“Dear friends, don’t be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you. Instead, be very glad, for these trials make you partners with Christ in His suffering, so that you will have the wonderful joy of seeing His glory when it is revealed to all the world.”
–1 Peter 4:12-13 (NLT)
Do you have any special memories? Are you too busy to think about them?
As you go about the business of living life, and you find yourself choosing between the fast lane and memory lane, join the club. Most of the time, we speed through life, forgetting the people and things which are really important. I am not suggesting that we sit in rocking chairs and dwell on the past, but many of the pillars of life which once bound us together now tear us apart.
For example, once we were governed by family values. But now, instead of choosing loved ones, we often choose the next appointment on our calendars. Then we wonder why our families are falling apart. We look for our fulfillment by seeking upgrades to our convenient technology, instead of looking to the one who can upgrade life.
I am not advocating a return to the stone age. I am simply suggesting that we return to God’s word in a new way. If we are not careful, going faster and faster can become an unnecessary means of escape.
While it seems that we are always on the run and we practically live in our cars, let me be the first to admit that computers and planes have benifited us greatly. Unfortunately, they have also filled our modern world with stress and tension. As we continue to increase our pace at a maddening rate, we see our lives becoming more and more chaotic.
Instead of letting speed dictate our actions, we must learn to regulate our lives under Christ’s direction and Lordship. But the $64 question is: How do we go about this? I would like to suggest some things that have helped me.
One thing I have found to be important is the realization that Jesus is the best friend I will ever have. As I practice taking Him with me throughout my day, I realize that He believes in me when nobody else does.
Unlike the people who might see me each day, I can be eternally secure. I know that Christ is looking at my heart, instead of viewing me externally. We usually tend to judge each other on a superficial basis, but God’s love offers terrific motivation for me to try and see things differently. It also gives me new confidence and strength to face whatever comes my way. I know that with God on my side, I can face any challenge.
Just as you would spend time with anyone else you value, spend time with Jesus. Set aside some time to meet with Him, just as you would go out to lunch or coffee with a good friend. I like to do this in the early morning. By doing this, I let God’s Word set the tone for my day. But maybe nighttime works better for you. In any case, you will find that things that once seemed like huge obsticles will look much smaller once God truly enters your life through the Bible.
In this way, you will also find yourself dealing with life’s pressures more effectively. All too often, we only see Jesus in terms of the sweet by and by, instead of bringing Him with us into the nasty now and now.
During your walk with God, keep these three r’s in mind: repeat, remind, and request. The first way we can bring Christ into our day is by repeating verses like, “If God is for me, who can be against me?” (Romans 8:31) or “with God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26)
Secondly, it helps to remind yourself of the things which God has done for you in seemingly impossible situations. Third, request that God will help you see problems from His perspective. This will also help you as you wait upon His timing.
Now I will try and tie this all together, for it brings us back full-circle to the idea of special memories. Memories that you share with a good friend can be one of your main sources of both joy and pain, and reminiscing about the past while laughing and crying has a way of bringing the two of you closer together. It is the same way in a relationship with God. The ups and downs of life can only strengthen our relationships with Him, if we cast our cares upon Him.
So instead of trying to build self-esteem, why not concentrate upon abiding in Christ’s love? This will not only help you face the present, as I previously mentioned. But as you see God working, it can also give you the unparalleled confidence to face the future. Whatever you are dealing with, draw close to a God who can take it all on His shoulders. Approach Him in a new way today, and let Him elevate you to new heights tomorrow.
Thank you for reading this, and may the Lord give you a wonderful week! We are trying to reach people who are hurting, so if God lays it on your heart, please consider becoming a partner with us. If you would like to make a donation, please visit www.hcmachaplains.org and click on the Donate Now link. You can also send donations by mail to HCMA (Healthcare Chaplains Ministry Association). Our ID number is 560. The address is 101 S Kraemer BLVD, Suite 123A, Placentia, CA 92870. Finally, you’re always welcome to join our Monday night Bible study or Tuesday night prayer meeting. Both are conducted by conference call, and they take place at 5:30 PM Arizona time. Our conference number is 712-775-7031, and our ID is 607518748. We hope to talk with you soon!
If you have questions, comments or prayer requests for Timothy or Stephanie Burdick, please call 507-369-6861.