Archive for the God Category

Sharing Jesus for the sake of Jesus

Posted in A New Beginning In Christ, Apologetics, Christian Life, Eyob B Kassa, Eyob's blog, God, Religion, Theology, Thought of the day on 07/27/2012 by Eyob B Kassa

Most evangelism sucks!

Ok, that may be sound a little bit harsh generalization, but I believe it’s true! Most evangelism sucks because they are therapeutically good but theologically not sound. They are man-centered not God-centered. They are so superficial not incarnational. Evangelism day is a kick-off event for so many than a life style. William Temple the late Archbishop of Canterbury wrote: ‘To evangelize is so to present Jesus Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit, that men shall come to put their trust in God through him, to accept him as their Savior, and serve him as their king in the fellowship of his Church’. We have to face it; the message of the gospel is more than “God is doing something huge” kind of sermon. I don’t think the New Testament God is vague on this. He sent His Son to die.  R. C. Sproul said, “The Gospel is called the ‘good news’ because it addresses the most serious problem that you and I have as human beings, and that problem is simply this: God is holy and He is just, and I’m not. And at the end of my life, I’m going to stand before a just and holy God and I’ll be judged. And I’ll be judged either on the basis of my own righteousness – or lack of it – or the righteousness of another. The good news of the Gospel is that Jesus lived a life of perfect righteousness, of perfect obedience to God, not for His own well being but for His people. He has done for me what I couldn’t possibly do for myself. But not only has He lived that life of perfect obedience, He offered Himself as a perfect sacrifice to satisfy the justice and the righteousness of God.” The message of the gospel is serious!

Evangelism is not an option. In fact, it’s a mandate. It is not a system that we adopt but it’s a truth that we should live out. The motive should not be winning people for the sake of church membership but for a God-honoring and purpose driven life. And the purpose is not to enjoy the darkness but to reveal God’s glory as the light of the world. Evangelism will never get easier because we adopt, change or focus on various techniques. Evangelism is a grace-based passion and caring for people. Passion and caring has nothing to do with technique but a heart. God doesn’t concern about our “evangelism techniques” but our availability and passion. I think we have gotten far away from what evangelism is all about. Personal opinion but I believe it’s true!

Why most evangelism sucks?

I will tell you why. We know what people want to hear, so customize the gospel according to the interest and characteristics of the people we want to address. We assume what works and what not. As the result we have a gospel-plus-something evangelism and our “techniques” make sense to us than the gospel. However, Paul and many others did evangelism in a very straight kind of preaching. They just go out and proclaim. They were concerned much about bringing the glory of God through their preaching than methodology. But, the way we do evangelism often times is superficial not radical. Our evangelism is not properly planned and it’s poorly delivered. We urge “unbelievers” to love Jesus, to follow Jesus, to accept Jesus, and to worship Jesus but we don’t even live out these truths in our lives. There is no power in our messages because there is less truth in our lives.

Evangelism is how to share Jesus with Passion and Compassion!

I know there are so many kinds of evangelism ideas in the modern Christianity. Not all of them are bad but most of them are sucks. Our evangelism is more about how to entertain people through popular music, drama, so-called spiritual dancing and various arts, self-help and non-confrontational preaching, and very superficial not scriptural teaching. The concern is more about the people’s felt needs than what God wants from people. The concern is not whether God will be glorified but will people be satisfied. Let’s forget about our customized innovations and be concerned about the gospel. The gospel is not for sale, it doesn’t need our advertisement.

Evangelism is about sharing Jesus with passion and compassion. What you share is a person not a product. The gospel is about a person. Evangelism begins and ends with this person, Jesus Christ. And, He is the content and object of the gospel.  Disciples, not converts, are the goal of evangelism. We need to be operating with passion and motivated by compassion. This is not to doubt the effect of our approach in evangelism. But, we should not be focused on our mechanisms but His grace. Our words, and actions will take us half-step in the process but it is totally the work of the Holy Spirit. The goal in evangelism is to bring a person closer to the person of Jesus Christ who is already drawing by the work of the Holy Spirit.  “Evangelism is the discipleship of the pre-converted man” as some one said. God doesn’t reach the Jews through signs and wonders and the Greeks through wisdom. “For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.” (1 Corinthians 1:22-24 ESV)

God doesn’t give us what we want in order to save us. He doesn’t give us “toys” to save us through the gospel. That is the modern day church gospel; the gospel of ME! The gospel of ME is basically man-centered and it is about how YOU can be the best person you can be, it’s about your bolster self-esteem, it’s about your dynamic relationships, it’s about solving your financial crisis, it’s about you and your needs.

