Life in it’s daily turn of events , is full of teaching and learning events. How much are you aware of them?
Do you tune out the pain or the embarrassments and keep plunging full speed ahead? Do you why God allows these issues in your life? Come really, do you have an answer? Do you think everything is the Enamy of our Soul doing this to us? Or do you turn to your TV to get away from it, or your food, or bury your nose in Face Book and constantly hunt and gaze at emails and other social media? Or, maybe you are like me.. I shop!
Today I learned I did not get the extra job I wanted. Yep, I feel like crying a bit…just because my feelings are hurt that I was not “picked”. However, my mind’s eye has turned it eye upward… to God the father whom I work for first. I feel that He is saying it is really OK… You must curb your spending, you must rest better, you must take time to think of me and relate to me…and yes, have a healthier mine to work for me… I have other plans for you.
And so, I feel the pain… the dissappointment and re-adjust my sails for the next appointment he has for me. I feel better… I am not being having a fit because things aren’t going my way…. matter of fact I am feeling more calm… I ake a deep sign and realizwe I will be happier about this later on tomoorw and even more so next week.
Thank you Lord that You control my future and want what is best for me. amen.
Paul Tripp Ministries, Inc.
REMEMBER WITH SPECIFICITY
Two weeks ago I wrote to you about trouble. I may not know who you are or what your life has been like, but I can almost guarantee that trouble has paid a visit, is currently visiting, or will visit your life in some capacity.
When trouble comes, it’s vital that you talk to yourself. I teach this principle all the time – no one is more influential in your life than you are because no one talks to you as much as you do. What you say to you in moments of trouble will impact the way you respond.
David was a man well acquainted with trouble. Poor David; if you read the Psalms, he always seems to be in trouble! But in these moments, David was always talking to himself. We saw this in Psalm 27 – “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” (Psalm 27:1)
There’s something else David did in times of trouble that’s very helpful; it’s found in Psalm 4 – “Answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness! You have given me relief when I was in distress. Be gracious to me and hear my prayer!” (Psalm 4:1, ESV, emphasis mine)
In the midst of trouble, David remembered the acts of God. Notice how the above phrase is in the past tense – “you have given me relief when I was in distress.” He’s not thanking the Lord for currently relieving his distressing circumstances.
What can we learn from David? In times of trouble, it’s helpful to remember with specificity the past acts of God’s relieving mercy and grace.
You and I have such a short-term memory. Because of sin, we’re all about the gratification and pleasure of today. When trouble comes knocking, we get absorbed in the immediate, forgetting what God has delivered us from in the past and what he’s transforming us into for the future.
David speaks gospel sense to his soul: “Remember, this is not new. I’ve experienced trouble in the past and God was good to me then. He remains good to me today, and what I’m facing is not out of his loving and wise rule.”
I would guess that David learned this theological skill from his ancestors. In the Old Testament, God stops the rushing waters of the Jordan River so the nation of Israel can cross on dry land. The Lord tells Joshua to set out 12 memorial stones. Why? “So that all the peoples of the earth may know that the hand of the Lord is mighty.” (Joshua 4:24)
I would encourage you to take notes from Joshua and David. Remember, with specificity, the good things God has done for you. Journal, take a picture, or do whatever else can help you, so when trouble comes knocking, you can say like David, “You have given me relief when I was I distress.”
Paul David Tripp
How often do you talk to yourself?
Reflect on some of the things you’ve said to yourself in the past week. What were you saying to you?
What, or who, are some influences that can shape what you say to you?
What are some examples from your life when God has given you relief from distress?
How can you create “memorial stones” to remind yourself that the hand of the Lord is mighty?
Paul Tripp Ministries, Inc.
BE ANGRY. DON’T SIN.
Last week I encouraged you to remember with specificity the good things the Lord has done for you. Today we return to Psalm 4 and continue to learn how to suffer well.
In the midst of his trouble and grief, King David says to himself, “Be angry, and do not sin.” (Psalm 4:4) This can be a confusing verse, because in most of Scripture, isn’t anger categorized as a sin?
For example: “Man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires” (James 1:2); “Anger resides in the lap of fools” (Ecclesiastes 7:9); “Do not associate with one easily angered” (Proverbs 22:24); “You must rid yourselves of […] anger…” (Colossians 3:8)
So if the Bible defines anger as a sin in many places, how can David say, “Be angry, and do not sin” without contradicting God’s Word? Here’s a principle to remember: the ‘biblical acceptability’ of your anger depends upon the law which you’re angrily defending.
