Meet God in Your Hard Times

November 20, 2012

Coach Micheal Burt says that after we go through adversity, we can stay beaten down, rise back up to where we were, or use the adversity as a spring board to rise above where we began.  In a lot of areas, I think he may be right.

I believe adversity affects our faith in a unique way.  I’ve certainly seen people go through job loss, a marriage breakup, or a death of a loved one and never really get back to where they were before in their faith.  Their trust in God was so shaken that they simply turned their backs on God.  I feel for those that I’ve known who have lost their faith and stay beaten down.

Victor Frankl who went through a concentration camp at the hands of the Nazis wrote:

“Everything can be taken from a man or a woman but one thing:  the last of human freedoms to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” 

No matter what our situation, we choose our attitude and we choose if we’re going to trust God in our circumstances.  Our attitude is STILL our choice.

Some believe that after going through hard circumstances that you can get back to where you were, back to the norm.  I don’t believe that.  As a follower of Christ, He hasn’t called us to “the norm.”  If we only go back to “the norm,” we’re really becoming stagnant.  “The norm” is not a place to shoot for either.  God wants us to use our experiences to make us stronger.

When we go through adversity, though our faith was shaken, our foundation remains if we choose to hold onto it.  After our experience, we remember how God didn’t remove us from the situation but He walked with us through it.  We think about how His strong arms held us when we didn’t think we could go on any longer.  Maybe we know from experience that He sent people to us for comfort. The choice to continue trusting Him is ours.

When hardship and pain knock you to your knees, find God there.  He is there waiting for you.  Don’t stay the same.  Don’t go back to normal.  Let Him hold you and rise above it.

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Don’t Even Think About It

January 13, 2012

Ever try to get backstage at a concert without a backstage pass?  It’s not easy.  There is usually a big guy named “Brutus” standing there.  Nobody gets past Brutus unless Brutus says it’s ok.  Brutus is the gatekeeper for backstage.  He opens the gate and he shuts it. One look at his biceps and you know that you don’t mess with Brutus.  He’s the gatekeeper.

You are the gatekeeper of your mind.  There isn’t much that can go there without you saying it’s ok.

What we allow to go into our minds can effect just about everything about us:

  • Our relationship with our spouse
  • Our health
  • Our relationship with God
  • Our attitude
  • How we feel
  • How long we live

As a Christ-Follower, we are told to set our minds on things above and not on earthly things.  (Colossians 3:2) 

Craig Groeschel recently taught in the “Better” series from LifeChurch.tv that there are 3 Keys to having a Better Day.  I believe they are key to setting your mind on things above.

1.    Constant Communication With God

The Bible tells us that we are to “pray without ceasing.”    As we go about our day, concentrate on seeing things though the eyes of God and the lens of Scripture.

Even if we have a quiet time in the morning, which is VERY important, sometimes we walk away from that time and forget what you learned from God during that time.

As you see people and experience situations, pray on the go as you drive, walk, and go about your day.  Stay in constant communication with Him about EVERYTHING that happens during the day.

2.    Instant Obedience to God  (Galatians 5:25)

As my daughter, Rebecca said in yesterday’s blog, it’s crazy to think about what we miss out on because we get distracted during the day.  If we stay in contact with Him, we will begin to see opportunities to serve Him.

Sometimes we may get an urge that we believe is from God.  Take a chance!  If you feel an urging to give someone $10, do it.  If you feel like you’re supposed to go and talk to a stranger, start a conversation.  If you think God wants you to go take a hamburger away from “Brutus,” you might want to pray a bit more about that one.  lol

Could the idea in your mind that you think may be God speaking to you ever be simply a case of bad pizza from the night before?  Yes, but you could also miss out on the leading of God if you don’t act.  If you think he may be leading you, take the risk!  You’ll get better at it as you walk with Him over time.

3.    Daily Desperation for God

If we begin to realize how desperately we need God on a daily basis,  we will draw closer to Him.

It’s easy to go about our daily life with the attitude of, “I’ve got this one God.  I’ll let you know if I need you.”  The Bible talks about how we should passionately desire God the way a thirsty deer longs for a drink.  Passionately pursue God every day and realize your need for a relationship with Him

Finally, when negative thoughts come in your mind, take them captive.

“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and WE TAKE CAPTIVE EVERY THOUGHT TO MAKE IT OBEDIENT TO CHRIST.”  2 Corinthians 10:5

Stopping negative thoughts at the door is the work of the gatekeeper too.  Work on putting the above 3 habits into your mind but reject anything negative that will bring you down.    Maybe you need to limit certain tv shows, contact with certain people, or maybe even your thoughts when you daydream.

When something negative tries to enter, don’t let it.  Tell the negative thought trying to get into the gate of your mind, “Don’t even think about it!”  

You are the one who decides what goes in. 

What’s one thing that distracts you from thinking the way God wants you to think on a daily basis?