Walking out of the “Winter of our Discontent” - In His Presence - Purity 636
Purity 636 01/24/2022 Purity 636 Podcast
Today’s photo of snowmobile tracks headed onto the frozen surface of Sacandaga Lake underneath an ethereal January sky and midday sun comes to us from a friend who hasn’t let life’s disappointments stop them from having a thriving life filled with independent adventures. While I am not into winter sports at all, with scenes like this, I can understand why some people brave the cold temperatures to see things you can’t see at other times of the year. I mean when else can you walk on water and shoot across the surface of a lake without being buffeted by waves?
It's Monday again and with the cold temperatures forecasted to last through the week I decided to share today’s photo to encourage and inspire us all with the fact that we can rise above what some would consider negative circumstances and overcome them and still have joy in our lives.
I have a few friends who are in crisis moments currently and seem to be experiencing the “winter of our discontent”. Some have been bogged down by the post-holiday emotional letdown, some are healing from disease or injury, and others are being assailed by outside circumstances, some of which are a result of their own poor choices and others of which are seemingly no fault of the persons involved. In all of their cases, my heart and prayers go out to them.
In this season of life they are all being asked to go into an uncertain future like setting out on this frozen lake, where their way can seem to be a cold, barren, and lonely and in some instances can seem to be a precarious one where they will lose their footing and perish.
But just like the way the sun in today’s photo can light their path and fill us with awe and wonder, God is over and above this cold and uncertain season of life and His wisdom and presence in our lives can guide us through this time and give us peace and hope until we make it to the other side.
Although I can’t tell any one of my friends exactly when they will get out of this cold and forbidding season, I can advise them that their situations will not last forever and that it is better to go through them with the Lord to guide, comfort, and strengthen them.
For the friends seeking healing, I advise them to follow their doctor’s orders and to draw close to the Lord in prayer. God is sovereign and as Creator, He has not only established our created order in which healing can come, He directs human affairs according to His purposes and may grant healings both gradual and immediate.
In my faith walk, I have prayed for healing over myself and seen developing sicknesses stopped in their tracks, pain decrease and go away, and recovery come, but I have also had times where healing did not come as I had prayed and where pains persisted.
So I am sorry to say I don’t have the miraculous gift of healing but what I do have is a relationship in which I trust the Lord, and in which I ask for what I think is best and accept whatever it is I receive from Him. And regardless, if I am sick, or well, I have the peace that comes from knowing that He is with me. His ways are higher than my ways and I accept that whatever is happening has a purpose.
For the friends who are suffering negative circumstances because of the winds of change or from a day of reckoning that has finally come, I advise them to do all they can to act wisely and to work to resolve the problems at hand and then go to the Lord in prayer to ask Him for His help, strength, and guidance. Sometimes we have to dig ourselves out of a mess or work and seek a new opportunity in life seemingly on our own but even in those circumstances we can use the Lord’s presence and strength to help us to endure and we can request His providence to make our paths easier when we least expect it.
And finally, for the friends who are hurting from loss or a lack of fulfillment or who are just disillusioned and disappointed with relationships or the course of their lives, I usually recommend that they examine when these feelings started and what their relationship with the Lord is like. In most cases, my friend’s relationship with the Lord is either nonexistent or they have become lax in fostering their relationship with God and have let the things of this world determine their self-worth or to be the means to make them happy.
For those who know the Lord, I advise them to re-establish their relationship with Him by reminding themselves of who they are in Christ and by communing with Him in prayer, worship. and Bible study. If you walked strong in the power of the Lord before, you just have to stand up and walk with Him again.
For those who don’t know the Lord, I try to encourage them by telling them that there is a God over and above this world who deeply cares about them individually and who wants them to come to Him to receive a new and abundant life of peace and purpose.
It’s Monday and its January but God is alive and well and has the strength, wisdom, and guidance that we all need to make it through the trials of this life. No matter what you are going through, with God, you are never alone.
So go to Him and tell Him your troubles and ask for His help. I can’t guarantee an instant miracle to fix all your problems but if you start walking with the Lord, somewhere down the road you will testify to His goodness and the miracle of how you had peace through the storm, how He made a way where there was no way, or how He helped you to overcome the trials that you thought would consume you.
Today’s Bible verse comes to us from “The NLT Bible Promise Book for Men”.
This morning’s meditation verse is:
9 This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”
Today’s verse speaks the truth of the Lord’s continual presence and how we can be strong and courageous when we realize that He is with us wherever we go.
Today’s verse’s context is that of the Lord encouraging Joshua to face incredible odds to go in and to possess the promised land, but the Lord commands Him not to fear and assures Joshua that God would be with Him wherever he went.
This verse points to the attribute of God’s omnipresence: the presence of God everywhere at the same time. So although this verse was specific to Joshua at that time way back when, because of God’s omnipresence, it can also be encouragement for us and our daily walk of faith.
There are several verses in the Bible that command us not to fear and the only reason we can be obedient to this command is because of the fact of God’s presence. It’s like God is saying “Don’t be afraid!” and we say: “Why not!?” to which His word tells us: “Don’t be afraid because I am right here with you and will be with you wherever you go!”
In Psalm 139, David muses over God’s continual presence in His life saying:
8 If I ascend into heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.
God is with us here on earth and when we have faith in Christ, we will be with Him forever more even if we die and go to heaven. With that assurance of God’s presence in our lives, we can obey His command to be strong and courageous because there is no way that He will ever let us down because He will be with us always.
So reflect on God’s continual presence in your life, reach out to Him and enjoy His presence, and be strong and courageous in life because you know He will always be there.
As always, I invite all to go to mt4christ.org where I always share insights from prominent Christian theologians and counselors to assist my brothers and sisters in Christ with their walk.
Today we continue to share from Dr. Neil Anderson’s . “Restored: Experience Life with Jesus”. Today, we continue sharing from Chapter 5.
As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase Dr. Neil Anderson’s books for your own private study and to support his work.
IDENTITY DETERMINES SIGNIFICANCE
The world says you are nothing; therefore, you better scheme, achieve, and get ahead, which leads to malice, guile, hypocrisy, envy, and slander.113 The Bible tells us that we are something; therefore, we should be submissive.114 The scriptural commands concerning roles in relationships are given in a context where the significance question has already been settled by our identities and positions in Christ.
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; for you once were not a people, but now you are the people of God; you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.115
The biblical formula: our position in Christ and our identities as children of God equals significance. If a wife’s sense of significance flows from her relationship with God, she can respond to her husband’s leadership because in fact she is equally significant in God’s plan for her personally, her marriage, and her family. Husbands don’t need to demand respect or lord it over others to have any sense of worth. They already are significant as a children of God and secure in Christ. They are free to be the true servant-leader God has called them to be. The fruit of the Spirit is not staff control, nor spouse control, nor child control; it is self-control. Both the husband and wife can respond with grace to a less-than-perfect spouse, because they don’t need the other person to meet their need for significance.116
Submission, authority, and control concern not only man/wife issues, or parent/child issues, or employer/employee issues. Submission is primarily a relational matter between the creature and the Creator. When we know who we are as children of God, we don’t have to rebel, we don’t have to dominate and control. We yield to the Lordship of Christ, secure in our position in Him, and relate to others with love and forgiveness.
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My wife, TammyLyn, also offers Christian encouragement via her Facebook Group: Ask, Seek, Knock (https://www.facebook.com/groups/529047851449098 ) and her podcast Ask, Seek, and Knock on Podbean (https://feed.podbean.com/tammalyn78/feed.xml)
Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship