What Is the Hardest Thing to Deal With In Our Lives?

Proverbs 16:17-25, The highway of the upright is to depart from evil: he that keepeth his way preserveth his soul. Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall. Better it is to be of an humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud. He that handleth a matter wisely shall find good: and whoso trusteth in the Lord happy is he. The wise in heart shall be called prudent: and the sweetness of the lips increaseth learning. Understanding is a wellspring of life unto him that hath it: but the instruction of fools is folly. The heart of the wise teacheth his mouth, and addeth learning to his lips. Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones. There is a way that seemeth right unto a man; but the end thereof are the ways of death.
Thank you for reading today. Our greatest desire is that you would be encouraged in the Lord! In my daily time with God in His Word today, the Holy Spirit reminded me about the difficulties of pride in our lives. We desire to be an encouragement and help to those who need help. The number one thing that I do as a Biblical Counsellor and marriage speaker is to try to help people to move out of a
feelings-dominated, emotion-controlled life and into a controlled by the Holy Spirit, Biblical principled driven life.

Kim and I have just returned from preaching and teaching in churches in Ireland and holding a Biblical Counselling Seminar for the missionaries there. Several missionaries were in attendance. We also had a missionary family and co-worker from Hungary in attendance. We were encouraged, and we are thankful for God working in our hearts and lives. We are sorry that we were not able to send out articles while we were away. Thank you to all that prayed for the meetings!

In working with people in our Biblical counselling/discipleship program, I find that the area of pride is one of the most difficult things we as Christians deal with. The most difficult sin to conquer in our life is pride. It hides very well in our lives. It is a deceitful and elusive sin. It is also a root sin. By that, I mean, it produces a lot of other sins. Any time you see a person with an anger issue in their life it comes from pride,
Proverbs 21:24, Proud and haughty scorner is his name, who dealeth in proud wrath. Many people have seen their home destroyed because they were too proud to admit they need counsel and to seek help. Because pride steals glory that is due to God alone, there are few sins that bring the level of destruction that pride brings.

The Christian life is a spiritual warfare

The devil seeks to put outside pressure on our lives to control our soul and thus control what we do. The devil always works from the outside in. God works from the inside out by speaking to our spirit by the Holy Spirit. The biggest tool for the devil to use in our lives is pride. Pride is a hindrance and a destroyer in every area of the Christian life. When we go back to the beginning of the Bible in Genesis, we see that Satan used pride with Eve. He told her, she would be like God and God did not want that to happen. This is the same method the devil has always used. All around us today there are people being destroyed in our local churches because of the pride issue that the devil uses in our lives. Many of the people who contact us through Hope Biblical Counselling Center are in the difficulties they are in because of pride and its off-shoot sins. The Bible speaks much about pride. It is the key to either being a servant used by God or a person not being used as a servant and being destroyed.

Who is the author of pride?

I Timothy 3:6, Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil.
So, we see the devil is the author of pride. Isn't it interesting here that Paul is talking about a person being a preacher who has not learned how to deal with his pride? We all have it to deal with. The understanding of this is extremely important.
Are we unwilling or do not understand that the power of God in our life is not by how much we think we know or even what we know, but by our submission to God.

Folks, there is a premise here that is especially important for the life of a church. There are those in the church today, who will pray and read their Bible in self-righteousness but never do anything. Then there are those who are motivated by doing and give little attention to their Bible. A proper relationship with God means I spend time with the Lord in submission to Him, but it also motivates my doing,
Matthew 7:24-27. Jesus said, “that a wise man is a hearer and a doer.”

People who do without hearing are motivated by pride. People who hear and never do are motivated by pride. There must be a balance in the relationship

The devil's desire, of course, is for a lost person to not get saved. He will appeal to your pride and make you think you know more about it, and you can work it out your own way.

Psalm 10:4, The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts.
The devil uses pride on lost people and saved people.

