Sorry to be so quiet lately. It’s been pretty busy around here, but among the many goings on has been both a Thirst Conference & an Anger Resolution Seminar in the last month. So much to share, but only time to pass on a bit. The Lord keeps bringing the following little nugget up in my life a lot lately so I thought I should type it out. Maybe it’s something you will find useful in your life, too. This is from the Gothard material I’ve been studying lately; both the Anger Resolution conference & the Commands of Christ curriculum (Command #3 – Rejoice).
Have a “GREAT” response to trials/suffering in life. This little acronym is handy for me; I can carry it with me & it sticks. It’s easy to pull up in my mind whenever needed.:
G – Give thanks – This is not a feeling, but rather an act of obedience. I need to recognize this circumstance as from God’s loving hand. Whatever it is! God brought it into my life for my good. (Romans 8:28, 31-32, 35-39) If nothing else, He is using it to build godly character in my life making me more in His image which is the goal anyway, isn’t it? He cares much more about my long-term well being than my temporary happiness. He does not mean it for evil. Giving thanks for it, no matter what, requires FAITH. (Hebrews 11:1-2,6) My reward for giving thanks as we are commanded to do in ALL circumstances (1 Thess. 5:18) is peace, joy, & love that only comes from God & that the world can’t offer. It stands out! (Hebrews 13:12-15; Job 1:21, 2:10; Phil. 2:14-15; Phil. 4:6-9; Psalm 107:22; Gen. 50:20; Jeremiah 29:11)
R – Rejoice – This is where the feeling part comes in. Rejoicing involves emotions. The ONLY way to be able to do this in horrible situations is to think of all the ways this situation could be beneficial. This requires looking at it from God’s perspective. Could He be working in someone else’s life who is looking on? Is He building a character quality in my life I need to strengthen in order to be the godly person I long to be? Is He using this to keep me on my knees & totally dependent on Him? Than that’s good! That’s where I need to be anyway. It is also helpful to remember that even in those times when a bad situation is mostly my own stupid fault (we all have them), God is graciously able to use even those bad situations to turn it around & get the glory in even that! Whatever that is! Isn’t that wonderful?! (Phil. 4:4; Hebrews 10:34 – read vs. 32-39; Matthew 5:12; Isaiah 55:8-9; Psalm 119:71, 19:8)
E – Engraft Scripture – In other words, transform my way of thinking by drenching my mind in God’s Word. (Romans 12:2; 10:17) Satan will undoubtedly be whispering lies in my ear about this trial I’m going through, no matter how big or small. DON’T listen! Even more than that, actively pursue the Truth! Whatever the situation, find applicable verses in God’s Word that speak to this area. Seek them out & collect them. Write them out. Meditate on them. Post them where they will be before my eyes multiple times a day. Mull them over. Engraft them into my life just like a horticulturist ties new branches onto a tree to make them literally grow into & become a part of the tree. (John 15:5) Memorize them. Have them ready to throw back at Satan whenever his lies pop up, day or night. (Ephesians 6:16-17; John 15:7; Psalm 119:25-29)
A – Appeal to God – Literally cry out to our heavenly Father. He knows what I need! He has given me the authority to do this! I am His child & He has promised that He hears my cries. Isn’t that amazing?! (Psalm 50:15; 55:16-17; 56:9; 107:13; Hebrews 10:19-23; 1 John 3:1, 21-22; Romans 8:15-18)
T – Triumph over evil with good works – Overcome evil with good (Romans 12:21). This is what I am commanded to do as a Christ follower (Matthew 5:43-48). This goes against everything humanly natural! This only happens as I allow God’s grace to flow through me. This is where the Holy Spirit’s fruit is produced & evident in my life (Galatians 5:22-25). Jesus is our example in this – He did this for me! He took the initiative in forgiving me & changing my sinful self for His glory. I can in turn, by the power of the Holy Spirit, pass forgiveness on. This is where the world sees Christ in me! (Hebrews 12:1-4)
I’ll close with three free resources God has been using greatly in my life. Maybe you would be blessed in them as well…
– Commands of Christ – a 49 week discipleship challenge. If you click the window on the right that says “select a command”, a drop down window will allow you to click through all 49 & select whichever one you want to study. You can have daily emails sent with links to help you dig daily into the wealth of materials here.
– Nancy Leigh DeMoss’ Revive Our Hearts radio program – You can listen to past programs here, or set yourself up to have it come into your iTunes or email automatically every day. I have enjoyed these daily broadcasts SO much! If you’ve never heard it, might I suggest you start with this series. I give it three sessions & you’ll be hooked!
– Oswald Chambers’ daily devotionals from My Utmost For His Highest – You can read it free daily here, or have it sent to your facebook page by clicking “like” there. I really love his short but challenging thoughts & have for years. They are always applicable & worth reading. It also doesn’t hurt that he looks a lot like my Keith – easy to love him. : ]