North Santa Rosa

Living With Purpose 

    People look for God all their lives, whether they know it or not. We’re all born with an innate desire to know the Higher Power (God). But due to the tug and temptations of the world we allow ourselves to be distracted. We run out of gas, so to speak. We’re drawn to pacify our sin disposition and give up. Sin clouds our vision of God. What we see as injustice in the world often becomes our human reasoning that the Higher Power or some so-called good god isn’t so good after all. It’s hard to convince a person of their need for Christ, who has rejected the pathway to salvation.    Some people can’t understand why death and disease plague us. They can’t understand the purposes of God, because they don’t know God. Since we’re made in His likeness, we’re not whole, spiritually and in many cases physically, until God is the center of our lives. We long for love, acceptance, forgiveness, and compassion. We desire mercy without even knowing it. Only when people are graced with the knowledge of God, either early or late in life, are they able to reconcile their emotions into peace.

    For those who walk and talk with Jesus every day, does there come a realization that this world will bring difficulties. And that God is in the midst of it guiding us through the storm when we can’t see any good in it. Too many people trap themselves in a cage; either they’re selfish, tired, or just don’t know how to find God. I’ve discovered that repentance not only breeds freedom, but also makes it possible to fully embrace the Lord’s power to transform a troubled soul, body, and mind.

    Hardships, heartaches, and hurt say, “This is too much for me. I’m checking out.” Humbleness and repentance says, “Here I am Lord. Heal me and make me new.” In all of life’s situations, there’s a choice for all of us. What happens too many times is that people strive and strive in their own strength and find their energy runs out, answers to life’s toughest challenges can’t be found, and they reason that God doesn’t care.

    Yet, in all this crazy, self-searching, people overlook life’s’ greatest resource of strength and wisdom Disillusionment and burnout doesn’t come from working too hard, it comes from working in the wrong spirit. It’s impossible for a person to grow weary if they understnad the source of an ever-present Help.

    We hear political strategists and environmentalist talk about “renewable energy”, how to self-replenish continued strength and progressive measures to overcome the world’s problems. The prophet Isaiah presents a divine renewable energy that trumps any human “think tank” or creative idea from humankind. Isaiah 40:31 says, “Those who trust in the Lord will find strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.”

    This is the kind of hope that spurs a Christian on and enables them to continue when everyone else is giving up and dropping out. This hope infuses your spirit with strength and the more you rely on it the more it continues to be renewed and provided for your use. To keep pace in life one has to keep strong in spirit, body, and mind. Hope in the Lord counteracts despair, disappointments, depression, disease, and even death.

    A renewed spirit will soar above circumstances of life. It will help you run and walk despite the obstacles you face. Different seasons in life require different paces of life. In fact, sometimes you have to crawl instead of soaring and running. But the point is that you keep moving forward in the face of life’s hardest realities.

    Find a hopeful person and you’ve found someone that’s plugged into the source of renewable strength. Stay connected to the people in your life that know this hope. Get it for yourself so you too can push beyond previous limitations.

    God has devised a plan for all humankind. Hope in the Lord, renew your strength, don’t be moved, allow your spirit to be strengthened, and run and walk without giving up.

• This bi-weekly column is written by Matthew Dobson. He’s a teacher, U.S. Army Chaplain, and the Pastor of New Bethel Baptist Church in the New York Community. His most recent book is titled: “How the Race Was Won: A Coming of Age Story About Running”. He can be reached by email:

Posted by on Apr 10 2016. Filed under Church News, Living With Purpose, Local, Top News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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