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Nicki Koziarz: The 5 Best Decisions to Make When Life Is Hard

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine
The Truth Network Radio
August 26, 2022 12:00 am

Nicki Koziarz: The 5 Best Decisions to Make When Life Is Hard

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine

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August 26, 2022 12:00 am

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It's not our questions for God that messes up our faith is our questioning of God. And there's a big difference so he can handle our doubts he can handle our questions.

He can handle our fears, our worries are complaints are grumbling. Welcome to family life to day where we want to help you pursue the relationships that matter most kind and Wilson. They will soon and you can find those family life.

The or on our family life. This is family life today so according to Barna, guess what percentage of Christians struggle with doubt in your faith. My first thought maybe is going on my own personal tune is is pretty high. I think it's pretty high. I would've guessed that it is the 5% 65% yeah I would say at least that and then listen to this millennial's 38% currently experience about twice as much doubt as any other generation groups and 23% of Gen Xers 19% of boomers and 20% of elders. Here's what I would want to know that we got in our studio woman.

I think you can answer this question Mickey goes ERs is back with this book of acts that we like today. Thanks for having me.

I guess in your server quote and maybe some stats from her book yeah yeah which is the five decisions that we all need to make when doubt is rising. Sort of a refreeze of your subtitle. Here's what I want to know you. Remember if you wrote this at all men compared to women without is there a difference I did not say that I would be interested to know that yeah I looked it up and or hire 32% of men compared to 20% of women wow which is interesting why do you think that is Dave.

I don't know you have to tell me from a woman's perspective, but I know from guy's perspective it's all about logic often are you saying that where illogic and it's like you know it's gotta make sense. I got a B associate touch. It doesn't really matter if I feel highly safe because women are so desperate and broken were having babies and we can't lay before God like God help me because were so broken yeah but I mean the key.

We talked yesterday about you know you walk through the death of your brother now. Since then, even the death of your mother and you write about, you know, again, the titles flooded, which is perfect for a book about Noah, but as you study know what did he doubt because yesterday you said now he just really didn't so I wasn't really part really just says. Noah walked with God. Every time I read that I think talked with God about that yesterday. You think he never doubted I really he listen and obey God we get that but you know the Bible didn't always give us the nuances of in between.

You knows he's walking to go get another piece of wood and build this ark is the one in the world am I doing I get on the city did or didn't yeah but when we go through hard times doubt we put in the subtitle like what we do with that. Okay, let's talk about now for second case is no less processed that by the way, there are very many experts and no I am not like all about. So we don't in the Scriptures see no I specifically say anything.

Actually, until the very end of the story where he speaks. Blessings and curses at the same time. Okay I like a story like Rachel, only I were there so many words that we could study and unpack and you know and of course we never know for sure hundred percent right. That's exactly what they said but we know what the Bible tells us right. We have no words we just had these actions because no one had a wife and he had children and he was human he was, not Jesus. Let's think about what it was like when Noah came home and told his wife okay because I know have you ever brought home a really big idea.

Oh yeah you thousands of dollars away started sure that was one of my ideas that she's like are you crazy, I said to be a pastor's wife. So yes that's a great point like that probably mean I think it would be safe to assume she wasn't like gold and everyone's gonna die and also okay that's not enough. He had children and these most likely were young adult teenage age because they were entering into marriage themselves. There was no grandchildren at this point. So it's safe to assume they were around the same age as my teenagers okay and I don't know if you been around teenagers recently but they are not the kindest people in the world you bring an idea that sounds anything on cool down or out there. Their reaction is not like yeah I die. Yeah, thanks dad. So think about the people in his community. When that Noah was a preacher of righteousness and debate about whether or not you know anyone else was gonna be able to come into the ark because God did give him the command that it would only be his wife and their sons and their wives okay said that to say to the days must've been incredibly wicked. Yes, for this to be going on for God to come up with this decision.

These are not moral, good gracious people at that point, no, not Ella and his family were but I'm just saying how fast you know whether or not Noah was telling, you know, like, hey, this is the purpose of this arc. He was preaching you know something bad is happening and we need to be prepared for that, since I think about the naysayers in his community.

Like I can now over there. Bill not dumb are like there was no immediate water like around him right. It's not like he was pushed out into the ocean. That point he's evangelizing is trying to convert people week. No hundred years. Physical law can rise up yeah think about all of the community.

The family mean the kids like doing it just because you know a lot of hard situations that he was walking through so he at least had doubt thrown at him and I don't know what it was like for him to wrestle with God and to say no.

