30/30: How to Hang on at the End of Your Rope

6 05 2009

worst-case-scenarioLessons from Jeremiah, a Guy Who Was Hanging On For Dear Life

When Your Hanging on at the End of Your Rope…

1. Focus Your Attention on God

When life is heavy and hard to take, go off by yourself. Enter the silence. Bow in prayer. Don’t ask questions. Wait for hope to appear. Lamentations 3:28-29

2. Ask God to Remove Your Fears

From the bottom of the pit, I cried out to You, O Lord. And when I begged You to listen to my cry, You heard. And You answered me and told me not to be afraid. Lamentations 3:55-57

3. Trust God’s Goodness

The Lord is good to everyone who trusts in Him. So it is best for us to wait in patience—to wait for Him to save us.” Lamentations 3:25-26

4. Remember the Lord’s Faithfulness

“I’ll never forget the trouble, the utter lostness, the taste of ashes, the poison I’ve swallowed. I remember it all…the feeling of hitting the bottom. BUT there’s one other thing I remember, and remembering it, I keep a grip on hope: God’s loyal love couldn’t have run out, His merciful love couldn’t have dried up. They’re created new every morning. How great is Your faithfulness! Lamentations 2:19-23

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30/30: Lifelines. Worry. God’s Faithfulness

16 04 2009

worst-case-scenarioRecently I came across some pictures of Kathy and I when we were first married. Three things went through my mind: 1. This young guy was naive about life. 2. This guy was freak’n clueless about marriage. 3. This guy had no lines on his face. When I look in the mirror today, my face is now older, more worn and reflects a life half lived. In 17 years of marriage, life has Kathy and I around the country and around the world serving Christ and people,

During those years, we wondered if God would …

Provide financially our first five years of marriage; we were dirt poor (ever year we made less than the poverty line).

Protect us while we lived with gunshots and crackheads living in the inner city of Baltimore.

Keep our daughter safe from Malaria and sickness for two years in Ghana, West Africa (We got malaria, but she never did).

Really be there for us when we were lonely living on the other side of the world. (In the pre-internet days, the only contact we had with our family was a $2/minute phone call from a post office once or twice a month).

Comfort and strengthen us when our 2nd daughter was born premature, blue and not breathing. (The first week in intensive care, the doctors didn’t think she would make it, but she miraculously recovered).

Teach us how to love and forgive when our marriage was rocky, drifting apart and full of arguments (We’ve been through a lot and are closer today than ever before).

Pick us up when we were discouraged, frustrated, stressed, and burned out working in challenging church over the years (He didn’t always work things out the way we wanted, but he has always been there big time for us).

Support and provide for us when we took a crazy risk and started a church for people that don’t go to church (This was harder than going to Africa).

As I look at my face now…there are a lot more lifelines. But lifelines are more than just lines on my face. They are reminders of all the times Christ has come through in our life. Lifelines tell the story of all the Lifelines that Christ has sent to us to help pull us through when we felt like we were at the end of our rope.

One of the best ways to be encouraged when you feel like you are at the end of your rope is to remember all the times in the past where Christ has come through in your life. And here’s the deal…Christ has not changed. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. Instead of worrying, start remembering.He was faithful then and He IS STILL FAITHFUL now.

And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus. Philippians 2:19