Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Inspiration in the cauldron of frustration

Do you find yourself wondering why you are in a particular season? Do you wonder why you have to go through some difficult times, face major setbacks or feel frustrated or confused?

Do you wish it were easier? Do you wish that things would just work out? I submit it to you that you are not alone…..

Joseph in the pit, or in the jail must have longed for better days. So must have Daniel in the lion’s den, or in the fiery furnace, or Moses facing the Red Sea and the Egyptians hot on his heel, or Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane, or Job and his numerous setbacks or Paul shipwrecked, again, on the Island of Malta…..

There will always be situations that will rattle and shake us, make us quiver and perhaps even doubt where we are going…..My encouragement is that even in those situations, the Lord wants to use these situations to inspire you to grow and discover more of who He is.

Even when in the cauldron of frustration, I submit to you, that there is a brand new grace and anointing to encourage and sustain you in times when life doesn’t make sense. The hard times serve to strengthen your resolve, and make you more purposeful, more determined, and help to fashion you more after Him who loved and sacrificed His life for you……..

In the cauldron, you learn to love God more, to know and trust Him, to understand that He is watching over you and protecting you, to be convinced that He alone is your help and your strength.

In my life, I have come to find out that the cauldron has been a wonderful opportunity to get fresh ideas, a new perspective and a renewed strength to face tomorrow. I have come to learn that in the cauldron, I get to develop strategies and attitudes that will ultimately be critical to enabling me make it through the dark and difficult times.

If you let Him, the Lord will give you a brand new energy and purpose, a resolute mindset and a bold outlook…..He will open your eyes to seeing the big picture, and will enable you to understand the deeper things in His will for your life that were, beforehand, not visible.

My encouragement to you is to not give up on God, even though the cauldron is deep and frustrating, guess what, He knows you are there……And in due season, He’ll put you out, and your heart shall sing and rejoice again.

In time, you will look at your cauldron and smile, and praise Him because you needed that experience to get you where you are now!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

The 4 states of being

So, the other day, it dawned on me that there are at least 4 states of being…..the good times, the bad times, in God’s will and out of God’s will…… 

For the longest time, I used to think that when you are in God’s will, things should go smoothly…..or if things start going badly, it’s coz you are out of God’s will for your life……..and somehow that seemed to ease my pain…..and helped to explain life 

However, after looking at the Word again, it became clear that good and bad times, being in God’s will or not, are different states that are independent and mutually exclusive. Of course, it is great to have good times when in God’s will for your life……But how about those bad and difficult times? Then of course it becomes difficult to watch those who are out of God’s will having good times…….Somehow, it seems like a just act when those out of God’s will go through bad times……. 

The thing I want to focus on are those times when things go bad when you are in the midst of God’s will for your life? What do I mean? You are doing all that you know how to do….You are trusting God, expecting Him to come through for you, but somehow things just don’t seem to work……You try and try again, but somehow, it’s like the harder you worker, the harder you fall, and you feel discouraged……… 

I think that’s where I am in my life at this time…..But after looking at Job’s life, I began to understand a couple of things…..That those bad times can still come, even when you are still hanging in there…..I mean, don’t get me wrong…I am not saying that my life is as squeaky clean as Job’s……I think the challenge for me, and hence my challenge to all of us is to consider how Job reacted to the sudden and traumatic change that happened in his life……Even when he did not understand what was going on, he did not charge God foolishly…..He did not listen to the bad advice that he was hearing from elsewhere, but kept his mind stayed on God…… 

Another example was Joseph….Even while he was in the pit, in the jail, in Potiphar’s house or elsewhere, He was still in God’s will, but it took over 19 years before he finally got to where he needed to be……to sit at the right hand of Pharaoh and manage the affairs of all of Egypt……… 

So what am I saying……Should we stand about and wait 19 years for God’s will to come to pass…..I know it’s awfully tempted to jump out of God’s will to go and work out your own will, but my encouragement to you, and to myself too is to trust His hand, even when I do not understand…….. 

Even when things go from bad to worse and worst, trust Him…..Better to go through hard times in His will, than good times outside His will…

Just another thing from Job 1:8-10 that I want to share with you……..Job was perfect, upright, a man who feared God and eschewed evil….Indeed God said that there was no other like him in the earth……And then look what God had done for him….. 

Satan complains that the Lord had “made a hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side” Job 1:10. Basically, the enemy was super jealous of the love and protection that the Lord had blanketed over Job and everything He had…….The Lord had blessed the work of His hand and his substance is increased in the land. 

I dunno about you, but I am realizing that the enemy knows that doubt and difficulty are the 2 major things that He can use to dislodge God from His rightful place in my life and then make me vulnerable to his continual attack……I am resolving to be like Job…….to be like no other, to be perfect and upright…..one that fears God and eschews evil……

I know, it’s one of those things that is easier said than done….But why lie….I would like God to be proud of me and rebuke the accuser of the brethren on my behalf…..and that comes naturally from a place of obedience and continual submission to Him