Vriendskap se beloning (1)

2018-06-25
Spreuke 18:24 DB

Die Bybel sê, ‘In tye van nood leer jy jou vriende ken. Sommige praat net, maar doen niks nie. Ander sal alles vir jou doen. Hulle is nader aan jou as ‘n broer.’ Gloria Gaither wys uit dat ware vriende besorg is oor wat jy besig is om te word. Hulle kyk verby die huidige en gee diep om oor jou as algehele persoon. Terwyl dit tyd en energie neem om hierdie tipe vriendskap te bou en te onderhou, is die voordele veel meer as die belegging daarin. Ware vriende: 1) Help jou op wanneer jy geval het. ‘Twee is beter as een… As een mens val, kan sy vriend hom ophelp. Maar as een val wat alleen is, is daar niemand om hom op te help nie’ (Prediker 4:9-10 NLV). 2) Haal die druk van jou af. Maak nie saak hoe lief hulle vir jou is en wil help nie, soms is jou familie te naby aan die situasie om objektief te wees. Oor sulke gevalle, sê die Bybel, ‘Eerlike raad van ‘n vriend is so aangenaam soos parfuum…’ (Spreuke 27:9 NLV). 3) Laat jou lag. Wanneer ‘n goeie lagsessie presies is wat jy nodig het, sal vriende jou help om die humor in ‘n situasie te sien – gewoonlik omdat hulle al self daar was! Soos Hazel C. Lee sê, ‘Om vir onsself en saam met ander mense te lag, bring ‘n verrassende gevoel van samesyn mee.’ 4) Hou jou aanspreeklik. Het jy al agtergekom wanneer jy in teenstelling met God se Woord optree, dit maklik is om jouself te flous? Dis dan wanneer die teregwysing van ‘n vriend jou weer op die regte pad kan bring. Dank God dus vir goeie vriende wat jou lief genoeg het om eerlik met jou te wees, selfs wanneer dit seermaak.

Sielskos: 2 Kor 9:1-11:15; Luk 2:8-20; Ps 144:9-15; Spr 16:4-7

Hartseer en hartsiek (1)

2018-06-11
Spreuke 13:12 NLV

Depressie kan jou laat opgee. Toe die werk te groot vir Moses geword het, het hy vir God gesê, ‘As U dit van my verwag, maak my dan asseblief maar liewer dood as wat ek na hierdie ellende moet sit en kyk’ (Numeri 11:15 NLV). Elia was seker dat Isebel haar dreigemente teen hom sou uitvoer en het vir God gevra om sy lewe te neem. Daar word gesê dat die boek Job oor ‘n tydperk van slegs nege maande strek, maar Job se verliese was so verwoestend dat hy gesê het, ‘Ek haat my lewe!..’ (Job 10:1 NLV). In plaas daarvan om te stry of ‘n Christen wat sy of haar eie lewe neem hemel toe gaan of nie, moet ons eerder vir God vir wysheid vra om te weet wanneer ‘n geliefde so hooploos of emosioneel siek geword het dat hulle dit nie meer langer kan verduur nie. Wie is hierdie mense? Jong mense wat hulself sny as ‘n uitroep om hulp. Oorlogsveterane wat aan post-traumatiese stres ly en nie van die demone van oorlog kan ontsnap nie. Slagoffers van seksuele mishandeling wat hulself tot die dood toe ooreet, drink en dwelms gebruik. Goeie mense wat met seksuele kwessies sukkel maar te vreesbevange is om daaroor te praat. Agt-en-vyftig miljoen Amerikaners stry daagliks met depressie. Hulle slaap in herehuise en onder brûe. Sommige van hulle is Christene met selfdoodgedagtes, wat dit vrees om te hoor dat hulle swak is en nie genoeg geloof het nie. As jy hulle met ‘n vinnige Skrifgedeelte, ‘n kort gebed en ‘n ‘God seën jou’ op hulle pad stuur, gooi jy hulle vir die wolwe. Jesus het jou gestuur, want jy het die Woord, die Gees en die krag om hulle te help.

