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June 2017

21 June – No need to grumble and grunt – (secrets to contentment pt 3)

benjamin-franklin-on-contentment-and-wealth2

Benjamin Franklin once said, “being content makes poor men rich; discontent makes rich men poor.” Discontentment is described in the dictionary as not content; dissatisfied, with a restless desire or craving for something one does not have. Being discontented usually leads to being disgruntled, which sounds exactly like what it is – dissatisfied, with grunting and grumbling. Disgruntled actually comes from “gruntle”, an old verb meaning, “to grunt”.

When we examine our lives and attitudes how much time and energy do we spend discontented and disgruntled? How often do we grumble and grunt throughout the day? If we were honest many of us would say far too much, far too often.

However God never planned for us to spend our days grumbly and grunting around the place. Actually Jesus said, “I have come to give you life abundant, where you know peace that surpasses understanding regardless of your circumstances (John 10:10; Philippians 4).

Perhaps some of our discontent is because we are too impatient, lacking in faith, and always wanting what we do not yet have. We forget in our discontent that God loves us and wants the very best for us. As a result we seek to take control; striving to make things happen ourselves, which often only leads to bad choices, hasty decisions, and living beyond our means.

A key however to living a contented life is found in Philippians 4:11-13 when Paul states that he was able to live happily within whatever situation he found himself. In essence some of what he said is that, “I make adjustments as needed and live beneath God’s provision level – whatever it may be. I build some margin between my spending and God’s provision, and that margin leads to contentment, which leads to peace.

I have learnt that God always provides; even when “stuff” happens such as job changes, the economic climate, our good and bad decisions, and the choices others make that affect us. If we put our life and future in God’s hands He will provide; He will support and help us; even if he has to multiply food in the cupboard, send others into our life to encourage us, or speak to someone else to give a helping hand when we need it most. But it is our responsibility to be listening and be obedient to God, and in how He is directing us so that if necessary we can make adjustments. At times that may mean we need to simplify our life, our lifestyle, spending and demands, as we diligently pray, work and seek to free ourselves from whatever debt we may carry, or work through any other issues in our lives.

God is always busy looking for ways to bless us and to grant us the desires of our hearts. One of the tasks the angels have is to set up divine opportunities and meetings so as to position us where we need to be. But a lot of the time we can miss or delay things because we are too busy grumbling and complaining, failing to trust in God’s goodness towards us.

Let’s learn to be contented regardless of our circumstances as we trust God and choose to learn to live joyfully within His provision in every season. Wisdom teaches us to be content with what we have, and to build, pray and believe diligently and patiently for any increase and breakthrough.

Today spend some time renewing your thinking and attitudes by discovering what God says in His word about your future and the plans He has for you. Remember that God loves you more than you will ever know. He sees you and His heart is to give to you, so that you will know peace and true contentment all the days of your life.

“He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all–how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?” (Romans 8:32)

 “For the Lord God is a sun and shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.” (Psalm 84:11)

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do; and he will show you which path to take.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)

Prayer: Lord thank you that no matter my circumstances I can trust in you. Help me to make wise choices, to live within my circumstances, as I trust in you to provide and bless me in every season of my life. In Jesus name Amen.

20 June – The secrets of contentment (Pt 2)

learnt to be content

When Paul in the bible wrote, “godliness with contentment is great gain” (Timothy 6:6), he wasn’t just speaking about a feeling or way of life that was beyond our reach. No, Paul was sharing that he had learnt the secret of being content in every circumstance of his life and that we can all share in this happy state.

He’d discovered firstly that contentment is being sufficient, lacking nothing, being self-contained, and needing no outside assistance. He found this sufficiency in knowing Jesus and the provision and strength found in His promises.

For those of us willing to learn there are some keys that Paul discovered that can also help us live a contented life.

1.Firstly it is to give thanks in all things. Thankfulness and expressing gratitude are characteristics we most often see in those people who live a joyful contented life. They just seem to have a peace about them and a grateful heart regardless of their circumstances.

