You’ve Got Your Troubles I’ve Got Mine

Real-Trouble-Sign

I was a boy when the musical group The Fortunes had a big hit called You’ve Got Your Troubles. The song starts out, “I see that worried look upon your face. You’ve got your troubles, I got mine.” It goes on, “You need some sympathy, well so do I. You’ve got your troubles, I got mine.” The troubled soul sadly explains, “And so forgive me if I seem unkind. You’ve got your troubles, I got mine. I’d help another place, another time. You’ve got your troubles, I got mine.”

We all experience trouble, It just seems to be part of the human experience. Ann Landers wrote, “If I were asked to give what I consider the single most useful bit of advice for all humanity it would be this: Expect trouble as an inevitable part of life and when it comes, hold you head high, look it squarely in eye and say, ‘I will be bigger than you. You cannot defeat me.’”  

Jesus said it this way, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble.                 But take heart! I have overcome the world.” Jn.16:33 NIV. The Apostle James wrote, “Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles            come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.” James 1:2 NLT.

The righteous person faces many troubles, but the LORD comes to the rescue each   time.” Ps. 34:19  NLT

 

Life’s troubles can leave us bitter or better. Life is hard, but good.

 

Job had negative emotional responses when trouble came. (Job chapter 3 NIV) (vs 25) “What I feared has come upon me; what I dreaded has happened to me.” (vs26)  “I have no peace, no quietness; I have no rest, but only turmoil.” He wished he had never been born (vs1). “After this, Job opened his mouth and cursed the day of his birth.” He wished he had been stillborn (vs 11). “Why did I not perish at birth, and die as I came from the womb?” He wished he were dead (vs 21). “to those who long for death that does not come, who search for it more than for hidden treasure.”

What should you to do in times of trouble?

Do not be afraid of sudden terror, Nor of trouble from the wicked when it comes;”    Prov. 3:25 (We are not to be afraid            of trouble). Why? Because. . . “The LORD is a shelter for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble.” Ps. 9:9 NLT

Don’t turn to man’s help. Give us help from trouble, for the help of man is useless.
Ps 60:11 NKJV (Always turn to God first).

Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me.” Ps 50:15 NKJV

“When they cried out to the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress.” Ps 107:6 NIV

“Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying.” Rom. 12:12 NLT

Read God’s Word (the Bible) for comfort and joy in the midst of trouble (especially   the Psalms). “Trouble and                         distress have  come upon me, but your commands are my delight.” Ps 119:143 NIV

The Apostle Paul said, “We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God” (Acts 14:22 NKJV). The ancient Greek word for “Kingdom” is “Basileia. ” It means to have dominion, royal power, kingship, rule, and authority. Going through, and coming out victorious on the other side of trouble, gives us authority to strengthen others in trouble. “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God” (2 Cor. 1:3-4 NIV).

Trouble can’t separate us from God’s love, nor is it a measure of it. “Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death?” (Rom. 8:35 NLT).

God promises to be with us and help us in our times of trouble. “When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you” (Isaiah  43:2 NLT).

“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” Ps. 46:1 NIV

Get Up and Show UP

Get up

I suspect everyone has days when they just don’t feel like getting out of bed in the morning. Maybe chronic aches and pains make your effort to rise more difficult. Discouragement, depression, or just feeling unmotivated can make facing a new day challenging. The question “what’s the use?” starts to haunt you. Let me just commend you by saying, if you got out of bed and just showed up for your daily activities, “Congratulations! You did it!” You pushed through and did it! Great things only happen if you show up in person to claim your prize.

There is a great story told by “and now for the rest of the story” Paul Harvey about a college football team with a losing streak that remained constant for years. As usual, only a few fans showed up for the game, but a local radio station was getting paid to be there, so with a halfhearted effort they broadcast the details of the game. Surprisingly, the team scored a touchdown. Interest grew among the listening audience. The team got inspired and scored again. Excited radio listeners piled in to their cars and drove across town to the stadium to see their long-forgotten team come alive. Within minutes the stadium was packed. The team showed up. The radio announcer showed up. And finally the fans showed up.

