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Another New Year…
 
We enter into 2012...  Each New Year we expect great things and are sometimes (let’s be honest...  we are often or always) disappointed.  What does ‘expecting great things’ even look like?  I think it's the reason we so often feel let down. 
 
We live in dire times with positive thinking and the prosperity gospel predominant in many of the ‘Christian’ teachings we listen to.  …So you think, there you are…or become, or something like that!!!  Is that really biblical?  Can we really change our own world and the circumstances around us by 'thinking' them into existence?  You don't really believe that do you?
 
What about trials and tribulations?  You know… struggles?  It's what we all face; none of us are immune...  Yet we go through life when these things happen to us or close to us, and behave as though we have been betrayed…let down…forsaken.   I’m not trying to diminish the difficulties that anyone is going through; we all go through these times.  And when we go through them, we are always surprised.  Why are we surprised?  Jesus told us we would have them... and HE beautifully encourages us by saying ‘But take heart, I have overcome the world…’  Don’t those words bring tears to your eyes?  They do mine.  Do you feel overwhelmingly encouraged and lifted up by those words?  I do.  These words help me breathe...  they keep me going when I feel that I can't go on anymore.
 
We learn in Romans 8:28 that God is working all things together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purposes…  This is another verse that brings tears to my eyes.  If you belong to Him.  If you are called according to His purposes...  Then you can rest assured or ‘Take Heart’, because Jesus has overcome this evil world.  You can also know without a doubt that God is working all things together for your good and His Glory.  The child of God wants to see Him Glorified...  that is one of the reasons we are still here on earth…  Isn’t it?  That and the great commission...  When Salvation happens, HE is Glorified.  How can He be Glorified if His followers are moping around all the time complaining how rough their life is?  Why should people listen to you talk about His Salvation when through your bad times you want to give up?  How would it be, if through your bad times, you continued in trust in Him, and actually had your faith strengthened?  It doesn't matter if you don't see answered prayer right away...because you know that you know that you know that God is already working it out.  That's trust.  That's faith.  The result is a Joyful life...  It's a life that people who don't know Jesus would want for themselves.  I think it would at least make them curious...  What do you have that they don't have?
 
Sure… there may be times when we question where God is…that happens usually because we have wondered off and gone our own way.  Or, we have somehow done something to grieve the Holy Spirit…or we have not been studying scripture…maybe we have stopped in Christian fellowship so we feel disconnected.  Do we have any unrepentant sin in our lives?  I’ve had those times… and God softly speaks to me and reassures me that He has always been there; He comforts me with His peace, and surrounds me with His Love...  Why did it take me so long?  Why did I get so discouraged?  Greater is He who is in me, than He who is in the world...  Do we really believe that?  Sometimes we can tend to make our faith all about ourselves rather than about the One who has saved us.
 
One day, God will wipe every tear from your eyes, and take away all the pain and suffering that you have had on this earth. 
 
So... what about the Greater Things?  God’s Greater Things and our greater things are two very different things.  Which one do you choose?  Don’t forget to count the cost.
 
2012 is really no different from any other year.  Nothing magically changes at midnight on the 31st of December.  A change of Attitude can happen at any time….we don’t need a New Year for that.  We don’t need to think it into existence by positively ‘expecting’ that it will be better.  That simply doesn’t work, and it actually causes a lot of harm.   What does work?
 
I’ve learned to ask the question ‘What is God up to in this?’...  Because He is always working.
 
The simple prayer... ‘Your will not mine Lord. I trust You, and I have faith you are working. That’s good enough for me.’
 
 

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Comment by Carla on December 31, 2011 at 4:35pm
I understand...
Comment by Carla on December 31, 2011 at 4:07pm
Char, be encouraged...this too shall pass. As a believer, the Holy Spirit lives in you. I say this because you can rest knowing that God is with you. If you can't read the Word for a couple days because your head is pounding, God is not going to leave you. There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. I will keep you in my prayers, and your son. There have been times where my prayers have sounded like ... "Lord, I'm so weary...I need You", and He shows up...not in ways i expected..but better. You've been on my heart for a few days now...I don't even know you, and God has laid you on my heart.
Comment by Carla on December 31, 2011 at 3:31pm
Char, I'm not judging you. The entire point of my blog is to encourage us to examine ourselves, and keep our eyes on Jesus. I'm sorry you've had a rough time... I'm sorry we all have a rough time. But, as believers, our rough times look different, and are different from the secular world. Not because they are more or less, or better or worse, they are the same....they look different because we have Jesus, and our motive and goal is to show the lost Jesus.....regardless of what is fed back to us. This fleeting fallen life won't last long. My message is, make the most of it for the sake of Christ.
Comment by Carla on December 31, 2011 at 3:24pm
Nancy.. My keyboard has done that before too. I found out I had mistakenly changed the settings somehow. I turned everything off and back on again and it fixed itself. :-)
Comment by Carla on December 31, 2011 at 3:02pm

Char, 

 

It seems as though you think I am judging you.  If what I am typing is speaking to you, don't shut it out.  If it doesn't speak to you...then ignore it.  You don't need to justify anything that is ongoing in your life.  Believe me, Struggles are my middle name...actually, maybe they are my first name with a capital 'S'...  Until I decided to rest in the Victory that I already have in Christ.