Case in point would be my experience earlier this week when I was feeling especially grumpy one morning. I was telling God that I wasn’t impressed with some things that I thought he should be working a little more quickly on, when my Mum called and started talking about how wonderful it was to see all of our children growing and loving Jesus. As she kept talking I quickly checked my attitude and acknowledged how blessed we were. I started to give thanks for the good things in my life and as a result the issues that I had been feeling angry about soon fell away from my heart and mind, to be replaced by a sense of contentment and thanks that God really does love me and that He is in control.

If we want to learn to live a contented life we must recognise that we have a void in our life that only Jesus is able to fill. He is the one who makes us who we are; and when we understand who we are in Him and how much we mean to Him we will gain peace and contentment.

“For God shows his love or us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)

Behold I have engraved you on the palms of my hands.” (Isaiah 49:16)

For I, the Lord your God hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, “Fear not, I am the one who helps you.” (Isaiah 41:13)

Secondly we keep a thankful heart for what we do have rather than what we don’t. That doesn’t mean we thank God for sickness, loss, relationship breakdowns, financial lack and struggles because He doesn’t orchestrate those things in our lives. What we do give thanks for is that He is faithful to His word, that nothing can separate us from His love, and that He has a plan and a way through any of the challenges we may face in life. That is how and why we can give thanks in every circumstance, not for the struggle, but because He is with us and will enable us to walk through every difficulty victoriously.

In everything give thanks, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18)

Paul wrote that he had learnt how to be content; which means that we too can learn how to live a life free from the discontentment that many people wrestle with all their lives.

Let’s begin by acknowledging that any emptiness in our life Jesus can and will fill, and to choose to give thanks in all things, because God is faithful to His promises and will carry us through every challenge. Then we too can write as Paul did:

“Actually I don’t have a sense of needing anything personally. I’ve learnt by now to be quite content whatever my circumstances. I’m just as happy with little as with much, with much as with little. I’ve found the recipe for being happy whether full or hungry, hands full or hands empty. Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am.” (Philippians 4:11-13 The Message)

Prayer: Lord thank you that you promise I will be alright in every circumstance of my life because you are the one who makes me who I am, and in you I can do all things. Help me to learn more and more each day that I have all I need, am fully supplied, and lacking nothing in you, for you are all I need. In Jesus name Amen.

19 June – Are you contented?

contentment1

I would hazard a guess that most of society lives in a constant state of discontentment. People seem never to be happy with their leaders, partner, spouse, children, jobs, or any of the things that they have been blessed with. People allow discontentment in their lives over their  house being too small, the TV being an older model and their smartphone doesn’t have the latest technology. So what’s a person to do to find contentment in such a discontented world, and why can’t we seem to find what we are looking for?

Perhaps it is because many people, Jesus followers included, are trying to fill a void of some kind in their lives, and unfortunately try to fill that void with things that can’t satisfy. People often look to fill the void with possessions, holidays, success or money, but end up wanting more. Or they try to fill it with relationships or sex, only to end up feeling even more empty and depressed than when they started.

The bible however talks about contentment coupled with godliness being of great gain.

1 Timothy 6:6 says, “now godliness with contentment (that contentment which is a sense of inward sufficiency) is abundant and great gain.”

Those things we try to fill our lives with aren’t necessarily bad things in the right context, but when they become the end goal, and the reason for our being, we end up being discontented because those things were never meant to fulfill us.

Contentment is described in the bible as sufficiency; in that whatever circumstances we we find ourselves in we know that we have all we need. That kind of sufficiency God teaches cannot be found in our possessions, any achievement, or ourselves. The only place that we can really find true fulfillment and contentment is in relationship with Jesus; primarily because that is what we were made for.

He wants to fill every void within us, and to calm the storm that is often raging inside. To quiet the discontentment, frustration, and disappointment at how life can often turn out, and our constant striving to be successful and well thought of by others.

