I want to begin this by telling you that I totally woke up with feelings I hate to have and that is distrust in people. So the beginning of this lesson only sets the stage as to what I really want to talk about. Please forgive me for beginning this lesson like this. I got up this morning and had lots to do, but wanted first to spend time with God and ask Him what He wanted me to do today. Pretty much the same, tell people about me and in some way give them hope for the day. Well, today…I really didn’t feel it. I wanted to whine about what is going on in my city, state, and country…let alone around the world.
We just went through an election in America, and I could not write all my thoughts about that down. Why? Because I don’t think this election was honest, that either side tells the truth, that our government is corrupt to the core, and even though I know there are a good many men and women who serve and are not corrupt…it is very hard to pick them out anymore. Everyone has some type of agenda. I believe that many who begin as good people with honest ideas…somewhere along the way they are tempted, tested, and bullied into doing things that they thought they never would do. Why? Because people compromise their values somewhere along the road…and one day they wake up and they are not different, it seems, from the very ones that they said they would never be like. Oh, I know someone just got their panties in an uproar here. I love God and I love my family, and I love my country. What I hate is evil, liars, cheats, corruption, and people trying to deceive others so they can climb a ladder and get rich and powerful in the process.
So today, I’ve let something get to me (quite a few actually). My mindset has shifted. My tempo feels cracked, and my pace feels disconnected. Lord, please forgive me. I need you more today than ever…and I need your peace. I got up and the world today is pretty sucky. Not just here in America but all around the world.
I had turned the TV for a few while I put on some coffee and did a couple things before coming in here to write this. I live in Arizona. We had an election. People want to fight about everything. Everyone says they are right and the other people are wrong. They call each other names and want evil to get them, but they are eviler than the ones they want it to happen to.
In this election…Florida counted their millions of votes before the night was done, but oh…..not Arizona. The votes hadn’t moved one percent in hours…yes, I said hours. Today, is the 10th and nope….the vote is still at like 67% two days later and the news said it might be next month before they know who won anything. Really? What a crock of poopoo! It could be that they send a delegation of people with brains to Florida and see how they are competent…when Arizona seems so incompetent. (Sorry to any who do their job right…Sorry!) Yes, before I begin here I had to get out the fact that I am down-right frustrated with our government.
But……..yes, I began with a but. I have found out that I can go to God and no matter what I might be feeling God convicts if I am wrong, and will show me the way no matter what I am feeling. Feelings change! Feelings always change. Yes, we do have a choice in our feelings. Ok, God, I am listening. I need to feel better here about all this. (Trust me…God says! Calm down, I have everything in control even what you or others do not understand) Whew! We did our part and we read and listened about the elections around the country, we wanted to make godly decisions about whom to vote for and who would be best for our country didn’t we? But God reminded me that He is in charge no matter what we see here. The thought that then came to my mind (silly) He is a great chess player. He knows people’s moves before they do, and knows which way to play. We are on the winning team so I know I can trust Him even when all I see is chaos everywhere. So today, I really am out of sorts…I woke up in what I would describe as a fog. All it took to get here was to put a news station on and hear that they don’t even have the results good or bad.
Yet…next…I thought nope….not doing this. I’m Going to go talk to God for even if He reprimands me for my feelings…I know He always has my back. I can always trust what God says. God never told me I had to agree with the world, compromise His word to get along etc., but I need to trust Him because even when we don’t understand…He knows best, and He knows the plans He has.
So even if today…I feel off…I know God is going to carry me over the finish line. I don’t have to be a runner here…I can walk, even slowly, and know that He is walking with me and will take me over the finish line when my time here is up. There is always more in life we can learn. One lesson to learn is no matter who lets us down or does us dirty, God is there at every hour and moment of our day. I never have to suffer alone. What I need to do each morning is work smarter! Oh, it sure might have felt better to stay in bed, and cover my head up, but that is not what God wants for us.
Lord, I need to stop and return to my center, and my center is You. I need your peace, today Lord. I don’t want to fill like this.
We are all born dying. Crazy thought today right? The very moment we take our first breath we are headed toward dying one day. Some live a long life, while others don’t have that opportunity.
Paul makes four statements that describe how Christians respond to the trials of life.
“We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.”
Okay, Lord…what can we take from this? We’re not always perplexed, but it happens more than we think or want it to happen. We do not always face resistance, but sometimes we do. And not every day are struck down by the circumstances of life, but it does happen to all of us at some time. We are alive so we will face “stuff” in our lives and that “stuff” is not always what we want or fun to go through.
The pressures of life we can’t allow them to defeat us. If we give up we get crushed as though we are grapes in a wine press. I don’t want to feel that any longer. Pressures, for many, may not be a daily thing, but in all of our lives we will face issues, circumstances, problems, doubts, tests, trials, and temptations. We can face those and go on. How? You go to God and let Him help you.
