True confessions: I thought the Bible was boring too.
I read it more out of obligation than desire-meaning, I knew that God wanted me to read my Bible because that's what 'good' Christians do - they read
their Bibles every day, right?
But something changed ... radically, I mean about the obligation thing
That's because in recent days, these comments have been expressed to me:
"No one should have to feel what it is like to be inside my brain..."
"How could my own mother ever treat me like this?"
"Me - well I guess I'm living proof you cannot die of loneliness," she kind of smiled across the table.
"I cannot even remember what joy feels like..."
Another true confession: what has sustained me in life's very toughest moments has come from the pages of the Book. These are the things I try to remember in life's difficulties, particularly things of which I have no control:
->God loves me, and he is faithful. His heart toward me is always GOOD.
Scripture says, "Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning. Great is your faithfulness...The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord."1
Read it out loud, personalizing it: "Because of the Lord's great love, I am not consumed, for his compassions never fail me. They are new every morning. Great is your faithfulness, God. The Lord is good to me because my hope is in him, and I seek him; it is good when I wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord."
->Whatever tragedy or trauma has occurred in your life has not caught God off guard.
How do I know that? Because God never slumbers nor sleeps!2
To whom or what will you turn for direction and for comfort? The choice is, of course, yours . . . you alone can choose your response.
You can turn to alcohol or marijuana, shopping or pornography; you alone can choose your response to pain. Some of you are just spinning; well actually, more like sinking, due to the fact that you forgot, or you never knew that God's heart toward you is always good.
->Every time heartbreak enters your life, you have an opportunity to turn to God for him to work
Therefore you choose to remember that God's heart toward you is good, that he loves you, and that you should maintain an attitude of praise toward him-as Job said, "The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away. Blessed be the name of the LORD."3
'But I cannot do it,' the mother screams in her fear of the future... 'neither can I,' the brother of a disturbed young man sobs ...
Yes, you can!! Run to Jesus, throw yourself upon his breast. Cry out to him; he is there for you and he is with you. Turn to God for help, and then stand on the truth that, as Paul said from prison,
"I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength"!4
And, then what?
->Turn to God>for direction and wisdom
Trust in the Lord with all your heart; don't just trust your own thinking.5
Ask God for wisdom, and he will give it to you. Period. Then, believe he has and is giving you the wisdom you require for next steps in your situation.
Is that all? Of course not, but these compile a great launching pad for us. One more thought:
->Take one day at a time.
"Do not worry about tomorrow for it has cares enough of its own."6
God will give you strength for today; his grace is sufficient.
'Want to radically change your viewpoint?
Memorize these Scriptures,
so you have them ready to recall-
ammunition for your racing mind,
Succor for your aching heart.
Final true confession: God's word shows me the way, and it also brings me peace like nothing else. I no longer read the Bible out of obligation!
1 - Lamentations 3.22,23,25,26
2 - Psalm 121.4
3 - Job 1.21
4 - Philippians 4:13
5 - Proverbs 3.5
6 - Matthew 6.3