September 15, 2014

Handling Life's Triumphs and Challenges with {GRACE}

She laughs at the days to come.....
                               (Proverbs 31)

How do you handle life's challenges, heartaches, uncertainties and even life's triumphs with GRACE?  
Circumstances (even the GREAT ones) have a tendency to THROW us. 
We get caught up in the moment.

Reveling in the triumphs because it feels so good.
Or arrested by fear and grief when tragedy strikes.  Our life suddenly interrupted by heartache and we are unable to move past it all.


Both GREAT moments and devastating moments have the potential to launch us into even GREATER things.  God is continually working ALL things, every moment, each circumstance into a GREATER plan. 

So how DO we respond to these things?

I have learned that the SAME Grace works for me no matter what is happening around me.  The SAME Word is at work.  He is GOD of my JOY and GOD of my heartache.  GOD of my TRIUMPHS and GOD of my darkest days.  


The key to moving with God is simple.
KEEP MOVING.
Forgetting what is behind we REACH forward ---- that we might lay HOLD of all that Christ has already obtained FOR us.  Philippians 3:13
      ........continually REACHING forward.  

We respond to pain and inconvenience as if it's an eternal matter. As if *this moment in time* is going to be all there is.But how quickly we lose perspective and forget that these matters are inconsequential compared to eternity and the One who promised to work ALL things to your good and for His glory.

 
 

He NEVER leaves a job half finished.
He WILL perfect all that concerns you.

 
 

BE FLEXIBLE.
     We kick, we scream, we cry......we fight CHANGE.  
We HATE change.  There's something unpredictable, out-of-control about change. 
It's uncomfortable and we have a hard time embracing it with even an OUNCE of enthusiasm. 
How you RESPOND to life's interruptions will determine whether or not it propels you into tomorrow with HOPE and FAITH, CONFIDENCE and PEACE                               or becomes a road block hindering you from moving forward into all that TOMORROW holds for you.

Be FULLY present in EVERY MOMENT.
Am I fully here? Not just to breathe the air around me as a spectator in the stands watching a show of which I am not a part....
But am I present?
Fully embracing THIS life. THIS day. THIS moment here.

We cope by dreaming and hoping.  A hope for escape.
We put FAITH in a promise of tomorrow hoping the best is in front of us.
..........But doesn't goodness and mercy *FOLLOW* me?
            

             ALL. THE. DAYS. of my life?
These moments need God-perspective.
If only we could see God Himself in this moment here....it would take our breath away.
God is good.
And every moment God IS.........is GOOD.

BE FAITHFUL.

     Every single morning you wake up you have within your possession the same things you had when you went to sleep.

But deep inside of us is this drive.
Wanting more.  Wanting the meager to be abundant. 
Wanting the ordinary to be extraordinary.
It's only when we learn to be content with the ordinary and when we are faithful with the meager that we see God begin to do extraordinary things with the offerings we pour out day to day.


KEEP a GOD-PERSPECTIVE
                Jesus constantly lived in response to the FATHER.  *NOT* His present circumstances. 
                 ALWAYS looking to the JOY set before Him. 

If your perspective is governed by TRUTH then you will begin to see things from HIS perspective.
                       TRUST Him.
             

                 TRUST His word.
He has a flawless track record and has your BEST interests at the very center of His heart. Even in the heartache.....He's looking ahead. He's laid up GOOD things for you and if you'll *WAIT* on HIM........you'll begin to see things through HIS eyes. While He understands your grief....while He understands your heartache.....He sees things you cannot. He understands things you do not. He's already two steps ahead.....and hasn't abandoned you. TRUST. HIM. Trust His Word. Trust Him with your yesterday. Your today. Your tomorrow. Your heartaches and tears. Your hopes and dreams. Your struggles and mistakes. You'll leave them in NO better hands than the ONE who created you and purposed GREAT things for YOU    The joy in front of us is the PURPOSE, MEANING and FINISHED WORK that He's bringing about. That JOY breathes HOPE into our spirits....and gives us the ability to ENDURE.
We can endure the struggles and the heartache, find our way through the darkness because there is a joy that waits for those who hold on.
Don't give up before the dawn.
Consider it JOY, my friends....because
celebration not only comes in the deliverance but it comes when you're willing to see God at work even in the darkness. 


 
CHOOSE GRATITUDE.

You can't be grateful and unhappy. You can't be grateful and bitter. You can't be grateful and without hope. You can't be grateful and angry.
Choose gratitude.In all things there is something to be grateful for. 
It's all in your perspective.

Just be grateful and SEE how much goodness surrounds you.

Let your THANKGIVING overflow into thankful LIVING. Let it MOVE you to PURPOSEFUL LIVING.
Be grateful for the   GOOD:) 

 

BE ANCHORED in the WORD.
     The TRUTH you store up in the SILENCE speaks LOUDEST in the STORM.
Don't wait until tragedy hits to run to the WORD.   

Be MOST satisfied in HIM.


Solomon had it all and TRIED it all. He came to the same conclusion. All of it leaves you empty.....
1 Corinthians 13 defines a perfect love...and we see it in Christ.
He left us with an overwhelming need for LOVE because HE wanted to FILL it.  Ephesians 3
"When I think of all this I fall to my knees and pray. I pray that from His GLORIOUS *UNLIMITED* resources He will empower you with inner strength through His spirit. Christ will make HIS home in YOUR hearts as you TRUST in Him. Your roots will grow down into God's love and keep you strong. And may you have POWER to understand as all God's people should how wide, how long, how high and how DEEP His love is. May you experience the love of Christ though it is too great to understand fully.
-----*THEN* you will be made COMPLETE :) (lacking NOTHING, satisfied :))
..... with all the FULLNESS of life and power that comes from God."
When you understand His love for YOU? All striving, searching for significance, looking for things to satisfy and fill your heart and life will fade away. Because you'll only find it in *ONE* place.

 It's THAT simple.

Your mistakes are not your story.
Your grief is not your story.
Your heartache is not your story.
Your tragedy is not your story.
Your frustrations are not your story.
Even your TRIUMPHS are not your story.
LIFE does not write your story.
It's what God DOES in the middle of it all that becomes the STORY of your life. A story of redemption and restoration. Grace and Peace. Joy and HOPE. EVIDENCE OF THE GLORY OF GOD DISPLAYED IN YOUR LIFE.  Keep that in mind and you'll be able to handle it all with GREAT GRACE. 
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