7 Steps in Overcoming Troubles

James 5:7-12, 17 This is what I heard on Sunday as the Pastor shared his text.
http://bible.com/116/jas.5.7-17.nlt Dear brothers and sisters, be patient as you wait for the Lord’s return. Consider the farmers who patiently wait for the rains in the fall and in the spring. They eagerly look for the valuable harvest to ripen. You, too, must be patient. Take courage, for the coming of the Lord is near. Don’t grumble about each other, brothers and sisters, or you will be judged. For look—the Judge is standing at the door! For examples of patience in suffering, dear brothers and sisters, look at the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. We give great honor to those who endure under suffering. For instance, you know about Job, a man of great endurance. You can see how the Lord was kind to him at the end, for the Lord is full of tenderness and mercy. But most of all, my brothers and sisters, never take an oath, by heaven or earth or anything else. Just say a simple yes or no, so that you will not sin and be condemned. Elijah was as human as we are, and yet when he prayed earnestly that no rain would fall, none fell for three and a half years!

How does one overcome the terrible troubles that are facing them ahead?

Simply by following these 7 steps from the above text:

  • Be patient v. 7
  • Strengthen your hearts v. 8
  • Refuse to complain v. 9
  • Focus on the prophets of old as an Example v. 10
  • Endurance is the Key v. 11
  • Do not swear an oath by heaven or earth v. 12
  • Pray earnestly v.17

When you face detours do you wait for them to go away, or do you continue on?

When you are told to yield to the current popular thought do you give in?

When you are are told not to enter in to talks that offend, do you go the other way?

When you are told that this is a slippery slope, do you put on your snow chains or do you find another way round?

When you are told there is only one way to do things do you go with the flow, or do you swim against the flow?

When you are given a warning do you give up and quit, or do you press on no matter what?

No matter what comes your way, if one follows the above steps, one should be able to overcome the troubles that lie ahead.

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Side Stepping God’s Law

http://bible.com/116/mrk.7.8-9.nlt For you ignore God’s law and substitute your own tradition.” Then he said, “You skillfully sidestep God’s law in order to hold on to your own tradition.

Jesus wasn’t against all tradition, but he was against those who made their traditions as important, if not more important, than God’s Word.

Good traditions shine a spotlight on God’s Word, move us to obedient service, and help our hearts sing.

They explain and reinforce the teachings of God.

God’s Word should always be the focus, and tradition a means of bringing that Word alive.

Celebrate your traditions with the prayer that Christ would be exalted.

Change your traditions if they become more important than God’s Word.

***  Thoughts from Life Application Study Bible Devotions, 28 June 2015  ***

Be careful of skillfully sidestepping God’s law in order to hold on to your own way of thinking, this very action can pit you against God Himself and the outcome could be devastatingly awful for you!

The Deeper type of Listening that is Required

http://bible.com/116/mrk.4.9.nlt Then he said, “Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand.”

Some people in the crowd were looking for evidence to use against Jesus; others truly wanted to learn and grow.

Jesus’ words were for the honest seekers.

We hear with our ears, but there is a deeper kind of listening with the mind and heart that is necessary in order to gain spiritual understanding from Jesus’ words.

***  Thoughts from Life Application Study Bible Devotions, 26 June 2015  ***

Anyone  with Ears
– metaphorically the faculty of perceiving with the mind, the faculty of understanding and knowing

Let him ear or listen and understand
–  to perceive by the ear what is announced in one’s presence
–  to get by hearing learn
–  a thing comes to one’s ears, to find out, learn
–  to give ear to a teaching or a teacher
–  to comprehend, to understand

The Deeper kind of listening is obtained by asking Father God in Heaven:

  • To grant you to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in your inner man,
  • So that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith;
  • Then you can be rooted and grounded in love.
  • Now you can comprehend with all saints with is the breadth, and length , and depth , and height.
  • And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge,
  • That you might be filled with all the fullness of God

The Deeper kind of listening is derived by allowing Father God to:

  • infuse you with the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him,
  • now you can truly listen and understand what Jesus meant by this saying!

Ref. Verses:
Rev 3:6 KJV
He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

Eph 3:16-19/KJV
v 16 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;
v 17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,
v 18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;
v 19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.

Eph 1:17-18/KJV
v 17 That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him:
v 18 The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,

Simple But Powerful Instructions

Eph 5:14-17/ISV
v 14 for the light is making everything visible. That is why it says, “Wake up, sleeper! Arise from the dead, and the Messiah will shine on you.’’
v 15 So, then, be careful how you live. Do not be unwise but wise,
v 16 making the best use of your time because the times are evil.
v 17 Therefore, do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.

