SUBJECT WHERE YOUR STRENGTH LIES!! [PART 1]
As I sit here, thinking about the state of citizens of the city of Detroit, and even the nation, I am seeing a lot of despair and hopelessness. Despair in the loss of jobs, homes, and health benefits. Hopelessness, in the fact that by all indicators, it will be years, before any meaningful turnaround in the economy will occur, if at all. Add on top of that, the rise in crime, and the corruption in some local, state, and federal governments, and what you have, for many people, is a literal hell on earth.
There are few people alive today, that were around during the 'great depression', but, what is happening today, is being announced as equal to, if not worse, than that.
Today, like back then, things got so bad, that some people, opted to end their lives, rather than face life, in the condition they were in. In a few of those cases, these people, killed their spouses, and even their kids.
Despair, and hopelessness, are two of the major factors, that, over time, can lead any one to just give up, and stop fighting for a good life, as many have seen the American Dream, slip from their grasp. This leads to what is commonly known as, depression.
The people, look to their leaders for some sign of hope, but, there is nothing they can do.
However, in the midst of all of this, there is a strange thing happening. There are people, who, have lost their jobs, lost their homes, living in shelters, their cars, or on the street, that, to look at them, you would never think they had the same problems that you may be facing. They walk around, with smiles on their faces. They always seem to be willing to give encouraging words to everyone they meet. You would think they have the proverbial, 'bull by the horns.' Not a care in the world.
If one were to examine these people's situation, they would deduce that they were high, on some drugs, or living in a sort of fantasy world. All of this, supposedly, is a facade to escape the 'real world.'
Doctors say, 'when people can not cope with life's problems, many of them retreat in to a sort of child like state, where they just blot out their problems, and look at life, as a little child. They, then, don't have to deal with grownup problems. That is left to others to deal with. When it comes to their needs, a place to stay, food to eat, financial needs, and the like, someone else provides them.
When I hear the terms, 'the real world'
, I know what is actually being expressed, and that is, looking at life from the standpoint of man's intelligence.
If it is something that man can deal with, and solve, then that is the 'real world [reality].'
If man can't do it, then to act, and think otherwise, is the sign of a person that is a few ounces short of a load. They aren't all there!! There are a few screws loose.
This is where we fall in to a lot of the problems we have today. We, both those in the world[the unsaved], and many Christians, have this sort of mentality, you know, 'if man can't do it, it can't be done!' 'Whatever man says, goes!' That then translates in to, man, controlling your outlook on life.
Well, what many of you don't understand, especially if you name the name of Christ, is this. There are two realities in this world, man's reality, and, God's Reality.
That means there is the 'real world'
, and the 'Real World!'
says, there is no hope, 'Reality'
says, be of good cheer, everything is going to be just fine!! In fact, I remember 2 stories in the bible, that show this same type of situation, one in old testament book of 2Ki 6:15 17,
and the other in the new testament book of Acts 27:13 22. Read both stories!!!
In the first one, the prophet Elisha, and his servant, are surrounded by an enemy army of several hundred or thousand armed men. His servant, assessing the 'reality'
of the situation, is going in to hysterics. Elisha, on the other hand, sees the 'Reality'
of the situation, and tells his servant, that 'there are more with us, than there are with them.'
In the second one, the Apostle Paul, is on a ship, in the middle of a sea, when a fierce storm comes up, that is destroying the ship. The 'reality'
says, the ship is going to be destroyed, and everyone is going to die, so the men are in a panic. Paul on the other hand sees the 'Reality'
of the situation, and tells the men to, 'be of good cheer!!'
Looking at both of these situations, you can see the distinction between man's 'reality' and God's 'Reality!'
When man reaches his limit, he says, that's it. There is nothing left to do. However, with God, there are no limits. He is bigger than any problem, you, I, or the world, could ever face, or imagine.
In both of those stories, the servant, and the men on the ship, are examples of those that don't know the Lord, or His Word. They are what is called in the bible, 'carnally minded.'
Elisha, and Paul, are called, 'spiritually minded.'
In both of these situations, Elisha, and Paul, seem to be some kind of 'nuts.' Can't they see the problem??? Don't they know, it's all over?? There is no hope of getting out of this mess alive!! Might as well, end it all, than to suffer. Prepare to die!!!! The idea of someone saying 'there are more with us, than there are with them'
, when the visible numbers place 2, surrounded by several hundred, or to 'be of good cheer'
, while facing certain death, is totally ludicrous. Totally ludicrous, to those that don't know God.
You see, as the subject scripture states, 'the joy of the Lord, is your strength!'
Many times in the bible, the word, strength, means physical strength, like Samson had, to overcome enemies through physical force. But, in these situations, it means fortitude, or staying power, being able to endure adversity. This type of strength is only attainable, as long as there is a reasonable chance of overcoming a situation. That is called hope. When hope is gone, there is no longer any strength to carry on.
However, those of us that know God, and His Word[Christ], know there is always hope, as long as He says there is. And, in that case, we can rejoice, because His Word, gives us, strength.
The world [those that don't know Christ], live on the limits of its own knowledge and wisdom. And since that knowledge and wisdom, is temporal, meaning it is constantly changing, they can't get a set solution to any problem. What worked in the past, will not work today because of new dynamics being brought in to play. If we could see in to the future, we would see all of the coming problems, and be prepared for them, and that would give us peace. Unfortunately, for the world, that isn't happening. They have to find solutions, after the problem pops up.
The Christian, on the other hand, can see in to the future, because it is
written in God's Word, and thus is prepared, and can have peace. And, when you have peace, then you can have, joy!!!
The bible says, Rom 8:6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
Notice what being carnally minded[thinking like those that don't know Christ], will get you. DEATH!!!! That translates in to no hope, no light at the end of the tunnel. Just like people being diagnosed with a terminal illness. It will eventually kill you, and there is nothing you can do about it.
However, those that are spiritually minded [know Christ], know everything they need to know, to, as the ungodly put it, get over
, or as the saints put it, be an overcomer!!
Joy usually comes, when you have been victorious over some problem, that you are facing. The more dire the circumstances, the greater the joy you have, after it has been conquered. Any one, can have that type of joy. If we take a look at people that are 'cancer survivors', whether they know Christ or not, the joy of knowing they are 'cancer free', is something to behold.
However, those that know Christ, can have that same type of joy, in the midst of the battle, while facing insurmountable odds, like Elisha and his servant, or certain destruction and death, like Paul, because we not only know, but are related to Christ, who is far bigger than those odds. Once He says something, it will come to pass.
Once again the bible tells us, Isa 46:9-11 Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure: Calling a ravenous bird from the east, the man that executeth my counsel from a far country: yea, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it. Jer 1:12 Then said the LORD unto me, Thou hast well seen: for I will hasten my word to perform it. Eze 12:25 For I am the LORD: I will speak, and the word that I shall speak shall come to pass; it shall be no more prolonged: for in your days, O rebellious house, will I say the word, and will perform it, saith the Lord GOD.
In all of these instances, God assures His Children, that His Word, is His Promise to them. That no matter the numbers of enemies, or how great the storm, we can be of good cheer, and rest assured that, if we have Christ, He is more than the world, against us.
Talk about 'a light at the end of the tunnel!!' How about a light, lighting up the entire tunnel???!!!
Man!!!!! Woman!!!! Young man!!!! Young lady!!!! That is something to shout about!!!!! In fact, I think I will!! GLORY!!!!! HALLELUJAH!!! THANK YOU JESUS!!!
If you need strength, get some joy!! And that joy, comes from Christ.