However, God is passionate about His glory and He is taking the gospel seriously. The true gospel is about our total helplessness and need. We are sinners. We are God’s enemies. And we are need of a savior. God gives us what we need and what we need is the gospel. The gospel is about the person and the gospel is a person. We need this person, Jesus Christ, above all for satisfaction and justification. And evangelism is nothing but sharing this Jesus for the sake of Jesus. Don’t try to find ways to succeed in evangelism just share the person of Jesus Christ. Praise be His name!

Eyob B Kassa

July 26, 2012

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Life isn’t worth living unless you’re living your life with divine-purpose

Posted in A New Beginning In Christ, Christian Life, Eyob B Kassa, God, Relationships, Religion, Thought of the day on 04/02/2012 by Eyob B Kassa

Sitting in my car, waiting for a call, watching everybody driving like someone is chasing them …this morning; I was thinking: everyday people are just like this. Get up, dressed up, grab something to eat or drink, drive, drive…. Come home, exhausted, beat up…then go to sleep…then comes another day.  Life is like an endless waltz, we dance through our life till we can’t dance no more. But, is this what life is all about? There must be something more to life or everything is vanity of vanities as the scripture says. So let’s think for a while. What’s the deal with this thing called “life”? It seems like everything has been set up NOT satisfy us no matter what we get or how much we get. You can have anything you want but we are created with endless desires and wants. But why? Or how so? I tell you one thing. Everything that we want is in this world but something that we need is not in this world and until we know or get that we will never be satisfied.

We need God to satisfy us ultimately. We need Him so bad because without Him life is meaningless. Here is the word from Saint Augustine, “Thou hast made us for thyself and our hearts are restless until we find our rest in thee.” We cannot live a satisfied life until we fully satisfied in Him alone first.

My advice to you today: avoid destruction. Slow down! Just pause for a while! Ask some serious questions, where are you going? What are you run after? What makes you want to really live? Put an end to this endless and crazy running! Because there more to life than sleeping, eating, graduating, career, marriage, etc.

You are created in God’s image to have an intimate relationship and to glorify Him by being fully rest in Him and satisfied in Him. Our greatest desire is to know God, to glorify him. Why? Because that’s how we’ve been designed. But the question is, are you living your life for Him?

Eyob B Kassa

4/2/12

The Gospel is Not for Sale

Posted in Christian Life, Eyob B Kassa, Eyob's blog, God, Religion, religon, Theology, Thought of the day on 03/12/2012 by Eyob B Kassa

Salvation: God’s free and undeserving bounty!

The scripture clearly says, “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast” in Ephesians 2:8-9 (ESV). If we don’t understand this basic foundation of the gospel message, then we lose everything. There are no “two paths or more” to be saved, and we cannot be accepted for our “works” because God is the only one who can save Isaiah 63:1. When the scripture says, salvation is free that means it has nothing to do with our works. And if it is free we have no claim; it is just a mere favor. We have absolutely no reason to say that we deserve it because it is God’s favor. And this God’s free gift, salvation is full available through God’s Son Jesus Christ (read Acts 4: 12; John 14: 6; John 10: 9 and so on).

Salvation is not something that any church or a minister can offer; it is God’s offering to anyone who believes in His Son Jesus Christ. Why? Because He (God) is not willing that anyone should perish but that all should come to repentance (2 Pet. 3:9). Everyone is invited; nobody is excluded (Rev. 22:17).

Why is it free? Because if we want to buy our salvation we have nothing to pay, we are bankrupt spiritually (Romans 3: 23 says…for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.) and Isaiah 64:6 also says “We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment. We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.” We cannot save ourselves in any way so we needed a savior. But what was the problem? Why we need a savior any way? Because we all have sinned! Sin is something that we are all guilty of. It is in our nature. It is who we are. As the scripture says in Romans 5: 12 “Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned” By the way, 5:12 The Greek word anthropoi in 5: 12 refers to both men and women; see also verse 18. But you may say, “I am not that bad” or “I haven’t done anything like so and so.” Well, it is neither about the degree nor type of sin that matter, because God doesn’t put degrees on our sin. There is no big or small or there is no this or that type of sin. It is about the fact that we all have sinners and violates God’s law.

