Joy In The Trials

August 2, 2019 by NATHAN MCBRIDE, Discerning Dad

There are few guarantees we can count being there to greet us every day. Few things we can wake up every morning and know without a doubt we will encounter them. God and His love for us is one. The second guarantee is trials. One removes anxiety, fear, and stress. The other adds anxiety, fear, and stress. What if in Gods infinite wisdom He gave us the tools to eliminate the anxiety, fear, and stress from trials? When Jesus faced the last hours and His greatest trial, he did it with grace, humility, joy and an understanding of Gods will.

How we as Christians encounter and endure trials is one of the center pieces that set us apart from the world. When we face the things that would break the world, and we move through them with Christ we are strengthened. We are drawn closer to our Lord and drawn closer in the relationships that Glorify Him. Fortunately, through His infinite wisdom he gave us the perfect road map to endure and grow through every trial.

James 1: 2-4 (NASB) Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

Romans 8: 28 (NASB) And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.

Those two verses give us everything we need to encounter and endure trials the same way Jesus faced His. I have spent the past year focused heavily on those verses and facing trials with joy knowing that with an omniscient Father He is always building things to His glory and our benefit.

Trials have many forms. From the hard trials of losing a loved one, losing a job, depression or whatever you personally view as a hard trial, to trials of minor inconvenience, being late, cleanliness of a home, or an unexpected bill. Regardless of what the trial is we are taught to approach them the same. With Joy. Understanding that there is a purpose behind the trial for good is the key component to finding that joy amid the trial.

We have a few things to do to achieve this.

First, we need to make sure we are doing everything every day to a level that glorifies God. We need to submit to His sovereignty to work and move in our lives. By doing this we are allowing God to open and close doors as he sees fit. Basically, if you are giving a 100% to your job. You have given that to the Lord. You have submitted to His will and authority it. After that if you then lose your job you can know one thing in certainty. God has it and He is closing a door to move you where He needs you next. However, you can’t oversleep, not perform, blame it on the enemy and then say it’s God closing the door. Wrong you closed that door. That’s the first part, staying focused on doing all things to His Glory.

Secondly, we need to open our eyes. When we come into a trial, we need to see that there is a purpose for it. God is doing a work in us to bring out the good in it. How we see the trial changes the light we see it in. Trials can be for any purpose. They can be to show us something we need to give up and hand over to God such as an addiction. They can be to help us grow closer in those relationships that glorify Him. Psychologists have even proven that working through a hardship with someone is a key component to building a lasting bond in that relationship. So, trials with your spouse and children are a very good thing if you view it from that angle. They can be as simple as the enemy trying to deter, de-rail, or force you to question God. If that is it, you should see more joy in the trial as it’s a clear indicator to you moving down the right path.

Trials can protect us. Ever have those days where you just feel like you are perpetually running late. No matter what you do you can’t make up those 10 minutes you lost? You keep getting rerouted out of your plan for the day? Then at the end of the you drive by a fresh accident that if you would have been on schedule would be part of. Or you run into someone during the day that you get to help because you were 10 minutes behind. We don’t know Gods plan, but we do know He moves in our lives and while we play checkers, He’s playing chess.

Trials build testimony. As we go through trials and walk with Christ through them, we are building testimony to help others through similar trials. As we come along side one another in fellowship and life our testimony was perfectly built to help those we encounter. If you battled depression and gained control of it that testimony could be the very thing that saves another life. The difficulties and trials in your marriage will one day be something that could help save another marriage. Your financial trials and how you came out of that could be the very testimony of hope and grace that carries another through their trial.

So, the next time you encounter a trial remember, it’s for a perfect purpose, God is moving in it, and look forward to the beauty that will come as a result of the trial. There is either a reason for everything or a reason for nothing.

Father I pray that you help us see the joy and beauty in the trials we encounter each day. That we take them on with a new perspective and through that it removes the anxiety, fear, and stress we normally feel and replace them with joy and anticipation of good work you are doing through the trial. Amen.

Nathan McBride
Guest Discerning Dad

Guest- Nathan McBride- Joy in the Trials

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Recycled Misfits

Reverend Paul N. Papas II

July 30, 2019

 

 

 

Let’s start by looking in the mirror….I’ll let you know when to turn away from the mirror.

In the Christmas story of Rudolph: Rudolph and his elf buddy Hermey don’t fit in with the others. Rudolph looks different than the others. Hermey is not interested in making toys. In an odd plot twist, Hermey wants to be a dentist. Not surprisingly, his elf supervisor is upset with the unproductive Hermey. So the two misfit outcasts set off to find their fame and fortune.

In the mirror you see the times on the playground or gathering where you did not fit in and felt like an outcast, a misfit.

