Friday, July 1, 2011

Managing Chaos

"Consider it pure joy whenever you face trials of many kinds" (James 1:2).  If this were not Scripture, I don't think I'd believe it.  I mean who, in their right mind, considers the endurance of trials pure joy?  Well, that's the catch - it is not our mindset we should have (one of self, flesh, pleasure, etc.) but His (Philippians 2:5).

There is a raging river of chaos all around us.  We are surrounded in our raft of ministry and life by rapids, rocks, and dangers that want to "flip our boat and drown us."  What do we do?

1.  You can turn in your raft and paddles and call it quits.
2.  You can learn to guide yourself through the rapids and attempt to avoid the obstacles as best as you can.
3.  You can build a dam.

Since quitting for most of us is not an option because we know to Whom and what we are called, we attempt number two.  While option two works, it leaves us constantly fighting the rapids.  We must learn to build dams to set boundaries on the chaos.

Here is a "dam":  Ministry is joy-filled but has some trouble spots.  Count on it.  Someone who says they don't have any trouble in ministry are not in the ministry.  Jesus said, "in this world you will have trouble."  But He didn't leave it there - "Take heart!  I have overcome the world." (John 16:33)  Instead of expecting zero trouble in this life why not know that there will be some trouble but majority peace.  After all, Jesus said he wanted to offer us peace in the previous verse.  He works all thing together for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28).  So those few issues you are facing shouldn't surprise you when they happen.  What you should be looking to is the Father, not the problem.  Fix your eyes on Him (Hebrews 12:2).

Another dam is leaning and trusting in God's Word.  Don't let troubles talk you out of God's Word!  Another dam you must build to battle the raging rapids is know God is for you and not against you (Romans 8:31).  Other dams you must build to settle the rapids and bring peace is knowing who you are in Christ, walking in the Spirit, walking worthy of your calling, and being prayed up.  It may be tough now but hold on, don't give up.  Don't quit because 5% or 25% of your ministry is trying.  Think about all the good, all the blessings, all the riches you have.  Don't let a temporary problem cause you to make a wrong long-term decision.

I want to encourage you - do not quit when things get tough.  Stick in there.  Believe in God.  "Do not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest - IF WE DO NOT GIVE UP" (Galatians 6:9).  Fight the good fight, finish the race, keep the faith, and a crown of righteousness will be in store for you and to all who do the same (2 Timothy 4:8).  Ron Kenoly sang a song that told us to go ahead and don't stop.  The lyrics said, "If you catch hell don't hold it.  If you're going through hell don't stop.  Remember no weapon formed against you shall prosper and every tongue that rises against you, you shall condemn.  Lean on this because greater is He that is in you than he that it is in the world."

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