Monday, June 6, 2011

Taking the Land, Or Kicking the Devil's Behind

We all face problems in life, that is nothing new. There is sorrow, betrayal, sickness, accidents, extreme weather, financial woes, car troubles, kid troubles, and death, just to name a few. No one is immune, and for those of faith, we know that God is not on vacation.

Because I am facing some adversity of my own, I decided to give myself a pep talk. Here are things that I know I need to do.

Stay Focused on Today: it is so easy to think about what will happen a week, or a month from today. The truth is that two days before my heart attack, I was blasting along on the treadmill at 6 mph training for a 5K road race. Think about what was happening a just a few days before you lost a job, heard about a serious sickness, met your spouse, or won the lottery. (Strangely, I feel like there are no lottery winners reading this blog.)

Matthew 6:25 “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them.

James 4:13 Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will[a] go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit”; 14 whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.

The Lord provided the Israelites enough manna for one day. That is the promise.

I was talking on the phone with my friend Bill. He asked how I was doing, and I proclaimed that I felt like a unexpected check would come in the mail the next day (Wednesday). It did!

Don't Shrink Back: It can tough out there in life. Our faith is not religious jewelry that we display in Christian debates, but it is a connection to the Rock of out Salvation. God has made us people of perseverance and longsuffering. I know the Driv-Thru Christians don't always like to hear that. We want it now, want it to be easy. But come on, is that the testing of our faith which refines us? Paul said the worst thing they can do is take our lives, and even that is victory.

Hebrews 10:39 But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who believe and are saved.

Accept Help: Adversity is the time when all the faith you think you have gets put to good use. We believe that God will take care of our need, or we don't. In some way or another, many Christians have problems understanding blessing. One thinks that blessing is everything going their way. Another thinks that it is the byproduct of something that they did, while another feels that they somehow have earned it. Worse, some have too much pride to let others be a blessing to them.

Blessing is that which is freely given to us by our Father in Heaven. If we are truly in fellowship, those that love us will quickly be prompted to help out. I know that my church, though they are 55 miles away, have made the trip to visit, and provided other types of help. It is humbling, but it is the Kingdom.

Nehemiah 4:6 So we [all the Jews] built the wall and the whole wall was joined together to half its height, for the people had a mind to work.

Be Positive: This is the tough when when things are truly out of my control. It is easy to say "This will never get better." I have to remember that 1/3 of the people that contracted the virus I had died from it, and 1/3 never recovered or needed heart transplants. I recovered.

I can be down about the finances, but millions have lost their home sin the US, not to mention how people live in some third world countries.

Colossians 4:2 Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving.

Make it Easy: It is is easy to worry, it is easy to complain when we are uncomfortable, and it is easy to feel abandon by God when the ship is breaking up in the rough seas.

God didn't promise me an easy life.

Matthew 11:30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.

Who about you, how do handle adversity?


Arny said...

i like this post...

It is really difficult to believe in God's promises when it feels pitch black in our circumstance...

I pretty much handle it the same way....I keep my cool...(sometimes)...and wonder, Hey,,,if the birds get taken care much more will I or my family.

Unknown said...

God bless you david.... love your short article...i can relate to it in so many ways ....pls pray for me...

photogr said...


This is one of your better post. Wisdom is readily apparent in this post.

The one that stands out for me is the "Be Positive" thoughts. Yep, you are one person blessed. It wasn't luck that you survived and recovered. It was the many prayers and God's grace that pulled you through.

I am sure God has plans for you in the future. This incident was only a glitch in your service to Him. He has saved you for future ventures.

God Speed.

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