The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears, And delivers them out of all their troubles. PSALM 34:17
David testified, “This poor man cried out, and the LORD heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles” (Psalm 35:6). C. S. Lewis once wrote, “Down through the ages whenever men had a need of courage they would cry out, ‘Billy Budd, help me’ and nothing happened. But for 1900 years, whenever men have needed courage and have cried out, ‘Lord Jesus, help me’ something always happened.” I love the Hebrew definition of the word trouble. The word literally translates “hang-ups.” It means to be inhibited, tied up, and restricted. When we lay hold of Christ, we are freed from our hang-ups. Sound too simple? It is! Yet when I’ve counseled with so many Christians in deep trouble, I’ve asked them, “Have you talked to the Lord about this?” They looked at me with a blank stare. “You mean tell Him?” Yes. When you acknowledge the reliability of the One who is in charge of your life and then admit your fear, you have to appropriate the power He has promised to give you. You have to tell it to Jesus.
We often want God to change things in our lives, but rarely do we seek to find out if He's behind what's going on. We don't talk to Jesus about our lives!
We want what's in our lives, in most cases, but not the consequences. We don't want what is a part of it at least. The larger question is: is what we are holding onto really something that we should be holding onto? Are we after keeping something that maybe God's telling us to let go of?
I, for many years, often prayed about my job. Often the prayers would be answered but I still often found that a relenting of the reason for praying occurred. The problem still remained.
It wasn't until I was ready to trust God by letting go of what I thought I wanted to keep holding onto that God was able to really give me the desire of my heart.
We believe we know better than God! Admit it! Confess it even! Deal with that truth between you and Jesus so that He can begin to answer your real desire of your heart.
If we keep holding onto anything, people, things, the past, the present, more than we do God's plan and purpose for us, then God's in contention for the Throne of our hearts, He isn't exclusively on that Throne.
Some have heard this statement: Let go. Let God.
We believe we will be happier if God would just help out by tweaking OUR plan for our lives.
We believe that we have our happiness wrapped up in a neat package if these things like people, money, or other things weren't in the way. If that boss wasn't there. If more money were there. If this illness wasn't there. If this person were still here. If that wasn't messing with things.
God's got a plan for the life of each believer. It's beyond what we can ask or think. Why would we settle for what we can only see?
When we become part of the body of Christ, we become a part that has something to do in the body of Christ. We aren't alone or just along for the ride until we die or He returns. His plan for the Disciples wasn't to continue fishing for fish. His plan for Paul wasn't to remain a Pharisee or a mender of tents or nets.
Our lives aren't intended to realistically be Heaven on Earth.
You come to Christ or you haven't yet, you know this Biblical truth: life is hard. Tribulations come to those who come to Christ, but His promises are greater than they are if we live in obedience to our calling in life.
Your life isn't to be spent just keeping things cleaned up and in order.
Your life isn't to be spent in pursuit of personal peace, happiness or prosperity.
Jesus said that those who would follow Him need to literally give up their lives to find life.
We find great disappointment when it's our plans that don't work out.
We find unexpected and unexplainable joy when we see God do something that only God can do.
We honestly cannot tell the truth to ourselves that even when our plan works out that even our joy isn't utterly joyful. That happiness we felt didn't last.
Imagine if you will a knock at your door.
You open it to find a friend. You're joyful. He comes in and you offer a beverage.
You sit down to talk. You each speak in turn. Sharing what's going on in your life.
Then your heart is warmed. But then something happens. This friend morphs into Jesus.
Would you still keep on talking as if this was your friend? Would you go deeper in your conversation? Would you do anything different now?
Jesus is waiting to come in again or maybe for the first time, if you have not been saved by Him yet. He's waiting to be a pn intimate part of your life. He's waiting to have a deep relationship with you, not a superficial one.
When we someday face Jesus, and are asked what did we do for Him, what will you answer? You did nothing because you weren't living for His plan for you?
Every part of a body has a purpose. The ear for hearing. The white blood cells in fighting disease. The red for energy and life. The stomach for processing food. The eyes for seeing. We are in the body of Christ with a newfound purpose that is ours to accomplish in the body.
It might not be the life that you think it will be. Jesus might have something else for you to do. It might be the same thing you are doing but elsewhere or for different reasons.
But we have to put our all on the altar if we are going to see Jesus do something with it.
We cannot seek our own will when it might be conflicting with God’s for our lives and in the end find happiness. It's not going to be true happiness. Satan will convince us that it's possible but it's always a hollow pursuit. It's not a Snickers bar that satisfies.
If you're seeking happiness and not finding it, question why. Then go get alone with Jesus and talk. Be ready to let go and let God. Be prepared to see change and be changed. Jesus isn't working in your life to make you a better person. He's working to transform you into His likeness. To make us more like Christ.
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