15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.
16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
17 And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.
Colossians 3:15-17 (KJV)
Reading this passage, I think of it as a formula for a happy life. And, no, it doesn’t talk about being rich or being able to go buy anything you would like. After all, as the saying goes, “money can’t buy happiness.” It does speak of things much more important than riches: peace, wisdom, singing, grace, fellowship, friendship, and giving thanks to God. Do you know of a better recipe for a happy life?
So, what are we called to do? What is this key to happiness? Well, we can read the words. But, how often do we ponder the meaning behind the words, in the words, through the words? What is God’s message to us?
In verse 15, it talks about God’s peace, and all being called, and being thankful. How can we have God’s peace? How do you feel a peace with being with a loved one verses a stranger? For me, the more I know someone and the more I trust someone, the more at ease or at peace I feel with him or her. It is the same with God. So, how do we feel the peace of God? We get to know Him through prayer, reading the Bible, meditation, any number of things that focuses on God. The more time we spend focused on God, praying to Him, reading His word, getting to know Him, the more we will trust Him and feel at peace with Him. And, after we realize that we can feel God’s peace and that it is only because of who God is and His willingness to share that peace, we are called to be polite and thank Him. Hopefully, our hearts will feel so peaceful and so happy, that we will want to thank Him and show our appreciation for it. (Think of it like wanting to know a new acquaintance better. It is all well and good if you want to get to know the other person, but if they don’t want to get to know you and ignore you, you won’t get anywhere. God gives us that friendship, that love, that closeness freely, if we seek it.)
In verse 16, we are called to help each other through this think called life. We are to encourage each other, call each other out when we are misguided, and to help each other get back on the right path. Sounds good to me. I like surrounding myself with friendly, helpful people. And, how are we supposed to do that? Do we yell at someone if they do something wrong and ignore them or outcast them? No. We are called to gently help them back to the right path and to be encouraging. It says, “teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.” I don’t know if we would literally go around singing our thoughts, words, and encouragement. However, I think if we take the spirit of the words, it is that we shall do it light-heartedly with encouragement and kindness.
Finally in verse 17, it calls us to be thankful and to realize that whatever we do or say it is for God, because of God, and with God’s help. We can’t do it without Him. He made us. He is our parent. He is our strength. He gave us life and love. We should be thankful.
One of the things that I had hoped I could do with DUO Inspirations is to give hope and encouragement to others. I know that I have been through hard times and I know the comfort in knowing that you are not alone when you go through difficulties. That is the purpose of support groups. This isn't a support group. However, I hope to show that others go through struggles as well. It is not just you. With that in mind, if you know anyone who is going through (or have gone through) struggles or difficult times and would like to tell their story, please contact me. I hope you will join me in my quest in "empowering people one inspiration at a time" through prayer, encouragement, and in doing what you can to help. Let's work together to do God's will and make our world a brighter place.
Here is an example to ponder. It is about a great Facebook friend of mine, Rhonda Patton:
First, let me tell you what I know about Rhonda Patton. She is kind, caring, talented, and helpful; someone who is willing to help people when she can. We have never met in person, but Rhonda has helped me many times and I know she has helped others many times as well. I have seen it.
Rhonda is struggling right now though and my heart goes out to her. She is facing financial difficulties, health difficulties, and emotional difficulties. However, she is doing it with a great amount of faith and courage.
Rhonda reminds me of the old woman in the Bible who gave two mites in the story in Mark 12:41-44 KJV.
"41 And Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much.
42 And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing.
43 And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast
more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury:
44 For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living."
She will still do things for others out of the goodness of her heart for others, even though she is struggling herself. Rhonda knows that God will reward her some day for giving even when she had hardly anything to give.
Out of desperation, Rhonda has started a GoFundMe campaign. I can tell you that she hasn't enjoyed doing this. She felt horrible for doing it. Ashamed maybe. Pride maybe. Rhonda put it off as long as she felt she could. She and her husband has been looking for jobs, trying to sell their children's books, selling off personal things around the house to try to make ends meet. All this, while they both have health issues that barely make work a great option.
I know that Rhonda worries about how others see her. And, I think that she worries about how she sees herself as well as how God sees her. Some people may look down upon her. I don't know. However, I do know that God doesn't see her as unworthy. And, I do know that God has called us to help others if we can and to not look down on others.
Another verse that comes to mind for a situation such as this is Matthew 25:40 KJV.
"40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me."
This verse doesn't mean that Rhonda and others who are struggling are less deserving than others. It just refers to people who are struggling, people who are in need, and people who often feel or are called less than others. It is used to show that, yes, you can be kind to other people who may not need too much. But, it is more difficult to help those who need quite a bit, who are hurting quite a bit, who feel like their lives are messed up quite a bit. If you can help those people, than you are showing God that same love and help. God helps those who struggle the most, because after all He really doesn't need to help those who seem to have their life in order. And, if you are helping those who struggle, you are helping God as well.
I would ask you: my friends, my family, my readers, to pray about this situation. Pray for Rhonda and her family as well as others like her. And, pray to see if God is leading you to help Rhonda or someone like her in some way. If you feel called to contribute to Rhonda's GoFundMe compaign, please do so. If you have a job to offer her or her husband, please get in touch with her. If you can't do either, please pray for her. That will help more than you know.
If you would like to get to know more about Rhonda, please check out her page on Facebook, as well as her graphic arts page on Facebook, and her children's book website.
I know there are so many people who are struggling and so many people or causes for which to pray. I can tell you that I feel really blessed that God brought Rhonda into my life. I know that He uses her to help me and teach me things often.
Many of you reading this have already said a little prayer for Rhonda and her family. I want to tell you that I appreciate it and I am sure that Rhonda does as well. Before I close, I want to add my little prayer as well.
I thank you for this day and this idea. I ask that you watch over and guide Rhonda and her family through this difficult time. Hold her in your mighty and healing arms, comfort her, and give her the strength, wisdom, and resources she needs. Lord, please bless her and her family, and all the people who feel your calling to pray for her and help her. I thank you and praise you for your blessings and ask you to continue to use Rhonda for your glory. I ask you this, through Jesus, your Son. Amen.
Hi everyone. I hope you will both find and share inspiration here. Together, we can be "empowering people one inspiration at a time."