Listen up folks; this is the way you deal with life, and life’s problems!
Listen to what Jesus said on the Sermon on the Mound…
(Scriptures are from the Message Bible):
3 “You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule.
4 You’re blessed when you feel you’ve lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you.
5 You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are—no more, no less. That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought.
6 You’re blessed when you’ve worked up a good appetite for God. He’s food and drink in the best meal you’ll ever eat.
7 You’re blessed when you care. At the moment of being ‘care-full,’ you find yourselves cared for.
8You’re blessed when you get your inside world—your mind and heart—put right. Then you can see God in the outside world.
9 You’re blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That’s when you discover who you really are, and your place in God’s family.
10 You’re blessed when your commitment to God provokes persecution. The persecution drives you even deeper into God’s kingdom.
11-12 Not only that—count yourselves blessed every time people put you down or throw you out or speak lies about you to discredit me. What it means is that the truth is too close for comfort and they are uncomfortable. You can be glad when that happens—give a cheer, even!—for though they don’t like it, I do! And all heaven applauds. And know that you are in good company. My prophets and witnesses have always gotten into this kind of trouble.” (Matthew 5:3-11)
Jesus also said:
“I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.” (John 15:11)
“Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.” (John 16:24)
“These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
Below there is another very good devotional message by David Wilkerson; this one is on the subject of what to do when you hurt.
Before I begin with my message, let me say just one thing right off the top; and that is if life and also the Bible teaches anything, it is that most of the people are wrong most of the time!
What does that mean?
It means that our being successful at life, and being on God’s team has nothing at all to do with being friends with the world, and going with the flow of the world, or doing what most of your friends, or peer group are doing… and yet that is what most do!
The Bible is VERY clear on this point, in fact it is crystal clear on this subject, and it says unequivocally that we are to enter through the “Narrow Gate,” and it is narrow because few there are who will take it; for wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to death and destruction, meaning eternal separation from God (Matthew 7:13).
This is very important because much of the world, meaning most of your friends and most of the people you encounter everyday, if we understand what this verse of Scripture is saying correctly, it is saying that most of them are on their way to hell… and believe me you do not want to be in that group!
Not only that, but the way you will end up in that group is by going with the flow, and being average and ordinary… being ‘Politically Correct!’
Being a Christian on the other hands means you are going against the flow of what the world calls average and normal, and by their standards you are abnormal and weird if you are a follower of Christ; and James 4:4 will tell you that by your being friends with the world, that makes you an enemy of God! So are you understanding the words that I am speaking to you… you most certainly DO NOT want to go with the crowd!
Now with that said, let me move on to my next point, on how the Bible presents us with many many paradoxes, and I believe the reason for that is because God is wanting to point out the fact that truly OUR ways are not His; for God says:
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.
For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, and does not return there, but waters the earth, and makes it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.” (Isa 55:8-11)
Our mission in life as the Bible sets forth, is first to be Born-again, meaning that we receive by faith the forgiveness of our sins; and are reconciled back into God’s family through the Gospel message of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the Kingdom of Heaven!
That will first necessitate our repenting, which means to literally change the way we think.
In other words God is wanting to completely rewrite our core programming that has been corrupted by the world; and He will rewrite that programming with His own… by the Holy Spirit.
However, for that to happen we have to first be willing to humble ourselves and be teachable; and that humility will first be experienced from your friends, who will not at all accept or understand what you are doing!
In fact, on that point… have you ever noticed how much people are like a bucket of crabs?
By that I mean, if you have ever seen a bucket of crabs, what you will find is that every time one tries to crawl out, the others will immediately hook them back in.
Well your friends will be exactly like that. They will also try and hook you back in!
So to start with, to be a follower of Christ means doing something quite different from what you have been doing, and what most of your friends are doing; it means being different… and it will humble you to be different, and to take the ridicule from your friends and the teasing for being different.
Being a Christian first means that we have to be willing to deny our self; meaning we let go of this idea of living our life as we see fit; and we begin to pursue an entirely new life in Christ; where no longer are we the masters of our destiny, and are seeking after our way, our ambitions, and wants and desires; but we instead are now bond servants of the Most High God… and a bond servant is someone who willingly relinquishes his or her freedom and will in order to follow and serve another.
Now in case there is still any doubt about what is being said here, let me make it a little clearer by quoting it directly from the Master:
Take Up the Cross and Follow Him
24 Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. 25 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. 26 For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? 27 For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works.”
In other words, and this is another one of those paradoxes… you can only live by dying!
