Life Is Real – God Is Realer by Gary Ellis

“Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve my life…”  (Psalm 138:7)

Life is real but God is realer!

Really bad grammar.  Really excellent theology.

Have you become too “grown up” to enjoy life in the midst of difficulties and disappointments?

There’s something about the way children face life that we adults need to re-embrace. 

“I ain’t worried cuz my dad’s bigger than your dad!”

In Psalm 138:7 we find King David using the coolest word, Chayah.  Phonetically you pronounce it [khaw-yaw’].  Now make sure you start by emphasizing the spitting sound in the back of your throat.  Then punch the last syllable – YAH!  It makes me think of the idea, “Trouble…I spit in your face!”

The NIV translates Chayah, “preserve.”  KJV uses the word, “revive.”  The shades of meaning of chayah:

  • sustain
  • prosper
  • quicken
  • restore
  • refresh

The target ideas:

  • sickness
  • discouragement
  • fainting
  • death

Where ever you are today.  What ever the circumstances that surround you.  See it all like a big honken piece of watermelon.  Take a big bite out of it like life may be real but your daddy is real-er!

Gary

 

When Discouragement Comes by Gary Ellis

Discouragement, frustration, negative stress all come to every person.  It’s a normal condition of the flesh in a distressed world.  It comes.  But, it doesn’t have to stay!

Encouragement is an action that means to “fill with courage.”  Discouragement means to “rob of courage.”  Jesus made it pretty clear in His words recorded in John 10:10 that He gives and it is the Thief that robs.  King David asked the question in Psalms 42 and 43, “Why are you cast down [discouraged] my soul [the part of you including emotional responses]?

David gave the solution in the same verses.  Jesus instructed about the remedy for normal flesh life in the words of John 15.

David said, “…hope in God.”  Some translations say, “…wait on God.”  They are both accurately expressing aspects of the same Hebrew word which has the idea of fixing one’s eyes patiently in anticipation of His salvation.Jesus said that we are branches and must stay attached to the vine.  In a very real way, both David and Jesus are relating the same truth.

When a person has been robbed by and through circumstances and other people of their courage, it’s actually the action of the Enemy in their minds.  Their gaze has slipped from the Source of Life and the ears of their inner frustrations have begun to give attention to the voice of accusations.

While walking in the flesh, we typically accuse others and ourselves.  It’s a telltale sign of the Enemy’s presence.

As overly simplistic as it sounds, the first and most important thing to do is cause your inner eyes to look directly at Jesus.  The most effective way to do that is a combination of directing your attention to a promise in the Word and gather a list of remembrances of past victories in Him.

(btw…that’s also a root meaning of ‘waiting’ to the Hebrew mind.  The same word is used in Genesis where the waters were “gathered” into their own places)

Then [actually as part the same action] take deep breaths.  Physically and of His Spirit.

The next time (or now) you are robbed of courage, TAKE IT BACK.  Put your eyes where they belong and He will Re-courage you!

One final thought:  The temptation will be to think, “But all of these circumstances are real.  I’m just being realistic.”  Gravity is real.  But Lift is a higher law that overcomes gravity.  We can choose to live by the highest laws.  That’s were we find peace in the storm…like Jesus did.

Gary



 

Mistrust Discouragement by Gary Ellis

One of the greatest lessons I’ve been learning on my “spiritual/truly realistic” life journey with God is in the area of how to deal with discouragement.  Fact is…”discouragement” is an ugly gremlin that knocks on everyone’s door time and again.  In some cases it seems like it’s camped out on the doorstep.  For some it feels like discouragement has taken out a lease on the property right next door – or – built a room in your house.

The good news:  Mr/Ms Discouragement can be effectively vacated!

First Key: Mistrust It.  Ie: Treat It With Suspicion.  Deeply Doubt It.

The only reason discouragement can get a foothold is that man’s logic has told us that it’s “being realistic.”

