Actively Waiting on God

Posted: December 14th, 2015 | Author: Gregg Stutts | Filed under: Difficulties, Relationships, Truth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

 Actively Waiting on God

20 Days of Believing God (Day 10)

Yesterday, we looked at the wrong ways to wait on God. Today, let’s look at how to do it right.

I knew a guy a number of years ago who was an ultra-marathon runner. Those are the 100-mile races. He and I got into a fitness discussion one day and he was explaining his workout schedule to me. There didn’t appear to be any rest days, so I asked him about it.

He said his rest days consisted of going to the athletic club and riding a stationary bike. He called it “active rest.” He and I defined “rest” very differently! My rest days include naps, not riding a bike!

Waiting on God is more like getting on the bike than on the couch though. It’s active.

We pray. We read His word. We seek counsel. We worship. We serve. We live in community with others who are believing God. We continue doing the last thing He showed us to do.

We actively wait. We don’t just sit around and hope things get better.

My wife, Robyn, is a great example of this. She does an amazing job leading the ministry of Young Life in Northwest Arkansas. She has an incredible staff team and around a hundred committed college students who serve as volunteer leaders. Ministry is occurring on the University of Arkansas campus and in several nearby towns as a result of their work.

Robyn works hard and prays even harder for God to fund the budget, open doors of opportunity and raise up more volunteers. This is active waiting. It’s doing what she knows to do while also waiting for God and trusting Him to provide new opportunities and needed funds.

You have a different set of circumstances.

You’re trying to repair a broken relationship.

Medical test after medical test hasn’t revealed the cause of your symptoms.

You’ve tried to sell your house, but the offers aren’t coming.

You’ve tried to find the right job, but things never seem to work out.

Active waiting is refusing to give into the five destructive waiting behaviors we looked at yesterday while continuing to seek and believe God. I know it’s not easy. I’ve failed many, many times.

Know that God is at work in your circumstances. Right now. He has a purpose behind the waiting. When the time is right, the waiting will end and you will enter a new season.

In the meantime…keep seeking, believing and doing what you know to do.

Let me take a moment and talk to those of you waiting for a change in your marriage. You know there are issues. Maybe some serious ones. You’ve talked to your spouse. You’ve prayed. But nothing has changed.

Allow me to suggest that part of your active waiting be to work through THIS COURSE together that I released a couple weeks ago. These proven principles will be the best active waiting you’ve ever done for your marriage.  CLICK HERE for more information…and begin seeing your marriage transformed. (The price goes up soon, so don’t wait.)

“And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6)


The Desert Comes Before the Promised Land

Posted: December 12th, 2015 | Author: Gregg Stutts | Filed under: Difficulties, Relationships, Truth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

 The Desert Comes Before the Promised Land

20 Days of Believing God (Day icon cool The Desert Comes Before the Promised Land

After Jesus was baptized we read, “Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil.”

After Paul’s conversion on the road to Damascus, he preached there, but then went into Arabia for several years. The origin of the word Arabia can also mean “desert.”

After Moses killed an Egyptian, he fled to the land of Midian where he stayed for 40 years. Midian? It’s right next to Arabia.

Before God led the Israelites into the Promised Land, Moses said to them:

“Remember how the LORD your God led you all the way in the desert these forty years, to humble you and to test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands. He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your fathers had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD.”  (Deuteronomy 8:2-3)

We know that after Jesus was in the desert for 40 days, He went on to call His first disciples and begin His public ministry.

After Paul’s season in the desert, he began his mission of taking the gospel to the Gentiles.

Moses spent 40 years in the desert before God called him back to Egypt to lead His people into the land He’d promised to them.

I don’t think Jesus, Paul, Moses or the nation of Israel loved the desert. I know I don’t. And I’m sure you don’t either. Unless of course, there’s a resort in the middle of it.

The desert is a prerequisite though. It’s a training ground for for whatever God is calling us to do next.

God is up to something in your life. He has you in the desert for a reason. He wants to reveal Himself to you. He wants to teach you. He wants to humble you. He wants you to know you don’t live on bread alone, but on every Word He speaks. He is the One who is causing you to hunger and He is the One who is feeding you.

The desert won’t last forever. God uses it for a season and then brings you into a land of fruitfulness. If you don’t experience the desert, then You will not be prepared for how He will bless you and use you in the future.

