"Having A Bad Day?"

Preached by Rev. Ed Brouwer at The Gathering Place
Pulpit Series Volume 16 Issue 42 11/19/2006

The Christian life is not a life of clear sailing. You might as well get it into your head now… every believer is going to have a bad day. In fact you may have more than one.

No matter how holy you think you are it is inevitable. However Christ is with us!

When hard times hit us, he doesn't disappear, saying, "I'll be back after you get it worked out." NO he's faithful and caring through every kind of season. And he's touched by every feeling we endure during our hard times. Hebrews 4:15

We have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the Excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us II Corinthians 4:7

The Greek word Paul uses for "earthen" is "frail clay" meaning, "weak, easily broken, easily tempted."

He's saying, "Yes, we hold Jesus' presence in our very bodies. But our bodies are weak, easily tempted and easily broken!" The fact is, we all suffer what the Bible calls "infirmities."

For many Christians, a common infirmity of life is a frail constitution or poor health. Paul spoke of Timothy's frequent illnesses, calling them "often infirmities" I Timothy 5:23.

The Greek word "infirmity" here means "sickly, without strength, feeble of body or mind."

Yet there are other kinds of infirmities besides physical ones, and they're just as difficult to handle. Infirmities of the mind are probably the most widespread. I'm not talking about mental illness, but rather those unexplainable times when your feelings betray you and play tricks on your mind. Let me explain.

Have you ever gone to bed feeling contented, on top of the world, and yet wake up the next day with a cloud of gloom hanging over you? All day long you feel down, you don't know where it came from, but it just keeps hanging over you.

Guilt, fear and anxiety are all infirmities of the mind. Things from your past may haunt you, or some sin may still cling to you. These influences all affect your feelings.

You might not be able to shake off some harsh words someone spoke to you a few days before. Or, you may constantly battle feelings of rejection or unworthiness. Without question, these feelings have a direct effect on the way you live.

Your bad “feelings” may open the door to a demonic attack against your faith. At the end of the day you may be tempted into doubt and depression. Thinking your self unspiritual.
This is an old trick of the devil. he's putting thoughts into your mind to try to strike at your faith. He wants to confuse you!

Shake it off or Ride it out!
Your heavenly father knows exactly what you're going through and he'll see you through it all. Remember, God has promised never to leave you. Just keep turning to him, by faith alone!

He has already provided the Holy Ghost to chase away all your doubts! Let Him do His thing! Don't try to argue with the devil. You can't prove anything to him. Instead, when the next attack comes, stand on God’s Word with patience and hope!

Paul was hit with a bad day while traveling in Macedonia. When we were come into Macedonia, our flesh had no rest, but we were troubled on every side; without were fightings, within were fears II Corinthians 7:5
This godly man confessed that his inner man was plagued not just by one fear, but by many fears! Now come on folks, the Apostle Paul didn’t have a super hero’s cape, he didn’t change in a phone booth. He was subject to the same human emotions we all face.

Yes, Paul had awful days. But he never gave in to his feelings and the temptations that accompanied them.

He testified in his worst time: I am filled with comfort, I am exceeding joyful in all our tribulation…. God...comforts those that are cast down II Corinthians 7:4

Paul says, The Lord is never closer to you, never more ready to help you, than when you're down and hurting. Blessed be God, the God of all comfort; who comforts us in all our tribulation... II Corinthians1:4.

The Greek word for "comforts" here means "to call close." What an amazing thing! When we experience bad days, our heavenly father takes advantage of them to draw us close.
As we continue in our walk with the Lord, we should become more aware in our bad times that we have all the resources needed to deal with the enemy who also takes advantage of our bad times - to draw us away.

I believe our bad days are often meant to bring us into maturity and out of childish bondages.

However, what they are meant to do and what they really do are often two different things!

Think about it: Most of our bad days are caused by our childish reactions to life situations. And consider the way children react to life: One minute they're laughing, and the next they're screaming. They pout. They're a bundle of fears. They're easily hurt, and they cry a lot. They have short attention spans, and they demand instant gratification….. Sound familiar? Ouch!

But really, no tantrum could ever cause a loving parent to disown or reject his child.

Colossians 2:9 states God has given Jesus all riches in glory. Therefore, he has every resource needed to bring us out of every bad day we might face!

