Life is full of ups and downs. There is not one of us who have not had obstacles in our path. We have all experienced hardship, discouragement, hurt and pain at some point in time of our lives. Initially we may feel as if we can't move forward.
One thing I've learned is that every unpleasant situation that life throws at you is important. It provides an opportunity to learn who you really are and what stuff you're made of. We learn from those experiences, or should learn valuable lessons from them. It's an opportunity to readjust our thinking, our decisions, and the direction we're going in.
As a believer, we are to take our situations to God and sit down with Him and hash out every aspect of it in order to see things from God's perspective, and to get the help needed to deal with the problem. God always has a solution for every challenge we face. We first must be willing to be honest with God about the circumstances we're in and how we feel about it, as well as the struggle we're having in moving forward.
It's important to get to a place where we can shed the weight of troubles quickly. If we hold on to sadness, disappointment, and difficulties for too long, we end up getting stuck. Being stuck can hold us back from the good things that are waiting to happen. 'Being Stuck' now becomes a hindrance. It can linger way too long. In 1 Peter 5:7 it says, "Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you." It is God's pleasure to take all of our cares, burdens, and struggles and manage them for us. He takes the load of those things and lightens the stress, the pressure, and the weight of it all. Our duty is to do the 'casting', meaning, we are to readily hand them over to Him. This is how you spell
God has a wealth of blessings, and wonderful things in His hand waiting for you to partake in. Don't allow yourself to be hindered by past hurts, present trials, or current situations that seem hard to bear. Give them to God! Don't get stuck!
Often we forget important events or things that happened in our lives. Here are a few things worth remembering:
1. What it felt like when you were last encouraged!
2. When God answered your prayers in a way you hadn't expected.
3. When you got what you didn't ask for, but God threw that one in there...
4. When God took care of your adversary.
5. When He made a way despite all the odds against you.
6. Why He said, "No".
7. How He provided for your need...
8. All the times He protected you from you...
9. No one has your back like God does...
10. You'll be able to trade in your body for a new one...
11. The Christian you're struggling to like today, will be your bestie in heaven...
12. To laugh more and more by seeing the humor in things...
13. Don't sweat the small stuff...
14. No one wrote the Bible but inspired men of God; don't run with stuff people say unless you see it written there!
15. He has not given you the spirit of fear!
Perhaps 2020 taught us that we need o discontinue certain relationships because they weren't working for us. Maybe we have outgrown certain individuals and are in need of new ones. Whatever the situation, we must approach the quest for relationships very wisely.
We all may know what types of people to avoid, but we may not be clear on the type of friendships we really need in our lives. I will attempt to give some suggestions in regards to this. We each can make up our own minds based on the particulars of our personality and make up with the specifics of it all.
Avoid friendships of utility. This is what the world calls 'Networking'. Those of us who run a business or ministry work know the importance of being able to network with others. God does use networking when necessary, but it is never one sided. Friendships of utility are people who will only attach themselves to you for something they need from you. They will say all the right things, lead you to believe that they are really interested in you, but they are only interested in what you do, and how you are able to do what you do, and how they can get a piece of the action. They are self seeking, unreliable, and selfish to the bone.
Avoid individuals who only speak of themselves. They are always on display and you can't seem to get a word in edgewise.
Avoid people who are sponges. They have the tendency to suck the life out of you. Their long list of problems are overwhelming and when you try to put their hands into the Lord's hand (spiritually speaking), they shy away from it. They only want to stay focused on their problems and emotional needs.
Avoid negative attitudes that only seem to see the glass as half-empty as oppose to half-full. Their mindset is negative and it leaves very little room for stimulation and growth.
Avoid liars! It may take a little time to see that things are not adding up with them.
Embrace those who treat you the way you want to be treated. They are the considerate kind.
Embrace ladies who show love. That's a true friend.
Embrace individuals who are good listeners. They give you time to express yourself.
Embrace sisters who are prayer warriors, for when they are though listening to you, they pray for you and with you. They know who holds the key to all the answers you're looking for and they don't mind accompanying you to the throne of grace where you can find help in time of need.
Embrace those who know how to laugh and don't have to have a 'plaster for every sore', so to speak. They can find where the chuckles hide because they have learned how to laugh at themselves on occasion.
Embrace individuals who know what it is to sit in God's presence daily and hear from Him. This shows that they are dependent upon God and are not navigating through their Christian life aimlessly. They are filled with the Holy Spirit and are in tune with God!
These are thy who push us closer to God!