Who among us doesn’t occasionally feel battered, bruised, broken? And sometimes it’s because of something we’ve done to ourselves.

Feeling battered, bruised, and broken can lead to fear of the future, fear of success, anxiety, depression and even suicide.

Thankfully God has perfect vision, unlimited resources and doesn’t give up so easily on battered and broken people. Psalm 85 describes people who were perfect candidates for restoration and God is able to restore. God is the God of restoration and forgiveness; those who humbly come to Him are never without hope.  He remarkably and wonderfully made us, He does not make junk.

Crime victims, First Responders, and Combat Veterans may have suffered different traumatic events leaving them feeling battered, bruised, and broken and suffering the same Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), feeling like a misfit.

Then there is Eponine who seems the most like a social outcast misfit. She belongs to a gang of wretched people, and she is very poor. She has been through so much in her short life, things she should not even have experienced. She has abusive parents who don’t give two hoots about her, and she feels as if no one loves her and she is alone in the world. In the song on my own she talks about how the man she loves is I love with someone else and how she wishes he would love her. She knows he will never love her like that and sadly comes to terms of being alone because the single man she loves does not love her back. She is like the social out casts of today, because she is in a very bad group of people and usually people that are just looking for directions now a days end up in bad situations like her. Many people feel alone just like she does and many people these days go through though times where the person they love does not love them back. She has no where to go and no one good in her life to help her. She is in a hopeless situation of having terrible parents loving a man that will never love her and she abused by her father. No doubt she has lived a terrible life, and her situation is worst than most social out cast of our world today.

Often victims of abuse, domestic violence, sexual assault become the abusers.  It does not have to be that way. Breaking the cycle of abuse can be accomplished saving medical bills and lives.

Throughout life you can be a misfit because you look or dress differently or because you don’t think or talk like others around you. Just because you may look or dress differently or because you don’t think or talk like others around you it does not make you wrong, just different. Being different just may even bring to light a better way.

How many times did you recognize yourself as a misfit in the mirror? Still looking in the mirror? How many times did you overcome those situations you were a misfit? What do you still need to overcome?

If you have had more than one boyfriend or girlfriend, more than one job or overcome a misfit situation – you have been recycled. Being recycled in this manner means you still had plenty of good days ahead.

Continue to recycle your misfit situations for healthy growth. Stay looking in the mirror as long as you need.

https://preacher01704.wordpress.com/2019/08/02/recycled-misfits/


VIDEO Veterans ride their way to recovery

Horses teach humans new ways to deal with anxiety and stress

July 19, 2019

 

Veterans at the Bay Pines VA Healthcare System are partnering with horses on their road to recovery.

While participating in Equine Assisted Learning workshops at the Sarasota Manatee Association for Riding Therapy in Sarasota, Florida, Veterans in the Warriors in Transition program do a lot more than simply ride.

“What we do here is a lot of team building and grounding exercises,” explains Bay Pines Recreation Therapist Elizabeth Blankenship. “We learn about the horses, their behaviors, how they communicate with each other, and then we move into speaking about how we communicate and interact with others on a personal level and then draw a connection to what we’ve learned here, to our everyday lives.”

The goal is that by partnering with horses, Veterans will acquire new ways of coping with anxiety and stress. As prey animals, horses are highly sensitive to emotions and the messages behind them. Through observing how horses relate to one another and then interacting with the horses themselves, workshop participants learn to ask for space, set healthy boundaries, lead without force, relax without losing awareness and rebuild trust.

The program was developed by Terry Murray, a U.S. Navy Veteran, and Warriors in Transition facilitator, to help active-duty military and Veterans as they navigate the challenges of repeated deployment cycles.

According to Murray, equine-assisted learning can result in the growth of new brain cells. “There are biomedical changes in the brain that are occurring when people are in nature and are working with the horses in this environment.”

For U.S. Army Veteran Jesse Raoul, equine therapy has “helped me re-establish relationships with people that I’ve been dealing with. It also has helped me to learn to live a healthier and better quality of life.”


A horse, with the trainer and riderLong Description

Veteran Amy King (left) is introduced to a horse named Buddy.


The program “has helped me to connect the information I’ve learned in the classroom with real everyday life experiences,” says U.S. Army Veteran Amy King. “This experience has motivated me to really put in the work that it takes to get better.”

“You can’t reach everyone with conventional therapy,” says Bay Pines Recreation Therapist Jared Ezzard. “Some people respond better in this type of environment. We’ve seen Veterans who have had little to no interaction with people blossom here.”

Learn more about the Bay Pines Recreation Therapy program.


Melanie L. Thomas, MBA, is a Public Affairs Specialist at the Bay Pines VA Healthcare System

All photos by Bay Pines VA Healthcare System 

Original here