In the moment of desperation when every attempt seems to fail the cry arises, “all I want is...”
This little phrase which I have said both in my heart and with my mouth many times in the past has now become a great indicator of what my greatest desire is in a particular moment. Recently, I have had some difficulty with my eyes after one of the lenses to my glasses got lost in the woods. As a result, I found an old pair of glasses to wear from about 6 years ago. Things were blurry, but it was much better than trying to wear a pair of glasses that only had one lens. Nevertheless, one thing was clear, if I didn't get a new pair of glasses soon I was going to be getting head aches and having a difficult time reading. Therefore the same day I lost the lens I went to an eye doctor that assured that I they could get me a new pair of glasses with in a week. Nearly three weeks later and having been told that my glasses should have come in on 6 separate dates, my eyes were really starting to bother me, and I found the cry coming up from my heart: “all I want is to get my glasses so I can see.”
We can have two reactions to tribulation - we can be OVER-WHELMED if we focus on the details of the difficulty and potential pain and suffering about to occur; or,
we can allow ourselves to be OVER-WHOMED by focusing upon
the One WHO holds our lives in the palm of His hand.
When our focus in upon Him - this is our reaction:
"who can be against us?" "What can separate us from His love for us?"
"Thou wilt keep in PERFECT PEACE him whose mind is steadfast
because he is staid upon THEE!"
We should check our reactions to sudden difficulty to learn where our focus is.
Are we seeing WHAT might happen or are we seeing
Him Whose grace is always sufficient?
We will nearly always submit to what we have focused our thoughts upon. If we focus upon the danger or the difficulty facing us, we will submit ourselves to fear and our actions will indicate where our focus is.
When we become more conscious of His sufficient grace than we our of the degree of difficulty we are in our, actions will begin to reflect the calm assurance derived from focusing upon the One WHOSE love nothing can sever.
"Though a thousand fall at my left hand, ten thousand at my right hand
it will not come near me."
May we learn to cease being overwhelmed by
the WHATS of life
and be steadfastly OVERWHOMED by
the HIM of LIFE!
“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.”
Though many of us know that we should love each other, the weight of this instruction is often held lightly. If we truly understood what was at stake if we did not keep this command, it would likely motivate us all the more to learn how Jesus actually loved His disciples.
Jesus was patient when His disciples didn't understand Him. He explained simple truth again and again when they failed. Though He was honest, He was never obnoxious nor did He treat them like they were worthless. Rather, He sought their good even unto the sacrificing of His soul. This is the kind of love we are called to have toward one another.
"There was silence, and I heard a still voice" (Job 4:16, margin).A score of years ago, a friend placed in my hand a book called True Peace. It was an old mediaeval message, and it had but one thought--that God was waiting in the depths of my being to talk to me if I would only get still enough to hear His voice. I thought this would be a very easy matter, and so began to get still. But I had no sooner commenced than a perfect pandemonium of voices reached my ears, a thousand clamoring notes from without and within, until I could hear nothing but their noise and din. Some were my own voices, my own questions, some my very prayers. Others were suggestions of the tempter and the voices from the world's turmoil.
Trials are a big part of our daily life, but some are much bigger than others. When difficult situations arise that have a great impact on our lives they have a tendency to become the focus of minds. It is as if we get a magnifying glass and repetitively scrutinize our problems. Here in this whirlwind of thoughts, fear creeps in and worry takes over. In this moment, spiritual wisdom and discernment quickly fade to carnal / natural reasoning. We can be sure that when our hearts are no longer at rest our thoughts are not coming from God. It is at times like these that we must follow the example of the apostle Paul: “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:16-18). When we face great trials we must fix our eyes on what is unseen. This is the life of faith to which we have been called! It is the core essence of Christianity to not see the world through carnal / natural eyes, but to look into heaven and discover the perspective of the God who loves us. This is how our Lord was able to walk in the Spirit while He was being brutally mocked, beaten, and killed. His eyes were not fixed on His trials, but on the eternal glory that His father was accomplishing (Hebrews 12:2). Likewise, we too can share in Christ's power by simply setting our minds on things above.
"I trust in thy word" (Ps. 119:42).Just in proportion in which we believe that God will do just what He has said, is our faith strong or weak. Faith has nothing to do with feelings, or with impressions, with improbabilities, or with outward appearances. If we desire to couple them with faith, then we are no longer resting on the Word of God because faith needs nothing of the kind. Faith rests on the naked Word of God. When we take Him at His Word, the heart is at peace.
Message delivered on Sunday February 24, 2008 in the adult Sunday school class at
Trinity Baptist Church,160 Changebridge Road, Montville, NJ 07045.
One area that has marked our life together which has also both validated and illustrated the power of the gospel in days gone by has been the decided modesty and the distinctive femininity of the dress and the demeanor of the women in this church, the decided modesty and the distinctive femininity.
However, in the past year or two there has been a marked erosion among us in both of these areas. We have had men come to us vexed in their hearts and in their minds as they struggle to maintain mental purity before God, eyes that do not become the inlet of lust on the basis of what they see.
Have you noticed how hard it is to be thankful when you really aren’t thankful?
Oh, we might think that we are doing a good job convincing ourselves that we are thankful but deep down we know that we really aren’t thankful. We might think that we are doing a good job convincing those around us that we are thankful but in reality they probably know that we are struggling and we really aren’t thankful. We probably even think at times that we can convince God that we are thankful, when we are not, but He cannot be deceived – He knows better.
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One of the greatest battlegrounds that Christians face is the mind. Struggling with thoughts can often sway emotions and dictate the quality of our day. Difficult thoughts are stirred up the most when people hurt or misunderstand us. It is during these times that our minds begin to race and our emotions start to flare. The feeling can be quite overwhelming and its power to captivate us is frequently very strong. While in this sea of turmoil it can be nearly impossible to stop ourselves from thinking evil thoughts about others. Nevertheless, there is a way out of this cycle which can liberate our minds and free our emotions. The key to victory in this battle is love.