Salvation: Free, but not cheap!

Yes, salvation is free and it costs us nothing. But our salvation cost God His only Son, Jesus Christ. Don’t think your salvation is cheap because you received it for free. God as a giver has to pay a price (His Son) to set us free because we are bankrupted (spiritually, morally, etc), with no ability to pay for our salvation. No good deeds of ours CANNOT merit us salvation. As the scripture clearly says, we are spiritually dead in sin and inclined by nature only toward evil all the time,” but God, who is rich in mercy, because of his great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, made us alive together with Christ – by grace you have been saved.”

In 1 Corinthians 6:20, the scripture says, “for you were bought with a price.” For you were bought has an implication. It implies a price.  What price? The price of God’s own Son Jesus Christ. The price of His blood shed on the cross. If you want to know how much your salvation cost God, look at the cross of Jesus and you will understand. “Knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold, from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers,” says the apostle Peter in 1 Peter 1: 18-21 “but with precious blood as of a lamb unblemished and without spot, the blood of Christ.”

As the Israelites were slaves for Pharaoh in Egypt and the LORD brought them out of Egypt with a mighty hand, so were we. We all were enslaved to sin and needed a savior. No ‘hasty evacuation’ this time, but God send His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to save us through His death. Jesus Christ, who is sovereign, glories, and everlasting deity taking upon Himself the form of a servant and willingly suffer the horrible and agonizing death on the cross. His death makes us precious because He bought us with His precious blood.

However, this salvation yet it is free it is not cheap either. The scripture clearly teaches us Jesus is our savior and also The Lord! Jesus died for our sins. He (Jesus) died for all, “that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for HIM” 2 Corinthians 5:14-15. This is not a “secondary effect” of God’s saving grace as many thinks but it is a supreme expression of divine grace. Salvation is God’s ultimate offering through His Son in which we live rightly from the beginning. Salvation is a loving act by nature. Without this loving act, which is salvation, through Jesus Christ, there is no other way that I can live for this loving act in the first place. To be saved means to live for Him.

Salvation: It is free, not cheap; and it is not for sale!

We are coming to the times where the gospel is put on a market like a commodity. The so-called “gospel,” marketing the “new-brand Jesus” to targeted consumers who treating Jesus as some kind of spiritual guru whose teaching is not different from any self-help franchise sold primarily as something to make our life much easier and simpler.  That is a pagan gospel not the gospel of Jesus Christ. Read Hebrews 1:1-2, “God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds.” When Jesus taught or spoke, His words were not ordinary human words, but His words were divine, powerful, graceful and full of authority. In other words, God has made Himself known to us by becoming a man.

The Apostle Paul said, “My speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God” (1 Corinthians 2:4,5). Unfortunately, our evangelical methods are focusing on entreating the truth to a lesser degree that doesn’t offend the sinner as possible as can. But, the message of the gospel is not an invitation to a relaxing life. But doesn’t Christianity offer peace, joy, and abundant life? You bet it does! But whenever we put the message of the gospel to a lower level where it has no effect other than a “self-help message” it leaves multitudes in the “lukewarm” Christianity. They believe but not committed, they become followers but not disciples.

But we are saved by grace to fully commit to Jesus. Possessing saving grace and professing or living out grace goes together. Take one and ignore the other, you will end up like the modern cheap, misguided and ridiculous Christianity that has no power and grace but profess a “user friendly gospel”. Salvation is a gift from God, to live for God, and to walk with God. If salvation is not something we can do, it is not also something we do for God; but it is about what Jesus does.

The message of the gospel, which is Jesus, which is eternal life, is not something that is given to us to sell but to share. And it is not about our effective strategy or invitation, but it is about knowing Him, trusting Him, worshiping Him, loving Him, obeying Him, following Him and proclaiming Him. I am neither against our ambition nor using various mechanisms to spread the gospel. My problem is when we advertising the true message in a way that satisfying the desperate desire of the world, that makes the gospel irrelevant and powerless. I don’t think we have a message problem; our problem is delivering the message in its integrity.