Beloved, your Heavenly Father begins by meeting all your physical needs! His word promises, My God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus
Philippians 4:19.

The Greek word for "need" here is from a root word meaning, "to handle all business, all that is lacking or necessary."

Paul is saying, God is faithful to take care of all your concerns business, financial and otherwise.

He is most certainly…. Taking Care Of Business!

That covers your employment, your food, your clothes and your home. Yet there are also the riches of his goodness, strength, wisdom and grace. As well as the riches of his full assurance of salvation, there are His unsearchable riches!

Look at what Paul says, "God shall supply all your need" using the singular.

In short, he's saying, "You need only one thing Jesus! All your needs are wrapped up in him. You need only to seek him and he will provide all for you!"

You Must Be Wholly Convinced Your Father in Heaven
Has Great Affection for You!

Even though you may question God's love for you, he does not condemn you. On the contrary, he feels your pain and despair. And he wants you to know his storehouse is full of everything you need and it's all available to you!

However, You can't use or enjoy any of it unless you lay hold of it by faith. You must realize who He is and rest in His presence standing on His promises to take care of all your needs and affairs.

Your prayer should go something like this: Jesus, the author and perfector of my faith, will heal my doubt and give me the gift of faith to trust him completely. I pray he will heal me of unbelief and help my faith. I pray that I will be a fast learner, passing this test and come into victory, as a testimony to God's grace and faithfulness.

I have good news and bad news.
Good news - Bad days are doable!
Bad news - you may have a few more bad days coming.
Come to the place where you can say, Jesus, I cast all my cares on you now. I'm an heir to the riches of God in Christ Jesus. I know those riches include full supply of all my physical needs."

Can you believe God for that?

II Corinthians 12:9
My grace is sufficient for you: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.

Romans 15:1
We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves.

"What Were You Expecting?"

Preached by Rev. Ed Brouwer at The Gathering Place
Pulpit Series Volume 16 Issue 41 11/12/2006

There are two strong forces that oppose christian service they are depression and discouragement. Either one of these is deadly, but both together are a formable enemy!

Sometimes we as Christians enter into a season that seems dark. Confusion surrounds us like dense fog. We may be discouraged or worse yet discouragement may have grabbed hold of us drawing us into deprerssion. Whatever the case, whatever the situation the darkness comes.

When I was twelve I started working in greenhouse. I’d go after school, week-ends and all summer long (.60 per hour). My boss kept some young plants covered by a flower pot. He kept these plant slips in darkness, because he wanted them to strike a deeper root. Apparently keeping the plant in darkness had a purpose.

If we consider that God is the divine husbandman, perhaps He allows us to be in darkness at times in order for us to strike a deeper root, or to get a firmer hold of God.

Once it was a blessing now it is the Lord
Once it was the feelings now it is His word.
Once His gifts I wanted now the Giver own
Once I sought for healing now Himself alone!

John 15:1, 5 I am the true vine and my Father the husband-man. I am the vine, ye are the branches: The husbandman is usually the closest to the vine as when he is pruning it.

Perhaps we like the children of Israel have asked; Is the Lord amongst us or not? Exodus 17:7

Stand on His Word:
Haggai 2:5 As I covenanted with you when you came out of Egypt, so my spirit remains among you: fear not
Exodus 6:6-7 I am the LORD and I will redeem you with a stretched out arm... And I will take you to me for a people, and I will be to you a God

Think about it - “depression and decouragement” have worked havoc.

Yet never more so than today. I believe we are entering upon a spiritual harvest-time.
A season of great opportunity is before us.

Depression and discouragement are paralysing the Lord’s servants, causing the hands to hang down and knees to become feeble.

Have you noticed a decline in Bible preaching churches. Matthew 4:4 Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of God’s mouth.

Not eating the bread of life - God’s own children have become weak - the hearts and spirits of many of God’s precious children are drooping - they are tempted to hang their harps on the willows and put the sword back in the scabbard.

It was so in the days of Haggai. Psalms 137:1-3 By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yes, we wept, when we thought about Zion. We hung our harps on the willows.....

The building of the temple had been stopped. Discouragement and depression had paraalysed any godly effort. Soon the work of the Lord ceased completely.

