little every day of our lives.  He is specific about the growth process.

Peter reminds his readers to focus on ... growing ... adding to ... effort.  We all begin with faith - our faith in the finished work of Jesus our Lord.  And to that faith, we WORK to add ...

 (not a mere passive quality, but the deliberate preference of right to wrong, the firm and persistent resistance of all moral evil, and the choosing and following of all moral good.  Easton's Bible Dictionary)

(Observation and recognition of objects within the range of one’s senses; acquaintance of a personal nature that includes a response of the knower.  Tyndale Bible Dictionary)

(Do we really need a definition of this?  The word can also be translated,' temperance')

(One of the virtues of the Christian life cited in the New Testament, produced during suffering and which itself could produce character (Rom. 5:3–4). The Greek term suggests “tolerance,” “forbearance,” “patience” (KJV, JB), and “perseverance” (NIV).  Eerdmans Bible Dictionary)

(The one true God, as creator and redeemer, requires an active obedience to his revealed will and a personal devotion that surpasses lip-service, mere trepidation, or bare admiration (e.g. Pr. 1:7; Is. 11:2; 33:6; Lk. 2:25; Acts 10:2; 22:12). Pre-eminently, Jesus is the godly One, whose prayers were heard because of his ‘godly fear’ or ‘reverent submission’ to the Father (Heb. 5:7). His death and heavenly exaltation makes it possible for others to offer to God, through him, acceptable worship or service, ‘with reverence and awe’ (Heb. 12:28).  The New Bible Dictionary)

mutual affection
(This term has to do with feelings and emotions ... toward fellow believers)

agape love
(to have love for someone or something, based on sincere appreciation and high regard. Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament)

That's quite a list, no?  To focus on the development of those characteristics on a daily basis can be daunting.  We can find ourselves tempted to throw up our hands and think that it's just not worth the effort.  Too hard.  Couldn't Peter have 'reminded' us to do a good deed for someone once a month?  Couldn't he have 'reminded' us to have a 5 minute 'quiet time' 3 days a week?   But no ... Peter 'reminds us, as believers, to diligently make every effort to develop these traits in our core being.  Transformation.  

Is it worth it?  The hard work ... the effort?  Oh YES!  Look again at verse 8:
"For if these things are yours and are increasing among you, they keep you from being ineffective and unfruitful ..."  (emphasis, mine)
What a promise!  This effort guarantees that my life will NOT be ineffective!  My life will NOT be unfruitful!  A life well lived ... to the glory of our Lord.  

OK, Peter ... I'll do it ... today.  I will make every effort ... today.  Even when I see the failures that will inevitably come, I will make the effort.  Today.  And Peter, remind me again tomorrow!

May 27, 2015

Peter as Pastor - Resist - 1 Peter 5 (P 28)

Resistance ...

According to Mirriam-Webster dictionary, the word resist means: 1) to fight against; 2) to try to stop or prevent; 3) to remain strong against the force or effect of; 4) to not be affected or harmed by

In the world of physical exercise, we are encouraged to utilize resistance exercise to increase strength and overall well-being. According to the online site "Fit Day", resistance exercise is ... "any form of exercise that forces your skeletal muscles (not the involuntary muscles of your heart, lungs, etc) to contract.  An external resistance (such as heavy weights) is used to cause the contractions, and those contractions lead to increases in muscular mass, strength, endurance and tone."


After encouraging the elders of Christ's Church in the first 4 verses of chapter 5, Peter turned his attention to "all of us" ... all believers.  Let's listen ...

Read 1 Peter 5: 5 - 14

Peter, our Pastor, wants each of us to "resist"!  And as we "resist", our strength grows.  Our spiritual muscles increase in "mass, strength, endurance and tone."  Resisting is active.  Resisting requires determination, dedication and discipline.

I see four areas of resistance in Peter's words.

First, we are to resist our natural bend toward pride.  It was pride that led to Satan's fall from heaven. It was pride that lured Eve and Adam to step outside of God's wisdom.  At the root of pride is the desire to be God.  It is idolatry. That cannot, must not, be our position - ever!  So Peter, in wisdom, tells us to "humble ourselves under God's mighty hand."  Scripture is filled with instruction and warning about pride.  Just a few ...

John 13: 3 - 16:  Jesus, Himself, models a servant heart, a servant's behaviors, a servant life for us. And then He tells us to "do as He did".  Will you?

Romans 12: 3  "For by the grace given me I say to every one of you:  Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you."

Romans 12:16  "Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position.  Do not be conceited."

Proverbs 8:13  The writer personifies God and says, "I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech."

Proverbs 16:18  "Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall."

A humble spirit knows full well that God is God ... and I am not.

We must resist pride.  Deliberately.  Moment by moment.  Circumstance by circumstance.

Second, we are to resist anxiety.  Anxiety eats away at your peace of mind and heart.  Anxiety is physically harmful.  Anxiety is prevalent in a heart that believes it is in control.  Anxiety belies trust in God.  Anxiety feels isolated and alone.  Peter tells us to "cast our anxiety on God.  Why?  Because He cares for you!

Proverbs 12:25  "An anxious heart weighs a man down ..."  Isn't it the truth!

