Saturday, December 4, 2010

Just On My Heart

In the recent circumstances surrounding my life, I have come to the realization that life is just plain hard. While I am not one to be very pessimistic, it is just a reality of this life on earth. Everyone is always going through something. If they aren't, they have before. If they haven't, they will. Nobody can escape it. Oh, the effects of our sinful nature. Not very fun at all.

Relationship problems, sickness, serious sin struggles (then again... what sin isn't serious?), tragedies, things that happen that are out of our control, spiritual issues, economic hardships, and the list could go on and on. If I am to focus only on the bad things and sin problems in life, things could go downhill very quickly, and serious depression could set in. Also, no desire to change things, a loss of hope, and anger (with God or others) could come into play. Then again, if I never talk about and/or acknowledge that bad things happen and sin is a struggle, there is no assistance, no accountability, no change, and no freedom from bondage.

So, now, what do we do with this? For our own lives, we trust the Lord. We realize that He has a plan and promises to prosper us and not to harm us, and to give us a hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11). We come to terms with the fact that hard is not necessarily bad and rest in the knowledge that God doesn't give us anything we can't handle with Him by our side (1 Corinthians 10:13). We get to know Him for who He is and not what we want Him to be. We study His Word every chance we get and delight in it. Prayer becomes integrated in our daily (hourly... minutely...) routine (1 Thessalonians 5:17). Love becomes synonymous with life. We have a passion for the Lord and strive to honor Him in every situation we come in contact with. Obviously we will never achieve perfection, but the Lord gets glory from our pursuit, and our improvement makes temptation easier the next time. Admitting our failures and giving God the glory in our success are crucial to this playing out.

How do we help others understand these truths? Well, this is the tricky part. At the end of the day, we have to be in tune with the Spirit and live out our lives in a Godly manner and leave the results up to God. We can not make people live Godly lives, but we can be examples of how God can redeem by the way we live our lives. Although we can't provide outcomes, we can obey what the Lord tells us to do. One of the most important things we can do for our friends and family is to pray for them. Interceding on their behalf really does a lot. As a wise man always tells me, "prayer IS the work!". I wholeheartedly agree. This can also comfort us when we're disheartened because there don't seem to be any other options. While the results are sometimes easier to see when we encourage and live life with people who are going through a rough time, it is not always best. If it is welcomed, simply being there for people who are struggling and making sure they know they are loved can make a big difference in helping others believe that God is good. Encouraging them and showing them who the Lord is when they can't see Him is crucial, as well as pushing them in their personal Bible study and prayer, reminding them that His Word does not return void and when we call on Him, He will surely answer

Let me leave you with some verses that have been on my heart lately.

And we urge you, brother, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all. See that no one repays anyone evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to everyone. Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies, but test everything; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil.
1 Thessalonians 5:14-22

Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. Ans we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.
2 Corinthians 3:17-18

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, plans to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all of your heart.
Jeremiah 29:11-13

For sin will not have dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.
Romans 6:14

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:4-7

Pray, people. Pray. There is nothing you can do to be more involved in helping others than to pray for them.

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