Cushion for Christians!

 Trials  Comments Off on Cushion for Christians!
Dec 032017
 

Several years ago a submarine was being tested;
And it had to remain submerged for many hours.

When it returned to the harbour-
– the captain was asked, “How did the terrible storm last night affect you?”

The officer looked at him in surprise and exclaimed, “Storm? We didn’t even know there was one!”

The submarine had been so far beneath the surface-
– that it had reached the area known to sailors as “the cushion of the sea.”

Although the ocean may be whipped into huge waves by high winds, the waters below are never stirred.

God provides that kind of-
Cushion for Christians!

Let’s see how we can have that kind of peace in our lives.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7).

Paul wrote these words while sitting in a prison cell in Rome awaiting possible execution.

If anyone had a reason to be anxious-
– it would have been him.

But-
Paul knew that peace didn’t come from our circumstances,
– but from the One who gives peace:
God!

The word “guard” is the same word that was used of the soldiers who were responsible to keep prisoners from escaping.

Since their life depended on it (Acts 12:19)-
– they were very careful not to let anything happen to the ones they were guarding.

What circumstances might be disturbing your heart or your mind today?

Make a list and take them to the Lord.

As you pray about your situations-
– be sure to give thanks:
– both for the circumstances
– and for your God who is bigger than your problem!

(PA)

But He knows the best!

 God's Work in Us, Trials  Comments Off on But He knows the best!
Dec 022017
 

The little boy was so excited as he and his mother waited for signs of life from the chicken egg they hoped would soon hatch.
The mother hen had left the nest, busy caring for other newborn, and they decided they had better put this egg in a box with a light in it, to keep it warm.

They waited and waited.
Finally they heard the first tiny tap and the chick began to peck on the eggshell to be set free.

The little chick pecked and pushed and pushed and pecked.

The little boy felt so sorry for him and wanted to help.
It would be so easy to just quickly crack open the shell and let him out.

But the mother cautioned him-
– explaining that it was important for the chick to have to work hard to get out of the shell so that his body would later be strong enough to survive outside the shell.

Leaving him alone and letting him work his way out was actually an act of love.

That is the way our heavenly Father feels toward us.
He sees the many challenges which we face.

And all He would have to do is-
– just speak a word and all our problems and challenges would be solved.

But He knows the best!

He knows that allowing us to work through them,
– and “peck our way through our challenges,”
– so to speak, will enrich our lives in the long run.

God is in the character-developing work.
And our trials help develop us into what he wants us to be.

James refers to this process when he says:
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything” (James1:2-4).

Peter speaks of the same thing:
“In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith — of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire — may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honour when Jesus Christ is revealed” (1 Peter 1:4-7).

Because of God’s loving and benevolent plan and purposes for us-
Paul could write, “Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:18).

(PA)

God-confidence

 Faith, Trials  Comments Off on God-confidence
Nov 122017
 

“They bruised his feet with shackles, his neck was put in irons, till what he foretold came to pass, till the word of the Lord proved him true” (Psalms 105:18-19).

God spoke to Joseph as a young boy through a dream and vision regarding his future.

He could not understand its complete meaning at the time, but he knew it had great significance.

Joseph knew God had a destiny for his life.

However, the proving out of that word from God was filled with 13 years of waiting, rejection, pain, sorrow, and no doubt, questioning God’s faithfulness.

His life was all but a life of influence and impact as a prisoner and slave.

No doubt he wondered whether that dream was simply some vain imagination.

David must have felt the same when he was anointed king over Israel as a young man only to spend years of fleeing from King Saul.

God’s preparation for greatness in His Kingdom is often filled with difficulty.

God is more concerned about developing the inner life of his servant.

That inner life can only be prepared by removing all self-confidence, and replacing it with God-confidence.

God-confidence is only developed in the furnace of life.

Is the Lord proving His word in your life?

Perhaps He is using circumstances and events to move you into a place of patient waiting as He puts you in the place He desires for you.

This is the place where the foundations of your soul mature.

Let Him prove your faith!

(PA)

Give God your current situation

 God's Will, God's Work in Us, Trials  Comments Off on Give God your current situation
Sep 012017
 

“You meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result” (Genesis 50:20).

Joseph’s life was anything but peaceful.

It was complicated by youthful folly, broken dreams, and the mean-spirited actions of others.

Sold into slavery by jealous brothers.

Thrown into prison on false charges.

Yet he remained a man remarkable for his lack of bitterness or regret.

Always seeing God as the “Great Engineer” behind even the worst of circumstances.

In a final confrontation with his brothers, he graciously noted:

“You meant it for bad; God meant it for good.”

The theology packed in that statement is astounding!

“God meant it for good” means:

You can accept the past!

No sin, no action, no choice on your part is too big for God to handle –

or too big to be worked for the good of those who love him and are called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28).

Ask his fearful and famished brothers, who were forced to rely on him for survival.

You can embrace the present!

There’s no need to play the “what if” game.

The past is gone, and no energy you expend will ever change it.

The future is in God’s omnipotent hands-

– so you’re free to focus on the present.

Your job is to love God with all your heart, soul, and mind, trusting him to forgive the past and transform the future.

Jim Eliot once wrote, “Wherever you are, be all there!”

– not living in the past and not fantasizing about the future.

God wants you in the present because that’s where his grace will flow.

You can look expectantly toward the future!!!

Even if you make mistakes today-

God still controls your future.

Walking in the Spirit, you can live life to the fullest, unafraid of making mistakes and unconcerned that you may stumble into some terrible circumstance that takes you out of God’s control.

Even when things appear to be terrible, you can trust that God is working out some divine plan through you.

So what?

No matter how bad things get-

God is still able to bring good out of it.

Today, thank God that nothing – no disaster, no delay – is bigger that his ability to turn it into something good and godly.

Thank God and let go!

Thank God that He is sovereign over your past, your present, and your future.

Give God the circumstances, disasters, hindrances, hurts, and sins from your past.

Give God your current situation, your disasters, hindrances, hurts, and sins of today.

Praise God that he can work anything in your future for godly good, that you can walk in confidence that there is nothing anyone can do to you, or anything you can do that will be beyond the reach of God’s grace and redemption.

Look for God’s hand!

Walking by faith means you see God’s hand even in the most difficult of circumstances.

You trust His ability and his willingness to transform the bad into godly good.

God is not limited by people’s motives.

In other words, it doesn’t matter why someone hurt you-

God still can transform a deliberate, mean-spirited situation into something for His good.

(PA)

Aug 012017
 

“But I will punish the nation they serve as slaves, and afterward they will come out with great possessions” (Genesis 15:14).

God kept the people of Israel enslaved 400 years!

But when the time came to free them from the bondage of slavery-

-they came out with great possessions!

These physical possessions symbolize-

-the spiritual possessions we receive when we come out of being enslaved to those things that have hindered us all our lives.

Whenever God brings you through a time of great adversity-

you can expect to come out of that experience with great possessions,

-if you have been faithful through the trial.

This is a universal truth!

When we have been tested and proven-

-the reality of our faith results in possessions from God that we would never receive if we had not gone through those trials.

These are precious possessions in His sight and should be valued greatly.

Those who know you-

-will be amazed at the wisdom that comes from your mouth.

It is one of those mysteries of the gospel that only those who experience incredible testing and hardship can explain.

These possessions are to be shared with others so that-

-they also can know how they might become free.

What has God freed you from that allows you to share your possessions with others?

Share what God has done in your life with someone you work with today.

It may be the possession they need most in their life.

(PA)