Charles Stanley – How to Handle Hurts

 

Ephesians 4:30-32

Are you carrying wounds around with you wherever you go? Maybe someone said or did something hurtful to you yesterday, and you can’t seem to get it out of your mind. Or perhaps the offense occurred many years ago, and it’s still affecting you today. Despite your attempts to bury the pain, it keeps rising to the surface.

God doesn’t want us to live under a cloud of emotional pain. In today’s passage, He provides the way out if we’re willing to take it.

Recognize our own sin (v. 30). Although the other person’s guilt seems much greater, we can’t hide behind the label of “victim.” Wrongdoers will be held answerable to God for their actions, but we are accountable for our response. That’s why we’re warned not to grieve the Holy Spirit.

Let go of sinful responses (v. 31). The only way to move forward is to drop all bitterness, anger, and malice toward our offender. Each time we rehearse the wrong, relive the pain, and feel resentment rise up within us, we’re responding in a sinful manner instead of walking in obedience to the Spirit. To be healed of our hurts, we must put away such things.

Forgive (v. 32). As people forgiven of every sin we’ve ever committed, we have no right to hang on to others’ offenses.

Each time we submit to the Spirit, He moves us forward in forgiveness. If the pain is deep, the progress may be slow. Nevertheless, continue obeying God in an attitude of forgiveness. You’ll discover that as you let go of the offense, the hurt you’ve been carrying will be lifted as well.

Bible in One Year: John 4-5

 

http://www.intouch.org/

Our Daily Bread — Compassion Fatigue

 

Read: Matthew 9:35–38 | Bible in a Year: Jeremiah 24–26; Titus 2

When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Matthew 9:36

Anne Frank is well known for her diary describing her family’s years of hiding during World War II. When she was later imprisoned in a Nazi death camp, those with her said “her tears [for them] never ran dry,” making her “a blessed presence for all who knew her.” Because of this, scholar Kenneth Bailey concluded that Anne never displayed “compassion fatigue.”

Compassion fatigue can be one of the results of living in a badly broken world. The sheer volume of human suffering can numb even the best intentioned among us. Compassion fatigue, however, was not in Jesus’s makeup. Matthew 9:35–36 says, “Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.”

Our world suffers not only from physical needs but also from spiritual brokenness. Jesus came to meet that need and challenged His followers to join Him in this work (vv. 37–38). He prayed that the Father would raise up workers to respond to the needs all around us—people who struggle with loneliness, sin, and illness. May the Father give us a heart for others that mirrors His heart. In the strength of His Spirit, we can express His compassionate concern to those who are suffering.

For more on this topic, see Compassion: Learning to Love Like Jesus at discoveryseries.org/q0208.

In a world filled with heartache, we can model the compassion of Jesus.

By Bill Crowder

INSIGHT

While contemplating the crowd in Matthew 9, Jesus did three specific things. First, He “saw” the crowds (v. 36) and recognized they were “harassed and helpless.” Second, He felt compassion toward them (v. 36). Finally, our Lord acted by challenging His disciples to pray that the Father would raise up workers to serve in the harvest (v. 38).

We find the same pattern in Acts 17 when Paul entered the city of Athens. He saw (v. 16) that the city was filled with idols, which stirred strong feelings within him (“he was greatly distressed”)—perhaps because of the self-destructive nature of idol worship. Then Paul acted by engaging people with the message of Jesus and His resurrection (vv. 17–18).

This pattern practiced by both Jesus and Paul established a model we can embrace today.

Bill Crowder

 

http://www.odb.org

Ravi Zacharias Ministry – God at Terminal Five

I wrote one of the last sections of the book Why Suffering? on a plane flight from London to New York.(1) As I came through security at Heathrow Airport, I had about an hour until my departure, and I had it in mind to find a quiet spot and make a start on the writing I had planned.

As I began to walk toward the departure gates, a small sign for the “Multi-Faith Prayer Room” caught my eye, and instantaneously—though I have never before had an urge to visit an airport prayer room—I felt this conviction that there was someone in that room whom I was supposed to talk with. It was as if someone had just told me, “There is someone waiting to speak with you there,” even though I had not audibly heard those words.

I did an about-face and walked a good distance away from my departure gate to the arrivals terminal where the prayer room was located. When I walked in, there was one man in the room, sitting in a corner on the floor. He appeared to be about my age. When he saw me looking around the prayer room, he asked, “Are you religious?” We began speaking about what it means to be religious, and he soon shared with me that he was going through the worst suffering of his life.

Mohammed fought back tears as he shared about what no one would ever want to go through. He expressed that he never talks about such things with anyone, but that he just needed to get it out. He told me that he used to pray five times a day, but that now the suffering is too much; he opens his mouth to pray and nothing comes out. Finally, Mohammed challenged me, “If God exists, why is there so much suffering? And where is he amidst it all?”

Now I understood why we were supposed to meet. I told Mohammed that the one person of whom he finally asked “Why suffering?” was currently writing a book by that very title, and in fact was walking in the opposite direction toward the departure gates when God turned him around and led him to this specific room to share that God does care and that he is present.

Continue reading Ravi Zacharias Ministry – God at Terminal Five

Joyce Meyer – Exceedingly, Abundantly, Above & Beyond

Now to Him who is able to [carry out His purpose and] do superabundantly more than all that we dare ask or think [infinitely beyond our greatest prayers, hopes, or dreams], according to His power that is at work within us. — Ephesians 3:20 (AMP)

Adapted from the resource New Day, New You Devotional – by Joyce Meyer

When I pray about or simply meditate on all the people who are hurting, I have a strong desire to help them all. I sometimes feel that my desire is bigger than my ability, and it is—but it is not bigger than God’s ability!

