BC_Blog

Praising God in adversity


Posted 21 Feb 2014

Just listening to Australian preacher Katherine Ruonala’s podcast “Praising God in adversity – Part 1” [Transcript of part of the podcast [3]]

Referencing the narrative of Paul & Silas in prison, who didn’t complain about having been beaten for their faith, but, instead chose to sing hymns to God at midnight in the prison. See Acts 16:16-40]…

“God wants to release you into hope. So that you can begin to celebrate…”

Katherine Ruonala goes on to remind us that we NEED TO TAKE THOUGHTS THAT OCCUR TO US CAPTIVE, especially those thoughts that aren’t any good for us [distracting thoughts, worries, etc]…

“[We should say] God, I take those thoughts captive, that are exalting themselves above the knowledge of who you are. You are good, you are lovely, you are wonderful. And I’m not even going to think about these other things [distracting thoughts, worries, etc] My heart’s desire is simply to enjoy you; is to love you & enjoy you.” [1]

Katherine Ruonala goes on to make a VERY important observation about any negative thoughts we continue to allow into our own minds:

“Can you enjoy Him [The Lord] when things AREN’T the way that you want them to be in your circumstances around you? If you can’t, then the circumstances are probably going to get worse, because it’s going to prove to be an EFFECTIVE TOOL OF THE ENEMY [Satan]. It’s like, “oh, that’s working!” But if you are unmoved by the things that the enemy brings to you, & instead, turn it around for good, saying [to yourself], I’m not even going to entertain it, I’m not going there. I’m not going there devil, I’m going to sing. I’m going to sing praises to God. I’m going to be looking out for opportunities to minister, to release the love of God…”

That point seems vital to me: Unless we choose to take captive any thought(s) that are negative & self-destructive, then we are in danger of becoming more & more subject to such thoughts. And we definitely don’t want to go down that road!
It is therefore VITAL that we so order our own thinking that we DO decide to take negative thoughts captive, just as many times as they occur to us. They probably won’t just occur to us once per day! They may occur to us ten times, or a hundred times, or a thousand times per day. What matters is our firm determination to take negative thoughts captive NO MATTER HOW OFTEN THEY OCCUR TO US.

I’m sure Jesus wasn’t tempted by the devil just the one time recorded in the Bible (see Matthew 4:1-11, Mark 1:12-13, Luke 4:1-13) but was tempted pretty much every day of his life, just like we are. In fact Luke 4:13 tells us “When the devil had finished tempting Jesus, he left him UNTIL THE NEXT OPPORTUNITY CAME.” So clearly Jesus was tempted again, at a later date.

Back to the negative thoughts that occur to our minds…
Negative thoughts grow more powerful in our minds IF we allow them to “roost” there. So we need to ruthlessly root them out & deliberately decide to think about positive things INSTEAD. They may try to come back, countless times again, but if we are unmoving in our RESOLVE to reject any & all negative thoughts, regardless of how many times they occur to our minds, then we will take back control of our own thinking. This is self-help at its best! It is also what the Lord God wants us to do. [2]
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[1]
Katherine Ruonala is referring to the first point of the Westminster Larger Catechism, which begins with:
Q. 1. What is the chief and highest end of man?
A. Man’s chief and highest end is to glorify God, and fully to enjoy him forever.

[2]
2 Corinthians 10:5 New International Version – UK (NIVUK)
“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, AND WE TAKE CAPTIVE EVERY THOUGHT TO MAKE IT OBEDIENT TO CHRIST.”

Romans 12:2 New International Version – UK (NIVUK)
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the RENEWING OF YOUR MIND. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

[3]
Katherine Ruonala – Praising God in adversity – Part 1 [Podcast]

[21 mins 21sec’s into podcast]
“God wants to release you into hope. So that you can begin to celebrate, “Thank you Father, thank you Lord, that you are faithful & true. You are my divine distraction, God, you are my divine obsession. God, I take those thoughts that are exalting themselves above the knowledge of who you are. You are good, you are lovely, you are wonderful. And I’m not even going to think about these other things [distracting thoughts, worries, etc] My heart’s desire is simply to enjoy you; is to love you & enjoy you.
Can you enjoy Him [The Lord] when things aren’t the way that you want them to be in your circumstances around you? If you can’t, then the circumstances are probably going to get worse, because it’s going to prove to be an effective tool of the enemy [Satan]. It’s like, “oh, that’s working!” But if you are going to be unmoved by the things that the enemy brings to you, & instead, turn it around for good [like Paul & Silas – see Acts 16:16-40]… say, I’m not even going to entertain it, I’m not going there. I’m not going there devil, I’m going to sing. I’m going to sing praises to God. I’m going to be looking out for opportunities to minister, to release the love of God. To know, this is my divine purpose; is to love God & enjoy Him forever. To bless Him. I’ve been created for fellowship with Jesus. I’ve been created for fellowship with God Himself.”



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