Bo may know, but you don't
We may think we know things, or hear things, or whatever in our daily lives, but the truth is we don't know what's going on in the lives of others. Whether at your school, workplace, or church there are people all around you who may put on a face, or smile, or pretend everything is ok in their lives publicly, but privately they are hurting, in pain, struggling, or dealing with some very difficult things.
I am fully aware each week I stand up in the pulpit to preach that those faces I'm looking out on may indeed having something going on in their lives that I or others have no idea. People are in abusive relationships, having marital troubles, dealing with an addiction, mental illness, health problems, family problems, financial crisis, or 1,000 other issues or problems and we'd never know it.
We are quick to judge, gossip, slander, and look down on people with no shortage of opinion, but the truth is we don't really know what is going on in their lives, what it's like to walk in their shoes, or live in the situation they are being dealt. I'll be honest there are things going on in my life and have happened in my life that I don't share public or post on Social Media an some things shouldn't be public anyway. We don't need to hear or see or know everyone drama, personal problems, or dirty laundry. However, at the same time, we also need to learn to reserve our opinions or judgments to ourselves, especially if we aren't involved, it's not our business, or we've not been asked by the person to be involved.
I really want to share two things today. First, If you are struggling or having problems, know you don't have to carry that burden alone. Turn to God, He is always with you and will always be there for you if you are a faithful follower. If your issues is serious such as abuse or addiction, then you need to seek professional help, counseling, or the law asap. If it's other matters, you can turn to trusted family members or friends to help you, support you, and hopefully pray for you.
Secondly, If you suspect someone is dealing with something or going through something, I want to encourage all of us to pray for these folks. Be sensitive to their needs, and offer to help, pray, encourage them, or simply let them know you are there if you need anything. Also, consider everyone you come in contact with may be dealing with some sort of problem, anxiety, situation, struggle, trial, etc...and instead of being quick to judge or condemn, criticize or gossip, or give opinions how about just keeping that to yourself and give it time and maybe you'll see it different or maybe you'll realize its not your business anyway and move on and make better use of your time.
We have to realize we don't everything and we never will. We have to understand that people we see, know, and meet everyday may be fighting a battle we'll never understand. It may not be our place to understand or know, but it can always be our place to pray. I know we wouldn't want people to judge or criticize us unfairly, so we should return the favor.
I Thessalonians 4:11(NIV)
11 and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you,
Friday, April 04, 2014
Doesn't sound like a very good thing does it? Surrender means I've given up, in battle it means giving yourself over to the enemy. We might have pictures of waving the white flag, or wrestling with someone who's gotten us in a submission hold and we have to tap out and surrender.
However, surrender isn't a bad thing, it's a very good thing when it comes to God. God's desire is for all who call on His name to be Saved, to totally "surrender" themselves to Him. What does that mean exactly? It means I am giving up my way to follow God's way. I am giving up my will to follow the will of God. I am giving up my imperfect human way of thinking and acting and allowing God to help me with my thoughts and actions(the Holy Spirit).
You see surrender to God, is actually a victory not a defeat. In the worlds view surrender may mean defeat, but in the faith community it's a sign of victory. You see the victory over death, sin, and hell have already been won through Jesus Christ. The Victory is His and in return if we are willing to surrender ourselves over to God and give up control to Him, not only will you win the spiritual victory of forgiveness of sin, eternal life, and Heaven, but you also have opportunity to have victory over sinful habits, bad habits, poor choices, bad decisions, and unhealthy lifestyle choices. God gives us victory in the life to come, but can also give us victory in this earthly temporary life we live, but we have to be willing to surrender to Him.
Let's face it, if we were brutally honest with ourselves if people could do things on their own strength or power they would, but they can't. Those bad habits, secret sins, addictions, tempers, selfish behaviors maybe you've been battling your whole life or for years, the reason why you can't seem to kick them or overcome them??? Because you can't do it alone. If you want victory over these things, they you have to "surrender" or give up those battles, because they belong to God. You have to willingly surrender them to God and ask him to Help you overcome them.
It doesn't matter, what the situation, problem, trial, issue, or battle God is bigger than them all. He has the answer, healing, comfort, protection, and victory waiting for you, but you and I have to be willing to stop trying to do it all on our own and surrender to God.
We can't save ourselves, we need Jesus. We can't grow in our faith alone we need the Holy Spirit and God's Word to help us. We can do anything on our own power, strength, wisdom, or ego, we have to give it up to God. You want to know true peace, love, and acceptance? Surrender your life to God and let Him save you. You want to know true victory over life's battles and struggles? Surrender them to God. All of them. See the difference. God will only do what you freely allow Him to do.
Will you learn to surrender to Him today?
1 John 5:3-5 (ESV)
3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome. 4 For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. 5 Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?