Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Courage to Change: offense and courage

Your legs are unsteady, your heart in bruised, the fear inside wells up and leads you to dread. All that has happened around you, the loved ones that walked out the door, the friendships that are no more...It's just too much...Where will you fall? and what will break your fall? Pain, hurt, can lead us to sin.
Offenses can lead us to doubt, or lose our courage in who we are in Christ. Do not let hurt or uncertainty weaken the fact that in Christ we are more than conquerors! Christ is waiting outside your door, arms wide to hold you in your time of need. He says  "Do not fear, for I am with You, do not be dismayed for I am your God". In this life, we face constant change and disappointment.

 I've always believed that "it is my choice how I am affected by what goes on around me". I've always thought, that the true sting of the offense, had to do with whether or not I believed it, dwelt on it, or surrendered it to Christ. We are affected by much around us, other people, circumstances, etc etc etc...But, think back for a moment about the time when you were yelled at, and the words were thrown into your face, and pierced at your very core of faith, what did you do afterward? Did you dwell on those words, did you inwardly believe them? even for a moment? Did you quickly surrender those things spoken against you or your faith to God, and His world?

Most likely, if you were seriously affected by what was spoken, it is because you it settle within you, or you didn't quickly combat it with the truth. It's like being wounded in battle, and not putting something on your wound, or quickly getting your wound sown together; instead it's like letting that wound stay open, and when you do the air getting to it, and the bugs getting to it, and germs etc...and it just gets worse! That's how offenses are. But offenses don't only come in the form of words, they come in the form of actions, as well.

A lot of teens are destroyed by offense. It is the reason for most their confusion, doubt, apathy, addictions, and weaknesses. Parents walking out on their families, friends putting them down at school, break ups with the opposite sex, it all jabs at their hearts, and without God, and without belief in the truth they only grow worse.

Let truth invade the lies that you have built upon, the lies that say your "aren't worth it", that is  why your parents aren't there for you, or "you won't succeed" and shouldn't try at anything, or "you will never love again", because your heart has been crushed. You will never grow into who you were meant to be in life, and along the journey - if you are living whether consciously or not, on the lies of the past. If you do not believe you are loved, or you are weakened by the offenses of others, whether in words or deeds, you will not only not be able to live in Joy (which is power), but you will live in weakness as well. You will be more prone to falling into sin...because any lie, or untruth result not only in breaking down emotions, but breaking down the spiritual courage inside to do what you know is right.

 I've seen this happen in many young folks lives, and only recently has it become curious to me. A young man is angry at his Father who has let Him down, and suddenly their standards begin to slide. A young girl is heartbroken because her lover has dumped her, and suddenly she begins to fall down in a dark hole...It is "offenses", "hurts", "let downs", and lead a lot of people to become the Gothic, the bum, the suicidal fellow, the girl that cuts herself. It is usually hurt, anger, because of an offense - that brings them there. Interesting isn't it, that offense can actually become the root of sin? A young boy can be treated wrong, and in result grow up to "harm" others.

Also, it's important to note, that not always is this conscious, most good people that were done wrong, they hurt others in result, not on purpose, but because hurt unattended, because offense unattended, or rebuked can destroy you. You might be one of those people who think "I'm not willing to give up the hurt, I have right to feel hurt, or angry, about what has happened" but be ye careful, and be ye wise, it is better to be free from hurt than it is to let offense fester. God says it is alright to be angry, but not to hold onto that anger. God says to think on these things: "Whatever is lovely, whatever is good, whatever is pure, whatever is praiseworthy, if there is anything of such worth, think on these things!"

God also says to have Joy no matter what the situation is. If you are being persecuted  for righteousness sake, if you were walked out on, if you were cursed, if you be in Christ, consider it jewels on your crown. Christ was persecuted, Christ was not only scorned, whipped, and spit upon, but He was deserted by His own friends! But what did He do? He did not revile them, He did not let offense make Him bitter or disobedient to God. Instead, upon the very cross where he died, he said "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do!" And so must we be, when we are done wrong to, we must forgive, and not let anything steal our power, our Joy is our power, and our peace is our power, if we let Satan have his way, and steal our Joy and peace in Christ we are not only doing ourselves an injustice, but the people around us, and disappointing Christ.

 Be courageous. And if you realize that within yourself, you have held to offenses, let them go, and do not let satan have a hold on your life. If you do not let the Truth set you free, you cannot live a Victorious life. If you are not willing to let go of the hurt, the pain, the anger, (even if it is real, or rightfully yours) - than you will never experience the liberty you have in Christ Jesus. You must be willing to let go of the pain, and forget the offenses of yesterday. You must be willing to pray "Father, forgive he or she, or them...for they know not what they did/do". And pray for those who have offended or hurt you, that they will also become willing to let go of whatever offenses they hold inside, so that they will not continue to harm others around them.

The most dark and sinful people can be made out of the smallest dissapointment, because they let a lie live inside them and in doing so, accepted even more lies, therefore the built their lives upon them. I encourage those who are realizing that they have been letting hurts rule their lives, and hearts, so much that they have lowered their standards, and have looked to belong in all the wrong places, I enourage you who are such to take the step neccessary to change.

Be willing to embrace Liberty, and let Truth fill you. You will live a life to the fullest then. Do not let anything weaken you to fall into that dark hole in the ground. Give Jesus the wheel, and when you well that offenses, or hurts, whether from loss or fear are weakening you to less than you should or can be, surrender them to Christ, let them go. Know that He gives good to all that love Him, and that He has the earth in His hands, he will not leave you or forsake You. "His" love never faulters, and His yoke is easy, and His burden is Light...He says "Come to me, all who are heavy laden, and I will give you rest". "Forgive", and embrace my "Love".

He gives power to those who have been hurt, or worn down, He gives strength to the weak, even youth will faint, and young men become exhausted, but those who wait upon the Lord, those who Trust in Him, those who come to Him, He will renew their strength, and they will fly high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not faint. God give you the Courage to Overcome, and the Courage to Change. Taste and See that "The Lord" is good, he will not let you go, or leave you alone, "His" love endures forever, In His presence is the fullness of Joy.

Man may fail you, but cling to hope, God is lasting in His love and purpose for You.
Do not let satan have his way, you do not have to be weak, you "can" be strong in Jesus!
Say to yourself "I "am" strong in Christ! Thank God, You have fought the battle for my soul,
you have paid the price on Calvery"! I am free by believing in your Truth! The truth that I am loved
and a Victor by the blood of Christ!

Keep your eyes on what Christ has done for you, the lovely, and the good, do not let evil or depressing, doubt or hurt take your eyes off of the truth. God has already supplied a way out from sin, by forgiveness and love. He loved and forgave you, and He wants you to forgive and to love too. Be strong in the Lord and the power of His might to say "no" to the power of offense, and yes to liberty in truth! You are loved, You are Free, You are His. Be uplifted, God is on your side.

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