James 1:2-4The Message
Faith Under Pressure
2-4 Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.
The Word of God for the Children of God.
Adeste Fidelis! Venite Adoremus! Dominum.
God has a way of changing us deeply through various crisis points in our lives.
But what happens when God strings together a long series of crisis points?
Eventually the trail of change-points will lead somewhere, like stepping-stones crossing a river – the whole thing is this – the pressure we apply on ourselves of wanting to know where “where” is – where are all of these “crises” taking us to.
As we come to realizing this, our collection of snapshot crises starts to become an “epic” movie with a story line with more plot twists we can shake a stick at.
But how does one tell where the story is supposed to be going?
How does one know where we are being lead to by all of this “story writing?”
The pressure we place upon ourselves to always “have to know” our destination so we can better prepare ourselves, “packing our suitcases” better for traveling.
Last Minute Details – one after the other – from every which direction and we have to adjust our lives to it all – ceaseless change – and ceaseless adjustment.
When our bodies, spirits confronts an experience called a diagnosis of cancer.
Heart Failure ….
End of Life Issues ….
Then something else happens with our jobs, our schooling, our finances –
Ours, our spouses housing situation changes as our, their, health changes ….
Then our children give us a phone call …. Illness, finances, marriage issues ….
And then still try to live a “normal” life ….
And still make quality time for God …. and Trust God to keep things in our lives in good order, make a space, keep a space, be the space in the “peace of Christ.”
That’s not easy.
“My God! My God … Everything in my life is moving too fast for me!”
Dear God … “Stop the World I Want to Get Off – Right Now!”
Multi-Tasking is not everyone’s gift.
Even if it were, repeated multi-tasking over the duration of repeated crises becomes exhausting to our bodies, our minds and our souls – we get tired!
God assures us that he has plans for our lives, but it can be hard, seemingly impossible to tell from the midst of the storm where those plans might lead.
Sometimes it would be nice to have a burning-bush episode like Moses had—something concrete to see through the fog of life’s busyness (see Exodus 3).
Why is it so difficult to determine God’s direction for our lives?
Sometimes it’s simply because we forget to ask.
It’s surprisingly easy to charge into the events of a day without bothering to ask God what he wants from us that day.
Sometimes that can prompt God to allow a minor crisis to pop up as a wake-up call to pull our attention back to him.
When was the last time you asked God to show you his plans for your day?
When was the last time we sought out a direction for our lives ….
When was the last time we simply shout to each and every single crises to do their absolute worst because we know that even when the crisis is catastrophic:
– God is always going to be at His absolute best-and that will be enough for us?
How about just “standing still” (Psalm 46:10-11) against the wind shear, all the wild and wilder and wildest winds, shouting, giving God every ounce of Praise?
How about asking him right now?
Slap a smile upon your faces ….
Declare to all ….
Even though ….
Even Though My Life is Under Great Pressure, My Faith is Under Even Greater Pressure, Even Though My Life is Being Torn Apart,
My God Was, My God Is, My God Forever will Remain My God!
I will Testify ….
I will make my Testimony ….
I will shake, rattle and roll the Gates of Heaven ….
Unto God’s Throne itself ….
Even though my Life Maybe or Actually is Torn ….
I will kick down the gates of hell ….
I DECLARE THE SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD OVER MY WHOLE LIFE!
Psalm 34:1-12The Message
34 I bless God every chance I get;
my lungs expand with his praise.
2 I live and breathe God;
if things aren’t going well, hear this and be happy:
3 Join me in spreading the news;
together let’s get the word out.
4 God met me more than halfway,
he freed me from my anxious fears.
5 Look at him; give him your warmest smile.
Never hide your feelings from him.
6 When I was desperate, I called out,
and God got me out of a tight spot.
7 God’s angel sets up a circle
of protection around us while we pray.
8 Open your mouth and taste, open your eyes and see—
how good God is.
Blessed are you who run to him.
9 Worship God if you want the best;
worship opens doors to all his goodness.
10 Young lions on the prowl get hungry,
but God-seekers are full of God.
11 Come, children, listen closely;
I’ll give you a lesson in God worship.
12 Who out there has a lust for life?
Can’t wait each day to come upon beauty?
In the name of God, the Father and God the Son and God the Holy Spirit,
Let us Pray,
God of truth, Author of my life, Perfecter of my faith, sometimes I not sure if I’m actually hearing your voice, or if it’s just another one of my own cascade of thoughts from within another crisis or confusion or even another spirit. Sharpen my spiritual hearing, Lord, so I can recognize your words when you are speaking to me. Help me know it’s really you, with no doubt or second-guessing. When I’m asking for your guidance in important decisions, give me your peace that surpasses understanding with your answer. Help me remember that your words to me will never go against your written word in the Bible. Give me a clear mind and push out all my confusion. Let my Testimony be one not of repeated Crisis Control, but of highest praise to You!
Adeste Fidelis! Venite Adoremus! Dominum.
Gloria! In Excelsis Deo! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Amen.