Are You Refreshed?

The New Testament book, Philemon, is a book that is written by Paul to Philemon concerning a slave named, Onesimus. The book of Philemon consists of only twenty-five verses. It is interesting to note that the man, Philemon, was renowned for his ministry of refreshing. The word “refreshing” has the idea of “rest” and “restoration”. In verse 20, Paul writes, “Refresh my heart in Christ”. Paul’s refreshing from Philemon was based on Philemon receiving, giving freedom to and ministering to Onesimus.

Let us think about the words, “Refresh my heart in Christ”. How can we refresh our hearts, our spirit? What are you doing to receive refreshment in Christ? Our need for spiritual refreshing can be compared to our need for spring after a hard winter. During the winter months, the weather is cold, brutal, icy, snowy and rainy. During the winter months of our spiritual journey, we can find ourselves lacking spiritually.

Spring is a time for newness, a time for a new kind of weather, new colors and even a new outlook. Let’s consider ways that we can “refresh our spirit”, so that we can experience a time of newness in our lives.

-We should understand that we need Jesus. He is holy and we are sinners. When we are faithful to acknowledge our sinfulness to God, we are able to receive forgiveness and restoration.

-We should be mindful of the words we speak. The spoken word is powerful. Our instinct is too often to speak of everything we know. Talking too much, too quick and too cleverly is destructive to the spirit. When we speak, let us follow the instruction of the Psalmist, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength and my redeemer” (Psalm 19:14).

-We should prepare for each day. We need to be mindful that our days are with purpose. God has a plan and purpose for each of us. Therefore, we should prepare to spend time in His Word, in prayer and in service for Him. We should also prepare to take time to bless those around us.

-We should put our hands to work. We should participate in the common chores around the house. Embrace the simple things in life by taking out the garbage, washing the dishes, working in the flower beds, mowing the lawn, etc. In doing such work, we are able to embrace genuine humility.

-We should get rest. Take time to enjoy your journey. Rather than having every minute planned, give yourself a break. Take a trip, go for a walk, go fishing, go to the park—get some rest. When we are rested, we can be much more attentive in the presence of God.

As we seek to be “refreshed”, take note of the newness of spring in your life. Refresh your heart in Christ!



Plan or Problem

In the opening pages of his autobiography, An American Life, Ronald Reagan writes, “I was raised to believe that God had a plan for everyone and that seemingly random twists of fate are all a part of His plan.
My mother – a small woman with auburn hair and a sense of optimism that ran as deep as the cosmos – told me that everything in life happened for a purpose. She said all things were part of God’s plan, even the most disheartening setbacks, and in the end, everything worked out for the best. If something went wrong, she said, you didn’t let it get you down: You stepped away from it, stepped over it, and moved on. Later on, she added, something good will happen and you’ll find yourself thinking – “If I hadn’t had that problem back then, then this better thing that did happen wouldn’t have happened to me.”
After I lost the job at Montgomery Ward, I left home again in search of work. Although I didn’t know it then, I was beginning a journey that would take me a long way from Dixon and fulfill all my dreams and then some. My mother, as usual, was right.”

We all face problems in our life. The key to life is how we handle our problems. Let me share a few suggestions for handling problems with you.

First, remember that you are not alone with your problems. Others have had the same, or even worse, problems. We may need to associate with others to get their perspective on their problems and how they handled it.

Second, we must remember that all problems will not be solved. Rather, we will continue on with life and leave the problem behind. I am sure other problems will take their place.

Third, be sure to view the problem as it really is, not as it seems to be. After proper consideration, it may not be as bad as you think.

Fourth, many problems are too big for a one step solution. So, work through the issue one step at a time, trusting God to guide you on your journey.

Fifth, rather than minimizing the problem, maximize the resources to handle the problem. Remember that God is our ultimate Resource!

God has a plan for our life that will be greater than all of our problems. Remember to “cast your cares on Him, for He cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7).

Will your life be driven by your problems or His plans?