Hold on. Don’t quit. God is at work. He will lead you out at just the right time. Keep your eyes on Him and trust Him.

The desert comes before the Promised Land.


What Does God Want?

Posted: December 10th, 2015 | Author: Gregg Stutts | Filed under: Difficulties, Relationships, Truth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

 What Does God Want?

20 Days of Believing God (Day 6)

Last weekend, my right eye was watery and bloodshot. Then I felt a mild sore throat coming on. Then some congestion. And by Tuesday night, my eye was fine, but my throat was not. Mildly sore had become severely sore. I didn’t get much sleep that night and didn’t get much work done yesterday. Including a post for day 5 of our 20 Days of Believing God.

After a trip to my doctor, I’m already starting to feel better, but not getting a post done for your yesterday is probably a good reminder…

We can make all the plans we want, but we’re just not in control…and our plans are rarely, if ever, the point.

We can get frustrated when things don’t go our way, but maybe when they don’t, they’re actually going exactly as God intended. Maybe being sick when you feel like you can least afford it is God’s way of saying, “I’m not dependent on your work to meet your needs. I’ve already got this!” Or maybe, “Why don’t you slow down for a moment so you’ll hear My voice?”

I’m not saying God is going around making us sick, but I sure do believe He can use our sickness or failure or confusion to get through to us…if we’re open to Him.

So what’s not going right in your world today?

Did you oversleep and miss a meeting?

Open an email and discover you’re late on a payment?

Did your baby poop or throw up on you…right after getting both of you dressed?

Was it an argument with your spouse before you even had your first cup of coffee?

What’s confusing you or frustrating you today?

Whatever it is you’ve already faced, are facing now or will face later today…remember that the One who made you and loves you is never taken by surprise by your frustrating day, your messed up plans or the vomit stain on your shoulder.

So if God isn’t making all our plans succeed or making everyday go smoothly for us…let’s remember what’s really going on.

Let’s not lose sight of the simple fact that God wants you. Not your plans. Not your work. Not your promises to do better.

He wants YOU.

He desires you. He longs for you. He watches and waits for you. He enjoys the time you spend with Him. He loves it when you talk to Him while you drive or go for a walk. He delights in you. He enjoys you.

He didn’t make anyone else just like you. He wanted a unique relationship with YOU.

And He wants you to love Him and know Him. He likes it when you seek Him. He enjoys it when you believe Him…not your out-of-control circumstances.

And He invites you to experience Him and His rest today. Right now. In Matthew 11:28-30, Jesus said:

“Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”

That’s a wonderful invitation, isn’t it?

But let’s not miss our part, because if we do, I’m afraid we never get to experience what He’s promising.

We must come to Him and take His yoke upon us. When we do, He promises rest, He promises to teach us and He promises to give us a light burden.

To experience all He has for us, we must say “no” to all the distractions, so we can say “yes” to time with Him. Time alone with Him in His word is what allows us to learn to think like Him, to see life like He does, to know Him better so we can trust Him more.

And then what a privilege to also take our heavy burdens and give them to Him. Our financial worries. Our health issues. Our broken relationships.

“Here, Jesus, I’ve been carrying these for too long. I really don’t think I can take another step with them.”

I will never suggest this easy. If you’re like me, you give your burdens to Jesus, but take them back when you don’t see Him doing anything with them. We can know He’ll do something with them…it just won’t look like what we would have done OR when! And we need to be okay with that, because what we get in return are peace and a light burden.

So what’s ONE thing you can do right now to intentionally come to Jesus and give Him your heavy burdens? If you have an accountability partner, talk about it together.

And I’ll see you tomorrow. I think. That’s the plan anyway.


Is God Really Good?

Posted: December 7th, 2015 | Author: Gregg Stutts | Filed under: Difficulties, Relationships, Truth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

 Is God Really Good?

20 Days of Believing God (Day 3)

I had an appointment one day to meet a friend for lunch. It turned out he forgot about the appointment, but it gave me a chance to talk with one of the servers I knew. As we talked, she told me about her son and how he’d turned his back on God.

Her son was angry, because of some difficult circumstances that had occurred in his life. He was blaming God and feeling like God had let him down.

Can you relate to his feelings?

I can.

I’ve gone through some hard times where nothing I did seemed to work. Difficult circumstances got worse, not better. When I was sure things couldn’t get worse…they did. I felt not only humbled, but humiliated.