Let me add here that the only true form of “realism” is based on God’s perspective…and we find that in these places:

  • His stories of activity and intervention in the Old and New Testament (especially the stories of Jesus).
  • His stories of victory in the timeless testimonies of others.
  • His stories in the events of your personal life that have demonstrated His delivering and restoring grace.

That’s why I opened the first paragraph of this post with the words, “spiritual/truly realistic.”

I used to feel that realism could be judged by whatever my circumstances were dictating.  But, I found that circumstances were, often, only a reflection of happenstances in a sin scared world.

Wisdom dictated by a sin scared world must be mistrusted!

I found that the only “scars” worth trusting are the scars embedded in Jesus!  Those scars dictate the realistic truth!

So…what’s the solution?

MISTRUST DISCOURAGEMENT! Weigh it in the balance of God’s truth through the three points I listed above.  (At least that’s a good place to start.)

When your emotions drone their dismay in your ears with thoughts like…

  • “I can never do anything right!”
  • “Things will never go good for me!”
  • “This situation is hopeless!”
  • “I’m the exception to God’s rule!”

Mistrust it.  Doubt it.  Be very suspicious of how you are feeling.

As “Cooksey’s Blog” points out, “Discouragement Is a Choice”(Interestingly i discovered his inspiring wisdom as I was searching for a good picture to put with this article.) I really enjoyed the simple wisdom and subscribed to it to see what other gems he may post.

Here’s to “Victory Over Discouragement in 2011.” I didn’t say it would be easy.  It depends on how many roots it has set down in your thinking.  But take the axe of God’s truth to the roots.  Start today.

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Gary




Minimizing Discouragement

Now this little lizard is in a place that would be very discouraging.  Discouraging with a capital “D”!!  Wouldn’t you agree?

Discouragement in life comes in all sizes and shapes.  And, I could have titled this article, “Eliminating Discouragement.”  Except that isn’t believable.  To eradicate the “bummer” and never fear facing it again is really kind of a “pipe-dream.”  However…we all can learn to minimize the effects of this bird of prey.

A True Story

There’s a man named John Fenn who has a son born with Cerebral Palsy.  The umbilical chord was wrapped around the child’s head like a slip knot cutting off oxygen to the brain.  In fact he was initially born dead, but was revived.

The Struggle

The boy lived; but, at three years old was not yet able to sit up, crawl, or speak.  That’s the baby boy’s struggle.  John and his wife, being Christians (educated in the ways of faith, at that) had their own struggle. They began doing everything they knew.  They confessed the scriptures over their son morning and evening.  They spent thousands on physical therapy.  Nothing seemed to work.

A Sincere Struggle

That’s a sincere fight of faith.  After all isn’t the fight of faith a good fight, according to the Scriptures?  The obvious answer would seem to be, yes.  John and his wife were waging a radical “war of faith” for their son’s physical future.  They were doing everything, as good loving parents, both spiritually and physically to bring health to their son.

Jesus Spoke

However, one day as John was warring with the sword of the Word, Jesus stopped him and asked,  “What promise are you standing on?”
To that John responded with Peter’s words, “…by His stripes we were healed.”  <That’s how I would have responded.  That’s, frankly, what I teach, what I believe, and what I practice.> It’s true.  Our faith must have a foundation of specific scripture promises to stand on.

But Jesus Said To John…

“Can you believe that promise?”  “Yes, Lord, I believe.” “Then get your eyes off the manifestation and just believe my word.”

That’s sometimes a subtle but profound shift.  Frankly when I heard that story it was also revelation for me.  I tried it, realizing if I was real buck naked honest, I was placing my faith being valid on measurable results.  When I took Jesus’ words to John for myself, I began feeling more peace! Discouragement over specific issues began to minimize.

What about you?  Are you discouraged because you’re not resting in the promise, ALONE?  Are you looking at lack of manifestation as an indication of reality/truth?

Gutt Check With Jesus Time! I’ve discovered that the promises, themselves (because they are word descriptions of Jesus’ character and reputation) contain a vast reservoir of their own peace, joy, and true faith.

Gary