Summary: How can we have the courage to change the things that we can, the serenity to accept the things that we cannot change, and the wisdom to know the difference?
Intro: How can we have the courage to change the things that we can, the serenity to accept the things that we cannot change, and the wisdom to know the difference?
Although it may be hard to admit, there are many things that we cannot change. No matter how hard you try some people resist change; some organizations refuse to admit problems and some leaders refuse to listen to advice. Instead, of consistently beating one’s proverbial head up against a wall, Christians have a better option. Paul wrote…Phil. 4:6-7. The following are few guiding principles for appropriating that powerful promise.
1. Remember your primary responsibility is to obey the will of God. Jeremiah wrote…Jer. 29:11. Ask the Lord for the wisdom, grace and calm to learn, accept and obey His primary will for your life. Do not try to run ahead of the Lord’s plans for your life. "The first duty of every soul is to find not its freedom but its Master.”
2. Remember the Lord Jesus Christ. The Lord Jesus accomplished 100% of the will of God even though He did not heal everyone. Jesus did not even spend time trying to change the political climate of Roman oppressors. Instead, Jesus said…Mark 4;31-32. Look at life through the eyes of Jesus and see what can become through your efforts.
3. Remember the promises of God. Paul writes …2 Cor. 1:20-21. Take an inventory of all the precious promises you have in Christ and confidently know that He will fulfill all.
4. Remember God’s priorities. There are many good things we can do, but ask the Lord for wisdom in being able to contribute to His priority ministries. There are many activities that are not essential. However, God’s priorities include worship, evangelism, disciple making and planting and growing churches. When you are seeking first His interests, other problems seem to take care of themselves. The Lord is eager to fight your battles for you.
5. Remember God’s training program for your life. The Lord allows many things to come into your life for purposes that are greater than our minds can comprehend. Isaiah wrote…Isa. 55:8-9. Remain open, teachable and flexible to allow the Lord to mold your character after the image of Christ. He is the potter and we are the clay. (Romans 9:21)
6. Remember Godly men and women who have endured much worse. The writer of Hebrews eleven recalls…Hebrews 11:36-40. Not all heroes of the faith experienced immediate gratification. Some fell victims to their circumstances in the will of God. Yet, all of them were blessed and commended of God.
7. Remember God’s grace is sufficient for any problem. Paul writes…2 Cor. 12:9-10. When we let the grace of God be our sufficiency, we will enjoy sweet rest of mind, body, and in our emotions!
Conclusion: When Corrie Ten Boom of The Hiding Place fame was a little girl in Holland, her first realization of death came after a visit to the home of a neighbor who had died. It impressed her that some day her parents would also die. Corrie’s father comforted her with words of wisdom. "Corrie, when you and I go to Amsterdam, when do I give you your ticket?" "Why, just before we get on the train," she replied. "Exactly," her father said, "and our wise Father in heaven knows when we’re going to need things too. Don’t run out ahead of Him, Corrie. When the time comes that some of us will have to die, you will look into your heart and find the strength you need--just in time."