Sielskos: Eseg 20-21; Mark 14:66-72; Ps 48; Spr 14:33-35

Being there (3)

2018-05-27
2 Corinthians 1:4 MGS

One way to help a friend in crisis is to help them identify important resources – spiritual, personal, and interpersonal. (1) Spiritual resources. “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1). God’s Word illuminates the darkness and confusion. His Spirit is the source of all comfort – He gives “peace…which surpasses all understanding” (Philippians 4:7 RSV). His presence addresses the loneliness, and His power enables the hurting heart to overcome feelings of helplessness. People in crisis are often disoriented, which causes them to forget what God has already given them. (2) Personal resources. Remind them of their unique strengths and skills. Help them recall past triumphs when they successfully navigated through tough times. Encourage a positive attitude that looks to the future rather than being paralyzed by present pain. Most importantly, strengthen their faith with prayer and truths from God’s Word. And last but not least, remind them of your support. (3) Interpersonal resources. Family members, friends, business associates, and neighbors are likely to be supportive, and community resources are also available for medical, financial, and material assistance. The local church is another network source. People in crisis are often too embarrassed to ask for help; they feel like they should be able to handle their own problems. Help them understand that you are blessed by giving, and that one day they too will have an opportunity to help “someone else who is going through hard times.”

Soul food: Gal 5:23; Isa 40:9-11; Isa 42:1-4; Ps 18:31-35

Being there (1)

2018-05-25
Romans 12:8 MSG

We say, “It’s not my responsibility. I don’t want to get involved!” Ever said those words? You may have thought you had a good reason – perhaps it was an inconvenient time – but the bottom line is you didn’t offer to help someone in need. And you’re not alone. Research confirms that the trend to avoid involvement is increasing worldwide. Nevertheless, “being there” for others is a biblical mandate; it’s the practical application of loving God and your neighbor (See Matthew 22:37-39). Crises generally present themselves in three ways: (1) Situational crises include serious illnesses, the death of a loved one, or breakdowns in family relationships. The patriarch Job experienced all of these! (2) Developmental crises happen over the course of life – leaving home, going away to college, marriage adjustments, parenting, retirement, or declining health. Abraham and Sarah knew all about living through developmental crises. They left their home and family and endured years of childlessness. Then on top of that God asked them to sacrifice their one and only “miracle” son. (3) Self-awareness crises are when you discover disturbing truths about yourself – you’re told that, humanly speaking, your illness is incurable, or you see yourself as a failure because now you’re too old to realize your life’s goals. Or you face the reality of being divorced or widowed, or you feel rejected because of your background. People like Elijah and Jonah are examples of self-awareness crises. Do any of these examples bring someone you know to mind? And if so, “be quick to respond.”

Soul food: Judg 12-15; Mark 11:1-11; Ps 97; Prov 13:9-10

A prayer for success at work

2018-05-24
Proverbs 22:29 NIV

Here’s a prayer for success at work: “Lord, I thank You for the way You’ve made me, for the many gifts and talents You’ve placed within me, and I trust that I’m the best person for this job. I am grateful for each and every one of the personalities I work with, even the ones I don’t particularly like or understand. I ask that my focus would be on accomplishing the goals You have set forth for me to perform during my time in this position. Give me wisdom and discernment on the job, even in the midst of a hostile environment. Help me to learn what You want to teach me here, and give me patience as You prepare me for the future. Help me to do my best, and to always remain positive and hopeful. Please quiet the complaints and disappointments of my heart with Your perfect peace, and allow me to trust You with my job. Dress me in the garments of praise and the righteousness of Christ that I may bring You glory where I work. Allow me to know my true identity, to walk in Your favor, and to seek to please You more than those with whom I work. Where there is contention, let me be a peacemaker. Where there is deceit, let me speak truth. Where there is despair, let me bring hope. Where there is fear, let me bring faith. Where there is darkness, let me bring light. Where there is sadness, let me bring joy. These things I ask in Jesus’ name, amen.”

Soul food: Judg 9:34-11:40; Mark 10:35-52; Ps 129; Prov 20:25; Ecc 5:4-6