Posts Tagged 'stress'

Learning from Luke: Road Trip

Please note: this is the LAST in the series through the Gospel of Luke this year. I’ll be taking a week off while I’m at our NACCC Annual Meeting, and then we’ll have a new series based on little-known characters in Scripture: The JV Team.
Learning from Luke: Road Trip Sermon Audio Here

Luke 24:13-27

Last Sunday, there was yet another terrorist attack on US soil; how do we cope so that we can help?

Challenges in Unexpected Stress

Get Confused by Circumstances
Luke 24:13-18 – our responses can be bewildered by events

  • v13/14 Bewildered Response: mourning and confused
  • v15/16 BR: we often don’t recognize Jesus among us
  • v17/18 BR: downcast face=very little hope when we don’t see God at work

Know Content, But Forget Context
Luke 24:19-24 – our view can become limited by stress

  • v19 Limited View: a powerful prophet; truth: Living Word
  • v20/21 LV: possible Messiah; truth: Redeeming Lord
  • v22/24 LV: missing person; truth: Risen and Glorified

Choose to Center in the Circumstances
Luke 24:25-27 – to remind ourselves of God’s role in it all

  • v25 trust God’s word
  • v26 remember God’s reasons
  • v27 search the Scriptures

God’s role is to rule; our role is to cooperate with His reign in our lives.

A Prayer After A Storm

I wrote this prayer years ago, in the aftermath of a hurricane. I found it this week as my family was cleaning out some old boxes, and I thought it might be worth sharing.

Infinite and Sovereign Lord, we ask that You would hear our prayer. We know You are aware of the longings of our hearts, the fears of our souls, the questions in our minds, and the faint nature of our spirits. Hear us from Heaven and speak deeply to our soul. Reassure us of Your infinite love as our finite minds so often lose sight of Your character, Your strength, Your wisdom, Your love, Your power, Your glory, and Your plan.

When the winds blow and the rains come down, we often take our cue from weather reports rather than take refuge in Your unchanging hand. Forgive us, Lord, when we cling to our fear, instead of trusting in Your heart. You know we are concerned about the storms of life, and we ask that You would calm the wind and the waves; let us not lose sight of You in the midst of the storm. We love You; we trust You; and we grasp the grace that You provide, even in the eye of calamity.

We offer up our praise because of how You have blessed us. We thank You for how You shower us with good and perfect gifts. We see Your provision in who You bring into our family. Thank You for the birth of children into loving families, and Lord, we ask that You bring new life into our church family as well. Lord, by Your sovereign will, graft new sons and daughters into Your faith family. We trust You to provide a place where Your people can grow and flourish.

Above all, Lord, break us and shape us so that we can be like Christ. As we share in His suffering, sculpt our hearts into what You would have us to be. It’s Your plan; it’s Your will. Have us pray like Jesus: not our will, but Yours be done. Hear us as we beg Your will be made known in us, and with one voice we say together, Our Father…

Relax already! (from archive)

(DATE: December 5, 2007)

Ah! The holidays! The season of joy, the season of cheer, the season of…

I don’t know about you, but I’ve got WAY too much on my plate right now for me to even think about kicking back and enjoying the Christmas season. Isn’t this supposed to be the time where we have “PEACE on earth, goodwill toward humanity”?Well, the thing about peace is this: it only has meaning in the midst of conflict. Peace without war is meaningless; peace without strife is nothing.

In order for us to experience peace, we need to add patience to our peace. Not just putting up with stuff, but truly letting go of our attempts to control our own destiny.

Jesus said, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matthew 11:29)

The stress that we so often experience isn’t from being too busy, or having too much to do near as much as it’s about trying to CONTROL what’s going on in our lives.

News flash: We’re not in control!

That’s what Jesus is reminding us in this verse. The yoke was a harness that hooked up a more experienced ox with a young ox who didn’t know what it was doing. Jesus knows what He’s doing; He’s in control. Really.

And us? Well, we’re dumb oxen. Sorry to put it to you like that, but there it is. We don’t know the way; we just like to THINK that we do.

So, RELAX. Let Jesus drive your life, and He’ll take the lead. He knows where He’s going. Let’s just do our best to follow Him.

Pastor Ed Backell

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