I got angry. At God. I thought I was doing everything I knew to do to walk by faith and please Him. Rather than blessing me for it, He seemed to delight in making things harder.

I was angry. Very angry. It didn’t stop there though.

My anger turned to bitterness. My heart was filled with it. It infected my thoughts, my feelings and my words. My relationship with God suffered. My influence for God suffered. There was more though.

The anger and bitterness turned to cynicism. I no longer trusted God. I didn’t believe He really had my best interests in mind. That being the case, I saw no reason to trust Him. He wasn’t going to come through anyway. So what was the sense? I concluded that the best thing to do was to simply lower my expectations of Him. If I didn’t expect much then I couldn’t be disappointed.

That period in my life was over fifteen years ago, but I can still feel those emotions surface once in awhile. It’s kind of like having a virus that lies dormant for years, then becomes active again.

As long as we’re being honest, I have to confess I still wrestle with those feelings. Sometimes the virus rears its ugly head and really takes a toll on my faith.

Maybe you can relate. You might be in a season like that now. If so, let me suggest you meditate on these two verses today.

“As for God, His way is perfect; the word of the Lord is flawless.”  (Psalm 18:30)

“For the Lord is good and His love endures forever; His faithfulness continues through all generations.” (Psalm 100:5)

God’s ways are perfect. I may not understand them. I may not even like them. But it doesn’t change the fact that they’re perfect. He’s also good, loving and faithful.

We’ve got to view our circumstances through that lens. We can’t view God’s character through the lens of our circumstances. He won’t look very good and we’ll only feel confused.


20 Days of Believing God

Posted: December 5th, 2015 | Author: Gregg Stutts | Filed under: Difficulties, Relationships, Truth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

 20 Days of Believing God

Maybe I’m the only one who needs this, but I suspect I’m not. If you need it too, then I invite you to join me.

In believing God.

For 20 days. Between now and Christmas. Or whenever you can join us.

So what are we going to believe?

Well, let’s start with what we’re NOT going to believe.

NOT our circumstances. The disappointing medical report. The balance in our checking account. The current condition of our marriage. The strained relationship with a child. The threat of a lay-off.

NOT our feelings. Worry. Fear. Anxiety. Insecurity. Inferiority. Doubt. Discouragement. Despair.

NOT the news. Terrorism threats. National debt. Violent crimes.

NOT the opinions of others.

NOT our own negative self-talk. “I’ve failed.” “I’ll never make it.” “This will never work.” “I’m not good enough.”

Instead…

Let’s start by believing God is good, faithful and loving and that He is for us.

“If God is for us, who can ever be against us? Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else? I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.” (Romans 8:31-32, 38)

Let’s believe that no matter what we’re facing that God is at work in our lives for our good. That He is for us, not against us. That He is bringing about His perfect plan in our lives. That nothing will ever separate us from His love.

If you’re like me…it’s a battle. Everyday. Every moment sometimes. To believe God and not what I see or hear or feel.

It’s worth the fight though. God is pleased by faith. He moves in response to it. We experience Him when we believe Him.

In addition to believing His character, there may be something else you’re believing Him for. A health issue? A financial need? A solution for a struggling marriage? Wisdom for an upcoming decision?

Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, you will ask the Father directly, and he will grant your request because you use my name. You haven’t done this before. Ask, using my name, and you will receive, and you will have abundant joy.” (John 16:23-24)

What will you ask God to do over these 20 days? What you believe Him for?

I can’t guarantee things will work out like you want. I CAN guarantee this won’t be easy. The moment you choose to be intentional about believing God and being grateful for who He is and what He’s already done for you…you’ll encounter resistance. Opposition. A thousand reason to not believe Him.

Don’t quit though. Keep believing. Choose to believe that His plan is better than yours.

If you want to join me, I encourage you to grab a partner. Find someone you can do this with. It’s really tough to go it alone. Check back each day for encouragement to keep believing or you can subscribe to new posts in the sidebar box.

On another note, my new video marriage course is on sale through midnight on Saturday. CLICK HERE for more info.


What Do You Do When You Feel Like Quitting?

