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The "ups and downs"?

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...We all have them!

You know we all have "ups" and "downs" in our walk of faith.
Some days we feel as if we are on top, on "cloud 9". Other days we wonder if God is even near?
We all love to have those "elated" feelings. The feelings that all is well with the Lord. With our lives in this world. We feel God's love and favor. We feel as if there is nothing we cannot do (with His help of course!).
But when the bad, the hard times come. Our emotions take over. We can become so discouraged that we wonder if God even sees us!
And it happens so easily. So subtly. In fact when it does happen? We did not even see it coming! And it's in these times that we begin to question everything. Our faith, God's love and concern for us. Even our salvation.
And for some of us? We begin to wonder about Him altogether!
You know it's so sad to think that our emotions can wreak such havoc over our minds ...and lives. Causing us undue pain, grief, discouragement. And even fear. Fear that can paralyze us.
 ...That can even cause us to live our lives in constant panic.
Now, emotions are God given. Feelings are natural. God can use feelings to speak into our hearts. Our lives. He can use them to guide us.
But we can also allow them to lead us astray. From the things we know to be true. So much so that we even doubt God's word when we read it!
Even believing the lies told us by our own hurt. Our past. The lies told us by the evil one (Jn 8:44). And the lies told us by others.
But it is only by staying in fellowship with Him. Taking our cares, hurts. The problems of the day, into His presence. That we will ever stay in a "healthy balance".
Now, what does this mean? A "healthy balance". 
It means that we are continually staying in fellowship with the Lord to begin with. So that when they, the problems of life, do come up. We already know what to do. We go straight to Him! We take them to Him. And it also means that we continually study His word. So that we remember what the truth is (this part is crucial)!
You see for many of us. Those who have really been wounded emotionally in the past. We can easily be convinced that God does not care for us. Or that we are not worthy of His love. When the problems of life come up. It all comes from the "pre-programing" of our past experiences. Now God does heal and "re-wire" our thinking as we grow (mature) in Him. But we will sometimes still struggle. We are still human! We are not perfect.
And when we have these "downs" (the problems of life). It is in these times, that we must "press into" Christ even more.
We have to remember what His word says:
 "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,"
                 (2 Timothy 3:16 NKJV)
 ...and stand on His promises no matter what!
And what are some of the promises we must remember?
 "For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."
                    (Romans 8:39-39 NKJV)
  "What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us."
                     (Romans 8:31-34 NKJV)
 "And the LORD, He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed.”
                 (Deuteronomy 31:8 NKJV)
 "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
                  (Jeremiah 29:11 NIV)
 "But now, thus says the LORD, who created you, O Jacob,
      And He who formed you, O Israel:

      “ Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
      I have called you by your name;
      You are Mine
         When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
      And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you.
      When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned,
      Nor shall the flame scorch you.
                  (Isaiah 43:1-2 NKJV)
"Trust in the LORD with all your heart,
       And lean not on your own understanding
          In all your ways acknowledge Him,
       And He shall direct your paths."
               (Proverbs 3:5-6 NKJV)
 "The LORD redeems the soul of His servants,
         And none of those who trust in Him shall be condemned."
                      (Psalm 34:22 NKJV)
  "Have you not known?
      Have you not heard?
      The everlasting God, the LORD,
      The Creator of the ends of the earth,
      Neither faints nor is weary.
      His understanding is unsearchable
          He gives power to the weak,
      And to those who have no might He increases strength
          Even the youths shall faint and be weary,
      And the young men shall utterly fall
          But those who wait on the LORD
      Shall renew their strength;
      They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
      They shall run and not be weary,
      They shall walk and not faint."
            (Isaiah 40:28-31 NKJV)

You see it all comes down to this. We live in a fallen world. We are a fallen people. But when Christ came to save us (Jn 3:16-17). He not only redeemed us for salvation. Our souls. But He redeemed our very lives! He redeemed our hearts.
We are going to have struggles. This is just a fact of life. But the struggles are not the problem for us. It is how we react to them! How we handle them!! Who we take them too (hint, hint, hint)!!!
You see we all need a "constant" in this life. Something to hold onto. To trust in. Something that will not change. Many in this life try and us possessions, money, hobbies. Other things. Even people, etc. Something (or someone) to keep them grounded. But the only "constant" that we can have in this life. Is Jesus! He is the ONLY One that can keep us grounded!!
....And He will never fail us. His word is, well, "His word":
 "For the LORD is good;
          His mercy is everlasting,
          And His truth endures to all generations."
                   (Psalm 100:5 NKJV)
 "Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away."
                  (Matthew 24:35 NKJV)
So if you struggle in the "ups and downs". Press into Christ even more! Not just when your struggling. But even before you do!! Spend more time in prayer and fellowship with Him. More time in worship. More time in devotions.
 ...And in studying His word!
Remember? His word is powerful!
 "For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart."
                (Hebrews 4:12 NKJV)
And it is true! It will help!! It will guide us (2 Tim 3:16)!!!
And it will build your faith:
 "So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God."
                    (Romans 10:17 NKJV)

You know God wants to be an intimate, and intricate part of your life. Everyday of your life! But how can He? If you never, or hardly invite Him in. Or you never, or hardly seek Him?
You see we are going to struggle. It's just a fact! This is a fallen world. But the question for us is this. What are we doing about it? Are we staying in fellowship with Him? Ready for when they come? 
Are we taking our problems to Him when they do come? Or are we letting our circumstances rule us? Our emotions?
Remember, Jesus is the ONLY constant you will have in this life!
Need I say more?

Rev. John Heintzman
Evangelist Non-Denominational
Any questions, comments, prayer requests?

POHOM Columbus, Ohio
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