I am so happy to report; God has been crazy good to us this week. We were at our local Walmart a few days ago and here was one of my Meals on Wheels clients, “shopping.” A sight I thought I would never see because of her health. We had a good time speaking with her, her daughter and granddaughter. Then today we had lunch with my daughter and two of her children after church. While inside the establishment we met Jimmy and Joy Tilton along with their two daughters. These are friends we haven’t seen in a few years and it did my heart good to see them. Before we left my oldest son and his wife came into the place and we visited with them for a few minutes. Good is always good; in whatever He does!
It seems that God is teaching me and wanting me to share my thoughts on the subject of ADVERSITY or what we usually refer to as problems. This past Tuesday (July 9th) I listened to Doctor David Jeremiah speak on adversity through Joy FM Radio and that very same day I attended a weekly men’s lunch meeting known as the BOB (Band of Brothers) group to which our study is from Dr. Charles Stanley Devotional, In Touch and our material for that day was titled; The Field Trip of Trials. I must admit this captured my attention and stirred my mind to seriously ponder the subject.
All my life, I have been taught the effects of adversity and the power it holds over its subject, without even realizing it. However, over the last 25 years plus I learned that adversity does not discriminate, does not follow a particular coarse and operates on its own timing. I have witnessed adversity in action as it destroyed (and is destroying) the lives of fellow Christian’s, as well as continuing to blind the nonbeliever. People beaten down into submission simply because they chose to walk the walk alone. Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 NLT), 9 Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. 10 If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble.
I purposely used the term we because I floated this boat myself until I learned the secret to surviving adversity. As my pastor would say, “here is where the rubber meets the road.” Adversity, aka; problems, hard times, trouble, trials, disaster, hardship suffering, etc. (dress it how you will) but it never looks or feels like a good thing. Ergo, we usually seek to end the adversity by any means necessary and as quickly as possible. It was during one of these episodes that God gave me this revelation; the secret to surviving adversity is “attitude!” We as American Christians are spoiled down to our very souls and being so, we equate everything we encounter to comfort. Should things become uncomfortable we automatically assume the worst and blame everyone in every circumstance for our hardship. When the truth may be as simple as God seeking more time with us. Philippians 1:12 (NLT), And I want you to know, my dear brothers and sisters, that everything that has happened to me here has helped to spread the Good News.
Attitude displays the depth of my being able to control my outer most self in action, word and deed, during every situation. Now in my own power I find this to be an enormous to impossible task in the arena of kindness, peace, joy and love. I used to completely lose sight of Matthew 7:12 (NLT), Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets. Everything in my life became all about the misery of my problems and I couldn’t stand people who didn’t have troubles such as mine. I hated myself and the world in general! My every thought was focused on my conquering every situation on my own and that was my greatest downfall. It seemed that my every decision just made everything worse, in-which took my attitude to lows like I’ve never known before. Psychologist William James; “Great emergencies and crises’ show us how much greater our vital recourses are, then we ever supposed.”
Finally! When I was at the end of my understanding and things couldn’t get any worse. I cried out with a voice I had never heard before. I soon learned it was the cry of the lost! A cry that starts deep within the soul and is super charged as it travels through a broken heart. A spiritual plea that is amplified as it surges through the lungs and is sanctified by the Holy Spirit for God to hear. It was at this moment my understanding of this verse started to take place, John 10:27 (NLT), My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. If it hadn’t been for ending the world that I was comfortable in, I would never have had the wonderful beginning of God’s everything! Adversity, problems, hard times, trouble, trials, disaster, hardship suffering, etc. are still a part of life for me but Jesus is with me, guiding my steps, overseeing my choices and regulating my attitude. I am a different person in thick or thin, because I understand God wants the best for me in the end. I heard a quote this week by Psychologist William James; “The greatest discovery of my generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering his attitudes.”
My prayer for you is, Paul’s Request for Prayer, 2 Thessalonians 3:1-5 (NLT), 3 Finally, dear brothers and sisters, we ask you to pray for us. Pray that the Lord’s message will spread rapidly and be honored wherever it goes, just as when it came to you. 2 Pray, too, that we will be rescued from wicked and evil people, for not everyone is a believer. 3 But the Lord is faithful; he will strengthen you and guard you from the evil one. 4 And we are confident in the Lord that you are doing and will continue to do the things we commanded you. 5 May the Lord lead your hearts into a full understanding and expression of the love of God and the patient endurance that comes from Christ. Amen
HAVE A BLESSED WEEK BY BEING A BLESSING TO OTHERS!
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