Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Power for Going Forward

But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.  –Acts 1:8 (KJV)

I was reading an online blog recently by a pastor who was going through some intense personal struggles.  He made the statement that he was exhausted physically, spiritually, and emotionally and he feared he could not get up for one more push.  Those words resonated with me because I have an understanding of how this feels.  Perhaps you do as well.  Many of us, whether we are church leaders or laypersons, often struggle with these issues of feeling overwhelmed with life and all its pressures.  The late pastor Dr. Adrian Rogers once said in a sermon on handling stress that there are three areas which create stress for us.  They are adversity, opportunity, and necessity. 

Dr. Rogers stated adversity is unexpected problems which come our way.  Opportunity is the pursuits we would like to do if and when we have occasion to pursue them.  Necessity is what we have to do each day, such as work our jobs, take care of our children, and keep our homes clean and livable.  Any or all of these have the potential to create stress in our lives.  Stress, if not properly dealt with, can drain us and leave us exhausted.  Once stress gets hold of us we too begin to wonder if we are able to get up for one more push.

This is why prayer, the Word of God, and fellowship with other believers are so vital to our spiritual health.  Following this is our physical health which also must be addressed.  A healthy diet and regular exercise are God-honoring pursuits which will help us with the load of stress we all carry.  With God’s help we can rise up for another push forward, and this Holy Spirit lead push is not a onetime event, but rather becomes a daily process of walking with Christ.  Do not surrender to despair and the overwhelming feelings of dread that may be coming into your life.  The Lord knows and understands how you feel. 

After the resurrection, Jesus told the disciples they would receive power.  The power to which Jesus referred is Holy Spirit power for sharing the gospel with a lost and hurting world.  The same power that helps us to share the gospel with others also empowers us to rise up and go forward even in the midst of the daily stresses of life.  As followers of Christ we are called to walk forward in faith regardless of whatever difficult circumstances we are facing.

Be encouraged today and claim the power Jesus freely gives.  Like the pastor I read about, you too may feel you are unable to get up for one more push.  The Lord knows how you feel, and He will strengthen you today to keep going. 

God bless you today.