Trust

Trust

Todays blog isn’t anything complicated, it’s extremely practical and hopefully will help encourage you like it has encouraged me. I don’t know about you, but sometimes I need little reminders to shake me up put me back on track. Do you ever wander off in your thoughts and get discouraged? I have, it’s happened to me throughout the years for multiple reasons, relationships, finances, but at the end of the day it’s the wisdom and words of God that snap me back into place and help me see things from the right perspective.

A little while ago I was talking with a friend about a few different things, it was just a normal conversation, until we got to one specific topic. As soon as we did the conversation took a turn for the worse and left me confused. Honestly, I didn’t know what to think, I had given this person the benefit of the doubt when it came to that situation time and time again and I felt like as much as I did it still wasn’t enough and that once again my trust was broken. Now, I’m the first person to admit that I am not a perfect person, there have been things throughout my life that I didn’t do even close to perfectly, somethings in life are a process, and it’s through failing that eventually people come out of things. With that being said, I wanted to give them the benefit of the doubt but all I could see was this pattern that wasn’t great. I care about this person, as I do all my friends, but I couldn’t help but feel discouraged, and if I’m honest a bit hopeless.

Now we get to Proverbs 11:14 “Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety.” The same night that all of this went down I was talking with someone who gave me the perfect piece of advice that helped me get out of where I was and snap me back into reality. They were talking to me about something similar that had just happened to them, they went on to share what God had been speaking to them about. They told me that right now it’s true, I couldn’t trust that person, but regardless of that, I could always trust God. Tonight let me encourage you with some simple truth, maybe someone has done something terrible to you, or even around you, maybe something was said that broke your trust. You may not be able to trust that person right now, but you can always trust God. Let’s not be fast to play judge and jury or fast to replay situations in our heads over and over again. Let’s be fast to bring our situations to God with an open mind and a heart full of hope knowing that we might not be able to trust people, but that God will never let us down.

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Trust

Sudden Panic

Sudden Panic

Do you ever find yourself panicking? I think if we stop and look at our lives and our day to day there is a lot that we can get worked up about. Even if your day is going great, sometimes it seems like all it takes is one person to do something, one unexpected bill to come in or one phone call to throw us into a state of panic. I remember there was a situation that I was in with someone, everything was moving along nicely when all of a sudden someone else started causing trouble in the situation and the person I was working with started to panic. I know that I ultimately made the decision, but their panic caused us to move forward with something that looking back was the wrong move to make. When emotions run high and panic sets in, it takes our focus completely off of anything else but the negative things that are causing the panic in the first place. When that happens, we’re bound to make choices that aren’t great.

In 1st Samuel 13 we see this exact scenario play out. We have King Saul, at this point in his life God has been with him, God had given him victories and had set him up as king over Israel. However, because of those victories Israel’s long time enemies, the Philistines, hated them more then ever. The bible talks about how they (the Philistines) mustered up an army with as many warriors as the grains of sand on the seashore. Saul’s army fell under fear, it goes on to talk about how they trembled with fear and how over time Sauls army began to decrease in numbers as people deserted their post. Saul is looking around, he knows about the army, he sees his army terrified and he watches how day after day his army is getting smaller and smaller. Panic sets in, so Saul does what we do when panic hits us, he took matters into his own hands and did what he could do instead of what God instructed him to do. He was instructed to wait until the prophet Samuel got there, but instead he decided to sacrifice burnt offerings himself. Contrary to the will and purpose of God. The interesting thing is, just as Saul was finishing with the burnt offering, Samuel shows up. In verse 13 Samuel says to Saul, “You have not kept the command the Lord your God gave you. Had you kept it, the Lord would have established your kingdom over Israel forever. But now your kingdom must end, for the Lord has sought out a man after His own heart. The Lord has already appointed him to be the leader of His people, because you have not kept the Lord’s command.”

