Monday, 4 March 2013

When Life Is Not What We Hoped For...

During this Lent season, my home church is doing a series dealing with grief, depression, and the trials of life. So this Sunday March 3, 2013 - the 3rd Sunday of Lent our topic was - "When life is not what we hoped for or expected". I think this is a very relevant topic because if we are honest with each other, none of us could say that life is or has been all that we had hoped for or expected. We all have disappointments, heartaches and trials that shake us to our core when we are in the thick of it. So in this blog post I want to share some of what was taught at my church on this topic.

Thought for the week - A clear conscience makes a soft pillow.

Psalm 13 How long wilt thou forget me, O Lord? for ever? how long wilt thou hide thy face from me?
 How long shall I take counsel in my soul, having sorrow in my heart daily? how long shall mine enemy be exalted over me?
 Consider and hear me, O Lord my God: lighten mine eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death;
 Lest mine enemy say, I have prevailed against him; and those that trouble me rejoice when I am moved.
But I have trusted in thy mercy; my heart shall rejoice in thy salvation.
 I will sing unto the Lord, because he hath dealt bountifully with me.

Pastor Ben was our speaker today. Here is some of what he said.

We are learning how to walk with people in brokenness, when people are hurting. Walking with people when life isn't what they had hoped for or expected.
There are many examples we could think of. A few of them are singleness, infertility, divorce.
We need to see people with the eyes of Jesus. See people as Jesus does. We are learning to be the "hands and feet" of Jesus.

Listening to People -
We need to learn to listen to people, really listen, focus your attention on them as they are speaking and gauge your response to them by listening to their situation.
Too often we have solutions to offer before we have even listened to the person who is sharing their problem with us.

We need to talk about things that matter, really matter. 
We need to get beyond talking about sports and the weather - go to a deeper level.
Don't demand that they tell you everything. You need to earn the right to have people open up to you.
Talking about real stuff is scary - we are afraid we will not have solutions to the problem.

We need to become vulnerable
We are all broken, we are all in a hurting world.

Do not judge or label people because of the situation they are in.

God's Will - God's Ideal Will / God's Permissive Will
God's Ideal Will is no sin, sickness or disease in our lives. But He has given us the freedom of choice to live our lives according to our own choices. We have the freedom to choose good or evil. This is where His permissive will kicks in. We experience brokenness. He has allowed these things into our lives as His permissive will. He will use all of our brokenness for good if we allow Him to. 
God can take the bad stuff and make good come out of it. God grieves the evil and brokenness, but He allows it.

Walk humbly with people.
Don't assume you know the mind of God.
Listen to their heartache.

God is always at work!

John 13:34 
 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.

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