Message From Matt – August 29

Enough already!!!
Do you ever feel emotionally drained?  I know the answer to that question already because we all do from time to time.  With all of the ups and downs that life brings,  we can find ourselves throwing up our hands or wanting to throw in the towel…whatever that might mean!
Life has a way about it that can make you feel like you are on a roller coaster…sometimes you are soaring in the clouds and then other times you might be falling at a rapid descent!  The loops, turns and drops of life aren’t always fun but that’s just LIFE!  
Take for example what has happened in our church over the last few weeks with those who have passed away.  Melvin, Patti, Eva, Sam and Dan are a part of our IBT family and to experience their loss, especially bunched up together, is one of those turns in life that can leave us emotionally exhausted!  It is during these times of life that there are things that God gives us that can help us: 
1. PERSPECTIVE – I love this quote from Tony Evans regarding his wife’s 3rd bout with cancer…”If you’re going to learn to believe God at a deeper level, you are going to have to go through a deeper trial.  Focus on the purpose, not the pain.”  That’s not good perspective; that’s great perspective!  Realizing that our earthly trials, even death, are meant for the purpose of having a deeper level of faith!  To get to the mountaintop, you are first going to have to go through the valley.  Don’t focus on the pain, but put your mind on the goodness of God!
2. PROMISES – You won’t be forsaken or forgotten (Hebrews 13:5)!  You have a Heavenly home (John 14:1-3)!  You have a Great Shepherd that knows you (Psalm 23 and John 10)!  Whenever you are emotionally down or feel defeated, then go back to the Word!  Look at the promises that God gave you and believe them!  
3. PEOPLE – Our church is not filled with perfect people!  In fact, quite the opposite.  We are a group of people that don’t have it all together!  We can mess up, offend one another, and hopefully forgive one another.  We’re also a group that is friendly, loves God and wants to help one another.  We’re not a contradiction…we’re just a family!  In times like these, when our brothers and sisters have passed on, we need each other (Hebrews 10:24-25).
4. PRAYER – Even though this is last on the list, it should always be first in our minds.  We shouldn’t use prayer as a last option but it should be our first option.  Oftentimes we will try and try on our own, before prayer, thinking that we can fix a problem.  Let’s take our cares (1 Peter 5:7) to God before trying to fix it ourselves.  
While we’re on this topic, I want you to know that we are going to do something different on Sunday morning at 9:30 AM.  Instead of a normal lesson, then Q and A, we are going to read Scriptures that will encourage us and then have a time of corporate prayer with several men leading us.  I hope that this time will be  special and uplifting for anyone that might be emotionally and/or physically worn out.