Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Two simple options when afflictions strike

Is fear causing you to hide from somebody today? Your boss? Your husband or wife? Your strong-willed child? Your grouchy co-worker? When God asked Adam, '..."Where are you?", he replied, "I hid...I was afraid"...' (Genesis 3:9-10 NLT). And we've all been hiding from things ever since. We hide behind forced smiles, agreeable words we don't mean, and social rituals we detest. Or worse, we hide behind things we do believe but don't express because we are afraid of what people might think or say. We try to avoid the pain of confronting someone, and the emotional energy we're afraid we'll have to invest in cleaning up afterwards.

We have two simple options when afflictions strike. We can moan about our fate and give up, or we can face it boldly and make the best of it. God grants us the power to become more than conquerors, if we will only choose to use it.

Unbelief is the root of our struggles and so our fight is a fight to take His Word, trust His Word, and believe His Word.  The fight of our faith is in the renewal of our minds to see our Savior as the treasure hidden in a field, infinitely valuable above anything and everything else.  It’s a fight because we are so easily duped by the fleeting pleasures of this world.

The Word tells us clearly how we are to deal with these battles. Our focus cannot be on our failures, our mistakes, our sins, nor can it be on our desires to sin.  His Word is our weapon, and we are to combat the lies of the enemy with the truth of the Word of God, for it is the truth that sets us free (John 8:32).  We have to prepare our minds for action (1 Peter 1:13).  We are to take every thought captive (2 Corinthians 10:4-5). If we take our struggles to our Father, His peace will flood our minds (Philippians 4:5-7).

But, as Christians, we aren’t supposed to follow the wisdom of the world. Jesus says that not only is it okay to be weak, it’s preferable because, in our human weaknesses, HE is shown and proven to be strong enough to meet us in our weakest state. It takes the pressure off of us to be strong enough or good enough or smart enough. 

So instead of just being reactive in your response to sin, be proactive. Remember the amazing truth that God’s grace is strong enough to cut sin at its root so you can live free from guilt and shame!

Remember several glimmers of hope: Even when everyone else forgets, God doesn't; when no one seems to notice, God does; when no one seems to care, God does; when you feel all alone, you aren't. And one of the first lessons God will teach you as you depend on him is that there are others who also care and are willing to help.

Often people avoid God because they see evildoers in the world and hypocrites in the church. They don't realize that because God is slow to anger, he gives his true followers time to share his love and truth with evildoers. But judgment will come; God will not allow sin to go unchecked forever. When people wonder why God doesn't punish evil immediately, help them remember that if he did, none of us would be here. We can all be thankful that God gives people time to turn to him.

We are to fight.  Psalm 119:11 says that if we have His word stored in our hearts, we will not sin against Him. We are to take care of the things we fill our minds with.  Colossians 3:2 tells us that we are to set our minds on the things above.

Everyone is due for disappointments in his or her life.

You may be suffering a heartbreak, or you've given up a perfect business venture or otherwise, you've invested a lot in a seemingly perfect business opportunity and everything blew up faster than you could bat an eye, or you've lost a good childhood friend.

It's easy to say that during these times God is not at your side.

He is too busy attending to someone else's problems, or else not paying any attention to you at all. But any believer will tell you that is wrong.

God never ends on a negative note.

He is always creating something that is good for us. It might not be today, it might not happen tomorrow, but it will happen eventually, because He has promised our victory and redemption in the Holy Bible itself.

All God asks of us is to maintain our faith and our beliefs until that time is ready, when Jesus Christ makes his return to lead us to God's heavenly kingdom.

Until then, be confident in your faith to God.


Raj Kosaraju

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