STEPPING STONES OR STUMBLING BLOCKS!

a writing by James Stephen Thompson

Matthew 17 v 19-20.

Nothing will be impossible for you!

Obsticles, setbacks, ups and downs, problems.

As I notice at work;- People seem to have problems, get right down and they can't get up, yes they can! Are you a Christian child? Step on in faith as the time draws closer from far away.

In life we want to have challenges, challenges that come our way. Bad things happen to good people even Christians, things come our way. Sometimes we want to be a lion tamer but have a tamer lion, we want everything to be totally manageable, we think why has it happened to me, why has everything gone wrong, even being a christian and we think, God is not there. That of course not being the case, problems are around us and a way of putting these things into a sense of prospective with a title.

Problems are unavoidable, if you are alive you will face a problem from time to time. We will face difficulties, obstacles, even as a christian and following God setbacks shall occur from time to time, it is the life of a human being. Living in the fallen world that we are living in and becoming upset and sick with various things. We can be victims or we came do something about it in life, problems occurring, are they stepping stones or stumbling blocks? Various people at work for example becoming bitter and upset, what do we do about that in the midst when things go wrong? Do we trip up and never get back up again? Life has its obstacles and we can fall and get back up! Its how we get back up in the midst of when things go wrong of what we can do with our life. Are your obstacles steping stones or stumbling blocks right now? The bad news being, they are unavoidable, and the good news, we can do something about it!

Its all about prospective, how you look at it, rather than the problem itself that determines success or failure. The way in which you view your life, the way in which you approach a difficulty, the way in which you approach your obstacle and what you do with it will determine weather you get back up again and move on. Its not the problem one has, but the prospective one has on the problem. The prospective, the outlook and attitude to it and to ask am I going to come through it and out the other side of it.

Christian writer John Maxwell says, we see problems not as they are, but as we are. A problem to some people, maybe to you is just insignificant, very often depending on the way one is made and wired up, the way one thinks. That’s why attitude plays such a crucial role in separating those who lead from those who follow! A majority see the obstacles, a few see the objectives. History records the success of the latter, people who see objectives! The key to the problems, to get Gods prospective on where you are at right now. Getting a prospective on your problem is easier said than done, if you are going through pain, hurt, if your emotions are tied in, your upset, stirred up, disillusioned, depressed, just get Gods prospective and begin to see through the problem.

Some people spot a problem but solving the problem is the thing, some people being in the centre of it all and unable to see a way out. The further away one is from the problem the easier it is to find a way out! My father I remember always sitting in his armchair whilst the news was on television and coming out with comment after comment, do this, do that, fool, he wasn’t of course in the centre of it. My mother would occasionally remind him, he can’t hear you you know! Its easier to spot the problem than solve it. John Maxwell says, don’t voice a complaint about a problem until you are able to put forward a reccomendation for solving it, and you are willing to take action to solve it, and you will have the grace to give and take. Give and take, grow in faith, anyone can take, take, take, but its amazing how many people would run for cover if asked to help deal with it.

Have the grace to give and take, meaning we have to grow in faith. Anyone can say, this is the way it has to be done, or take, take, take, I’ve got to do it that way. Maybe we can do it that way, takes growth in character, vision, love.

1, Gratitude. 2, Attitude. 3, As Jesus shares here prayer, fasting and faith.

Gratitude, There is perhaps a lot we could all say in life that is awful, terrible, I don’t like this, I don’t like that, I hav’nt got this, I hav’nt got that. Being grateful for what you have is an antidote to the fear of loosing it. If you are able to develop an attitude of gratitude, be grateful for what you have you will develop an antidote for fear of loosing. In the credit crunch right now of this year 2009 people are fearful of loosing everything. But gratitude, and being able to say thank you, is a powerful thing in your life. Gratitude helps you look for something that is good. Today, this age we are living in wants more, more, more, grasp hold of it and keep it. Several pounds on a Lottery Ticket and you’ll get the world, put a little bit in and you’ll get everything out.

People say, I’ve got nothing they need to look into their lives and develop a sense of thankfulness, I have God, thank you God. Celebrate a God Gratitude because bad things will come our way, if there isn’t much in the well, what do you draw on? We get upset, angry, if there is something you are able to draw upon, gratitude is the antidote to the fear of loosing, a God gratitude. Philipians 4 v 8 Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praise worthy, think about such things. Celebrate that which is good! Such a high number of Christians stumble from one problem to another and their life round such issues because they have been unable to develop a God centred celebration of God gratitude.

As to attitude, we are called to be real and face the issues of life so if something is wrong as a christian it is alright to say I am disillusioned, I feel downcast, I’m upset, I don’t know if God is there. Its OK to say that, no lack of faith to say that, even the great prophets of the old testament. Elijah, said something like that, but its when we stay there that it is dangerous. An attitude is incredibly important it is what will make us or break us, develop a God centred attitude. If asked how well you are, its OK to say things are not good, I need you to pray for me. Notice a change.

At a certain point a glut of the same dreay news damages your mind, leaders confront reality but they stop short of wollowing in worry and despondance, they avoid doomsday sayers, prefurring to fill thir mind with hope and opportunity. Its not right to wallow in the past or on things that weren’t right, only leading onto the pit. By prayer and fasting Jesus said you will know a release of faith the grain of a mustard seed.

How can you develop a God attitude a God prospective? By hearing God in your life! By speaking to God and asking him! I would say what we need to see more of (not just at work), is a prayer gathering. At present, no wonder people are all stressed out, running for the hills, we run to the Lord, he’s a strong tower. You will know faith to move mountains when you pray, what a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer!

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