We all know the unofficial definition of “stupid” – doing the same thing over and over even though it didn’t work the first time. Yet it is easy for us to play those failed tapes again and again in our heads when facing difficulties. We know getting upset, throwing things, screaming at people never solve the problem and often only make things worse, but we find ourselves falling into the same old patterns when riled up.
What makes the storms in our life more difficult is the reality that many of us separate our problems from our spirituality and only turn to God for help and comfort after we have exhausted every other means of dealing with the situation. Yet there are many verses scattered throughout the Bible that work like stop signs when we find ourselves falling into the same old patterns of anger, frustration and discouragement over our problems.
One of the problems we face with the use of Scripture as a practical and calming influence is that most of us have little tradition of using the Bible this way. We read the Bible devotionally, or we hear it expounded upon in church but it is not always clear that it has a practical application for our every day life. The Bible ends up being “interesting” in the abstract, but not something that we run to for practical advice and encouragement on dealing with life.
Let me give a few examples of verses that can bring comfort and peace if we take the time to reflect upon them and claim their promises. “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
Then there is the beautiful promise in Deuteronomy 31:8, “It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; He will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.”
Let me give you one more, “When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears, and rescues them from all their troubles.” Psalm 34:17
There are dozens and dozens of more texts that encourage us to put our trust in God when overwhelmed with fear, anxiety and failure but these three illustrate my point. When we read texts like Psalm 34:17, 27:1 and Deut. 31:8 we first have to ask ourselves do we believe God? Do we honestly believe that God does help and does hear our calls for help and does rescue us “from all our troubles”?
It is easy to read “Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you,” (1 Peter 5:7) but it’s another thing to believe the text. In order to solve that dilemma let’s start off by you writing the texts in the back of your Bible and posting them on the refrigerator. Then take the time to think about these few verses throughout the day. Two things are going to happen. First you are going to inadvertently end up memorizing the verses and secondly you are going to find strength.
It is no secret that the more we reflect upon the words of God the more we appreciate His goodness, love, mercy, compassion and care. As we mull over the verses in our mind as we go about our daily work the text slowly but surly becomes part of our thinking process.
When confronted with a situation where we might throw a tantrum or end up crying our eyes out in despair, we have new tools through the Holy Spirit’s promptings to trust that God has not left you to struggle through on your own. He has promised help through the verses of His book.
Now this is the tricky part. God will help you and comfort you and give you the strength to get through the problem, but things may not end up as you would like them. Paul wrote concerning Jesus, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9
Sometimes, the consequences of our problems play out in ways that are painful and leave us wounded, but we never have to be broken or defeated. It is God’s grace that is “sufficient” to see us through even the hardest of times.
You are never alone in your hurt because God has experienced a pain much deeper than anything we can know when He hung upon the cross of Calvary and carried the sins of the entire world upon His shoulders. He died that we might live. He died that loved ones who have passed on might live again. He died that children who are bound to wheelchairs, hospital beds and ensnared in abusive situations may have new lives and all their tears wiped away.
Satan prowls this world seeing whom he can destroy and what lives he can ruin, but his time is short and his reign of misery, pain and death is coming to an end. Through the words of the Bible, God calls us to be strong and courageous. He calls us to trust in Him and put our lives in His hands and He promises us that no one or anything can snatch us out of His hand. (see John 10:28)
Satan can beat on us and bring great misery into our lives but he has no power over us and is a defeated angel of death. Take a hold of the few Bible verses in this blog and make them a shield against discouragement, fear and despondency. Claim their promises and trust God when the evil one brings turmoil into your life.
“Be courageous, be strong, no regrets and no retreat” are the words we ended every church service with and they are still the words that govern the lives of all Christians. Please, never forget God loves you unconditionally and He can never love you more than He already does because He loves you with all His heart. The nail prints in His hands and feet say it all.
* Folks, the persecution of Christians has not stopped. If anything it’s increased. The main stream media doesn’t talk about it much anymore but that doesn’t mean it’s not happening. Pray and stay informed and inform others. Please take the time to read some of their stories at http://thebeggardanced.com/nine-oclock-club/ there is much more on the internet…