“TURN YOUR TROUBLES OVER TO JESUS”
AUTHOR: ERIKA BENTSEN
I live on a remote cattle ranch in Oregon. I don’t own a television, so when I climb in the pickup after irrigating or chasing cattle or feeding hay, the radio is always on, to keep me company if nothing else. Today I caught Dr. Dean Edell’s “Medical Minuets.” Instead of hopping out right away to close the gate I’d just driven through, I sat still with the door half opened, riveted to the broadcast. His topic was the healing benefits of spirituality.
According to medical reports, folks who have a deep, abiding faith suffer from less stress than the faithless person. Stress causes depression, hinders healing and can shorten the human life span. The doctor’s conclusion was further research studying spirituality as a stress reducer could be a great advantage to the health and well-being of Americans, who are ranked the highest users of antidistress /antidepressant medication in the world .
I’ve already see this in my own life. The more I turn my troubles over to God, the less I worry. The less burden I have to bear, the freer I am. I’m healthier, happier and more energetic. God isn’t there to keep me from trouble in this world ; God’s there to help me when I’m in trouble. God’s a shoulder to lean on when I’m in a jam. And believe me, in ranching, I’m up to my eyeballs in jams.
I hope Dr. Edell can stir up interest in a study pertaining to the healing benefits of spirituality.
Wouldn’t it be great to hear our doctor tell us, “Say two prayers and call me in the morning”?
From Erika Bentsen …As long as you have my back, Lord what on earth can trouble me?
Failing to Listen to God
Listening to God is not a onetime event. We must continually keep His Word before us, or we’ll begin to listen to the wrong voices.
In Genesis 2:16-17, the Lord gave a command not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. But Eve began to listen to another voice and did not hold firmly to her Creator’s words. All that Satan had to do was plant a single doubt about God’s integrity and offer Eve one appealing advantage of doing things her own way—and she fell for it. He mentioned wisdom, but using her own reasoning, Eve added two more benefits to the temptation: the fruit is good for food and a delight to the eyes.
The schemes of the Enemy have not changed. He still whispers lies and twists truth to convince us that a) God cannot be trusted and b) His ways are not the best. In every temptation, there is a deception about the character and motive of God, plus an attractive promise of a better way.
The world is filled with voices that vie for our attention and influence our thoughts and actions. Throughout the day, consider the messages that are sent your way through the media and people. Consciously begin to compare them to what Scripture says about God and His ways.
Remembering what God says in the Bible is our safeguard against deception and temptation. Daily devotions won’t protect us if they’re quickly forgotten during the day. Follow Christ’s example: be ready with truth in your mind and on your tongue whenever temptation strikes (Matt. 4:1-11).
Abusing God’s Patience
Have you ever ignored the press of conviction upon your heart? Maybe you rationalized your wrongdoing with the thought that if God were really upset, He’d put a stop to things by disciplining you. Psalm 50:21 reminds us that the silence of heaven does not mean approval. Remaining in sin is an abuse of the Lord’s patience.
When God seems slow to react, we might hope He’s overlooking our transgressions–we’d like to continue in sin because the momentary pleasure is more appealing than obedience. But thankfully, the Father knows our weaknesses, our innate carnality, and the state of our spiritual growth, and He therefore measures His response. Motivated by love and a desire to gently restore His children to righteousness, God refrains from doling out immediate punishment. Instead, He waits for the Holy Spirit’s proddings to impact the believer’s heart. The weight of conviction is actually an invitation to turn from wrongdoing and return to godliness.
However, we’re a stubborn people. There are times when we persist in sin because the sentence against an evil deed isn’t executed quickly (Eccl. 8:11). In this dangerous situa-tion, it’s possible to immerse ourselves in sin and harden our hearts against the Lord. Then the Holy Spirit’s call to repentance falls on spiritual ears rapidly going deaf.
As we learn and understand more about God and His ways, we are increasingly responsible to live righteously. The Lord is not slow; He’s patient. Do not abuse His patience with callous disregard for His statutes. Repent and be holy in the sight of the Lord.
Used with permission from In Touch Ministries, Inc. © 2009 All Rights Reserved.