Monday, June 3, 2013

Help For Those Difficult Days

There are some things in our lives in which emotions are normally so intense that you wonder how you will get through them, and one of them is when we have to talk to others about something that is very personal and important. I have been amazed for years at how God gets me through memorial services and weddings, especially for those who have been extremely close. I don’t think any of us look forward to difficult discussions, but at the same time we all know they are necessary at times.

One year ago today, June 3, I had one of those times when I went before our family at Calvary Crossroads to let them know that God was leading us elsewhere in ministry. While we did not know when or where, we knew that He was indeed leading us elsewhere. And though we did not know the timing or the placement, we did know that Crossroads was our family and that we would attend there until such time as He gave us an answer. June third of last year would normally have been a joyous time celebrating Promotion Sunday where we recognize our kids who have moved on to other grades and even off to college as well as honoring many of those who have faithfully served over the past year. But this Promotion Sunday was mixed with hurting, not only with our announcement but following the decisions that had been made relating to other staff as a part of budgetary staff reductions. It is times like this that can tear a church or even a family apart as people struggle with the change. It is also times like these that we have to have a strong confidence in the sovereign guidance of our God.

In John 13 we read of Jesus preparing His disciples for His soon departure through the cross and His resurrection from the grave back into heaven. He was letting them know that what He had to do was necessary and that they would not be left alone. Yet they didn't quite get it, and it was not until after they saw Him resurrected that they really began to get the picture. This picture included His promised return and the pending coming of a Helper until such time that He does return. This promise included His sitting at the right hand of the Father interceding on their behalf. He indeed had completed the reason for His coming and their Messiah had arrived and was reigning for all eternity.

They did indeed receive the Helper He had promised and they saw Him do great and mighty things. Following His ascension we see how the early disciples responded and how God gave them both confidence and power to stand fast in persecution and faithful in service.

Our Lord is still active today, and He is faithful to fulfill that which the Father has given Him, including the work He is doing in us. In those times when we are shaken even by a difficult situation, know that God is our strength. Submit everything to Him and search out His way for what lies ahead. Then trust Him to guard your steps as you follow. It is in this that you find that God gets you through things you never imagined.

Psalm 46:1-3, 10 “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change and though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea; though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains quake at its swelling pride. Selah. … Cease striving and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”

Today in “Jesus Calling” by Sarah Young (6/3)

I want to be central in your entire being. When your focus is firmly on Me, My Peace displaces fears and worries. They will encircle you, seeking entrance, so you must stay alert. Let trust and thankfulness stand guard, turning back fear before it can gain a foothold. There is no fear in My Love, which shines on you continually. Sit quietly in My Love-Light, while I bless you and with radiant Peace. Turn your whole being to trusting and loving Me.

Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you. 2 Thessalonians 3:16

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. 1 John 4:18

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