My life the past two weeks--

I've been sick too... I've been sick on and off for a couple weeks now, all the while entertaining my husbands family prior to and over Christmas...I've had a fever, stomach upset and now a cough and a sore throat.   I ate today for the first time in 3 days.  My computer broke down.. because I spilled a cup of tea on the key board ( i did that to myself)....  My husbands side of the family came over for Christmas...all non-believers...one brother inlaw in particular mocking and patronizing my faith the entire time (9 days to be exact) in my home--swearing, telling innapropriate stories etc..  When I excused myself from the room I was told I was being 'rude' by leaving.    My son has had a terrible cough and fever for about a week.  ...you know..  I'm getting depressed just typing all this..    That's life.  This is what living in a fallen world looks like. 

 

None of that matters---

Eyes on Jesus..  that's Victory.  If this offends you, I can't change that.

Lord Bless, Carla

Comment by Carla on December 31, 2011 at 2:22pm

Char..  one more thought..  if we keep our eyes on what we think satan is or isn't doing, then we will continue to look at him.  As a race, we humans are not very good at multi-tasking.  We can't look two places at once.  Keep your eyes on Jesus...then who cares what satan is doing.. he wants to steal kill and destroy...do we really need to look at that garbage anyway?

Comment by Carla on December 31, 2011 at 2:16pm

Char,

It's possible that you are under direct attack... but honestly, we have to remember that satan is not omnipresent.  he can't be everywhere at once.  his underlings do a very effective job of attacking us and denting our armour...but that is all they can ever do since we are In Christ. 

 

I don't know the answer to 'why'...  but I do know that God is Greater.  I also know that I belong to Him.  I know that He 'has this'..  whatever 'this' may be at the moment.  I know who I am in Him.  That is where we are overcomers.  That is the place of Victory.   Knowing who we are 'In Christ'.  I know that the worst thing by worldly standards that could happen to me is that I or another family member would die..  If they are also 'In Christ', that is not a bad thing.. That is a glorious thing to rejoice over--for whooever leaves this life is present with the Lord.  If they are not 'In Christ'...it is a sad thing....but even then, once they have died there is nothing I can do.  My husband is a non-believer, and I have cried for his salvation for 6 years now...  I can 'believe' for his salvation (positive thinking)...OR, I can 'believe all things and hope all things' (the way of Love)...  Positive thinking leaves me disappointed and feeling condemned like I have fallen short of something somewhere.. The way of Love leaves me in a place knowing that God is always working doing His part, I can rest and trust and have faith in that...it's up to my husband to respond.  Do you see the difference?  I know that is perhaps off topic..  but I just felt led to say that. 

 

Blessings, Carla

Comment by Carla on December 31, 2011 at 1:17pm

Char,

 

And I often pray for answers as to why and when the answers don't come, just strength to keep getting through it.

 

Perhaps that's the point...to build your strength.  That's no small thing.

Comment by Carla on December 31, 2011 at 1:13pm

Thank you for responding Charles..  Amen.

Comment by Charles Burwell on December 31, 2011 at 1:10pm

Caarla

 

Very good word my friend.  We many times  do try to make it all about us as though God owed us something.  We have His love , forgiveness , provisions and His promise  never to  leave us.     

 

 He has promised that there will NEVER be a temptation that He will not provide an escape for  - I Cor 10:13.

 

He has a promise of a peace we can have NOW , not after the answer has come  -Phil. 4 : 6-7

 

He has provided divine intercession for our prayers , both from the Holy Spirit -Rom. 8 and from the Lord Himself  - Hebrews 4: 16.

 

He offers us the fellowship that He has with he Father.

 

He has promised to one day deliver us from all this and to PERSONALLY  wipe away all our tears.

 

I find myself being reminded of these things , as well as others you have mentioned , whenever I find myself complaining  ( which is way too often ).

 

He gives us a key ( for lack of a better word ) in Proverbs where He tell us to TRUST in Him with ALL our

       hearts and lean NOT on our own understanding, ACKNOWLEDGE Him in all our ways and then HE 

       WILL direct our paths .

 

I personally believe that if we do this our problems will greatly diminish. When we truly trust  and obey

       Him ( which in my opinion worship is ) we will gain the proper perspective and the peace which

       naturally ( or supernaturally ) follows.  But instead we tend to LEAN ON OUR OWN UNDERSTAND -ING.

 

The Lord reminded me after one of my more festive pity parties of these things and compared my actions and attitudes to the man who refused an umberella when going out in the driving rain and then became  discouraged and complained because he was getting wet .

 

I , like you , am  in no way  minimizing anyones struggles or problems ;  it's just that ( in my opinion ) we need to quit minimizing  the God who has promised to take care of everything.  He has all the answers and we need to accept the 'umberella ' He is offering us.

 

God bless you , my dear friend , and may we all begin to look past our troubles and problems and behold the faithful solver , comforter and healer of our problems.

 

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