Tag Archives: i need help

You’re Not BER (Video)

But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.

Romans 5:8 (NLT)

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Heavy Lifting

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Have you ever tried to carry something that was too heavy for you? I’m not talking about something you couldn’t lift. I’m talking about something that you could hold, but not for very long. You struggle to lift it, with each step you exhale trying to manage the weight and size of the object. You can only go a few feet before you have to set it down, take a breather, look at how much further you have to go and then try again. You repeat the process over and over until you finally reach your destination. It’s exhausting and can give you medical problems if it’s too heavy or too far.

Imagine carrying that same object and a friend comes over. They see you struggle and instead of offering help, they offer suggestions on how to carry it better. “Lift with your legs, not your back,” they say. How does that make you feel? Clearly they see you struggling, but they are doing nothing to help you. It gets frustrating. How about if instead of helping you they cheered you on? How would that make you feel? “Come on! I know you can do it! You’ve got this.” While it might help morally, it still doesn’t help with the problem.

What you really want when you’re struggling like that is for them to say, “Hey, let me give you a hand.” When they grab the other side, the weight is halved. Suddenly it’s more bearable than it was. You may be able to go a little bit further before you have to set it down. Their physically helping you with the object is a lot more useful than telling you how to do it or encouraging you to do it. Would you agree? Then why do we do the first two when we see someone struggling with heavy burdens?

I once heard a person say, “With a friend, joy is doubled and pain is halved.” I could also add burdens are halved. Galatians 6:2 says, “Help to carry one another’s burdens, and in this way you will obey the law of Christ.” It didn’t tell us just to encourage someone who is carrying a burden or to tell them how to carry it. We are told to help them carry it. When someone is carrying a burden, it’s a lot like that large object. They may only be able to take a few steps before they’re exhausted. They may not feel like they’re making progress. While words of encouragement are nice, helping them with the heavy lifting is what’s needed.

Think of a time when you’ve had a heavy burden. What is it that you wished people had done for you? Go and do that for someone else. When I see others who are going through something I’ve been through, my first thoughts are, “What did people do that made me mad? What did I wish people had done.” I then go and try to do the second instead of the first. It’s important that we look around us today to see which friends are struggling. While a word of encouragement is nice and a few tips on how to bear the burden is great, I’m sure they’d love some help with the heavy lifting.

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Free To Endure

It’s Free Friday! Today is the day you let go of the things in your life that keep you down or hold you back from all God has for you. To celebrate, I’m giving away a copy of “God Is In The Small Stuff For Changing Times” by Bruce & Stan. Keep reading to find out how to enter.

One of the first things that I tell new employees at the company I work for is, “If you don’t like change, you’re in the wrong company.” Let’s be honest, not many of us like change. We don’t embrace it, we fight it. We don’t welcome it, we begrudgingly accept it. We don’t like things to be different, we like them the way they were. In this world we live in, things don’t have a beginning, middle and end like they used to. It seems like it’s one crisis after another. It’s one painful moment after another. But change brings about better things.

It reminds me of when my wife was in the hospital giving birth to our son. To induce labor, they gave her medicine to force contractions. They kept increasing the dosage until she was in a constant state of contractions. She never fully came out of one before the next one started. She struggled to catch her breath before the intense pain returned. That’s where our world is these days. That’s where our lives are. We face struggle after struggle. Heartache after heartache. Trial after trial and we get very little reprieve.

When we are in a constant state of struggle, we tend to turn our focus and energy away from God and onto surviving the circumstances. Instead of digging deeper in the Bible, we dig our feet deeper into the trenches to hold our ground. Instead of praying to God, we complain to anyone that will listen. It’s just who we are and how we are built. As Christians, we are called to go against that human nature. We are called to crucify daily the flesh that wants to do opposite of what God would have us do. The question is, “How do we do that?”

I believe the answer is to look ahead, beyond the trials. Look to what God wants to produce in you through the changing times. If you can find meaning in the trial, you can find joy in it. James 1:2 says, “When troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.” The struggles that my wife had in pregnancy and in labor produced a child that we love very much and has brought joy to our home. Your struggles will also produce something in your life that will bring great joy. You just have to think about the end result of your current struggle. You have to remained focused on what God is producing in you in order to survive. Hope is a powerful thing. It can get you through the darkest night.

Verse 3 of the same chapter in James says, “For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow.” The choice is yours. Do you back out of the trial because it’s too hard? To you throw in the white flag because you’ve had enough? Do you tap out because it’s too painful? No! God is developing endurance in you. Let it grow! Max Lucado once wrote, “God may send you through a storm at 30 so you can endure a hurricane at 60.” God knows what your future holds and these changing times are producing in you what you need in order to endure. Embrace the change and get free of the things that keep your endurance from growing.

If you would like to win “God Is In The Small Stuff For Changing Times” by Bruce & Stan, all you have to do is go to my Facebook page here and “like” it. I will randomly pick one person tomorrow (April 26, 2014) who has liked my page. If you have already liked my page and enjoy reading these daily devotionals, you are already entered. Please invite your friends to like my page so they can receive encouragement from God’s Word too.

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Wonderful Counselor

This week, I’ll be breaking down Isaiah 9:6 piece by piece. It says, “For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. (NLT)”. Today, we’ll look at Wonderful Counselor.

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I’ve tried to think back to all the times when I needed a counselor in my life. I had to have one in school when it came time to help me pick out classes to make sure I graduated. I had to have one when I got married to make sure that the proper foundation was laid for a lifelong marriage. I’ve used one in business to help me make decisions that would ensure the company was profitable. I’ve used them when someone close died to help work through the grieving process. I’ve used counselors any time I’ve had a huge decision to make and wasn’t sure what the right decision was.

I believe in Proverbs 15:22. It says, “Refuse good advice and watch your plans fail; take good counsel and watch them succeed. (MSG)” In order to be successful, we need good counselors around us. We need people with different perspectives who can help us see the things that our own limited vision can’t see. The problem is that too many people see using counselors, for any reason, as a sign of weakness. They make life altering decisions without the help, guidance or input from others and this scripture tells us that that is a recipe for failure. God has no desire to see you fail. He wants you to succeed.

In order to help you succeed, He has set Himself up to be a counselor for us. He wants to be that person in our life that we go to for advice, to help us make the difficult decisions and to point us in the right direction. He wants each of us to have such a close relationship with Him that we can go to Him with anything. Who could be better at giving you advice on anything you’re facing than God Himself? He knows what your future holds and He wants you to succeed. Just like with the counselors I’ve used in the past, it only works if you listen.

God can speak to you directly if you let Him. He can speak through others to you. He can even speak to you through His Word, the Bible. There are many ways He can be your counselor, but it’s up to you to give Him the opportunity. It’s up to you to listen and then to follow that advice. Life is hard and full of difficult choices. God knows that and never intended for you to have to make them on your own. He has been and always will be available to you as the one you can turn to for guidance.

Whatever you’re facing today is no surprise to God. He knew you would be standing at this crossroad and knows what path you should take. Seek His guidance, ask for His advice and listen. When you follow His counsel, you are guaranteed success in the long run. You may have a few bumps in the road He takes you down, but they are intended for your good. You may not see immediate success, but it’s coming. Trust in what He tells you. Follow the path He points to and listen to His voice. It’s not a sign of weakness to seek the advice of the Wonderful Counselor, it’s wise.

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