Hey friends, how are you today? Yes, today… how are you doing? Fall is officially here, and we are three months away from a new year, if the Lord allows. It is a cloudy, gloomy and rainy morning, even the birds and the squirrels seek shelter, the silence is almost deafening. I like noise, were you able to figure that out about me? I don’t mind the quiet, but only in small doses. I prefer noise of any kind; voices of people, music will sometimes do, even the thundering of the rain drops. Silence can sometimes leave me with feelings of anxiousness. We will explore the reasons later.
Have the past almost nine months been good to you? There were probably, joyful, jubilant occasions and also times of frustrations and failures. Throughout these times of distress, perhaps on some days, you responded like I do, at times; with anxiety or worry or even misery and anguish.
Very few of us enjoy being around dissatisfied people; people who complain about everything and everyone. They find so little joy in life and sometimes are quite happy to share their discontent with anyone listening. We are almost always listening anyway, because getting a word in, is practically impossible. Most of us would choose not to spend time with unhappy and ungrateful people.
Next on that seat are the passive aggressive people. They say everything is fine, life is good, BUT… they blame others, or things, or circumstances, for everything wrong with their world. Taking responsibility for their circumstances, their behaviors is a foreign concept. I know you can think of at least one person who falls into either of these categories. Maybe that person sounds too familiar? What are we do to do with such individuals?
Wellll… I would hesitantly say that we have all been one of these individuals, at one time or another in our lives. Thankfulness is hard to come by when we are actually going through difficulties. Most of us desire that the Lord rescue us from the emotional, financial or relational pain and “please Lord, do it quickly”. It is almost or should I say, impossible, to be thankful throughout our trials and tribulations, without the help of the Almighty God. We sometimes start off desiring to be thankful, but if the situation lingers, we find out quickly that ‘long suffering’ isn’t a natural trait we possess. It is hard to be thankful because our present situation has overwhelmed us; we are sinking under the weight of our burden. We go to the Lord and present our petitions before Him, but this situation is so consuming, that we have forgotten to be thankful for our blessings. I have done it; I have been there.
Here is a list of a few things I’ve tried and can guarantee does not work! Here is what NOT TO DO:
1. Disbelieve or distrust the promises found in the Word of God (Psalm 27:13,14)
2. Forget to count prior and present blessings (Psalm 78:7)
3. Envy others their allotment (Hebrews 13:5)
4. Feel entitled or deserving of God’s favors (Ephesians 2:8,9)
5. Try to handle or fix problems in our own strength (Proverbs 3:5,6)
6. Believe that this trial is more difficult than another person’s. (Matthew 11:28)
7. Allow the trial to consume every thought and conversation (Matthew 6:24-34)
8. Bring troubles to friends rather than the Lord. (I Peter 5:7)
9. Continually take back burden from the Lord by being anxious and worried (Philippians 4:6)
X. Give the Lord a time frame to answer prayer (Ecclesiastes 3:11)
There is a song sung by Bill and Gloria Gaither, entitled ‘Bigger Than Any Mountain’. It is a good reminder of the power and majesty that belongs to the God we serve!
How do you handle difficulties, when they come your way?