The temptation to give in to negative emotions caused by life’s stressors can at times seem overwhelming. To live a happy and healthy life in today’s world, anger and fear must be confronted.
The short-term solution is to recognize, resist and turn the negative situations over to God.
The long-term solution is to grow up in the things of God. It’s impossible to remove all stress from your life. You will have tribulation, but by growing and maturing in the things of God, you’ll be able to walk in victory no matter what you’re facing.
The Bible says we’re to go from faith to faith and from glory to glory; this describes growth. An immature Christian is much more susceptible to the anger, fear, temper tantrums, etc. that come from life’s pressures.
By growing and progressing in the things of God, you’ll be able to breeze through situations that once seemed impossible. This isn’t a quick fix. It takes some time, but it’s well worth it in the end.
When you are growing, many of the things that have defeated or tripped you up in the past will be left behind. Growth is part of life—natural and spiritual. Everything in nature was created to grow and produce fruit. Babies grow into children, then adults. Growth is a natural progression for every life form on Earth.
The desire to grow is in every human heart.
When my youngest daughter was six years old, I asked her if she would please skip her next birthday so she could stay six for another year. I didn’t want her to grow up so fast; she refused! Children want to grow quickly. They want the freedom and responsibility that comes with maturity.
Becoming a Christian is the greatest experience anyone can have, but salvation is not just a ticket to heaven. It’s the beginning of a brand new life that’s supposed to progress until you get there. It has a beginning, a middle and an end just like a race.
Paul said, “I have fought the good fight. I kept the faith and finished my course.” We’re not saved just so we can hold on until we get to heaven. We have things to accomplish and experience while we’re here. And like with any other life form on Earth, Christians should develop, move forward and produce fruit.
We were not put here to take up space.
He also spoke this parable: “A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came seeking fruit on it and found none. Then he said to the keeper of his vineyard, ‘Look, for three years I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree and find none. Cut it down; why does it use up the ground?’ But he answered and said to him, ‘Sir, let it alone this year also, until I dig around it and fertilize it. And if it bears fruit, well. But if not, after that you can cut it down.’ ”
There’s more to life than just “using up the ground.” However, bearing fruit comes naturally as you grow and mature. It’s not something you have to strive to achieve. Fruit comes from the inside out without effort.
Growing to maturity also keeps us grounded in the Word and prevents us from being susceptible to wrong doctrine and the schemes of men:
“…that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ.” —Ephesians 4:14-15
We are supposed to grow up! It’s not God’s will that we remain children.
How do we grow? By “…Speaking the truth in love (you) may grow up.” It’s another way of saying, “You need to be taught the Word.”
“…as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby….” —1 Peter 2:2
As you receive good teaching from God’s Word, you grow.
Many of our problems come because of immaturity. Paul describes some of the symptoms of immaturity as “being carried away with false doctrine and falling for the tricks and craftiness of men who want to deceive and take advantage of us.”
I’m convinced that many of the things we want and need as Christians will come as a result of growth and maturity in God. Some things cannot be accomplished in a prayer line or a counseling session!
I’ve had many prayer lines over the years in churches where I’ve ministered. It’s common to invite people to come and receive prayer for various needs. I love to pray and agree with people in this setting, and we’ve seen some marvelous things happen. However, some things can’t be prayed down or cast out.
Not every problem has an instant solution. Some of the things you want to receive, see happen or changed will come in due time—if you will focus on God, the things of God and grow up!
Become who God meant you to be!
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