Overcoming the Difficulties of Life – Part 1 — Morning Devotions - Hope 103.2

Overcoming the Difficulties of Life – Part 1 — Morning Devotions

Many times the cause of our problems is that we want control of our lives. It takes a big person to say, I can’t manage my life—I need help, God's help

By Chris WittsSaturday 28 Oct 2023Morning Devotions with Chris WittsFaithReading Time: 1 minute

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One day a father was trying to take an afternoon nap on a Sunday afternoon in his living room, and his little boy kept bugging him saying, Daddy, I’m bored. So his father, trying to make up a game, found a picture of a globe in the newspaper, a picture of the world.

He ripped it up in about 50 pieces, and he said, Son this is a puzzle. I want you to put it all back together. He laid down to finish his nap, thinking he would get at least another hour and a half to two hours of sleep. In about 15 minutes the little boy woke him up saying, Daddy, I’ve got it finished. It’s all put together. The father said, You’re kidding. He knew his son didn’t know all the positions of the nations and things like that. He said, How did you do that? The boy answered, Dad, there was a picture of a person on the back page of that newspaper, and when I got my person put together, the world looked just fine.

I like that illustration because it tells me the trouble with us so often is this. The biggest problem we have is ourselves. But when we can get our act together, the world is a better place and life makes sense. It’s then we can deal with the hurts and bumps of life, and the times when we feel hurt and upset. It’s amazing how much better the world looks when your life is put together in the right way. Rather than concentrating on hurts, bad habits and hang-ups.

Five Parts to Recovery

There’s an incredible statement in the Bible in Isaiah 57:18-19 (CEV): “I know what you are like! But I will heal you, lead you, and give you comfort, until those who are mourning start singing my praises. No matter where you are, I, the Lord, will heal you and give you peace.”  This is a great promise of God. Notice there are five parts to recovery that God wants to do in your life.

  • If you have been hurt, God says “I want to heal you.”
  • If you’re confused, God offers, “I want to lead you.”
  • If you’ve ever felt you were helpless to change anything, God helps, “I want to help you change that.”
  • If you’ve ever felt no one understands your problem, God says, “I want to comfort you.”
  • If you feel anxious and worried and afraid, God soothes, “I want to offer peace to you.”

That’s what God’s Word says to us.

The fact is, life is tough. We live in an imperfect world. We’re hurt by other people, and we hurt ourselves, and we hurt other people. The Bible says, “All have sinned.” That means none of us is perfect; we’ve all blown it, we’ve all made mistakes. We hurt, and we hurt others. So we need to recover and find a way through the difficulties, and the way is found in the Bible. It’s God’s textbook for life. It takes a big person to say, I can’t manage my life—I need help.

Our Desire for Control

The first step is to say, I admit I am powerless to control my tendency to do wrong things. The Bible has a word for this. The Bible calls that tendency our sin nature and it’s man’s oldest problem. We do things that aren’t good for us—and we do them even when they’re self-destructive. We respond the wrong way when we’re hurt, and it just increases our pain. We react the wrong way to people or treat them wrongly, and relationships backfire. Sometimes we try very hard to fix our problems and often when we try to fix them they become worse than when we started.

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The Apostle Paul put it like this, “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I don’t do, but what I hate I do.” (Romans 7:15 – NIV)

That sounds just a little too familiar, doesn’t it? So many times in my life, I end up doing what I don’t want to do—and end up not doing what I want to do.

Take finances for example. How we spend our money often fits right into this. We know we should save more and we know we should give more—but our habits of spending won’t allow us to be disciplined. Our actions lack self-control and even though we don’t want to, we live selfishly with our money. We end up doing what we don’t want to do—our sin nature wins again.

The cause of this problem focuses in on one word: control. We want control of our lives, and we think we can do a fine job of living them—on our own. I can decide what’s right or wrong.

(To be continued in Overcoming the Difficulties of Life – Part 2)

Dean Angell, 2009
(C) Lakeview Church