Friday, October 3, 2008

By Your Side

by Stephanie Neibarger

This Week’s Verse: Revelation 3:7-8, “When I open a door, no one can close it. And when I close a door, no one can open it. Listen to what I say. I know everything you have done. And I have placed before you an open door that no one can close. You were not very strong, but you obeyed my message and did not deny that you are my followers.”(CEV)

During the past few weeks I’ve encountered various circumstances that have left me to question some of the decisions I have made in my life (mostly job related). Did I hear God correctly? Is this the path He wants me to take? Then I remembered He did not promise us that the path would always be easy, but He did promise that He would be there to help us through it: “When you go through deep waters and great trouble, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown! When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.” (Isaiah 43:2, NLT)

Recently I was watching the movie Facing the Giants. If you haven’t seen the movie it is about a football coach who implements Christian values in his team instead of winning and losing. In the beginning of the movie he faces criticism from others because he's not winning games. Due to the criticism, he questions if this was the path God wants for him. Then a friend walks into the coach’s office and reads Rev. 3:7-8 to him (this week’s verse, above).

Hmm, just what I needed to hear! I was letting others’ criticism cause me to question the door God had opened for me. This criticism was reflective in my attitude as well. I was letting other people’s action towards me determine my attitude. I had let their negativity creep into my own life. I have, in essence, let them determine my level of happiness. Jesus tells us in John 16:22, “Therefore, you too have grief; but I will see you again, and your heart will rejoice, and no one will take your joy away from you.”

The movie also mentioned that the phrase “Do not be afraid” was in the Bible 365 times. Hmm, that’s one for each day of the year. Reassurance to face each day without fear. We can face each day with confidence knowing that God is right there along side us to help us through the day (Deut 31:8 – below).

Father thank you for always being with us through every situation in our life. Please help us to focus on you instead of our circumstances in times of trouble. Help us cling to Your promises so our attitude would reflect more of You.

If things don't always go the way you would like, do you get upset? If we depend on other people or cirucmstances to keep us happy, there will always be something to steal our joy. Don't let other people or circumstances determine your happiness; God's your true source of joy.

Power Verses:
Psalm 94:13,
“That You may give him power to keep himself calm in the days of adversity, until the [inevitable] pit of corruption is dug for the wicked.”(AMP)
John 16:22, “Therefore you too have grief now; but I will see you again, and your heart will rejoice, and no one will take your joy away from you.”(NASB)
Hebrews 10:35-36, “So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.”(NIV)
Deut. 31:8, “The Lord Himself will go ahead of you. He will be with you. He will never leave you. He’ll never desert you. So don’t be afraid. Don’t lose hope.”(NIV)


Kathy said...

It is SO easy to let others determine our own attitudes. Thanks for the reminder on the best way to get over that. I also forgot about "Do not be afraid" being in the Bible 365 times--that is SO COOL!!!

Marsha said...

I know I've been pretty miserable at my job lately. I'm going in this week with a renewed attitude and strength... And joy! Your devotional is right on time on my life and with God's help, I'm going to concentrate on not letting my circumstances and others around me dictate MY joy level. Thanks for sharing!