“We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed” (NLT). I felt this way today. I felt pressed the moment I turned the news on and heard the garbage they spread out on the news station. Yes, we listen to news…but we have to weight what we hear by the word of God. There is so many fake and disgusting lies being told out there that we must weigh everything by what would God say about this.
I know that my God is not a God of confusion. If I am confused regarding something/anything then I know it did not come from God and I need to stop and find out the truth in whatever the “it” is. Confusion will discourage us, but the truth should energize us to do what is right.
We can be perplexed, but not in despair. I know I don’t always know which way to go, or which choice to make (on my own). Life is tough people. Since we don’t know what will happen even five minutes from now, life can throw us a curve ball. Sometimes we face circumstances that are so confusing that we honestly don’t know what we need or what we want or what would be best. Examples: My son was killed in an instant. My cousin had heart attack and died five minutes after he was outside with his wife (he was young). My life changed a lot after an accident I was in. My best friend who always seemed so healthy…we went on a walk and she said she didn’t feel good and would I call and have someone pick us up. She died a week later from cancer. Life is tough and stuff comes our way all the time. We don’t know what our day will hold.
So………………….Lord, today is a new day. It is new for me and for anyone who takes the time to read this as well. Please show each of us what you want us to do today? How can we be a light for you and not darkness like the world wants us to be?
Paul himself said in Romans 8:26 that sometimes we don’t know how to pray. There are moments when the pressure is so great and we are so tired and worn out and life has become so confusing that we honestly don’t know what to say to the Lord. Exhaustion and circumstances wear us all down sooner or later. We just give up when we should stand up and say…Stop! I won’t give up. I’ll go to God and ask Him what to do. We need to cry out to Jesus to have mercy on us. We need to pray more diligently. Whenever we are confused about anything….run into your prayer closet and talk to God. He will listen. God doesn’t always answer the way we think He should, but His answer is always 100% right. When we are confused, Jesus is not confused, and we can fully trust Him. Life doesn’t depend on our understanding of the big picture. When we are at our wit’s end, God is just getting started. Often, God does his best work when we have given up completely.
Don’t allow the oppositions of life to deter you. God does not abandon His kids. God says He goes after the one to get them and He will pursue them.
However, we live in a hostile environment, and we have an enemy in this world. No matter where we go…he can show up there. He is not our hero. He is the enemy, and he is the devil. He has a lot of evil ones along with him to go out and cause havoc in this world. The devil uses many people in this world to come after us and put situations in our way that we must deal with one way or another.
Even, Paul knew about this from own experiences. Everywhere he went his Jewish opponents followed him. They stayed on his path, harassing his character, defaming his preaching, insulting his message, and stirring up opposition inside and outside the church. They never gave him a moment’s rest. That’s why the NLT translates this as “We are hunted down.” I bet many of you feel like this also.
Whenever we, as Christians set out to do anything good in this world, someone is bound to oppose us. It is life and the way it just is. You can choose to go out and do what God wants you to do, or you can back out, compromise, and just give up. The choice is ours to make. Whenever, we choose to do right in the sight of God we will, at some point, face opposition. The devil hates people who truly do the work of God.
We are not abandoned by God. NEVER! God never tells us to face life alone. When He is our number one…we can find answers.
Think on this a moment: The devil is like the worst bully anyone will ever face. He loves to bully people, cause havoc, tear your life apart, destroy your marriage, kill your kids, mess with your health, wealth, and whatever it is you like…just beware for the devil wants to cause problems in whatever way you like. But God is like: “Don’t worry about anything. I’m going with you. If you need me, I’ll be there for you.”
“Go into all the world and make disciples. But remember this. You’re not going alone. I’m going with you. I’m backing your play. I’m right beside you. You cannot fail because I am with you wherever you go.” No, this does not ever mean that everyone you talk to will get saved and accept Jesus for they will not do that. Some will and some won’t. You plant a seed, or you water the word, but it is God who brings the harvest. God knows who will accept Him and who won’t. Our part is to be faithful and do God’s will.
We often look at the great challenge of reaching the world and think, “It’s impossible.” I mean, look at your own home, family, street, your neighborhood, your classroom, your office, your store, your company, the people you see every day. Tough crowd. How will you reach them? Some will listen when you tell them about Jesus and others will think you are crazy and want left alone. Pray for them. Keep praying for them. Your one talk might be festering in their mind, and you just don’t know.
Ok…you might be having some really hard times. Things seem so overwhelming and you just have no clue what to do…right now! Whatever happens, whatever you lose in life won’t destroy your salvation. It causes havoc here for sure, but you can make it through no matter how difficult it seems at the moment. We can be struck down, but not destroyed.
