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God Is in Control Even When Your Plans Stall
There are certain dead-end words in life, including “cancer,” “divorce,” “bankruptcy,” “infertility,” and “unemployment.” How do you know when you’re at a dead end? You know it when things get out of your control and you can’t do anything about it.
In Difficult Times, What Happens in You is Most...
Life is not fair. You will have problems, difficulties, and hurts that will make you better or bitter. You will either grow up or give up. Either you’ll become who God wants you to be or your heart will become hard. You have to decide how you are going to respond to the tough times in your life. How will you handle it?
Every Storm Is a School, Every Trial a Teacher
When we go through difficulties in life, the first thing we often try to do is blame somebody else. But it doesn’t matter where your problem came from — God still has a purpose for it in your life. Even when you do stupid things, God can use it. Even when other people hurt you intentionally, he can use it. Even when the Devil plans bad things for your life, God can bring good out of it.
Three Mistakes to Avoid in the Face of Difficulty
In Acts 27, Paul set sail for Rome with other prisoners, and they faced great difficulties on their journey because the winds were against them. Paul warned the men on one leg of their voyage that if they set sail, they would be caught in a major storm and the results would be disastrous. They decided to sail anyway, making three common mistakes that we also tend to make that get us into trouble.
In Your Delay, Remember God’s Faithfulness
When our dream is delayed, it causes us to forget many things. We tend to forget our dream. We forget what God has done in our lives and his goodness to us in the past. We forget that God is with us. We forget God’s power.
Don’t Settle for Less Than God’s Best
When you go through the delays in life, don’t get discouraged. Don’t lose heart. Don’t give up!
Rest, and Trust God’s Timing
Proverbs 19:2b says, “Impatience will get you into trouble” (GNT). It’s frustrating when you’re in a hurry and God isn’t. God is never in a hurry! The Bible says a day is like a thousand years and a thousand years like a day to God. One of the most useless things to try to do is to speed up God. When we try to take matters into our own hands and help God out, we get in trouble.
Don’t Fear in God’s Delays
Dreams are never fulfilled immediately. There’s always a waiting period. The Israelites were brought out of Egypt and then wandered around for 40 years before they went into the Promised Land, even though the trip shouldn’t have taken more than a few weeks.
Four Decisions That Determine Your Destiny
In Dr. Seuss’ poem “The Zode in the Road,” a young Zode comes to a fork in the road and spends quite some time trying to decide which direction to go. He thinks about the possibility that one place may be too hot and the other too cool or one too high and the other too low. After scratching his head in indecision, the Zode finally decides to play it safe and “start out for both places at once!”
Six Steps for Biblical Decision-Making
God gave Moses the dream of leading the children of Israel out of 400 years of slavery, but Moses had to make the decision to confront Pharaoh. God gave Noah the dream of saving the world from the flood, but Noah had to make the decision to build the ark. God gave Abraham the dream of building a new nation, but Abraham had to make the decision to leave everything he had and go out into the unknown.
How to Be Unique and Effective
If you want to know God’s will for your life, you’ve got to look at what you’re good at. Why would God give you certain gifts, abilities, and talents and not expect you to use them? That would be a waste.
If You Want to Hear God, Get Still and Listen
Sometimes as adults we get spiritual wiggles. We cannot get still and be quiet. But you have to be quiet in order to hear God speak. If you want to hear God’s vision, then you’re going to have to turn off the television. You can’t listen to God and the TV at the same time!
From Dream to Deliverance
If you want your faith to grow so you can claim God’s promise in Mark 9:23b — “Everything is possible for the person who has faith” (GNT) — then you must first understand that God takes you through six phases of faith.
Six Phases God Uses to Grow Your Faith
As a pastor, probably the question I’m asked more than any other is, “Why is this happening to me? I don’t understand it.” When you don’t understand God’s six phases of faith — the steps he uses to build your character — you will get discouraged. You may become resentful. You will certainly worry. You may become fearful about the future or get depressed. And most of all, you can’t cooperate with what God is doing when you don’t understand the process he’s taking you through. But when you understand the six phases of faith, then you can say, “Oh, right now I’m in phase four” — or phase six or phase two.
Who Will Be in Heaven Because of You?
When you become a follower of Christ, God fills you with his Holy Spirit. The proof of the Holy Spirit in you is not some emotional experience. The proof that you have God’s Spirit in you is if you are going. Are you telling anybody about the Good News?
A Christian’s Job Description: Go and Tell
Jesus told a story to explain the party that God has invited you to: “A man prepared a great feast and sent out many invitations. When all was ready, he sent his servant around to notify the guests that it was time for them to arrive. But they all began making excuses. One said he had just bought a field and wanted to inspect it and asked to be excused. Another said he had just bought five pair of oxen and wanted to try them out. Another had just been married, and for that reason couldn’t come.
Share Your Experiences
The Bible tells us in 1 Thessalonians 5:11a, “Encourage one another and help one another” (GNT). God wants you to build up, motivate, and inspire other people. How do you do that? You can do it three ways: You can give people hope, you can help people overcome their fears, and you can help people break down barriers.
Two Ways to Examine Your Experiences
An unexamined experience is worthless. There are people who are 50 years old who haven’t lived 50 years. They’ve lived one year 50 times. They’re still making the same mistakes, because they never stop and extract the lessons. They never stop to ask, “What happened in this last year, and what can I do differently so that I am living life better?”
Embrace Your Past Experiences — Good and Bad
You must embrace the experiences of your life — the good ones, the bad ones, the shameful ones, the right ones, the wrong ones, the happy ones, and the sad ones — and stop running from your past if you want God to use it for good in your life.
If You Believe It, Then Do It
Yesterday, we looked at Mark 12:30: “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength” (NLT). And one way to look at this verse is to focus on loving God with all your talk, all your feelings, all your thinking, and all your acting. God shaped you to be primarily a talker, a feeler, a thinker, or a doer.
Stop Talking About It and Start Doing It
What you say has a direct connection to your heart. Whatever your heart is filled with is going to come out of your mouth. If you’re filled with anger, anger is going to come out of your mouth. If your heart is filled with depression, it’s going to come out of your mouth. If your heart is filled with joy, that’s going to come out of your mouth.
Do Less So You Can Do More
The Bible says in Mark 12:30, “You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength” (NLT). Another way to say this is, love God with all your talk, all your feelings, all your thinking, and all of your acting. God shaped you to primarily be a talker, feeler, thinker, or doer.
Why We Need Each Other
Your abilities are for the benefit of other people. The Bible says in 1 Peter 4:10, “Each of you as a good manager must use the gift that God has given you to serve others” (GW).
What to Do with Unused Ability
All of us have unused abilities. But there are three ways that you can start cultivating your abilities so that they are being used for good and for God’s glory.
Serve Out of Design, Not Duty
The Bible says that God wants you to listen to your heart. He wants you to look at what you’re made to do, and then you’ll know what he wants you to do. But most people these days are moving so fast that they don’t have time to listen to their heart anymore.
Articles last updated at Sep 23, 2017 14:38:02pm.
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