Sunday, August 30, 2020

Equipped for Turbulent Times - Part Three

I've written quite a bit lately about the turbulent times we are living in. It's not often that we experience a worldwide pandemic, civil and racial unrest and  the upheaval of a contentious election season all at once! However, it's important to remember that even though the events of 2020 may have caught us by surprise, none of these things have been a surprise to God. There is nothing that we face that He hasn't equipped us to walk through. Today, is part three in a three part series on some of the "tools" in the toolbox that God has given us for turbulent times.


[And it is, indeed, a source of immense profit, for] godliness accompanied with contentment (that contentment which is a sense of inward sufficiency) is great and abundant gain. 1 Timothy 6:6 AMPC

You are jealous and covet [what others have] and your desires go unfulfilled; [so] you become murderers. [To hate is to murder as far as your hearts are concerned.] You burn with envy and anger and are not able to obtain [the gratification, the contentment, and the happiness that you seek], so you fight and war. You do not have, because you do not ask. James 4:2 AMPC

Dissatisfaction is a cruel taskmaster. It is an inner emptiness that cannot be filled. Contentment is noticing, seeing and acknowledging the goodness and blessings of the Lord even in the messy middle of turbulent times. A mindset that bases contentment on our circumstances being the way we want them to be will find that contentment is a very fleeting thing. Are you able to see God's care for you, His blessings, even  during this season of coronavirus and unrest? Why not write some of them down and head right into the next thanks.

Dear Father God,
Forgive me for grumbling, murmuring and complaining about the circumstances we are facing. Forgive me for basing my contentment on getting my own way, on things being comfortable for me. Give me eyes to see how well you care for me, how blessed I am. You are so good to me. Help me to learn to be contented and thankful.
In Jesus' Name. Amen.


Because you did not serve the Lord your God with joyfulness of [mind and] heart [in gratitude] for the abundance of all [with which He had blessed you], Deuteronomy 28:47 AMPC

Thank [God] in everything [no matter what the circumstances may be, be thankful and give thanks], for this is the will of God for you [who are] in Christ Jesus [the Revealer and Mediator of that will]. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 AMPC

I was actually surprised when I first read that one of God's complaints against the children of Israel after He delivered them from slavery in Egypt was their lack of gratitude. God's Word has a lot to say about being people who are grateful and thankful to God. He makes it clear that gratitude is not just based on our circumstances.  It is a habit that can be developed, a muscle that can be strengthened.  I've kept a daily gratitude journal for over ten years now and it has helped me immensely to become a more grateful person. I've found that even in the worst of times, there are always blessings to be noticed and always something to give God thanks for.

Dear Father God,
You deserve all of my praise and gratitude and thanksgiving. I choose to be more intentional about giving you the thanks that you deserve. Today, I thank You God for _____________.
In Jesus' Name. Amen


Honor and majesty are [found] in His presence; strength and joy are [found] in His sanctuary. 1 Chronicles 16:27 AMPC

You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy, at Your right hand there are pleasures forevermore. Psalm 16:11 AMPC

Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning. Psalm 30:5 AMPC

So for the present you are also in sorrow (in distress and depressed); but I will see you again and [then] your hearts will rejoice, and no one can take from you your joy (gladness, delight). John 16:22 AMPC

Joy is based, not on our circumstances, but is found in a deep and abiding relationship with Jesus Christ. All of the "tools" that we need in order to navigate the turbulent times that we walk through cannot be obtained simply by self-effort but by growing and maturing in our relationship with Christ. I'm so thankful that God promises to equip us for whatever circumstances we face. The first step is to ask Him.

Dear Father God,
I want to be a filled with the joy that comes from Your presence. Help me to abide and dwell in your presence, the place where fullness of joy is found. Let Your joy be my strength. Thank You for equipping me to walk through these turbulent times, thank You that I never face anything alone. You are with me always. I love You. Help me, Father, so that the way I navigate hard times would give You glory.
In Jesus' Name. Amen.

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