Posted: December 1st, 2015 | Author: Gregg Stutts | Filed under: Difficulties, Relationships, Truth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

Before I get to the post, I want to let you know about my new video course, “How to Understand Your Spouse and Transform Your Marriage.” It’s on sale until the end of the week. I want to ask you to imagine what it would be like to wake up on Christmas morning, not only excited about family and presents, but knowing your marriage is better than it’s ever been and you’ve never been so in love with one another. I’ve put this course together to help you understand one another in a way that leads to seeing your marriage transformed in a short amount of time. Click here to check it out. Now on to the post…

Do you ever get to the point where you’ve had enough? I mean really had enough. Like you’ve given it your best shot, but it just didn’t work out?

Maybe you feel that way about your marriage. Or a relationship with one of your kids. Or someone you’ve been dating. Or the business you started.

And do you ever feel like you’ve given it your all, but God didn’t come through the way you thought He would? You did all you knew to do…worked hard, prayed even harder, walked by faith and anticipated God’s blessings.

And then you waited patiently. And you waited. And waited.

And you’re still waiting.

And have you ever looked around at others and wondered why things seem to be going so well for them? Why is God blessing them, but not you? They don’t seem to be smarter or more talented than you. They don’t even trust God the way you do.

And yet, they seem to be enjoying the success that keeps alluding you.

Now what?

What do you do when the doubt creeps in, the anxiety takes over and you feel like you’ve exhausted all your options? What do you do when quitting feels like your only choice?

I’ll be honest…I can relate to those feelings. And there are no easy answers to those questions.

In Lamentations 3, Jeremiah is recounting an awful time in his life. Click here to read the entire chapter. Here are verses 19 to 27:

19 The thought of my suffering and homelessness
is bitter beyond words.
20 I will never forget this awful time,
as I grieve over my loss.
21 Yet I still dare to hope
when I remember this:

22 The faithful love of the Lord never ends!
His mercies never cease.
23 Great is his faithfulness;
his mercies begin afresh each morning.
24 I say to myself, “The Lord is my inheritance;
therefore, I will hope in him!”

25 The Lord is good to those who depend on him,
to those who search for him.
26 So it is good to wait quietly
for salvation from the Lord.
27 And it is good for people to submit at an early age
to the yoke of his discipline

The chapter hinges on verse 21 which begins with that little three-letter word, “yet.”

Things are awful…yet.

You don’t know how you’re going to make it…yet.

You’ve never been this discouraged…yet.

You see no way things can get better…yet.

Yet you can still dare to hope. Why?

Because you remember His love never ends. His mercies never cease. His faithfulness is great. He is good to those who depend on Him, to those who search for Him.

God sees you. Right now. In this very moment of fear and worry and anxiety. In this moment of disappointment and despair. He knows what you’re feeling. He understands your heartache.

He hasn’t forgotten you. He knows what He’s doing. The pain and confusion won’t be wasted.

Later in the chapter, Jeremiah says:

54 The water rose over my head,
and I cried out, “This is the end!”

(Can you relate?)

55 But I called on your name, Lord,
from deep within the pit.
56 You heard me when I cried, “Listen to my pleading!
Hear my cry for help!”
57 Yes, you came when I called;
you told me, “Do not fear.”

If it feels like the water is rising over your head and you’re deep within the pit…call out to Him again. Do it now. He’s listening.

I know it’s hard, but don’t give up. Don’t quit. Keep going. Keep crying out to Him.

And then listen as He whispers to you, “Do not fear.”


How Bad is it Really?

Posted: July 4th, 2015 | Author: Gregg Stutts | Filed under: Difficulties, Relationships, Truth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

How would you feel if you learned there was a meteor ten miles wide on a collision course with earth and scientists were predicting an almost 100% chance of a direct hit in three days that would essentially end life as we know it?

Or how would you feel if you worked for months and months on a political campaign and after the votes were counted, the candidate you worked so hard for lost?

Or how would you feel if when you went to work each day there was a group of people who did nothing but criticize and insult you and tell you your ideas were bad and your plans had no chance of success?

I can tell you how I’d feel. Scared. Discouraged. Anxious. Worried. Hopeless.

Now what if the calculations were wrong and the meteor was never on a collision course? What if you turned off the television before all the votes were counted and your candidate actually won? What if your idea was good and your plans were solid and you knew your competitor sent those people?

Here’s the problem…even if something isn’t true, if you believe it is, you will still be plagued by negative emotions. Reality may be very different than what you believe, but if you don’t know it, then you’re stuck believing a lie. The truth changes everything though.