But how do we do that?  How do we "cast our anxiety on God"?  Paul tells us how to do what Peter is saying.

Philippians 4:6 - 7  "Do not be anxious about about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition,, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

We must resist anxiety ... trust prayer ... trust God.

Third, Peter tells us to resist careless living.  We do that through self-control.  No excesses.  Not busy-ness, not food, not alcohol, not anything.  Remember that self-control is part of the fruit of the Holy Spirit in us.  God can and will grow that grace in you.  Will you resist so that those 'muscles are strengthened'?  Another way we resist living carelessly is by staying alert.  We stay in tune with God through His Word ... through prayer ... through awareness of God's life in us and in others.

Paul says in 1 Corinthians 6:12  "Everything is permissible for me - but not everything is beneficial. Everything is permissible for me - but I will not be mastered by anything."

We must resist the temptation to live life like a pool ball - just bouncing off every circumstance that hits us.  No carelessness - self-controlled and alert.

Last, we are to resist Satan.  We do that by refusing to listen to his voice in our head but by listening to the Word of God.  We do that by standing firm in our faith ... standing firm in God.  Knowing and reminding ourselves of what God has promised.  Be alert to the ways you see Satan luring you away from your God.

We must resist Satan ... every day ... in every circumstance.

As we resist, God does some amazing things.  Notice the way Peter closes this passage ...

God will ...
restore you (NASB uses the word, 'perfect you')
make you strong
make you firm
make you steadfast

And that, my friends, is a worthy goal!  Resist ... so that God, Himself, will strengthen your spiritual muscles in ways we cannot fully grasp or understand.  I want to be strong - don't you?  

May 20, 2015

Peter as Pastor - Suffering - 1 Peter 4: 12 - 19 (P 27)

Immediately after Peter described what it means to live well as a believer, he began to write about suffering - suffering because of identification with Jesus.

Read 1 Peter 4: 12 - 19

Notice, as we begin, the distinction Peter makes between suffering because of Christ and suffering that may come because of criminal or bad behaviors. If you steal or murder or engage in criminal activity ... even if you just meddle in other people's business ... and suffer ...then so be it - it's called consequences.  Instead, Peter wrote about suffering because of your faith.

William Barclay wrote:  
It is never easy to be a Christian.  The Christian life brings its own loneliness, its own unpopularity, its own problems, its own sacrifices and its own persecutions.
Is that your experience?  Would you agree with Barclay?  If so ... it is important to make note of the principles surrounding this kind of suffering as cataloged by Peter.  

First, Peter expected suffering.  To him, it was an inevitable outflow of walking with Christ.  Why? Most likely because human nature abhors anything different.  Human nature wants everyone to be exactly like "me".  Human nature tends to hold anyone different as "suspicious".  And the Christian is to live a life that differs from the world's standards and norms. Also, when we live out the model set by Jesus, we become something of a conscience to the society in which we live and function.  Consciences can be troublesome.  And many want to silence a troublesome conscience!  So Peter said, "Expect it.  Don't be surprised."

The second principle Peter established is that suffering is a test.  Will you persevere?  Will you be faithful?  Are you truly devoted to the Lord even when the going gets rough?  

Third, suffering puts us in company with Christ Himself.  And that is the best company possible!  Let me remind you of some things Paul said along these lines as well:

Now if we are children, then we are heirs - heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. (Romans 8:17)

I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.  (Philippians 3:10)

Peter's fourth principle was that suffering is the way to glory.  Jesus Himself bore the cross before He wore the crown.  It is yet another way we walk in His steps.  

Do you ever wonder what this "glory" means?  What does it look like?  In the Old Testament, there was this idea of luminosity that occurred around the presence of God.  The Hebrews called it "shekinah".  We know that the glory of the Lord enveloped Mt. Sinai - and it was a luminosity, a light.  Moses wore it on his own face when he had been with God.  It was this luminous cloud that led the children of Israel in the wilderness - the presence of God.  It settled on and in the Tabernacle ... then the Temple.  One of the saddest phrases in scripture is when we are told that the "glory" (the luminosity, the light, the glow) of God left the Temple.  Then it was just a building.  

We read of Stephen's martyrdom in Acts 6 - 7.  As he was condemned to a death sentence, scripture tells us in Acts 6:15 "All who were sitting in the Sanhedrin looked intently at Stephen, and they saw that his face was like the face of an angel."  Luminosity - glory.

Barclay writes:  "It is Peter's conviction that something of that glow of glory rests on those who suffer for Christ."

So what do you do when the suffering comes?  Peter does not leave us hanging.  He tells us what to do.  He states it succinctly and clearly.  "Entrust yourself to a faithful Creator, while continuing to do good." (4:19)   NIV translates it as "commit yourselves".  The Greek word used for "entrust" is the word "paratithesthai".  It is a technical term for depositing money with a trusted friend - a custom used before banks were available.  It means this is a safe place.  It means you will not lose yourself.  It is the exact word that our Lord used when He said, "Father, into your hands I commend my spirit."

This Pastor's advice is solid ... it was wisdom for those first century believers ... and it is still wisdom for us today.  

Trust yourself to God ... and continue to do good. 

 Enough said.