Coping with trouble, and getting out of it

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There is a deep need to recognise our weaknesses and difficulties, but not to give ourselves an easy time.

Our thought patterns need to be changed, to teach us to fight the negativity, false guilt and blame, and to build good mental scaffolds around the mind.

There will be fears, doubts and anxieties, but these have to be faced, not avoided. This starts with small things and issues, and we must seek to teach our minds to go through the fear, rather than avoid it. As we face the pain, it will go, and we will get victory over that anxiety, which then strengthens us for the sake of others and our own sake.

If we fall down, start again, learn again, put lessons into practice, and gain strength and confidence for the future.

The mindset of the Christian is faith and we belong to God. His many promises are there to help support and remind us about what He does for his children. Our part is to know them, remember them, believe them and acts upon them. God cannot fail. Our stumbling faith fails repeatedly, but as we learn and act, we are strengthened to rest on Him and trust him more as time goes by.

What is happening in our lives is for our good, because I am so loved by God. Through suffering we come to know him better and more fully, and faith grows. He will not let anything happen that we cannot bear, and he will provide all we need to break through.

The weakness we feel and the debilitating negativity, will pass. This is an illness for some, and a spiritual fight for all believers, and it will go away. However, if we learn skills and thought prcesses, it will help us to fight the feelings, and hurtful thoughts, and we will be stronger.

Focus:

Not everything I think is true. Every thought is measured against the Word of God, not by my own education or ideas.

Prayer changes everything – he promises to answer prayer, and my part is to beleive him.

Troubles

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Troubles make the believer long for Christ. If he should hide his face or seem to depart from our hearts and minds, it is painful and full of hurt. To be without Him is the worst possible state to be in, and to live in doubt of His love, is so hurtful. The trials make us fly to our precious Lord, and trust Him no matter what the feeling are that invade our psyche.

Lord, how much we love you, and how we desire to be with you and know your true comfort and presence, which is heaven. How deep the disappointment with self and the battles with selfish desires and godless thoughts and passions, which deny your love and power. May our minds be focused on you, and our vision be clear as to what you want from us- a heart like yours.

“May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer..” Psalm 19:1

Only then will wanderers return to you and seek your face for cleansing and fellowship. That they will follow your path unreservedly, with joy unspeakable, and unflinching in its devotion. Our eyes are all too easily distracted from looking at you and training our minds to obey what you say. Only Jesus- is the cry of ever heart that has seen you and seeks to be like you.

Save us from blame and hate, and make all your people strong in Christ and resistant to the devils temptations. Lord, teach us all to watch for his schemes and the many strategies he uses to keep Christians down and miserable. I will work out a clear outlook of his motivations and keep myself from giving in to his plethora of devilish skills.

Prayer:

Lord, may I not baulk from my pathway nor be side- stepped from what you want me to do, no matter how difficult it may be. I ask that I will not be disappointed when others fail, and exclude me from their plans and systems.

Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken..” Psalm 62:2

The race for life

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We are all in a race, the race of our lives, and all heading for the finish line.

How we run that race will determine everything, and the stamina we need to complete it, is outside ourselves and belongs to someone else. We do not have to fret and worry about not making it, because we have someone who has been there already and will show the way.

We have a top athlete, who has gone down the race track before and has raced with complete integrity and purity, and he is the one we emulate and seek to be like. The way is hard, and often lonely and full of potholes and snags.

But there is a plan.

We are not left on our own, but have a training book that will, teach us everything we need to know and will show us the strategies to be used to keep on the right lane. It is foolish to ignore it and not make it part of our mindset. There may not be time for reading, in the middle of a tricky straight or sharp bend, so the words will have to be in your mind already. The coach will bring them to your thoughts at the right time.

We have a gracious companion who leads us in all right ways, and who will stay with us through the whole race and give peace and power to all who trust in Him. As we read the book and draw near, his influence and joy are felt and known. As we pray and seek his presence, we gain a heart of love and the power to run straight and to keep going right until the end. His joy and peace is in us and will strengthen every runner.

