How I’m Coping With An Unexpected Response

Have you ever done something and felt overwhelmed by an unexpected response?

I found myself sad after delivering a sermon Wednesday morning. It was an unexpected response. I’ve been praying through ways to cope with it.

I’m not exactly sure why I had a sense of sadness. Perhaps, it was the weight of the message. Our preaching team has been coming out of various passages from the Sermon on the Mount. These are words Jesus himself preached. Maybe, I felt totally inadequate to share the words of Jesus with our weekly audience comprised primarily of our homeless friends.

Shrug.

The focus of the message rested mainly on humility, a theme I’ve preached on previously on more than one occasion (I wonder if the Lord is trying to tell me something?).

1 “Watch out! Don’t do your good deeds publicly, to be admired by others, for you will lose the reward from your Father in heaven. 2 When you give to someone in need, don’t do as the hypocrites do—blowing trumpets in the synagogues and streets to call attention to their acts of charity! I tell you the truth, they have received all the reward they will ever get. 3 But when you give to someone in need, don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing.4 Give your gifts in private, and your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.

Matthew 6:1-4 (NLT)

The passage, Matthew 6:1-4, talks about not being a braggart when it comes to doing good works, particularly when giving to the poor and needy. Jesus encourages those listening to check the motivations of their heart lest they seek the glory of man rather than the delight of the Lord. It seems you can’t have both. You and I must choose the accolades of man or the rewards of God.

Maybe, I am sad because looking out into the audience I sensed nothing would change in their lives. Not because the opportunity for transformational change was lacking but because they still weren’t in enough pain in their present situation to seek change.

Everything remains the same until the cost of remaining the same is greater than the price of change.

The Devotional Guy™

Being aware of the hurt that they continue to carry is disheartening. And I cannot make it better.

Do not be disheartened or dismayed. Keep the faith and press on, the Holy Spirit reminded me, as I tried to unpack my response.

Yes, the world around you may look like it is spinning out of control. But, God remains in control. The Lord is not surprised that nations are raging against nations. He isn’t shocked to see kingdoms battling kingdoms.

Thank you, Holy Spirit. Thank you.

I am grateful for the many blessings I have in my life. A roof over my head. A hot shower A full fridge. A vehicle to drive. A job to go to. A beautiful wife to come home to daily. Our crew of furry critters to love on.

Apart from Jesus, nothing really changes in our lives. Remember this, my dear reader: We are not saved BY good works. We are saved FOR good works.

May the Lord bless you today my friend.

The Devotional Guy™

5 Comments

  1. thanks you for this beautiful piece of writing

    “Everything remains the same until the cost of remaining the same is greater than the price of change.”

    That sums up a lot of why we don’t see the changes in people we so long for. Great quote!!

    Andy B

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You’re welcome. I’m thankful for your kindness and encouragement.

    Like

  3. I’ve never thought about it being one or the other—the praise of man or the delight of God—but you’re right, Rainer. I can relate to what you say about hurting enough to change. Someone I love very much is in that very place at the moment.
    May the Holy Spirit continue to strengthen you, brother, as you do God’s good work!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you, David.

    Like

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