I don't know if I heard you write about this or not, because again we don't have that in the Scriptures, but there's something about.

As we talked about yesterday when it says that Noah walked with God. There must've been depth and intimacy with his walk with God.

That was pretty astounding for him to be so faithful for 100 years building and went to the ark in town. I did was that like in Kentucky all my goodness you know when we first pulled in.

They were so gracious to give us like this behind the scenes to RN in our satrap was just really deep with them that the people talking counter sat down with me. I had hundreds of questions for them and they did that because you are writing this book. Yes yeah we reach out to them. My publisher dad and I just remember the first time I stood at the bottom of the ark and realized like the massive nest of this assignment. I mean it's four stories high. Anything about the building that were in right now to football fields long and the people at the ark encountered and they take a lot of creativity you know just what they would think you know where the animals would go in the water system and things like that. But all those things had to be thought through and so I was overwhelmed when I was there like just thinking about the detail and you know when things that God teach me right now is that he's a God who is very intentional like there are no coincidences with God heat when he says something when he gives you plan it's with great intention. When I was looking at just all the intentional details you think through like oh yeah, I coming we have this farm right it takes me 3040 Mississippi 1020 animals every single day right.

Think about 3000 animals that they had to feed and water and I mean the smell of that art and the food for his family. I mean so many details that he would have to think all the way through it.I'm thinking when he said that I thought of someone 39 where God gets us together mother's womb and his God was knitting Noah he put in him everything that he would need intellectually, physically, in order to build this arc and I think of us as listeners as people walking with Jesus the things that you're walking through. Whether it's doubt whether you've lost someone the hard transitions that maybe Rocky to add new when he knitting together what you would face equipped you to face that not only to face it. But to walk through it in victory. If we can walk closely as Noah did with God wrote your subtitle the five decisions that help us go through life when it's hard to know when doubt is rising. We talked yesterday walk with God again from Noah's life, listen to God. Here we are.

This is number three is rise above the doubt. Five struggle without help me rise above I'm guessing some of our listeners have struggled.

Maybe you are right now, just in a period of their life where they are ripped with doubt.

How do we rise above let's go back to not laugh because he's the best teacher on this when God told Nyla when he actually says that he invited him into the ark. Okay, that's a beautiful reflection of what God does with that he doesn't force the sin he doesn't push SN.

He invites us into his presence right. So God invites Noah into the ark, and then this is one of my favorite parts of the biblical account of Noah we see that Noah is standing at the store and this for me would have been the hardest part of all that's right like yacht building ark was incredibly hard convincing his family to come on there had to be a struggle but then he is in this place where he really sees the water starting to come and he sees the rain. This is the part where can we disappear over.

Second, this is not a children's story like I decorated my daughter's nursery and that Noah and the ark seem like nothing says sweet dreams like mass destruction worldwide right like not a children's nighttime story exactly what think about it. This screams that he would be hearing from his neighbors, the people running to the ark because they realized like he really did know closing the door to the ark would have been the hardest thing for life or human to see all the people and to hear the cries and it says that the Lord shot him in and I thought that is such God's kindness in the strike. You see, we can look at this story and we can say this is just mean like why would God wipe out humanity like this.

It just it feels mean but this is where we see that it's either we can see God's meanness or we can see God's mercy and so he closes the door he does the hardest part of that assignment and that is a beautiful reflection of what Jesus down the cross, he already did the hardest part for us.

Okay so when we come into the ark, which is our salvation moment where we invite Jesus to live inside of us and we decide to follow after him for the rest of our lives.

The hardest part is done. But then it's up to us to access the power and the authority that is in the ark that the salvation right so is Noah's in the ark and all this doubt is outside of the ark and the ark starts to rise, and I'm sure the screams stopped and it continues to rise and it continues to rise and it continues to rise and rise and rise and we see that no one is in this place where everything that tried to knock him down to discourage him from believing and trusting in God is no longer there. He's in that art and he safe and he's rising and rising and rising, and when we start to think about our hard seasons and the things that try to knock us down when it comes specifically to doubt we gotta make that decision were to come into the ark am I gonna declare God's power and his authority in his goodness and his mercy over our lives and decide to stay put and just keep rising.

