Baptism at Singles Retreat - 147 Baptized!!!

*******************Baptism at Singles Retreat 147 Baptized!!! ***********************

* Sharing times in the Word and looking for growth. Let's Commune Together!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Discouragement: Pt 6 – My reaction can cause an action that leads to inaction.

Living in a different culture has made me learn that I need to control my reactions more than ever. I remember when I first arrived in the Philippines; I began riding the public transport called a Jeepney. They look like military troop transports; a long covered back area with two benches on each side of the cab. They get so crowded that people are squeezed in like a sardine can. This one day I was in the Jeepney, we were packed in so tight that I had my arms horizontal behind me so there would be more room, Jeepney drivers get mad at me because with my arms at my side I take three Filipino seat, but only pay for one seat. So here I was sitting with my arms stretched out behind several Filipinos in both directions. The Jeepney stopped and a young man got on and walked up and down the cab looking for a seat, which did not exist. Then he stopped in front of me and sat down on my knees. Everyone on the Jeepney went on like nothing was strange. So I just sat there realizing that I am no longer in Kansas…Toto! After a few stops several seats had opened up…but my lap partner just continued to keep his seat…on my knees! I chose to continue to ignore the strangeness of all this from my point, but I did get off at the next stop, and then jumped on the next Jeepney!

We all have a “norm” in how we deal with situations, this is exactly what we need to identify when we are in the midst of discouragement. When we are discouraged, if we are not careful we can move to inaction and do nothing but become even more depressed.

Let’s review first: When we are discouraged we need to: 

First step - Establish certain things: {1} Set The Record Straight - a. Deal With Guilt; b. Deal With Lies; {2} Separate yourself from sources of discouragement - NOT PROBLEMS BUT SOURCES OF PROBLEMS - a. Establish a time and place to commune with the Lord; b. Turn off people with little or no faith; c. Seek out examples - Christian Biographies; {3} Stand Still - Do not make decisions in that state of mind - No sense of reality

Second step – We need to change certain things: (1) we often need to change the direction of attention…not necessarily where we are moving, but where our attention is moving. We need understand our position in Christ: Why? a. So we can help others…including those with no relationship to the Lord. B. If Christ suffered what makes us think we will not? He showed us through example that our Father is faithful. c. When we see our brothers discouraged we can become their comfort.

There are several other things we need to change:

{2} Change your normal reactions – I will give you several examples

·      It is normal when down to complain and throw a pity party. 

·      We need to: move to…thanksgiving? Yes, this is a total act of the will; there is no way you are going to feel your way through this one. Our normal reactions will be controlled by our emotions. It takes spiritual discipline to flex the will over emotions.

1 Thess 5:16-18 Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.

2 Chron 20:1, 15, 20-24 After this, the Moabites and Ammonites with some of the Meunites came to make war on Jehoshaphat…He said: "Listen, King Jehoshaphat and all who live in Judah and Jerusalem! This is what the LORD says to you: 'Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God's…Early in the morning they left for the Desert of Tekoa. As they set out, Jehoshaphat stood and said, "Listen to me, Judah and people of Jerusalem! Have faith in the LORD your God and you will be upheld; have faith in his prophets and you will be successful." After consulting the people, Jehoshaphat appointed men to sing to the LORD and to praise him for the splendor of his holiness as they went out at the head of the army, saying: "Give thanks to the LORD, for his love endures forever." As they began to sing and praise, the LORD set ambushes against the men of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir who were invading Judah, and they were defeated. The men of Ammon and Moab rose up against the men from Mount Seir to destroy and annihilate them. After they finished slaughtering the men from Seir, they helped to destroy one another. When the men of Judah came to the place that overlooks the desert and looked toward the vast army, they saw only dead bodies lying on the ground; no one had escaped.

Tim Hansel said, "If you can't change circumstances, change the way you respond to them."

Someone else said, "When change is successful we look back and call it growth."

·      Normally we draw inside and go into seclusion – this is different from a meditative time, we all need that, this is when we separate ourselves from the Lord and those you need.

·      We need to: Seek support – Move toward God and towards the support the Body of Christ offers.

Our normal reaction will produce an unbiblical pride. That’s because all of us are image conscious, which is human, but we must refuse to allow that to control us.

Matt 11:28 "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.

Gal 6:2 Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.

Rom 12:4-5 Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.

Heb 10:24-25 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another-- and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

{3} Change your idea of success

Our world has defined this world in a way that has nothing to do with the way our God would. We have to recognize that the pressure the world puts on us to conform to its idea of success impacts us; how much depends on what definition we hold and how committed to that definition are we. If we are discouraged in any area of our life – we need to protect ourselves from folding under that pressure and seeking the world’s concept of success and its approval.

One thing that can help immensely is to reflect on the Bible’s success stories: Joseph, Daniel, Esther, The Disciples, etc. All would be considered losers in the world’s eyes, yet God turned their lives into complete success stories in the eternal perspective.

Just one thought I would leave with you: I have found that the normal path to see God’s success in your life is – God give you a vision, then kills that vision so He can resurrect it His way. Dealing with discouragement will be a part of the path, but your focus will make all the difference.   

Meditation Questions: How much time are you spending thinking about God versus about yourself and your problems? What is your idea of success? What is vision to you? What do you think you deserve? Explain. Can you thank God for where you are at even if you do not understand why you are there? Write down your idea of your vision and tell God you are willing to yield to His idea of His vision for you!