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Posts tagged ‘feeling hopeless’

“BUT”

SOURCE:  Tim Clinton/AACC

“You face your greatest opposition when you’re closest to your biggest miracle.” Bishop T. D. Jakes

“And when it rains on your parade, look up rather than down. Without the rain, there would be no rainbow.” G. K. Chesterton

Often, the most powerful, life-changing miracles seem to happen in the “buts” of life.

Consider the story of Naaman. 2 Kings 5:1 describes him with glowing accolades.

Commander of the army of the king of Syria.

A great man with his master.

High favor.

A mighty man of valor.

Then out of nowhere – life-altering words.

But…he was a leper.

Think about that. Leprosy. The most dreaded disease of his day. A visible outward malady that in reality defined who he was. Putrefying infected sores that in time caused loss of fingers, toes, nose. Everyone who came in contact with him saw the miserable condition he carried with him everywhere he went. There was no hiding it.

Many Christ followers understand this reality in their own journey. No doubt, many of you are living there right now.

You love God, and you really do believe that God loves you. You read the Word, pray, give your tithes and offerings, attend worship services, desiring to obey and walk in His Spirit.

But…

The doctor gave you terminal news.

But…

Your spouse left, and the hole in your heart grows deeper and wider by the hour.

But…

Your position at work was eliminated, as was your pay check, and you find yourself in the unemployment line.

But…

A son or a daughter rejected a lifetime of nurture and admonition and the relationship is strained, broken and seemingly destroyed.

“Buts” that now seem to define who you are. “Buts” that perhaps even cause you to question God and His plan, much less His goodness. “Buts” that understandably cause you to ask “Where are you God?”

Let’s look again at the well-known Bible story of Naaman. At the recommendation of a young slave girl, he travels to find the prophet Elisha. Elisha sends a servant out to instruct Naaman to go and wash seven times in the Jordan. Albeit reluctantly, and even with quite a bit of raging about how irrational the command is, he obeys.

I wonder how Naaman felt after he dunked himself the first time. No change. The second time. No change. Third time. No change. After number six, he might have been thinking that this was a horrible joke and a waste of time. The anger he had initially felt was returning. Someone was going to pay for this public act of embarrassment.

Have you been there? Faith…trust…obedience…and seemingly no change. You find yourself confused, distraught, and perhaps even a bit angry at God.

Then Naaman dipped the seventh time and “his flesh was restored like the flesh of a little child, and he was clean.” 2 Kings 5:14 ESV

He went back to the “man of God,” stood before him and declared, (now) “I know that there is no God in all the earth but in Israel…” 2 Kings 5:15  ESV

God was in the midst of his pain. Faithfully at work in the “but” of Naaman’s life. Steadfast in His in plan in Naaman’s journey, which ultimately brought Him glory.

And God is in the midst of your pain also. He hasn’t forgotten you. He hasn’t forsaken you. He is faithfully working in the plan of your life, and He will ultimately get glory by taking your storyand making it His story.

Don’t be defined by the “but” in your pilgrimage. Don’t give up. Keep believing that He is God, and that He is good.

Your miracle could be just one more “dip in the Jordan” away.

A miracle that will turn your life around.

Are You a “FIXER?” There is HOPE!

SOURCE:  Living Free

 “And so, Lord, where do I put my hope? My only hope is in you.”

(Psalm 39:7 NLT)

Is someone close to you struggling with a life-controlling issue?

Perhaps an addiction, destructive behavior, or even an unhealthy relationship?

When a spouse, child, parent, or other loved one is living in the grasp of a life-controlling problem, the effects of that addiction or dependency will spill over into the lives that surround them. Most of us have known the frustration of loving a person we cannot control or fix.

Dealing with the consequences of a loved one’s problem is doubly difficult. Not only is it painful, but added to the pain is the pressure created by our inability to take charge and make things right.

Are you a “fixer”?

When you see a problem of any kind, your mind starts searching for answers. If I do this or that, I can make it better. Some kinds of problems can be fixed that way – but not your loved one’s life-controlling issues. As much as you may want to, you can’t fix them.

Have you tried to fix the problem? To fix your loved one? Frustrating, isn’t it? And that level of frustration can lead to overload . . . and all kinds of problems in your own life.

Just dwell on this . .

There is hope.

Are you ready to say with the psalmist, “Lord, my only hope is in you”?

Father, I’ve tried and tried to fix this problem. It breaks my heart to watch my loved one go through this. And so many people are being hurt. Help me remember I can’t fix it. Help me remember that there is hope – in you. In Jesus’ name . . .

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[These thoughts were drawn from:  Close—But Not Too Close by Dr. Jimmy Ray Lee.]

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