Some days it's really hard to just be really honest but remember God shut that door you have to shut that door. He Artie did the hardest part and now our job is to stay in the ark and to keep rising above the things that want to sink us attention when I hear you describe it that way, which is such a beautiful way to describe it never really thought the way you just never thought about her and screams I did. I've never thought of that which is a whole other dimension of the story. But here's what just hit me is often to rise above the doubts.

I don't feel like I have it in me but if I put myself in Christ in the ark of the sentence he rises. I could just trust me hold onto me also.

I can be of a mustard up with enough intellectual knowledge or is just like would you just cling to me all right as you chose. Everyone you said that is what I saw was like okay no is just in the ark were supposed to be God lifted above sold in some sense of how we rise in Christ. Okay so we got three decisions down.

The fourth one is remember who's in charge, you know, in our Christian culture were big on saying things like, God is in control and he has. He is sovereign over everything.

I think when we think about control. From a human perspective, we think of it like I'm in a move this bottle here and I'm to do this and remedy that.

And it's like grabbing hold of things right. Like in control, but I have really been challenged. Especially through that season because a lot of people said that to me like God is in control and absolutely he was, but I was not feeling okay and so I did one little shift in my mind.

My husband is a cross-country coach and her little town in one of the things that I was find very interesting. As he goes out there with this plan and hotel his athletes is okay you I got this time got to do this guy do that. He presents the plan to them right but their teenagers really being harsh, but you know they get out there and I can do whatever I wanted and so they take off and they don't go the right pace and they're not hydrated or things like that and they get to the end of the race and they come up to my husband and coach. What I do wrong and he's like I gave you a plan and you didn't only think about God being in charge like God has the plan.

He has already designed everything else but God is not moving us around like puzzle pieces are test like were not in a chess game and he is sovereign. He is seeing over everything but options can I just say that like sometimes God will be like okay what you could do this job you can do this job like I think sometimes we get it all messed up in our heads that we think God only has this one way to do everything.

But when we remember that God is in charge of the plan, but we are in control of our obedience.

That's when the shift starts to happen in our faith because he gives us the plan through his word he gives us options but then it's up to us to remember he's in charge. But we've got a bag wanted that look like for you as you are going through this doubt the grieving hard spell again, this is what comes back to that place where our questions for God are okay but the questioning of God becomes dangerous and this was one of those places where you know I would find myself coming before God in prayer gone. This is wrong.

He's got these three kids were can have all the struggles, all these issues like I don't understand this and we start to come to tell God hey this is been my plan this within my agenda like the Lord here.

It is blessed that right and if you would have sealed them. You could have gotten so much cooler much glory. God oh yes, I'm afraid that we have to remember this coming is back to what we are talking about before that there are things on this side of eternity that will never make sense to the human mind the ark and Noah's biblical count is one of those things where you talk about the screams and things like that that may never make sense to us, but we have to trust that God has a bigger picture in mind. Like when you're flying you know how when you look out the window. You look down and you see how small the earth really is and how small we really are. I never lose that perspective because when God is looking down on earth. He sees the whole picture the whole story and he's got the whole plan when we remember that he's in charge of playing I'm in control my obedience. I want to say it settles our soul, but it can help us to continue to do what he tells us to do because we don't get to that place of unbelief and disco.

We didn't follow my plan.

God's on out to walk us through the last decision buying the familiar faithfulness of God.

That's David and Wilson with Nikki cozy ours on family life to day about what she calls her favorite part of the book coming up in just a second, but first I mission FM life is to pursue the relationships that matter most. You've heard me say that that means connecting with those around us and serving with all of our hearts. And right now there are two ways you can join us impact the community around you. First, you can lead a small group study in your home or your church right now you can get a discount on all small group materials with the code 25 office 250 FF family life. The secondly you can partner with us financially to heroically help families grow closer and stronger together practical resources like art parenting or events like weekend to remember or even broadcast when you're listening to right this second is your partnership makes these available and makes a difference in the lives of thousands of families you can donate securely online at family life. The is our thanks when you give today will send you a copy of Jenny Allen's book. Find your people again. You can give online at family life. The, by calling 800-358-6329.

That's 800 is in family L as in life and in the word today.

Right now, back to David Anne's conversation with Nikki cozy ours and what it means to find the familiar faithfulness of God. After Noah goes through this long year on this article I people get confused and think it was only 40 days and 40 nights, he was on there from here. When Noah left gets to the point where he's like okay maybe were done here is time you know to start figuring out what's next. This is the part of the tax that I really enjoyed studying because this is the part we don't see God come to know and get in these very specific instructions and this is where I can go back to that concept that sometimes he gives us options no was a smart guy.