So what are we to do about this? I don’t think I have the answer, but I do know we have the true gospel. The gospel that is powerful to save. The gospel that is powerful to save us from the bondage of sin. But, when the gospel becomes man-centered, when we are more concerned about our needs and wants than God’s glory, we don’t have the gospel of Jesus Christ but a perverted gospel that is miss-directed, miss- focused, and miss-presented.

Look! The gospel may be for us but it is not about us. The Gospel is about JESUS!  Now we do need to be careful here. Yes, God gave us something wonderful, powerful and precious, which is His gospel even though we don’t deserve it. But, because the gospel is free doesn’t mean either it is cheap or for sale. The gospel is the power of God.

Eyob B Kassa

March 12, 2012

Soli Deo Gloria! For the Glory of God Alone

Posted in Christian Life, God, Religion, Theology, Thought of the day on 12/25/2011 by Eyob B Kassa

One of central issues during reformation was the self-aggrandized and improper exultation of worship that was focused on men (saints) rather than the true God. In order to reclaimed the scriptural truth of the sovereignty of God, the reformers, Martin Luther particularly, were viciously engaged with a theological debate and battle with a corrupt, intertwined political and religious system of the time. However, the reformation was not primarily an “overreaction” to the religious system that twisted the understanding of salvation. The primary concern was truth! Truths about God, His saving plan, the gospel and God’s glory.

Truth matters!

As the Westminster Shorter Catechism asks, “What is the chief end of man? Man’s chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy him forever.” Soli Deo Gloria, the Latin term for Glory to God alone clearly shows that God alone is worthy of our worship. God own the supreme power and authority and there is no one greater or important than He. Therefore, He alone is worthy of glory and honor, and praise.

If God is greater, supreme, and important than anyone or anything, He must get ALL the glory! In Isaiah 42:8, the scripture says, “I am the LORD, that is My name; And My glory I will not give to another, Nor My praise to carved images..”  And Isaiah in 48:11 also says “…And I will not give My glory to another.” If our main purpose in this life is not about God’s glory, then God is not for us. God is jealous and stealing His glory or sharing His glory costs!

Why we give Him all the glory? The answer is simple, we were created by Him, and we were created for Him. The apostle Paul in Romans 11: 36 says, “For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen.” As humans make cars for the purpose of transportation, God created us to for His glory. And this is why the New Testament again and again calls us to do all to the glory of God. “Whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Cor. 10:31). But what does it mean we are created for His glory? Does God created us (imperfect beings) to increase His perfect glory? Not at all! One of my favorites Pastor, Pastor John Piper answer this question in this way, “Now when God says that He created us for His glory, it cannot mean that He created us so that He would become more glorious, that His beauty and perfection would be somehow increased by us. It is unthinkable that God should become more perfectly God by making something that is not God. It is a staggering but necessary thought that God has always existed, that He never came into being, and that everything which exists which is not God is from His fullness and can never add anything to Him which did not come from Him. That is what it means to be God; and it should humble us, O, how it should humble us, when we ponder His reality!” 1

Living for the glory of God: A concept that is easy to grasp yet difficult to put into practice

Why it is difficult? As human beings, we have this desire to put ourselves in the center before others. Often times our focus centers around ourselves. We strongly believe we deserve everything. However, living for the glory of God means it is not about you anymore. God’s priority in your life is to receive all the honor, all the praise, and all the glory. This doesn’t mean that God has an ego issue. Not at all! But we do!

Remember what John the Baptist said about Jesus?  Read John 3:30 – “He must increase, but I must decrease.” Why?  Because … it’s all about HIM … NOT about you or me. To live for His glory you must fully surrender to God.

“God is MOST glorified in us when we are MOST satisfied in Him” said Pastor John Piper. When our highest desire is for His glory, we surely satisfied. The end of every man’s living should be to know God and to glorify Him alone. When your ultimate purpose in life is to please Him, to glorify Him, and to enjoy Him (1 Cor. 10: 31) life make sense and there is no greater joy and privilege than to glorify God.