Imagine the joy of learning the meteor is millions of miles away, your candidate won and your idea is so good you’re getting a promotion and a raise.

This morning, I read a passage in Ezekiel about false prophets. Here’s one of the verses that stuck out to me:

You have discouraged the righteous with your lies, but I didn’t want them to be sad. And you have encouraged the wicked by promising them life, even though they continue in their sins. (Ezekiel 13:22)

Then I read a passage in John 8 where Jesus is speaking of Satan:

He was a murderer from the beginning. He has always hated the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies.

And then I was reminded of the account in Nehemiah where they are working hard to rebuild the wall around Jerusalem. Israel’s enemies are relentless in trying to discourage them from continuing the work. But Nehemiah says:

“There is no truth in any part of your story. You are making up the whole thing.” They were just trying to intimidate us, imagining that they could discourage us and stop the work. So I continued the work with even greater determination. (Nehemiah 6:8-9)

And finally, I thought about this verse:

We know that we are children of God and that the world around us is under the control of the evil one. (1 John 5:19)

So all of this got me thinking. What if things aren’t as bad as we think? Yeah, I know the world is a messed up, broken place, but what if there are many more people in the world who are working for what’s good and right than we think?

Could it be that a very small minority of well-placed people in influential positions could cause mass fear and discouragement? If you don’t think so, listen to a politician or just turn on the news.

I don’t mean to sound like a conspiracy theorist, but then again, maybe I do.

Conspiracy: an evil, unlawful, treacherous, or surreptitious plan formulated in secret by two or more persons; plot. A combination of persons for a secret, unlawful, or evil purpose.

Our enemy is evil and he’s a liar who works to discourage God’s people. If he can get us to believe we’re defeated…then we will be.

What if it’s time to start a movement of people who will choose to believe the truth and pray for truth to be revealed?

Would you be interested in being a part of it?

Let me know.

By the way, the wall around Jerusalem was rebuilt in 52 days.


Expectations of God and Life

Posted: May 20th, 2015 | Author: Gregg Stutts | Filed under: Difficulties, Relationships, Truth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

20351974 s 300x176 Expectations of God and Life

Years ago, I heard it said, “Life wouldn’t be so hard if we didn’t expect it to be so easy.”

Apparently I wasn’t listening well enough. That one expectation may be the source of more of my aggravation and disappointment than anything else in my life. On second thought, there’s no reason to include the words “may be” in that sentence. Let’s replace them with the word “is.”

My default setting is to expect things to always go well. As in easy. As in my favor. As in without struggle.

Where did I get that idea from? It’s not even close to reality. It’s certainly not found in the Bible. There’s nowhere in all of Scripture where God promises a life of ease and comfort. In fact, the opposite is true. We’re promised hardships and trials and suffering.

Yesterday, we looked at Israel’s trek through the wilderness and how after a little over a year, they were whining and complaining about their conditions. They missed the food they had in Egypt. They were tired of manna and wanted some meat.

Even Moses started griping at God. He ended his little rant with, “If this is how You intend to treat me, just go ahead and kill me. Do me a favor and spare me this misery!”

I understand how Moses felt. Don’t you?

Moses expected it to be easier. He thought they were headed to the Promised Land. Instead, they’re camped in the wilderness. If you’re a mom of young children, you know how frustrating it can be when they’re whining and complaining. Moses had two million of them to deal with.

After making their way to the edge of the Promised Land, they send spies in to scout out the land and bring back a report. The spies tell of a great land, but also strike fear in the hearts of the people by telling them they’ll never be able to defeat the nations already in the land. That’s when God sends Israel back into the wilderness as punishment.

Fast forward forty years…

Moses says to the nation of Israel:

Be careful to follow every command I am giving you today, so that you may live and increase and may enter and possess the land the Lord promised on oath to your ancestors. 2 Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the wilderness these forty years, to humble and test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands. 3 He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord. 4 Your clothes did not wear out and your feet did not swell during these forty years. 5 Know then in your heart that as a man disciplines his son, so the Lord your God disciplines you.

I’ve seen this pattern in my life and in the lives of others. God begins to change your circumstances. Maybe it’s a new job. Or a new relationship. Or a new place to live. Everything looks great! God has answered your prayers!

