North Santa Rosa

Living With Purpose

    While on a military assignment on the west coast of the United States I had the opportunity to meet and greet several hundred soldiers. One day while making my rounds through the base, I met one young man who had been working a 14-hour shift at his job. I asked him, “It was 110 degrees out there today. How are you doing?”    “Not too good chaplain, not too good,” he responded.

    I wanted more insight into his trouble, so I asked him another question, “Not too good, physically, emotionally, or spiritually?”

    He said, “All of the above!”

    So, I told him, “I don’t have all the answers, but I can offer some suggestions for all three. For the physical, get to bed early. Rest is as good as medicine. For the emotional part, don’t think you have to get it all done in one day. A little bit each shift will help keep it from overwhelming you. As far as the spiritual side of the house, meditate on this good Word, He (God) gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless,” (Isaiah 40:29).

    I wrote the verse on one of my cards, gave it to him, and said, “Just call it your prescription for soul care.”

    This young soldier isn’t the only one searching for strength to make it through the day. We all are! When we’re young we feel invincible. Yet, even when we’re young we get tired. As young, inexperienced people, we try to make our way in the world, then we get tired, stumble, and fall. We experience failures in all areas. We discover we don’t have all the answers, and we’re not as smart as we thought. And we think to ourselves, maybe I do need somebody to help make life work for me. The reality of it all is that whatever stage of life we find ourselves, God’s strength is sufficient to sustain us. The surest way to gain strength for what you need to accomplish is through a characteristic I like to call “spiritual resiliency”.

    Spirituality is a dimension of personal wellness everyone needs to practice to a functional capacity through the ups and downs of life. Spirituality for the Christian helps you feel connected to the Higher Power, something bigger than yourself. And it builds resilience at the same time.

    Spirituality involves beliefs and values that contribute to your purpose for living. The tip of the iceberg for spiritual resiliency rests in the strength of an individual’s relationship with God. The benefits of knowing God and seeking Him helps you by promoting healthy connections with others, increasing your chances of making healthier lifestyle choices, and promoting strength to endure hard times. It also increases the effectiveness of your witness.

    I can personally guarantee you increased strength for every day of your life if you genuinely do the following four things:

    There’s strength through PRAYER to God. Show me a weak Christian spiritually, and I’ll show you a person with a poor prayer life. Prayer is the Christian’s lifeline. Through prayer we communicate and fellowship with God. Genuine daily prayer is like stopping at a gas station because your vehicle is almost empty; you fill up your tank and keep on driving. Fellowship with God fills your love tank.

    Strength can be gained emotionally, through the PROMISES of God. The apostle Paul called them “exceedingly precious promises” (2 Peter 1:4). God says, “I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious (righteous) hand” (Isaiah 41:10). Everyone, young and old, great and small will benefit by seeking out the promises in God’s Word. There’s a promise to fit every personal need. Remember them, recall them often, and claim them as your own.

    Labor in the Lord always produces a positive return. Therefore, physical strength can be gained by PERFORMING God’s Work. There’s a divine energy that’s as real as any endorphin rush through your body. It’s called the rush of the Holy Spirit, and it surges through your soul. There’s a song a lady used to sing in church titled: “Holy Spirit Flow Through Me”. God promises “power to the faint, and to them that have no might he increases strength” (Isaiah 40:29).

    Spiritually, a person gains strength as they PRAISE God and worship Him. In Psalm 71, after saying he would praise the Lord more and more, the psalmist said, “I will go in the strength of the Lord.” Praise encourages a positive attitude and lifts our sagging spirits. Just remember to keep your feet on the ground but let your heart soar as high as you can dream. Refuse to be average or give into spiritual ignorance. Trust God and soar above life’s challenges with strength.

• 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 “Living With Purpose” Book series can be found and purchased on www. Amazon.com. You can contact him at: rmdobson@liberty.edu.  

Posted by on Apr 29 2018. Filed under Church News, Churches, 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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