Reality Can Hurt

But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. – 1 John 1:7-8

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Discomfort, pain, conflict, spiritual warfare-these are aspects of reality in a fallen world. Healthy faith recognizes them as biblical realities. Healthy faith has you look to Christ for help when you’re in the midst of them.

Having a healthy faith certainly doesn’t mean you’ll always like reality, or that you should become complacent or indifferent to the darker side of life. But it does mean you’ll recognize the way things are. You’ll be able to admit you’ve failed, that you’re a sinner, and you’re stumbling along the way. But you can choose to walk in the light, and enjoy the companionship of family, friends and Jesus Christ himself.

– Steve Arterburn

Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm. – Winston Churchill

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, help me face my realities with faith and hope with the understanding that while today might not be all I hoped it would be, tomorrow and all my tomorrows are in Your hands. Thank you, Lord for your faithfulness! Amen.

The Big One

Get ready; be prepared, you and all the hordes gathered about you, and take command of them. – Ezekiel 38:7

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St. Augustine defined peace as “the tranquility of order.” At the highest level, Jesus Christ’s return will bring peace through the restoration of order lost in Eden. And the truth is: peace cannot co-exist with chaos.

How much order do you have in your life? However much, my hunch is that it’s directly proportionate to the levels of tranquility and peace in your life as well. Is your desk and garage kept in such a way that you’re able to find what you need when you need it? How about those drawers and closets?

If you can never find what you thought you filed, you’re much less efficient. If you can’t find a tool when you need it and have to buy another, you’re much less profitable. If you have to spend time hunting for your keys, your wallet, or your mail, you’re much more frustrated. And if you can’t find the things you need when you need them, you’re much less prepared and confident.

Be prepared.” These are words used by military leaders, coaches, athletes, musicians, and others whose lives demand excellence. Order puts us at peace, brings tranquility, and readies us for service.

– Steve Arterburn

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, please help me to bring order to the areas in my life that are chaotic. Amen.

Control

For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, ‘Do not fear; I will help you.’ – Isaiah 41:13

God is in Control

When Napoleon was a young boy, he’d stand brave and unflinching while the soldiers fired off their cannons, yet he seemed afraid of the nearby ocean. Determined to help the child overcome his fears, one of the royal attendants picked the boy up and tossed him into the waves. After struggling onto dry land, the young prince ran away shrieking in terror.

Later, someone asked why he was afraid of the sea and not the loud cannonade of the soldiers. The boy considered the question for a moment, then answered, “Because I’m in command of the soldiers, but I’m not in command of the sea.”

Aren’t most of us afraid of the things we can’t control? What should we do to counter our fears? Norman Vincent Peale once said, ”Let faith, hope and courage enter your thinking. Fear is strong, but faith is stronger yet.”

– Steve Arterburn

Keep your fears to yourself but share your courage. – Robert Louis Stevenson

Wolves in the Dark

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. – Isaiah 41:10

Wolves in the Dark

When Lord Mountbatten, a British naval commander, was five years old, he disliked sleeping in the dark. He confided in his father that his concern wasn’t the dark itself, but rather the wolves inhabiting the darkness. His father tried to assure him that there weren’t wolves in their house, but his boy responded, ‘I daresay there aren’t. But I think there are.’

Aren’t we good at conjuring up beasts? Even though our brains know there aren’t wolves in the attic or monsters under the bed, we still lie awake with our fingers and toes tucked beneath the blankets.

Friend, God doesn’t intend for you to live a life of fear. Like a protective father, He is there to comfort and assure us that we are not alone. Chase the wolves from your darkness. God will help you. It might be as simple as a prayer, or it might entail the help of a pastor or a professional counselor. Take a step toward chasing your wolves away today.

– Steve Arterburn

Every morning I spend fifteen minutes filling my mind full of God; and so there’s no room left for worry thoughts. – Howard Chandler Christy

Words of Medicine

And you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority. – Colossians 2:10

Words of Medicine

Recently my friend was taking a walk with her two children in the park. As they approached the pond, they came across a sad sight: a small duckling, dead, lying by the edge of the pond. Her two-year-old daughter said sadly, “Mommy, this ducky is dead. He needs medicine.

Medicine doesn’t help when you’re dead, sweetheart,” said Mom, “There’s only one person who could help that little duck now, Jesus.” The little girl asked, “Does Jesus have medicine?” To this her five-year-old big brother answered, “Yes, his words are medicine.

Boy! Out of the mouths of children! What a profound statement. Jesus’ words do indeed bring healing.  If you’re struggling with doubt, fear, loneliness, or anything else, I encourage you to seek the medicinal power of God’s word.

– Steve Arterburn

Some things never make sense, but neither does God’s love. – Patsy Engle

Mount Everest

But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, took him to an inn and took care of him. – Luke 10:33-34

Mount Everest

Every year people die attempting to reach the top of Mt. Everest. Not long ago a man named David Sharp suffered such a fate. What’s particularly sad about David, however, is that more than 40 people passed him before he died without offering help. Why?

Perhaps they didn’t want to waste the years of training it took to prepare or maybe they were thinking about the $60,000 cost of the climb. Some were probably intent on conquering the mountain and reaching the top, but that doesn’t explain the people who passed David on the way down. Maybe those people thought David was a loser…not worthy to be on the mountain and not worthy of their help.

Time, money, goals, and pride – these false gods keep us from loving the people in our path. Who are you passing by on your climb to the top of the mountain? What decision will you make next time your neighbor is in need of help?