Think about it this way: how much of your anger last week was a result of you angrily defending the law of God? Were you angered by injustice and political corruption? Were you angered by Christians being persecuted? Were you angered by the weak being exploited?
Sadly, that anger doesn’t last very long. Frequently my anger is a result of me angrily defending another law – the law of me. I get angry when someone changes the channel, when they add something to my schedule, or when they request I give up something to serve them.
The same principle applies to anger and suffering. Most of the things you suffer from are angering to God: bodies weren’t designed to break, people weren’t created to betray, and governments weren’t established to abuse. Suffering in a fallen world should make you angry because suffering almost always correlates with God’s law being broken in some way.
But all too often, we’re angry because the suffering inconveniences our little kingdom. It robs us of money, time, comfort, and pleasure. We’re not grieved and angry in unison with God; in fact, in many cases, we’re angry at God for allowing such things to come our way.
So when suffering enters your door, you should be furious. But your anger should be motivated by the law of God, not the law of self. It’s much easier for me to write that than to live it, but Christ provides abundant daily grace for our anger problems.
For a deeper discussion on how to be good and angry at the same time, check out my curriculum by the same name: How to be Good and Angry.
Paul David Tripp
What are some current events that should anger you as a Christian?
How can you translate your anger into Christ-exalting action?
When are the most common occurrences of your anger?
What does your anger reveal about your heart?
How can you seek help for your anger?
Be sure to add “email@example.com” to your address book.
http://www.oneplace.com/ministries/hope-for-the-heart/listen/#. <TRY THIS LINK!
July 2014 start at the bottom & click (hopefully) if not go to Hope for the Heart online and look at July 2014 online archives.
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I was thinking about Thanksgiving the other day and I read something that stopped me. It was this: “The pilgrims made seven times more graves than huts … nevertheless, set aside a day of thanksgiving.” Boy, doesn’t that say a lot!
Think about it. Our forefathers—the courageous men and women, who came to this country on the Mayflower, had a pretty tough go of things. And in spite of a huge loss of life and incredible hardship they kept their faith and thanked God, when all they had was a sorry place to live and the hope that they would grow or kill enough food to eat. Others had been wiped out before them and they might be next, but they gave thanks anyway.
Just think about that for a moment and then think about your life. We’ve all had pain in our lives, and maybe you have experienced hurt and suffering that is beyond what we think anyone should have to go through; yet we are called to pause and give thanks to God for Him and His incredible blessings no matter what our circumstances. Read what the apostle, Paul, wrote: Be joyful; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus – 1 Thessalonians 5:16
Just the other day I was listening to a man who was facing prison time and all that would come and go with it. When he sat down to dinner and asked God to bless the food, he realized that this was the first time in his life, he had thanked God for his food and been truly grateful for it. Surely we don’t have to be facing time in prison to be thankful for what God provides for us everyday.
For 25 years we really have been truly grateful to God for allowing us here at New Life to provide the ministry we have to fellow strugglers.
And you know, there has never been a time in our 25-year history that all of us at New Life have sensed, felt, and experienced a greater need for our ministry. People get in trouble, experience hurt, and come face to face with the fact that what they trusted in and depended on is not there for them anymore.
So, when the challenges, the fiery trials, and the tough times in life come your way, the apostle Peter reassures you that it is not unusual or unexpected: Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you – 1 Peter 4:12
I want to encourage you with this verse to allow a very old phrase to become part of your meditation during tough times: Think it not strange! Think it not strange when it all falls down or all falls apart. Think it not strange when your plans for the future seem impossible. Think it not strange that your faith, your faithfulness, and your generosity have not protected you from the realities of this fallen world. And . . . think it not strange that at the point of your greatest fear, pain, insecurity, desperation and loss, God wants you to support what He is doing.
Maybe you are like me, and you have found that giving God a portion of some excess brings very little satisfaction. But when I give sacrificially, when it makes no sense, when I could make a strong case to not give, that is when my gift produces far more than I ever dreamed. When you give like that, that’s when your gift is more meaningful to God, it’s more meaningful to whom you choose to give it to, and it will prove to be more meaningful to you.
Two of the most meaningful gifts New Life has ever received were not the two largest gifts we ever received. One was a gift of $4.73. It was from someone who called and told us that was all he had left in his bank account; but that the radio program just had to stay on the air, so he was sending all he had. Boy was that humbling! And it was meaningful to each and every staff member at New Life. It’s had an impact on us like you can’t imagine! It made me so grateful that our President, Larry Sonnenburg, will stretch that $4.73 better than anyone I know.
