Sunday, June 12, 2011

"A Series of Unfortunate Events..."

Have you ever faced difficulties before? Does it seem like you can never get a break? Is life overwhelming you? Maybe it’s time to change your thinking. God wants you to flip the lense and see things differently today. Could it be that some times when things go “wrong” that it’s in fact a sign that you are doing something “right?”

When you choose to live for God, it doesn’t guarantee you a happy go lucky life with no problems. The opposite can be true at times. The Bible says ... "In this godless world you will continue to experience difficulties. But take heart! I've conquered the world" (John 16:33). In case you have ever wondered, there is a real God and a real devil. God loves you and wants what is best for you. The devil hates you and wants to destroy your life.

Check out what the Bible has to say about the devil…

“The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.” John 10:10 (NLT)

“...He was a murderer from the beginning. He has always hated the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies.” John 8:44 (NLT)

The devil is in hot pursuit and he has the wanted signs out. "They" are wanted dead or alive! His FOCUS is not on those that have walked away from God or are “living in their sin.” It’s those “reflections of God” all around him that he despises. The devil is out to capture their hearts and lives at any cost. The more of God we get inside of us, the more we begin to look like Him and reflect Him each day to those around us.

Sometimes the devil likes to stir up trouble to try to get us to walk away from God. He likes to throw pipe bombs of sorts into our daily routines to disrupt our peace. He is hoping that by his attempts, he may in some way cause us to turn our hearts far from God and eventually blame Him for all of our troubles. Instead of reacting and retreating when problems come, we need to get stubborn and start fighting back.

I’ve had a lot of unfortunate things happen to me in my lifetime, but I choose to see things differently. I’ve had technical difficulties lately… many things have broken down: vehicles, washers (2), water heaters, and lawn mowers (2) to name a few. I’ve had health problems, money problems, ant problems, and family issues. My life is not a perfect picture from the worlds view, but I am doing my best to live for God each day. From the outside it can look like I may be doing something wrong, but through God’s lense we can see something totally different.

There is a man in the Bible that faced HUGE obstacles as he endeavored to live for God. His name was Job. In fact there is a whole book written about all of his struggles and how he over came them. He lost everything… children, property, wealth, his good name, and even his health, but continued to trust God. God challenged the devil with Job’s obedience and faith. Take a look at his heart from the middle of his horrible circumstances…

Job 19:13-20 (NLT)
“My relatives stay far away, and my friends have turned against me. My family is gone, and my close friends have forgotten me. My servants and maids consider me a stranger. I am like a foreigner to them. When I call my servant, he doesn’t come; I have to plead with him! My breath is repulsive to my wife. I am rejected by my own family. Even young children despise me. When I stand to speak, they turn their backs on me. My close friends detest me. Those I loved have turned against me. I have been reduced to skin and bones and have escaped death by the skin of my teeth.”

One of the most important lessons to learn from the book of Job is that God is always good, and the devil is always bad. The devil always intends to destroy the lives of God's people, but God's desire is to bless and prosper His people, even to the end of restoring back to them what the enemy has stolen. Job was blessed in the end for staying true to God through it all.

Job 42:12-13, 16-17 (NLT)
“So the Lord blessed Job in the second half of his life even more than in the beginning. For now he had 14,000 sheep, 6,000 camels, 1,000 teams of oxen, and 1,000 female donkeys. He also gave Job seven more sons and three more daughters.”

“Job lived 140 years after that, living to see four generations of his children and grandchildren. Then he died, an old man who had lived a long, full life.”

The next time something goes “wrong” remember to look around to see what you may be doing that is “right.” God may be up to something good in your life! Get stubborn today… don’t let the devil win in stealing your peace. God has amazing things in store for you! Hang on… it may be a bumpy ride.

Living to leave a legacy!

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