“If you live long enough, you’ll be hit with some kind of “devastating news.” Do you think you can make it through life without a sudden emergency, an unforeseen incident, the late-night phone call ( I got that one), the crisis that seems to come out of nowhere, the catastrophe that overwhelms us, or the earthquake of trouble that rocks our world.” We just don’t know what each day will bring into our life that we must deal with.
There are many things that come our way that are annoying for sure, but most things we deal quite well with. It is the tough ones that cause our mind havoc and give us feelings of what can we do in this situation. In this life the rain falls on the good and the evil. Problems arise “Into each of our lives some rain must fall,” we know where to find the umbrella when we see the dark clouds gathering, but when the tornado, tsunami comes our way we don’t know what to do to protect ourselves and our loved ones.
It is pretty true that we all plan for the rainy days of life, but what happens when you are in the midst of that storm and don’t know which way to go? Think of the crime in America these days. You do all you can to stay safe, but the crooks don’t care what you planned for. They know, in many places in America, right now they can hurt someone, steal, rape, and even murder and they might get arrested, but before the day is over they are out of jail and go out and commit more crime. But you………..your family….has to deal with the pain of what happened. Just know this each and everyone of those criminals, and each and everyone of our so-called leaders who allow this to happen will stand before God and they won’t get off or con Him. I know that for now that doesn’t seem to make things better, and doesn’t for many…but hang on. God will deal with all of these evil ones.
Sometimes we think bad only happens to us and our loved ones…that is not the truth. What happens to others happens to us too. We get sick, our children get sick, we get laid off, the recession takes away our savings, the chemo doesn’t always work, and sometimes we end up in divorce court. Again, life is tough. But Jesus is coming soon and when He does…all our pain on this earth ends.
Anyone can sing when the sun is shining. Anyone can pray when things are going well. Anyone can give when things are good in your life, but what about when that “stuff” comes and life seems unbearable? Will you still sing to the Lord? Will you still thank Him for what you do have?
God has not promised us a rose garden while upon this earth, for just look at the rose…it has thorns as well. Sometimes we just get stuck! Our victory comes in heaven. Our journey here just gets us to the finish line, and Jesus takes us across into eternity with Him (if we are truly His).
Life is hard, and we face danger at every corner. I know the pressures of life. I have been through so many and some were so hard…but God helped me make it through. He will help you as well.
I have never known anyone who got to choose their pain and troubles. I don’t want your troubles and I know you don’t want mine. We each get our own set of troubles in life. As I look around at people and see the tragedies they are or have gone through in their life my heart breaks for them. Oh my goodness…I hurt for them. How can they deal with this or that? How could they stand under all of that? I don’t need to list their pains but you know people who are hurting and going through horrific things in life. Do you want their pain? Nope! I hope they make it through and I, in my own mind, can’t even imagine their suffering for themselves or the ones they love.
I don’t know about you but I know that God has saved me from many disasters. I never understood why. I did a lot of really dumb things in my life, hurt a lot of people I didn’t mean to, made bad choices in my life…yet, I know God got me through it. Why? Because He loves me and didn’t want me to go to hell. I don’t know how many times He gave me chance after chance to get right with Him. I wonder what would have happened to me or my loved ones had I rejected Him. I want a beautiful life like everyone else, but wouldn’t we just like to have an easy one? Then I think about what going through this life is really like. I know that God’s word says in this world we will suffer, we will have troubles, we will distress and so on. It comes with life. But, how we deal with it says a lot about us. I might have been broken many times, but God came along and super-glued me back together. That is love!
I then think about how horrible that cross was that Jesus was nailed to that day. It is His love for you and I that took Him there. Had He not chosen to go there and die in our place we would be toast. As bad as that cross was, it also was the most beautiful gesture that ever happened. Without that cross, we could never go to heaven and spend eternity with Him.
So how can we glorify God during our trials? We face them! And the Lord Jesus will be glorified by the way you respond to your trials. It is quite easy to lash out when hurting, but quite another to honor God in the midst of our pains. I have also found out that in the midst of problems God just might be allowing them to get us to go to Him. It would be better for us to run to the cross than run our mouth.
I just know that by writing this lesson all I want to portray here is to love and trust the Lord no matter what you are facing in life. Do not look at your circumstances…look to God. Pray!!!!!! God is building and paving our road right into glory. Don’t you stop and don’t give up. You fight and keep fighting. You keep going and one day you will cross that finish line right into the presence of God. We have a great God…let us stand on His word, do His will, and cross that finish line victoriously. Have a blessed week everyone. May God bless you, keep you, provide for your needs, heal your body, and make your path in life one you can make it through.