Greetings in the Lord. We hope and pray your new year is off to a wonderful start and that the Lord is blessing you in every way. Currently, we are back on the road and beginning our 2016 Gospel Expeditions. We believe that the Lord is going to accomplish great and wonderful things in the months ahead and we will need your prayers and support as we reach out to the unreached. God is good and His mercy endures forever. We believe the best is yet to come and that this will be a bountiful year of souls coming into the kingdom. When you partner with Travel the Road, you are there with us, doing the work of the Great Commission that brings light into the darkness.
This month we would like to share a message about Mastering your Problems.
Often times, for most people, life boils down to a series of problems. These problems are carried around in people’s hearts and minds like a lead weight and can destroy their health, finances, and spiritual life. Problems can be as simple as dealing with daily tasks, and as complicated as combating a serious illness. Think about your life for a moment — from the waking in the morning to the wee hours of the night you are probably thinking about how to fix a problem. You might have a reprieve from time to time, but let’s be honest, most of us are constantly beset with concerns on how to fix our problems. Problems that are common amongst people are: creating enough income to support their family, paying off debts, finding time to stay healthy (working out, eating right, etc...), conflicts with other people, breaking bad habits, making meals, shopping for food, and on and on it goes. I am sure you can list hundreds more in your own life, and the result of all these problems, on a daily basis, is that it leads to large amounts of stress that you carry everyday. No one is immune to problems, but our mindset has a lot to do with how we look at those problems. Your life is a reflection of the mindset you carry. If you are stressed and constantly dwelling on your problems, your life will be bitter and depressing. Jesus aptly gives us illustration after illustration that our mindset must be different. In one such example, Jesus clearly teaches Martha a lesson on resting from her problems. Luke 10:38-42 “Now as they were traveling along, He entered a village; and a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her home. She had a sister called Mary, who was seated at the Lord’s feet, listening to His word. But Martha was distracted with all her preparations; and she came up to Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to do all the serving alone? Then tell her to help me.” But the Lord answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”
Jesus tells Martha that her problems are consuming her life and making her bitter at others who are not also consumed with the same stresses. It is not a recommendation to be lazy, but the Lord sees that Martha is tormented by her problems and as a result -- it is making her frustrated and unhappy. Martha was mistakenly thinking that serving food was more important than listening to the Word of God. In the opposite, her sister Mary, sits at the feet of the Lord listening to His words at peace. Jesus loves when the hearts of people are not bogged down by the cares of this world and are focused on Him. He insists we become like little children, Mark 10:13-16 “And they were bringing children to Him so that He might touch them; but the disciples rebuked them. But when Jesus saw this, He was indignant and said to them, ‘Permit the children to come to Me; do not hinder them; for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. ‘Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all.’ And He took them in His arms and began blessing them, laying His hands on them.”
And what are the characteristics of children? They are unencumbered by stress. They live life fully and find joy in the simplest things. Do you remember when you were a child? Most people hold their childhood as their fondest memories. The characteristics we should follow from children are: the releasing of stress, a quick and ready faith, and a non-obsession of problems.
Life is hard at times, there is no disputing that, but most people create more problems, frustration and bitterness by trying to aggressively handle their problems. It can be a vicious cycle when problems are the only thing a person thinks about. We must change our mindset to focus on the thing that is truly important — God.
Mindset Change: To change your mindset you must stop dwelling on the negative outcome. Most people will instinctively believe the worst is upon them. This is fear. Fear is literally the belief that something bad is going to happen. When people are faced with problems, large or small, they often times defer to fear. This is why we live in such an agitated society. People are constantly bitter or upset because they believe the worst is coming. To change this, you must take a perspective that, problems and difficulties won’t last forever and things will get better. You must also truly believe God cares for you and will lift your burdens. Matthew 11:28-30: “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. ‘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. ‘For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.’” Additionally, you must have your thoughts dwell on what is good and right Philippians 4:8-9: “Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.”
If you are not bothered by something, it cannot master you. When you transcend certain cares and worries that are common in the world, you become an uncommon person who lives a faith-filled life. Are you tired of the daily grind? Has life become one big problem? Do you find yourself under constant stress? Well, we are here to tell you there is a cure. And that cure is Faith. Faith in the Lord that you will overcome through Him. Pray this prayer from your heart and God will release the stresses and burdens.
“Lord, I ask you to take my stress and burdens from me. You say in your Word “You will give rest to those who come unto you” So I come to you and I lay my burdens down. I will fear no evil and I will stand upon your promises. You have a good life for me. A life free from stress and worry. I believe it and I accept it. Lord, there is only one thing necessary and that is You. Guide me and give me wisdom. I will not let my words betray the trust I have in You. Thank you for helping me and comforting me. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen."
Let not fear master you, but master your fears. Pray this prayer, or one like it from your heart when fear, worry and stress come. Lay your burdens down and let God do His great and wonderful work. There is freedom in Him!
In traveling and ministering, in many dangerous countries, we are thankful for what we do have and the protection of God. We have seen the genocide in Darfur, Sudan been through the war in Afghanistan, survived the earthquake of Nepal and witnessed thousands of people living in terror for their very lives in many countries around the world. When faced with such a perspective it gives us an extreme appreciation for the simple things in life. After living through so much and seeing all that God has accomplished we can confidently say, “If God be for us, who can be against us.” Moreover, we are grateful for your partnership in prayers and finances and ask you to continue in every way. Your support, large or small, makes a difference and enables us to reach those who do not have the light of Christ. If Travel the Road has blessed you, then please consider partnering with us through your tithes and offerings so we can continue to bless others. We know and believe 2016 is going to be a great year as we reach indigenous tribes and those cut off from the Gospel. Together we are accomplishing much! Peace be with you.
Tim and Will