As you read this – we will be well into our routine of ministering three times a day in Ukraine. The day begins early with preparation – looking over the teachings of the day – because once we are in the flow of the day’s activities there is no time to prepare or review. It is straight ministry through to the time you fall back into bed at the end of the day.
Before I was born again – and I admit that was a long time ago and my memory may be fading a bit – it seems to me that when I got together with those I hung around with we had a good time. We talked about neat things that were happening and experiences we had recently had. We caught up on each other’s news and enjoyed each other’s company. It was a positive and uplifting time together.
I was thinking about this the other day. And then I began to wonder why it is that when born again Christians get together – a lot of the time we talk about our personal problems, family issues (nice word for more problems), the trouble with the nation and the way it is moving towards fewer Christian values, and assorted other issues and concerns. And, maybe I’m wrong or hang out with the wrong people but it always seems somewhat negative and pessimistic as if there is really nothing that we, as believers, can really do about it. Maybe it is because I’m a pastor and so people feel free to share their personal problems as soon as we sit down. Maybe they are overwhelmed by the problems that they face. Maybe they think that is all pastors ever talk about – I mean, what else would a pastor be interested in talking about?
So, I asked myself, “Self, what ever happened to just sharing and enjoying each other’s company and being optimistic and excited about life? Why did all that disappear and go south all of a sudden? What happened?”
Then I ran head first into this verse from God’s Word, the Bible. (1 Samuel 30:6) “Moreover David was greatly distressed because the people spoke of stoning him, for all the people were embittered, each one because of his sons and his daughters. But David strengthened himself in the LORD his God.”
Did you notice? King David apparently has mega problems and issues that are going to need his immediate attention. But, David was not talking to his men about the isues and problems and the fact that, as their leader, he was being blamed for what had just happened to the women and children of the settlement. David didn’t sit around arguing and discussing the problem with his men, nor did he try to convince them to change their minds.
Instead, the Bible records, “David found strength in the Lord his God.” Here’s the secret to following God – and pushing through the obstacles that Satan throws in your way. Talk to God about the problems and issues of your life. Afterall, He is the most capable (and willing, I may add) Person around to help you. He is the One with the most wisdom. He is the only One with whom nothing is impossible and everything is Himpossible.
Yet, we spend a lot of time and wasted energy talking (and complaining) to others who are either in a similar or worse mess hoping they have a solution. No! We share with others hoping they can sympathize and at least understand our point of view and agree with us that life (and the situation we are complaining about) really does suck and we are certainly not deserving of all that is happenin to us – in fact, we are being victimized! Ah! That makes us feel a bit better for a short time. But, it never fixes the problem and never deals with the issue.
But, talking with God just might give us a different perspective on our issues and inviting Him into the situation might even bring some resolution to the issues that we face. If nothing else, like David in the midst of his serious situation, we would find encouragement and understand that God is with us and that He never has and never will forsake us regardless of the things that we are facing.
Next time you go out for coffee with a believer – why not spend some time ahead of the arranged appointment and talk with God – encourage and strengthen yourself in the Lord as David did … “David found strength in the Lord his God.”
Then, when you do meet with your friend for coffee you will actually have fellowship – which is a coffee centered around what the Lord is doing in your life. And, He will have just recently (a few hours before) encouraged and strengthened you. Now you will have a neat testimony and fresh manna to share with them. Ah! True Christian fellowship and a positive and uplifting time together with another believer. Precious.