Consider, 考虑

Consider the source, 考虑来源

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

It was a cold dark October evening. The giant sea vessel plowed through the water carrying a commuter train and vehicles of all sizes sailing to Copenhagen from the German port of Hamburg. Bob stood topside next to the port rails looking to the stern. The ship was well clear of the port, and the lights on the horizon disappeared. The isolation was palatable. The water in the Baltic Sea was black. He pulled his jacket collar closer and looked over the rails at the water passing underneath the vessel. As far as one could see, it was a dark and ominous expanse of black water and an overcast and black horizon above it. The only visible light on this dark sea was this ship sailing into blackness. He recognized, maybe for the first time, that the open sea was dangerous. Most certainly, the sobering reality of human frailty.   

Life

In counseling, people often describe emotional experiences to life events in similar word-pictures. When asked to relate their initial thoughts about these life experiences, they express helplessness, disappointment, despondency, darkness, a lonely place, and adrift. The usual reply was when posed the question regarding their first thoughts and response to those events, “it’s always that way” was the standard answer. They resolved that their past experiences repeated themselves, a sort of emotional déjà vu. Nothing seemed to change, and the cycle repeated. It was their perception of events, and their behavior followed similarly. Consequently, the solution was to begin examining life events objectively and reframing those events with the truth.

Truth

Indeed, as Christians, you would think finding the truth would be self-evident. It wasn’t. Especially for those who suffered horrible experiences and unspeakable acts perpetrated upon them. It was difficult for them, as it is for us in facing a crisis, as the Psalmist expresses in the 23rd Psalm, to ponder – to consider – as our first thought:

“The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” Psalm 23:1-4

Therefore, as Paul encourages,

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me – put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.” Philippians 4:8-9

When surrounded by temptation or testing, are our first thoughts driven by emotions instead of considering these truths? Do we consider the totality of the circumstances and examine the pieces in light of the big picture? Are we like the wise Captain who piloted the ship through the rough Baltic Sea to its destination while adjusting to present immediate surroundings?

True North

Does truth guide your life and your response? If it does, you can choose hope in the testing or temptation because you know the truth. The Perfect Captain guides your soul on the sea. He is piloting you to port. Like the Psalmist, you can “rejoice in his promise like one who finds great spoil.” (Psalm 119:162). Who or what is guiding you?

What is your first thought when facing diversified negative and positive life events? What do you consider? Are you favorably disposed to God’s favor and aware of his grace? In short, do you seek the truth about God and his relationship with his children?

Therefore, who or where do you go for help in a crisis?

Trust the Pilot.

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.”

Jas. 1.2-3 (NIV)

我的弟兄姊妹,当你们遭遇各种磨炼的时候,都要认为是喜乐的事。 要知道你们的信心经过考验会产生坚忍。

雅各书 1:2-3 (CCB)

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