When our hearts are broken, what can we do?

Are you bearing a burden today that makes you feel discouraged and worthless? Is it hard for you to sleep peacefully and enjoy a mind that is under God’s control? Today there are multitudes of people who are hurting so very much and may even feel that God is not aware and listening to their prayers and answering them.

Let me urge you to read Psalm 40. Of course there are many other passages of scripture in the word of God that will help us, but in this section of scripture we find a man who feels exactly as we do when our hearts are broken and life is so very, very, difficult.

He says in v. 12, “For innumerable evils have surrounded me; My iniquities have overtaken me, so that I am not able to look up; They are more than the hairs of my head, therefore my heart fails me.”

Have you felt that your life is just like this? What can we do in such a condition as this? Continue reading

#discouragement, #patience, #trust

Patience and wisdom

“The man’s wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to overlook an offense” Proverbs 19:11.

According to the world, if insulted, the bigger man is the one who can give it back in the wittiest and weightiest way. But God says it is to a man’s glory to overlook an offense!

That takes patience, which is a product of wisdom, which God tells us He will give us if we ask without finding fault. But most of us don’t want to pray for patience because we know that God often gives us situations in which the fruit of patience will have opportunity to grow.

That’s just it; patience is a fruit of the Spirit that must grow in us, but one we’d rather not cultivate. We hope that life will go along so smoothly that we won’t have any reason to show patience. Then, when offended, we lash out as impatiently as the world, and the world would never be able to tell that we follow Christ.

Don’t have wisdom enough to pray for patience to grow in your life? Ask so you may receive so it can then be to your glory to overlook an offense! Then the world will glorify God as well.

Got patience?

Doug Kashorek

Plattsburgh church of Christ

www.plattsburghchurch.com

author of Kin of Cain

a Christian historical fantasy

www.douglaskashorek.com

#patience, #proverbs, #wisdom

Patience

Patience is a part of the fruit of the Spirit. Patience is also a two-edged sword…or at least a two-way street. There’s patience that we need to show to others, but then there’s the patience we need to have with our self.

There’s nothing wrong with having expectations. In a roundabout way there’s almost everything right with having them. The danger comes from having expectations that go above and beyond what’s reasonable.

I don’t expect my daughter to know how to do math right now – she still has to get a grasp on saying her numbers. For me to expect anything else would be ridiculous. She needs time. She needs to be taught. She needs patience and so do I! Is it a contradiction to put a “!” next to the word patience?

Along those same lines we need to be patient with those whose knowledge about Jesus isn’t as great as our own. We should encourage others to study, we should encourage others to look to Jesus for their example and we should be ready to help if needed, but we must remember that at the beginning people need to learn to take “baby steps” as they learn about the gospel.

At the same time we need to remember to have patience with our self. I know we’re not promised tomorrow, but Rome wasn’t built in a day. It’s true that there is huge peril in not progressing, but there can also be huge peril in being too hard on one’s self. Patience is not an excuse for sin, but there is no sin in having or showing patience. In many ways patience shows maturity for maturity owns up but does not quit.

The Bible is too clear to miss the importance of spiritual expectations, but the Bible is also just as clear when it comes to the importance of spiritual patience. Patience is a virtue that carries a lot of “wait” but patience is what God shows us so we can show it towards others.

Now we exhort you, brethren, warn those who are unruly, comfort the fainthearted, uphold the weak, be patient with all.” (1 Thessalonians 5:14)

PS: In a ironic turn of events, for some reason the title of “Patience” won’t post at the top of this article – even after I tried five times.

#christian-maturity, #christianity, #expectations, #fruit-of-the-spirit, #patience, #spiritual-growth

Oblivious to the Obvious

Patience. Jesus owned the patent on patience…especially when it came to dealing with intentional stubbornness.

Mark 8:11-12 says,

Then the Pharisees came out and began to dispute with Him, seeking from Him a sign from heaven, testing Him. But He sighed deeply in His spirit, and said, “Why does this generation seek a sign? Assuredly, I say to you, no sign shall be given to this generation.””

