Why does bullying hurt so much? Why does harassment from others affect us the way it does? Why does the mistreatment from others cause us so much discomfort?
When I think about it, I see the answers are the questions. Really, don't those bullying, harassments or mistreatments cause you to question yourself? No matter what the subject matter is, it raises questions about who we are, what we stand for and where we are going in life.
If your daughter is called a bad name by the "popular girl," it makes her question herself. If your son is being picked on by the "bigger boys," it makes him question himself. If a woman in an office full of men, is constantly having to hear about their weekend behaviors... she can start to question her own life. Maybe even adjusting her own morals to fit in. Same with being mistreated. It raises the question...am I worthy of anything better?
All those around us, whether you are an adolescence or an adult, those around you will make you question yourself. It's where the phrase "outside influences" comes from. It's up to you to determine how strong your opinion is of yourself. Are "they" going to have the power to sway you or will you have the special advantage of letting it roll off your shoulders.
This is going to always be a work in progress. Always. Be kind to yourself. Forgive yourself when you are weak and celebrate when you are strong. And remember that no one is better than someone else. What one thinks is right for them does not have to be what's right for you.
Love God and love yourself. It's the first step to others seeing the real you.
July 6, 2011 w/ Pastor Paul
Our Message for the week is: “How to Face an Uncertain Future”
We have two choices: - Face the future with doubt. - Face the future with certainty.
Who really knows what lies just around the upcoming corner in life!
How do we deal with the uncertainties of the future?
Today we examine three reasons we can face the future with confidence, based on our final study in the 23rd Psalm.
Scripture: Psalm 23:6 “Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.”
We can face any future with confidence because of God’s protection watching over us: “Surely goodness... will follow me all the days of my life...” (Psalm 23:6a)
Psalm 145:20 reassures us that “The Lord watches over all who love him...”
We may not know what the future holds ... but we know who holds the future!
This doesn’t mean only good things will happen to us! – The Psalmist also shares this insight: “For [God] will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways” (Psalm 91:11).
Angels protect us against harm and evil (as is found in Daniel’s life... Daniel 3:28; 6:22) and will intervene in the middle of dangerous situations.
The biblical book of Acts gives us many examples of angels helping in times of despair (Chapters 5-8, 10-13).
We can face any future with confidence because of God’s provision working in us: “Surely mercy... will follow me all the days of my life... “(Psalm 23:6a).
“Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need” (Hebrews 4:16).
... Grace: What God gives us that we don’t deserve.
... Mercy: When God doesn’t give us what we do deserve.
... Mercy and goodness are the “sheepdogs” God has follow us all the days of our life.
... They are God’s gifts to us.
We can face any future with confidence because of God’s promise is waiting for us: “And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever” (Psalms 23:6b).
We will be rewarded for our faith in Him: “Now we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands” (II Corinthians 5:1).
... Take the best thing we can think of now... it pales in comparison to what is coming for the best is yet to come.
... We are not ready to live here on earth, until we are ready to die for we have not actually begun to live.
... The pyramids of Egypt were built by kings in preparation for their death. – Their tombs have been robbed and plundered because they spent their lives accumulating “stuff” and tried to take it with them by burying it in their tombs.
... In reality, all our stuff is gone when we die.
The Bible promises that, when in Christ, we will be reunited with Him, our family, and friends who have gone before us.
... The Apostle Paul taught it this way, “... we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. We live by faith, not by sight. We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord” (II Corinthians 5:6-8).
... God is waiting for us if we have accepted Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior.
We will be released from the bondage of this present world:
... “[Christ] will wipe every tear from their eye” (Revelation 21:4a).
... We will be released from the pain, sorrow and depression of this life.
For those interested in receiving Pastor Paul's messages, please e-mail Pastor Paul (firstname.lastname@example.org) and mention you would like to be included.
Our prayer for the week: Dear God, give strength and hope to all people who are targets of bullying and help them to take the right action with courage and peace of mind. Bless them. And change the hearts and minds of the people who bully in every sense of the word. Make them stop this senseless cruel behavior. Help them to understand why they cause such suffering. In Jesus name we pray. ~Amen