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Friday, July 14, 2017

WINNING THE WINTER WARFARE


Ps 74:17 Thou hast set all the borders of the earth: thou hast made summer and winter.

I can remember how funny winter time was in Florida. If the weather dropped down below 50 folk got crazy. Many of them have NEVER seen snow! If it snows they render it a state of emergency. Why? They’re aren’t prepared! Us Kentuckians are driving around, having snow ball fights, making snow cream, and they’re freaking out. They have very little salt, salt trucks, plows, etc. ... Why? They aren’t prepared, but to be fair ... it almost never snows there, so they don't need to be prepared.

Seasons change and few people really “like” winter. Leaves are falling. Things are dying. I have noticed an unhealthy amount of depression among the people of God and it seems to be getting worse. Why does this happen?

Here are 10 practical reasons:

1. SAD: You may have what's called seasonal affective disorder, or SAD. The condition is marked by the onset of depression during the late fall and early winter months, when less natural sunlight is available. It's thought to occur when daily body rhythms become out-of-sync because of the reduced sunlight.
    
2. YOU’RE NOT MOVING ENOUGH: It’s easy to curl up on the couch and do nothing. Exercise and motion helps you physically.
   
3. YOU WORRY ABOUT MONEY DUE TO ECONOMICAL HARDSHIP
   
4. OVERWHELMED WITH FAMILY OBLIGATIONS
   
5. YOU’RE NOT EATING RIGHT
   
6. FEELING ALONE
   
7. GUILT FROM PAST LIFE SITUATIONS AND MISTAKES
   
8. OVER SCHEDULED
   
9. YOU BECOME A HERMIT, COOPED UP ALL THE TIME
   
10. UNREALISTIC EXPECTATIONS (EVERY THING MUST BE PERFECT)
                                   
Your attitude will determine your altitude. If you can’t think right, you can’t be right.

Pr 23:7 For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he...

EMOTIONAL WINTER TIME

Ps 74:17 Thou hast set all the borders of the earth: thou hast made summer and winter.

Whether we like it or not, winter comes.

FOCUS IN THE WINTER (PAUL 2TIMOTHY 4)

One of the dangerous things about corresponding with writing, especially on the internet, is if you’re not very careful, what you say and how they read it are two different things.
   
You ever hear of the phrase “rose shaded glasses”? Bitter shaded glasses ... There are some people that have a disposition that causes them to read their feelings into everything they read or see. Because they feel that way, or because that’s how they’d respond, they see that in everyone else. 
   
2Ti 4:21 Do thy diligence to come before winter.
   
What doesn’t come across in the writings of Paul is his emotion. What was he feeling when he wrote these words, particularly in our text? He was facing death, abandoned, accused, alone – at the end of his life. He asks for nothing but the company of Dr. Luke, a favorite coat, and some parchments. “Do your best to get here before winter” Paul says in verse 21. But although he faces such emotional and physical trials that will end up costing him his life – Paul gives one of the most encouraging messages to his young protégé Timothy – a message that ought to keep us going when the going gets tough.

We close down during the winter time   

STAY ON TASK
   
2Ti 4:1 I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;
2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.
Paul is in prison here. He is suffering. He is lonely, but he is focused. Preach, Timothy. “There’s a day coming when men won’t want to hear the Word. Preach while you have time.”

We have a choice: Do we allow winter to cause us to be bitter or better?

NELSON MANDELA: Before becoming president of South Africa in 1994, Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for 27 years by the South African apartheid government. His crime? Standing up against a government that was committing egregious human rights abuses against black South Africans.

He said: Prison taught him self-control, discipline, and focus—the things he considers essential to leadership—and it taught him how to be a full human being.

JOHN BUNYAN: When John Bunyan was asked to recant in order to get out of prison, he would ask, "Christ visits me every night. Why would I want to be any where else?"
           
3 THINGS GOD DOES IN THE WINTER SEASON (JOHN 15)

Are you expecting a harvest? What must we do?

1.PREPARE & RECEIVE

When you’re in a winter season, ask God: “What” ... not “Why”.
When we start asking “What” instead of “Why” things will get better. “WHY is this happening” isn’t the most important question, but WHAT does God want to do; and WHAT is God preparing you for are the supremely important questions.

Joh 15:1 I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. 

Jesus said, "My father is a gardener. He knows how to process and prepare us."

TAKE NOTE: Winter makes way for Spring.

2. PRUNE & REMAIN
Joh 15:2 Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.

Cut off (sinner) or cut back (saint) ... Everybody gets cut! I’d rather be cut back than cut off.

Joh 15:11 These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.

3. PROVE & REVEAL
Joh 15:2 ... that it may bring forth more fruit.

Weeping may endure for the night, but Spring time is coming! If you will submit to the process, God is going to bring forth amazing fruit in your life. Our life will reveal His glory to this world!

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