Eyob B Kassa

December 25, 2011

1 John Piper, Pastor, July 27, 1980 (Morning) Bethlehem Baptist Church GOD CREATED US FOR HIS GLORY(Isaiah 43:1-7) www.soundofgrace.com/piper80/072780m.htm Cached – Similar

My thoughts for today: The road to SIN starts in YOUR MIND…!

Posted in A New Begining, A New Beginning In Christ, Christian Life, God, Thought of the day on 11/29/2011 by Eyob B Kassa

The horrifying death of Christ on the cross demonstrates the righteousness of God; it reveals the horrible nature and reality of our sinfulness, and the glorious God who refuses to settle for anything less other than being glorious through His son’s terrible death.

But the question is, if God takes His glory so serious, shouldn’t we?

Sin may look desirable at first, test good at first but no matter who much we fantasize it, how pleasurable it be, it drags us down, brings us shame and finally death.

Sin must be defined according to God’s view and must be seen through God’s eyes. Sin is not doing something wrong, it is not! Sin is an attack on the infinite worth of God’s glory. And God takes sin seriously!

Sin must be seen as your enemy not a friend. You cannot take sin lightly because our sin cost God the death of his only begotten Son.

God is not a passive observer when you sinned. When we sin God grieves. Because He loves you so much He wants you to hate sin but follow righteousness.

Today, avoid those sinful cravings by live according to the Spirit. Romans 8:5, says “Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit Desires.”

Avoid situations, connections, or any attractions that may lead you to making a sinful act. Remember Joseph? He did not only refuse to sin but also run away from it.

Stop playing around sin/temptation like Samson did. Some associations or relations may look harmless but they are the simple step to disobedience. In other words, stop playing with fire. Eventually, either you get burned or you get someone burned.

Avoid being vulnerable. Remember, an empty mind is the devil’s playground.

Meditate on the word of God. As Pastor John Piper beautifully defined it, “The word “meditation” in Hebrew means basically to speak or to mutter. When this is done in the heart it is called musing or meditation. So meditating on the Word of God day and night means to speak to yourself the Word of God day and night and to speak to yourself about it.”

Sin is a “me-first”, and flesh-centered life style and attitude. You can only defeat sin by being governed and controlled by the Spirit. “Walk by the Spirit, and you will not fulfill the lusts of the flesh” (Galatians 5:17). You need to deliberately put the word into your mind and set your mind on the “things of the Spirit.” But this is not a one time action. It must be diligently worked out each and every day.

Eyob B Kassa

November 29, 2011

DON’T LISTEN TO THE DEVIL

Posted in A New Begining, A New Beginning In Christ, Christian Life, God, Religion, Thought of the day on 10/07/2011 by Eyob B Kassa

Don’t listen to the Devil – he is a liar!

The devil is a master of deception, and he is also known as the accuser of brethren (Rev. 12:10). He wants you to pay for something that Jesus has already paid for. He is the father of lies; his goal is to steal, to kill and to destroy (John 10:10). He loves to embarrassing you with your past sin, beat you down with guilt and shame of what you did, and he loves to show how gross your sin looks and how filthy you are. He tries to do this not to help you but destroy you. He is doing this to take your peace, to take your freedom and to dominate and rule your sound mind. But here is the good news, YOU ARE FORGIVEN! YOU ARE ACCEPTED! GOD in His mercy and grace gives you a new life, a new day, a new year, a new purpose and a new path. Don’t allow the devil to bind you up or beat you down with your past. God has a plan for their future and it is awesome.

Don’t listen to the Devil-he is a murderer!

Satan is known in the Scripture as the accuser, the slanderer, the father of lies, the murderer, the deceiver, and the adversary. There is no truth in him whatsoever. He hates truth and does all he can to create doubt upon it (read Gen 3:1). It is the devil who wants you to dwell in your failure and sins, not God. He (the devil) doesn’t want you to understand and acknowledge your God-given purpose in life. As a matter of fact he (the devil) specializes in planting doubt, fear, accusation, despair, intimidation, condemnation, shame, guilt, and regret in out hearts and minds. By doing that he to tries to keep us away from God as much as possible, to show you how much unworthy you are to receive his mercy, and to magnify your past sins and failures and says, “look, Your sin is too big for God to forgive and too much to forget.”

Don’t listen to the Devil – you are forgiven!

