TROUBLES?.. BRING IT ON!
If you could make your troubles become an asset, you could have a no-loose, win/win prospect for life. If you had a clear line of sight on exactly what benefit your troubles were generating for you, not only could you be sustained by, but thrive on an attitude like Paul’s. What did Paul say about the troubles of life…..BRING IT ON. This is a man born with a silver spoon in his chops; yet he choose a life rife with troubles, and met his troubles with a no-beat-down attitude to boot. If you could make a goldmine out of your troubles you would too. Paul had an impressive resume of troubles, probably second only to Job’s…..or third, if you count our Lord; listen:
For ye suffer, if a man bring you into bondage, if a man devour you, if a man take of you, if a man exalt himself, if a man smite you on the face. I speak as concerning reproach, as though we had been weak. Are (any) ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool ) I am more; in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft. Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one. Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned and left for dead (Acts 14:19 And there came certain Jews from Antioch and Iconium, who persuaded the people, and, having stoned Paul, drew him out of the city, (thinking) he had been dead.), thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep;
In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness. Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches. Who is weak, and I am not weak ? who is offended, and I burn not? If I must needs glory, I will glory of the things which concern mine infirmities. The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which is blessed for evermore, knoweth that I lie not. In Damascus the governor under Aretas the king kept the city of the Damascenes with a garrison, desirous to apprehend me: And through a window in a basket was I let down by the wall, and escaped his hands.
How many people talk about the green pastures, and still waters of Psalm 23 without giving even so much as a thought about the paradoxical location of that such still waters, and green pastures. The valley of the shadow of death is where these tranquil visions are located….right dead smack in the valley of the shadow of death. This place is called the shadow of death not on a whim, but purposefully, because this is a place where you experience the sensations of death; you don’t actually die literally, but the difference is not hardly appreciable, because it is virtually real death.
You encounter all the pain, the fear, the alarm, the hunger, the emptiness, the loneliness, the abandonment, the heaviness, the grief, the loss, the diminutions, the shrinking away, on the road to death, but when you get to that point, you find instead, green pastures, and still waters, not death itself. This is that life that you find when you loose your life in death valley, or conversely will miss out on it, if you choose to find your own life.
We started out together, nine months of cramped quarters in the dark womb; then the great coming out party. Somebody turned on the lights; a whole new world of sights and information bombardment. Was always fed by continual uninterrupted supply; now I have to cry to get fed. The temperature was always just right, now you have to constantly make adjustments. Never needed clothes, now you can’t do without. You are the only voice I’ve known, how could we not be right? Why do we have to part ways.
Only way to cross the river is to show up; you can’t cross it without being there. The Levite Priests carrying the ark of God’s presence were told to cross the river, but the waters were not going to roll back until they would stepp in. The Red Sea didn’t open until Moses got to there, you’re doing what you know is right, and something shows up that looks like it’s going to end you; so you re-assess the plans that got you to that spot, and draw up new ones; maybe it was time to see just how no weapons formed against you can prosper, instead of making new plans.
Not just wait, but wait on the Lord to make of your troubles, quickly an end. Forward still is Jehovah’s will, though the bellows dash and spray; we will march ahead with a conquering tread, and roll the sea away. No guarantees were made that no troubles would show up on the road given you to walk, so when troubles show up; recalculating a new route is perhaps not your best laid plan, but confronting that challenge. Paul’s letter in Hebrews told of people who waxed strong in battle; you don’t become strong by running away, but by engagement in conflict.
Habakkuk reports that in the valley of the shadow of death he found a life where he could have joy and rejoice instead of everything bringing him information to the contraty. Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labor of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls:
Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation. The LORD God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds’ feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places. To the chief singer on my stringed instruments.
Deuteronomy 8:1-8 And (The Lord) humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live.
GOD’S OFFSPRING: A New Creature
THE PLANS I HAVE FOR YOU
CONFLAGRATION: Starting To Believe…Transformation cont’d
THE POWER OF GOD: Jesus
THE GIFT OF GOD: Just Say’N Sow It
AGE OF INCREDULITY