Summary: This is a devotional given to my leadership board for the month of November.

How to Handle Difficult Times

Selected Passages

November 13, 2001

Three Ways to handle difficult times

I. Be Thankful

16 Be joyful always; 17 pray continually; 18 give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

A. God has blessed us

The first American Thanksgiving didn’t occur in 1621 when a group of Pilgrims shared a feast with a group of friendly Indians. The first recorded thanksgiving took place in Virginia more than 11 years earlier, and it wasn’t a feast. The winter of 1610 at Jamestown had reduced a group of 409 settlers to 60. The survivors prayed for help, without knowing when or how it might come. When help arrived, in the form of a ship filled with food and supplies from England, a prayer meeting was held to give thanks to God.

Today in the Word, July, 1990, p. 22.

1. We have been given freedom to worship

2. We have been blessed as a congregation

B. God will continue to bless us

1. God’s work in this church is not over

2. God’s power and blessing will see us through

II. Be Passionate

30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this: `Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these."

A. Our focus is to be on God

1. When we place God first in our personal lives and in the life of the church, everything else will come together

2. When we give all that we are all that we have and all that we can become to God, He will bless it all.

B. Our function is to love others

1. Love is the most powerful tool that we have at our disposal. We have been called to share the love of Jesus with the world around us. Mother Theresa “Jesus loves the world through us”

2. When we show the love of God to others it allows Christ to work in their lives and opens our lives for additional blessing.

III. Be Aggressive

7 Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men, 8 because you know that the Lord will reward everyone for whatever good he does, whether he is slave or free. Ephesians 6:7-8

A. We have been called to serve

1. We are here not to serve the church or to serve the denomination but rather we have been placed here to serve Christ. We must do what Christ calls us to do and be willing to follow wherever He calls us to go.

2. Every time that we serve someone or meet a need that someone has we are serving Jesus. Therefore, we must seek out every oportunity to serve.

B. We are to serve with our whole heart

1. Paul says to serve wholeheartedly and what he means to hold nothing back. God wants us to serve Him with a reckless abandon and give him 110% all of the time

2. Bill Bordon – No reserve, no retreat and no regrets

3. Chorus – Make me a Servant

Make me a servant, humble and meek

Lord, let me lift up those who are weak,

And may the prayer of my heart always be,

Make me a servant, Make me a servant, Make me a servant today

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