Paul discovered this godliness with contentment, and that when he lived in that place of sufficiency in Jesus whatever circumstance he found himself in He was content. He discovered that when in relationship with Jesus it didn’t matter whether he had plenty or not, or was suffering adversity He could remain unmoved because outer circumstances were not where he found his joy and peace. They were found in Jesus and His abiding presence.

In Philippians 4:11-13 Paul writes, “Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.”

Today know that you can find contentment in Jesus and in following after Him. He actually promises when we seek Him and His ways first that He will add to us all the other things that everybody else struggles so much to gain (Matthew 6:33) Contentment can’t be found in people, possessions, or money. In fact those things may hinder our pursuit for true happiness and contentment. Contentment is found in knowing Jesus and having Him central to our lives. It’s in having faith in Him and in His promises that we will have everything we need.

If they obey and serve him, they will spend the rest of their days in prosperity and their years in contentment.” (Job 36:11)

“Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else?” (Romans 8:32)

“His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.” (2 Peter 1:3)

“A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones.” (Proverbs 14:30)

Prayer: Lord please help me to be contented and to find my sufficiency, worth and joy in knowing you. Show me each day that regardless of my circumstances I can rest contented in your promises and love for me. In Jesus Name Amen.

 

 

18 June -On His Shoulders

on his shoulders

If as a parent my desire is for our children to know what to do, which path to take, and to be successful in their life, then why is it that people often think that God would not do the same for them? He is a loving Father, and the bible teaches us that He always wants the best for us. When our children are faced with a problem they come to us and ask for some help, prayer and wisdom. It’s actually one of the first things they do. Why? Because they know we love them and will do anything we can to help them overcome what they are facing. Sometimes that’s just a word of advice and wisdom or redirecting their attention off the problem and onto the solution. Other times it’s giving them a helping hand, or a shoulder to cry on.

God as a loving Father is much the same, but infinitely better. We can also come to Him with our problems, needs and the things we hope to achieve. He is ready with wisdom from His word, will redirect our attention if we are heading off on the wrong path, sends help in the form of both angels and people, and offers us comfort and strength. Not only can we cry on His shoulder, but also He will, just like Dad’s often do, lift us up on His shoulders so that we can see the view ahead more clearly as He carries us along.

God has big shoulders and He can easily carry our loads, lift us up when needed, and help us with any problem we may face. He’ll help us to stand on the mountaintops, and give us wisdom and strength for the journey. All we need do is Ask for His help, go to His word for wisdom and revelation, and listen and do what it says, as we hold onto Him.

Psalm 27:5 says,“For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion; In the secret place of His tabernacle He shall hide me; He shall set me high upon a rock.”

Next time you are faced with a problem, need or just want some encouragement, take the time to draw near to God and to search in His Word for the answers you need. Pray until you get revelation, trusting that God will show you what to do. And if you get tired and just need a rest, always remember that you can go to God and let Him lift you up on His shoulders, because none of us are ever too big for Him to do that.

“In the wilderness where you saw how the LORD your God carried you, just as a man carries his son, in all the way which you have walked until you came to this place.” (Deuteronomy 1:31)

The Lord always keeps his promises; He is gracious in all He does. The Lord helps the fallen and lifts those bent beneath their heavy loads. The eyes of all look to you in hope; you give them their food as they need it. When you open your hand you satisfy the hunger and thirst of every living thing. The Lord is righteous in everything He does; He is filled with kindness.” (Psalm 145:14-17 NLT)

Have a listen to this song by Josh Groan called “You raise me up” to encourage you today. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xj8wHfBKoRU

Prayer: Lord thank you that you lift me up and help me to know what to do and where to go. Help me to not get in a flustered mess when faced with challenges or decisions, but to stop and draw on the wisdom found in your Word and the indwelling guidance of your Holy Spirit. Thank you that when I need it you are always happy to lift me up on your shoulders, and to carry me along. In Jesus Name Amen.

