Several Ways to Make Yourself Miserable
- Count your troubles, name them one by one--at the breakfast table, if anybody will listen, or as soon as possible thereafter.
- Worry every day about something. Don't let yourself get out of practice. It won't add a cubit to your stature but it might burn a few calories.
- Pity yourself. If you do enough of this, nobody else will have to do it for you.
- Devise clever but decent ways to serve God and mammon. After all, a man's gotta live.
- Make it your business to find out what the Joneses are buying this year and where they're going. Try to do them at least one better even if you have to take out another loan to do it.
- Stay away from absolutes. It's what's right for you that matters. Be your own person and don't allow yourself to get hung up on what others expect of you.
- Make sure you get your rights. Never mind other people's. You have your life to live, they have theirs.
- Don't fall into any compassion traps--the sort of situation where people can walk all over you. If you get too involved in other people's troubles, you may neglect your own.
- Don't let Bible reading and prayer get in the way of what's really relevant--things like TV and newspapers. Invisible things are eternal. You want to stick with the visible ones--they're where it's at now.
Tested for Abundance
TGIF Today God Is First, by Os Hillman
We went through fire and water, but you brought us to a place of abundance. - Psalm 66:12b
It is nice to hear that God desires to bring us into abundance. In fact, many a preacher has promoted the goodness of the Lord and His ability to prosper His children. Alas, my experience is that this gospel of material abundance has little to do with the gospel of the Kingdom as our Lord works in the realm of the sanctified soul. The passage above tells us that God does in fact bring us into places of abundance. However, upon further study of the entire passage, we learn the route to this abundance.
For you, O God, tested us; You refined us like silver. You brought us into prison and laid burdens on our backs. You let men ride over our heads; we went through fire and water, but You brought us to a place of abundance (Psalm 66:10-12).
God's economy of abundance often has little to do with material blessing. In God's economy, abundance is often measured in wisdom and knowledge of Himself. It is then that we are truly blessed. Wisdom cannot be gained through intellectual pursuits. Wisdom comes only through experience. Real wisdom comes from the kinds of experiences that come only through the deepest tests. Lessons of refinement, including prison accompanied by burdens, lead us through the fire and water. This is the territory that must be traveled to reach that place of abundance. It would seem strange that a loving God would use such means with His children. What we often fail to realize is that God's measuring stick is the character and likeness of Jesus Christ Himself in each of us. This cannot be gained through a life of ease and pleasure. Ease and pleasure fail to refine.
Is God using your workplace to refine you today? Has He placed you in a prison or laid burdens on your back? Take heart if this is the place you find yourself, and realize that if you are faithful through the tests, you will enter a place of abundance that few will ever attain. The darkest hour is just before daybreak.
Often my times of wandering from God, begin while in the refining times. Things get rough and just before daybreak--I give up. What I have been trusting in-the thing that can not be seen with my visual eyes--I often give up on. I decide that, enough is enough. I can not take it anymore. I -feel- that instead of the hard times being for my benefit, they are actually destroying me. We both know that that is not TRUTH. How long does the massive heat of refining last? I am not sure except to say, A lifetime.
So this morning, I am calling out to the one who's hand has been on me all through the refining process. I want to "enter a place of abundance that few will ever attain". Just now Charles Stanley is quoting the verse that says, "I will never leave you or forsake you". Pretty cool huh? I know He will not leave me. But, my heart does cry out-ENOUGH! Daddy God, how much more? And I find the answer He speaks to my heart, "Just a little longer-rest in Me." My answer, HELP ME JESUS!
Thank you for listening. I always strive for honesty on this blog. My relationship with God is black and white in my eyes. It is either in the right or it is wrong. I want to walk in the light. I pray you find that the longing in your heart today is for HIM and being met only by HIM.
I love you guys.