New Castle News

October 4, 2012

Tim Kolodziej: Believe it or not, you’re equipped to handle anything

Tim Kolodziej
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — “You may think you aren't the most qualified person to do what God has put in your heart. That's kind of the point.”  — Josh Surratt

OK, I’m writing to the choir today.

You know who you are.

Believers, like me, who don’t always believe what they read.

Can I get a show of hands? How many of you have been afraid this week? Worried? Angry? Resentful? Prideful?

Me too.

There’s nothing you can do about it. It’s in your nature. It is what it is. You are who you are.

We strive. We struggle. We buy book after book, listen to message after message, read blog after blog, and we still end up swimming in the same cesspool we fell into yesterday.

Perhaps no one has spoken of this battle more eloquently than Paul in Romans 7.

“I do not understand what I do,” he wrote. “For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate, I do. ... What a wretched man I am.”

Now if Paul believed he couldn’t live up to God’s law, there certainly isn’t any hope for me. Maybe not you, either.

Or is there?

For argument’s sake, let me toss a couple of “what if” scenarios your way. “What if” we didn’t have to go out and get more patience, more love, more courage, more humility. “What if” we’re already carrying it inside of us? “What if” we’ve already been equipped to handle whatever comes our way?

What if ...

•You could live your life today without ANY fear.

While giving a speech. While making the big sales pitch. While your teacher is looking for someone to call on. While waiting to audition for the musical. While having the hard conversation.

“I prayed to the Lord, and he answered me. He freed me from all my fears.” — Psalm 34:4

What if ...

•You could always have your best friend at your side.

On the first day of school. When you’re lost in the big city. When your husband walks out. While you wait in the doctor’s office for the results of your scan.

“... There is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” — Proverbs 18:24

What if ...

•You could overcome the disappointment and resentment you’re feeling right now.

When you’ve been passed over for the promotion. When the coach picks his son for the team instead of you. When you’ve overheard a co-worker gossiping about you. When your neighbor can afford to take his family to Disney World.

“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” — Romans 8:28

What if ...

•You could overcome your daily frustrations.

With your micro-managing boss. With your annoying co-workers. With your demanding and demeaning teachers. With the bullies at school. With a nagging wife.

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” — John 16:33

What if ...

•You grew up without a dad and you’ve always wondered what it would be like to be cradled in his powerful embrace and have him sing to you as you drift off to sleep.

After you just flunked the big test. After you wrecked the car. After you missed both free throws to lose the game. After you got laid off. After your mom says you’ll never amount to anything.

“For the Lord your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.” — Zephaniah 3:17

You can, you know.

You can do all those things — you can do EVERYTHING — through Him who GIVES you strength, Paul tells us in Philippians 4:13.

As he wrote about this gift of strength from the cold, damp, dirty floor of a prison cell, notice Paul didn’t say it covers a few things. Or some. Or many.

It’s all.

(When we rest in and enjoy the gift of grace and power.)

Or nothing.

(When we try to justify ourselves through our own strength.)

In other words, believe it.

Or not.

We’ve been given the power to choose.