So as I listened to Brian Houston's message about "Only for a while" I knew I had to share some things with you. The message basically is about the issues of the heart and how those issues determine the issues in our lives. How the two are inseparable.
I want to do this in two parts and then add it to my Inspirational Thoughts.
"When we arrived in Macedonia, there was no rest for us. We faced conflict from every direction, with battles on the outside and fear on the inside. But God, who encourages those who are discouraged, encouraged us by the arrival of Titus. His presence was a joy, but so was the news he brought of the encouragement he received from you." (2. Corinthians 7: 5-7)
There are times in our lives when we face conflicts, where our hearts are troubled and we struggle. It is very human. It might me heartbreak, issues at work, issues with friends.
But how we deal with it and how we look at it is crucial. Is this issue going to determine the rest of our lives or is it only for a little while? Are we going to work through those things or are we letting those things define who we are?
In the message I listened to, Brian Houston talked about three things which are important when it comes to dealing with issues of the heart and I want to share my thoughts on each of them:
1. Run to God
When faced with issues like a heartbreak, losing friends, having lost a relative it is absolutely crucial that we first run to God ("But God, who encourages those who are discouraged..."). He will give us comfort and joy in times of sadness and grief. He will lift our spirit and will calm our storms inside.
I have experienced this every single time I had to work through stuff. Every time I did praise and worship my heart felt lighter. Every time I spent time with the Lord, even just lying on the floor crying He would sooth my spirit and give me rest.
2. God ordained relationships
Do not underestimate the importance of God given friendships ("...encouraged us by the arrival of Titus. His presence was a joy..."). This could be a mentor, a good friend, people on the other side of the globe who you trust. God puts people strategically in our lives. Do you have God relationships? People who will speak life and encouragement? People who will just be there with you through the hard times?
I know who my God-ordained friends are. I know who I can call in the middle of the night crying.
Find out who these people are in your life.
3. Church family
We all belong to the Body of Christ. His Church. But do you belong to a local church family. A church that you are part of? It is not only sitting under the Word every Sunday, but it is church life. Building, encouraging, serving and growing together. Never underestimate the power of a church family in your life ("... but so was the news he brought of the encouragement he received from you."). Your connect group. Your youth group. Whatever you are part of. Get yourself involved. Stay close. The encouragement will come.
I basically grew up in a church at it was always the place I would feel safest when going through hard times.
At the end here I just want to encourage you. If you are going through some rough times with heart issues and you don't know when it is going to end or when the pain will stop. Know that it is only for a while. Have the attitude of an overcomer and trust the Lord that He will bring you through it and that you will in fact see the end of the tunnel. Run to him, allow those God ordained people to speak into your life and stay close to your church family.
PS: The plant in the picture is my plant of hope. It had died this Winter because of the cold. And when I cut everything off I could see that new life had already come forth at the end of this Winter. It is now growing and flourishing again.