Outside

Published on Jun 24th, 2015 by Pastor Ed Hlad | 0
Outside

Outside

People are amazing.  They are capable of unbelievable acts of courage and strength.  In the face of horrible tragedy or circumstances they are able to show such great resilience and strength.  There are thousands of stories out there of amazing courage as people stand up to cancer, terrorists, diseases, poverty, etc.  My heart is challenged and encouraged when I hear of these stories.  My friend just shared with me the story of the Dick and Rick Hoyt.  I would encourage you to look up this amazing story of a father and his son.  This story exemplifies what I have been talking about.  When I look at my life, and then read these stories, I am often ashamed at how little it takes for me to wither.  I wonder if I were to be faced with such tragedy or pain if I would be as courageous and resilient as these people?  But there is another issue that we should also look at.

I Peter 1:24 says, “All flesh is like grass and all its glory like the flower of the grass.  The grass withers, and the flower falls, but the word of the Lord remains forever.”  Man may be capable of greats acts of bravery, courage, and strength but man will also always come to mountains that are too big to cross and his strength will always fail.  We cannot allow our strength to fool us into thinking that somehow we can be the exception to this rule.

Jeremiah 17:7, 8, “Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose trust is the LORD.  He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of the drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.”  No matter how strong you are, there are things in life or in death that bring fear and anxiousness.  When trusting in your own strength and resources there is fear of what could come.  When a tornado is coming, even the bravest take cover.  But if we recognize that our strength and provision comes from outside of us, then we can conquer that fear and anxiety of what may come.  In Jeremiah’s illustration the tree remains green when its leaves should fade and it bears fruit in the worst of times because it has an outside source of water that is its provision and strength.  The tree does not trust in some kind of inner spring to bring nourishment during the difficult times.  What are you trusting in?  Are you trusting in your courage and strength that has carried you through some difficult times when you were young? Are you trusting in your positive attitude that sees every problem as a challenge?  Are you trusting in your ability to make and save money?  There is always a mountain out there too big for you to climb.  There is always a financial issue that threatens to dry up your finite resources.  But God has promised a different solution.  Look outside of yourself.  Look to him and drink from his strength and courage.  It is a pool that never runs dry.

Imagine a stubborn tree.  It is planted right beside the water but believes that it is ok on its own.  Instead of shooting roots out toward the water, it shoots them straight down.  This tree will not stand on its own.  This tree will not last long.  As a believer in Jesus Christ you are planted by the water of God’s resources.  But you must drink from that water.  You must plant your roots in those great resources that God gives.  You must constantly be drinking from the deep well of the Word of God.  You must submit daily to the Spirit of God.  You must recognize that prayer is more than a formality; it is a life-giving connection to the creator God.  You must know that although flawed, fellow believers are given to be God’s hands and feet in your life.  You must understand that worship is a spiritual weapon that God uses to give great strength in your life.  I would encourage you today to stop living in your own strength and to grow roots in the pools of water that God has provided for you today.

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