Tag Archive | hardships

When you have failed a test

This blog posting is kind of like a follow up to “When everything falls apart”, and “The Tests of Life”.  We know that when students go through tests at school.  Have you ever known you were going to have a quiz, but you didn’t have time to study for it?  You just go to sleep and hoping that everything comes by “osmosis” or something like that?  Well God tests and sometimes He chastens us too, and sometimes this test may be foretold in advance [i.e. Jesus wilderness, and the Israelite wilderness] We go through difficult things, and it is about our attitude primarily and what we do and say during these times of chastening and testing.  Sometimes we do not know what direction it is going to come, and we know that the enemy goes around like a roaring lion seeing who he can devour, but we also know God has His plan, which is different for testing.

Women, not intended to stereotype, in general tend to be more emotional and they tend to cry more and be more expressive in their emotions.  Sometimes we find women yelling, and getting angry too, but as believers it is hard to control these emotions without surrendering to the Holy Spirit.  But whether you are a woman or a man, you do get tested by the Lord, and even through the best of intentions you try to obtain a peaceful attitude through the Holy Spirit, but it is the times when you are spiritually undernourished that you go through certain things and you cannot seem to find your way out of the wilderness experience that you are in.  One thing to understand is that God is through His Holy Spirit giving you a slight nudge in what to do in the beginning, and if you don’t listen to that nudge, which is like Question No. 1, and then He gives you another nudge, but this time this one may be a little bit softer than the other nudge.  That is like Question No. 2.  Then by now if the principle of chastening, and disciplining has come into picture, there will you will start receiving a wrong answer mark or an “X” by your “Questions”, and that begins the consequences of sin.  The good thing about the “X” is that if you realize it soon enough you get it erased, and just for another opportunity to do the same question again.  But if you you continue to answer questions wrongly, then the “X”‘s get more and depending on how much you have prepared for the test, and how much you ask the Teacher to help you, you yourself will get up getting upset and failing.  The Good News is that you always have a do over, but you have to ask the Teacher to help you study and you have to ask for tutoring and to go in for “Office Hours”.  The Good News is that the Office Hours are 24/7.  This Teacher is Jesus and through the Holy Spirit He teaches you, but it will have to be at a time, when He is not grieved by you getting upset with Him for the difficult test.

The problem is that most times we don’t depend on the Teacher alone, but we depend on other people, and trying to please them, we try to please other people.   If Job actually listened to the advice of His friends, would He have been actually able to hear from God?  Maybe, because the Word does say, “God works out all things for good to those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.” But this was a test.  For Job, it was unexpected, but for some people, God may tell you, “Be watchful, lest you enter into temptation”, and if you don’t listen you are going to end up in trouble.

Part of the problem, is that we don’t have the wisdom our own to figure out the problem, so that’s why we are supposed to go to God, and you may just want someone to pray for you, and they go about giving their advice and telling you how to solve the problem.  Sometimes there are times where people have been thrown everything, which comes there way, and they think as Christians, “I should have been able to handle this better”, and that’s where pride comes in.  Because it is not us, but Christ who lives in us that equips us to handle problems, and because when we don’t listen to the small nudgings, we get overwhelmed, over stressed, and overburdened by our problems.

Hebrews 12, my favorite Chapter says –

For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls. You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin. And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons:

“My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord,
Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him;
For whom the Lord loves He chastens,
And scourges every son whom He receives.”

If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons. Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live?10 For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that wemay be partakers of His holiness. 11 Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

12 Therefore strengthen the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees, 13 and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be dislocated, but rather be healed.

So basically what it says here is that you have to endure the chastening, and some places says rejoice, because you are not illegitimate, and you are sons.  So basically when you have a pop-quiz/test like this, and you fail, realize that it’s ok because even though you will have to go through test again, you are building up your relationship with the Holy Spirit to the level of intimacy because in truth, we all fall down, and especially when you are pursuing the path of Holiness, there may be so many things that come against you, but if you trust in God, then there will be a peacable fruit of righteousness and to forgive yourself and to accept His grace, which calls us unto redemption.  We are not guided by our feelings, and we may have bad days, and areas of struggle, and areas of weakness, but God is equipping us, the one’s whom He loves to be a bride ready to be established for His Kingdom.

