Tag Archives: satisfaction

Growing Pains

caution-hard-lesson-ahead-300x276

Do you ever realize that spiritual growth usually comes along with some sort of trial. It seems to be some necessary process for growth that it is paired up with pain, heartache, hardship or loss. I recently had a such an experience and spent the last couple of days trying to sort it out.

I have written recently about the idea that I like to be liked, in this post. I know I am probably not alone in this, because who doesn’t? I however may take it to a different level because I think I care too much what others think of me. That being said, I recently found out that people whom I have known for many years, and I thought were my friends are talking about me behind my back and  the comments were not complimentary. This hurt me on two different levels, one being that people who I thought were my friends are obviously not. Secondly that there are people out there that I like and called friends who don’t like me back. This causes me a lot of confusion and disappointment

After the initial sting of hearing these comments I spent time contemplating what I said, did, or  didn’t do that caused this, and what I can do to rectify it. As I was thinking on  these things, I thought of something my boss said to me the other day. She said “I don’t trust anyone, or any person that is”. I thought, how sad to go through life thinking this way. However, after this current situation I thought maybe she has a point. I have a habit of letting people into my life too easy and I open up and let down any defenses I may have. I am a person who wears his heart on his sleeve and will tell you how I feel, and it will be evident how I feel by my actions and facial expressions. Maybe I should be more guarded like my boss and not trust anyone, this way I won’t get hurt.

The more I thought about this however I realized there is a lesson to be learned in all of this. I continue to realize that I put my trust in people and my satisfaction is in their approval. The funny thing is, there is no where in scripture that says our hopes and approval should be in others, rather it is to be in Jesus and Jesus alone. Time and time again we are told to love others, not have others love us. We are told to count others more significant than ourselves, but no where does it say make others love you. This is pride speaking, I am making myself more important than I am. I am finding my worth in others, or as Paul puts it, I am putting my confidence in the flesh. He goes on to say in Phil 3:8 “indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ.”

I have failed at this miserably, I continue to count things I do as worth, and my confidence is in my flesh and the approval of others is the measuring stick of my worth. So although I feel as though I have lost friendships and the pain is still fresh. I have learned that is because my trust was in the wrong place, myself. I had made myself and others too big .Where my faith and confidence should be in Jesus. I know I will let others down and others will let me down. As my boss said “I don’t trust  anyone, or any person that is”, but she finished this statement by pointing skyward and saying,”There is only one I trust”. This is words to live by. I wish it just didn’t have to feel this way in order to learn this lesson.

6 Comments

Filed under Religion, Sanctification

Sanctification-Faith

faith[8]

Here is the first in a series on sanctification. We are going to tackle many different principles that comprise this process of becoming holy. The first thing  that we need  in this process is faith, for without it our journey can, and never will begin. But what is Faith?   Hebrews 11:1 says it this way, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” NKJV.

I think the thing that many people miss about faith is that it is not a blind faith. Not only that but the writer of Hebrews says it is “the evidence of things not seen.” It is based on evidence and this evidence on the truth of God’s word. This is the starting point. We need to understand that we need to base our faith in the Word of God to start this process of sanctification.

What Faith is Not.

It is not impressions, for our impressions can lead us astray. Our impressions are based on emotion which can sway us depending on our mood for the day.Some days I feel God does not love me, but His word tells me otherwise.Which one should I believe, my impressions or His Word?  The answer is always the Bible, for it is the truth that our faith is built on. Faith is also not based on probabilities. Faith has nothing to do with probabilities, again it is based on fact therefore it is certain, not probable. Faith is also not presumptuous as Evan Hopkins writes “Faith needs facts to rest upon. Presumption can take fancy instead of fact.”