Only two brave leaders Zerubbable and Joshua kept alive their own zeal. The Lord’s people were in desperate need - so the Lord sent prophet, Haggai with a concise word, “Fear ye not!”

Two things empowered his message - the Lord’s promise and the Lord’s presence!

My Spirit remain among you - this is a great source of cheer and strength. My Spirit remains among you fear ye not.

Three times the Word repeats - “Be strong”. Haggai 2:4 Yet now be strong, O Zerubbabel, and be strong, O Joshua, and be strong, all you people of the land, says the LORD, and work: for I am with you... According to the word I covenanted with you when you came out of Egypt, so my spirit remains among you: fear ye not.

There may not really be a fountain of youth but there most certainly is a fountain of strength - the Lord’s presence and Spirit. Without Him you can do nothing - with Him all things are possible!

The purpose for strength is certainly work! Be strong and work: for I am with you...

II Timothy 3:1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.... Friends we are in the last days and it will not get better before Christ returns… in fact it will get worse! “evil men and seducers shall grow worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.”
Revelation 12:12 ...the devil is come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has but a short time.

Now is not a time to curl up in the fetal position and die!

Smoke Jumpers Decree: If I persist, if I continue to try, if I continue to charge forward, I will succeed. I will not hear those who weep and complain, for their disease is contagious. The prizes of life are at the end of each journey, not near the beginnings and it is not up to me to know how many steps are necessary to reach my goal. I will never consider defeat and I will remove from my vocabulary such words as quit, cannot, unable, impossible, failure and retreat; for those are the words of fools and cowards. When my thoughts beckon my tired body homeward, I will resist the temptation to depart. I will try again. I will make one more attempt to close with victory and if that fails, I will make another. When others cease their struggle, then mine will begin, and my harvest will be full.

Reasons to be discoraged or depressed can be found easily. Even in Paul’s life: He was alone in a strange city, no money, ill health, overworked and persecuted, failure seemed to dog his steps. Yet, he never allowed his mood to silence him or paralyse his God given work.

Some of God’s children are drifting further and further into darkness and despair. Rather then striking a deeper root, they enter into mourning. However, hear the Word of the Lord - “My Spirit remains among you, fear ye not.”

Just let Him have His own way with you and all will be well. Haggai 1:13 I am with you, says the LORD.

Others are pretty much overwhelmed by the magnitude of the forces coming against them. This is for you

II Kings 6:8 The king of Syria went to war with Israel . His method of warfare was not by a regular continued invasion, but by dashes across the border on undefended places. However, he found that he was stopped at every point. Wherever they decided to attack they found their plans were known and their carefully planned surprise was defeated. He suspected treason and no wonder. He challenged his servants on the matter. They informed him that Israel’s God speaking through Elisha revealed their sneak attack plans. So the Syrian king sent an expedition to capture Elisha never, dreaming that this scheme would also be revealed to him.

These are terrible times we are living in, and it seems as if Satan is allowed to put forth tremendous powers in these last dark days.

All the Satanic forces seem to have united in one desperate onslaught upon the forces of righteousness and truth and against the Lord’s own people.

Back in II Kings 6 Elisha’s servant rises early to start his day and looking out the window sees a mighty army surrounding the city... He cries out What are we going to do?

Have you been looking out of that window too?

And Elisha said, Fear not: for they that are with us are more than they that are with them.

And Elisha asked the LORD to open his servant’s eyes, that he may see. And the LORD opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw the mountain side was full of horses and chariots of fire - all around Elisha.

Ah, this incident teaches us that we are not alone and deserted even when we seem most to be. Like Elisha it is our duty, not so much to pray that the Lord and His host might be with us - rather that we recognise He is already with us!

God’s promises and His presence take out depression and discouragement.

I John 4:4 You are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.

Psalms 34 I sought the LORD, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears… This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles… The angel of the LORD encamps round about them that fear him, and delivers them…O taste and see that the LORD [is] good: blessed [is] the man [that] trusts in him… there is no want to them that fear him… they that seek the LORD shall not want any good [thing]… The righteous cry, and the LORD hears, and delivers them out of all their troubles… The LORD [is] nigh to them that are of a broken heart; and saves such as be of a contrite spirit...Many [are] the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivers him out of them all...none that trust in him shall be desolate.