Sunday, March 19, 2017

Starting Fresh

Overcome or be Overcome Part 2

There is always something hopeful about starting fresh isn't there?  It just seems to give us a new perspective on things.  Like shaking off the dust, or turning a new leaf, or cleaning the slate; either way, a new week, or day, or moment, means a new beginning. Sometimes, that's exactly what we need to overcome what lies behind as well as what lies ahead.

In last weeks letter, we spoke about the profound perspective Paul and Silas had adopted to overcome the terrible situation they had found themselves in.  They chose to shake off the issue of the injustice done to them and instead, dwell on a completely different one - the good and merciful character of their God - and the results were staggering!

Paul and Silas PRAYED and PRAISED.  That's a pretty good pattern to follow. Regardless of whether our trouble or conflicting circumstance is self inflicted or not, the fact that we are willing to take on a new perspective is the very best place to begin.  This new perspective involves surrendering everything to God and seeking out His wisdom and mercy.  PRAYERFULLY, laying an issue down before the Lord, even repenting, if necessary, of any self induced mistakes, is an excellent plan of action. Choosing His wisdom over our own lack of it, will change everything, and bring fresh, new hope in its wake.

When we pray, listening for His wisdom is essential.  God's Spirit and His Word will always give us the wisdom we need to overcome, every time. But sometimes, before we can hear or see it clearly, we need to wipe away the clouds of despair and worry that easily cause us to be overwhelmed and overcome.

That's where PRAISE comes in! Deciding to place our focus on Who the Lord Jesus is and not on our own brokenness, is what empowers us to overcome and not be overcome by our circumstances. We can choose to get caught up in the glorious hope we have in the person of Jesus Christ, as we praise Him from the depths of our hearts, in spite of the trouble or circumstances.

Since the presence of God inhabits our praises, our choosing to glorify Him, brings His glory and power straight into the heart of our circumstance.  God's power on the job, will overpower every fearful thought and supernaturally, turn our 'mourning' of the situation into dancing.  It will destroy the enemies power over our situation, and whatever was construed or set up as a trap for our downfall, will be turned around as an opportunity to see the glory of God in action.

Just like Paul and Silas, we will stand back and declare with all surety, there was no natural way things could have turned out the way they did - but the goodness and glory of God was ushered into the heart of the impossible situation that seemed to have no promise of a solution.  Like an earthquake in the middle of the night, it shook the very foundation of what was intended for our destruction and brought a victory that can be attributed to God alone.

Now that's what I call a happy ending!  It all begins with a decision to start fresh - with a new perspective of PRAYER and PRAISE.  We may never have to face the kind of life threatening ordeals Paul and Silas had to face, yet their perspective gives us wisdom to face every challenge the right way.  

This is a good week to start fresh!

Love you dearly,


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