(repost from 2012)
Challenges have been bombarding! Circumstances are crowding in! People are passing along their anxiety, fear,frustration, and anger my direction! Life seems a tad overwhelming to … I cannot handle it!
Does any of this sound familiar? As challenges and circumstances overtake us, we do not need to be overwhelmed. As we work with people, we will not have perfect relationships because people are not perfect. We must point ourselves to the Word of God to see how He would have us respond.
While reading Galatians 5, the Holy Spirit changed my mind to a new way of thinking.
Stand fast in the liberty the Lord has given me. I have the power, through the Holy Spirit, to choose a different response to life and people. I can rise above circumstances, as if I was not involved in them, so the Holy Spirit and I can choose a different response. I do not need to take on other people’s anxiety, fear, frustration or anger. I do not need to be anxious, fearful, frustrated or angry. I can help them by asking them how I can pray for them instead. Satan is prowling around ~ seeking whom he may devour ~ that’s us Christian. (1 Peter 5:8) Satan does not want me to have the victory but I CAN have victory through the Lord!
Don’t be tangled up with my past way of doing things which really is bondage. The Lord can give me a new path to follow ~ a new way of doing things.
When you stumble, you may ask, “I ran well … what happened? Who made me stumble from obeying the truth?” The Bible says, “That response did not come from the Lord!”
The one who troubles me will bear his own judgment. The Lord will deal with the other person’s responses to life. I just need to forgive them.
I should not bite and devour anyone so I will not be consumed by anyone. I need to serve others through love instead whether that is through prayer, giving them a Bible verse, meeting a physical need, etc. I need to love my neighbor as myself.
I have the freedom to choose the right way to live so here are God’s strong words to us …
WALK IN THE SPIRIT! It kills fleshly ways!
(Repost from 2012)
“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, he hears us.”
1 John 5:14
By now, we are into the busy fall schedule at our churches. We love summer and a time away, but it is good to get back into a routine. What new or perhaps old responsibilities have you taken on for this coming year in your church? Are you enjoying the work you are doing for the Lord or do you already feel like you are overwhelmed or in a rut? How many times do we decide to do something, try something new, or even do the same thing we have been doing for years without consulting God and His will for this ministry? We might wonder why a ministry is not effective. Could it be because we do not pray in advance asking the Lord to mold us into the ministry, to equip us by the Holy Spirit and to submit to His leading? Maybe we did pray but on such short notice that we did not give God the time to work answers in our heart. Perhaps what is lacking is a freshness & joy in our ministry from the very beginning because we started what seemed good to us rather that this is of God’s will. Sound like something you are experiencing?
If a man remains in me and I in Him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” Here is our hope, our existence for life and our provision for ministry; it is Jesus Christ and Him alone. Is it not Jesus and His will upon which our ministries and we must rely? May we return Jesus to His rightful focus in our desire to
serve and be the Master of our ministries.
What does the word “hope” say to you? I’ve come to love that word, “hope”. To me, one who has hope has confidence. A person who is hopeful cannot help but be positive in their outlook.
I have a goal of doing a Scripture word study on the word “hope”. Do you know how many times the word hope is used in the Word of God? On the BibleGateway.com website, I put in a search for the number of times the word hope occurs in the New International Version of the Bible, and it gave me 174 times. 18 of those occurrences were in the book of Job and 31 of those were in the book of Psalms. The “weeping prophet” Jeremiah used the word hope 14 times in Jeremiah and Lamentations (certainly some, but surely not all, of those were references to when he had lost hope or the Israelites had lost hope).
Jeremiah 29:11 says, “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’”
Lamentations 3:21-22 says, “Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.”
Psalms 42: 5, 42:11, and 43:5 all say the same thing: “Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.”
I have struggled on and off with feelings of “hopelessness” in my life. Sometimes these feelings come because of physical difficulties. Sometimes they come because of being emotionally drained. But when I go to the Word of God and find Scriptures like the ones quoted above, I cannot help but find comfort and peace in the Lord because He is my Hope and my Comfort. He is my Peace and my Salvation. He is faithful to His word and He is the One I can praise. As I praise Him I find Hope!
Some time ago I was listening to a radio broadcast on my way to work. The program was about a man who had been a minister of the Word for many years. When he was age 47 he went through a very difficult time of depression in his life. He had such a hard time continuing on with his ministry. But he did because he knew God had called him. He stated the times before going to church on Sunday morning were probably the darkest times for him. It was most difficult for him to get the courage to go. But he did and he found that as he gathered with other believers and worshipped the Lord, and shared the Word of God with them, he was most encouraged and found great hope! It took time for him to come out of these difficult days, but eventually he realized that when he focused his thoughts on God and the Hope that he had in Him, he was able to get through each day stronger and more hopeful than the day before.
HOPE – what does that word mean to you? To me it is a confidence that I can have, even when days are hard, that God is with me and He will get me through even the most difficult times. We don’t know what the future holds for any of us. But we do have HOPE because we know our future is in His hands!
HOPE – I know Heaven is in my future! When my work on this earth is done, however long or short that time may be, I have HOPE (confidence) of going to Heaven, being reunited with loved ones who have gone on before, and seeing Jesus face to face. This has nothing to do with me – it is all to do with what Jesus has done for me. What a glorious time that will be!