Tuesday, March 8, 2011

All Shook Up

Don’t say you are not if you are. That’s what psychologist would probably identify as denial, and denial will only make bad matters worse. The way out is to fess up and look up.

Athletes get all shook up before the big game begins. Brides have a tendency to do so on their wedding day. Politicians have it on election night, and job hunters have it when they are having a decisive interview. It means to be nervous, upset or even agitated. Jesus saw this tension in the disciples, and said, “Let not your heart be troubled…” (John 14:1)

Paul alludes to it as being “shaken in mind.” (II Thessalonians 2:2) You know the feeling when it’s time to make the mortgage payment and you don’t have the money; when it’s exam day in the chemistry class and you failed to prepare; when you sit across the desk from the doctor and he tells you the bad news that you never wanted to hear; when the bottom of the stock market falls out and with it goes your retirement fund and when the phone rings in the dead hours of the night and the caller tells you your child has been in an accident.

We get all shook up by unpaid bills, unplanned emergencies, unfair criticism and our uncertain future.

Experience has taught me 4 basic reasons why people get all shook up. Try them on for size and see if any one or more of them fit your situation.

First of all, we get shook up when our fondest expectations get buried in a deep grave of disappointment.

Proverbs 13:12 – The Message: “Unrelenting disappointment leaves you heartsick, but a sudden good break can turn life around.”

I HATE disappointments, but I have discovered that my disappointments can be God’s appointment. William Carey, the great man of God of by gone days, sized up disappointments like this for a believer. He said, “All I can say in this affair is that, however mysterious the leadings of Providence are, I have no doubt but they are superintended by an infinitely wise God.” Martin Luther King, Jr. declared, “We must accept finite disappointments, but never lose infinite hope.”

In the second place, we get all shook up when we interpret divine delays as divine denials.

Habakkuk 2:3 – The Message: “If it seems slow in coming, wait; Its on the way. It will come right on time.”

Delays are devastating and frustrating. I get all shook up when my ship doesn’t come in, and my prayers are put on hold. The simple fact is that God’s timetable is not synchronized with mine. I get in a hurry, but He doesn’t. He uses the “W” word far more often than I want to hear. He’s says, “Wait” when I don’t want to and at times don’t feel like I can. The man who was born two months early expressed his hurry mode like this. “I was in such a hurry that I was born two months early and have been in a hurry ever since.”

The hurry madness will get you all messed up until you discover what Martha Reeves did. These are her words not mine, but I subscribe to them. “I don’t worry about being in a hurry any more, BECAUSE MY FAITH IN GOD WILL ALWAYS DELIVER ME ON TIME.” Delays are His problems not mine. He will always be on time.

In the third place, we get all shook up when we confuse a single defeat as a final defeat.

Proverbs 16:33 – The Message: “Make your motions and cast your votes, but God has the final say.”

Perhaps we need to look at defeats differently. In reality, “defeat is usually a temporary condition. Giving up makes it permanent”, so said Marilyn Vos Savant.

I was greatly inspired when I read what William A. Ward had to say about defeat. “Defeat, he said, “is a temporary detour not a dead end street.” Don’t go to pieces. Go to prayer. Don’t fold up. Fight! Heroes are not people who never lose. They are people who never give up. They know God has the final word.

And in the fourth place, we get all shook up when we try our best and it isn’t good enough to get our desired result.

Proverbs 16:3 – The Message: “Put God in charge of your work, then what you have planned will take place.

Nothing is more disgusting and discouraging than to try your hardest but end up holding an empty bag for your efforts. Simon Peter, the big fisherman, had a good track record of catching fish, but he also knew what it was like to fish all night and come up with NOTHING….not a minnow in the net…not an eel flopping around like a snake in the boat…NOTHING. It was not for a lack of effort. It was the sum total of lacking effectiveness. (John 21:3)

All that hard work for nothing. Not enough catch to pay their bills, feed their kids or erase the embarrassment that a professional fisherman would experience. He had reason to be all shook up. He tried hard but his plan didn’t work.

That’s what experience has taught me. I see the problem and empathize with the pain. But what is the solution? The Bible teaches me that there is only one solution: J E S U S! You must not deny Him. He is real. You must not despise Him because He loves you. You dare not attempt to demonize Him because He is divine.

Worship Him passionately. Love Him intensely. Trust Him completely.

  1. He can neutralize any negative impact that failure has had in my life.
  2. He can finalize delays.
  3. He can minimize the pain of disappointments.
  4. He can authorize light to glow in the darkness signaling the end of the tunnel is nearer than I think.
  5. He can immunize me to the paralysis of fear.
  6. And he can subsidize my efforts to succeed when I have done my best and it is not good enough to accomplish what I desire. Don’t be all shook up. Just look up. Jesus is the difference maker for your life.
Walking Together,

Pastor Jimmy & Bob

1 comment:

  1. Love the line about a single defeat being a final defeat. Wow, how often we are so short sighted in that regard. We are also way too quick to forget all our other victories. Good stuff Captain!!