By Jane Reed
Special to Inside The Pew

Editor’s note: The opinions expressed in this column are those of the writer, and do not necessarily reflect those of the Inside The Pew or Pew Talk radio staff.

While attending church this past Sunday the Pastor mentioned something that has been on my mind this week.  He mentioned the “happy factory” that is built inside all of us.  It is a factory that is built by Christ.  This factory runs full steam, even in times of struggle. This got me thinking of the struggles I have faced over the past twelve years.  I have struggled with abuse, divorce due to the abuse, moving away from family and friends and starting over and the residual effects that came from the abuse.  My daughters suffered greatly and as any mom would, I suffered with them.   I then struggled with rejection by one of the beautiful children we were so blessed to have been able to adopt and the psychiatric issues he brought along for the ride.  In the middle of that entire struggle, I was faced with medical issues and learning how to adjust into the new marriage God had given me.  Struggle has been my “middle name” so to speak for a very long time.  In the midst of it all, I was still happy.  Why?  Because my happy factory was still running!

I didn’t base my happiness on the circumstances of my life.  My happiness was not based on a husband, children or a job. My happiness was base on my savior, Jesus Christ.  When happiness is based on the one who never fails, happiness is always within us.  Happiness based on earthly things and people will eventually let us down and cause the happiness inside us to shut down.  Imagine where I would be right now if my happiness has been based on my children, my husband or my circumstances!  Which brings me to the thought I have been having for the past few days: how do we keep that happy factory running, even in dire circumstance?  I believe there are three ways to keep happy and fulfilled even when life is letting us down: pray, believe and receive.

  1. Pray.  Praying is our direct link to God.  Because Jesus died on the cross, we now have an open line of communication to our Heavenly Father.  Prayer is the “electric line” of our happy factory.  When we pray we open up the line for currents of “electricity” to flow.  Pray over everything.  Never cease. (1 Thessalonians 5:17)  Keep those lines open.  God hears you and He will respond.
  2. Believe.  When we pray we have to believe that God is listening.  We have to believe that He hears our cries and is standing with us in our struggles. We have to believe that Jesus died for us. This is different than just saying we believe, the belief has to be there! This belief is what gives us peace. (Romans 5:1, 2)  This is the “electricity” that flows and keeps our happy factory lit up with God’s light!
  3. Receive. Everyone knows how electricity works.  Currents run from point “a” to point “b”, but what if point “b” is capped off? The electricity stops in its tracks.  We have to be willing to receive God’s word, receive God’s answers and be patient when the electric current is slower than we think it should be!  God’s timing is perfect (Hebrews 4: 16). No matter the struggle, His timing is essential to the outcome.

Struggles are part of our lives here on earth.  We cannot avoid them.  We cannot run from them.  At some point, and in most cases, many points in our lives, we will struggle. Our peace in those struggles comes from knowing Christ and letting Him keep our “happy factory” running. Notice I say “let Him” keep it running?  We can cap off our point “b” and find ourselves in a very dark place.  It is essential that we keep our lines open and our factory running!

I pray that whatever circumstance you are struggling with right now will not stop you from finding the joy that can only be found in Jesus Christ. I pray that your happiness is based solely on the One who never lets you down.  I pray that your “happy factory” shines God’s light even in your darkest hours!  Keep your lines open, believe in His word and receive His peace!

Jane Reed is the founder of Blessed Life Ministries (blessedlifeministries.com ) and the Editor-in-Chief of Blessed Life Magazine. Jane founded Blessed Life Ministries for the purpose of spreading the word of God so that others can feel the beauty and blessing of God in their lives. It is her prayer that this ministry will touch each person whom it comes in contact with, allowing God’s word to penetrate their souls, bringing them to a closer walk with Christ.

By Terry E. McGee Sr.
Inside The Pew

Throughout our lives, we will have endless encounters with Satan. But one thing that we must understand is that our faith and our Savior give us power over Satan. There are two ways he can have any power over us is: one, we have to give it to him, or, two, God has to give him permission. Normally God does not give him permission, but in the case of Job, He did. Job 1:1 reads, “There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was blameless and upright, and one who feared God and shunned evil” (NIV).

But the special permission was given in this case because God knew Job was a man of his own heart and no matter what circumstances came to Job; he would still serve God without question or doubt! Satan thought that he could get Job to doubt and question God.

“Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil?’ So Satan answered the Lord and said, ‘Does Job fear God for nothing? Have you not made a hedge around him, around his household, and around all that he has on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. But now, stretch out Your hand and touch all that he has, and he will surely curse You to Your face!’ And the Lord said to Satan, ‘Behold, all that he has is in your power; only do not lay a hand on his person.’ So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord” Job 1: 8-12 (NIV).

Satan bought turmoil after turmoil, eventually killing Job’s children. But Job stood firm, and never questioned God for the test and trials that became his life. Instead he said “naked I came and naked I shall leave!” What this means is when he was born, he had nothing and when he dies, he cannot take anything or anyone with him.

Birth and death is something we will all do alone. It does not matter if you were born a twin or die in a mass death scene. The one other thing we will do alone is have a face-to-face meeting with God when that great day comes. At the end of that conversation, one of two things will be said: “Go forth and claim your crown, for you have finished the race,” meaning eternal life in heaven with God and his faithful servants, or you will hear “Depart from me, as I know you NOT”! This means when there was life in you here on earth, God was not glorified in your words and or actions! There is the ultimate penalty for this, which is spending eternity in hell, where you will be tormented daily!

I encourage you to read the entire book of Job. In times when you may question the motives of God, just remember this story of how sometimes God “allows” things to happen, but He is still in control!

Little Elm resident Terry McGee serves as host of the “Simply Inspiring Show” Mondays 5-7 p.m. CST on the Fishbowl Network. Connect with Terry on Twitter and on Facebook.

 

Dear La Vonne,
I have recently lost my husband eight months ago, and I am so lonely and sad. I feel tired most of the time.

I am also so sick of people telling me to just get over it! I feel like no one understands me and at times I am ready to die.

Will I ever be OK again?

Dear Overcomer,
I will call you an overcomer because that is who you have been created to be. First of all yes, you will be okay, and not only will you be okay you will be great!  You have the opportunity in this life to not only overcome your own circumstances, but when you are ready, you will begin to help others that have experienced great loss as well. I am so sorry for your loss. No one could quite possibly understand the way you might like them to. The good news is that we have a God that is acquainted with grief (Isaiah 53:3, NIV). He understands us better than we understand ourselves. He knows our suffering and sees every tear that falls. He is our deliverer, and He will deliver you!

Everyone in this life will experience loss to one degree or another. We cannot compare ourselves to others, nor can we quite possibly understand their pain, since we cannot measure or see pain, the best we can do is offer our compassion and comfort. The key for you will be to allow others to comfort you. To realize that they are simply doing and offering the best they have to give out of love. My suggestion would be for you to get involved in a godly, grief, support group. I know that they offer them at Saddleback Church. They have also just started a grief worship service.

As hard as it may be,  discipline yourself to have  a little bit of a schedule. Require yourself to have a routine, even when you do not feel like it. Getting out of the house and connecting with others is the best thing for depression and it will boost your energy. I know it can feel like you are dying and quite possibly this will be the last thing you will want to do, this is why I say you must require it from yourself. The more disciplined you are, the faster your recovery will be.

The enemy loves to take this opportunity of grief and use it to destroy your life. Do not let him! You must continue to fight the battle of the mind. Although mourning the loss of the loved one is painful, it does not need to destroy your life. This will be an opportunity to let your faith shine through. Use this opportunity to show the world that the enemy has not won!

1. Call upon the Holy Spirit for power. 2 Corinthians 13:4.

2. Believe, Declare and Act upon the truth of God’s Word and Promises. 2 Peter 1:4

3. Proclaim what you desire. (Peace, happiness, joy, love, comfort) Romans 4:17

4. Stay in the present. I have a little trick I like to call “Blink, Blink, What Do I See.” This is like a mind reprogram. Blink your eyes two times and then ask yourself what you see. It could be the green leaves, the road sign, children laughing, a color of a shirt, etc. This helps you to stay in the NOW, right where God wants you so He can speak to you.

You have a great life ahead of you! Get started mapping out your plan to be the overcomer you were created to be!

Do you have a question for LaVonne Earl? Send her an email at Lavonne@YourKingdomInheritance.com. Visit her website at www.yourkingdominheritance.com. Rich blessings!