This morning, my daughter was building the world’s biggest rocket out of lego bricks. It was all going brilliantly, until the very last piece. As she placed it on top, we watched it wobble and come crashing down. There was a two second pause when I held my breath… before she let out an ear-ripping howl and vowed never to build anything else, ever, ever EVER again.
My daughter moved on, with a little help from Bruno Mars. But when the world around us is collapsing, what helps us to pick us the bricks?
1. Keep your goal in mind – a glorious, unshakeable future with the Lord Jesus, where even these struggles will be a dim memory.
Phil 3:1-13: Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
2. Make a list of the ways that God has been faithful to you and your loved ones; in small things and in big. Thank Him for these and put it up somewhere you will see it. The future doesn’t depend on your strength, but on His.
Hebrews 10:23: Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.
3. Step aside from your own world, just for a moment. Who can you pray for, encourage or help? Even if nothing else is going right, we can bless others. We’re part of a family and we pull together and carry each other.
1 Thess 5:11: So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing
4. Remind yourself of your beloved. No-one is like Him and He holds eternity in His hands. He is beautiful, fierce and faithful. He gave everything for us and He is with us and in us.
Song of Solomon 5:16:”His mouth is full of sweetness And he is wholly desirable. This is my beloved and this is my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem.”
5. Pour out your days before God. When you wake and it seems too much; when you’re in the thick of it and can’t catch a breath; when you’re heavy with tiredness and can barely whisper ‘help;’ when you’re running for the bus or waiting for test results. In the supermarket and the salesroom; stroking the dog or putting out the bins…we can be in throne room of God himself.
Luke 1:46-8: And Mary said, “My soul glorifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant.”
6. Read about what God is doing in his people. A Christian biography. The Barnabas prayer diary or newsletter. A Christian book or a devotional that friends recommend. Remember; these people are family and this same God is at work in us!
Hebrews 10:24: And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.
7. Commit to your local church. No church is perfect and sometimes, we’ll drive one another crazy. But this is where God chooses to work. This is our family. This is where we go to remind ourselves of who Christ is and who we are. This is where we share our burdens and carry one another.
Romans 12:5: So in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.
8. Remember the real enemy. It’s not a political party, your colleague or even the friend who’s let you down.
1 Peter 5:8 Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
9. Live in the knowledge that our Lord is coming back – and He sees every tiny gesture; even when others take us for granted.
Revelation 22:12: “Look, I am coming soon, bringing my reward with me to repay all people according to their deeds.”
10. Even if today is a write-off, there is grace for tomorrow. Even if you’re filled with despair, there’s a hope that will never fade. Keep trusting, keep praying, keep putting one foot in front of the other. He will bring us through – and he gives us grace to stand.
Romans 15:13: May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Don’t give up.