Many people because of their pride die and go to hell. Folks, quite frankly, the reason I got saved was flat out because I did not want to die and go to hell. There is no future in it! Maybe you have had it bad in your life. Things have not gone well. Let me put it to you this way. Hell is eternal! It is not a place you can go for a weekend visit to see if you like it. There are no exits! You do not get out. Do not make a prideful, ignorant, eternal mistake and die and go to hell. You think life has been bad up till now? Hell will be nothing like anything you have ever known in bad! Do not let the devil use your pride to send you to hell. If you are reading this and are unsaved, right now is the time to tell the Lord you are a sinner and repent of your sins and ask Jesus to come into your heart and be your Saviour.

There are three ways the Christian can live his or her life

They can live their life in unrighteousness, self-righteousness, or righteousness. Unrighteousness and self-righteousness are pride issues. The whole deal of self-righteousness is a pride issue.

Luke 18:11-12, The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. Pretty self-righteous statements.

How many times have I heard some prideful statement like this, I grew up in a Christian home, and I will always serve God. Eighty percent of all children who grow up in an Independent Baptist church do not serve God. Many who grow up in Christian homes do not serve God. Why? Pride. It is their desire to go their own way and be independent of God.
The Apostle Peter was an example of someone who made prideful statements. He told the Lord that he would not deny Him. Of course, we know the Lord told him, He would deny him thrice before the cock crew. Peter denied him three times in his self-righteousness.
You see folks, a self-righteous person will be destroyed, because he has never learned that he or she is nothing apart from their submission to God.
One of the things that has been a great encouragement to me is how Peter turned his life around. There was great humility, wisdom and seeking to be an encouragement to the hurting Jewish Christians in I and II Peter by the Apostle Peter. Here he was a changed man!

Proverbs 16:18-19, Pride goeth before destruction and an haughty spirit before a fall. Better it is to be of an humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud.

Did you notice the humble spirit? Does that mean you just go around saying you are humble? You know, I am worse than dirt? No, it deals with a larger spiritual principle. You see there are those who have false humility. They hide their pride by talking about humility.

Proverbs 16:25, There is a way that seemeth right unto a man; but the end thereof are the ways of death (destruction).
A person who is prideful thinks his way is right, not God's way. Did you notice it will end in destruction? The word haughty here is an interesting word. Pride means I think more of myself than I should. Haughty means I think lower of others than I should.

A prideful person always brings strife and contention

Proverbs 13:10, Only by pride cometh contention: but with the well advised is wisdom.

The prideful person is always angry and fighting with someone. Every hurt or perceived hurt is magnified in their life. They are always upset with someone. They do not turn their hurts to God. They are grudge keepers.
They are a hindrance to those who really want to serve God.
A prideful person grieves the Spirit of God, and they lead others into sin. A prideful person is a hindrance to their children growing up to serve God.

Ephesians 6:4-7, And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. (5) Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ; (6) Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart; (7) With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men:

A prideful person is stubborn and non-teachable. A non-teachable prideful person is miserable in their life, and they are miserable to be around. They think they know more about living for God than anyone else but fail to understand the spiritual point. They always have a critical spirit!

Folks, every Christian must be willing to submit themselves to the teaching of God's word. Do you believe the Bible today?

Then watch carefully what it says,
Proverbs 13:13, Whoso despiseth the word shall be destroyed; but he that feareth the commandment shall be rewarded.

If we do not submit ourselves to the teaching of God's word, our arrogance and pride will lead us to destruction and shame.

Proverbs 11:2-3, When pride cometh, then cometh shame: but with the lowly is wisdom. The integrity of the upright shall guide them: but the perverseness of transgressors shall destroy them.

A prideful person is deceived about themselves and about their spiritual condition.

Galatians 6:7-8, Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. (8) For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.
Proverbs 29:23, A man’s pride shall bring him low; but honour shall uphold the humble in spirit. Proverbs 26:16, The sluggard is wiser in his own conceit than seven men that can render a reason.
Proverbs 26:12, Seest thou a man wise in his own conceit? There is more hope of a fool than of him.

