In The Serenity Prayercolumn each month we’re studying this well-known prayer phrase by phrase and applying it to our life today. These columns will be published the first Friday of each month in 2019.
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference. Living one day at a time, enjoying one moment at a time, accepting hardship as a pathway to peace. Taking as Christ did this sinful world as it is…
Taking as Christ did. In this passage of The Serenity Prayer we are asked to take our world as Jesus Christ did. We’re to surrender to God’s will in and for our life. We are to accept the things we cannot change and see that our hardships can be the pathway to Peace if we will accept them with the right heart attitude.
Walk in courage. As we walk in courage, not fear or resentment, God will give us the needed wisdom to make right decisions and to carry the burdens we are to bear. One day at a time, maybe even one moment at a time, we may have to endure hurtful people and difficult situations.
Look to Christ. We can look to Christ Who Scripture says, never trusted himself to man because He knew their fallen state. He took His assignment and for the joy that was to come, endure even the worst death a person could die — crucifixion on a Roman cross.
Follow Jesus’ example. As Christians we are to follow in Jesus’s footsteps, being willing to sacrifice our lives for Him. Our sacrifice may not mean physical torture or death like millions experience every day around the world. But every time we sacrifice our selfish desires, accepting the path put before us, we can know that God sees our heart and efforts and will honor them with His grace to make it through.
Surrender. When Jesus accepted His assignment and came to earth in human form, He demonstrated the ultimate act of surrender and love. He surrendered His authority and power for a time so that He could live as we do. He wanted to experience the temptations, pain and suffering that humanity does. It is here His sacrifice takes on its full meaning of hope. When Jesus took our suffering He cleared our pathway to a direct relationship for us to have with the Father through the Holy Spirit.
Jesus’ surrendering and taking the world as it is allows us to surrender and receive God’s amazing grace and love.
Prayerfully listen to this powerful worship song by Hillsong. Contemplate taking on the heart attitude of Christ, surrendering all selfish desires… lay them at His feet and He will draw you near.
Can you hear the scream? How many times have you found yourself in this position?
There was a time in my life when I looked just like this photo. I was so full of anger that I couldn’t function normally. God showed me a vision of a volcano boiling deep inside my spirit; bubbling up and overflowing, the anger spewed out of my mouth with vulgar hateful words followed by actions that destroyed anything in my path.
On the surface my anger was directed mostly at God because my husband and I had been betrayed by some Christian friends. Below the surface I had unknown childhood hurts and wounds that fueled the raging fire I carried within. I managed my pain with substance abuse and other self-destructive behaviors which only fueled the fire. Soon my anger was out of control and so was my life. Then my loving Heavenly Father put me in a time out compliments of the county jail. It was the best thing that ever happened to me!
When anger runs our lives we are a danger to ourselves and to those around us. Uncontrolled anger is devastating and no one is exempt from its repercussions. It destroys marriages, shatters friendships, brings down businesses, breeds violence in our communities and war among nations.
There are many reasons to be angry today. Just watching the news can get tempers flaring. The world has us running hard and fast with emotions in a frenzied state. Millions are unemployed and those fortunate to have jobs are over committed, overworked and often underpaid. Many people are outraged with their corporate pensions slashed, homes lost, or suffering with painful debilitating illnesses. Anger is an emotion that centers on getting control. With God’s hand seemingly absent we take over the situation. Anger clouds our judgment as we become consumed with problems and pain. Before we know it our anger escalates from a simmering indignation to a blazing rage.
What can we do to keep anger from taking control?
**2 Steps to Overpower Anger:
Ask yourself:Can I change the situation?
Take action: If you can change the situation, change it. If not, release it to God.
These steps may seem oversimplified but they are basic common sense. The challenge is dealing with our emotions. Once we can step back from the situation and remove our emotions, all we need to do is access the situation and our ability to change it. If we can’t change it the only thing left to do is give it to God.
My dear friends, you should be quick to listen and slow to speak or to get angry. If you are angry, you cannot do any of the good things that God wants done. ~ James 1:19-20 (Contemporary English Version)
Acknowledging our powerlessness over situations we humbly go to God not demanding our rights but surrendering ourselves and the situation to God. We may feel powerless, but in fact we are the only one with the power to release our anger to God. No one else can do that for us. Once we release our anger God will give us the grace to overcome it.
In what recent situations have you struggled with anger?