Weekly Teachings by Erik Momsen
You will have trouble - but ...
by Erik Momsen
It is unfortunate that many Christians believe, and some even teach, that becoming a believer is the end to trouble. Jesus did not teach that, and to be honest most of us have found that the trouble might even increase after joining God's family. Jesus found that obeying the Father was very troublesome. He said there words just before his own death; "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." (John 16:33)
Jesus is here referring to having peace while at the same time being in trouble. Trouble only overwhelms us when it gets inside and takes over. Have you ever seen someone drop an ice-cream or a bottle of milk and lose control? We might want to say, "It's only an ice-cream". John Maxwell says, "no matter what happens to you, the important thing is what happens in you" (2000:61). Life is not about what you get, but what you do with what you get.
We are only defeated when we allow the stuff that happens to us to get inside us. "No matter what happens to you. Failure is an inside job" (Maxwell 2000:61). General Jan Christiaan Smuts said, "A man is not defeated by his opponents but by himself".
Even though Jesus was beaten and murdered he was not defeated by His enemies. He turned that situation around because of his attitude and purpose.
THE WAY WE LOOK AT LIFE DETERMINES WHAT WE GET FROM LIFE
The law of human behavior states, "Sooner or later we get just what we expect". Does that sound good or bad to you? By your answer you confess to be an optimist or a pessimist. "Your attitude determines your outlook" (2000:65). Jesus even confirmed this when he said "What comes out of his mouth, that is what makes him 'unclean." (Matthew 15:11). It is the attitudes within us that determines us.
POSITIVE ATTITUDE: THE FIRST KEY TO WHAT HAPPENS 2 U
The first part of winning the internal battle against failure is a positive attitude. Some are born with a positive attitude and some have it removed from them by others. The secret of a positive attitude is contentment. Our society does not encourage contentment. Be slimmer, richer, faster ...
1) Contentment is not containing your emotions. They will come out, and if suppressed they could be harmful. Control emotions positively. (Ephesians 4:15)
2) Contentment is not maintaining your current situation. "Being content doesn't mean being satisfied with a bad situation ... (but) having a good attitude as you work your way out of it." (Maxwell 2000:66)
3) Contentment is not attaining position, power and possessions. J.D. Rockefeller showed us that enough was "Just a little more". Contentment is a heart of praise and thanksgiving despite all situations. (Philippians 4:4)
Contentment comes from a positive attitude:
- Expecting the best in everything - not the worst.
- Remaining upbeat - even when you get beat up.
- Seeing solutions in every problem - not problems in every solution.
- Believing in yourself - even when others believe you've failed.
- Holding onto hope - even when others say it's hopeless. (2000:67)
POSITIVE ACTION: THE OTHER KEY TO WHAT HAPPENS 2 U
You must take positive action from your positive attitude. Many people do not know the difference between what can be changed and what can't. The difference between a problem and a fact of life. A fact of life is history and can't be changed. We focus our action on the problem we can change.
With a positive attitude we can take positive action focused on the problem and not waste our energy and be defeated by what cannot be changed. Positive action is one of the best ways to defeat fear and stress. The Norwegians, known for their toughness and die hard attitude, say: "There is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing."
Our troubles and failures will remain our downfall until we can beat them in the mind (we are to have the mind of Christ). We must believe John Maxwell when he says "Failure is an inside job". A highly successful man wrote: "Handicaps can only disable us if we let them. This is true not only of physical challenges, but of emotional and intellectual ones as well ... I believe that real and lasting limitations are created in our minds, and not our bodies." - Rodger Crawford (born without hands and only one foot).
"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?" Romans 8:35
Date Added: 2011-09-09
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