God takes a dim view of a self-righteous, prideful person. I have the opportunity to counsel with many people. When folks come in with a life in destruction, the first thing we want to find out is what area of pride they are holding onto as an idol of the heart. When we talk with them about this, pride raises its ugly head quickly. The great hindrance to the church today, the cause of the gospel, and living for God, is the pride of the Christian. The answer to our pride is to
submit ourselves to God.

James 4:6-7, But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

Psalm 25:9, The meek (humble) will he guide in judgment: and the meek will he teach his way.

Let me ask you friend are you going around unhappy in your life? Are you always fighting, angry, upset with others? Are you always bucking authority, telling people your opinion, and what you are not going to do? Are you always trying to manipulate circumstances to the way you want it?
God is going to resist you. Your work in self-righteousness will destroy you and others around you. It will destroy your home, your husband, your wife, your children, and you. Ultimately, the pain of your life will be huge. You will make poor decisions and wonder why God is not changing the circumstances of your life. So, you will try to manipulate the circumstances and get frustrated when it does not work out. You will be defeated, discouraged, and depressed. You will be a people responder and not a God responder. God wants us to be a God responder and not a people responder.

II Corinthians 3:5, Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think anything as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God.

The only answer is to quit seeking to live the Christian life in self-righteousness in your own power and submit to God. Today would be a good day to start the change by submitting yourself to God.

James 4:7-10, Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. (8) Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. (9) Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. (10) Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.
Maybe you need to tell God today, Lord, I have been trying to live the Christian life in my own power, my own way. Please forgive me. I want to submit myself to you. Forgive me for the sin of pride in my life.

Submission to God is the answer to a prideful life. Submission to God is true humility.

The Christian who understands this will have a fruitful, powerful life. True submission however is a daily moment-by-moment thing. As you spend time with God each day, ask God these questions: Lord, is there any sin that stands between you and me today? When He shows you the sin, confess it and turn from it,
I John 1:9. Lord, who and what do you want me to pray for today? Folks, submission is a matter of learning to listen to God not telling God what He is going to do. Lord, who do you want me to witness to today? Lord, who do you want me to encourage today? Lord, what do you want me to praise you for today? Consistently, you need to be turning issues of the day over to God. There will be issues every day in your life.
Do not be deceived, dear Christian friend. The answer of the Bible on this subject is crucial to your life, your family, and your home. Many divorces are happening in Christian homes because one or both parties do not have a real relationship with God because of their pride.

Proverbs 16:18, Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall. God does not want it to be that way. He desires you have His power today by submitting yourself to Him.
Be all you can be for Him today and have a powerful testimony of living a Spirit-controlled yielded godly life that is serving and living with humility, joy, and peace! We encourage you today to make Jesus Christ real in your life by humbly yielding to Him at the point of impact and living for Him, not the life of prideful, selfish, carnal thinking and speaking. It is an important choice! Tell God you want to yield yourself to Him today and be a trusting, useful, and rewarded servant! Be the person who wants to change! Be the person who can help others change! Do not be the person who always needs to be helped, but the person who can help!

May we all humble ourselves before God and focus on having compassion on others! Let’s seek real Biblical change. May we all have the desire to make real Biblical long-term change to the honour and glory of God!

With a heart to glorify God and serving the God of answers,

Dr. Terry L. Coomer
Director, Hope Biblical Counselling and Training

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(At An Carraig Baptist Church, we take a literal approach to the Bible (AV 1611). We are also a local, independent body of believers, which means we are not subject to any religious hierarchy. Being "Baptist" means we hold to the Bible-based Baptist Distinctives that has been the hallmark of true Baptist churches through the centuries. You are welcome to join us at any of our weekly meetings or schedule to meet for tea/coffee.)