This is Thrive: Perspectives. An ever-growing discussion about the issues that shape our lives with your guide Dr Matthew Jacoby. www.thrivetoday.tv
Thrive Perspectives: Worldview - Q & A
Just some of the listener questions we endeavour to discuss in this episode:
What do you mean when you say God grasps us, rather than us trying to hold on to God? Especially when I feel like I'm only just holding on.
I've been discouraged watching others who I thought had a strong faith in God de-church or deconstruct. Did God get it wrong and not show up? Where does it leave them - they seem happy / fulfilled in their decision.
How much can you doubt God and still be saved? Surely doubt and faith are pulling in different directions? I even feel angry with God for allowing me to go round in circles of doubt.
Thrive Perspectives: Worldview - What's the point of prayer?
Relationship with God: Prayer should be seen as a means of developing and deepening our personal relationship with God. It allows us to communicate with God, express our thoughts, emotions, and desires, and seek intimacy with the divine.
Submission and Alignment: Prayer can be an act of surrender and submission to God's will. It is an acknowledgment that God's plan is perfect and that we are seeking to align our own desires and intentions with God's perfect purpose.
Seeking Guidance: We turn to prayer when seeking guidance, wisdom, or discernment in making important decisions. Through prayer, God can provide insights and direction in our lives.
Intercession: Prayer also plays a role in interceding for others. We can pray on behalf of those who are suffering, in need, or facing challenges. God can respond to these intercessory prayers by providing comfort, healing, or assistance to those in need.
Gratitude and Thanksgiving: Prayer is an opportunity to express gratitude and thanksgiving to God for the blessings and provisions in our lives.
Personal Transformation: We should view prayer as a means of personal transformation. Through prayer, we can seek forgiveness, experience spiritual growth, and cultivate virtues such as patience, humility, and love.
Partnership with God: While God has a perfect plan, we should see prayer as a way to partner with God in the realisation of His plan. God invites our cooperation and participation in His work on Earth.
Thrive Perspectives: Worldview - What is 'prosperity' and how do we become prosperous?
In a Christian worldview, prosperity should be seen as a multifaceted concept that extends beyond mere financial wealth.
True prosperity, in the Christian view, includes a deep and abiding relationship with God. It involves a sense of spiritual fulfillment, peace, and a strong faith in God. It's about seeking first the Kingdom of God (Matthew 6:33).
Prosperity in a Christian worldview involves healthy and loving relationships with family, friends, and the broader community. It is about practicing the love and compassion taught by Jesus, which is often summarized as loving one's neighbour as oneself (Matthew 22:39).
Christians are encouraged to be generous and to share their resources with those in need. Prosperity is often connected to the idea of giving to others and helping those who are less fortunate.
The Bible teaches the value of contentment, which means being satisfied with what one has rather than constantly pursuing material wealth. The Apostle Paul said, "I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances" (Philippians 4:11).
Humility is a significant aspect of Christian prosperity. It involves recognizing one's dependence on God and not becoming prideful or self-centered.
Christians will find prosperity in serving others and living out their God-given purpose. This includes using one's talents and resources to make a positive impact on the world.
Prosperity in the Christian worldview is closely linked to the concept of stewardship, which means responsible management of the resources and talents that God has entrusted to each of us.
As Christians we believe in the hope of eternal life with God. This hope can bring a sense of enduring prosperity, even in the face of temporal challenges.
Thrive Perspectives: Worldview - How do I know what 'God's will' is?
What is God's purpose for my life?
What informs my values and beliefs?
What passions and talents has God given you?
Allow time to reflect and discern.
Be open to change.
Learn from your experiences.
Accept that you might not always have clarity.
If you continue to seek God and live in relationship with Him, then nothing - no wrong decision you make - can thwart the purpose of God for your life.
Thrive Perspectives: Worldview - But God seems distant?
Is faith a 2nd rate kind of knowledge? Or even just blind belief?
How do we find God in the ordinary?
What do we do in the dry periods where it seems that God is distant?
There's an opportunity for us to 'reach' for God, when we perhaps feel that He's not 'reaching' into our lives.
In fact He’s never distant. He’s constant, and we can learn to recognise God at work, in our 'every-day'.
Thrive Perspectives: Worldview - Why doesn’t God ‘show-up’?
Feeling like God is distant or not present in your life at times is a common experience for many people, including those who have a strong faith. But God isn’t ‘out-there-somewhere’. God is all around us, much like the air that we breathe, which we don’t notice, because it’s always there!
Faith is not solely based on feelings. It's about trust and commitment, about making a decision about what you will build your life on, even in times of doubt. Many people find that their faith grows stronger and deeper through these periods of challenge and uncertainty, but that doesn’t make it easy. Recognising that God is not something or somebody we can ‘control’ but is far outside our ability to comprehend. God is much bigger, in every way, than we imagine. Relationship with God is not like any human relationship. God’s focus with us is on growth, not comfort, but that’s hard to accept when we just want God to ‘show-up’ and make us feel ‘something’.