November 25, 2012 – Pastor Tim – “Upbeat or Beat-Up?” – Click to download
Certainly we all experience tests and trials at one time or another. But we serve a great God. Who has made provision for us to overcome them. We simply need to know how to cooperate with Him so He can deliver us from whatever might affect us negatively.
I believe this is where many of us fail to receive the blessings of God. We don’t know how to cooperate with God and allow Him to move by His power on our behalf. We become weary in our faith and often give up short of receiving victory. Weariness in faith sets the stage for defeat.
God wants us to stay positive in the tests and trials of life. He doesn’t want us to become worn out by circumstances. Yes, circumstances are real, and they can be big. But God is bigger!!
Let’s not forget about God. The Bible tells us of an Old Testament patriarch (head of family or tribe) who became weary in his faith. Genesis 42:36 & 38, “Jacob exclaimed, “You are robbing me of my children! Joseph is gone! Simeon is gone! And now you want to take Benjamin, too. Everything is going against me!”
Jacob said, “Everything is going against me!” I’m sure each of us has experienced problems that came in twos, threes and fours! But let’s look more closely at Jacob’s situation.
38 … “My son will not go down with you. His brother Joseph is dead, and he is all I have left. If anything should happen to him on your journey, you would send this grieving, white-haired man to his grave.”
Jacob was advanced in age and was experiencing multiplied family problems. He’d lost his wife and favorite son, and another son was imprisoned in Egypt. And, there was a famine in the land. Jacob was tired, lonely, hungry, and defeated.
Overwhelmed by his circumstances, he took a “beat-up” attitude. He said, “Everything is going against me!”
This is the same man who had wrestled with the Angel of the Lord all night and then said in Genesis 32:26b, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” Jacob was a great patriarch (leader), yet he had become distressed and defeated in his mind.
Our attitude today would be like Jacob’s if we gave in to negativity and defeat, saying, “What am I going to do?”
Many of us have had a “beat-up” attitude. No one physically laid a hand on us, yet we felt as if we had been “run through the wringer.” We’ve felt worn out and defeated!
In the midst of his trouble, Jacob forgot one thing, at least temporarily. He forgot about his God. El Shaddai, the One Who is more than enough! He forgot about Jehovah Jireh, the God Who provides!
Psalm 102:1-5, “Bless the Lord, O my soul; And all that is within me, bless His holy name! 2Bless the Lord, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits: 3Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases, 4Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies, 5Who satisfies your mouth with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s”
We need to remind ourselves that God is greater than any circumstances. He will deliver us and show us the way out of trials and adversity if we will look to Him!!
Have you ever heard the saying, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” That’s not just a cliché—that’s what God wants to do in our lives. He wants to turn bitter things into something sweet. But if we allow a “beat-up” attitude to control our thinking, God won’t be able to move on our behalf. If we wring our hands and cry, “Oh Lord, why me?” we hinder the power of God to turn our situation around for good.
A “beat-up” attitude is exactly what the enemy wants us to have. He wants us to consider our circumstances and allow them to make us feel defeated. Once we become “beat-up” the enemy can dominate us.
God Does Cares. It is understandable why Jacob had a “beat-up” attitude and said, “Everything is going against me!” And looking at his circumstances from the natural, that was a reasonable cry! But with God, those words become unreasonable, because when we have a “beat-up” attitude, we underestimate not only God’s abilities but His love for us.
God cares deeply for His children and doesn’t want us to succumb to the devil’s tactics. God wants to turn our negative circumstances around.
No matter what adverse circumstances arise, we can experience the victory God intends for us to have. Here are three steps to follow when adversity strikes.
- Praise God. When life’s trials come, don’t dread…praise instead. (Praise God for who He is.)
- Consider What You Have. People often focus on life’s imperfections. Instead of dwelling on what you don’t have, concentrate on what you do have.
- Don’t Be a Pessimist. You can’t keep looking at God and expect the worst! When you focus on God, His Word, His power, and His goodness, your outlook will change.
1 Peter 5:7 says, “casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” God does not want us to go through life “beat-up.” He wants us upbeat, filled with the joy of the Lord—which surpasses the understanding of this world. He wants us to cast our cares, worries, and concerns on Him, then straighten our shoulders, hold our head high, and rely on El Shaddai, the God Who is more than enough! We can depend on Jehovah Jireh, the God Who will provide for us!