Andrew at the top of Slemish


Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a dream fulfilled is a tree of life.   

I was supposed to be standing on a mountain in Ireland this week on a pilgrimage with others from Neighborhood Church. Instead I find myself preparing for a digital prayer meeting – wishing I could be in the same room with others.  

It is easy to play the part of the victim in life, but that heart posture is the opposite of what God says about his people.  He calls us “overcomers” and says we are “more than conquerors.”  This life is filled with moments where we have to choose to live like a victim or live like a victor.  We truly must make a decision to see that we have been given a place of favor (being seated with Christ in the Heavenlies, Eph. 2:6).   

We are his sons and daughters 

Since we are so cherished by God, we can look at the world from heaven’s perspective and we can rest knowing that every spiritual blessing in heaven in ours (Eph. 1:3).  This is why we can boldly approach God’s throne with our requests in prayer (Heb. 4:16).  We are his sons and daughters, not his slaves and employees.     

While your mind knows that is all true, Proverbs 13 gives us a realistic picture of what your heart might be feeling in this season…  

Proverbs 13:12 (NLT2)  

Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a dream fulfilled is a tree of life.  
 

There are many things you were planning on and hoping to do this Spring, but they were all cancelled.  In a lot of ways, it feels like the enemy of our soul has won.  You may be feeling heart sick, and that would be totally understandable. 

While our feelings are valid, the truth is that the enemy has been defeated by Jesus at the cross and as Jesus followers we are no longer slaves to sin (Rom. 6).  We don’t have to go back to a posture of begging for good things from God.  God has been working in us and for our good in this season (Rom. 8:28).  He has been shaping us and using these unpleasant circumstances to mold us and learn from him if you are willing to listen to what He is saying.  At no time has he left us alone, without his help, his strength or his presence.  

Matthew 11:28-30 (NIV)  

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." 

This verse talks about rest from our weariness being given to us by God if we chooseOx to take on the light yoke of Jesus.  The yoke is what is used to place an older, more mature Ox next to a rookie Ox.  This device would help the younger, less experienced Ox know how fast to walk and what to do.  It would force him to walk in step with someone who knows the road ahead.   

If you are following Jesus, then you are yoked to Him.  If you walk with Him, he will set the pace, give you direction and encourage you along the way.   

Celebrating in this season 

I want to encourage you to find things to celebrate today, and really cheer loudly when you find them. 

  • This week, our friends, Michael & Kathryn Redman, published a new book titled “Fulfilled” which is now at number one (with your help) on the Amazon Best Seller list!  This is an amazing blessing that we can celebrate! 
  • During this season of sheltering in place some of our friends have had babies and grandbabies born – this is so exciting! 
  • We are jazzed for our NC friends Scott and Jill who reopened their restaurant “Smokin’ Mos’” for takeout and delivery. WooHoo!
  • Our tech team incorporated Bible verses on the lower 1/3 of the screen for Sunday church broadcasts earlier than usual. Well done team!
  • The huge chiller (air conditioning unit for the Dome) was delivered to our campus yesterday to be hooked up sometime this summer!  Hallelujah!
These are just a few of the things we’re celebrating. 

If we are going to learn from Jesus as we walk with him, one of the things we must make an effort to do is celebrate dreams that are fulfilled.  It’s hard to wait for good things to come along – but let’s take every opportunity to celebrate the good things that God is doing around us.  Stepping fully into the joy of thanksgiving and celebrating His goodness will be rest for your weary soul and will help give everyone a fresh batch of hope as we walk through this season.  

If you have something that you are celebrating, whether it be big or small, we want to celebrate with you; send us an email at info@ncchico.org. 

I invite you to join us on our 50 Days to Love series livestream Sunday mornings at 10:30 a.m. on our Neighborhood Church of Chico Facebook page and YouTube channel. 

If you missed last week’s message in our  50 Days to Love series, click her to listen to the podcast or watch the video. 

 

Andrew Burchett

Written by Andrew Burchett

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