There’s a few things that I want to talk about when it comes to this passage. The first thing is notice how when panic sets in Saul takes matters into his own hands. Panic, will prevent you from seeing the whole picture, and if successful it will get you focused on the situation at hand and make it bigger then anything else including God’s will. Panic takes your situation and makes it the only thing you can focus on or see. The second thing is just when Saul was done sacrificing the burnt offerings Samuel showed up. God is always good to show up, but rarely will it line up with your timeline. Just because you don’t see the provision or the hand of God in your current situation, as long as you are in His will, help is on it’s way and will arrive at the perfect time. Notice at the end, God rejects King Saul for doing something that seems right. Saul is not giving up or turning away. He didn’t side with any false god’s or do any obvious sin. He responds out of desperation and panic, and decides that his way is better then God’s way and tries to force God’s hand.

Let me encourage you, we don’t have armies coming against us, but we do have pressures, we have circumstances that come out of seemingly nowhere. Because of that there are going to be times where you are tempted to panic, but take heart, nothing is a surprise to God. Just a few pages later in the bible the man that replaces Saul, David, is faced with a situation far worse, everyone he loves has been taken, his village destroyed, and his own men want to kill him. But the bible says that David strengthened himself in the Lord and inquired what to do. Because of the way he handled that situation, he was able to get back all that was stolen from him as well as much more. In the story with Saul, Samuel says, “Had you kept it (the Lords instructions) The Lord would of established your kingdom.” With that in mind, learn from Saul and don’t make the same mistake. Difficult situations are inevitable, however how you handle them will determine where you end up in life. Remember who is for you, know that He sees everything and victory is always on the way as long as we hold fast to the words and instructions of God.

Sudden Panic

Worry < Pray

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Sharathon 2018 wrapped up this week at Life 100.3. For those who don’t know Life 100.3 is a listener supported Christian radio station, which means that we set aside a couple of days a year to invite listeners and supporters to come along side us financially for the coming year. This year was my third Sharathon. For some reason though, leading up to the actual two days I was a bit nervous. I’m not sure why. I remember thinking about it on and off for about a week or two before the first day of Sharathon. Different thoughts would come, am I able to do what I need to do, will I be compelling in the things I need to say, will I even have things to say. All of these thoughts as I said were coming on and off until one day when I was driving to my house and it hit me. I just spent days with these thoughts in my mind, not once did I bring them to God and give them to Him.

Philippians 4:6-7 (CEV) Don’t worry about anything, but pray about everything. With thankful hearts offer up your prayers and requests to God. Then, because you belong to Christ Jesus, God will bless you with peace that no one can completely understand. And this peace will control the way you think and feel.

The scariest part about what I was doing wasn’t even the fact that I was worrying about something that wasn’t even happening, the scariest part was that I could go for such a long time in my mind just thinking about something without bringing it to God, the one who can actually DO something about it. I wonder how many thoughts live in our heads that should be laid down at God’s feet. I wonder how our lives might be completely transformed if we stoped allowing walls to be built up in our minds, if we stoped allowing our thoughts to control our lives and instead allowed the transforming power of God to do what it does best.

In Philippians 4:6, at the very end of the verse it says, “With thankful hearts offer up your prayers and requests to God.” Do you know why I think it says with thankful hearts offer up your prayers and requests to God? I think it’s because the person that really lives this verse out knows that God is able to do exceedingly abundantly more then they can ever hope, dream, ask or imagine. I think it’s because they know that what they see or what they might think, isn’t the end of the story when God is involved, it’s only the beginning.

Philippians 4:6-7 (CEV) Don’t worry about anything, but pray about everything. With thankful hearts offer up your prayers and requests to God. Then, because you belong to Christ Jesus, God will bless you with peace that no one can completely understand. And this peace will control the way you think and feel.

 

Worry < Pray

A Kings Lesson

The Bible is full of stories, if you’ve been around a church you probably heard of David and Goliath, or the story of Jesus and the cruxifixction or Noah and the ark. I think if we’re not careful we can default to only the things we know from the major events of the Bible and forget to look at smaller stories between the major ones. After all, it is the Word of God. He left us on earth with His Word as an instruction manual for the rest of time, if it’s included, it’s important.

