You don’t have to be alive very long to hit some rough waters. Everybody’s boat gets rocked from time to time. The wind blows like crazy and you might even take on water. The temptation is to freak out and wonder how—or if—you’ll make it to the other side.
Storms are part of the journey. For me, one of the hardest things is dealing with stuff I can’t fix. I’m tempted to try anyway, but the older I get, the more I realize it just doesn’t work. Some situations are above my pay grade. My fixes are nothing but thick patches on threadbare jeans. They don’t hold very long. I need God to set things right. He’s the only One who can get me unstuck and take me to the other side.
Does that sound familiar? Are certain circumstances getting worse the more you work on them? Are they starting to look like a permanent part of your scenery? When I lived in Pennsylvania, my father taught me how to drive in heavy snow. He said, “Once you commit to driving through deep snow, you don’t stop.” But I know this: you can get unstuck if you keep your faith moving. God’s got you. He won’t leave you there.
If you’re in rough waters and you can’t see the other side, think back to all the times you saw no way out. Remember how He parted the sea, or brought life to something dead, or gave you the strength to take another step. You thought it was “The End,” but Jesus made a way for you—out of no way out
Your emotions travel 80,000 times faster than your thoughts travel. Isn’t that amazing? This explains why when something bad happens, we are not able to immediately remember what to do or who to call. On the other hand, when something wonderful happens and we are wrapped up in the thrill of emotional exhilaration, at that moment, we do not have the ability to decide what to do next. All reasonable and practical thinking arrives in our nerve center long after the emotion has expressed.
The tremendous speed of our emotional responses to life helps to explain why even Christians often tend to operate out of feelings rather than out of principle. If you continually respond to life on an emotional level, you will always say things to are embarrassing, act in ways that are unbecoming and never be the person God intended you to be.
There is little in life that is of more importance than securing control of heart issues. When the Bible uses the word “heart”, it refers to the center of your mind, will, and emotions. Your hearts determines how you will act in any situation. Proverbs 4:23 says, “Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.”
The problem is with the heart itself: it does not want to be guarded. It desires to express itself. The Bible never says we are allowed to express everything that is in our heart – it simply says to guard it.
People love racing. The urge to be faster than everyone else is ingrained in us. Whether it is in a race car, on foot or involving animals, nothing quenches our competitive thirst like a good race. Here is some race that you might not be familiar with.
* Hamster racing. The United Kingdom is quite fond on betting on hamsters racing miniature vehicles in a 30-foot straight line.
* Pig racing. Four trained pigs race around a circle track, knowing there is a delicious (for them) prize at the end.
* Mud racing is an adventure race where contestants hurl themselves through mud pits, waist-high mud rivers, obstacles on a challenging cross country race.
The Apostle Paul repeatedly referred to the Christian life a race but he carefully explained the differences from secular racing.
1. In secular racing, the winner wins a crown made from plants that only lasts momentarily. However, the Christian’s crown is the eternal life that never withers or dies. 1 Corinthians 9:24-25
2. Only the person who crosses the finish line first wins the prize. But every Christian that crosses the finish line receives the prize. Matthew 24:13, James 1:12
The most important thing in your life is to realize that because God has created you and given you life, you ARE entered into this race called life. I know that you did not choose to be entered into this race but it is your responsibility to finish the race. Do not be afraid, God has provided everything you need to reach the goal.
Failure to finish means to be eternally lost.
The Bible is an amazing book; it contains adventure, romance, poetry, wisdom and a host of other topics. Often the Bible describes a situation that people were facing and you just know how it is going to turn out. All the facts considered there is no other option how this will end.
Unless you consider the Power of the “but.” In Acts 12, Peter has been arrested, placed in prison and guarded by four squads of soldiers; no bail, no escape plan, no lawyer. Peter will be placed on trial but Herod has already decided Peter will die. Acts 12:-34
I love how God intervened, verse 5 “So Peter was kept in prison, BUT the church was earnestly praying to God for him.” [emphasis added] FACT: Peter was kept in prison. No one, including the praying church and Peter, thought he would be ‘rescued.’ Everyone forgot that God is not constrained by the facts. That is why it is called a miracle!
All through the Bible we see the power of the “but.”
- Everyone expected Goliath to kill David…but God
- Jericho expected their walls to protect them…but God
- Paul was bitten by a poisonous snake, everyone expected him to die…but God
- Pilate, the Jews, the disciples didn’t expect Jesus to be resurrected…but God
No matter how bleak or impossible your situation do not forget the “Power of the But.”
Have you ever heard someone say, “They make me so mad?” Of course you have, maybe you said that yourself. But is it really true? Can people “make” you mad? I know there are people that know which “buttons” to push to upset you. They know how to “get your goat.” But we need to ask ourselves, who is in charge of my emotions?
To say that someone, other than yourself can promote a certain emotional response from you is to they can control you to some extent. But the Bible is clear that each Christ-follower is to be controlled by the Holy Spirit and not our emotions. Eph. 4:31 Psalm 37:8
You are to be in control of your emotions. I am not saying we are to deny our emotions (Remember Mr. Spock?) but don’t allow them to control you.
You get angry because you allowed yourself to get angry.
The Quran contains at least 109 verses that call Muslims to war with nonbelievers for the sake of Islamic rule. Some are quite graphic, with commands to chop off heads and fingers and kill infidels wherever they may be hiding.The psychology of ISIS is reign by terror. It is “salvation” or elimination. Fear is a very strong emotion that may cause people to do things that they would not do under normal circumstances.Though the threat of terrorism is real, we as Christ followers should not be overcome with fear.
While the threat of terrorism is real, we as Christ-followers we should not be overcome by fear. For God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and love, and self-control. 2 Timothy 1:7 You shall not be afraid of the terror of the night, nor of the arrow (the evil plots and slanders of the wicked) that flies by day, Psalms 91:5
We forget the power [terror] God possessed when facing the enemies of Israel.”… the terror of God fell on the towns all around them so that no one pursued them. Gen. 35:5
“That night the angel of the LORD went out to the Assyrian camp and killed 185,000 Assyrian soldiers. When the surviving Assyrians woke up the next morning, they found corpses everywhere.” Isaiah 37:36
Without sounding over simplistic, what we are facing is a battle between good and evil. Isis is motivate by hate, genocide and a lust for power. I am not sure that Isis can be defeated militarily alone. I believe that our warfare is more spiritual than physical. “For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds” 2 Cor. 10:4. Time for the Church to pray and ask God to intervene and stop this evil!