The Apostle Paul asked, “What shall I do, Lord?” The Lord answered him, “Get up and go to Damascus. There you will be told all that you have been assigned to do.” Paul was referring to his conversion experience on the road to Damascus when he fell to the ground after seeing a bright light. Essentially the Lord told Paul to, “Get up and show up” (see Acts 22:10 NIV). The Apostle Peter was locked up in prison. While his fellow believers were praying for him the Bible tells us, “Suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared and a light shone in the cell. He struck Peter on the side and woke him up. ‘Quick, get up!’ he said, and the chains fell off Peter’s wrists. Then the angel said to him, ‘Put on your clothes and sandals.’ And Peter did so. ‘Wrap your cloak around you and follow me,’ the angel told him.” (Acts 12:7&8 NIV). Once again, the angel’s message to Peter was, “Get up and show up.” Jesus told the paralyzed man in Matthew 9:6, “Get up, take your mat and go home.” Notice that the paralyzed man “showed up” for his miracle. He then “got up” for his healing. Jesus told the little girl who was dead, “Little girl, get up!” And she did! (See Mark 5:41). That wasn’t the only funeral Jesus stopped. He even interrupted a funeral procession, touched the coffin and said, “Young man, I say to you, get up!” I suppose the young man thanked everyone for showing up at his funeral, but announced that it would be delayed until further notice (see Luke 7:14 NIV).

Look at what 2 Chronicles 20: 15,16a,17 says in the NIV. “Listen, King Jehoshaphat and all who live in Judah and Jerusalem! This is what the LORD says to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s. Tomorrow march down against them. You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the LORD will give you, Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the LORD will be with you.’ ” God told Jehoshaphat to “get up and show up.” God reassured him that the battle was not his, but the Lord’s.

Great jumpin’ Jehoshaphat! You don’t know what blessings, what victories, what miracles, and what battles won are awaiting your arrival until you get up and show up. Often times that’s the hardest part; just finding the motivation to get out of bed and head off to work, school, support group meeting, doctor appointment, or whatever you have to face that day. God promised to go before us. He promised to work everything out for our good (Romans 8:28). From personal experience, some of my best days ever were when I forced myself to just get up and show up. Wonderful surprises may be in store for you. Just keep getting up! Keep showing up! The best is yet to come! “”For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”’ (Jeremiah 29:11 NIV).,

Get Up and Show Up

the guided journey

I suspect everyone has days when they just don’t feel like getting out of bed in the morning. Maybe chronic aches and pains make your effort to rise more difficult. Discouragement, depression, or just feeling unmotivated can make facing a new day challenging. The question “what’s the use?” starts to haunt you. Let me just commend you by saying, if you got out of bed and just showed up for your daily activities, “Congratulations! You did it!” You pushed through and did it! Great things only happen if you show up in person to claim your prize.

There is a great story told by “and now for the rest of the story” Paul Harvey about a college football team with a losing streak that remained constant for years. As usual, only a few fans showed up for the game, but a local radio station was getting paid to be there, so with a halfhearted effort they broadcast the details of the game. Surprisingly, the team scored a touchdown. Interest grew among the listening audience. The team got inspired and scored again. Excited radio listeners piled in to their cars and drove across town to the stadium to see their long-forgotten team come alive. Within minutes the stadium was packed. The team showed up. The radio announcer showed up. And finally the fans showed up.

The Apostle Paul asked, “What shall I do, Lord?” The Lord answered him, “Get up and go to Damascus. There you will be told all that you have been assigned to do.” Paul was referring to his conversion experience on the road to Damascus when he fell to the ground after seeing a bright light. Essentially the Lord told Paul to, “Get up and show up” (see Acts 22:10 NIV). The Apostle Peter was locked up in prison. While his fellow believers were praying for him the Bible tells us, “Suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared and a light shone in the cell. He struck Peter on the side and woke him up. ‘Quick, get up!’ he said, and the chains fell off Peter’s wrists. Then the angel said to him, ‘Put on your clothes and sandals.’ And Peter did so. ‘Wrap your cloak around you and follow me,’ the angel told him.” (Acts 12:7&8 NIV). Once again, the angel’s message to Peter was, “Get up and show up.” Jesus told the paralyzed man in Matthew 9:6, “Get up, take your mat and go home.” Notice that the paralyzed man “showed up” for his miracle. He then “got up” for his healing. Jesus told the little girl who was dead, “Little girl, get up!” And she did! (See Mark 5:41). That wasn’t the only funeral Jesus stopped. He even interrupted a funeral procession, touched the coffin and said, “Young man, I say to you, get up!” I suppose the young man thanked everyone for showing up at his funeral, but announced that it would be delayed until further notice (see Luke 7:14 NIV).

Look at what 2 Chronicles 20: 15,16a,17 says in the NIV. “Listen, King Jehoshaphat and all who live in Judah and Jerusalem! This is what the LORD says to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s. Tomorrow march down against them. You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the LORD will give you, Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the LORD will be with you.’ ” God told Jehoshaphat to “get up and show up.” God reassured him that the battle was not his, but the Lord’s.

