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My daughter and I have been sick for the better part of the last 2 months and now I’m just getting over bronchitis and a sinus infection, she’s finally feeling great, and we’re able to get back into a routine. But if there is one thing I’ve learned it is that the slightest things sometimes can drive us off course drastically.
We can easily get distracted from our mission and get ourselves into a rut. I’m sure we have all experienced this. We kind of lose our way a little bit and feel like life is just pure chaos and full of stress and negativity. We find it hard to find the good things to carry us through, the blessings God has planted in our path.
I have been in that slump for some weeks now and have not been feeling like myself. I’ve lost hope in my work, my home, and other areas of my life. I felt like I needed to just give up on things and start over. I was letting anger and miscommunications and misunderstandings tear at me and make me lazy and discontent.
There are a few things I always have to remind myself of – or that I have to allow myself to hear from God – whenever I am in these ruts in order to change directions and get back on track.
Pray & Listen
Let the Lord hear your burdens and He will help you to carry them. So many times we hear “pray, pray, pray” but if we just pray with our ears closed what is the point? We need to be open to hearing what He has to tell us. We need to have our eyes open to see when our prayers have been given a reply.
Call upon the Lord and He will hear you. Tell him your hearts’ burdens and desires and let Him help you. Let him into your heart and heal you and lift your burdens and praise you. Praise Him and He will lift you up.
Answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness!Psalm 4:1 ESV
You have given me relief when I was in distress.
Be gracious to me and hear my prayer!
The Lord is near to all who call on him,Psalm 145:18 ESV
to all who call on him in truth.
We are all called to suffer. Why? Jesus suffered in His flesh and we are called to suffer as Jesus suffered, but also to have the attitude about our suffering as Jesus had for His own. We are instructed not to whine and complain about our suffering and instead make the choice to identify with Christ. But what does that mean? It means a few things – first, we must make a decision to follow the will of God rather than our selfish human desires.
Earthly things do not matter. What will come with us when our time comes and we are called to be judged? Ourselves and our souls. The life we lead and the attitude we have will show through, not the material things of this world. In order to identify with Christ we are also called to be baptized, love everyone (yes, even our enemies), be obedient to the Lord, and suffer. Our priorities in this life should be prayer, love, and serving others as well as the Lord.
12 Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. 13 But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. 14 If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory[b] and of God rests upon you. 15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer or a thief or an evildoer or as a meddler. 16 Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name. 17 For it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God? 18 And
“If the righteous is scarcely saved,
what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?”[c]
19 Therefore let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good.1 Peter 4:12-19 ESV
Love the Lord, love your neighbor, love your enemies, and love yourself. It is easy to get into feelings of hatred like “I hate my job” “I hate that the person in front of me is driving 10 mph under the speed limit” “I hate that that person is causing drama” “I hate that my child is not listening”. Don’t do it! Don’t think like that! Always have love on your mind as well as in your heart.
We are called to not hate. Why? Hatred is for the Devil. We can’t be true and faithful followers of Christ is we choose to hate. We need to be filled with love for all around us. It is not always easy – but nothing worth doing is ever easy.
Sometimes the hardest things to do are the RIGHT things to do. Love your neighbor, love your enemy, love yourself and love God. Love has the power to overtake your heart and bring you peace and happiness.
If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot[a] love God whom he has not seen.1 John 4:20 ESV
4 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;[a]6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.1 Corinthians 13:4-7 ESV
34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. 35 By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”John 13:34-35 ESV
Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger,Ephesians 4:26 ESV
Let all that you do be done in love.1 Corinthians 16:14 ESV
Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.1 John 4:8 ESV