Thursday, January 14, 2016

When Things Go Wrong

Have you ever had one of those days?  You know what I'm talking about.....the kind of day that everything seems to go wrong. I mean it's not big things that are going wrong, it just seems like a whole slew small things that add up to one very bad day. Of course you have! Isn't it terrible?! 
Or maybe you had one of those days where the news you received was much bigger. We all have things happen in our lives that can stagger us and take our breath away.  What I've realized as I have faced some hard things, is that I have a choice to make. I can either choose to put my hope in myself (and my own abilities) or I can put my hope in Christ Jesus. I want to let you in on a little secret, we should always put our hope in Christ!!
Psalm 46:1-2 says, "God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea."
I am not going to lie to you, there have been times that I chose to take things on myself. I thought I could face the overwhelming situations in my life on my own. That never turns out well for me!! My inability to handle the situation leads to insecurity, and my insecurity leads to fear, and so on, and so on..... Be honest, you have done this too!  Am I right?
I am so thankful for a faithful God. He never leaves us.....He is "ever-present help in trouble."  I love that.....I don't know about you, but the one thought that always crosses my mind when I am in a troubling situation is that I am alone, or that no one else knows how I feel. Does that happen to you too? When that starts to happen we need to take our thoughts captive and ponder the words to this verse. When life comes at us full blast, we have a place of refuge to run to.....When our strength is all used up, God says that He is our strength!!
So whatever you are facing, take heart. There is a God that desires to be our refuge and strength. He longs to walk with us through whatever it is that we face, we just have to choose to put our trust and hope in Him. He will give us the wisdom and strength needed to face absolutely any situation! 
Below, please read the blog post from my friend Bob Brown. He had some interesting things to say along the same lines today, and I know that some of you may benefit from this!
Thank you Bob for sharing!!
The Trouble with Trials 

1 Peter 4:12 "Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: 13 But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy." KJV

2015 was a difficult year for us in many ways. For some it included visits to the ER, hospitals stays and doctor's appointments and treatments. Can I get a witness. Several of you have dealt with the grief of the passing of a loved one or some other kind of deeply felt personal issue. The Apostle Peter was writing to some folks who were having some troubles and trials of their own in the form of persecution so much so that Peter is seeking to give them some support and encouragement to help sustain them during this time that they were going through these trials of suffering.

 Dr. Adrian Rogers said, "You're not going to make sense of suffering until you see it in the light of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. Peter was talking to saints who were suffering. Now, sometimes, we get the idea that if we go down the aisle, and we give our hearts to Jesus Christ, and we get baptized, then, our troubles are over. Friend, listen: If you've never met the devil, it's because you and the devil have been going in the same direction. And, you turn around--you're going to meet him head-on. And, in many ways, your troubles are going to begin when you give your heart to Jesus Christ, because you're going to be a twice-born man in a world of once born men, and you're going to be going against the tide all the way. And, Jesus said they're going to hate you. And, listen. In Peter's day, many of the Christians were being persecuted. They were being lied about; they were being slandered; and they were being passed over for promotions; and their goods were being confiscated. And, all of these things happen."

A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed as though just as one problem was solved, a new one arose. Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to a boil. In the first, she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and in the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil, without saying a word.
In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl. Turning to her daughter, she asked, "Tell me what you see."

 Carrots, eggs, and coffee," she replied. Her mother brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did, and noted that they were soft. The mother then asked the daughter to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard boiled egg.
Finally, the mother asked the daughter to sip the coffee. The daughter smiled as she tasted its rich aroma. The daughter then asked, "What does it mean, mother?" Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity: boiling water. Each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard, and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak. The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior, but after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened. The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the water.

Which are you?" she asked her daughter.
"When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?" Think of this: Which am I?
Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength?
Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit... but after a death, a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, have I become hardened and stiff? Does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and a hardened heart?
Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavor. If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you.
When the hour is the darkest and trials are their greatest, do you elevate yourself to another level? How do you handle adversity?
Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?
The happiest of people don't necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the most of everything that comes along their way. The brightest future will always be based on a forgotten past; you can't go forward in life until you let go of your past failures and heartaches.

May we all be COFFEE!

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