By: Pastor Whited
I received an e-mail the other day and made me think of how do I handle life’s difficult times?
So, right now we are in hunting season and everyone is excited to hopefully hunt the BIG BUCK or Turkey but I started to think of how much prep time we put into preparing for the hunt: Get the right equipment,clothes, scouting, tree stands, doe urine , and hotel rooms for those who really are wimps! But we put a lot of time and energy into preparing for the hunt.
But today I am going to talk about a different type of hunting. The hunt for God’s blessing!
The bible give us all kinds of examples but I love Paul’s stories: 2 Corinthians 11:16-31
New International Version (NIV)
Paul Boasts About His Sufferings
16 I repeat: Let no one take me for a fool. But if you do, then tolerate me just as you would a fool, so that I may do a little boasting. 17 In this self-confident boasting I am not talking as the Lord would, but as a fool. 18 Since many are boasting in the way the world does, I too will boast. 19 You gladly put up with fools since you are so wise! 20 In fact, you even put up with anyone who enslaves you or exploits you or takes advantage of you or puts on airs or slaps you in the face. 21 To my shame I admit that we were too weak for that!
Whatever anyone else dares to boast about—I am speaking as a fool—I also dare to boast about. 22 Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they Abraham’s descendants? So am I. 23 Are they servants of Christ? (I am out of my mind to talk like this.) I am more. I have worked much harder, been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again. 24 Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was pelted with stones, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, 26 I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my fellow Jews, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false believers. 27 I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked. 28 Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches. 29 Who is weak, and I do not feel weak? Who is led into sin, and I do not inwardly burn?
30 If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness. 31 The God and Father of the Lord Jesus, who is to be praised forever, knows that I am not lying
We see all these things that Paul went through and yet we see him say: “For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain…having the desire to depart and be with Christ, for that is very much better” (Philip. 1:21-23). In these words we see the entire substance of the apostle’s life and what he looked to beyond this life. Everything that Paul did revolved around his Lord whom he served. He knew that his Lord promises salvation that cannot be hindered by death, but is only brought closer by it. Thus, death was viewed as a valuable thing.
Are you hunting for all the blessing in your life or are you becoming bitter instead of better? The battles of this life are to be expected but it is how we deal with them that makes the difference. Are you digging deep to find the blessing in life’s difficult times? Let’s look at one more example:
New International Version (NIV)
Jesus Walks on the Water
22 Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. 23 After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone, 24 and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.
25 Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.
27 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”
28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”
29 “Come,” he said.
Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”
31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”
32 And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. 33 Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”
- Matthew 14:22 : 14:22-33pp — Mk 6:45-51; Jn 6:16-21
- Matthew 14:22 : 14:34-36pp — Mk 6:53-56
- Matthew 14:23 : S Lk 3:21
- Matthew 14:26 : Lk 24:37
- Matthew 14:27 : Mt 9:2; Ac 23:11
- Matthew 14:27 : Da 10:12; Mt 17:7; 28:10; Lk 1:13, 30; 2:10; Ac 18:9; 23:11; Rev 1:17
- Matthew 14:31 : S Mt 6:30
- Matthew 14:33 : Ps 2:7; S Mt 4:3
We see Christ walk on water to the disciples in the storm when their world was being rocked and wondering what to do, then they LOOKED for Jesus and he came to them in the storm and as soon as Peter got his mind off the storm and fixed on Jesus then he was no longer worrying about the storm he wanted to walk out to meet Christ and was given the ability to do so by the faith in Christ Jesus, but as soon as Peter’s faith got weak and he lost the focus on Jesus then the storm became the focus again and he began to sink, but Christ still did not give up on him, Jesus then climbed in the boat with them and when Jesus entered into their presents then the storm completely calmed.
Today I challenge you the next time you find yourself in a storm, remember that there is a blessing to be found we just have to be willing to hunt for it. Are willing to go hunting for your blessing today during this Thanksgiving time? Look around at truly view what you have to be thankful for in your life right now.
I was going through a rough time at work and I got consumed by the situation, it was the main focus and I was just freaking out, wondering what I was going to do. So I called one of my friends and asked his advice and as I talked to him he started ask me some questions: How is your family? How is your finances? Do you have money in your pocket? Is your mom and Dad still alive? Do you have your health? Could you get another job if you had too? Do you have a car? Do you have friends? Do you have a house? Do you have a church family? Do you have salvation?
At first I did not want to discuss any of that; I had a problem and that is what I called him about, not to ask me a bunch of questions.
But then he stated; “ you got a lot to be THANKFUL for don’t you?” A lot of time in the big scheme of things these storms are not as big as we think they are.
Have you allowed your storm to get so big that you can’t see Jesus on the other side telling you that he can walk on top of every storm that life hands you but you have to willing to seek me first.
I hope each of you have a wonderful Thanksgiving Day and allow yourself to be filled with Joy knowing Jesus is in control of every storm and give him the Thanks for the blessing he is going to give you during this difficult time . Become a hunter of blessing !
Please feel free to pass this along to anyone who you believe needs to hear the message. God Bless!