'Cope or Cop out?'
by Travis Wiginton
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Cope means 'to fight' or 'contend with successfully'....
to deal with problems, troubles, etc.
To 'cop-out' is slang for 'to renege' or 'to quit'.
This is a tongue-in-cheek paper, hopefully to reach our hearts....
no matter our age.....nor difficulty.
Some of the most interesting stories on TV are about people who have risen above their handicaps.
Two different ones about 'Miracles' were great....
but of course those shows has now been replaced with shows with little or no value.
I began thinking about this subject several years ago while serving as Interim Pastor on Maui. Every Wednesday night I shared a study before Prayer Time.
The folks (and La Moyne) may have felt that I got a little 'carried away' on this one...
but here goes.
I used words that rhyme to picture the different routes people may take when trying to cope with life.
Study this paper and see where YOU stand....or maybe how you can help someone else.
'Life is a maze and I'll keep groping until I find a way out.'
'Grope' in the dictionary is: to feel or search about blindly....
or with uncertainty, seek to find one's way.
Proverbs 14:12: "There is a way that seems right unto man, but it is the way of death."
In John 14:6: Jesus is The Way we ought to go, the Truth we ought to know and the Life we ought to live.
Life IS a maze without Jesus...but with Him, it CAN be a miracle.
A maze is a confusing intricate network of pathways...
but Jesus is the Miracle we need in it all.
Mope is defined: 'to be gloomy and apathetic and low in spirits'.
Actually low in the Holy Spirit....which is a River in you, ready to be roused and used. (John 7:37-39)
We call 'mope' a time of depression...
but God calls it a 'time to let Him intervene' and take control of our life.
Uppers when down.....and downers when up.....
chemical dependence instead of Christ and the Independence He gives. (John 8:29-36)
We all may need medicine from time to time and aren't we grateful for it?
God works directly from His Throne in response to Prayer and Faith....
AND through the Miracle of modern medicine, whether it be via the doctors....
I take three medications daily since the carotid and coronary surgeries.
The emphasis here is 'whatever' we're going through, lean on Him!
Our son Kevin has been an Oklahoma State Trooper for 28 yrs. now.
Three of his Trooper buddies have been killed due to the meth problem!
One, Nik Green (who also served as Minister to Youth in his church) was killed on Christmas Eve last year when he came upon a guy who had a meth lab in his car.
Meth messes with your brain, your body and your behavior.
What we need is not 'spirits' as the liquor stores advertise, but The Spirit of God!
Ron Sisk wrote a book, 'Cop out, conform or commit?'
Whatever situation we're in, we need to make sure that we commit to Christ!
Suicide is the most selfish way out and stops all possibility of redemptive solution and puts a heavy burden on others. I just read of a mother who walked into her 17 yr. old son's bedroom and found his lifeless body hanging by his belt.
She said, "We felt our 3 children deserved complete privacy."
She went on to explain that she never searched his room for drugs, so was not aware of the depth of his problem.
So don't assume, but be consumed with Christ Who can replace chemical abuse.
Pleasure, hobbies and 'get-away days'.....
nothing wrong with these, but many just take their problems with them.
They may never solve them because most problems are inside....
until we turn them over to God and walk by faith, Scripture and the Holy Spirit.
Also, beware of financial bondage as we seek superficial (or artificial) ways to happiness and peace.
I'll just clean up and fix up the body and all will be well....NOT.
We may 'look better', but 'being better' goes much deeper.
I remember when I was in the 3rd grade, we were supposed to select a 'saying' for our room. I chose "Cleanliness is next to Godliness".
It sounds good, but it doesn't go deep enough if it doesn't include the mind and spirit.
(I Tim. 6:11-12)
7) POPE (PRIEST OR PREACHER):
Counseling (or confession) may help.
I Tim. 2:4-6: "God desires all people to be saved; therefore there is only ONE mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus who gave Himself for all."
I Peter 5:7: "Casting all upon him for he cares for you."
We can go directly to God....anywhere, anytime and we should do it often.
"I'll just drift along for awhile."
The trouble is, we never drift closer to God or to doing His Will.
Some men were watching an ice flow with a dead animal on it.
A vulture landed on it and sunk it's talons into the frozen body, became stuck and went over the falls to destruction.
We need to make a definite decision to 'Quit floating'.
Any dead fish can float downstream, but it takes a live one to swim upstream!
Humor and fun are okay, but if you never get serious about life or Eternal Life...
it becomes very serious!
In my 50+ years of pastoral ministry, the hardest people to win to Jesus have been those to whom life is a big 'ha ha'.....and not a training ground for Heaven.
We MUST get serious about the Savior before it is too late!
Also in our witnessing to others, don't just have a jolly old time with them, for someday that time will run out....and what then?
Proverbs 12:15: "The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but he who listens to God is wise."
Sometimes we 'coat' or 'gloss over' the problem and never get to the depths of the problem.
Recently we had a problem with termites and we could have painted over the area...
but we knew that it needed a deeper solution.
Sin is deep and must be dealt with....with the blood of Jesus or it can be deadly.
Let God (The Great Problem Solver) help you to...
'dig a little deeper in the storehouse of God's Love'.
All of the above ways fall short in our relationship and fellowship with God.
Let's consider 3 positives that help us:
1) VOTE (Opt for Jesus):
God votes FOR you....satan votes AGAINST you.....and YOU have the deciding vote!
July 25 is our Primary Election time here and so many ads on TV cause us to be confused about 'whom' to vote for.
The other day, one of the candidates came by while I was out in our front yard and we visited. I got to know him more personally than via the ads.
It made a difference and I'll probably vote for him.
It makes the greatest of differences when we get to know Jesus personally, in salvation and trust Him to be sufficient in our life.....and in our death.
Get in the harness with Jesus and let Him lead. Matt. 11:28-30 tells us 'how':
a) Identify WITH Christ:
"Come unto me all you who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest."
The Bible uses the word 'come' over 1900 times, yet many die without ever coming to the Lord in a personal relationship and fellowship.
b) Be informed BY Christ:
"Take my yoke upon you and learn of me for I am meek and lowly in heart and you shall find rest unto your souls."
c) Be involved FOR Christ:
"My yoke is easy and my burden is light." My my.....what a partnership!
What we have shared here gives:
HOPE for the PAST through forgiveness....
HOPE for the PRESENT through His fulness in us.....
HOPE for the FUTURE and Eternity...where Heaven is our Eternal Home.
CHRIST IN YOU IS YOUR HOPE: (Colossians 1:27)
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This is a very good article Travis. We need to give God our very best, for He truly gave His very best to us. We must not cop-out any more, but we must learn to cope with Christ in us the hope of glory. Thank you so very much for sharing this with us. I find it to be a real blessing. Love and blessings to you both, Sharon