But often times, there’s a wilderness between where you’ve been and where God is leading you. And there are lessons to be learned there before moving on. God humbles us. He tests us. He causes us to hunger and then feeds us. He’s teaching us that we can trust Him. He’s disciplining us and training us for our own good and for greater fruitfulness.

My problem is forgetting that. I expect things to be easy. I fail to remember there’s often a wilderness to cross first.

Are you in a wilderness? If so, don’t lose heart. God’s at work. He’s not planning to abandon you where you are now. He’s bringing you through this difficult season to prepare you for what’s ahead, to reveal Himself to you and to teach you that you can count on Him no matter what you’re facing.


Aggravated With God

Posted: May 19th, 2015 | Author: Gregg Stutts | Filed under: Difficulties, Truth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

38999995 s 300x198 Aggravated With God

It’s been over a year since Israel left Egypt. They’ve camped at Mt. Sinai, received the law and now they’re on the move. They know when to move and when to stay because God leads them through the pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night. The cloud or the fire are always visible.

God also provides food for them every morning. The manna appears on the ground with the dew. They gather what they need, grind it up and bake it like flat cakes.

Wouldn’t you think these people would be in awe? Wouldn’t you think they’d be blown away after seeing all the plagues God sent in Egypt, how He parted the Red Sea and how He’s been leading and providing for them in the desert? Wouldn’t you think?

Well, they’re not in awe. Or blown away. In fact, they’ve had enough already. And they’ve started complaining.

I’d like to ask them what in the world they were thinking when they started complaining, but I don’t need to. I can just ask me. I’m them. I totally get where they’re coming from.

In Numbers 11, they’re complaining about their hardships, so God sends a fire into the outskirts of the camp. They scream for Moses to help and after he prays, the fire stops. But some of them die.

Then some of the foreigners traveling with Israel start reminiscing about the good old days in Egypt when they had all the delicious food they wanted. Well this gets some of the Israelites stirred up again and they start complaining again.

Moses can hear the people complaining, so then he gets in on it. Here’s the account in Numbers 11:10-15…

10 Moses heard all the families standing in the doorways of their tents whining, and the Lord became extremely angry. Moses was also very aggravated. 11 And Moses said to the Lord, “Why are you treating me, your servant, so harshly? Have mercy on me! What did I do to deserve the burden of all these people? 12 Did I give birth to them? Did I bring them into the world? Why did you tell me to carry them in my arms like a mother carries a nursing baby? How can I carry them to the land you swore to give their ancestors? 13 Where am I supposed to get meat for all these people? They keep whining to me, saying, ‘Give us meat to eat!’ 14 I can’t carry all these people by myself! The load is far too heavy! 15 If this is how you intend to treat me, just go ahead and kill me. Do me a favor and spare me this misery!”

Can you relate? I can.

Moses didn’t ask for this. He didn’t want to be God’s spokesman to Pharaoh. He didn’t want to lead all these people. He didn’t ask for this trouble.

And yet, here he is. Right in the middle of a big old mess trying to lead a couple million complainers through a desert.

I counted them. He asks God seven questions. Are any of them familiar to you? They sure are to me.

Why are you treating me, your servant, so harshly?”

What did I do to deserve…?”

Did I…?”

Did I…?”

Why did You tell me…?”

How can I…?

Where am I supposed to…?”

Moses isn’t a little frustrated. He’s aggravated. Very aggravated. I get it. I would be too. To be honest, I’m aggravated about far less than that right now. And I’ve got some of those same questions for God.

What about you?

Are you aggravated with your circumstances and with God?

Maybe you’re wondering why God is treating you the way He is. Or what you did to deserve the situation you’re in. You’re wondering why God told you to do the things He did and why things are falling down around you. And now you’re trying to figure out how to fix the problem God has gotten you into. So you’re looking around for help or answers you need and can’t find any.

I’m right in there with you if you’re going through a hard season. And you and I are in good company. Moses struggled too.

More thoughts tomorrow…

By the way, if one of your aggravations is your marriage, then let me encourage you to check out my FREE video by clicking here.


Freak Out or Faith?

Posted: April 14th, 2015 | Author: Gregg Stutts | Filed under: Difficulties, Relationships, Truth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

 Freak Out or Faith?

How do you respond in a crisis? I don’t mean your first reaction. No one does well when the phone rings at 2:00 a.m. I’m talking about your second reaction. After you’ve had a little time to process.

