Freedom From Discouragement

Search me O God, and know my thoughts.  Point out anything in me that offends You, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.   Psalm 139:23-24

It has always puzzled me why some  Christians, tend to have a permanent downcast look on their faces.    Hopelessness is written across their furrowed brows when they are suppose to know the Savior of Hope.  Showing this downcast attitude, certainly would discourage others who might be seeking spiritual answers.

Don’t misunderstand me here, there are times in all our lives when the hard knocks often buckle our knees, and we fall precariously downwards.  One can be overwhelmed at these times with the pain and heartache with which we are dealing.  Mustering a smile at those times, is a difficult fete,  even though we may be resting on Jesus promise to never leave or forsake us.
I am not speaking about those times.  I am talking about a Christian who day after day, week after week, and as months and years go by, depict a defeated, stern, joyless, attitude to all in whom they come in contact.

What does the face of a joyless Christian do to help anyone in the Body of Christ that may be experiencing difficulties?  Would they turn to them for help?  No one wants to add burdens to already bent shoulders.
I am grateful to God that we at Riverside (who have gone through many trials and hard knocks this past year) have emerged with an abundance of love, joy, smiles and even laughter.  What an encouraging spirit dwells within our walls right through all the pains, sorrows, and partings that we have endured.

Thanks are due in part to Pastor Don for his years of focusing his teachings on Biblical truths.  This has helped all of us to put our burden squarely where it belongs, with our Lord Jesus.  Because of his pointing us in the right direction, God has lifted us up and over these hurdles.  This hope has left us with a positive and smiling outlook to greet those coming through our doors.
Our burden also continues to be lifted by the godly men sent to preach for us each week as we continue to grow in our faith.  Praise belongs to the faithful men and women who have stayed to help and guide us through these struggles keeping our church a living, breathing entity for Christ.

We take to heart. Matthew 11:28-30… “Come to me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”  Along with Luke 11:33 which tells us not to hide our light under a basket, but to let it shine towards the only One that can bring us the peace we seek. “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you”.  Jesus said in John 14:27

How does one find this peace of which God speaks when we are discouraged  or disheartened?  How does one manage to smile through all the trials that beset us each day? I believe there is only One way and that is to give your burdens over to Him!  
Now, I mean to literally shove out your arms with your palms facing upwards, and physically hand your burdens over to the only One who can bear them, Jesus!  Every time you take it back, do it again and give it back to the one who wants them!

Now… Feel the quieting of your anxieties…

Feel His joy, down deep in your soul…

Drink deep, of it’s penetrating warmth…  Savor it…

Up… Up… Up… it comes into your very being.

I guarantee you cannot stop it from happening!

That smile will come unbeknownst to you and wash right across your face!

Cast your cares on the Lord and He will sustain you;
He will never let the righteous be shaken.  Psalm 55:22

Smile Time!

Dear God:
I have a problem.  Well it’s not me exactly, it’s those religious nuts in our church.  They keep talking about spiritual fruit?  They drone on and on about love, joy, peace, long-suffering (boy do I know about that) on and on about kindness, goodness, faithfulness, and gentleness.  Why don’t they get some self-control?
Oh, they are not malicious in any way, just always smiling and laughing when they should be acting more mature.  After all this is a church, and they act like little children.  You would think they held the key to happiness!
I wish they would just be silent and hold their tongues, but they go around happily chatting so joyfully that it gets discouraging!  Don’t they know how tough life is out there?
They say silly things too like… if we just had enough faith we could move a mountain.  Can you believe the ego!
I just can’t help worrying about the way things are progressing.  I am so anxious about what is happening around me that I can’t even pray, let alone smile.  I’m trying to do the best I can Lord, and you know how flexible I am, but all this levity has really got me worked up.
I long to get down to the serious problems of the world which, as you well know, is no laughing matter.
Thank you for listening to me, but please, please, could you help me out by doing something to reach these people!

Yours in bondage,
Burdened.                                                                                                                                                  Syb

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