If you need to repent for failing a test here is a prayer for you:

Heavenly Father,

Please forgive me, I’ve run a muck today, and not listened to Your voice, and obeyed Your commands.  I acted impatiently, hastily, and not out of love, but I really need You to forgive me, and cleanse my heart with Your Blood and to give me a clean heart and a new heart and to pick up the pieces, dust them off, and continue to spin that Potter’s wheel.  I thank You that You are still with me, and that You are teaching me and training me to be a glorious vessel for Your Kingdom, and I abide in Your Truth and wisdom, to know that You are guiding my path.  Help me to be able to discern Your voice more clearly from now on, and to make wise decisions to pass the tests and to surrender my emotions to you, so that I can have the complete wholeness of Body, Mind, Spirit, that you have promised in Your Word.  Thank You Heavenly Father.

In Jesus Mighty Name I pray,

Amen.

God is faithful to answer the prayers whatever they may be, if you continue to wait on Him.  He will always be with you.

 

When everything falls apart

When we go through hard times and there is nothing and no one that can help, our intimacy and relationship to God is the only thing that can get us through.  When you have been experiencing some rough times – some  Good questions to ask yourself are:  What are you going to do when your Bible is too heavy for you to carry?  What are you going to do when you are not physically capable of using your laptop or computer?  What are you going to do when you try to pray but can’t?  What are you going to do if you’ve lost your voice too?(Not saying that I have)  What are you going to do when you are by yourself and everything around you just seems to be falling apart and you can’t so much lift your hands up or use your voice?  What are you going to do during those times when God is silent or you haven’t “reached” that level of intimacy to bring you close to maturity.  Have you ever thought about these things?  These things are good things to think about.  What does it all depend upon?

Some say it’s obedience and it’s about you reap what you sow, but actually I think in Job, Job got more depressed when other people were saying things like that.  What really matters and what God is looking at more than faith, I would guess is your attitude.  Your attitude while suffering really is a good signal of how mature you are in Christ.  Paul said in Romans 8, “I consider these sufferings of the present time nothing compared to the glory that is about to be revealed.”  If you are able to keep a joyful attitude when suffering then that means you have something that is of value to God.  Sometimes the thing is not whether you are happy or sad, but what goes on in your thought life and how you lift up your heart to Him and just come to that point of surrender in knowing that you cannot do it without Him.  Even Jesus when He was on the Cross probably was not rejoicing and singing and shouting, but He maintained the Word confession out loud, and He surrendered to the sin that He took upon His flesh when He was on the Cross.  We all say we want a deeper relationship with God and a more intimate relationship with God, but do you know what it actually means to take on the nature of Christ?  It means to partake in the sufferings of Christ.  Although it is good that God does not give you more than you can bear, and though sorrow may last through the night and joy comes in the morning, we all have to suffer at some point and our attitude while suffering is important.

There are some kinds of attitudes that are healthy to have while in sufferings:

1)  An attitude of praise – If you are able to not curse God or blame God during the circumstance but to lift Him up and not allow the enemy’s tactics to discourage you and to bring you into self-pity then that is a good attitude to have.  I’ve done a blog post on Praise  –  I forgot what it’s called.  It might be called, “Singing in the Valley”

2) An attitude of communion – If we allow ourselves to acknowledge the fact that Christ has suffered too, and that no one has suffered to the point that Christ has as it says in Hebrews 12, then we will know that no matter what happens we do not have to be discouraged because Christ has already overcome the world, and we know that He has suffered as well.  There’s a verse – I think it’s in Phillipians  where Paul says that he thanks God to know the power of His resurrection, and to partake in the fellowship of His sufferings.  That must be a difficult thing to understand for some people.  I am not saying that you have to suffer that it is a requirement to fellowship with Him, but to say that if you are suffering rejoice because Christ suffered likewise.