The gift from the lady who wanted to commit to giving monthly to New Life also had a tremendous impact on us. She knew that we ask for a minimum gift of $30 a month to become a member of Club New Life. But all she could afford to give on a monthly basis was $2. She knew it wouldn’t qualify her to be a Club New Life member, but she asked us to set her up within our automatic giving plan for her to give New Life $2 a month. These gifts were a great reminder to us that God doesn’t look at the size of the gift, but He looks at your heart and the sacrifice.
So . . . I am asking you to do two things:
1. Acknowledge to God that you know there are going to be some amazingly good things that will come from the hurt and pain you might be going through. And thank Him in advance, in the midst of your struggle, for the good that is yet to come . . . that is about to come if you’ll just persevere and endure. You will, “Think it not strange!”
2. Respond to God’s calling for you to give when it is toughest. Not out of your excess, but give sacrificially when it makes the least sense, when it hurts the most. Think it not strange that this is exactly the time that God wants you to respond to His eternal plans rather than to your temporary earthly circumstances.
If you make a gift in response to this Thanksgiving greeting and challenge, I’ll thank you with a gift of The 7-Minute Marriage Solution Devotional Bible.
Thank you for partnering with us!
We have just begun Chapter 1 What is Happening to Me? Continue reading
Thus far, there is no specific, valid scientific evidence to why we feel relieved after a good cry during traumatic episodes. Unlike reflex tears (allergies, when we get something stuck in our eyes, or when cutting an onion), which is made up of 98% water, emotional tears have a much higher concentration of hormones and proteins. According to Dr. William Frey II, Ph. D., biochemist and tear researcher at Ramsey Medical Center (Minneapolis, Minnesota), the scientific conclusion his team found is that the tears shed during emotional crying gets rid of stress chemicals/hormones/toxins accumulated in your brain during a stressful trauma. Another theory is that the tears release endorphins, the chemical that makes us happy.
As unique as a seashell
As deep as the sea
As eternal as the waves
Our love was meant to be.
When we became one
And said our vows on the sand
It was certain, we believed
That this was part of Godʼs plan
But I received a letter today
From my beautiful bride
Who promised at one time
To always stand by my side
I opened the letter quickly,
And when I peered inside,
I learned her unfailing love
Will now be cast aside.
It was then that I realized
This letter by my side
Was not one of love
But one full of pride
I then walked outside
And leaned down on the fence
Prayed to God above
Because it didnʼt make sense
I looked up and over
To the other side of the fence
The enemy was standing there
Laughing at my expense
He saw I was alone
And his face had one big sneer
He won the battle for this marriage
Because it didnʼt persevere.
I then dreamt back to the day
When we said our vows by the ocean
Our new covenant life together
Was excitedly set into motion!
It was a moment of joy
When we both stood on that beach
Happiness and joy
Was now within reach!
Hardships and difficulties
We could surely traverse
Because we decided long ago
It was for better or for worse.
So we commenced our marriage
Sweetheart to sweetheart
But then slowly but surely
Our love drifted apart
Now itʼs my turn to write a letter
Because I wish youʼd hang in there
For neither of us is perfect
I know we are both aware.
Itʼs so frustrating to me
And I just want to exclaim
That itʼs not just one or the other
Because weʼre both to blame!
If youʼve been married a while
You donʼt need any proof
To know itʼs just two sinners
Living under the same roof.
How hard marriage can be,
Thereʼs just no way to explain
But there can be so many blessings
When you both work through the pain
I canʼt help but wonder though,
The blessings that we missed
All because we gave up
And our love didnʼt persist.
So the enemy won this battle
You can hear his laughing now
He found someone was willing
To forsake their marriage vow.
He wants me to blame God
Because we failed this marriage test
But I refuse to be bitter towards her
And I really do wish her the best
But I canʼt help and wonder
Whoʼs turn will be next
Will there be another one in the future
Looking down and reading this text
So I wish her Godʼs blessing
And I mean no offense
But the grass of life isnʼt always greener
On the other side of the fence.
In Memory of Kerry, may this Blog be a Comfort place for you to come, a place to air our private thoughts, in the safety of a ‘secure’ zone, a place to draw encouragement from, & if no one is home, a place to link to the same through nite sounds, and so on….
If God is choosing to bring me to the group, did he also choose to put me through this pain? It seems to me that we give God credit for the good things but place no blame for the bad??