Passing With Flying Colors

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made know to God. 

                                                                  Philippians 4:6

A customer of mine said, “I feel like the Lord keeps giving me tests!”

I replied, “I know right? And we haven’t gotten finished with the homework from the day before.”

It’s true. We learn through repetition, I find it interesting to see myself and others in the same predicament time and again, forever trying to extricate ourselves from the same problem.

We wander around with our hands on our hips blabbing about so and so, and the nerve of them, but we don’t seem to realize that its about us and our colossal nerve.

And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not perceive the plank in you own eye?  

                                          Luke 6:41

I have slowly come to the conclusion that we find ourselves in the same repeated quandary because we still haven’t learned a few essential truths about how God wants us to react.

First off, God would prefer that we run to him the split second we have a quandary. We are to make all of our requests of Him, with THANKSGIVING and PRAYER.

Secondly, we need to be concerned with our attitudes. How did I arrive at this situation? Why am I faced with this SAME situation, but with a new twist and a new cast of characters? When you start to ask, “why is this happening to me AGAIN?” then you should get real quiet and ask God to reveal to you what you are supposed to learn and for guidance to work through it.

God will shake you free of these situations when you learn to put Him first and pay close attention to your own reactions. Your own reaction is the only thing you can change and manipulate. Stop and ask yourself, on a scale from one to ten -how earth shattering is this problem? On a scale from one t0 ten, how relative is MY reaction to it?

God will keep allowing you to encounter the same problem until your heart becomes more Christ-like and you can entertain the problem with God’s sufficient grace. Not with a thousand tortured  words of gossip and complaint. Ask God to calm the storm in you mind and show you the passage to safety.

We can read very clearly in Luke 6 27:49 how Jesus expects us to carry ourselves and treat others, especially those who we perceive to be vexing us.  He asks us to turn the other cheek, be merciful, bless those who curse us, give with out expectation to get in return.

Common sense tells us to steer clear of physical and emotional abuse for ourselves and our children, and this an absolute law. It is also absolute law that we can’t do any of the things Jesus expects WITHOUT HIS HELP. It is far beyond our human abilities. Forgive? Forget? Move on? What?

He explains in verse 45:47 that what you give comes directly from your heart. If you don’t practice what Jesus asks of us in trying situations, how can we expect Him to help us?

A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks. 

But why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord’ and not do the things which I say?

“Whoever comes to Me , and hears My sayings and does them, I will show you whom he is like….”

Jesus continues to describe two men, one who builds his house on the “foundation of the rock”  -On Jesus and His Word, and his house is safe from flood. But the man who heard and did nothing is like a man who built a house on earth without foundation , against which the stream beat vehemently; and immediately it fell. And the ruin of that house was great.”

You will see the very next time you are faced with another quandary you will already know how to get through it. Lay it at God’s feet, examine your own motives and reactions, and ask God to show you how to behave. You will be so strengthened by growing in the Lord and working through it the way God wants. Sure it’s easier to hang up on people, and give the silent treatment, and slam doors and pout.

Sure the hardest thing in the world is to cross the floor when you are really frustrated and give the other person a hug and say, “we can work this out, but for now I need to cool off,” and  turn and walk out of the room with out slamming the door. But just because that is hard, doesn’t mean it’s not do-able.

The hard part is not the easy part. The hard part isn’t the fun part, but the hard part can be the smartest part of all. The hard part can FREE you from untold hours of sulking and angst. Now? Wouldn’t that be something?

Okay, back to Phillipians 4:7- so after you made your request to God to get you out of this pickle for the umpteenth time, with PRAYER AND THANKSGIVING, here’s what you’ll receive:

and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

And soon, you will be onto the next exciting exam the Lord has prepared for you!

Father God,

I thank you for being so patient with me, that you would offer me these tests over and over until I pass them. I have learned so much about YOU in the process. About your unfailing love and it is enough to see me through any situation.

Amen!

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