September 22, 2021

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Subject: Troubles

Golden text: I Peter 3:14-15*

But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, 15 but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect.

I Kings 18:1-18

After many days the word of the Lord came to Elijah, in the third year, saying, “Go, show yourself to Ahab, and I will send rain upon the earth.” So Elijah went to show himself to Ahab. Now the famine was severe in Samaria. And Ahab called Obadiah, who was over the household. (Now Obadiah feared the Lord greatly, and when Jezebel cut off the prophets of the Lord, Obadiah took a hundred prophets and hid them by fifties in a cave and fed them with bread and water.) And Ahab said to Obadiah, “Go through the land to all the springs of water and to all the valleys. Perhaps we may find grass and save the horses and mules alive, and not lose some of the animals.” So they divided the land between them to pass through it. Ahab went in one direction by himself, and Obadiah went in another direction by himself.

And as Obadiah was on the way, behold, Elijah met him. And Obadiah recognized him and fell on his face and said, “Is it you, my lord Elijah?” And he answered him, “It is I. Go, tell your lord, ‘Behold, Elijah is here.’” And he said, “How have I sinned, that you would give your servant into the hand of Ahab, to kill me? 10 As the Lord your God lives, there is no nation or kingdom where my lord has not sent to seek you. And when they would say, ‘He is not here,’ he would take an oath of the kingdom or nation, that they had not found you. 11 And now you say, ‘Go, tell your lord, “Behold, Elijah is here.”’ 12 And as soon as I have gone from you, the Spirit of the Lord will carry you I know not where. And so, when I come and tell Ahab and he cannot find you, he will kill me, although I your servant have feared the Lord from my youth. 13 Has it not been told my lord what I did when Jezebel killed the prophets of the Lord, how I hid a hundred men of the Lord’s prophets by fifties in a cave and fed them with bread and water? 14 And now you say, ‘Go, tell your lord, “Behold, Elijah is here”’; and he will kill me.” 15 And Elijah said, “As the Lord of hosts lives, before whom I stand, I will surely show myself to him today.” 16 So Obadiah went to meet Ahab, and told him. And Ahab went to meet Elijah.

17 When Ahab saw Elijah, Ahab said to him, “Is it you, you troubler of Israel?” 18 And he answered, “I have not troubled Israel, but you have, and your father’s house, because you have abandoned the commandments of the Lord and followed the Baals.

21st Century Science and Health**

Disorders and problems are more than imagination, they are solid convictions of fear or ignorance and therefore need to be dealt with through an accurate comprehension of the truth of being. If Soul-healing is abused by those who are wise in their own conceit, treatment becomes an irksome trouble maker. Instead of scientifically affecting a cure, a boaster in Science starts petty crossfires over those who are disabled and sick. Humanity should not be knocked around with superficial and heartless remarks like: It’s all in your head. Matter is not real. Be more spiritual. You really are perfect.

When the Science of Mind was a newly tapped-into revelation, I had to impart the hue of spiritual ideas from my own spiritual condition. Teaching was done through the meager channel of the human language, both verbally and by means of a manuscript. As former beliefs were gradually expelled from my thought, the teaching became clearer, until finally the shadow of old errors was no longer cast on Christian Science.

I do not insist that anyone can exist in the flesh without food and clothes; but I do believe that individuals are image, spiritual, and live in Mind, not human mind. Divine Science must be accepted at this period by induction.

Human experience in mortal life starts from a cell and corresponds with that of Job, when he says, “Man born of woman is of few days and full of trouble.”[1] Mortals must break out of this mental cycle of thinking that material life is all-in-all. They must think outside of the box with divine Science and look to the infinite cosmos. Be aware though, that thought which escapes the box and has not yet been instructed by the Science of Truth and Love, may become wild with freedom and so be self-contradictory.

Physiology and genetics are fruits from “the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.”[2] Evil declared that eating this fruit would open our eyes and make us as a god. Instead, it closed the eyes of human beings to our God-given dominion over mortality.

Strength and intelligence are not limited to muscles and brain. Measuring muscles or appraising IQ’s (Intelligence Quotient), or testing people’s cognitive approach to problem solving and decision making are inadequate methods. Strength and intelligence are not at the mercy of non-intelligent matter.

Obedience to the physical laws of health has not diminished sickness. Diseases multiply when theories based on material realities take the place of spiritual truth.

