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Written by John Foldberg – Mighty Oaks Aftercare Manager

During our last Legacy program, I was teaching one of the classes and felt compelled to tell the men who were attending something that God was teaching me.  I told them how I was struggling with bitterness and anxiety associated with the house we bought in Virginia.  The house has several maintenance issues and the yard is really big  (I hate yard work). The lesson I wanted them to learn was that if we rely on the “Promises of God” found in His Word and not our “feelings” about the circumstances we will grow in our trust in God and see His loving-kindness all around us.  We’ll also grow in demonstrating the Fruit of the Spirit regardless of circumstance.

The below is the message I sent the guys soon after arriving home.

Well, it’s been 2 days since you got home, how are ya’ll doing?
I wanted to share with you something that happened yesterday.  Remember the saga of my house and the closing, roof, siding, sewage and my bitterness directed toward it. Well, yesterday I got the news that one of the support beams is rotted and needs to be replaced. I could “feel” the anxiety in me raising up again.  So, this morning I decided to listen to what I had been telling you guys. Trust in the promises of God, not in my feelings.  So I did some search on the promises of God and this is what helped me bring my thoughts back to a right perspective.

“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord,
    whose confidence is in him.
They will be like a tree planted by the water
    that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
    its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
    and never fails to bear fruit.”
The heart is deceitful above all things
    and beyond cure.
    Who can understand it?”

Jeremiah 17:7-9

That’s what trust looks like, it bears good fruit even in the midst of drought (trial)

I continued to look and found a promise God gives us in Philippians:

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:6-7

And this promise is found in Luke:

Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God.  Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” – Luke 12:6-7

“If we build our house on sand (feelings) then when that

storm arrives we will be washed away with the shifting sands.”

So, as you guys encounter trials and start to get worried, anxious or even bitter because of the difficulty of the situation, remember to anchor your thoughts on the truths found in His word, not on the roller coaster of emotions.  We are told that storms are coming, we will have trials in life some big, some small, but if we build our house on rock (God’s promises) when those storms come we will stand.  However, if we build our house on sand (feelings) then when that storm arrives we will be washed away with the shifting sands.  We also need to keep in mind that we have an incredible power at work within us, the Holy Spirit, who creates the desire to live in such a way as glorify God, and to trust Him and His ways.

It’s hard to do this at first but as we develop new habits and new ways of handling trials it will get easier.  It will get easier because we will have examples to look back on of how even during difficulty we experienced: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. (Galatians 5:22-23-Fruit of the Spirit)

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