Join us for our 5 part series this week:
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Alright, so for those of you who started this series with me, I congratulate you for coming back. Why? Well there’s two reasons.
1. Moving Forward Hurts Sometimes
For those who are going through painful and very trying times, maintaining your balance can be unbearable. The pain and distress can be so overwhelming, you can barely function in your day-to-day. The fact that you are interested in maintaining your position in spite of opposition tells me you understand we have hope in Jesus!
2. We Like It Here
But then, there are those who don’t want to move because it’s fun and comforting (in a very weird sort of way) to sulk in our mess. We throw ourselves the ultimate hey-everybody-look-at-poor-little-‘ol-me-and-my-devastating-terrible-horrific-life pity party. The cool thing about this party is that it’s all about me. Everyone who attends knows it and must be willing to set themselves aside for me.
Oh right, you’ve never thrown yourselves one of those parties…
Okay, well, just in case we have those around here who DO like to sulk in their pity party, I congratulate you because today you are making a decision to try something new. Today you choose to maintain your position when opposition comes because you have the approval and backing of God. You will no longer be detained in your misery simply because you feed off of others approval and affirmation.
How Does This Look- Practically Speaking?
We talked yesterday about prayer. That’s where it all starts. Practically speaking, we need to make time to get in the face of God. We need daily communion and fellowship with Him.
When opposition arises, we can easily get side-tracked. We get so busy dealing with the situation, we miss all the wonderful blessings God’s given us today. In spite of the opposition, God’s word tells us, “surely goodness and mercy shall follow [us] all the days of our lives”, (Psalm 23:6).
That means that TODAY, right now, right here, in the middle of the storm, in the middle of the chaos, here… I will find goodness and mercy.
That’s where the second discipline comes in: a heart of thanksgiving.
Philippians 4:6 tells us, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God,” (NIV).
Can you get lost in your struggle while simultaneously offering thanksgiving unto God for what He is doing today? Go ahead, try it.
The moment you’re overwhelmed by your finances, ‘Thank You Lord, for the job you provided. Thank you that even if I were unemployed, you promise to provide for me.”
The moment your children make decisions which are harmful to their well-being, “Thank You Lord, because your word tells me that you are able to take care of all I commit to You. My children are in Your hands. Thank You because You guard all that is mine.”
The moment the doctor declares a negative diagnosis, “Thank You Lord, because by Your stripes I am healed. Thank You because healing is in Your hands. Thank You because You are the Great Physician! I trust in You. Your grace is sufficient!”
The moment you begin experiencing trouble in your marriage, “Thank You Lord, because there is no situation that is too difficult for you. Thank you because you are able to change even the most hardened heart and make is soft as flesh. Thank You because my marriage is in Your hands and what You put together, no one can tear apart! As for me and my house, we will serve You. I trust in You!”
The moment you experience a loss of material things such as a home, vehicle, or the like, “Thank You Lord because you are the owner of all the riches of this world. All that I have is Yours anyway. You know my needs and I trust You will provide. I trust that You take care of me. I am in your hands and I thank You because You will make a way.”
Thanksgiving & A Heart of Gratitude Have Changed My Life!
Thanksgiving lightens the burden because it causes us to take our focus off of us, and put it on God. It causes us to take our eyes off of that which is overwhelming us, and put it on God (the One who is able to turn things around). Thanksgiving causes us to see beauty in an otherwise very dark and dreary place.
So go ahead, take your situation to God in prayer. Then, the moment that problem begins to weigh heavy, stop, breathe, and offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving to the Lord. Then do it again-and-again-and-again until it becomes a part of your lifestyle. You will see that your problems will start becoming smaller and smaller in comparison to your great big God!
Join me here tomorrow for the third discipline necessary in order to maintain your position in spite of opposition.
Remember, in 2012, you will reap the harvest of all that has been sown. God is for you!!
Standing in the gap with you-