A person may say that indigestion, fatigue, and insomnia cause distressed stomachs and aching heads. They consult their ever-re-wiring brain to remember the troublesome cause when the remedy lies in forgetting the earthbound experiences. Matter has no sensation of its own, and the human mind is all that can produce or feel pain.

As people think, so are they. Mind is all that feels, acts, or interferes with action. Unaware of this or shrinking from its implied responsibility, the healing effort is made on the wrong side and thus the conscious control over the body is lost.

Worshippers more interested in religious ceremonies than in the principles behind the religion, will believe that a ritual, person, place, or thing is necessary for the salvation of their soul. Doctors and pharmacists who believe drugs have power will think their prescription will save life. The belief that ceremonies will save the soul is a delusion. The belief that drugs will save life is a medical mistake.

The human mind is in conflict with itself and therefore produces disordered bodies. To ignore God, the higher Mind, is a mistake. Don’t wait for a strong healthy body before acknowledging God. Learn that God can do all things for us in sickness as in health.

Failing to recover health through treatments based on physiology or gene therapy, the despairing invalid often drops them and as a last resort turns to God. The person would have resorted to Mind first if they had more faith in the divine Mind than in drugs, time, and hygiene. Medical systems grant more power to matter than Spirit, however, when Mind asserts its mastery, we are found harmonious and spiritual.

John 14:15-31

[Jesus said] “If you love me, you will keep my commandments. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, 17 even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.

18 “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 19 Yet a little while and the world will see me no more, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. 20 In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. 21 Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.” 22 Judas (not Iscariot) said to him, “Lord, how is it that you will manifest yourself to us, and not to the world?” 23 Jesus answered him, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. 24 Whoever does not love me does not keep my words. And the word that you hear is not mine but the Father’s who sent me.

25 “These things I have spoken to you while I am still with you. 26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. 27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. 28 You heard me say to you, ‘I am going away, and I will come to you.’ If you loved me, you would have rejoiced, because I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. 29 And now I have told you before it takes place, so that when it does take place you may believe. 30 I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming. He has no claim on me, 31 but I do as the Father has commanded me, so that the world may know that I love the Father. Rise, let us go from here.

21st Century Science and Health

The reaction of mental turmoil has begun and will continue until all errors of belief yield to understanding. Belief is changeable, but spiritual understanding is changeless.

Our spiritual senses are undisturbed even amid the jarring testimony of the mortal senses.

The sharp experiences of mortality, as well as our disappointments and constant troubles, turn us like tired children to the arms of divine Love. Then we begin to learn Life in divine Science. Without this process of weaning, “Can you fathom the mysteries of God?”[3] It is easier to desire Truth than it is to stop our dead end thinking and habits. Human beings may seek the understanding of divine Science, but they will not be able to profit from Christian Science without applying the spiritual facts in their daily life.

Human-made doctrines are failing, growing weaker in times of trouble. Void of Truth-power, how can human-made theologies illustrate the doctrines of Christ or the miracles of grace?

Morphine is administered to a patient and in twenty minutes the sufferer is numb. To the patient there is no longer any pain. Yet any physician—allopathic, homeopathic, holistic—will tell you that the troublesome material cause is still present. Doctors and nurses know that when the influence of the pain reliever is exhausted, the patient will find their self in the same pain unless the belief which occasions the pain has meanwhile been changed.

Step by step, as we trust Spirit, we will find that “God is our shelter, our strength, ever ready to help in time of trouble.”[4]

The heavenly law is broken by trespassing on our neighbor’s individual rights of self-government. We have no authority in divine Science and no moral right to attempt to influence the thoughts of others except to benefit them. In mental practice, you must not forget that erring human opinions, conflicting selfish motives, and ignorant attempts to do good may render you incapable of knowing or judging accurately the real need of those who you are helping.

The belief that the infinite can be contained in the finite embodies a mortal spirit, tends to darken our perception of the kingdom of heaven, and disturbs the reign of harmony in the Science of being.

You can rejoice in secret beauty and abundance, hidden from worldliness but known to God. Constant prayer spiritualizes thoughts and causes the mortal selfhood to be less demanding and distracting. A mindful practice has the ear and right hand of omnipotence and assuredly calls upon infinite blessings.

*Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

** Text from 21st Century Science and Health, 5th edition, copyrighted by Cheryl Petersen.


[1] Job 14:1

[2] Gen. 2:9

[3] Job 11:7

[4] Ps. 46:1 (JB)

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