So Many Things to Do
Salt and Light
By Brent Davis, Campus Ministry
As I began writing this article, my thought was “so many things to do!” I am sure you can relate. The Apostle Paul certainly did:
26 I have traveled on many long journeys. I have faced danger from rivers and from robbers. I have faced danger from my own people, the Jews, as well as from the Gentiles. I have faced danger in the cities, in the deserts, and on the seas. And I have faced danger from men who claim to be believers but are not.[c] 27 I have worked hard and long, enduring many sleepless nights. I have been hungry and thirsty and have often gone without food. I have shivered in the cold, without enough clothing to keep me warm.
28 Then, besides all this, I have the daily burden of my concern for all the churches. 29 Who is weak without my feeling that weakness? Who is led astray, and I do not burn with anger?
David had similar feelings of being overwhelmed: I cried out, “I am slipping!” but your unfailing love, O Lord, supported me. When doubts filled my mind, your comfort gave me renewed hope and cheer” (Psa 94: 18-19, NLT).
Some of you may feel you are slipping as you work hard and long. Are you being supported by God’s unfailing love? Sometimes we just need that reminder, but sometimes we need to do a root cause analysis. When things are not going well, there are just a few possibilities: 1) disobedience, 2) spiritual warfare/testing, 3) the consequences of living in a fallen world. In any case, if we turn to Jesus, we will find He is right there with the support we need whatever the cause.
To deal with disobedience we need to confess our sin(s) and repent. Confession says, ‘I disobeyed.’ Repentance says that we want to change and not disobey again. This can be done just by praying to God, but a supportive friend or small group will help us to follow through on the repentance. It is also helpful to identify the lie that Satan used to tempt us and then identify the scriptural truth that refutes it (and align our thoughts to the truth not the lie). Jesus used this technique in Matthew 4. A blanket verse that I use to deal with temptation is Philippians 4: 19: “And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus” (my italics). If you are not sure whether disobedience is the issue, just ask God to reveal any sin in your life.
Spiritual warfare or testing can be the result of obedience. Satan has some ability to give us grief for obeying God. Job experienced that firsthand. Isaiah tells us:
The high and lofty one who lives in eternity, the Holy One, says this: “I live in the high and holy place with those whose spirits are contrite and humble. I restore the crushed spirit of the humble and revive the courage of those with repentant hearts. (Isaiah 57: 15)
This verse shows that whether we are dealing with sin or trials, an attitude of humility is important. Tough times do not last, but tough people do (Robert Schuller). We become tough (perseverance) by responding to difficulties in the strength of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5, Romans 4, 2 Peter 1). Often the Holy Spirit works through others who encourage us and pray for us.
This also is the key to surviving daily struggles which are just the result of living in a fallen world. When Adam sinned, he had to leave Paradise and work hard to survive. Whatever your struggles, Salt and Light is here to support and strengthen you. Have a restful Labor Day!