17 June – When no-one is looking

when no one is watching

When I was little I had this thought that everything I thought, said or did was being recorded. I kept on thinking that there were these two little men with a film camera following me wherever I went documenting my life inside out.

This constant thought actually kept me from getting into too much trouble, acting as an ever present awareness that what I did and thought mattered, and I was going to have to give an account for my life at some point in the future.

Nobody really said much as I was growing up about accountability, or that “God is watching you” that I can remember but I knew that I was not alone either way.

As an adult I chuckle now at my two little cameramen running about recording my life story, but perhaps it wasn’t so far from the truth, for the bible actually says, “As surely as I live, says the Lord, every knee will bow before Me; every tongue will confess to God. “So then each of us will give an account of himself to God.” (Romans 14:11-12)

Maybe if we all had a greater awareness of God knowing our every thought and action it would help us to think twice before we acted, spoke or allowed wrong thinking to remain unchecked for too long in our hearts and minds, and especially when no one else is looking.

Often the question we would benefit from asking ourselves is “who are we when we think no one is watching”? That’s not necessarily the social media persona that everyone likes to portray of their lives on Facebook etc; of the places we go, the food, clothes, destinations or perfect family images we post, or the viewpoints and media presence many of us are guilty of consuming from the world’s celebrities. Hopefully we all know that these things are often manufactured to be what we want people to think about us and are usually not a real portrayal of anything.

What I am talking about is the real us – who we are when we think it doesn’t matter; when we are at home, with our family or alone. What we are reading, watching, thinking and how do we behave with those around us in our everyday lives? Because that is actually who we are, and sometimes that is very different from what we might publically portray or even want to be.

But God knows us, and we will all have to eventually give an account to Him. He says, “I, the LORD, search the heart, I test the mind.” (Jeremiah 17:10)

Psalm 139:1-5 says, Lord, you have examined me and know all about me. You know when I sit down and when I get up. You know my thoughts before I think them.

You know where I go and where I lie down. You know everything I do. Lord, even before I say a word, you already know it. You are all around me—in front and in back—and have put your hand on me.” 

Today examine your own heart and be honest about who you are when no one else is looking. God knows so we aren’t fooling Him. But He also neither condemns nor withdraws His love from us when we are less than who we ought to be. He simply says, “You need me, and I’m here to love and forgive you for any failings, and to fill with you with all the love, strength, patience, self control and goodness you need to be the person I have made you to be.” “Come and learn from me, and I will give you rest and strength for the road ahead.” (Matthew 11:28; Isaiah 40:29)

Prayer: Lord I need you. Forgive me where I have messed up, and please fill me with your love, hope and strength today so that I can be the person you made me to be, even when no one else is looking. In Jesus name Amen.

“Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matthew 11:28)

“He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.” (Isaiah 40:29)

 

 

 

16 June – Campfires

campfires

As a child I loved the times of the year when Dad would gather all the wood and rubbish from around the surrounding paddocks near our house and make a bonfire. We were allowed to let off fireworks back then, and fortunately none of us lost fingers or an eye in the process. Dad’s bonfire pile was massive and my siblings and I would wait with excitement for a night when the weather was fine enough to set it alight. The sky would light up with the flames from the bonfire, numerous fireworks Dad had set off and the sparklers we all held as we stood around the blazing fire.

I still love campfires, and the times of the year when we take time out to gather around on family and church retreats, or just because we can in the back yard. We grab the guitars, our singing voices, bags of marshmallows and our jackets and beanies. Then we all carefully choose a long enough stick to toast the amazing amounts of pink and white mushy marshmallows there always are, and we commune around the campfire.

