In the Tough Times

What are some of the tough times you have been facing? 

 

"12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer." -Romans 12:12

1. Be Faithful. 

Faithful to God, to ourselves and to others. 

2. Rest. 

Rest physically, spiritually, and emotionally.

How is it you physically, spiritually and emotionally rest and/or relax? 

3. Release the Stress. 

Turn to God first in prayer, and then find other ways to constructively release the stress through laughter and even through prayer. 

Share with me one of your favorite movies that you enjoy watching that always make you laugh. 

Living Clean

Psalm 51:1-12

1 Have mercy on me, O God,

because of your unfailing love.

Because of your great compassion,

blot out the stain of my sins.

2 Wash me clean from my guilt.

Purify me from my sin.

3 For I recognize my rebellion;

it haunts me day and night.

4 Against you, and you alone, have I sinned;

I have done what is evil in your sight.

You will be proved right in what you say,

and your judgment against me is just.

5 For I was born a sinner—

yes, from the moment my mother conceived me.

6 But you desire honesty from the womb,

teaching me wisdom even there.

 

7 Purify me from my sins, and I will be clean;

wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.

8 Oh, give me back my joy again;

you have broken me—

now let me rejoice.

9 Don’t keep looking at my sins.

Remove the stain of my guilt.

10 Create in me a clean heart, O God.

Renew a loyal spirit within me.

11 Do not banish me from your presence,

and don’t take your Holy Spirit from me.

 

12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation,

and make me willing to obey you.

 

1. We confess realizing we are completely dependent on God’s mercy, unfailing love and compassion. (v.1)

1 Have mercy on me, O God,

because of your unfailing love.

Because of your great compassion,

blot out the stain of my sins.

 

2. We recognize our failures and own them asking God for cleansing. (v.2-5)

2 Wash me clean from my guilt.

Purify me from my sin.

3 For I recognize my rebellion;

it haunts me day and night.

4 Against you, and you alone, have I sinned;

I have done what is evil in your sight.

You will be proved right in what you say,

and your judgment against me is just.

5 For I was born a sinner—

yes, from the moment my mother conceived me.

 

3. As we embrace our cleansing, our heart becomes clean and pure. (v.10)

10 Create in me a clean heart, O God.

Renew a loyal spirit within me.

What I’m suggesting is that many times transformational life change is a process. The process causes us to grow in faith, develop perseverance, and even grow in confidence.

Having faith doesn’t make things easy; it makes them possible.

God's Arms Around Us

Pastor Ken is sharing that we are carried in the arms of God. 

God supports us. 

Praise the Lord; praise God our savior! 
For each day he carries us in his arms. Psalm 68:19

How many times have we as overeating individuals awoken to start a new day, and felt defeated before we ever put our feet on the floor. I have come to realize that I will never be perfect in my living out perfect health. It seems like every single day I am tempted to eat something I should not, and some days I do. 

But in looking at the above passage of clearly, we must realize that our God is Lord of the weak, the depressed and even the down and out. I must tell you that as someone who was born and raised in the United States I was raised to be strong and not show weakness. But read the passage above again, “Praise the Lord; praise God our savior! For each day he carries us in his arms.” We are not independent beings who stand on our own. We are dependent beings who depend upon our God.

Becoming Deep

Pastor Ken is sharing from Psalm 1 encouraging us to become rooted in God's Word. 

Oh, the joys of those who do not
follow the advice of the wicked,
or stand around with sinners,
or join in with mockers.
But they delight in the law of the Lord,
meditating on it day and night.
They are like trees planted along the riverbank,
bearing fruit each season.
Their leaves never wither,
and they prosper in all they do. Psalm 1:1-3

Notice we are encouraged to not walk out the advice offered by the wicked, nor stand around with the sinner, nor sit in participation with the mockers. Whether walking, standing or sitting we are not to do it in the company of evil. Now, we dwell in a fallen world, and while we will rub shoulders with a fallen world, we are not to grow comfortable in it. 

So how do we become like those trees in the Psalms? We all desire prosperity, and this Psalm points out that this means not doing what the wicked do; not joining in when people do wrong, and not standing with people as they sin. This Psalm is pretty clear - you and I get to make decisions every day that either leads us to poverty or lead to prosperity.

We are to be people of rooted character. That way we can cease to wither and instead prosper by setting our roots deep. How is it that we become rooted? By dwelling in God’s Word, we can live a better life. 

We need to recognize as overweight and obese people what rooted means for us. Just as with any area of life where we find ourselves fallen, our way of transforming is to be found in God’s Word. The greatest trees known to humanity are trees that set their roots deep in the earth for nourishment. We, too, must set our roots deep in God’s Word for deep, long-lasting transformation.