Thursday, May 21, 2009

Slow Death of Discouragement

1 Peter 5:8-9 NIV "Be self controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith..."

The past few Sundays at FFC we have talked about Beyond the Hurt and Live Strong, messages that bring awareness to the real attacks of a real enemy and how to find real victory! We are excited about the great things that God has been doing in the lives of people. The simple truth that no matter what's happening; we have the choice of becoming better or bitter.

This week I have found been alerted to another tactic that Satan likes to use to keep us from fulfilling our destiny and living strong... discouragement. Just by looking at this word we can see the reason why the devil likes to use it, to break us of our courage to move forward toward God's will and desire for our lives.

The thing about discouragement is that it's a slow death. It seems to suffocate the joy of life out of us. At first you think you can tread the waters by yourself, then pretty soon fatigue sets in and the water becomes thick like molasses and you struggle to keep your head over water. Soon you swallow the fear and the soul becomes paralyzed and leads to defeat.

The problem isn't the enemy, it's fact that we didn't take the time to let go of the responsibility and give it to God in the first place. The verse before it, verse 7 says: "Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you."

The best way to cast down discouragement is to be encouraged in Christ, and to cast your cares upon Him. God doesn't expect us to carry our own burdens, but to give them to Him. Are you walking in discouragement? Stop trying to be strong in yourself, be encouraged through Jesus.

Monday, May 4, 2009

YOU Perspective

Psalm 139:14,17 I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well. How precious to me are Your thoughts, O God!

Our Sunday series entitled Perspective has be incredible! There's so many things that influence how we see life and determines our experiences: the media, family and friends, past experiences, expectations of others, culture, etc. All these compete for our attention, but the ones that truly influence our lens of life are those things that we give authority to.

I love this scripture because it gives me the proper clarity of where my focus should be, not just for life in general, but how to see myself through God's eyes. This is deeper than self image or self esteem. It goes to the value and worth of who I am. "I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful..."

This statement comes alive with something very challenging: "...I know that full well." I've got to own it, believe it and live it out! Each day I must keep this in focus, especially when I am in a struggle or am brought face to face with my own shortcomings. Again, this brings into focus His grace being active in my life.

No matter what I may be facing, regardless of the opinions and words of others, or the popular mindsets and influences of our society, I hold on tight and give authority to Him: "How precious to me are Your thoughts, of God!" The greatest evidence of God's power is His ability to change the way I live my life, and that's by changing the lenses in which I see. How I see myself, my family, those around me, my circumstances, finances... everything!

Lord I thank you for creating me and placing such enormous value and worth in my life. Help me not to loose sight of the Your thoughts throughout my days. Restore the eyes of my heart that have been blurred by the hurts and disappointments of the past. Remove the fears that limit You to be fully at work in my life each day. Give me eyes of faith and assurance in the midst of uncertainty to be all that You have destined me to be. Amen!