I know many of you are going through some challenges right now. I know I have had my fair share, and the whole country seems to constantly be going through challenges.
So, let me pose a question to you: Where do you go to get training and wisdom to prepare yourself for the challenges that we face in daily life?
Do you use self-help books? There are many styles out there and there are many speakers that travel around the world offering knowledge that is temporary and flawed. Do you choose to handle challenges on your own? Do you seek the easy way out, even when that “fix” is temporary and maybe even the wrong way to handle it? Well, I want to introduce you to my God and the promises He makes. And the relationship He wants to have with you; through His instruction manual that will guide you through all of life’s challenges. It is called the “Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth” (BIBLE). The Bible offers you a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ and it will provide a Sure foundation for you to anchor your life to.
As Firefighters, we are known for our training. The Bible also tells us to train – train ourselves and train up our children (if you have them). We are taught that when times get tough, we will rely on our training to get us through. When you train in the Word of God, through the words in the Bible, you will be able to stand firm and not fall when this world tries to tear you down. Ephesians 6:10-18 talks about putting on the full armor of God. Verses 13-14 emphasize that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything–stated in the above scripture– to stand, you will stand firm. This all goes back to building a solid foundation for your life; a foundation that when anchored to, nothing can shake you. Training is what we do for firefighting and being guided by the words of the Bible give us the tools necessary to withstand the challenges that we face in everyday life.
So, I asked the question earlier: How do you prepare? With any preparation, you first need to know who or what you are preparing for. The Bible speaks of three things this sinful world uses to try and trip us up or wear us down.
Deception – 1 Timothy 4:1-2 says “Now the Holy Spirit tells us clearly that in the last times some will turn away from the true faith; they will follow deceptive spirits and teachings that come from demons. These people are hypocrites and liars, and their consciences are dead.”
Disillusion – Luke 8:11-13 is a parable – an illustration/story used to describe a point. And here the illustration is that of a farmer scattering seed. The seed represents the Word of God. It goes on to describe that as the seed (the Word) is spread out amongst the world (the people), some hear the messages, only to have the devil come and take it away from their hearts and prevent them from believing and being saved. Sometimes the Word is received but is not deep-rooted and falls away in the face of temptation. Sometimes the Word is heard by people but because of the cares and riches and pleasures of this life, the Word gets lost or buried under life and people lose their way.
Distractions – Matthew 19:16-21 tells us a story of a young, rich ruler who was seeking the way to eternal life. When he approached Jesus to get the answer, he was unable to accept the answer because he had too many possessions and/or distractions in his life and he could not let them go. The Bible tells us to beware of the things that can hinder us.
Thankfully, the Bible gives us tools to defend ourselves against these evil tactics. So, you may be asking: what does the Bible tell us to do to prepare ourselves?
Examine yourself – 2 Corinthians 13:5 says “Examine yourselves to see if your faith is genuine. Test yourselves.”
Encourage yourself – Isaiah 41:10 says “Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and will help you. I will hold you with my victorious right hand.” We also read in Isaiah 40:31: “But those who trust in the LORD will find new strength, they will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.”
Exercise yourself – 1 Timothy 4:8 says “Train yourself to be godly, training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come.”
The Bible tells us in the Gospel book of John, chapter 16 verse 33 that, “Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows.” Jesus goes on to say though, “But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” Then in the Gospel book of Matthew, chapter 11 verses 28-30, Jesus is speaking to people of Capernaum and He tells them: “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” Jesus wants you to give Him your cares, your worries, your troubles and He will bear them; He wants to lighten your load.
I leave you with this from the book of Revelation 3:20. From the mouth of Jesus, “Behold I stand at the door and knock, if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come into him and dine with him and he with Me.” Jesus wants to have a relationship with you. He wants to carry your burdens and your troubles so you don’t have to. He wants to be your sure foundation that you can anchor to. All you have to do is open the door of your heart to Him and let Him in. He will take your burdens. He will give you strength to have no fears when the storms come.
If you have any questions, there are resources available to you. The Chaplains and Firefighters for Christ are here to answer your questions and to assist you in building a foundation on the One True Savior, Jesus Christ.
God Bless You.