Christ

What do you do when problems overwhelm you?


We are unique in many ways. Hence, we all have different methods of approaching difficult situations. Some of us turn to professionals, family, friends and neighbors when we do not know what to do with our problems. But often time these sources of help are inadequate. So, many of us throw our hands in the air and give up. Others who have read God’s Word and believed in His promises turn to Him for divine help.

In 2 Chronicles 20 Jehoshaphat, king of Judah was faced with a very difficult situation. He got the news from the people that the Moabites, Meunites and the Ammonites were mounting an attack against him. And even though he was fearful. He never took things in his hands, and he never surrendered. Instead, he turned to God for divine intervention. Here is what the Bible says:

“Jehoshaphat was terrified by the news and begged the LORD for guidance. He also ordered everyone in Judah to begin fasting. 4 So people from all the towns of Judah came to Jerusalem to seek the LORD’s help.

Jehoshaphat stood before the community of Judah, and Jerusalem, in front of the new courtyard at the Temple of the LORD. 6 He prayed, “O LORD, God of our ancestors. You alone are the God, who is in heaven. You are the ruler of all the kingdoms of the earth. You are powerful and mighty; no one can stand against you! 7 O our God, did you not drive out those who lived in this land when your people Israel arrived? And did you not give this land forever to the descendants of your friend Abraham? 8 Your people settled here and built this Temple to honor your name. 9 They said, ‘Whenever we face any calamity such as war, plague, or famine, we can come to stand in your presence before this Temple where we honor your name. We can cry out to you to save us, and you will hear us and rescue us” 2 Chronicles 20:3-9).

God did answer Jehoshaphat’s prayer. His soldiers did not have to lift a finger. The enemies started fighting against themselves. The Bible says; there were dead bodies lying on the ground as far as the eye could see. Not a single one of the enemy had escaped.

And here is the kicker according to verse 30: “So Jehoshaphat’s kingdom was at peace, for his God had given him rest on every side”.

Do you have a credibility problem?


Do you have a credibility problem?
Most people I know would answer no to the above question, but that’s because they have creditability issues, and they think no one notices. Look, we can’t help being disingenuous sometimes. It is part of the legacy we have received from Adam and Eve. If we humans did not have credibility issues, then there would be no need for the cross.

Of course, credibility is a bigger problem for some of us than others. Many of us have managed to disguise the problem from human attention, but Jesus sees and knows everything you do.

In Matthew 23, Jesus called out the Religious leaders and teachers of the day. He referred to them as ‘hypocrites’ which I am sure was a surprise to the people. It seemed the religious leaders of the day had blinded the people with their facade. Here are some of what Jesus had to say, according to Matthew 23:1-7:

Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, “The teachers of religious law and the Pharisees are the official interpreters of the law of Moses. So practice and obey whatever they tell you, but don’t follow their example. For they don’t practice what they teach. They crush people with unbearable religious demands and never lift a finger to ease the burden.

“Everything they do is for show. On their arms, they wear extra wide prayer boxes with Scripture verses inside, and they wear robes with extra long tassels. And they love to sit at the head table at banquets and in the seats of honor in the synagogues. They love to receive respectful greetings as they walk in the marketplaces, and be called ‘Rabbi.’ by others

Are you wearing the appropriate wedding garment?


The parable of the wedding feast which Jesus told in Matthew 22:1-14 gives us a preview of what everyone’s reality will be like when you come face-to-face with the judgement seat. The parable seems to suggest the main character; the king, will only greet guests who wear the appropriate garment to the wedding feast. And the rest of us, who are not in the wedding garment, he instructs his servants to cast into the darkness where there is gnashing of teeth.

Even though the parable may sounds like a fairy tale, there is a real end time message embedded in there. Further, Jesus did not tell parables because he likes them. He told them to simplify His message.

However, the main point of the parable is this: Many are invited to the wedding feast, but only few will be chosen to partake in the main course. Here is the parable:

Matthew 22:1-14 New Living Translation (NLT)

Parable of the Great Feast
Jesus also told them other parables. He said, “The Kingdom of Heaven can be illustrated by the story of a king who prepared a great wedding feast for his son. When the banquet was ready, he sent his servants to notify those who were invited. But they all refused to come!

