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Summary: A little girl had just finished her first week of school. "I’m just wasting my time," she said to her mother. "I can’t read, I can’t write and they won’t let me talk!"

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Overcoming Pessimistic and Complacent Opinions

(Zeph. 3:16,17)

"The Lord your God in the midst of you is mighty. He will save. He will rejoice over you with love. He will rest in His love. He will shout over you with singing."

OPINIONS

On the first day of school, a first-grader handed his teacher a Note from ! his mother. The note read, "The opinions expressed by this child are not necessarily those of his parents."

KETCHUP

A woman was trying hard to get the ketchup to come out of the jar. During her struggle the phone rang so she asked her 4-year-old daughter to answer the phone. "It’s the minister, Mommy," the child said to her mother. Then she added, "Mommy can’t come to the phone to talk to you right now. She’s hitting the bottle."

SCHOOL

A little girl had just finished her first week of school. "I’m just wasting my time," she said to her mother. "I can’t read, I can’t write and they won’t let me talk!"

As seen in a dog’s diary:

7 am - Oh boy! A walk! My favorite!

8 am - Oh boy! Dog food! My favorite!

9 am - Oh boy! The kids! My favorite!

Noon - Oh boy! The yard! My favorite!

2 pm - Oh boy! A car ride! My favorite!

3 pm - Oh boy! The kids! My favorite!

4 pm - Oh boy! Playing ball! My favorite!

6 pm - Oh boy! Welcome home Mom! My favorite!

7 pm - Oh boy! Welcome home Dad!! My favorite!

8 pm - Oh boy! Dog food! My favorite!

9 pm - Oh boy! Tummy rubs on the couch! My favorite!

11 pm - Oh boy! Sleeping in my people’s bed! My favorite!

There are plenty of reasons that it is said, "A dog is man’s best friend. They are upbeat and they do not complain.

When people look at the news on TV many people become pessimistic and start to complain about the seeming hopelessness in our circumstances. Yet, we must remember that God is in control and His love, power and truth still conquers all. Jesus said, "In the world, you will have trouble, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world." (John 16:33) John wrote, "Greater is He who is in you than He who is in the world." (I John 4:4)

In the book of Zephaniah we are taught that the prophet was used to warn the people of Judah that if they refused to repent the entire nation would be lost. Zephaniah told them that in order for God to bless them he must first judge them for their sin. There is consequences for sin and it is God’s method of purifying His people for His greater purposes and the display of His splendor. Even though we live in a fallen, sinful and corruption oriented society yet we can be optimistic and actively involved in carrying out His will in all of His aspects with vigor.

Luther wrote, "Though this world with devils filled should threaten to undo us. We will not fear for God has willed His truth to triumph through us. The prince of darkness grim. We tremble not at him... His kingdom is forever."

Though we are surrounded by evil we can hope in God. David wrote, "Why are you cast down O my soul. Hope in God for I will yet praise Him. For He is the help of my countenance and my strong tower." (Psa 42)We can count it all joy when we encounter various trials knowing God is in the midst of us using all things for our benefit. (Rom 8:28,29) He is for us so who can be against us?

Zephaniah teaches us several key lessons:

1. God cannot undue the consequences of sin as the wages of sin is death, but He can bring mercy, restoration and the completion of His mighty plans. Therefore, let us sing, rejoice and praise Him for His capacities to turn tragedies into His greater triumphs. Let us worship the Lord for His mighty, sovereign power and engineering capabilities to turn any Red Sea experience in to a legacy of His overturning capacities.

2. To escape God’s chastening we must learn to listen to Him, accept His correction, trust Him and seek His guidance in all circumstances. If we accept His Lordship over our hardships He will teach us new insights that will make us better rather than bitter, cynical or distrustful and tepid in our response to adversity.

3. Let us not be preoccupied with the negative news reports that besiege us when we listen to the TV. The news media is primarily interested in ratings and they follow the mantra, "If it bleeds, it leads." They tend to promote the gruesome as they know it will gain them greater notoriety. Learn to overlook and not concentrate on the horrid, awful and skeptical projections of people who want to stir up attention for their own advancement.

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