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“God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.” James‬ ‭1:12‬‬

I hung up the phone and hung my head. Had I done enough? Was there something more I could have said…or said now to help? Psychologists have coined the term “Messiah Complex” to refer to individuals who have a firm belief that they are responsible for the physical, emotional or spiritual well-being of others. At this point I was in full blown “Messiah Mode!”

The phone call was from a friend who had been struggling for years with relationship issues, self-doubt and fear. On the other hand she was compassionate, understand had, on the surface anyway, a deep love for Jesus. The last few months had been tough. Her family life was hard, her job ended, and God seemed unwilling or unable to help. Her phone call was short but not sweet. She’d had it with God and with living the illusion that he existed and cared about her. She asked me to leave her alone and not bother to pray for her because prayer is worthless.

I have to admit, I don’t blame her. There have been so many times in my life when I’ve struggled or seen the struggles of others and asked the “Why?” question.

There aren’t easy answers. He’s wonderful and confusing all at once. Yet, for me anyway, one thing I’ve noticed is that God’s greatest blessings often seem to come during, or on either side of life’s greatest trials. Had I not known the depths of despair, I never would have experienced the strength of his peace.

I’ll respect my friends desire for distance, but I’ll continue to pray that she sees the God I see. I don’t understand him, but I’m nothing without him. As Peter said when many were leaving Jesus because he disappointed them, “Where else can we go?”


My wife is a coupon guru. Whenever we go shopping it’s always exciting to look at the receipt and take note of the “how much you saved” line. I’ll be honest. She impresses me. I’m not patient enough to do what she does, nor do I think about looking for deals like she does. Occasionally, because she is human, she’ll miss a deal and is truly disappointed about the lost opportunity. I’ll admit, she’s having a positive effect on me. Now, when I shop I use coupons and hunt for the best deal because once a deal is gone it may never return.

In eternities scheme of things, coupons and deals aren’t the most important thing, to be honest. But they give us a simple idea of our life with God. Each of us is created with, as one writer states it, a God-shaped hole in our lives. We can seek to fill it with lots of things. Relationships, toys, a big home and/or bank account, status, and the list goes on. But nothing satisfies that space. Nothing. Nothing that is except God through faith in Jesus Christ.

Two things you can be sure of. Life is uncertain, and God desires a relationship with you. He puts people and circumstances along the path we call life. When we encounter them, we have two choices. One is to ignore them and go on seeking ways to fill the God Space. The other is to respond to his calling and experience all he has for you.

The choice is yours but be aware that at some point it will be to late to cash in on the deal he has for you. Don’t delay. Nothing else satisfies like Jesus. Life won’t get easier by following him, but you’ll find his presence refreshing regardless of your circumstances.


“Life is short”. We’ve heard it said. Perhaps we’ve said it ourselves. There is a lot of truth to the statement. The Psalmist even verifies it…somewhat. We never really know when this earthly adventure will end. Some live over a century; some a few years; some for minutes. Life is short isn’t a mandate to party or fill your life with every creature comfort you can, it’s a mandate to live wisely.

“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” Proverbs‬ ‭9:10‬

Wisdom begins and ends with our relationship with God through Jesus Christ. The wise man builds his house on the firm foundation of personal faith in Jesus Christ.


For those of us in the business of serving people we know all to well the meaning of the word ‘burnout’. Burnout is defined as “a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress. It occurs when you feel overwhelmed, emotionally drained, and unable to meet constant demands.”

Burnout is the culprit in the demise of many relationships from families to ministry to any other service related activity. It is , I believe, the reason many pastor families break up; the suicide rate is so high in the armed forces, and emergency personnel (police, fire, etc). Could it be a major contributing factor to substance abuse as well.


The Apostle Paul describes two types of people in Galatians six, those empowered by human emotions and those empowered by the Holy Spirit of the Living God. Living by the power of the Holy Spirit gives us two things (maybe more). One is the strength to do good when we are unappreciated and expectations exceed our ability to meet them. Secondly we live in the constant reminder that God will eventually reward us for our efforts.


Feel overwhelmed and under appreciated? Remember it’s not your strength or power, but God working through you. He’s never held us responsible for results, he only promises to reward our efforts in his time. Press on mighty warrior!


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