“So he sent other servants to tell them, ‘The feast has been prepared. The bulls and fattened cattle have been killed, and everything is ready. Come to the banquet!’ But the guests he had invited ignored them and went their way, one to his farm, another to his business. Others seized his messengers and insulted them and killed them.

“The king was furious, and he sent out his army to destroy the murderers and burn their town. And he said to his servants, ‘The wedding feast is ready, and the guests I invited aren’t worthy of the honor. Now go out to the street corners and invite everyone you see.’ So the servants brought in everyone they could find, good and bad alike, and the banquet hall was filled with guests.

“But when the king came in to meet the guests, he noticed a man who wasn’t wearing the proper clothes for a wedding. ‘Friend,’ he asked, ‘how is it that you are here without wedding clothes?’ But the man had no reply. Then the king said to his aides, ‘Bind his hands and feet and throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

“For many are called, but few are chosen.”

Do Not Worry and do not give up


“Therefore, I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?” (Matthew 6:25-27)

My friends, I do not know what burden you carry to the cross today, but whatever the situation do not worry and do not give up. Your heavenly father knows what you need and in due season you will reap a harvest beyond your comprehension.

The crippled man who came to the pool of Bethesda for healing every day never gave up. Even though, his chances of getting into the pool at the right time was slim to none, he never stopped trying. But when it was due season, he reaped a harvest. This time he did not have to compete to get into the pool. Jesus came by and healed him.

Of course, it is hard for anyone to stay focus on God when his or her world is falling down. And it is doubly difficult if you have come to the cross for months, perhaps years, yet your situation remains the same.

Nevertheless, let me urge you to use the crippled man as an example and hold on a bit longer. Do not give up. The Scripture says, …”Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning” (Psalm 30:5).

Face your giant head-on–Don’t cower.


At times the problems we face get so big that they seem to tower over us like an aggressive giant. In the midst of trouble, fears stirred, understanding becomes darkened, and joy evaporates. Yet, rather than look to God for solutions, one leans on his or her own understanding; and as a dark shadow looms over us–we either run away or cower and fold.

In fact, if we learned to face problems like young David confronted the giant Goliath, no one would become paralyzed by fear,  and cower just as the Israelite soldiers did before Goliath and the Philistine army.

On the whole, it was David’s faith and trust in an all-powerful God that allowed him to view his opponent in a different light. Therefore, instead of seeing a giant, David saw an uncircumcised Philistine, whom he defeated.

In Psalm 121 David writes the following:

I will lift up my eyes to the hills—
From whence comes my help?
My help comes from the Lord,
the maker of heaven and earth.

He will not allow your foot to be moved;
He who keeps you will not slumber.
Behold, He who keeps Israel
Shall neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord is your keeper;
The Lord is your shade at your right hand.
The sun shall not strike you by day,
Nor the moon by night.

The Lord shall preserve you from all evil;
He shall preserve your soul.
The Lord shall preserve your going out and your coming in
From this time forth, and even forevermore

How close can you get to God?


The closest anyone can get to God is to have Him live within your heart. When I was a child we used to sing: “Don’t try to tell me God is dead, He woke me up this morning. Don’t try tell me He is not alive, He lives within my heart.” But before He can take up residence in yours or my heart, we must be born again. When an individual is born again, he becomes united with Christ and one with Him. The Holy Scripture says: “But whoever is united with the Lord is one with him in spirit” (1 Corinthians 6:17).

Therefore, if  we are one with Christ, we are close to Him. He has even promised that He will never leave you nor forsake you. So, this notion that He is far off is a trick the enemy use to convince us into believing that we have to do more to get closer to Him. Christian author, Gregory Dickow, calls this the ‘Illusion of Separation.’

Consequently, there is no separation between you and God. Jesus fill the gap created from the downfall of Adam and Eve. Therefore, if you bought the lie that God is far off,  and you have to do more to get closer to Him, you are actually saying you can earn God’s favor. And when you think you can earn God’s favor–you try too hard. Then, when that doesn’t work–you get discouraged until you either give up or assume your relationship with God is distant. This mindset ultimately affects your peace, your joy, and your confidence in prayer.

Brothers and sisters, your closeness to God is not earned, it’s a gift–made possible through the blood of Jesus. So, if we recognize that God lives within us, it will change how we look at ourselves and ultimately change how we live.