I was reading the story of King David’s son, Absalom, in 2 Samuel. It’s a big story with all the different elements, scandal, high drama, betrayal, bitterness and strategy. At the very end of it all in chapter 19, essentially, Absalom the son of King David was killed against his fathers wishes. Even though in the previous chapters Absalom was seeking to overthrow the king and even though he did obscene things you have this picture of his father David the king mourning the death of his son. The Bible says something interesting, in 2 Samuel 19:3 it says, “They crept back into the town that day as though they were ashamed and had deserted in battle.” Absalom tried to take over the kingdom and the Bible says that he even managed to turn the hearts of the people. Blatant rebellion. David’s men go out and end him and now the King is mourning and essentially taking all of his men who just risked their lives for granted. He was so focused on the one that he lost that he forgot about the army that was for him. One of his most trusted men even goes to the king and says in verse 5, “We saved your life today and the lives of our sons and daughters… yet you act like this, making us feel ashamed of ourselves, you seem to love those who hate you and hate those who love you.”

Here’s my thought, isn’t that exactly what we do sometimes? Work is hard, someone treats us harshly, a situation is completely stressing us out and we make the conscious decision to take it all out on the people that we love the most. The ones who have given their lives for us are the ones that we choose to discount and even take things out on. Let me encourage you and myself on this one by saying, we can’t do that. If you’ve lived for  2 seconds here on earth you know that life is going to be hard. There are people that make it seem like their life goal is to make our lives as difficult as possible, I get that. However, let’s not be like King David in that story. Things will come that are hard, but why throw all the good away for the small things that aren’t going well when we have an army of people around us who love us so much? Why should we bring our work lives or our hard times into the relationships that matter most and allow life’s tough times to influence how we treat others around us? Remember who and what’s more important.

If I have to strip it all down, I’d say there are people who have always been and always will be there for us. They matter, they love you, if it’s your spouse they have decided to literally give their life to you. What would happen if we made our houses and our relationships with those people our sanctuary instead of our battle ground? They aren’t your boss, or your co worker or that person who rubbed you the wrong way, why should we treat them like they are? Love is patient, love is kind.

 

 

 

A Kings Lesson

Rebuking Waves

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Have you ever been going through your day to day life, everything is going normal, when all of a sudden a situation comes out of nowhere and it throws you into a panic? I’ve personally experienced this many times in my life. Life seems to be going really well, maybe even great, then all of a sudden, at random a situation pops up that can almost cause us if we’re not careful to go into a bit of a panic mode. What do I mean by a “panic mode”, if I had to describe it, it’s a feeling that you get when you know a situation isn’t right, but you don’t know what to do and nothing seems to make sense. A “twilight zone” feeling. It’s interesting what desperate times can pull out of people. Unfortunately what comes out usually is a reaction instead of a response. Today, I want to help you with that through something that I have learned and practised in my own life.

In Mark chapter 4 starting at verse 35, we have a pretty famous story, it’s the story of  Jesus and how he calmed a storm, not just any storm though, one that His disciples where sure was going to kill them. If you don’t know the story, Jesus and the disciples set out to cross a body of water to get to the other side. Then all of a sudden the waves and the wind started and the disciples find themselves in panic mode, the mission of changing the world with Jesus was clear up until this moment when in their minds apparently it was about to all end. Jesus, was sound asleep when the disciples said in verse 38, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” Before we discount the disciples as having zero faith and being easily intimidated, remember who some of these men were, they were trained seamen who grew up on those waters. They knew the difference between an average storm and one that was going to kill them. So they wake Jesus up, He rebukes the wind and the waves, commands them by saying, “Peace, be still”. He then looks at His disciples and says, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?”

The miracle in this story is amazing, Jesus rebukes a storm and it submits to Him, no one would argue that this is nothing short of incredible. But there is something far more powerful in this story then that. It can be found in the very first verse of the story, verse 35 “On that day, when evening had come, He said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.” Jesus is the son of God, and before there was a storm, before there was anyone in a boat, the creator of the entire universe says to His disciples, “Let us go across to the other side.” He did not say, let’s go half way and drown. Notice how Jesus was fast asleep when everyone else was panicking. Maybe He read the Psalmists words in Psalm 4:8 “In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.” 