My friend, if you confess and repent your sins, no matter how bad they looks, no matter how great your sins, God will fully forgive all of your sins! He says, “I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds NO more” (Hebrews 10:17). And the scripture is also says, there is now “no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus” Romans 8:1. You are now a NEW creation in Christ Jesus, and old things have passed away, and all things become NEW according to 2 Cor. 5:17. God doesn’t look at what you’ve done in the past, he already forgiven you. He doesn’t look back now on your sins or your failures with condemnation, and neither should you. God, your wise and loving Father, holds nothing more against you. God doesn’t want you to be constantly ashamed and regret of your past. God is more concerned about your future than your past. He wants to raise you up, so rise up!

Enjoy your freedom in Christ!

Today, tell the devil that you’ve already been accepted, forgiven and received a new heart and a new mind. Tell him that you are now a new person, a new creation, has a new purpose, peace and sound mind. Tell him you are not going to walk according to the flesh; you are not going to walk in anger, despair, resentment, impurity, bitterness, envy and fear NO MORE!!!

In Jesus Christ, in Him ALONE, you are justified freely Romans 3:24, you are forgiven of all your sins and washed in His Blood Eph 1:7; Heb 9:14; Col 1:14; I John 2:12, I John 1:9, you have passed from death into life John 5:24, you are God’s child for you are born again of the incorruptible seed of the Word of God which lives and abides forever I Peter 1:23, Jesus Christ is in you (John 14: 20), His peace is yours wholly John 14:27, you are no longer need to be a slave to sin, because God has given you His power in Christ to became a vessel to holiness and obedience Romans 6:6, you qualify to be given wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption. I Cor. 1:30, you are a temple of God in which the Spirit of God dwells I Cor. 3:16; Ephesians 4:30, you are holy and blameless in God’s sight.  Eph. 1:4, you have been saved from your sins by grace through faith Eph. 2:8, you have been purified from your former sins and you are now a child of God 1 John 3:2! Amen!!!

My friend, a Christian life is a life of freedom, freedom from any guilt, shame and condemnation. Don’t listen to the devil. Don’t waste your time listening to his lies, because he is the father of lies according to John 8:44. Enjoy your freedom that you have in Christ. You are free, and “If the Son (Jesus) sets you free, you will be free indeed” (John 8: 36).

Eyob B Kassa

October 6, 2011

Be Encouraged in the Lord

Posted in A New Begining, A New Beginning In Christ, Christian Life, God, Relationships, Religion, Theology, Thought of the day on 10/05/2011 by Eyob B Kassa

“David encouraged himself in the Lord his God” 1st Samuel 30:6

Sometimes in life, God doesn’t give you people; instead He gives you a challenge. You go through what you are going through, but you will grow. 

When things go wrong, when everything doesn’t make sense, when the unexpected hits and blows you like a tornado, when your situation gets worse and worse, when you are going through challenge after challenge, …etc what are you going to do at that moment? What do you hold on to? What keeps you sane? Positive? Determined? Peaceful? Joyful?  Etc etc.,

Life is not about surviving, but finding your path and most importantly yourself and your purpose.

A human heart is prone to trouble and the mind is easily discouraged, depressed, and stressed when confronted by a difficult and uncomfortable situation. At that moment our mindset got usually into a negative state, hope start breaking down, peace shuttered, and life start losing its balance, purpose and meaning.

Unless you redirect your focus and reframe your perception about yourself and your situation you will be discouraged and frustrated. At that moment what you are focusing on makes a huge difference. Where your focus is, so are you.

Consider the scenario!

While David and his men had been away from their camp, Amalekites, a longtime enemies of Israel, had swept in, burned everything, and taken the women, children and everything captive. When David and his men came back all that remained was heap of smoking ruins. Everything was gone! Everything was destroyed! It was a terrible loss. As we read in verse four, “David and the people who were with him lifted up their voices and wept, until they had no more power to weep.” Some of the men also spoke of stoning him out of their distress over their families. And at that point, as the scripture says “David encouraged himself in the LORD his God” (verse 6b).

It is always easy to blame someone when tragedy took place. As someone said, “misrey loves company.” When we are on the edge of despair, we tend to blame on someone or something, and that was what these men did. David not only had to deal with his own personal loss (I Samuel 30:5,6a), but he also had to deal with six hundred angry, grief-stricken men.

