Thursday, July 31, 2008

Wisdom For Prospering in Troubled Times pt. 1

Where is your joy?

So, It's amazing how many people I run into lately, in church and out, who are completely consumed with everything that is wrong in life. You know the type I'm sure. No matter what you say there is no solution to the devastating circumstances of a drama filled life. You may run into that person and you are feeling good, life is good, God loves me, what a great day!! Yet, by the end of the conversation you want to go and crawl in a hole with a gallon of chocolate ice cream and eat your sorrows away. Sometimes, it's as if you can feel the life being sucked right out of you.

Why is our human nature so inclined to flow right into the cesspool of negative thought and self-abusive introspection? It shouldn't be so. In fact, I would go so far as to say that this is the place where our adversary, Satan, wants us. Looking at ourselves, looking at the bad, looking at everything that may not even be wrong, BUT IT COULD HAPPEN!!! As long as we're looking at everything that is wrong, we are certainly not looking at the one person who can, in His plan, make everything right.

In the Bible, King David blew it bad! He hooked up with another guys wife and had a one night stand and got her pregnant. Whoops, didn't mean for that to happen. However, The Bible says that David was a man after God's own heart, so surely David immediately confessed his sin to God and made it right with his little fling and her husband right. I mean if you're a man after God's own heart that's what you would do right? Wrong! David called the guy home from the battle that he was fighting in and tried to get him to go sleep with his wife, so it would look like he got her pregnant. Great plan! The Only problem was, his one night stands husband was a man of honor and would not be with his wife while his friends were still on the front line in the fight. So, what did David do? Confessed? Swallowed his pride and made it right? Nah, not David. He had the guy killed. A man after God's own heart? Huh?

When David finally came to grips with the enormity of his guilt, he was understandably bummed out. During this time He wrote what came to be Psalm 51 in our Bible. David goes into a long time of asking God for forgiveness and confessing his HUGE failure.

The next thing that happened though was interesting. David asks God to restore his joy. Hmm, restore his joy?? Shouldn't he allow this dark time of his life to haunt him forever? Apparently not.

David understood something that MANY people in the church need to understand, that is, Repentance is necessary, and that is difficult and many times painful. When we have to look at who we truly are, we may find ourselves derolect and empty. However, we must remember that our strength does not come in sorrow, it comes in the JOY!! In Psalm 51 David says, "Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed O God........and my tongue shall SING ALOUD of your righteousness. David understood that he could not stay in his sorrow forever. The Bible says "You shall go out with joy, and be led with peace. God's battle plan is joy and not sorrow. When we fail God, or when circumstances aren't rolling our way, we have to deal with it, but then we have to move on in Joy and peace.

What is it that has you down right now. Sin in your life? Life circumstances bumming you out? Be like David, take that need to God, confess and ask forgiveness if you need to, tell God what your need is, and then trust that He's got it covered. The minute we get a revelation that God has it covered, its amazing how that joy and peace will rise up in us. And that, my friend, is your place of strength. How? Because God's word says "The joy of the Lord is your strength." Believe it and live it. Quit allowing life to get you down all the time. God has something way better than that for you. God Bless, Pastor Tom

"In The Bag" Backpack giveaway is coming August 23, 2008