Life is filled with decisions, drama, crises, and pain. If we are not watchful and prayerful, we may temporarily forget that God is our source of strength in times of trouble. Focusing on the circumstances vs. what God has spoken into our lives will lead to worry, fear, anxiety, or displaced anger. Anxiety unchecked will foster doubt and a lack of trust in God. Thereby, we find ourselves reverting to our sin nature in dealing with people and situations. At other times, we may swallowed our anger. This displaced anger, for long periods of time, may surface as depression or other illnesses. Much has have written about the dark night of the soul. This place can be two-fold; where God uses life’s trials to fortify the redeemed work to which we have been called. However, this place can also be a dangerous one, where self-pity and anger take a stronghold. Self-absorption will lead to spiraling-down spiritually from the presence of the living God. May it be noted, God never leaves or forsake us! But, we can find ourselves in a distant place, where God’s voice is not heard or His presence felt.
Anxiety, anger, and on-going stress can cause serious problems over a prolong period of time, when we are not able to trust God and the process. Christian leaders are not immune to emotional-draining places. As we push ourselves, give relentlessly, and do not take the necessary time to rest in His presence, we can find ourselves isolated and withdrawn from the living Vine, where our strength lies! To release anxiety and abide in His perfect peace, we must be willing to practice the spiritual disciplines of resting, silence, slowing, listening, and discerning His voice. Fretting about today or tomorrow is not healthy. We must learn to trust God in the process. Indeed, His grace is sufficient (2 Cor. 12: 9-10).
Therefore, let us cast aside those imaginations of inadequacy and defeat. We are more than a conqueror in Him (Rom. 8:37). Lay aside those pressing issues that would exalt itself against the knowledge of God dwelling within us (2 Cor. 10:5). Yes, we all experience times of trials and tribulations: rebellious teens; dissonance in the marriage; an inappropriate word or act that has become public preying vs. praying; finances that are overwhelming; dealing with stiff-neck congregants that practice church going, but whose hearts are far from the cornerstone of the Church—Christ. Lay these burdens down (Matt. 11:28-30). Bring all these negative thoughts into captivity, under the obedience of Christ (v. 6), and inwardly draw to a place, where you can discover His perfect peace (Isa. 26:3-4), as you trust Him in the process.
Pull back, today. Make space to love God and yourselves in a deeper way. Be willing to trust God for the process. That promotion you desire, it’s coming. Your love one that is wandering; is coming back (Prov. 22:6; Luke 15:11-32). Let them be draw by your unwavering life. Be a stronger witness to His light. Concerning finances; our Father shepherds cattle on a thousand hills (Ps. 50:10). He can and will supply all we need (Phil. 4:19). Trust God throughout the process. He is working it out and about to do a new thing in your life (Rom. 8:28; Isa. 43:19). Wait patiently!
As you wait, PRAISE Him (Ps. 34) for His love and the blessings; those you can see and those you are yet to discern. Be saturated in His unwavering love and peace (Ps 52:8; Jude 1:20-28; Phil. 4:6-7). Trust God and the process. Lean not to your own understanding (Prov. 3:5-7). As you prioritize what is important, the knowledge of God and His love for you; soon you will find yourself in a calmer place—emotionally and spiritually. Why not stay, fully, connected to the Vine, where fear, doubt, and anxiety do not dwell. Yes, the issues will still be there, however, you will be one-step removed from them.
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