I always end up looking around at everyone and reflecting on how thankful I am that we have all chosen to be here, in this space together. That we’ve taken time out of our busy schedules and hectic pace of life to stop, to gather and to just sit as the flames of the fire warm our faces. We laugh at the singing and the discussions of who has the best skills at toasting marshmallows, and who’s eaten the most. We sing some more, eat, tell stories and thank God. And at night we all go off to bed with the smell of smoke in our hair, and our hearts and tummies full.

On contemplation I believe God loves campfires, because when we gather in community; when we rest back, and just enjoy being alive it blesses Him. There is harmony and refreshing in that space, and God says that He is not only present with us, but that He also commands His blessing when we unite together.

The bible says, “For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst.” (Matthew 18:20)

Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.” (1 Thessalonians 5:11)

God loves to see us happy, rested and enjoying the life He has blessed us with. Perhaps He wonders why we don’t live this way all the time. Why we don’t gather  more often with no agenda but just to stop, to chill out and to enjoy His love and one another’s company as we thank Him for simply being here?

Every culture has it’s campfires; for some it is a literal camp or bonfire, a hangi, umu, or around the backyard bbq. For others it’s candles, fairy lights, and a dinner table. Whatever your “campfire” preference or experience lets take the time to have more “campfire” moments with those in our lives. Whether that is our immediate family, work or sporting mates, school or uni friends, our church community, or all of them rolled in together. Let’s gather together more often, and why not invite the neighbours and ask God who else you can invite that could benefit from some “campfire” love, and the sticky delights of a toasted marshmallow.

Behold how good and how pleasant it is for brothers and sisters to dwell together in unity. It is like the precious oil upon the head, running down on the beard of Aaron, running down on the edge of his garments. It is like the dew of Hermon descending upon the mountains of Zion. For there the Lord commanded the blessing – life forever more. (Psalm 133

Prayer: Lord thank you for the simple pleasures of coming together with you and others. Help me to lay aside the cares of my day and week and to learn to appreciate the importance of creating “campfire” moments regularly in my life and in my community. Would you also point out those around me who feel alone and need to be invited to come around the “campfire” too. In Jesus name Amen.

 

 

 

15 June – Teamwork

teamwork

Tonight I’m sitting watching our eldest son Ben at his third soccer training session for the week. It’s cold and the lights are coming on because it’s going to be dark out on the pitch soon. But Ben and his teammates don’t seem to notice any of that. They’re busy running laps and doing drills together, laughing and participating in friendly banter with one another. From a huddle of young men that didn’t really know one another a few months ago they are building a team.

Being part of a team is about being part of a family, with a common goal and vision. It’s good for us; it helps us to connect, to learn more about ourselves, to gain leadership skills, to give to others and to hone our people skills (they’re the skills that allow us to interact with others and involves communication, attitude and work ethic).

My husband and I are a team. We have grown to learn how to work together, to rely on each others strengths, and to fill in the gaps with one another’s weaknesses. We help one another to get things done, and to fulfil the dreams God has placed in our hearts. We always endeavour to back each other up, and we know we are better together!

But “better together” didn’t just happen overnight. Much like a soccer or football team, there’s been times as a team we’ve had to change strategy, to regroup, to hone our skills in an area to make things work better, and to choose to keep running when the going has gotten tough.

We’ve discovered that we really need to rely on God, our coach for directives on how to “play” well, and how to navigate as our team has grown bigger with children, friends, work and church family. We’ve discovered that we don’t have to “fly solo”, because God will always bring people around us if our hearts are open and we allow Him to. (Psalm 68:6)

We know that we need to constantly be strengthening and building the basic team of Jesus and us, and then He’ll add from there. For without that solid foundation and connection with Jesus it’s much more likely to all topple down and we’ll end up in an exhausted heap.

Helen Keller an American author, political activist and lecturer who was the first deaf and blind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree knew the importance of teamwork. Her many accomplishments were made possible through the teamwork and friendship of her instructor and teacher Anne Sullivan. Helen Keller said, “walking with a friend in the dark is better than walking alone in the light, for “alone we can do so little, together we can do so much”.

