It’s easy for most Christians to praise God when things are going great, when the blessings are pouring in and everyone gets sick but “me”. It’s easy to say how great life is when we have a good job, a desirable home and an affordable new car. Most of us would agree that to “Praise the Lord” in these times is easy to do. But what about the times when things aren’t so good Continue reading
Jesus said in Matthew 6:12, “And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.” Forgiveness is what being a Christian is all about. There are basically three types of forgiveness that we need to apply to our lives—and each one is crucial in our walk with God. Continue reading
We often find ourselves praying for people who just don’t seem to want to change. We pray with them, preach at them, support them emotionally and even financially, and give them every possible brochure available to help them see things the way they should……..the way we believe they should. And when time goes on and there’s no evidence of change, our desire to help them begins to fade and we pat ourselves on the back and say, “Well, we tried so let’s move on.”
But there is no glory to God when our attitude is vain.
People are not all the same and some carry heavy, unseen burdens. They have come from a selection of cultures, endured a range of upbringing from loving to abusive, and have even suffered hardships that are beyond our knowledge or ability to understand. Even people who share similar backgrounds and social realms, and who appear to have much in common, don’t always have the insight to each other’s hidden fears and inhibitions.
So, what does God expect us to do when we’ve done everything we know to help someone but who isn’t responding? Do we cast them off and leave them to work it out themselves? We may feel that way at times but if Jesus gave up before He got to the cross, where would WE be? The sacrifice of Jesus is the epitome of love, and God tells us that even though we do all the right things, if we don’t do them in love it will get us nowhere.
Sometimes people are crying for help inside, yet we can’t hear it. Hurts and torments that we don’t see, that we can’t know about, are burdening them down and guilt or unforgiveness is preventing them from being free. We need to work in love, and instead of casting them away we need to draw them in closer and pray for them fervently that God will set them free from their burdens. Sometimes it requres a lot of prayer and fasting to break the bonds that are holding them captive, and although it can seem like an endless task, the angels in Heaven rejoice when that person is finally free.
Perfect love casts out all fear, and so when we set out to help someone and we do it in love and not as a duty or Christian obligation, the ones we are praying for and working with will sense God’s love and the burdens will slowly melt away from them, setting them free and able to receive all that God has for them.
“And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth nothing.” …….1 Cor.13:3
That means that He’s always there for us. He’s there for us to talk to, to tell our problems to and to pour our tears upon. He has big shoulders that never get too heavy for any of our burdens.
Sometimes we need someone there who will just listen with empathy and not judge us or condemn us for things we’ve done wrong. Sometimes we need to get it all out to get released from our sorrows and from our anxieties. And these are the times that we need a friend who we can trust.
What we don’t need is to live in fear afterwards for revealing too much to a worldly friend or for exposing all of our actions to someone who might or might not judge us, or who might or might not tell others, or who might or might not give us proper counsel.
Jesus listens to it all, takes it all and carries it all for us. He directs us to His Bible where He gives instruction in wisdom to show us how to overcome our issues and get the victory. Jesus is our refuge and our strength and the more we cast our burdens onto Him, the stronger WE become.