Trials, Troubles, Heartaches and Victory…

Romans 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”

“Trials, Troubles, Heartaches and Victory”

Little Jessica suddenly became America’s child the day she fell down that narrow shaft in a backyard in Texas. Here was a toddler, wedged nearly upside down, in a shaft far too narrow for a man to navigate, and unable to help herself in any way. It didn’t take long for the press to descend on that little hole in the ground to cover this valiant effort to try to save little Jessica’s life. Pretty soon countless people across the country and around the world were rooting and praying for her life. I was one of them. At first, there appeared to be no way out of this deadly situation, but the rescuers weren’t giving up. They began to build a wider shaft parallel to the one Jessica was trapped in. She’d been in there for nearly three days when a rescuer finally went down that new shaft and through the tunnel they had dug to Jessica. Minutes later – a scene many of us will never forget. In the glare of the press’s massive lights, a battered but breathing little girl emerged from that hole with her arms tightly around her rescuer.

Many times you and I fall into a similar spiritual situation that we see little Jessica in. We are trapped in a spot, in a situation where there does not seem to be any way out. We cannot plan our way out, think our way out, talk our way out or work our way out. Fear can set in or worse yet complacency. Can you recognize those areas of your life when that happens? Or may it even be happening right now? If not, it will sooner or later. At that moment we are facing a situation that is beyond our power to fix or to figure out.

Our usual delivery systems in our life, the people or sources which would usually come
through for us just aren’t doing it. Not this time. And worse yet maybe we have fallen into the trap so often that complacency has set in. We have given up trying to doing it God’s way. Or maybe we even have ourselves convinced that God is not right there with us at every moment and situation in our lives. We feel like there is no way to turn this around. We are at the bottom of the shaft, beyond the reach of any conventional help.

God offers us this comfort in times of trials or troubles;

Matthew 11:28-29 “Come unto me, all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and you shall find rest unto your souls.”

The snare that entangles us can come from a multitude of directions. One is from satan as he seeks to trip us up. As believers, he can no longer have our souls but he can keep us from serving Jesus.

Ephes. 6:12 “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”

Another is from our flesh when we do not flee youthful lusts as II Tim 2:22 reminds us to do. We dabble in them and as James 1 notes that dabbling leads to sin. And Genesis 3 and Romans 6:23 reminds us of the penalty for those sins is spiritual and physical death. If that sin goes unconfessed then complacency and depression set in. And yes, while believers cannot lose their salvation sin can wreck their testimony, their happiness and even affect their family and generations to come. We lie to ourselves when we think we are only affecting ourselves or that God does not see the sin (Psalm 37).

Another are trials sent from God (James 1:2, 3) to help develop us into the servants He desires and hopefully we desire to be. There can be no lasting peace and joy outside of serving Jesus and allowing those trials to mold us. Acceptance offers the peace of God that passes worldly understanding.

Philip. 4:7 “And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

Another is the heartache other people bring into our lives. Simply because they may view wrongly the reason for their difficult moments, they may be conformed to the world, their lack of acceptance of trials, their unsaved condition, their lack of accepting God’s trials to mold them; they can make our lives miserable.

Fortunately, God our heavenly Father enters the situation when snares entangle us. And yes, there is a Way out. Psalm 25:15 “My eyes are ever on the Lord, for only he will release my feet from the snare.” If you are facing something for which there seems to be no conceivable solution, then do not give up and crawl into yourself. If you have placed your faith in Jesus and are one of His children then all things do work together in our lives for good and most importantly for His names sakes (Rom 8:28). As a believer the only thing in our life that He cannot be the Author of is sin.

Nobody sees God bigger than those who need Him desperately. That is if they seek Him.
As King David said in this psalm, “Only He” can release you. Isn’t that great? God wants you to believe Him for a solution that will have no human fingerprints on it, only His. It must be Him and Him alone.

  1. W. Tozer said, “The child of God should always be found living in expectation of the divine.”
    And he was right on track. In all things God says to lay our requests before Him and seek His wisdom (Psalm 1:1,2, Mat 6:33, James 1:5,6) If you are at one of those Red Sea moments then the question is, where will you turn?

If God chooses to use humans to deliver His resources to your life, remember it doesn’t come from them. They are but a tool that God uses to direct us.

John 15:5 “I am the vine, you are the branches: He that abides in me, and I in him, the same brings forth much fruit: for without me you can do nothing.”

Dealing with Stress…

Dealing with Stress!

Did you ever have one of those days when you felt the whole world was against you?
Each of us has those times in our lives and how we deal with them determines our peace of mind in this life. The key to understanding them is recognizing that our God cares for us and wants to be our strength in life and provide us with peace that passes worldly understanding.

Yes, even during and especially during those bad days|||||||||||

Psalm 55:22a “Cast your burden upon the Lord, and He shall sustain you;…”

Psalm 40:1-3 “I waited patiently for God to help me, then He listened, and
heard my cry…He lifted me…and set my feet on a hard, firm path and steadied me…He has given me a new song to sing.”

I Pet 5:7 “Casting all your anxiety upon Him, because He cares for you.”