– Steve Arterburn

Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest. – Mark Twain

Please Come to Women In the Battle

Our ministry at New Life is all about life change.  We help people who are in pain, confused, stuck, and don’t know where to turn.  Sometimes we help people change their trajectory in life a few degrees, and sometimes it’s a 180-degree change.  We don’t pretend that changing trajectory and living the life God has for you is easy, nor is it a one-time thing.  But God doesn’t want you to live in the pain and confusion any longer.

He’s waiting for you to do what you’ve been waiting for Him to do.  You want things to get better, for the pain, anger and confusion to go away—and so does He.  But our faith is proven by our taking steps not seeing the end, but knowing it’s there and God will honor the steps we take.

You’ve suffered the pain of betrayal, and I hope you’re working through it.  Whether your marriage has survived or not, we want to, and can, help you.  Guys make decisions to behave in a way they shouldn’t—they cross a line that they can’t take back and it’s hurt you deeply.  They’ve gone to Every Man’s Battle and hopefully their lives are different and they’ve restored or are in the process of restoring their integrity.

But you’re still hurting!

Usually it’s the case that you discovered his sexual and emotional indiscretions and you’ve been living with a hole in your heart—you’ve been angry, sad, confused, ashamed . . . wondering,  “Why?  What did I do?  What should I have done?  What didn’t I do?  What’s wrong with me?  How could he do such a thing?  What was he thinking?”  On and on the questions go.

Maybe it’s been years and the pain is still there, as is the anger, confusion and shame.  Or maybe it’s fairly new and you’re feeling paralyzed  And you have no one you feel safe talking to.

But it was his problem and his actions and his stupid decision—not mine!”  That’s a common thought of the wife whose husband has acted out sexually.  So you don’t think it’s your problem and probably had the thought: “He just needs to go take care of his issue and we’ll be fine.

But there’s so much more to it than that.  It’s why we created the Women in the Battle intensive workshop.  Dr. Sheri Keffer, one of my radio co-hosts and the speaker at Women in the Battle has a special message for you.  Just watch her invitation video below.

You’ll be glad you watched this—Sheri has been where you are and knows exactly what you’re feeling, and she wants to help you.  Watch this video and take the step to healing God wants for you.

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Steve Arterburn
Founder

New Life Live: May 26, 2016

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Topics: Affairs, Sexual Integrity, Adult Children, Addictions, Substance Abuse, Parenting, Alcoholics
Hosts: Steve Arterburn, Dr. Dave Stoop, Milan Yerkovich

Caller Questions:

  1. How do we approach my father-in-law who is having an affair?
  2. Is there a way to help my 20yo son with a heroine addiction without enabling him?
  3. My 14yo daughter is bullied at school and she was with me when I found my dad who had died; would EMDR help?
  4. How do I help an alcoholic friend who thinks he has a handle on it?

Suggested Resources:
How To Have That Difficult Conversation
Boundaries
Life Recovery Bible

Subscribe to the NEW LIFE LIVE Podcast via iTunes or streaming audio from Stitcher, the Smart Radio App.

Live Courageously

He will not fear bad news; his heart is confident, trusting in the Lord. His heart is assured; he will not fear. – Psalm 112:7-8
Live Courageously

Every person’s life is a tapestry of events: some wonderful, some not-so-wonderful, and some downright disastrous. When we visit the mountaintops of life, praising God isn’t hard—in fact, it’s easy. In our moments of triumph, we can bow our heads and thank God for our victories. But when we fail to reach the mountaintops, when we endure the inevitable losses that are a part of every person’s life, we find it much tougher to give God the praise He deserves. Yet wherever we find ourselves, whether on the mountaintops of life or in life’s darkest valleys, we must still offer thanks to God, giving thanks in all circumstances.

The next time you find yourself worried about the challenges of today or the uncertainties of tomorrow, ask yourself this question: are you really ready to place your concerns and your life in God’s all-powerful, all-knowing, all-loving hands? If the answer to that question is yes—as it should be—then you can draw courage today from the source of strength that never fails: your Father in heaven.

God is with you always, listening to your thoughts and prayers, watching over your every move. If the demands of everyday life weigh down upon you, you may be tempted to ignore God’s presence or—worse yet—to lose faith in His promises. But, when you quiet yourself and acknowledge His presence, God will touch your heart and restore your courage.

At this very moment—as you’re fulfilling your obligations and overcoming tough times—God is seeking to work in you and through you. He’s asking you to live abundantly and courageously . . . and He’s ready to help. So why not let Him do it . . . starting now?

– Steve Arterburn

Faith not only can help you through a crisis, it can help you to approach life after the hard times with a whole new perspective. It can help you adopt an outlook of hope and courage through faith to face reality. – John Maxwell

TODAY’S PRAYER
Lord, sometimes I face challenges that leave me breathless.  When I am fearful, let me lean upon You. Keep me ever mindful, Lord, that You are my God, my strength, and my shield. With You by my side, I have nothing to fear. And, with Your Son, Jesus as my Savior, I have received the priceless gift of eternal life. Help me to be a grateful and courageous servant this day and every day. Amen

Serving Others

Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms. – 1 Peter 4:10

Serving Others
Finding a way to help others is an expression of faith. It shows that we believe in the sovereignty of God. We don’t’ have to wait until the pain in our life is gone, because we know God can use it for good.

Finding a way to help others requires that you ask two questions: “What is God doing?” and “How can I get into the flow of his activ­ity?” When we ask these questions, ideas will come. And once we begin doing this, the “why is this happening” question, which once seemed so important, becomes irrelevant.

The best answer to why is always what. When we stop asking, “Why has God allowed this?” And begin asking, “What does He want me to do with it?“, we’re ready for God to start His work in us, and that prepares us for service.

– Steve Arterburn

I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use.Galileo Galilei

No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.Charles Dickens