As I was seeking God and asking Him what this last post should be, He reminded me of the campaign slogan and chant used in 2008 that propelled the country to elect its first African American President. “Change we can believe in. Yes we can!” And almost immediately Philippians 4:12-14 came to mind, which says, “I’ve learned by now to be quite content whatever my circumstances. I’m just as happy with little as with much, with much as with little. I’ve found the recipe for being happy whether full or hungry, hands full or hands empty. Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am.” Some of you may be more familiar with the King James Version which reads, “I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”
God loves us and He wants us to be encouraged. He wants us to know that “Yes, We Can” change if we believe in Him and His promises to us. He wants us to remember that the recipe for being happy is not found in the external and temporal things in this life and that what we have or don’t have should not dictate our state of being “happy”. He wants us to know the secret to being happy can only be found in the One who makes us who we are! God made each of us uniquely and there is no one else who can meet the unique needs that each of us has. God knows what will make us feel loved and respected. God knows what will encourage us and strengthen us. We have to trust Him to uniquely fill and meet every need we have.
Our total dependency on God as our source of happiness is a choice that each of us has to make. We can continue to depend on ourselves or look to our spouses, children, friends, and money to make us happy. We can continue telling ourselves that as soon as we have some“thing” or some”body” our lives will be better. We can continue to keep putting our lives on hold waiting for the people we love to “get it together”! Or we can CHANGE! We can find our strength in Christ to equip and empower us to do ALL things. We can find the strength through Christ to make it through ANY situation or circumstance that we experience. We can choose to understand that our sole responsibility in this love walk is for each of us to be obedient to the call of God in our lives. Jesus said in Matthew 22 that the two greatest commandments for us to follow are to: First, love God with all of our heart, soul and mind; and Second, love our neighbors as ourselves. He goes on to say that on these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. In other words, if we can get these two commandments down in our spirit, everything else we do will be in order!
Can you change your current response of shutting down or lashing out and love those around you? Can you change your thoughts and ignore all the things that irritate and annoy you in your love relationships? Can you forget the things from the past that others have done and may continue to do to hurt you? Can you accept responsibility to love the unlovable, bless those who persecute you, and pray for your enemy and those that spitefully use you? “Yes You Can!” “Yes You Can!” “Yes You Can!” I believe that change is possible! I believe that Christ is strengthening you to do ALL things!
Research – Philippians 4 (Again!), Matthew 22
Relate – In what areas of your life have you blamed not “being happy” on others?
Respond – Pray and ask God to show you where you are not depending on his truth, grace and love for your life?
Reflect – Ask yourself, do you really want change in your love relationships? Are you willing to be the change you want to see?
Discussion Question – Love calls us to act first. Love says that in spite of being wronged or hurt, I will take the risk to make it right. How difficult is this? and why?