Today as you go through your day don’t forget to check how your team is looking, and seek to strengthen it? How is the foundational team of you and Jesus going? Have you taken some time to listen and hang out with Him recently; to hear His plans and strategy? How are the other team members around you, your partner and family, your church, work or social group? Because being part of a team means making a commitment to one another, determining to fill in the gaps when someone else can’t, to back each other up rather than join the opposition, and to believe in one another.

“Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble.” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12)

Prayer: Lord thank you that you are always willing for me to be on your team and part of your family. Help me to know just how great a team that is, and to choose to include those people that you have brought around me to be part of my winning team too. I don’t have to fly solo anymore. In Jesus name Amen.

 

 

14 June – Agree to disagree???

agree to disagree

Something strange is happening around us, and some of us may have started to notice it. We used to have debates in class at school, university and in our social groups. We talked freely about life, our values, faith and the state of the world. As we grew up we were educated about the power of free speech and to never take for granted these blessings that we have living in a democratic “free country”. We studied history and different places in the world where others didn’t enjoy these rights and were punished or imprisoned for their views and beliefs, and we felt sorry for them and quietly thanked God we were born where we were.

However it seems things may have changed and that we too can no longer express so freely, nor debate, share our faith or values. That we can agree to disagree with those with a difference of opinion without fear of verbal and even physical attack and retaliation regarding whatever point of view we may have.

Everywhere we look from the schoolyard, workplace, universities, and social and public settings people are now living in fear of being able to express their thoughts, concerns and opinions. I’ve talked to young people in their teens and twenties (my own children included) who have been or are afraid to speak or stand up for what they believe, even if they feel uncomfortable or threatened, because they genuinely believe they will be attacked either verbally or physically if they do. So sadly they often remain silent and afraid.

But when did that become okay – that we were too afraid to speak up? Where freedom in speech, beliefs and opinions are maligned in all sectors across the community because people no longer can agree to disagree without wanting to tear strips off each other?

What example are we setting for our children and the next generations if we can’t even have polite, civil conversations with others anymore? Instead we go at each other like pit bull’s thinking it’s okay to “bite and tear” away at one another’s heart’s and souls.

What are we teaching them when our world is modelling to the next generation that if they have the courage to speak up and to give their opinion; to debate and discuss their values, faith and choices that they also better be prepared to be hated, threatened and even physically abused by those who may not agree with their point of view.

Interestingly even God gives each of us a choice to disagree with Him and what He says. He gives us a free will to agree to disagree if that is what we choose. He’s put before us life and death; blessings and cursing’s, and leaves it up to us to decide. He loves all of us, He cares, and He has carefully lain out the consequences in His word of those choices, but ultimately He allows us to disagree with Him if that is what we want.

The truth is people are going to disagree with us, but if God can lovingly allow all of us to choose without hating on us, can’t we do the same for our fellow man. That doesn’t mean we become pushovers with no voice, but it does mean that we speak only when we can do it in love and self control, and when God gives us the go ahead and guides us. It’s His love and kindness that leads people to repentance, and it’s our example of this love and kindness that will reach into the heart’s of all those around us to heal, set free and bring much needed reconciliation and the answers the world so needs.

We must remember that the person who disagrees with us is not our enemy, but our brother or sister; made in the image of God, with hopes and dreams just like us. (Ephesians 6:12) It’s in each of us choosing to love each other, even when it’s hard, that will change this world from a place of hatred, venom and negativity into a place we want to raise our children and grandchildren in.

Let’s aim to do better. To walk, talk and act with love and kindness. To pray for a world where we are not afraid to speak and share our hearts, our faith and our values in freedom; where we love regardless, and that it’s all going to be okay.

