Sojourning Under the Sun: Sabbath Conforming: Self Examination (Matthew 7:13-29)

We conclude Christ’s sermon on the mount.  Christ is laying out an ethic that we are called to follow as a people set apart unto the Lord.  Do we just say that these laws are difficult so we can ignore them?  Do we more purposefully set out to obey these laws in our strength?  What are we to do with this challenging sermon that is set before us?

A Wholly Righteous Servant? (Job 2:1-13)

The Adversary, or Satan, had his chance to remove Job’s hedge that sheltered him from the heat of life under the sun.  Satan is not happy with the result because Job did not, “curse God to His face.”  Is Satan going to drop his accusation against God at this point?  Will the Lord allow further testing to show Satan that the new humanity does love God because of God?

Joyful Suffering? (James 1:2-11)

James tells us that we are to be joyful in the midst of our suffering.  What kind of system of belief is Christianity?  Is it possible to find joy in the midst of suffering?  Is this something that is optional where maybe we find joy 10 percent of the time and the rest of the time we claim an injustice?  What does James mean and how can we possibly have a perspective of “joy” in the midst of suffering?

Our Power or God’s Power of Preservation? (1 Peter 1:3-9 (COD Head 5 Article 3)

We might think that this notion of the preservation and perseverance of the saints is unique to the Apostle Paul.  We might also think that this is not all that significant in terms of our psychology or encouraging us through difficult times in this life. In fact, we might think that that knowing God will preserver us waters down the struggle or the hardship of this life.  It sounds like life is not that challenging because God will just continue to pull the puppet strings.   So, what does a Calvinist say about such a claim that Reformed Theology minimizing suffering?