We cannot stop running. If we stop, we go backwards, like the current of the river that drags us back. If we don’t go forward, there will be lost ground to make up another time. If we do fall or fail, our merciful coach will guide us gently back and encourage us with his love.

For the trusting soul, the end is certain and will lead right up to victory. We do not have to be first, but we must finish the course, in the power of the Spirit. Those who finish the race, will get the crown, which is waiting for all those who race with Him and therefore qualify as true athletes, and winners to wear the laurel and the crown.

Continue to do right

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“Let the one who does right continue to do right; and let the holy person continue to be holy.” Revelation 22:11

There are times when our confidence becomes undermined, usually be a series of events that we have no control over. We don’t notice at first, but gradually we stop feeling what we should feel, and we begin to overlook our own needs as people.

It is not the confidence to do things, but the confidence we all need to live our lives and do all the usual things we do each day. We can become afraid of situations, find ourselves unable to function, become fearful of the future and seem to loose our faith.

At these times, we need to really look again at the promises of God, not just say them over to ourselves, but meditate on them and the implications for us as people. God cares for His people so much, and he knows our troubles and cares, and feels our hurt too. If we trust in him and just rest in his peace, He will support us and give us the strength to keep going, walk along the road with Him, and feel and exercise His power every day.

Sometimes we can become too focused on what we have to do, our work for God, and trying to step out for Him. When he means this for us, He will show us and give us the motivation and strength to do it. There are times when He wants us to step back and prove His power in another way. Our view of success is usually warped, and involves numbers, years and acclaim, but this is not His way. He requires that we are faithful in what He gives us to do whatever that might be.

In all circumstances I must trust and not be afraid. He will never leave you, or forsake you.

If you are a Christian and seeking to follow God in holiness and truth, and obey his holy commandments, Keep going with that. That is the pathway of blessing in the inner life of the soul, as well as the outer deeds and words show.

If you are seeking God, and seeking His face and His character in your life, this is the way…walk in it. When we seek Him truly, the other issues sort themselves out, because he will show you the truth, and you will be free.

Perceptions

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The way women are represented in some Christian communities, gives cause for concern.

Women characters the Bible are portrayed as weak, sinful and needy and none are ever the heroes. Every Bible character is weak and sinful, but the men can be held up as role models, but the women are often in the shadows. Women seem to come across portrayed as total failures in every aspect of life, and need a man to come along and support them.

Sermon illustrations with women in them position the women as supporting characters, and are usually silly and appear foolish, especially older women. I have never heard a sermon illustration story where the woman is the hero, and therefore we should all be like her. Perhaps I have not been listening to the right sermons..?

There is a difficulty when a woman displays virtues that could be paralleled with the character of Christ. This becomes a political nightmare, as our philosophy does not allow female strengths and virtues to be that of the Saviour of the world.

This has a detrimental effect on everyone, and because it is also psychological, it shapes attitudes in men and women, and gives rise to prejudice, misrepresentation and unfair treatment in the social situation. We end up regarding each other in a warped way, and the acceptance of this, causes a warped culture within the Christian sphere.

JESUS treated women very differently than present “Christian” culture. Women were the ones who cared for him in every way. They provided a place to rest, food for him and also the 12 men disciples who followed him. They laundered his clothes, mended his sandals, cut his hair and trimmed his nails. The Lord Jesus knew he needed them and he loved their devotion and attention.

Some used their profit in business to provide the things he required and he overlooked none of them. He spoke into their intellect, as He did with everyone.

As he died on the cross, a crowd of women who loved him, watched from afar as he hung there to pay for their uncountable sins. They fixed their eyes on his body as life left it and their loving Lord was gone. John was there- that dear disciple, who was always leaning on JESUS, and couldn’t let him go. The women took his body down from the cross and rubbed in some fragrant spices and put him in the tomb.

The tears that would have been shed, the memories recounted as they remembered how JESUS raised Mary and Martha’s brother- Lazarus, and how this man who needed them, could overcome death and rejoice with them, in the victory of his love for failures, that is, every man and woman who has ever lived.