When the thing we are facing in our lives or ministries looms so big in our eyes that our mind goes “tilt,” we need to think in the spirit. In the natural, many things are impossible. But in the supernatural, spiritual realm, with God nothing is impossible.

God wants us to believe for great things, make big plans, and expect Him to do things so great it leaves us with our mouths hanging open in awe. James 4:2 tells us we have not because we ask not! We can be bold in our asking.

Sometimes in my meetings people will approach the altar for prayer and sheepishly ask if they can request two things. I tell them they can ask God for all they want to, as long as they trust Him to do it His way, in His timing. It is untold what people can do—people who don’t appear to be able to do anything.

God does not usually call people who are capable. If He did, He would not get the glory. He frequently chooses those who, in the natural, feel as if they are in completely over their heads but who are ready to stand up on the inside and take bold steps of faith as they get direction from God.

We usually want to wait until we “feel ready” before we step out, but if we feel ready then we tend to lean on ourselves instead of on God.

Know your weaknesses and know God—know His strength and faithfulness. Above all else, don’t be a quitter.

Prayer Starter: Oh, Lord, help me to make you bigger in my eyes and believe You can do the impossible in my life. Help me to live with “God confidence,” and trust You to do things that are above and beyond what I even think I deserve. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

 

http://www.joycemeyer.org

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – A Place Prepared for You

 

“And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto Myself, that where I am, there ye may be also” (John 14:3, KJV).

Recently my 93-year-old father went to be with the Lord. Though I was saddened to realize that I would never see him again in this life, and I shed a few tears of sorrow for myself, at the same time I rejoiced in the knowledge that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.

My father is now rejoicing in the presence of our wonderful God and Savior. One day I shall join with him, my mother (who is still living at 93), all my brothers and sisters who have declared their faith in Christ, and multitudes of other loved ones, friends and saints to spend eternity in that place where “eye hath not seen, ear hath not heard…what God hath prepared for those who love Him.”

“I cannot think what we shall find to do in heaven,” mused Martin Luther. “No change, no work, no eating, no drinking, nothing to do.”

“Yes,” responded a friend, “‘Lord, show us the Father, and it sufficeth us.'”

“Why, of course,” said Luther, “that sight will give us quite enough to do!”

Joy of joys, you and I not only have been given purpose and power for living the supernatural, abundant life – by the indwelling Holy Spirit – but we have also been promised a place in His presence when this life is over. And, as Luther realized, we will then worship Him face to face throughout the endless ages of eternity.

We need not know exactly what heaven will be like; we need only know who will be there – our Lord Jesus Christ Himself. That assurance and anticipation should motivate us to live the kind of supernatural life that burdens and concerns us about the needs of others, moment by moment, day by day.

Bible Reading:John 14:27-31

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: Today I will meditate on the glory and beauty of my heavenly Father and my eternal home where I shall worship and have fellowship with my Lord throughout eternity. I will encourage loved ones, friends and strangers alike to prepare to go there also when their work on earth is done

 

 

http://www.cru.org

Max Lucado – God Entered Time

 

Listen to Today’s Devotion

When God entered time and became a man, he who was boundless became bound.  For more than three decades, his once limitless reach would be limited to the stretch of an arm.  His speed would be checked to the pace of human feet.

I wonder, was he ever tempted to reclaim his boundlessness? When the rain chilled his bones, was he tempted to change the weather?  If ever he entertained such a thought, he never gave in to it.  Not once did Christ use his supernatural powers for personal comfort.  With one word he could have transformed the hard earth into a soft bed, but he didn’t. With a wave of his hand, he could have boomeranged the spit of his accusers back into their faces.  With the arch of his brow, he could have paralyzed the hand of the soldier that braided the crown of thorns.  But he didn’t.

Read more Grace for the Moment II

For more inspirational messages please visit Max Lucado.

http://www.maxlucado.com

Denison Forum – How I felt when I voted yesterday

I voted in the midterm elections yesterday.

I’m not going to tell you what candidates I supported–this ministry is intentionally as nonpartisan as possible, hoping to reach people of any and all political persuasions.

Rather, I’m writing to tell you how it felt to vote.

This is the twenty-first time I’ve voted in a presidential or midterm election, but this one felt different. In the midst of the most virulent political animosity I can remember, I walked out of the voting precinct with an overwhelming sense of gratitude to be an American.

I felt gratitude for our founders–they risked everything to fight the most powerful nation on earth in defense of an idea and a new nation. I felt enormous gratitude for the soldiers who have served and died for my freedom.

I felt gratitude for those who defend and protect us today. I felt gratitude for the women and men who love their country enough to run for office. I felt gratitude for all those who serve to make our political system work. And I felt gratitude to be an American.

Courage changes culture

On this All Saints’ Day, when Christians around the world remember the faith heroes who have gone before us, I’d like to explore with you this fact: courage changes culture.

Abraham left his home to follow God to a promised land. Moses confronted Pharaoh, the most powerful man on earth. Joshua and his people stepped into a flooded Jordan River. David faced Goliath. Galilean fishermen left their vocations to follow Jesus. Peter preached to the Sanhedrin. Paul testified before kings.

It takes courage to change the status quo. Friedrich Nietzsche was right: the “will to power” is the dominant drive in our fallen human nature. People who have achieved power will typically do anything to keep it. And those who seek power will do anything to achieve it.

Warren Bennis, the brilliant management scholar, observed that an “unconscious conspiracy” exists in every organization. Its purpose is to maintain the status quo for the future benefits of current participants. I have seen this “conspiracy” at work in every church, school, and organization I have served.

Continue reading Denison Forum – How I felt when I voted yesterday