He knew how to figure some things out so no one knows that he needs to send out these birds, and he starts with the Raven and then he sends out the dives and the dove is the one that brings back the olive branch and he knows it is time to come out of the ark. But let's think about this because, let's just go back to the pandemic because I think that's when we can all identify with even sell those two weeks and we were all in that total lockdown. It was time to come back out.

It was weird right like we've got a grocery store and then nobody was looking at each other were walking down certain sides of the house era was on the wrong side.

Every time I turned the wrong we went back to church. It was really weird like do we hug do we you know handshake like nothing felt really familiar. In fact I would say it still doesn't totally feel like it did in 2019 right feels really uncomfortable to think about Nella when he was coming out of the ark and looking at this world. I mean we talked about the whole earth was covered in water. When a flood happens it destroys everything so there were no mountains there were no trees. There is no green grass like this picture that Noah opened up the ark and it was like this rainbow in the stunning green pasture chosen the right know there was a home and so he's looking out and then the reality settles and that his neighbors are gone.

His family is gone, his nieces and nephews. His cousins, his uncles everyone is gone and life as he knew it was totally different and he's looking out and I'm so challenged by Noah's first reaction because you are not the first thing that he did, he built an altar and he begins to sacrifice and worship God. I don't know when I go through something hard that that's my first reaction. My first reaction tends to be like this here and cry and be really upset and maybe watched him as Netflix and you know things like that but what it picture for us and when we got there something hard and to come out on the other side to get to that place of worship and sacrifice before God, and I think that Noah knew we also got community that he knew I can't get in the presence of God.

And that's was how he was gonna do it. And so, as he did that here we see the rainbow and the promises and everything starts to come to full circle with the story. He still left with the reality of what is still to come this whole new life that he's can have to build and you know when I think about losing my mom and my brother and then my dad moved away shortly after that. That's what the last two years have been my God. None of this feels familiar. None of this feels right. This feels normal.

I just want to be a family again. I just wanted you to have one more Thanksgiving someone one for Christmas and God just keeps reminding me back to my familiar faithfulness because that's where the healing and wholeness is and so is a human working along for those things all here on this earth. It's not can it go away.

But God's presence. It never leaves us, but it's up to us to find in every season. I'm just wondering if you would just close by praying for us like there's somebody there listening. They're probably thinking, trying out might just have nothing and I need to do that so we pray for them. So God, we thank you for Noah's legacy that he has left for us to follow and I just pray over the listener right now who is looking into the future and it just feels really hopeless and their craving that familiar place, whether it's a person or place or job or something that has been part of their life and it is no more and there just craving, not God. I pray that right now you would step down and you would feel that craving with your presence and Lord I pray that you would remind us that it is our decision to get into your presence and that we have to do our part, but that you are always faithful to meet us when we do our part and we show up in your presence.

Lord God, I pray that you would continue to use the biblical account of Noah to encourage some find it at the verse in Matthew, that it says that Jesus will return at as it was in the days of Noah and Lord, I'm just can be honest it feels a little bit like were heading in that direction right now. But Lord, I pray that we would not be discouraged and that we would find strength in your presence, and in your power in obeying and walking with you, Lord. Thank you that no matter what comes our way. We can always return back to your presence, and I just pray that you would give everyone of us today that certainty and that presence that comes when we enter into a place of worship and sacrifice before you in Jesus name, amen. You been listening to David and with Nikki cozy ours on family life to day. The book is called flooded the five best decisions to make when life is hard and doubt is rising, you can order a copy at family life. The you. I love this quote about family life's art of parenting small group study says we had a very diverse study group from six different countries. It was an amazing experience of evaluating how culture and upbringing impacts our parenting styles. Sometimes in opposition to the truth of God's word.

We all agreed that this course was instrumental in reorienting our beliefs and practices toward Christ centered parenting. That's incredible. Maybe the art of parenting could sharpen your awareness and tactics to well right now you can save on all of our small group studies with the code 25 off at family life. The that's 250 FF now coming up next week for parents.

The teenage years can be frightening surges of hormones, body changes, struggling to find identity the teenage years can be a confusing time for both you and your kids will next week. David Abelson will be joined by Gary Chapman to tell us all we need to know when preparing for teams we hope you'll join us.

On behalf of David and Wilson.

I'm shall be evident will see you back next time for another edition of family life today. Family life that is a production of family life crew ministry helping you pursue the relationships that matter most

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