Be Bold, Be Strong for the Lord our God Is With Us

Faith, Youthwork and Family…


May 2014

Be anxious over nothing!

I recently read this verse in Phillippians, which has come to mind today

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;  and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

We all suffer with anxiety from time to time, I can remember an occasion when I was on a trampoline coaching course as part of my role, when I was volunteering at a retreat centre, I started to get anxious about whether or not I would pass or whether I would injure myself or someone else!  Our trainer even told me that I was “the wrong body shape for trampolining”! On the day of the exam, I was sitting, waiting for it to start and a cat jumped on my lap, he/she must have known I needed a little comforting reminder, that whatever happened, life would go on! I suddenly realised that it didn’t matter whether or not I passed! Yes, it would have been useful, but in the bigger scheme of things, no one would die if I didn’t pass! If I failed, I just wouldn’t be left in charge of the trampoline! As it happened I failed, the examiner said to me “The criteria I judge people on is “Would I let you teach my child?” and the answer is NO!” Well it’s funny looking back anyway!

The problem with sufferers of OCD is not just that they like things “their way“, or that they are obsessive about cleaning/touching things a certain number of times, etc. The biggest issue is actually that they get anxious and worry about what will happen if they don’t do those things they do “out of habit“, like the possibility of their house burning down or someone may die due to the fact that they failed to do the repetitive act!  Anyone else may look at that and dismiss it as silly, but to that person, it is a real fear!  I remember watching one program on OCD where this innocent young guy was paranoid that he was gonna stab someone, if he even touched a knife, so he had to go through therapy which began with touching a knife, then on to sitting next to the therapist as he touched the knife, to picking it up, until he was able to hold the knife to the therapists throat without worrying about hurting her!

I believe God wants us all to not panic, not be anxious, Jesus said himself “don’t worry about food or clothes, look at the birds, look at the flowers if God can feed them and clothe them do you not think he will do even more for you!”

I realise for some people trying to not be anxious is easier said than done, and being able to see outside the problem is difficult when you are in it!  But instead of beating ourselves up about a potential lack of faith or allowing others to say “your faith isn’t strong enough” or giving you “helpful” verses which make you feel more condemned or weak.  We should trust in the fact that it is a promise!

IF we pray, giving thanks, submitting our lives and situations to God’s control,:-

  • We will be given peace
  • We can trust that the situation will improve.
  • We can sleep soundly.

Remember three things!

  1. If you feel that are about to “hit rock bottomJesus is the rock he is there waiting for you!
  2. Everything works out in the end, if it hasn’t, it is not the end!
  3. God in the form of Jesus knows what we are going through!- He felt pain, anguish, anger, persecution, temptation and EVERY part of the human experience, He died and rose again to prove not even death has power over him!

#Chuck vs Lazarus/Daniel Shaw

I woke up this morning and had the song “Lazarus” by the singer Carman.  It always moves me when I hear it, and I couldn’t ever work out why, but as I listened again to it this morning on my way into work, I realised why!  As Carman “narrates” the story of what happens to Lazarus after his death, he voices the testimonies of the “Great men of God“, the brief statements from some of the bible characters that virtually every one would have heard of!

Moses shook his stick, and said “now this meeting come to order, fan I get a witness for the Lord tonight?”
Abraham kicked it off, said “I want y’all know that I knew him, He gave a child to my barren wife!
Isaac waived his hand said “Hey daddy I knew him too
Jacob jumped up says “Amen Grandpa, preach it
Old dignified Solomon, Adjusted his robe and said “I knew him, He made me so smart I started to teach it!
Ezekiel said “I knew him as a wheel within a wheel!
Job said “man he healed me when I was almost dead!
Sampson said “I knew him when some Philistines tried to jump me, I took a donkey jawbone and busted a few heads!
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego said “We knew him in the fiery furnace!
Jonah said “Man, he gave me a second chance!
Daniel cried out “I knew him in a hungry den of lions!
The Holy Ghost hit King David He just started to dance!
Lazarus got so excited, He shouted “Hey I knew him too!

Imagine being there, all those men that had such eventful lives who God used and had a close relationship with and you are sitting, hearing them talk of God’s greatness, love and power! What would you say?

Not many of us will go through situations like them but if we look back at how our lives have panned out we can see God’s hand at work! I honestly believe the best way to encourage christians in their faith and confidently talk to non-christians about your faith is testimony!  No-one can argue with how you feel, you are coming from a position of authority as it is your life!!

I have been to some church services where I wonder if it would be worth adding Red Bull (or any other energy drink) to the Communion “wine”.  There seems to be no energy, no passion, no fire! Yet we are there to worship and praise god (or am I wrong?)

People say they want revival in their church, their town, their nation, the whole world. Yet there doesn’t seem to be much action towards that goal! There are pockets of revival, some sunday schools have days when the children seem to have been struck by the Holy Spirit and they want to do amazing things and pray for each other!  But the culture of Christianity as a whole has lost its focus as a passionate, “Force to be reckoned with” but has become a weak, sometimes fearful institution!

Have you ever been in a service singing “Undignified” or any other song about “dancing for God!” and hardly anyone is moving let alone, or even got their hands out of their pockets?! If the adults are not passionate in worship, and the “youth” or children see this are they going to think thats how it’s done? Or is it up to the “Youth” to be an example to the “world weary” adults?

In the programme Chuck he has an enemy who starts off as a colleague, but despite being shot and falling off a bridge in Paris and falling into the river, he reappears in a later episode, now I know that he is a fictional character and some may say “So is Lazarus” so what is my point?

  • The world is a busy, stressful place to live!
  • Sometimes we feel like we are in a situation that we cannot see a way out of, but like a lot of the Bible characters mentioned in that song, God is with us in every situation!
  • If you are a Christian, what example are you giving to others? That your faith is exciting or boring? Has Christ’s sacrifice on the cross had an impact on how you live your life?
  • Nothing can beat the power of testimony!
  • If you look for God at work in your life, you will find that he is and you may even actually get excited!!
  • Be ready to give a testimony!

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