Great jumpin’ Jehoshaphat! You don’t know what blessings, what victories, what miracles, and what battles won are awaiting your arrival until you get up and show up. Often times that’s the hardest part; just finding the motivation to get out of bed and head off to work, school, support group meeting, doctor appointment, or whatever you have to face that day. God promised to go before us. He promised to work everything out for our good (Romans 8:28). From personal experience, some of my best days ever were when I forced myself to just get up and show up. Wonderful surprises may be in store for you. Just keep getting up! Keep showing up! The best is yet to come! “”For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”’ (Jeremiah 29:11 NIV).

The Wizard of OZ

Wizard of OZ

The Wizard of OZ

I’ve been acting with a few local community theater groups since 1995. In April of 2010 I auditioned for a part in The Wizard of OZ. I was notified by email that I was in the chorus. After 15 years of lead parts, I wasn’t interested in just being in the chorus, so I didn’t go to the first few rehearsals. One night the director called and asked if I planned on coming to rehearsals soon. I told her, “No,” and explained that I wasn’t interested in just being in the chorus. She exclaimed, “You’re not in the chorus! You’re The Wizard of OZ!” I replied, “Why didn’t you say so? That’s a horse of a different color!” I had been the Wizard of OZ all along and didn’t even know it. I think it’s the same for most Christians. They really don’t know who they are in Christ!

I love the story of Zacchaeus in Luke 19:1-10. I imagine him looking like Danny Devito. Think of how funny it would be to see Danny Devito climbing up a sycamore tree. Jesus called him down and invited himself to Zacchaeus’ house. In verse seven the people called Zacchaeus a notorious sinner. He was not your average, run of the mill, garden variety sinner. No. He was a renowned, prominent and famous sinner. Tax collectors such as Zacchaeus were the Biblical version of the Mafia. Jesus going to Zacchaeus’ house was like Billy Graham visiting John Gotti. Just the presence of Jesus moved Zacchaeus to repent and repay those he cheated and to even give half of his entire wealth away to the poor. Jesus didn’t tell him to do any of those things, yet he felt he had to do it. I believe Zacchaeus discovered who he really was. You see his name means “clean and pure one.” The general public knew him as a short, rich, thief, and had labeled him as a notorious sinner! But Jesus restored him to his rightful position when he declared him to be a “true son of Abraham.”

Another interesting character found in the Bible is Mephibosheth (try saying that 10 times fast). He was the former and now deceased King Saul’s grandson and deceased Prince Jonathan’s son. Before David became king he promised his friend Jonathan that he would always show kindness to his family. So David brought Mephibosheth, who was crippled in both feet and could not walk, to the palace to live. Mephibosheth defined himself as a “dead dog,” but David viewed him as royalty. Mephibosheth daily dined at the king’s table.

Think about that for a moment. A crippled man previously crawling on the streets of a terrible place called Lo-debar, was now dining with the royal family! There he sat with David’s son Absalom with his beautiful long hair. He looked like Fabio. He probably modeled for the book covers of romance novels in Jerusalem. His sister Tamar was glamorous and also one of the beautiful people. Then you have good ol’ “know it all” Solomon. (Well, actually he did know it all). The one thing that put Mephibosheth on equal ground with this elite group was the table. I like to picture that table with a beautiful table cloth that draped down to the floor. No one could see Mephibosheth’s crippled feet under that tablecloth. That’s what God’s grace does for us! It covers all our faults. God knows what’s below the surface, but his grace covers and hides our weaknesses and shortcomings. The Bible says, “God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:6 NIV). We are sitting at the King’s table and our crippledness is covered by His grace!

Allow me to remind you of your true identity in Christ. You are an heir of God and a joint heir of Christ (Romans 8:17). You are God’s masterpiece (Ephesians 2:10). You are holy and without blame before Him (Ephesians 1:4; 1 Peter 1:16). You can do all things through Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:13). You are a new creature in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17). You are more than a conqueror (Romans 8:37). You are loved (1 John 4:10). You are redeemed (Galatians 3:13). You are the salt and light of the earth (Matthew 5:13,14). You are accepted by God (Ephesians 1:6). You are free in Christ (Galatians 5:1). You are an overcomer (Revelation 12:11). You are a king and a priest (Revelation 1:6). You are forgiven (Ephesians 1:7). Christ lives in you (Galatians 2:20). You have everlasting life (John 5:24). God is always on your side (Romans 8:31).