Everything he had was taken and the rest was burning down. What a loss! But, how did he respond to his situation? Think about that for a moment. As he stood before his burning house what was going on through his mind? How did he handle it? Was there a choice for him at that moment? Of course! 

Friends, life’s circumstances can either make you bitter or better, it’s your choice. Your choice determines the outcome. In the midst of discouragement, David encouraged himself in the Lord. He chose not to be bitter, discouraged, and hopeless. Rather, he took courage and strengthened himself in the Lord His God. When you start looking your situation from a different perspective, when you start encouraging yourself in the Lord, and when you say “NO” to fear, tragedy, loss, disappointment, etc., you see the same situation more precisely and clearly.

Be realistic but keep your focus beyond your situation

Nothing has changed. David’s situation was terrible. Everything he had was gone. His situation looked beyond repair, beyond hope and beyond his strength. His situation was discouraging. He was also surrounded by angry warriors. David had more than a bad that day. The Amalekites had taken everything. But, there was one thing that the Amalekites could not destroy and could not take. There was one thing that they couldn’t stole: his faith in God. The scripture says, “he encouraged himself in the Lord his God.” He didn’t turn to no one but God. His focus was on the Lord.

No matter what you are going through, no one can take your faith from you unless you surrender it. You have an option not to convinced otherwise. But does this mean we deny the reality? Faith is not denial. To deny circumstantial reality in order to maintain a positive faith confession is always has a bad result. But, faith acknowledges and recognizes. True faith courageously faces the reality of any circumstances, situations, problems, giants, mountains, etc., but chooses to see them contrasted to the power and greatness of God.

You cannot deny the reality and say I have faith. Biblical faith isn’t denying the reality, it is the ability to see beyond the reality. Faith is knowledge in action. It is an active trust and confidence NOT on anything but the Lord himself. The scripture commanded us to be strong only in the Lord (Ephesians 6:10). As the matter of fact, “He is the One who gives power and strength to his people.” (Psalm 68:35).

Focus on God’s Promise, Not Your Problems!

Whenever obstacles appear in your life, redirect your focus on God and His promises. When you focus on your problems you will be discouraged but when you focus on God you will be encouraged. In Hebrews 12:1-3 we are encouraged to keep our eyes on Jesus. Then we will not become weary and faint. Ephesians 6:10 urges us “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power”.  One of the best ways you can encourage yourself during a difficult time is remembering who your God is. If you keep on focusing on the situation you will be discouraged, intimidated, fearful, and finally defeated, but when you switch your perspective to God and His ability you will become strong, determined, powerful, and focused. When God is the only source of hope you have, you got all you need. It is not what you see matter but how you see. In a time of adversity, keep your focus on God not your problem because God will bring light out of darkness, peace out of trouble, and all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose (Rom 8:28).

Ziklag is not your final destination but it’s a place of transition

Discouragement is inevitable. Every now and then we collide with a difficult situation that test our strength and faith. Yes, Ziklag may be a place of desperation, tears, and pain but it is also a place of restoration, transition and preparation to get your victory. It is a place where you repositioning yourself to jump into another level. All the disappointments, failures, pain, and struggles you’ve experienced right now will equip you to fulfill your destiny. Ziklag is not a place of rejection but it is a place of transition. Your situation is not your destination. Ziklag is not your final place where you give up all your hope and dream. It must be a place of preparation. It should be a place where you reorganize yourself, your energy, and your thoughts and prepare yourself to go to the next level.

Discouragement doesn’t come from Lord but from the devil. And discouragement can also be a sign that we are walking by sight not by faith. But this doesn’t mean when you walk in faith you will not experience discouraging situations and conditions. There are seasons you experience discouragement, there are times you are facing countless obstacles, and there are levels of challenges that you will experience in this life. But as long as you fix your eyes on Jesus the author and perfector of your faith…” Hebrews 12:2a no matter how much trouble you face, no matter how much you lost, no matter how bad your situation looks, God will restore you and He surely renew your strength.

No matter what you are going through you will never be placed in a situation God cannot handle. God isn’t at work producing the circumstances I want. God is at work in bad circumstances to produce the me he wants. John Ortberg

 Eyob B Kassa

September 30, 2011