The Pharisees had already seen enough signs to believe if they wanted to do so! Nicodemus admitted this much in John 3:2. Now, signs would still be given to these Pharisees, and to the rest of the world, but sadly these signs were still going to “fail their test.” They were oblivious to the obvious fact that they were the ones failing the test by ignoring all that had been done by Jesus up to this point in time in exchange for what they thought should be done. They didn’t have the spirit of Gideon in the making of their request – they had the spirit of their forefathers who resisted God’s Spirit with stiff-necks and uncircumcised hearts and ears.

Jesus’ sigh alone should have been a sign to them. It would have been obvious through His words. He offered them more patience than they were willing to offer each other when it came to His works and wisdom (John 7:50-52). They had the scriptures to see what signs were being fulfilled; but unless they were willing to see the scriptures, there was no way the signs would convince them or make them see – even if one rose from the dead! (Luke 4:16-21, 16:31)

Sin can make our heart oblivious to the obvious. Sin darkens our eyes. Sin deafens our ears. Sin hardens our heart. Sin numbs all of our spiritual senses. It can leave us dead while we live (1 Timothy 5:6). And the remedy for sin? It’s Jesus – and it’s obvious, but some sure are oblivious because they are too busy asking for signs instead of following them.

May our eyes see clearly, may ears hear openly, may our hearts stay tender, may our intentions stay godly as we study God’s word and may we be patient with others as God is with us. It’s a challenge, but if we fail to do these things we may just become oblivious to the obvious things He wants us to see.

For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12)

#bible-study, #jesus, #patience, #signs, #sin

Stick your neck out

He was told that if he hadn’t written a book by the age of 35, chances were that he never would– and he was almost 40! He was warned that short stories weren’t popular or considered for top prizes– yet his won the Pulitzer Prize! Hollywood told him his book held no dramatic possibilities and Broadway said it would never make a good musical.

Would you have given up? Would you have washed the whole idea right out of your hair? Or would you have hung in there and written Tales of the South Pacific as James Michener did?

It’s easy to be negative. It’s easy to criticize and say “Here’s what might go wrong.” But positive people and dreamers accomplish “miracles”. They persevere. They overcome the challenges (what some call “problems”).

I once read of a college president who had a plaque on his desk that read: “Behold the turtle. He never makes any progress unless he sticks his neck out.”

The next time you feel challenged say ‘yes’. The next time God gives you a dream, go for it! “Stick your neck out” for Jesus and the Kingdom of God! The next time may be your last opportunity to glorify God – not because you have lots of courage, but because you can still trust Him.

–Edited from an article by Dan Skaggs

Proverbs 3:5-6 – Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.

“Thoughts For Today to Brighten Your Day” by Glenn, Mercedes and Lauren Hitchcock

#courage, #faith, #patience, #perserverance, #positive-thinking

Wait for God

#patience, #waiting

Waiting For Jericho To Fall

Hello. I pray that we are all growing by waiting on the Lord. Our text this morning is Joshua 6:1-21. This event about the fall of Jericho teaches us much that is important about patience. Consider these thoughts and think about where else they might fit in your life.

• Being patient takes time. I can imagine that by the 4th-6th days, the Israelites were wondering whether they were really going to attack Jericho and, if so, why this way. Have you ever wondered why important things don’t happen sooner, quicker?

• Being patient (waiting on the Lord) takes obedience. It must have seemed silly, both to the Israelites and to the citizens of Jericho to go about conquering this way. Today, God has chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise (1 Cor. 1:27).Let’s obey with the faith that God always knows what he is doing and always accomplishes what he promises.

• Being patient takes work. God does not do for man what man can do for himself. God calls us to work that he might work mightily in us (Eph. 2:10, 3:20).

• Being patient gives time for thought. How much time might it have taken to walk around Jericho: an hour, two hours, half a day? The Israelites were to be silent during this time. What must each warrior, father, son, tribal leader have meditated upon while marching? Patience often gives us such time for growth through meditation.

• Being patient has reward. Israel did finally conquer Jericho and the whole land. After 40 years wandering and after finally following God’s instructions, they received what God has promised. So shall we if we patiently wait on the Lord (2 Tim. 4:6-8).

Mike Glenn

#obedience, #patience, #time