3)  An attitude of rejoicing – When you are suffering, good chances are that you are being chastened or being disciplined by God, and even though it says that no disciplining is joyful but is grievous and painful, but the result is peacable fruits of righteousness for those that have been trained by it – We can still choose to rejoice.  We can continually have our hearts lifted up because – we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; 4 and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Romans 5:4

4) An attitude of surrender – knowing that you are too small to fix all your problems is a great thing.  Knowing that there is someone greater and larger that takes care of everything.  It’s good to be obedient to the little that God has called you to do, but even when you have been disobedient and are trying to take control of your life and figure everything out for yourself then that God cannot operate in changing your free will, so you have to come and humble yourself before Him.  Job did that in the last chapter of Job, where He just surrendered to God and repented.  Surrender is a form of repentence – it is laying your will down and making a commitment to change. It is also the ability to realize how Great our God is.

5) An attitude of not complaining – no matter what circumstances you are going through, the less you complain, and murmur, the better it is.  But you can always talk to God and reason with Him.  Jesus is your mediator.  When Job was suffering he cried out for a mediator between God and man.  Aren’t we glad that we have one?

6) An attitude of Prayer – If at all you can pray, and prayer just means communicate to God in some form (I know some people say you have to utter out loud or speak in tongues), but in some cases you just need in your heart to communicate your heart’s desire to God and have that level of faith step in and take over.

7) An attitude of Be Still and Know – “When you have done all that you can do stand” – It says in Ephesians 6.  When we can just rest knowing that God still loves us and cares for us and that our prayers are being heard and answered then maybe that’s all we need.  We don’t need to beat ourselves up for what we have done because God knows and He is there to help you.  Sometimes He just wants you to go and spend time with Him and seek Him.

Sometimes it’s not about all the rebuking the devil that you do, but it’s about your attitude.  I don’t even want to get into all that’s going on right now, but I know God is faithful even when everything falls apart.  The key thing to remember when everything falls apart is that God works out all things together for good to those who love Him.  There’s going to be a blessing out of this situation that you might be going through – that is the peaceable fruits of righteousness.

Singing in the Valley

I haven’t posted in a while because I have been going through some things.  Some of which may be called a “valley” in my life.  It wasn’t until I heard Joyce Meyer mentioned “singing in the valley” that God revealed to me what to write about.  People go through things in life.  They go through things – ups and downs – physical sicknesses (even though Jesus has already paid the price for them), financial troubles, and just any kind of thing you can think of that the enemy tries to throw at you.  It’s through this time that we must learn to trust and praise God through the valley.  I admit I have been neglecting my “singing” and that’s just the strategy the enemy is trying to use.  He doesn’t want you to praise God in your troubles.  He wants to steal your praise.  He wants to steal your joy too and he wants to steal your praise if that succeeds.  The more he succeeds the more he will try until he’s got you so wrapped around your own suffering and throwing yourself a pity party consumed with grief, that you can’t open your mouth to praise Him [Jesus].

1) Praise is a an act of faith – Praise is one of the many ways that you can express your faith.  It’s easy to sit in church and listen to worship music, sing and dance, and praise.  But when you haven’t been able to keep down anything you’ve eaten or even when you try to pray and fight you are crying so much that you can’t fight anymore or when you are so deep in debt that it would be better for you to go into slavery then to pay off your debt, that’s when it is hard to praise God.  You try so many things to be a “good Christian”, but then you realize that your faith has been stolen so that’s when you must praise.

