Summary: How to turn your sorrow into joy with the Spirit’s empowerment, enabling and enrichment.
Illustration: Dr. Henry Pope tells a story of one his students who learned how to change her perspective. It seems that one young girl while attending college spotted a young man who seemed very handsome and someone she would like to get to know. One day she was sitting in the library and spotted the young man studying in a table nearby. She walked over to the table and picked up a book on the table and said, "This book looks complicated." The young man said, "It is not really that difficult since I wrote it." The young girl asked if she could read it. Within a week the youhg girl returned the book to the young man and exclaimed, "That was the most wonderful book I ever read in my life. She loved the author so it was easy for her to fall in love with his message. WE cannot have a full appreciation for God’s word until we fall in love with the author. Let the Spirit of God create a greater love for the Lord Jesus so you can discern more of His will for your life through His word. The Psalmist wrote, "Oh, how I love your law! I meditate on it all day long." (Psa. 119:97)
1. The Holy Spirit helps us consciously and subconsciously to turn our focus away from pain and on to God’s promises for deliverance. Many people tend to surrender to feelings of rejection, suffering and negative thoughts when they experience problems. The Holy Spirit has a gentle way of helping us direct our thinking toward Christ and His kingdom’s purposes. Paul wrote, "We refute arguments and theories and reasonings and every proud and lofty thing that sets itself up against the true knowledge of god; and we lead every thought and purpose away captive into obedience of Christ." (2 Cor. 10:5 - Amplified) Ask the Lord to help you be filled with the power of the Spirit so you can consistently refocus your thoughts away from the negative and on to God’s positive promises, directives and ministries.
2. The Holy Spirit has a gracious way of giving us the benefit of the doubt when we tend to doubt ourselves and others’ abilities. Paul wrote, "If God is for us, who can be against us." (Rom. 8:31) Let us trust the Spirit of God to remind us of God’s overwhelming ability to always give the victory. Sing this song when you are forgetting that God never fails. "There’s victory in Jesus, My Savior Forever."
3. The Holy Spirit helps us correct faulty assumptions about the reasons why we are suffering. Some of us tend to over generalize in our thinking. A few people tend to wrongly presume that they are suffering because others are out to get them. Still, others wrong assume that they are suffering because they doing something wrong. Mis-beliefs are often as harmful as unbelief. Most of the times, people fail to understand that God allows suffering for reasons that only He understands. The Holy Spirit helps us remember that as long as trust and obey what we know to do is right, God will take care of everything else. Trust the Lord to help you remember what Job wrote, "Lord, now I know you can all things and no purpose of yours can be thwarted." (Job 42:1,2)
4. The Holy Spirit helps us step back and see the bigger picture when we get too emotionally close to a situation. Ask the Lord to help you step away from a problem so you can detach your emotions long enough to see your problems more from the Lord’s perspectives. Ask the Lord to give you friends that can help you see your difficulties from many different angles so you are given the benefit of the bigger picture.
5. The Holy Spirit helps us avoid thinking in terms of winning or losing. Often people who are facing great adversity tend to see things from an all or nothing point of view. The Spirit of God gives us the ability to realize that there are just a few things in life that are essential. Ask the Lord to give you the ability to let go of the unessential elements of your problem that may be causing you unnecessary heartaches.
6. The Holy Spirit gives you the ability to close the gap between the ideals in your mind and your reality. Ask the Lord to help bring you back down to earth when you become too idealistic in your expectations. Paul wrote, "Let your love be sincere (a real thing)." (Rom. 12:9)
7. The Holy Spirit gives you the ability to interpret everything in the context your environment. Ask the Lord to help you interpret words in the light of their context rather than jumping to conclusions about what other people mean or imply about you. Much pain has been unnecessarily experienced because people interpret words, problems and responses in light of their internal misery rather than in light of the real contextual factors. Ask the Lord to help you see the best in every conversation rather than the worst.