Today, let me encourage you, as Christians, we do not give up. We have the Holy Spirit living on the inside of us, guiding us, partnering with us. So when difficult times come, and they will, when the unexpected times come, and they will, we can stand on the word of God knowing that He didn’t send His son to die for us only to have us scattered and afraid and in a state of constant panic. You are a child of the Most High God. God has a plan for your life, not a plan to harm you but a plan to prosper you, He has hope for you and a future for you that is panic free. We need to remember who God is and that His word is final and complete so when the waves at work, or the winds in our homes try to come and convince us that we are done. We can rebuke them and command them to be still, because we know that our God is bigger then whatever would try to come against us!

Rebuking Waves

Choosing Life

Have you ever been in a situation where you felt that if it wasn’t for a person, or if it wasn’t for a specific circumstance, you would be better off, or further along in life? Being on the radio night after night gives me an interesting vantage point, it allows people from all walks of life, people from different backgrounds and people from different age groups to call in and share what has been going on in their lives. The reason it’s interesting is because over time I get to see patterns, it turns out that there are a few things that people from all walks of life go through. One of those things is what I mentioned earlier. This feeling of, if it wasn’t for a specific person doing something to them, if it wasn’t for a boss who mistreated them or didn’t recognize their potential then they would be better off or further along in life.

There was this guy named Joseph, if you have a Bible you can find his story starting in Genesis 37. Long story short, he experienced some really difficult times. His brothers hated him and actually set out to kill him. If that wasn’t bad enough, they decided to make some money off of him instead and sell him into slavery. Not only that, he was sold as a slave to a foreign people with foreign customs. Not only that, but his brothers convinced his father that he was killed, so Joseph didn’t even have the hope that his father would be searching for him. However in Genesis chapter 39 I found something interesting that goes contrary to how a lot of us think. Genesis 39:2 “The Lord was with Joseph, so he succeeded in everything he did as he served in the home of his Egyptian master.”

Joseph succeeded in everything he did, and the Lord was with him. His brothers hated him, wanted to kill him, sold him as a slave. Imagine if that happened to you, we can all agree that that is a terrible situation and circumstance to be going through. I doubt the majority of us would ever go through something as terrible. But God was still right there in the midst of it all, helping Joseph succeed and prosper in his situation regardless of how terrible it was. Why do you think that was? I think it’s because our circumstances have nothing to do with God’s faithfulness. Let me encourage you, everything around you does NOT need to look or be perfect for you to experience a rich life full of God’s favour and blessing. The Bible says that He will never leave you or forsake you. Never means, never. If life is going great He’ll be there, if not, He’ll still be there to help you. I don’t know who did what to you, I don’t know what was said or what is happening in your situation right now, but you can thrive right here right now, not because of the situations around you, but because of who, as a Christian, lives inside of you.

Choosing Life

Hundreds

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Recently I sat down and was just browsing through a few different things on the internet, when I noticed a news story that stood out to me. The title was something like “Man sentenced to hundreds of years in prison”. It caught my attention so I clicked on the article and read it. It explained what he did to deserve the sentence of a couple hundred years, and without getting into detail the crimes that he committed matched the sentencing, I’m not trying to defend what he did. After I read the article there was a video attached that showed the sentencing take place, the man sat between two other men, probably attorney’s or lawyers as the judge read him his sentence. There were over thirty charges, and with each one read, his face sank, the man who was clearly guilty broke down into tears, and the tears turned into this bitter deep cry as he realized what it was that was happening. I can’t explain it, but it looked like for the first time this man realized what he did and what the severity of what he did was.

We all have to make choices every single day. Every single sin that we have committed was a result of a choice we made. No one can put us outside of the will of God but us. I wonder how many people do things and think nothing of it, or how many people come to the place where they have to make a choice and then choose to give into sin. Things that we don’t think are wrong because everyone else does it, but the fact is, we don’t get to choose what sin is. One day, we will all have to give an account for the things that we did or didn’t do here on earth. I’m not writing this to discourage anyone, because all have fallen short and God is good to push our sins as far as the east is from the west if we repent. However, God is and will always be just. Simply because fire isn’t necessarily falling from heaven and wiping out entire armies or nations, it does not mean that He has changed His stance on sin.

Just like that man who was sentenced to hundreds of years in prison, don’t wait for your sin to find you. Say no, cut it out, before it’s to late.

Hundreds