Do you panic? Feel overwhelmed? Worry? Get anxious? Are you filled with fear? Or dread?

Or maybe you respond well. You pray, assess the situation and take action. Instead of fear, you respond with faith. You might feel powerless, but that drives you to pray.

How do you respond?

In Luke 8:22-56, there are a number of people who are facing a crisis of one kind or another. Some are in fear of their lives. Some are facing serious health issues. And it’s fascinating to see how they respond and then how Jesus responds to them. Click here to read the passage.

The first group of people we see are the disciples. They’re out on the lake in a boat when a fierce storm hits. The boat was filling with water and they were in real danger. How do they respond to the crisis?

They freak out by waking Jesus up and shouting, “Master, Master, we’re going to drown!”

Jesus calms the storm and then asks, “Where is your faith?”

When they arrive at the other side of the lake, a demon-possessed man approaches Jesus just as He’s getting out of the boat. This guy was homeless, naked and had lived alone in the cemetery for a long time. The demons have a crisis on their hands. The Son of the Most High God has just shown up. How do they respond?

They freak out, too. They beg Jesus not to send them to the bottomless pit, but to instead allow them to go into a herd of pigs. Jesus gives them permission and they enter the pigs. The herd then rushes over a steep cliff into the lake and drowns.

The people of that region hear what has happened and rush out to Jesus. When they see the man who’d been demon-possessed sitting there, fully clothed and in his right mind, they face a crisis. Something powerful and mysterious has just occurred and they don’t understand it. How do they respond?

They freak out, of course. They’re afraid of Jesus and beg Him to leave. The one person who isn’t freaked out is the guy who’s been made well. He begs to go with Jesus, but Jesus tells him to go home to his family and tell them all God has done for him.

Jesus gets back in the boat and heads to the other side of the lake again. When He arrives crowds press around Him, including a guy named Jairus who’s 12-year-old daughter is dying. How does he respond to his crisis?

He believes Jesus can heal her begs Him to come with him. Jesus agrees to go with him, but then gets sidetracked by a woman in crisis. She’s been bleeding for twelve years without relief. Nothing she has tried has cured her. How does she respond?

She believes that if she can just touch the cloak Jesus is wearing, she’ll be healed. And she is. Jesus says, “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace.”

While Jesus is speaking with her, word comes to Jairus that his daughter has died. But Jesus says to him, “Don’t be afraid. Just have faith, and she will be healed.”

When Jesus arrives at his home, He tells the mourners to stop weeping because the little girl is only asleep. They all know she’s really dead and so they respond by laughing at Jesus. Of course, Jesus gets the last laugh when He brings her back to life.

Let’s recap…

The disciples face a crisis and freak out. Jesus asks them where there faith is.

The demons face a crisis and freak out because they know who Jesus really is. He exercises His authority over them and drives them out of the man, who is then healed and sane again.

The people of that region face a crisis and freak out in fear and beg Jesus to leave, which He does.

The man who was now free of the demons demonstrates faith by begging to go with Jesus.

The woman who’d been bleeding for twelve years faces a crisis and exercises her faith and experiences healing. She goes in peace.

Jairus faces a crisis when he realizes his daughter is dying. He has faith in Jesus and begs Him to come heal her, which He does.

The mourners face a crisis by laughing at Jesus. The gospel of Mark tells us Jesus made them leave the house before he raised the little girl to life. Could they have witnessed the miracle themselves if only they’d had faith like Jairus?

What’s your crisis today?

Is it financial? Health-related? A troubled marriage or relationship with a child? An issue at work? Maybe you’re overwhelmed by the state of the world.

You and I really have two choices. We can focus on the circumstances we’re in and freak out OR we can focus on Jesus, exercise faith in Him and experience His joy and peace.

I don’t know what Jesus will do in response to your faith. I wish I could tell you the crisis will be immediately resolved. That probably won’t happen. And I wish I could tell you it will be easy to focus on Jesus and trust Him. It won’t be.

Keeping your eyes on Jesus and trusting Him will require diligence. Your circumstances will cry out for your undivided attention. Whatever situation you’re in will feel more real than Jesus does.

But don’t give up. Make the choice to see your circumstances through the eyes of Jesus. Know beyond any doubt there’s nothing too hard for Him. Bring Jesus into the midst of your fears, worries and weaknesses. He sees. He understands. And He’s at work right now.