Faith is God Dependence

Therefore since faith is based on facts, and that being the facts of God’s Word we need to be dependent on that truth. This results in us needing to be fully dependent of God and NOT on ourselves. Since we can not trust our emotions, or our impressions we can not be trusted. The only way however to be God dependent is to end self dependence.  Unfortunately, our autonomy is not easily overcome, this is why many times God allows suffering, sorrow, pain, and brokenness to bring us to a place where we begin to understand our need for Him. It is often during these times where we  truly begin to realize this. It was in this weakness that Paul realized this truth when he wrote, “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.  For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong”. 2Co 12:9-10

It was just after reading this and as I was beginning to process this idea of faith when a trial came immediately upon me, and I was powerless to change it. My spirit was crushed by this trial, and I wanted to rectify the situation. It was in this moment that God reminded me that He is in control and not me. Stop trying and start trusting. Stop fixing and start having faith. Stop depending on yourself and start depending on God. This is where our journey begins, with faith. As J.B Stoney says “The just shall live by faith, not only in your circumstances, but in everything. I believe the Lord allows many things to happen on purpose to make us feel our need for Him”. Let us meditate on these things. Gods word is fact and should be our basis for faith, and in response to that fact we need to be fully dependent on Him.

1 Comment

Filed under Sanctification

Contentment

DSC_4181

What is contentment?  Do we ever reach the point in life where we don’t need any more things or are satisfied with life just as we are, whether we have a lot or a little? Why is it that we always have a desire for a little bit more?

I am a cyclist and I own a road bike and 2 mountain bikes. When I got my first mountain bike, it was good for about 2-3 years, but it only had front suspension and I wanted to upgrade to a full suspension bike. After a couple of years with this bike, I started to race and  I needed a better, lighter, full suspension bike. So I purchased an expensive trail bike that could take on any terrain. I had this bike for 3 years and it served me well. As I continued to race, I needed to get a racing bike which was even lighter and faster than my previous bike. I also needed to get a road bike so I could train more during the week. This is just the bikes, also during these years my equipment continued to change along with it. I needed new shoes, new helmets, upgraded parts on the bike, and the best nutritional products I could find. I suppose if I continue down this path I will have a new bike in another 3 years and a new trainer of some sort. But when is enough ever enough? When will the desire to have more ever stop?

This is just one example out of my life, but I bet if you were honest with yourself you do the same thing. It may not be biking, but it may be getting a new car every 3 years just because you want a new one. It could be clothes shopping, getting a new pair of shoes, shirts, sneakers, purses, or kitchen appliances. It could be buying new furniture, knick-knacks for the house, or a new T.V every couple of years, even though the one you have works perfectly fine. Why do we feel the need to continue to buy new things even though the things we have is all we need and then some?

I spent the last 9 days in Granada, Nicaragua on a short term mission trip. Nicaragua is the 2nd poorest country in the western hemisphere, next to Haiti. The average worker there makes approximately 5 U.S. dollars a day. To this we would assume the people there would want more. More money to have a house  with a floor, a car, a refrigerator, a stove, or maybe a T.V., then there life would be better, or would it? While I was there I learned that you can be content with less, and their needs- or should I say desires- differ than ours. Every morning we would hold a bible study with our group and a couple of local Nicas. We were studying in the book of Proverbs and one of the locals shared what he learned from it. In Proverbs 30:8b,9 … give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the food that is needful for me,  lest I be full and deny you and say, “Who is the LORD?” or lest I be poor and steal and profane the name of my God. After reading this verse, he said he hopes never to be poor or rich.  He went on to say that he is content when he has enough beans and rice to feed himself and his family. BEANS and RICE…this floored me and immediately humbled me to what I perceive as meeting my so called ‘needs’. I think many of us in North America suffer from the latter, we are so full ,“rich,” we say, “who is the Lord?” We don’t need anyone to help us in life because we can handle our own problems on our own, so we think anyway. We can just shop away our emptiness, we can drink away our hurts, and we fill voids with things and not the “One” who could fill it. Here is someone who in our perspective is dirt poor, yet he is rich and many of us are rich yet; we are dirt poor. Paul in the bible said it this way in Phil. 4:11-13, “Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.  I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need.  I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”

To Paul, it didn’t matter if he had plenty or little, whether he had health or sickness, because he learned the secret. He concludes that he can do all things through the strength of Jesus. This is because he wasn’t looking for answers and solutions that the world gives, because it will always leaves you wanting. You will never be satisfied in what the world can offer. The only contentment or satisfaction can be found in Christ. If you don’t believe me, just keep trying to satisfy yourself with material things, or alcohol or drugs, or even another person and see if you ever find contentment. Or can you ever say, “all I need is some beans and rice to feed me and my family, because I am already content with knowing my Maker?”

7 Comments

Filed under Daily living, Uncategorized