Wanted: Friends with Benefits…A friend in deed

“Pastors are some of the loneliest people on the planet… and if  you aren’t a pastor it’s hard to understand that…”  This was taken from Artie Davis’ blog post.  If you want to read it, to get a full understanding, here is the site: http://artiedavis.com/2011/08/05/why-pastors-need-drinking-buddies/#more-6086

 

I have been selected for ordination by my Pastor.  He announced it last Sunday, much to my surprise.  I’m greatly appreciative and deeply humbled by what God is blessing me with yet, I’m a nervous wreck.  See, not since I served in the Army was there a greater responsibility that was placed on me outside of fatherhood.  That being said, I’m now being placed in a place where there will be people that will be coming to me for advice, counsel, encouragement and, yes, venting.  The question that comes to mind now is, “Who can I turn to when I need the same?”  As long as we are here on planet earth, we will need someone in some form or fashion.  Who does the preacher turn to?  Where can he turn when he needs the shoulder to lean on?  Like Artie said, unless you’re in the shoes of a person that has been called by God, you cannot fully understand.  We need a friend with benefits as well as the next person.  Benefits of a listening ear, a pat on the back, a word of encouragement and, most importantly, THE TRUTH!  We don’t always like to hear THE TRUTH but, sometimes, it has to be told and it will make us free.  That’s what Jesus says and I believe it.  I guess what I’m trying to say is, if you have a friend that is really your friend, show them.  Tell them.  Make them know that you fit the qualifications of being a friend.  Sure, you have your own issues and there will be times when you need for your friend to be there with and for you and the need for the truth will need to be heard by you.  But, like the saying goes, “What goes around comes around” will definitely be a benefit to both of you.  You will then be a friend in deed and a friend indeed.

 

Until next time…

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If that’s the case, what’s the problem?

If that’s the case, what’s the problem?

Psalm 27:14

19 God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?

14 Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.

How many of us have ever been afraid?  How many of us have lain awake at night and wondered, “What am I going to do now?”  These are questions that have always been in the back of our minds at some point in our lives.  There have been times where we have been struggling with this or wrestling with that and there have also been times when we have just been plain scared of what is coming around the corner.  When we look at Psalm 27 we can conclude that David was really going through some things.  This Psalm in particular describes a struggle that many of us really would not want to be in the middle of.  Verse 2 shows that his enemies were waiting on him just to come outside the house.  Verse 3 shows that he is also preparing for war.  Verse 10 even says that David may have been having some issues with family.  So, as we can see, David had every right to be scared and afraid.  The bottom line here is that it there will be times that we WILL be scared and we WILL be afraid.  The question we have to ask ourselves is, “Do I have to stay that way?”

When we look at Psalm 27, the first thing it says it to “Wait on the Lord.”  Now we all know that one thing we really dislike in this life is to wait.  There is really no getting around “the wait”.  We get ready to go to work and, the minute we start the car, we either have to wait on the AC or the heater to kick in before we can get in.  When we on driving on these streets, we have to wait for the light to change.  If we’re in a turning lane with no arrow we have to wait for other cars to pass before we can make that left turn.  Whether we’re at home or at Carrabas, the food doesn’t just magically appear after we decide what we want to eat.  We have to wait for it to be cooked to our liking.  For those of us that are in school, the long lines at the registration office most certainly tells us that we have to wait.  We have to wait for test results.  When we are expecting children to be born, we have to wait until Mom’s water breaks.  And, not only that, while we’re growing up, we have to wait on punishment.  We have to wait for responses to job applications, loan applications.  We even have to wait for the commercials to end so that we can get back to our regularly scheduled programming.  In this life, at some point, at some time, WE WILL WAIT.  So, if we have to wait down here and understand that waiting is part of the process, why is it so hard to wait on God?  Why is it so hard to wait on someone that is guaranteed to fulfill his promise?  I thought Isaiah said in chapter 55 verses 10-11:

10 For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: 11 So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.

So, if we know and fully understand that, the new question is, if that’s the case, then what is the problem? The problem lies within the very person that we look at in the mirror.  We get scared because whatever it is we’re waiting for isn’t happening right now.  We’re afraid of what might not happen if we continue to wait because we think the opportunity is passing us by.  In other words, we get all bent out of shape because we’re trying to out-Jesus Jesus!

Psalm 27:14 says to “Wait on the Lord:  Be of good courage…”  We already know that we have to wait.  What David is telling us is there is some cause an effect when it comes to waiting on the Lord.  The cause is to be of good courage.  Courage is something that does not come naturally.  In fact, if you look at the word courage you will this definition:

Courage – the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc., without fear; bravery.

This reminds me of a saying about soldiers of the 82nd Airborne.  When they were asked to define courage, they’re description is simple.  Its men who are afraid but they go anyway.  That’s courage. Being of good courage, however, enables you to face all kinds of difficulties and all sorts of pain without fear but, your mind has to be right.  In order to get your mind right you have to do what Psalm 119:11 says:

11 Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.

That’s where the good courage comes from. But the effect of have having good courage is that it strengthens your heart.  When I say heart I mean that it strengthens your desire.  When I say desire I mean your drive to go and get the blessing God has waiting for you.  You just have to remember that there will be times that God will tell you to WAIT.  The beautiful thing about this is that, while we can be very impatient, God will always keep God’s promises.  Don’t take my word for it. Go to Numbers 23:19:

19 God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?

So, I’ll ask you again, if that’s the case, what’s the problem?  All God is saying is, wait.  He’s telling you to wait, not because He’s trying to see what you’ll say but, what you will do.  He’s saying to wait.

Noah built an Ark but, had to wait 40 days and 40 nights before he stepped out on dry land.

Jonah was on his way to preach but, he had to wait for 3 days in the belly of a fish before he could get to Nineveh

Joshua and the children of Israel were ready to take the city of Jericho but, they had to wait and march around the city 7 times before Jericho would fall.

The woman at the well needed to fill her bucket, but had to wait until Jesus got there in order to get the water of life.

The woman with the issue of blood was healed but, she had to wait 12 LONG years to touch the hem of Jesus’ garment.

Lazarus was already dead but, had to wait 4 days until Jesus said, “Lazarus come forth!”

The world was waiting for a Savior but, had to wait 42 generations before Christ was born.

Man was destined to eternal damnation but, we had to wait 3 days before Jesus stepped out on resurrection ground with all power in his hands.

The blessings are coming. In fact, the blessings are already here.  God wants you to get yourself prepared.  He already said that he would do it. So, if that’s the case, what’s the problem?