These women were also the first to see JESUS alive again, and he gave them the first message to his disciples, to declare the good news that JESUS is alive. Surely the honours he bestows on his beloved women, and better that all praise or fame.

His love for them is so touching, as he meets Mary Magdalene in the garden of the tomb, and calls her name- so personal, so careful and full of love. What would you give to have him call your name? To be so loved by him in that way, and to know he loves you, as you. It makes every heartache worth it, and enlivens for every work that he calls you to do for him…

Do not take to heart the negativity and downplay of us as women, but rejoice to be counted worthy to be regarded as second best, even as he was.

The Kingdom of GOD

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The kingdom of God has come in weakness as a grain of mustard seed.
It establishes the Lord of Glory as the man to meet our need.
The use of force will not cause it to grow and flourish.
Only the love of God in the heart of its peoples will nourish.

Politics, force and economics will only drive away God’s gracious Spirit.
To belong to it is a gift, and not based on any kind of human merit.
It lasts far beyond all time and space and on into Gods eternity.
This is how we were meant to live, serve God and be truly free.

The words of the kingdom are only given to those who believe.
We must treasure it, listen and obey it and we will live.
Let the truth sink down into your very soul.
They will strengthen you and lead you on and make you whole.

May we humble ourselves and live our lives in true obedience.
Being subject only to the Word of God in our precious Saviour.
The seed will then grow and become a life-giving tree for heaven.
To shelter all who come to it and seek refuge and be truly forgiven.

Time and space cannot contain this kingdoms eternal destiny.
It transcends history and everything that pervades our human identity.
We were formed to truly live for another dimension.
Dwelling with God in the everlasting joy of Holy contemplation.

You will not reach it by the folly of flesh and blood.
It is freely given as a gift by a Saviour’s precious love.
Embrace its truth and turn away from your feeble trying.
And trust a man who bought your forgiveness by dying.

At the end of the existence of this planet, this race, this universe.
God alone is left to inhabit the eternal dimension of perfect love and justice.
The souls that he has rescued from destruction with the wicked.
Will dwell with Him forever in that home and never be rejected.

Why would you run away from this irresistible power?
He has revealed himself to us in His word as a strong tower.
The righteous run into it and are safe, but what about you?
If you would only trust Him you would see that every word is true.

God’s light

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Some day we will all be free from what binds us now. The children of God will live in unmistakable glory and dwell in perfect light. All wrong will be gone and forgotten in that everlasting place. Our light will shine, as we take our place beside The Lord Jesus Christ, and reign with Him forever.

Revelation 21:2-4 NIV

“I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

We cannot comprehend what is yet to be. We see only through tinted glass, and with minds still bound by the here and now. But some day the light will fully dawn and we will recognise it and delight in it, because it is the glory of our precious Saviour. He chose us and bought us at a dreadful cost, so that we would be His people and enter into His joy unspeakable.

Revelation 21:7 NIV

“Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children.”

 All who overcome in His name and by His power will be in this Kingdom. Those who insist on their own dark path, will never enter in.

Revelation 21:10-11 NIV

“And he carried me away in the Spirit to a mountain great and high, and showed me the Holy City, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God.  It shone with the glory of God, and its brilliance was like that of a very precious jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal.”

Those who live by His Spirit, can glimpse this amazing view, as the Apostle John sets out for us. No picture could ever reveal this majesty and beauty that is laid up for Gods people. Their inheritance is beyond imagining. Yet those who love Him, believe and seek after Him, will be able to comprehend some of what is promised. As we walk with JESUS in the power of His Spirit, we know Him more and seek to be like Him. To live in His way, is to seek holiness, so that we will also sparkle with the glory, that is seen in this heavenly city.

Revelation 21:23 NIV

“The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp.”

We walk in the light, as he is in the light… This is the eternal truth of the coming kingdom. There will, be no shadows, for we shall be with our light, bodily, and Gods’ glory beams through Him.

Why would we cease to rejoice at His great love for us? So undeserving, yet we so treasured, and with a future that is full of joy and praise to Him who bought us with His own blood…

Women who glorify God