Tuesday, September 18, 2012

What lies ahead

Hello again to all of you.  It has been a long time since I have been able to post some of my reflections about how I have seen God work in my life.  This new school year has presented me with more challenges than I ever knew existed in education.  There have been many nights that I just could do no more, and just had to accept the fact that I was not going to be able to finish now and would have to put it off to later.  I have been overwhelmed here lately with all that was going on in my life, both at work and at home.  How can I separate the work from home when I have to start bringing it home?  How can I fit in time with my family with all of the new struggles that I have to combat?  And sadly, I had allowed myself to sink into that cynical attitude of not caring any more, and ready to give up.  Then I got an email from a friend through the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, in which I am the adviser at my school.  In it contained a set of scripture that I have read many times before.  And after reading it, I knew that God was trying to get my attention.  He was trying to get me to see that who I was becoming was not who He intended me to be.  I needed to get back on track.  I shared this thought at bible study with my students before school today.  Here are the verses.

Hebrews 12:1-3
"Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart."

 There are a couple of key points to this verse.

1)  There are always people watching.  This cloud of witnesses are all those around us that are watching all that we do.  Some look for encouragement from us, and some look for reasons to criticize us for what we believe.  So what are we showing them?  When we allow ourselves to get down and depressed, and succumb to the pressures of the world, what do the see?  The ones who are looking to us for encouragement are not getting it, and we are giving the world more ammo against us.  I was doing damage to my witness with my actions.  This is not who I am.  And it needed to change.

2)  Because of the witnesses, we need to strive to fight through all the things that bring us down.  No matter what is going on in our lives, we need to look at the big picture.  Where are we going?  What are we doing along the way?  We need to rid ourselves of everything that would separate us from the love, joy, and blessings of Christ our Savior.  That is what all of those around us need to see.  Will we fail?  Yes, because none of us are without sin.  But, as my pastor says, someone who is truly saved will not stay down long.

3)  Life Happens.  We need to understand that life is not easy.  There are going to be problems and issues all of the time.  That is why we must endure.  If we allow ourselves to stop and break at every obstacle, we cannot finish our purpose and we have no hope.  <a href="http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Romans%205:3-5&version=NASB">Romans 5:3-5</a>

4)  We get through by fixing our eyes on Christ.  Everything that happens to us is not foreign to Christ.  He knows every step we will take.  The race has been set before us.  He knows what we will encounter.  And when our race is over, for those that are truly saved, He is waiting there at the end for us.  And He should be our example.  He suffered.  He took on our sin and shame.  He died to pay the price for us so that we could spend eternity with Him.  What greater hope do we have than that?  When we look at what we go through here in this life and compare it to what we have in eternity when we leave, it makes what we are going through seem not all that important.  

Sunday night at church we talked about Romans 8:28.  It tells us that God causes all things to happen for our own good.  Even the bad things that come in our lives are there to help us grow.  They come to teach us to depend on Him more.  I am resolved now that even in the midst of my current circumstance, God's grace is sufficient for me.  Things are hard, and life is always a mystery.  But God is there with me each step of the way.  And if you are saved as well, He is right there with you too.

Thanks for reading, and I pray that God will bless you this week!