NETWORK WITH FRIENDS OR NETWORK WITH GOD

Often in life, it’s all about “who” you know.  Even if you’re in deep trouble and can’t escape it on your own, sometimes “who you know” can pull you right out of that mudslide.  Or cesspool.  That trap, that pit.

I’m not saying you should stop networking with friends, but sometimes even friends can’t pull off that big rescue.  They’ll throw out a rope for you to grab hold of, but what if you’re so deep into the impossible that the rope they throw doesn’t even reach you?  What do you do when it’s not enough?  What do you do when natural, regular help only fixes part of the problem?  What do you do when good intentions are not enough?  What if you don’t want your friends to know your situation?

Let’s look at Hebrews 4:16.  Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

Here’s how I think people should read the Word.  Make a list of the word meanings so that you get the deepest understand of what’s being said, like this:

BOLDLY:  without a sense of fear

GRACE:  divine assistance; special favor

MERCY:  compassion; a blessing of divine favor; a fortunate or favorable circumstance

But before we jump into Hebrews 4:16, we notice that it includes the word “therefore.”  Anytime you see the word “therefore,” you should back up and see what it’s hooked up to.  Hebrews 4:15 says “We do NOT have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way just as we are—yet He did not sin.”

When you don’t know a person’s character, it’s hard to judge what they will do—or what they won’t do.  If they’re on your side or not on your side.  You simply don’t know them well enough.  But here, we see part of the character and heart of Jesus.  He never has to struggle to understand what we’re going through.  He understands our weaknesses.  Not for one moment is He scratching His head trying to understand us as individuals or the situation we’re facing.  On top of understanding, He empathizes with us!!

He’s sensitive to our feelings.  He understands how we are experiencing life and each of the circumstances that we encounter.  In other words, we can no longer say “You don’t understand,” because He does.

So now that we know who we’re dealing with, look again at Hebrews 4:16 and let’s read it this way:

  1. I need to go boldly to God’s throne without any sense of fear.
  2. God’s throne is a throne of divine assistance and special favor. God does special favors!
  3. I’m going there first to get mercy for my mistakes and for the situation I’ve found myself in. Mercy is compassion.  Compassion means He’s aware of my distress and has a desire to alleviate it and fix things for me.  This means He wants to make my circumstances favorable, better.
  4. At the throne, I’m going to find grace to help. Grace is divine assistance.  He’s going to do a special favor for me!

Now that you know Who you’re dealing with, you can relax.  If you’ve gotten yourself into a debacle but you’re genuinely sorry with no intent of going back in again, you can expect some expert help.  If you didn’t even create the mess but find yourself in one anyway, you can know that God’s loving nature wants to pull you to a place of victory.  He’s the Gracious One and a parent who wants to alleviate your distress.

If you didn’t know God understands and wants to help, now you do, but you have to do your part by going boldly to the throne to ask for help.  And don’t forget to believe that you receive from Him.

Network with The One who can bring you out!  Get the best help out there!

 

Disappointment Is Nothing But A Bully

You didn’t get the job.  You didn’t get the loan.  The relationship didn’t work out.  You don’t have enough money to buy the nicer item.  What feeling do all these things bring up inside?

The feeling of disappointment!

Disappointment is a nasty fake friend that we get used to.  “D” puts his arm around us and tells us that we KNEW what would happen.  It tells us not to get our hopes up.  It tells us not to expect anything in order to minimize the hurt.  Disappointment places limitations on us, making us stay in our comfort zones while we watch others soar.  And why do others soar?  Maybe because they’re not afraid of facing the fear.  Not afraid of banging into the wall even when a cruel audience is watching.

Maybe it was parents who warned us not to make a fool of ourselves and to only do what was considered “acceptable.”  Maybe the warning was to never embarrass them.  And because you were taught certain behaviors, pride put a chain lock on how far you were willing to go.

Disappointment is nothing but a bully!  Disappointment loves to mock you.

But fast forward to someone telling you about how faith works.  Faith means believing God will show up for you, that He’ll do a certain thing for you if you decide to believe Him for it.  But disappointment begins to whisper that you need to protect yourself because it may not turn out good for you.  Or pride warns you about taking risks.  Next thing you know, you fold up that adventure and decide to shield yourself from more disappointment and dissatisfaction.  You decide to walk away.

But God sees your heart.

He sees that you want to learn how to walk in faith.  He sees that you want to learn how to get just one thing accomplished by faith and get the outcome you need and hoped for.  He also sees your battle with disappointment and with self-protecting pride.

In Luke 4:18 Jesus says that the Spirit of the Lord is on Him to announce release to the captives, to deliver those who are oppressed, downtrodden, bruised, crushed and broken down by calamity.

Many of us are bruised and crushed by everyday life and the things that we have to deal with.  We’re secretly looking for a sure thing.  We keep thinking there has to be something better than what we’re enduring.

When you endure, it means you continue to exist in the same state or condition.  It also means to experience pain or suffering for a long time with no change.  And all the time, Jesus is there for you like a coach, waiting to help.

We don’t want to stay in the same pit, tolerating lack, stress or some bad situation.  If we knew a way out, we’d exit.  The Word of God is that way out, but you have to make a decision to learn how to work His Word until it works for you.

We’ve heard of people who have written “faith checks” because they believed they would have the money in the bank before the check was cashed.  We’ve also heard of being arrested for fraud, too!  Know that faith is not the same thing as mental hype.  It doesn’t work that way.  God NEVER asks you to commit fraud.  He uses His word to help you build your faith to the point where it produces for you.  He can help you change your words to His words until it starts building you up on the inside.  He can show you how to shove disappointment down the mountain because there’s only room for one king or queen on your mountain.

Holy Spirit can help you get rid of pride as you wait patiently knowing God has never lied.  He always performs His Word.  He loves you with a crazy love.  (You know God’s got that stalker love, right?)  He is a father first and foremost and wants to see His kids develop in faith.

That’s your development area–faith.  What is it?  How do I get it?  How do I work it?  How do I know it’s going to produce results?

So start believing Him for something small.  Find out what His Word promises you specifically regarding that need.  Then begin to speak it out until it gets down on the inside of you.  If it seems to be taking too long, ask Him what you need in order to keep going in faith.  But don’t let pride and disappointment keep you locked in prison.  It’s not as difficult as saying Wash Your Sister Sauce.  Thank God and believe you receive an answer from the hand of your very own Father.  He leads you every step of the way until your faith produces the desire of your heart.