What choice do I have

What choice do I have – A believers perspective

Genesis 22:1-18

God spoke to Abraham and gave him a command to sacrifice his son. This was the son of promise from God. Abraham was faithful and followed the command. He gathered wood for the sacrifice, took a couple of servants and his son Isaac and headed off to worship God. Isaac must have understood enough about worship to know a lamb was needed for the sacrifice. He asked where the lamb was, and Abraham responded that God would provide. Once there, Abraham built an altar and bound his son. As he was about to slay his son, God stopped him. God saw his faithfulness. He then provided a ram stuck in a thicket. Because of his faith and obedience, every nation is blessed. It is through this lineage that the Savior will be born.

Is perspective a choice?

What is pain management? A process that alleviates or reduces the amount of pain one experiences. Pain has a wide range. It could be from mild to moderate pain. Or some might say their pain is excruciating to agonizing. Even perceiving pain has a wide range of avenues in our lives. We can experience mental anguish, physical ailments, or even emotional scars. The question is, how do we deal with our pain. Do we turn to the wrong coping mechanisms? Do these mechanisms then turn into compulsions? And finally, we have full-fledged addictions? Please don’t hear what I’m not saying. If you have something going on mentally, physically, or emotionally seek help. I am saying that we often attempt to dull our senses, so we don’t have to deal with the pain of what is happening around us.

If we are in a situation and we see a path of least resistance, how often do we take that path? In this passage of scripture, Abraham was given a path. Being a father, I don’t think this path is the path of least resistance. But I see it was a path of obedience. A path that was managing pain. When God instructed Abraham to offer Isaac as a sacrifice, I can only imagine his pondered thoughts. Isaac was a promise from God, and now he would be sacrificed as a burnt offering. Will God raise Isaac back from the dead? How is this going to bring about the promise of many descendants? Why must I give up my son? Why me, why this?

His faithfulness is a choice

What Abraham was thinking did not stop his faithful obedience to God.  He displayed something I struggle with within my life. Having the proper perspective. To Abraham, the pain of offering his son as a burnt offering was less than the pain of not following God’s commands. Ouch! So, in studying my bible, I see where God has given commands and instructions for a way of life that is pleasing to Him. And if I choose to ignore or be blinded to the truth of these commands and instructions, my pain management is about me. “God, I don’t want to face the truth of who You are. So, I’m going to try and fill my life with XYZ.” It’s easier for me this way.

In reality, I have a choice of sacrificing what I put between God and me. God: You know when you eat all that food. Including all those desserts. You are trying to find peace and hope in something I created instead of turning to Me. When you’re having a bad day, you want to eat cookies or cake and wash it down with a big glass of milk. Turn to me instead. Tell me about your day. Please tell me where you’re struggling. I can handle it; I will comfort you. You will get through it with my strength, and I will turn your pain into something beautiful. Just look at My Son, Jesus!

How are you managing your pain? Are you making the choice of turning inward with your pain? Trying to find the next thing that will dull your pain. Abraham embraced it. He was going to follow through, and God said I will handle your pain because you held nothing back. I will provide a sacrifice so that you don’t have to.


Father, change my perspective on life. I want to turn to the creator instead of the created when dealing with the pains of life. Teach me to see in every moment that the pain of not knowing you, following you, or believing you is far greater than anything else. Amen.

Jesus - The Answer to Unbelief

Whoever believes – The Answer to Unbelief

13No one has ascended into heaven, but He who descended from heaven: the Son of Man. 14As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up; 15so that whoever believes will in Him have eternal life.16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. 

John 3:13-17

In Jesus’s conversation with Nicodemus, Jesus is revealing His soon death on a cross. He tells Nicodemus that whoever believes in Him (Jesus) will have eternal life. They will believe that He suffered God’s wrath for us and died on a cross. That through His death, I can be forgiven for my sins. In verse 14, Jesus refers to Moses lifting the bronze serpent in the wilderness (Numbers 21:9). This was a time when Israel had sinned against the LORD. This lifting of the pole with the serpent was a symbol. It was a banner of hope for those that had rebelled against God. They could be forgiven for their sins if they believed and looked at the serpent. Some of the people did not look and died from the serpent bites. Others lived because they did believe in this banner of hope and lifted their eyes to it.

Rebellious People!

Today we are still a rebellious people. We receive blessings of goodness from a good Father. Then instantly turn to the side and grumble and complain in the pit of entitlement. What are we owed? We find ourselves in challenging situations. We’re confused about what it means to have a good Father in heaven who cares about us. And when things don’t go our way, we kick and scream and shake our fists to the heavens. We begin demanding what we think should be our relief.

Instead, we should be embracing the pain of life. Not chasing what we think will dull the pain. Is life hard, absolutely? Should it be pain-free? Why would we believe that? My God and savior stepped out of heaven into a broken world and was dealt the same pains that I deal with today. I find that comforting. To know that my savior understands what rejection is. The builders rejected the cornerstone (Mark 12:10). Our faith is built on God’s son, who His people rejected, and those that did accept Him seemed very confused the whole time He was walking the earth in human form. But whoever believes in Him shall not perish but will have eternal life.

A new banner of Hope!

So, when I feel insecure and insignificant because of rejection, I know my belief lies in a new banner of hope! Hope is found in the Son of God, Jesus, hanging from a pole. He was beaten, abused, ridiculed, rejected, and heartbroken. I can find peace because my Jesus is right there in my pain. He knows the pain of rejection and humiliation. Through His actions, something meant to kill and destroy became a thing of beauty. Oh, that wondrous cross today, that symbol of suffering and shame, is dear to me. The answer to my unbelief is knowing the truth; God loves me some much He poured out wrath that was due me; on His son. The pain of His son dying on a cross is more bearable than allowing all of humanity no path to redemption.


Father, help me when my belief begins to waver. Lead me through those moments when I think you are not there. Remind me that my purpose is knowing Christ and not dulling the pain of life. Teach me that the pain I’m dealing with can be turned into beauty in those moments. Teach me to use my pains as an opportunity to minister to others. Refine us to find hope and do what is pleasing in your sight. I surrender so my life will look more like Jesus today than yesterday. Amen

Whoever believes in me, Jesus - The Answer to Unbelief
Hope over coffee – John 3