Eph 5:20-21/ISV
v 20 you will consistently give thanks to God the Father for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus, the Messiah;
v 21 and you will submit to one another out of reverence for the Messiah.

If you want the Lord Jesus to shine on you then you need to:

  • wake up sleeper
  • arise from the dead (inactivity)
  • be careful how you live
  • do not be unwise
  • be wise
  • make the best use of your time
  • do not be foolish
  • understand what the Lord’s will is
  • consistently give thanks to God the Father for everything in name of Jesus

The indifferent need to rouse themsleves from inactivity before it leads to ruin or nonexistence

Faith vs Doubts


Then Jesus told them, “I tell you the truth, if you have faith and don’t doubt, you can do things like this and much more. You can even say to this mountain, ‘May you be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and it will happen. (‭Matthew‬ ‭21‬:‭21‬ NLT)

Many have wondered about Jesus’ statement that if we have faith and don’t doubt, we can move mountains.

Jesus, of course, was not suggesting that his followers use prayer as “magic” and perform capricious “mountain-moving” acts.

Instead, he was making a strong point about the disciples’ (and our) lack of faith.

What kinds of mountains do you face?

Have you talked to God about them?

How strong is your faith?

*** Thoughts from Life Application Study Bible Devotions, 23 June 2015. ***

What are some mountains that we face today?

  • Sex addiction
  • Drug addiction
  • Alcohol addiction
  • Poverty
  • Low self esteem
  • Hate
  • In Debt over your head
  • Not fitting in with society
  • Hunger
  • Homelessness
  • Your personal mountain that has you stifle
  • Fear of the unknown
  • Fear of failure

There is your answer to these mountains, and how is that working for you?

Then there is God’s answer to these mountains, “Jesus,” the son of God who overcame every obstacle place in his way even death.

How’s He working for you?

For me He has set me free and He has powered me over all sorts of mountains in my life. I still have some molehills to get over, but praise God I can overcome them with Jesus in firm control of the situation.

Ready, here  come the mountains, Jump!

Childlike or Childish

http://bible.com/116/mat.18.1-4.nlt About that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who is greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven?” Jesus called a little child to him and put the child among them. Then he said, “I tell you the truth, unless you turn from your sins and become like little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven. So anyone who becomes as humble as this little child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven.

Jesus used a child to help his self-centered disciples get the point.

We are not to be childish (like the disciples, arguing over petty issues), but rather childlike, with humble and sincere hearts.

Are you being childlike or childish?

***  Thoughts from Application Study Bible Devotions, 20 June 2015  ***

Define Childlike – (of an adult) having good qualities associated with a child.
Synonyms:
  • innocent
  • guileless
  • unworldly
  • Unsophisticated
  • naive
  • trusting
  • unsuspicious
  • unwary
  • gulible

Can you “receive the Kingdom of God like a child”?
Adults considering the Christian faith for the first time will have life experiences that take them way past the ability to be as innocent as children.***

Jesus does not ask us to put aside our experiences, but he does require a change of attitude:

  • adult self-sufficiency must recognize its need for the sovereign God
  • adult moral defensiveness must humble itself before the holy God
  • and adult skeptical toughness must soften before the loving God

Children do not feel supremely powerful, perfectly righteous, or totally autonomous.  These are adult fantasies.

Coming to Jesus means to accept his goodness on your behalf, confess your need, and commit your life to his tender guidance.***

“So anyone who becomes as humble as this little child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven.”

http://bible.com/116/mat.23.11-12.nlt The greatest among you must be a servant.  But those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.

What type of Greatness do you see?

Themes

  • turn from sins
  • childlike faith
  • key to Heaven
  • humble
  • greatest in Heaven
  • self-centered
  • sincere hearts

***added thoughts from Life Application Study Bible Devotions, 30 June 2015

4 Types of Dirt

Dirt

http://bible.com/116/mat.13.23.nlt The seed that fell on good soil represents those who truly hear and understand God’s word and produce a harvest of thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times as much as had been planted!”

The four types of soil represent different responses to God’s message.

People respond differently because they are in different states of readiness.

  • Some are hardened- not easily penatrated by the seed,
  • others are shallow, stony places, not much soil seed can not take root, see witered away
  • others are contaminated by distracting worries, thorny ground, seed choke out by the throns
  •  and some are receptive, good ground, seed brough forth much fruit

The seed was eaten by the fowls of the air when the it was sown on hardened soil

The seed withered away when it was sown on stony places with just a little soil

The seed was choked out when it was sown on throny soil

But when the seed was sown on good soil it brought forth much fruit

How has God’s Word taken root in your life?

What kind of soil are you?

***  Thoughts from Life Application Study Bible Devotions, 16 June 2015  ***