2) Praise is an attitude – It’s not just about “singing” – It’s a lifestyle choice.  Imagine if you were around a person that had one bad thing after another happen to them and you never saw the smile leave their face.  They smiled when good things were happening and they smiled when bad things were happening, and it wasn’t just their smiling, but it was their whole attitude that was kind, nice, caring, loving, and nurturing, but still human at the same time.  You would think what kind of character does this person have that makes them never complain or murmur or enter into self-pity like that?  I’m not saying that such a person exists , except for maybe David in the Bible or even Joel Osteen (I know some Christians don’t like him and some love him), but wouldn’t it be a great attitude to have where you are constantly praising God for all that has happened-  to know that whatever you’re going through you’re going to get out of it.

3) Praise can deliver you – When Paul was praising in prison there was an earthquake and then all the prison gates opened and they were let out [ACTS 16:25] – Even in your darkest bondage if you lift your hearts to praise Him, then you can be set free.  Whatever you’re going through God can deliver you out of the darkest bondage.  He can create miracles through praise to get out of that bondage.

 

4) Praise when others around you are not praising – You’re fellow co-worker might be talking bad about the boss or about the work situation you can praise God that you have a job.  When your sister is having a bad day and she snaps at you you can praise God that you have a family that loves you and that you are not an orphan.  It’s so easy to praise when everyone around you is cheerful and happy all the time, but how often does that happen?

5) Praise while serving –  Whether you’re washing the dishes, taking out the trash, cooking, or whatever it is that you do to serve you can lift your hearts with praise.  I must admit that this is the hardest thing for me to do.  God does not call you to serve grudgingly or as an obligation, but with a heart of praise.  Often I find myself so agitated I tend to snap at someone or get really stressed out when doing these things, and it’s only afterward that I realize that I should do it with a heart of praise.  So what I do is turn on the Christian radio station and fill my heart with peace and praise so that I can serve with a heart full of praise.  This one is hard for my family members as well.  I think praise while serving changes the whole attitude about serving and can create peace in the atmosphere.

6) Praise God during all the little things – Whether you’re trying to find a piece of food in the way back part of the fridge so that you have to go and take everything out and put everything back in to find it.  Or you’re trying to put the carton of apple juice back in the fridge while there’s no more room left in the fridge.  Or even if it’s making it through the light without getting into an accident.  It doesn’t matter what little things that you do or that happen to you, you can praise God in spite of them or even through them because then you’ll end up being able to praise God through all the big things that happen in your life – like the bondages or things you need to be delivered from.

7) Praise changes your perspective  – You may be looking at your situation from only your viewpoint and not seeing God’s viewpoint, and when you praise the whole situation gets turned around.  Perspective in art and geography can mean two dimensional or three dimensional.  When you put on 3D glasses to watch a movie you feel the realness of it.  You don’t feel like it’s a flat screen and that you can’t really be a part of it.  With 3D it makes the picture pop out for you and it can make it really exciting and personal.  God is multidimensional so when you praise God even when you are going through a valley you can see that there is a mountain at the top and God can move that mountain and make your pathways straight so that you are not in a valley but then you are in a level playing field.

 

One of the songs about Praise I like is “God is good all the time.” :

“Chorus:
God is good all the time
He put a song of praise in this heart of mine
God is good all the time
Through the darkest night, His light will shine
God is good, God is good all the time
[ Lyrics from: http://www.lyricsmode.com/lyrics/d/don_moen/god_is_good_all_the_time.html ]
If you’re walking through the valley
And there are shadows all around
Do not fear, He will guide you
He will keep you safe and sound
‘Cause He’s promised to never leave you
Nor forsake you and His Word is true

Chorus

We were sinners – so unworthy
Still for us He chose to die
Filled us with His Holy Spirit
Now we can stand and testify
That His love is everlasting
And His mercies – they will never end

Chorus

Lord I may not understand
All the plans He left for me
My life is in your hands
And through the eyes of Him I can clearly see

Chorus”

More lyrics: http://www.lyricsmode.com/lyrics/d/don_moen/#share

 

I may not be perfect and I may struggle as we all do, but I know that I have a God who is worthy of praise so through this valley if I go and praise Him then He can move this mountain in my life.