Not only that but the very things you have been conditioned to rely upon, in the world, since your birth, such as your feelings and your understanding and reasoning, ALL of these things you are now being asked to deny, and to now order your life after God’s Word, and faith in God’s Word; which means you are now to guide everything you do, and hang your entire life and all of your circumstances, trials, and problems on the promises of God’s Word!
It means that you must learn to put on the mind of Christ and pursue His ways and His means of doing things… and now are forsaking your ways and that of the world!
Well some of you, and I used to be in this group myself, are saying I’m a member of such and such a church and I have been baptized; I’ve already had my First Communion, or whatever liturgical requirements are put forth in your denomination, in order to be a member; but yet according to what Jesus just said, ALL of that won’t even get you past the front door of heaven, if you haven’t first completely died to yourself, and made Jesus Christ Lord and Master of your life!
Folks this paradox is absolutely crucial that we ALL understand!
After all Christ did not come to earth, suffer all that He suffered, die a cruel death on the cross, all so we and I can attend church on Sunday and on holidays, or whatever; just so we could live our lives, and pursue our interests, and live as we please… that was NOT what Calvary was all about!!!
Does that not make sense to you? I mean are you getting my drift here, or not?
I ask this because I know sure as shooting that there are many people out there, and I know because I talk to them, and some of you right now, who are reading this message, are actually thinking that way; and are living your life hoping that just because of whatever label you have over your church, and the fact you are/or once were a member of that church, or denomination, you are right with God; and are of the mistaken opinion that having that label will get you in to heaven! Well, I’m here to tell you now that it will not!!! And mind you, that’s not according to my word, or my opinion; but that’s according to what Jesus has said, as you have just read.
For those of you who are currently on that broad road, trying to enter through that Wide Gate; if you would like to make your reservations for eternity, and accept Jesus as your personal Saviour and Lord, here is a website that will give you a road map: http://needhim.org/.
The next thing is, having been born-again, we now enter into the “Boot-camp” of the Holy Spirit; and we begin our training for eternity!
By that I mean God will use our circumstances, our trials and tribulations, and our challenges in life to teach us how to live by faith, and how to circumnavigate our problems, and cast mountains (spiritual obstacles) that Satan has placed in our path into the sea.
Now it doesn’t at all matter what those mountains are, whether we are talking about physical mountains, financial, emotional, or whatever… every problem, every demon, and ever situation must bow at the name of Jesus Christ!
Before that happens however, and this is MOST important, we have to be filled with the Person and also the power of the Holy Spirit, which is God’s POWER, which He provides that allows us to tap into His supernatural powers, and to see and experience signs, wonders and miracles in our life, and more importantly in our ministry to reach this lost world for Christ!
Without that power we are virtually helpless to have any kind of effectiveness at any level, not only in our personal life; but also in any kind of ministry we may be involved with.
That failure alone, to be filled with God’s power and guided and directed 24/7 through the ministry of the Holy Spirit will be a major handicapped in our trying to reach this world for Christ!
Even as Jesus has said… “Without me you can do NOTHING!”
And that is exactly why Jesus instructed ALL of His disciples to not do anything in the way of ministry, before they had been endued with POWER from on high, which power came on the Day of Pentecost!
Now the last Paradox that I’d to point out in this message is how Jesus said that by our having problems, and that by our learning to manage our way through our problems; and our gaining victory through faith in what Christ has already done, when we pray in His Name; Jesus said that by our having this experience, that our JOY would be complete!
In other words our Joy, which as the Bible says is the source of our strength, can only happen through our gaining victory over our situations and challenges; and by faith having successfully defeated the strategies of the enemy in our life!
That’s what Jesus meant when He said:
“In the world you shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world!” Selah
So your mission and mine today is to not be on the defensive, cowering in fear at what we think may happen; but rather God has given us an “E” ticket ride to have the thrill of a lifetime, which will be the most exhilarating experience anyone can ever have, in our riding the wave and flow of the Holy Spirit in our situations.
So instead of our shrinking back and hiding in the face of adversity, we are now aggressively charging the gates of hell, and those mountains in our path… because now through our own experience of having seen the Word in action and the power of God, we know beyond any doubt that GREATER is He that is in us, than he that is in the word… that truly now our JOY can be complete! Selah
Now go out today and kick Satan’s butt, in Jesus name! 🙂
From: DAVID WILKERSON TODAY [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Monday, June 28, 2010 12:02 AM
Subject: WHEN YOU HURT
WHEN YOU HURT