And fortunately for us His love is not dependent upon our love for Him.

Rom 5:8 “But God demonstrates His love for us, in that while we were yet sinners,
Christ died for us.”

Have you accepted God’s love?

 John 3:3-16Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” …For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”

Idle Hands are the devil’s Workshop…

Proverbs 14:23 “In all labor there is profit, But idle chatter leads only to poverty.”
Idle hands are the devil’s Workshop

After the fall experienced due to the 1st sin of Adam and Eve most of mankind many times spend most of their time looking for the formula for relaxation. We are told by our world that that should be our focus in life and we expect that it will give us true happiness and contentment. It’s that picture of sitting in the lounge chair with your favorite snack and drink while having financial and physical security and not a care in the world. That philosophy is based on our world’s thoughts and goals which should be a huge warning to us. Actually I always feel best when I am busy doing eternally valuable work projects.  Projects that lift up God’s name and not my name.

I do believe that God designed working to keep us content even before that first sin messed everything and everyone up.  Not overwhelmed but busy. Actually when I find myself with no projects in front of me I am at a nasty stage of mental unrest. And I suppose those around me are well aware of it due to my poor attitude. We just are not designed to sit around and do nothing.  In the Garden of Eden sin placed a wall between God and us. Prior to that wall being put up by our decision to sin the art of being active or busy was enjoyable and valuable. Listen to the effects of work before sin as God’s word records it.

Genesis 2:15 “And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the Garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.”

And then we tried to improve on our knowledge base by disobedience.  Yes, I said we because you and I have the same fleshly desires today that Adam and Eve had. That 1st sin and every one after it by every human being caused some nasty things to be added to the act of being active and busy.

Genesis 3:17-19 “And unto Adam he said, Because you have hearkened unto the voice of your wife, and have eaten of the tree, of which I commanded you, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for your sake; in sorrow shalt you eat of it all the days of thy life; Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to you; and you shall eat the herb of the field; In the sweat of thy face shalt you eat bread, till you return unto the ground; for out of it were you taken: for dust you art, and unto dust shalt you return.”

There will be thorns and thistles in the work environment.  We as CHRISTians must realize we are working for a much greater cause than what we did when we were the lost sinner. And it is one that should bring joy to our being busy and active. If the CHRISTian’s work motives and attitudes are correct that will have eternal significance.

Rev 1:6 “and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.”

“In our tranquility how many golden hours we throw down the stream that we are never to see again. The time may come when we would give rivers of oil, the wealth of both Indies, and the mountains of precious stones, if they were ours, to recover one lost moment! Who is there among us that knows how to value time and prize the day at a due rate? Most men study rather how to pass away their time than to redeem it. They waste precious hours as if they had more than they could tell what to do with. Our season is short, and we make it shorter. How sad a thing it is to hear men complain, ‘O, what shall we do to pass the time?’ Alas, even the Lord’s Day, the purest and most refined part of time, how cheap and common it is in most men’s eyes! But O, when trouble comes; when the sword is at the body, the pistol at the breast, the knife at the throat, death at the door, how precious would one of those despised hours be! Evil days cry with a loud voice in our ears: ‘Redeem the time!’ (Eph 5:16). In life threatening dangers, when God threatens, as it were, then we can think of redeeming the time for prayer, reading, meditation, and study. We then gather up the very fragments of time, that nothing may be lost. Then God teaches the soul the wisdom of redeeming the time.”

–Thomas Case, When Christians Suffer, pgs 52, 53

There is a time to relax and even to regroup as we see in scripture. But for the most part we need to keep busy. “Idle hands are the devil’s workshop” is an old saying with much truth….! There is much to do for our Saviors glory and for His kingdom and our time is short!

James 4:14 “Whereas you know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time, and then vanishes away.”

Fear, Anxiety or Faith – my Choice…

Fear, Anxiety or Faith – my Choice!

Do you have any anxieties this morning? Most of us have the flesh or human nature attacking us in this area. Will I keep my job, will I get a promotion, will my health hold up, will our government collapse, what do they think of me, how will I……?

When Jesus is Lord of your life, you need not fear. Both the now and eternity are in His control for your life. And isn’t that a good thing? God, who created me and has a purpose for me in this life is more than able to guide, direct, protect and yes even discipline me when necessary.

Psalm 89:8-11     O Lord God of hosts, who is like You, O mighty Lord? Your faithfulness also surrounds You.
You rule the swelling of the sea; When it’s waves rise, You still them.
You Yourself crushed Rahab like one who is slain;
You scattered Your enemies with your mighty arm.
The heavens are Yours, the earth also is Yours; The world and all it contains,
You have founded them

Psalm 89:15-18a   How blessed are the people who know the joyful sound!
O Lord, they walk in the light of Your countenance.
In Your name they rejoice all the day, and by Your righteousness they are         exalted.
For You are the glory of their strength, and by Your favor our horn is exalted.
For our shield belongs to the Lord…

These passages are but a few out of God’s word proclaiming God’s control of our lives if we let Him . So….

Phil 4:6, 7 “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.7 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”