Daily D – 2 Corinthians 16:7
But as for you, be strong and courageous, for your work will be rewarded. 2 CORINTHIANS 16:7 (NLT)
A good friend called yesterday. He is working with a group in a unique situation and wanted coaching on some ideas he was pondering about how to work with them. It was a nice interruption to a really bad day.
A psychological trigger is a stimulus like a sight, a sound, or a smell that triggers feelings of trauma, especially in abuse victims or those with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). I do not suffer from PTSD. Yesterday, however, someone flipped a switch in me that led me down a rabbit hole of bad emotions. I was pretty well paralyzed for a while. It took hours for me to regain composure.
I am proud to say the sun is shining again today. Well, it is still dark at the moment, but it is shining somewhere. And it will shine here soon. It is already shining in my heart. What’s that old song?
There is sunshine in my soul today,
More glorious and bright
Than glows in any earthly sky,
For Jesus is my light.
(Sunshine in My Soul, Hewitt and Sweeney, Baptist Hymnal 1956)
When you find your thoughts and feelings discarded in the dumps and wonder how they got there, do a proper assessment. The 4 Helpful Lists from Tom Paterson (patersoncenter.com) come in handy:
- What’s right?
- What’s wrong?
- What’s missing?
- What’s confused?
Assessing things yesterday led to reminders of the proper engagement of lead measures even though some of the lag measures have not yet turned out according to plan. Necessary adjustments were identified. Plans were made. Steps were taken.
King Asa stepped up to the throne at a challenging time. The years after the reigns of David and Solomon were up and down and about to move into a long season of even greater ups and downs. When Asa assumed the throne, he took the right lead measures. The early returns were promising. Victories were achieved.
In the celebration after a series of wins, “the Spirit of God came upon Azariah son of Oded, and he went out to meet King Asa as he was returning from the battle,” (vv. 1, 2). It is wise when we are winning to remember that setbacks and failure are always possible. We have never been promised that what came up roses will not also grow thorns and attract insects.
God said through Azariah, “The LORD will stay with you as long as you stay with him! Whenever you seek him, you will find him. But if you abandon him, he will abandon you,” (v. 2). Winning results follow winning actions. The ultimate win is knowing and experiencing God no matter the outcome.
God told King Asa and the people to keep doing the right thing the right way for the right reason in the right timing and he would provide the right results. He had a final commendation for the king, and for us: “But as for you, be strong and courageous, for your work will be rewarded,” (v. 7).
How many times does God tell people to be strong and courageous in the pages of the Bible? More than you can count. What he said to Asa, he said to Moses, to Joshua, to David, to Solomon, and the list goes on and on. If you are listening, really listening, he is saying it to you as well.
- When things are not going the way you thought they would or should, assess. Start with the 4 Helpful Lists.
- Think through your strategy steps. If the outcomes are not what you planned, is something wrong with the steps, or is it too early to accurately assess the outcome?
- Keep doing the right things the right way for the right reason in the right timing and leave the results to God.
- Be strong and courageous. Your work will be rewarded.
I will engage the right lead measures and trust God with the results.
Our Father, the temptation to assess ultimate outcomes before the ultimate endgame is ever and always with us. You answer our prayers not according to what we see, but according to where you are leading. When we do the right thing the right way for the right reason in the right timing and do not get the immediate results we want, we will trust you for a bigger plan and a better result than we can imagine. You are in charge here. Your desires are better than ours. Your purpose will prevail. Thank you for that beautiful sunshine for gloomy days. Amen.
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Psalm 139:17, 18 How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered! I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up, you are still with me!
2 Corinthians 5:1-5 For we know that when this earthly tent we live in is taken down (that is, when we die and leave this earthly body), we will have a house in heaven, an eternal body made for us by God himself and not by human hands. We grow weary in our present bodies, and we long to put on our heavenly bodies like new clothing. For we will put on heavenly bodies; we will not be spirits without bodies. While we live in these earthly bodies, we groan and sigh, but it’s not that we want to die and get rid of these bodies that clothe us. Rather, we want to put on our new bodies so that these dying bodies will be swallowed up by life. God himself has prepared us for this, and as a guarantee he has given us his Holy Spirit.
1 Corinthians 10:13 The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.