Hang on, Refocus, Live Christ

Hang on - AdobeStock_111750432With Spring (in the U.S.) starting to bloom, and the weather changing for the better, it’s difficult to hang on and keep “social distancing” ourselves. Most everyone is getting tired of being cooped up. The kids are restless, and so are the adults. All of this sequestering is taking its toll on us—physically, financially, and emotionally.

Steve and I both felt this restlessness this morning (as well as other times). But as I was praying, the following came to me to tell you: “Hang on, refocus, and live Christ.” It’s difficult to hang on right now. We want to burst forth and get out—just like the flowers that are popping up everywhere.

But when I “heard” that phrase, I also knew that it meant we are not to go “bursting forth” before we should. We’ve seen that happen. You probably have too. Someone gives up JUST before they should. If they had waited, they would have been in a MUCH better place. This is where we need to ask God for wisdom, and do things accordingly.

Hang On

In this time when the Coronavirus is seemingly winding down in some areas of the world, lets apply God’s wisdom and: HANG ON. As we’re directed in the Bible:

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.(Galatians 6:9)

And as for you… never tire of doing what is good.(2 Thessalonians 3:13)

Realize, and hang on to His promises:

God will supply every need of yours according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.(Philippians 4:19)

He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might He increases strength.(Isaiah 40:29)

When you are tempted to give up, and give in before you should say to yourself (and live it out): “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.(Philippians 4:13)

Also:

Hang On and REFOCUS

Take your eyes off of your circumstances (to the extent that you can wisely do that). And put your focus on the plan God has for you. He loves you and has a plan for your life individually and together as a married couple. But it is up to us to join Him in that plan. None of this has or ever will take Him by surprise. So He must have a reason for allowing it. Don’t be stiff necked by giving into fear. Pray and then look to what God has for you:

More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope.(Romans 5:3-4)

Yes, it’s difficult to “rejoice” while we’re suffering. But as we lean into Christ, it’s important to know that God will work within and around us for our greater good. We’re told in the Bible:

For you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.(James 1:3-4)

Our faith is to be focused upon the Lord… not on our circumstances. No virus, person, or circumstance can steal our hope and faith in the Lord unless we allow it. It’s important to stand on God’s promises:

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and He will make straight your paths.(Proverbs 3:5-6)

Continually rest in Him in faith:

I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.(Psalm 27:13)

Hang on, Refocus, and LIVE CHRIST:

We are sequestered closer together because of the threat of the Coronavirus. As a result our patience can be tested to the max. Little things become big things. Things that wouldn’t normally bother us, now bothers us. Our weaknesses come out to the forefront.

We’ve heard different people talk about how their spouse “pushes their buttons.” And that may be true. Our spouse shouldn’t; but neither should we push theirs. We admit that sometimes we do. We shouldn’t, but our sin nature comes out in us and we give in. Do you?

However, that’s not the only problem going on here. If we have “buttons” that can be pushed that can cause us to explode, doesn’t that reveal some weaknesses buried deep inside of us? And don’t you think that God wants to work on those weaknesses? We’re reminded of the scripture where Paul writes:

Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.(2 Corinthians 12:8-10)

God’s Plan for Us

God has a plan for us that is bigger than our comforts. He cares more about our inner character than our outward comfort. Even so, He cares, and ultimately, He does give comfort. We are told:

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.(2 Corinthians 1:3-4)

God wants us to comfort one another as husband and wife. He also wants us to BE KIND. We put that in bold letters to emphasize it’s importance. Sometimes, we forget to be kind. We can sometimes be kinder to strangers than we are to our own spouse.

So here is a friendly reminder for all of us. We’re told in the Bible: “the works of the flesh are evident.” If you look at the “works of the flesh” as laid out in Galatians 5 you can see that they are not the way we should live as Christ followers. We are warned in the Bible that we should not drag them into our marriage relationship. However, God does want us to share our “fruit” with our spouse (and others).

Hang on and Share Fruit

After telling us about the “works of the flesh” we’re told:

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.(Galatians 5:22-26)

Those are good reminders at this time in our lives—especially as we’re dealing with all of the consequences of the Coronavirus. We encourage you to HANG ON. This won’t last forever. It may seem like it will; but it won’t.

Don’t give up and give in to the temptation to do that, which you should not. REFOCUS on getting through all of this with as positive of an attitude that you can. Don’t focus on the negatives. Look at them realistically, but then pray, and put your energies into feeding the good that you can, rather than the bad. Work to be as easy to live with as you possibly can.

And then… LIVE CHRIST. That is the most important thing that you can do. Don’t throw scriptures at your spouse in prideful ways. You are not your spouse’s Holy Spirit—God is. And don’t be prideful that you are a better person. Let God decide that. Be humble; don’t provoke, and be kind. That is the best way that you can live as Christ would have you. Work to reveal and reflect the love of Christ in every way you can… the genuine love of Christ!

Praying Together

And join us in praying that God will draw people to Himself. Every evening at 7:14 we pray and stand upon the promise (and hope you will join us):

If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.(2 Chronicles 7:14)

Cindy and Steve Wright

— ADDITIONALLY —

To help you further, we give a lot of personal stories, humor, and more practical tips in our book, 7 ESSENTIALS to Grow Your Marriage. We hope you will pick up a copy for yourself. (It’s available both electronically and in print form.) Plus, it can make a great gift for someone else. It gives you the opportunity to help them grow their marriage. And who doesn’t need that? Just click on the linked title or the picture below:

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