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“When Esau and Jacob were born, Scripture records that the younger son, Jacob, follows so quickly that he grasps onto the heel of his older brother. His name, Jacob, means “heel holder” …Idiomatically, Jacob may also mean “supplanter,” as Esau bitterly notes when his birthright is stolen by Jacob’s deception…However, God changes deceivers and manipulators into devout servants. Saul, the persecutor and self-proclaimed “chief of sinners,” becomes the Apostle Paul; Simon, who denies the Lord three times, becomes Peter the chief apostle…we see God transform unfavorable conditions into divinely appointed circumstances. The Lord effects these changes in order to bring about the salvation of His people.” (Dynamis 4/22/2021)

“The world teaches us that a comfortable life is normal, that it is normal to be fulfilled, content and satisfied. And the world teaches us that if you are not experiencing such a happy life, it’s someone’s fault, and probably not yours. And even though it’s not your fault, the world teaches us, that it is up to you to do something about it, to affix blame on someone, to fight for your rights, your right to a normal life as the world defines it. The advice of St. Isaac and the saints is very different. Here we are advised to have low expectations of this life. To expect things to be difficult, to go sideways when you least expect it. Jesus, did say, “In this world you will have tribulations.”  However, our low expectations of this world are to be matched by a very high expectation that God loves us and will be good to us and will work every circumstance for our salvation. That is, in whatever life in this fallen world throws at us, God will give us the Grace to become more like Christ through it. God will be near us and help us. God will not abandon us.” (Fr. Michael Gillis)

“…we must invest ourselves fully in the life of Christ. The point is not what particular blessings or burdens we have on a daily basis, but whether we are responding to them in a way that manifests the accomplishment of God’s gracious purposes for us, our neighbors, and our world. The servants who invested their talents in order to produce more were exalted. The servant who, out of fear, buried his talent in the ground and produced nothing ended up losing what he had and found only misery. The key issue was not how much the servants began with, but what they did with what they had. Regardless of the circumstances of our lives, we all receive the same calling to enter more fully into the joy of the Kingdom. “Now is the day of salvation” for us all because the ultimate question is whether we are uniting ourselves to Christ in the present reality of our lives.” (Fr. Philip LeMasters)

“The feelings that arise from prayer and repentance consist of: a clean conscience; a calm soul; peace with all your near ones and contentment with the circumstances of life; abstinence from all passions; coldness toward the world; submission to God, and strength during the fight with sinful thoughts and inclinations. With such feelings, in which one can foretaste salvation, you should be content. Do not seek exalted spiritual states or prayerful ecstasy before their time. They are not as you imagine them to be. The activity of the Holy Spirit, Who gives high states of prayer, is not comprehensible to a worldly mind.” (St. Ignatii Brianchaninov)

“God is always at work for our salvation in any circumstance. We may not see it or believe it at the time, but if we persevere in prayer, patience and struggle, we eventually will. The sadness of the circumstance may never go away, but it will be transformed and we will grow in love and wisdom.” (Sacramental Living Ministries)

“Happiness is a choice, just like love is. While there are emotions attached to these choices, happiness and love are not emotions but choices we make every day. If we allow our perspective to be governed by outside circumstances, we will be enslaved to powers beyond our control and at the mercy of outside forces.” (Father Barnabas Powell)

“External circumstances can never serve as excuses for the deficiencies in our interior life…What makes life "good" is not a particular set of circumstances, but how the heart interacts with them." (Elder Sergei of Vanves, Pastor Timothy Keller)

“A good question to ask ourselves is do our circumstances define us or refine us? God is at work in every circumstance and there is always opportunity with Him for our growth and refinement if we are attuned and willing.” (Sacramental Living Ministries)

“When we are secure in God’s love and provision, we live freely. Our identity is not tied to our accomplishments, possessions, or what others think. We aren’t easily angered, because we’ve let go of trying to control people and situations. We are not paralyzed by the voices of the past or the future. Instead we focus on managing our present responses, believing that the providential will of God is revealed in the relationships and circumstances of our everyday life.” (Kevin Scherer)

“God willing, we strive to keep Christ our Lord and Savior in our hearts with deep reverence, joining our souls to Him. We must never cease “to follow the Holy One of Israel” (Jeremiah 2:3), allowing Him guide us in every circumstance of life.” (OCPM 10/25/2016)

“No matter how well we live our Christian life, circumstances will not always turn out the way we want…Prayer changes everything because it releases God’s wisdom into your circumstances (Tullian Tchividjian, Follow Jesus)

“It is one thing to become a…Christian; it is another to live as a responsive servant of Christ at all times and under every circumstance. To do so means being on “ready alert,” to borrow a term from the military, emergency teams, and the utility companies. Because most of us are not sufficiently aware of the actual conditions prevailing in the spiritual dimension of this life, we behave like inexperienced children – we are liable to paralysis by fear, over-dependence on familiar resources, and an inattentiveness to heart matters. For this reason Christ our Lord provides instruction and encouragement to awaken us and bring us to a higher state of alert.” (Dynamis 12/6/2014)

“To feast upon the Lord is to draw our nourishment from Him. We look to Him for all we need in life—spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and physically. We learn to rejoice in Him regardless of our circumstances." (Skip McDonald)

“Sometimes our plans – even the ones we think God has approved – have to be put on hold indefinitely…We can choose to learn and grow in our present circumstances, whatever they may be.” (Life Application Study Bible, 1 Samuel 16;19-21)

“If you find yourself in a “negative” or unpleasant situation, look for ways to redeem the circumstances. There is never a time or place in which you can’t glorify and serve God.” Life Application Study Bible, Acts 28:30)

“Waiting for God to help us is not always easy…When caught in the storms of life, it is easy to think that God has lost control and we’re at the mercy of the winds of fate…Often blessings cannot be received unless we go through a trial of waiting.” (Life Application Study Bible, Psalm 40:1-3, Luke 8:23-25)

“The great mistake we keep on making is thinking that reality can be seen from our vantage point, as though we stood at the center of things and were able to make an accurate survey of the surrounding truths...God and God alone stands at the center, just as He is present in every periphery and everywhere between. Only God has a clear view of reality, because only God has reality in Himself.” (Hieromonk Maximus)

"…we should be slow to judge our circumstance and trust God that He is working out His will for us and that His will is always what is actually best for us even when it doesn’t seem that way….It’s our trust in God during our circumstance despite the worldly outcome that is ultimately what is important.” (Sacramental Living Ministries)

"If God has called you to live in the world, then you are the light of the world. Whatever the outward circumstances of your life, however chaotic things may be at times, you can have a little monastery in your heart where you may retreat to find solitude and strength amidst the troubles and temptations of life. Remember,"The kingdom of God is within you” (Luke 17:21)." (Archimandrite Vassilios Papavassiliou)

“Each time we sense God working in our circumstances, our faith grows. At the end of our own strength lies the beginning of His power." (NIV Men's Devotional Bible)

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