Jesus said, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:34-35)

Do not let unwholesome (foul, profane, worthless, vulgar) words ever come out of your mouth, but only such speech as is good for building up others, according to the need and the occasion, so that it will be a blessing to those who hear you speak.” (Ephesians 4:29 AMP)

 “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:12)

Prayer: Lord please help me to see that my fellow man is not my enemy, and that I would be sensitive to what you want me to say and do in every situation I find myself. Please help me to pray and believe for more; to love in greater measure, and to govern higher, for the sake of the children and future generations. This is my time and responsibility, so please help me to govern over the nations well. In Jesus name Amen.

 

 

 

 

13 June – Suck it up!

get it together

Sometimes we just have to “suck it up”. That may sound crass or even harsh but there are times in our lives, and especially when we may be facing difficult situations that this is true. If challenges and hard stuff is staring us in the face, and we are sliding into a pit of despond, that is when we need to pull ourselves together because otherwise we are probably going to end up in a big hole which we will then have to pull ourselves out of again.

Sometimes “pulling it together” means getting some help; talking to someone about how we feel, asking for people you trust to pray with you for a breakthrough, taking care of ourselves, and if necessary getting some professional help. It means going to God and casting our cares and burdens upon Him and listening to what He says. It’s searching out His Word for the answers and then holding onto and declaring those promises.

The bible says repeatedly to, “Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7 NLT)

“Give all your burdens to the Lord, and he will take care of you. He will not permit the godly to slip and fall.” (Psalm 55:22 NLT)

However contrary to popular culture and belief it is never beneficial in the midst of difficulties and for our mental, emotional, and spiritual health to have a pity party, melt down, or serious hissy fit. Nor is it helpful or very pleasant for those who have to live and work with us. We can express our emotions if need be, but in doing so we must be mindful to watch what we are saying because words are powerful and act as containers for our faith. We frame up our worlds by our words; God spoke the world into being by the power of His words (Hebrews 11:3), and we are made in His image with the unique and powerful gift from God of having power in our words to destroy or to build up; to create or to tear down.

It’s when we are feeling the most vulnerable and under pressure that we must not let go of our self restraint, faith and trust in God and allow ourselves to have a pity party. We do have to “suck it up” at times, to stop feeling sorry for ourselves, quit thinking we are the only ones going through a rough time and start looking at the positives, the possibilities, and what we do have available and in our hands to use and move forward with.

God cares, He actually does know what we are going through, and He has promised that He will be with us through it all. He never said it was going to always be smooth sailing, but that in actual fact we would face trials, tribulations, and things in which we must persevere through. He encourages us when we are facing difficulties to not “lose it” but instead to continue to use our faith, His word, and our trust in Him to stand, and when we’ve done all else to just keep standing, for we will overcome if we do not give up.

When we remain steadfast and keep speaking God’s word, angels are able to go to work on our behalf, and Jesus says that He Himself is the High Priest of our confession. This means when we speak and believe in agreement with the bible, Jesus is authorised to administer and carry out on our behalf of the words that we say. (Hebrews 3:1) However He is not responsible over our confessions in the midst of our hissy fits, negativity or faithless words, for He is High priest over deliverance, righteousness, and freedom; over our faith filled words, and not our feelings.

Today, give Jesus and the angels something to work with in your confession. Go back to the basics if need be and remind yourself of who Jesus is, what He has promised and who you are. Remember what is actually important in life; count your blessings, get some perspective and if need be “suck it up” and get back out there to live and fight another day.

“Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again – may Saviour and my God!” (Psalm 43:5NLT)

Therefore put on the full armour of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.” (Ephesians 6:13)

“Those who guard their mouths and their tongues keep themselves from calamity.” (Proverbs 21:23)

Prayer: Lord please help me when I am finding it difficult. Set a guard over my mouth so that I would not speak those things that aren’t of any benefit, especially in regard to who I am and my future. I choose to believe what you say about my life in your word, about who I am, where I’m going, and that together you and I always have a plan, a hope and a future. In Jesus name Amen.

 

 

 

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