Philippians 3:8-11, Philippians 4:11
The Apostle Paul understood how to handle tough circumstances. Even while confined in a prison cell, he kept his EYES ON CHRIST and trusted firmly in the Savior. Therefore, despite being in chains, he was able to celebrate the Lord’s work in his life.
Focusing on Christ is neither a natural reaction, nor an easy one. Our instinct is to dwell on the situations or stewing over the pain and difficulty. As a result, troubles look insurmountable and overwhelm us with a sense of failure.
HOWEVER, FEAR AND DEFEAT CAN’T LIVE LONG IN A HEART THAT TRUSTS THE LORD. I’m not saying you will forget what you’re going through BUT YOU CAN CHOOSE TO DWELL ON HIS PROVISION AND CARE INSTEAD. He is the Deliverer. He is the Healer. And He is the Guide. The believer who lays claim to divine promises discovers that GOD PUSHES BACK NEGATIVE EMOTIONS. In their place, hope, confidence, and contentment take up residence. You aren’t gong to be happy about any difficult situation, but you can be satisfied that GOD IS IN CONTROL AND UP TO SOMETHING GOOD IN THE MIDST OF TROUBLE.
The Lord’s principles and promises don’t change, no matter how severe or painful the situation is. FOCUS ON CHRIST INSTEAD OF THE CIRCUMSTANCES – God will comfort your heart and bring you safely through the trial.
August 2, 2015
So He said, “Come.” Peter got out of the boat, walked on the water, and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the strong wind he became afraid. And starting to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!” Matt 14:29-30
In this passage sight was a hindrance. The waves were none of Peter’s business when once he had set out. All Peter had any concern with, was the pathway of light that came gleaming across the darkness from where Christ stood. If it was tenfold Egypt beyond that, he had no call to look and see.
When the Lord shall call to you over the water “Come,” step gladly forth. Look not for a moment away from Him.
Not by measuring the waves can you prevail; not by gauging the wind you grow strong; to scan the danger may be to fall before it; to pause at the difficulties,is to have them break above your head. Lift up your eyes unto the hills, and go forward there is no other way.
“Dost thou fear to launch away?
Faith lets go to swim;
Never will He let thee go;
‘Tis by trusting thou shalt know
Fellowship with Him.”
Streams in the Desert
As I boarded the plane from Houston to home last month it was dreary and gloomy. The skies were adding to my sadness as I left the city where my Sunshine Sara resides. I spent my birthday week with my daughter and it was jam-packed with the non-stop fun and fabulous food for five days. We explored Galveston, the beauty of the beach and the excitement of eating at Bubba Gump’s. We attended the Houston Rodeo and all the excitement that a rodeo offers right along with eating our very first Pickle Dog. Are you saying, “What’s a Pickle Dog?” Google it and don’t knock it until you’ve tried it! We even ate at a restaurant whose head chef won a cooking reality show recently.
All these wonderful memories flood my mind as the plane’s window become covered in raindrops as it taxied on the runway. While I was sad to leave my daughter I began to look forward to returning home. I closed my eyes, cleared my mind and prepared for the flight home. I was so glad that I was able to get a window seat because I learned something that spoke loud and clear. As the plane went higher and higher, the skies became brighter and brighter. When we made it above those dark depressing clouds, it was sunshine and blue skies and, of course, no rain! I began thinking of the ‘clouds’ in my life and I realized that if I just rise above them and move forward, I will be much better able to serve my God. So the topsides of the clouds were fluffy and white, but the underside was dull and gray. Then, before I knew it, I was singing “Both Sides Now” written by Joni Mitchell in 1969. Yes, I’m one of those strange people who sing out lyrics unabashedly. Thankfully, no one was seated too close to me!
But now they only block the sun,
They rain and snow on everyone;
So many things I would have done,
But clouds in my way.
I’ve looked at clouds from both sides now,
From up and down and still somehow;
It’s cloud’s illusions I recall –
I really don’t know clouds at all.
I guess the point that I’m trying to make is to look up! Look past the darkness that seems so close. Look past the clouds in your life. Look up! As we continue to remember what Easter is all about, look at what our Christ endured on the cross. Look up! See Him in His glory! Look up! We will rise as well! See the miracle and live for the day when you meet Him in the clouds.
The Lord’s Coming (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18)
“Brothers and sisters, we want you to know about those Christians who have died so you will into be sad, as others who have no hope. We believe that Jesus died and that He rose again. So, because of Him, God will raise with Jesus those who have died. What we tell you now is the Lord’s own message. We who are living when the Lord comes again will not go before those who have already died. The Lord himself will come down from heaven with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. And those who have died believing in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive will be gathered up with them to meet the Lord in the air. And we will be with the Lord forever. So encourage each other with these words.”