When Men Meet
The other night I met with a half dozen men.
There was no sporting event on TV, nor did we have a case of beer cooled in the ice chest.
We were not planning a hunting or fishing trip. We were not holding a fantasy football draft.
The fact is, we meet weekly as a small men’s group. We meet for friendship and with the goal of becoming better men. Better men for our home, our church and our community. Better husbands, fathers and citizens.
We share what’s going on in our lives: good things and bad; victories and defeats.
We seek and receive encouragement and practical advice from the experiences of others. We band together in an attempt to be the best man each of us can be.
On this particular night, we had quite a meeting. None of us, as was shared by all, is immune to trouble. Physical illnesses and family issues were discussed. Severe, gut wrenching problems were revealed and not a little sympathy was doled out.
Yet I noticed, while we shared trouble, there was hope. Hope in the fact that we are not alone. Not on this night or at any other time. We have each other and the knowledge that we are favored by God.
Trouble Met With Hope…
It was inspiring to me to see a lot of trouble met with a lot of hope.
One man was dealing with his mother being diagnosed with breast cancer. Another, his wife recovering from a double mastectomy and himself recovering from major surgery. Still another dealing with the prospect of adopting his sister-in-law’s children after Human Services took them from her home.
There were problems with adult children behaving badly, financial problems and unemployment.
I know these problems are not unique to this small group. I know that problems like these are common in all walks of life.
They are problems that can stop us in our tracks. They are problems that can destroy our hope and our joy.
But the amazing thing about last night is that there was an understanding that these burdens are not ours to overcome. They are, in fact…God’s.
The question was raised of how can someone go through these problems alone without a relationship with Jesus Christ. Where else could we find hope? Where else could we find the joy?
You might be asking, how can a relationship with Jesus Christ bring me the joy you are writing about.
… think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith. (Romans 12:3)
From the strongest Christian to the staunchest of atheist, each of us is given a certain amount of faith. Faith that is distributed to deal with the uncertainties of life. Faith that is designed to get us through the tough times so we can get on with our future.
Now I know that is easy to write about because there are times when trouble can catch us unaware.
But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. (2 Peter 3:8)
We might be caught unaware, but not God. He is all knowing and nothing surprises Him.
Our problems do not catch Him off guard. He knows what happens before it actually does.
You Have Faith For This…
So if He understands what will happen before it happens, and He distributes a determined amount of faith to each of us; then we have the faith to deal with whatever trouble comes our way!
- When your mother suffers from a prolonged illness…you have faith for this.
- When your wife is dealing with cancer…you have faith for this.
- When you have to step in to adopt and raise your nephew and niece…you have faith for this.
- When you are unemployed and financial security is at risk…you have faith for this.
To sum it all up, you have faith for whatever life throws at you and in the midst of it, you have an opportunity to please God. (Hebrews 11:6)
I want to encourage you dear reader, that whatever life throws your way, you have insurmountable faith to overcome it.
You have faith that was given to you from the God of Creation, who knows all, loves all and has all power. He will not leave you in your dilemma, but be with you to encourage you. To show you that at the other end of your trouble, you will find joy, peace and patience.
So, where is this faith I am talking about?
What Is Faith…
Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. (Hebrews 11:1)
The reality of trouble is that it blinds us to our God given destiny.
No matter what we believe, we were designed for a fantastic life. We were designed for a great purpose.
Before you were born, before your mother was the apple of your father’s eye, God had a plan for your life. He created you for something specific that only applies to you.
Now trouble is a two edged sword. It hides God’s plan because it shifts your focus from His plan to your situation. You are more focused on your trouble and less focused on your destiny.
Faith is understanding that no matter what trouble you find yourself in, God’s plan will succeed. It focuses you on your destiny and allows you to navigate through your trouble.
It puts the burden on God’s power and deviates it from your worry!
Where Do I Find Faith?
Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One; you are the one Israel praises (Psalm 22:3)
You find faith from its source…God.
So where do you find God?
We can find out about Him in His Word, the Bible. It tells us of His nature and His essence. It tells of His desire to have a relationship with you.
But we find Him in relationship. We find Him in prayer and we find Him in praise.
There is an old axiom associated with Psalm 22:3, it is “God inhabits the praises of His people.”
So if you truly want to find faith, if you truly want to find its source, then simply praise Jesus Christ.
You don’t have to be a theological scholar or a PHD in Biblical Studies. You don’t have to fully understand Him, you just need to take the measure of faith that you already have, and seek Him through praise.
I dare you…I double dare you.
If you don’t believe me, then give it a shot. You don’t have to go to church to find him (although you probably will). Just go to a secluded place, with an open mind and an open heart and say…” God if you are real, come into my presence.”
Maybe put on some worship music, like Jesus Culture or Hillsong United and sing the lyrics out loud.
What you would be doing is activating this measure of faith that God has already placed inside you. He is eager to respond.
I am confident that something will happen. God is not slack concerning His promises to us, he wants all of us to have a relationship with Him.
And a relationship is not just believing what we can’t see, its understanding that when we need Him, He’s there.
Please respond if this touched you in some way. Your response can be more powerful than this Post.
They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony (Revelation 12:11)