When I Don’t Know What to Do - Part 1
“God’s Higher Ways”
Today we will begin a series that is intended to teach us God’s wisdom for some situations in which we simply don’t know what to do.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:9 (NIV)
God is declaring in Isaiah that His ways are infinitely higher than ours. He has wisdom that you and I cannot even comprehend without His help. In the middle of our darkest nights God can illuminate the best path to progress and power.
God’s surpassing wisdom is available to you and me:
“If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” James 1:5 NIV
When you and I come to the end of our wisdom, we can be encouraged to know we have a resource of wisdom that can bring beauty from ashes. Get ready to receive clarity for some of life’s most challenging circumstances.
When I Don’t Know What to Do - Part II
“Should I Apologize When I’m Right?”
Luke 17:3-4, James 1:5, Psalm 119-98-100, Hebrews 12:5-9, Luke 7:35, Hebrews 12:14-15, Matthew 7:1-5
In this series, we are drawing from God’s wisdom to see clearly how to navigate though some of life’s more difficult situations. Today we will look at the blessing reconciliation brings.
One of the toughest obstacles to reconciliation is finding the humility and courage to say, “I’m sorry.” Luke 17:3-4 instructs, “"If your brother sins against you, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him.” Well-meaning people take this scripture to mean that we should only apologize if we’re wrong or that we should forgive people only once they have repented of their wrong decisions. In other words, if they don’t repent then we shouldn’t forgive them.
Contrast this with Jesus’ model of forgiveness on the cross. He spoke forgiveness over the mob that was crucifying Him with no indication they repented. There must be more to the story if Jesus freely forgave people in the middle of their sins.
During this message we will seek to address these seemingly contradictory teachings so that we can look at the larger counsel of Scripture on this issue of unforgiveness that has kept friends, business partners, and even family from reconciliation for far too long.
Saying, “I’m sorry” even when we believe we’re right just might be the way to reconnect fathers and sons, friends and neighbors, and husbands and wives in love, respect, and reconciliation.
The Word of God declares great hope for those who are struggling with their faith. It says, God will not break those who are “bruised” and will not snuff out those who have lost their “fire.” Isaiah goes on to say God will not become discouraged, will not shout, or even raise His voice to them. This speaks of great patience, care, and understanding that is available to those who experience doubt, discouragement, and even pain. In the very times we want to move away from God’s presence, His people, and His truth, God is there with an anointing to bring tremendous hope and healing.
The reasons people distances themselves from God and church include:
1) Shallow Foundations
4) “This doesn’t make sense!”
5) Unanswered Prayer
No matter how far you feel you’ve left your faith behind, God sees you and is calling you back to Himself. He’s not shouting. He’s not discouraged. He’s waiting for you to want Him in your life again. You just keep an open heart and God will heal your bruises and restore your fire again.
It seems like Jesus' biggest obstacles were people who were called by God's name and knew the scriptures thoroughly but simply didn't understand the revelation of Jesus. Look for Jesus in every scripture you study, every message you teach, and in every human interaction you have.
It is no secret that we live in a world that is seeking an answer to a deep longing. Humanity longs be set right, fixed, and made whole. All one needs to do is walk through your local bookstores self-help section or watch late night infomercials (that claim answers to life’s greatest problems for three easy payments of $19.95) and this will become obvious. Though these symptoms don’t reveal the answer, they clearly reveal the need and the reality that man wants a solution. We all have known times when we did not know what to do. These cul-de-sac moments seemingly have no way out, but there is one way.