Are You Feeling Tested?
Psalm 100 - A Psalm for giving grateful praise.
1 Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
2 Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.
3 Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.
5 For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.
Take heart when you are tested.
If you have taken a class, course or training program, typically there is a portion of your training that is done through practical experience. You most likely encountered a shock when you had to take what was learned in the classroom to a real life situation. Practical experiences prove to be a lot more unpredictable, unclear, and challenging.
On paper and in conversation a lot of things can be easier. It’s no wonder there is the common saying, “easier said than done.” There are times in my life when I wish I could stay in a state of learning and under the safety of a predictable environment; however, I need to step out and live what I learn, as scary and unpredictable as it may seem.
The last six weeks have been a mix of emotions as we have walked through the not a fan series as a church. Here are a few items for reflection:
See the cross when you feel like your new commitments are being tested or the real life application proves to be a challenge. No matter how much we grow in our faith, we remain in a broken world where dysfunction and sin is present. Don’t let the brokenness of the world distract you from the wholeness and complete work of Jesus on the cross. He is faithful to complete the work he started in you (Phil 1:6).
We are alert and of sober mind. Stay alert to what you have learned and focus your heart and mind to the message of God’s truth. Satan “prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Pet 5:8). We must stand together and guard our minds, our hearts, our bodies to preserve the work that Jesus has accomplished. Seek out prayer and be aware of what is going on around you. It's a freeing experience when your spirit is ready for the "unexpected" challenges and you realize you are standing with Jesus through it all. He that is in you is greater than he that is in the world (1 John 4:4).
God is faithful. Recall how God has moved in your life and in the lives of others. God and His mission do not change (Heb 13:8). Often when we encounter new situations, we have a hard time remembering how God can and will lead us to live. Declare God’s sovereignty in your life and set your heart on praying that God would move and breakthrough rather than holding onto the fear of what you cannot control. Let your tongue and heart be set free to recount the faithfulness of God’s work in the past and his promise to never leave or forsake you (Deut 31:6). Shout for joy to the Lord, all the Earth! His faithfulness continues for all generations.
Protect your time with God and keep steady in the Word of God. If you neglect the Word, it is equivalent to starving yourself spiritually. “How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” (Ps 119:103).
We have free will to respond to life with a God’s sized-view and to trust that the things that come our way can be faced with God on our side. Our circumstances will change, we will change, but God himself is constant and the same. Glue yourself to him and set your sights on him. His character, heart, and mission always remain the same to lead us in life and our lives will be a blessing in testimony of his faithfulness.
You have a hope for the future.
Rest and Linger on Psalm 100.
Hearing God: Is there something that is testing your faith with God? Spend time in prayer bringing that thing to God.
Ask: Jesus, what do you want to change about my attitude regarding ________ situation? What does he say?
Challenge: Spend time recounting God’s faithfulness at the end of each day. Make a practice of telling God of three ways you saw his faithfulness each day before going to bed. Let it restore your faith for the things to come.
Listen: The City Harmonic - Manifesto
"And all of the people of God sang along...AMEN"