Posts Tagged ‘Circumstances

11
Jul
16

God Made This Day

This is the day the LORD has made;

let us rejoice and be glad in it.  — Psalm 118:24 (NIV)
As kids we learn a call and repeat song about how “This is the day (echo)!  That the Lord has made (echo)!  I will rejoice (echo)!  And be glad in it (echo)!”  Too often we forget that song.  We do not rejoice and we are not glad in the day that God has given to us.  We get bogged down in the junk of life to actually do what the song says.  How can we have joy and gladness today when life is so hard?
I have been talking to so many people lately about the toughness of life.  People have been coming to me with prayer requests, broken relationships, loved ones dying and disappointments and failures.  My friends and family members deal with struggles and various kinds of pain on a daily basis it seems.  There is no gladness, no joy.  There only seems to be pain, trials and drama galore.
I think that it takes work to have joy and gladness.  It takes effort to remind ourselves of the blessings versus the trials.  It takes a great deal of energy to rise above the circumstances and the situations we find ourselves in and have true joy.  We cannot ignore the pain of life, but we can choose to deal with it in a constructive manner.  Pain produces strength (no pain, no gain?).  Pain gives us endurance.  Pain stretches our faith.  There is joy, even in the trials, for the trials lead to Christian character (James 1:2-3).  It’s hard to remember this nugget of truth when we’re in the midst of the trials, but when we come through on the other side, we’ll know that God works everything out for good.
PRAYER: Father God, You know what this day holds. You know what trials and tests will come my way. You know what pain I am dealing with in my life. Help me to remember that You made this day so that I will rejoice and be glad in it. I want to rise above the situations and circumstances of life to honor you and give you praise. In Jesus’ name I praise you today, amen.
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09
Nov
15

Laying Under The Broom Bush With A Prophet

1 Kings 19:1-9 (NIV)

 Now Ahab told Jezebel everything Elijah had done and how he had killed all the prophets with the sword. So Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah to say, “May the gods deal with me, be it ever so severely, if by this time tomorrow I do not make your life like that of one of them.”

Elijah was afraid and ran for his life. When he came to Beersheba in Judah, he left his servant there, while he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness. He came to a broom bush, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, Lord,” he said. “Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.” Then he lay down under the bush and fell asleep.

All at once an angel touched him and said, “Get up and eat.” He looked around, and there by his head was some bread baked over hot coals, and a jar of water. He ate and drank and then lay down again.

The angel of the Lord came back a second time and touched him and said, “Get up and eat, for the journey is too much for you.” So he got up and ate and drank. Strengthened by that food, he traveled forty days and forty nights until he reached Horeb, the mountain of God. There he went into a cave and spent the night.

 

Sometimes life’s circumstances are too much for us to handle.  In 1 Kings 18, Elijah is strong.  He taunts the 450 prophets of Baal as their god would not answer them.  His faith and confidence in the Lord Almighty was at an all-time high.  He knew that God was going to answer his prayer.  He had seen God’s miraculous hand in action. Yet, when the wicked queen Jezebel had heard about what had happened to the prophets of Baal, she was furious and vowed to kill Elijah.  Elijah knew that she meant business, so he fled in fear.  He had been so bold and now he was so afraid.  He was tired.  He laid down under a broom bush and as he fell asleep, he began to pray.  The man who had once prayed fervently for it not to rain and for the sacrifice to be consumed, now prayed with resignation as he said, “I have had enough, Lord.  Take my life…” (1 Kings 19:4, NIV).

Sometimes we come to the broom bushes of our lives.  We feel overwhelmed by life’s circumstances.  We worry and we fret over relationships that are failing and finances that are running out.  We get stressed out over our jobs, our children, our friends and everything else under the sun.  We’ll sometimes feel like we’re on top of a mountain and so close to God.  Then, before we know it, we feel like we’re in the Grand Canyon and God feels a thousand miles away.  What do we do when we’re laying under the broom bush pining for God to end our lives?  We listen to the Word of the Lord.

1 Kings 19 says that the word of the Lord came to Elijah and said to get up and eat.  He laid down again.  The word came to him a second time and told him to get up and eat because the journey was too much for him.  Let’s face it, the journey is too much for us.  We can’t make it on our own.  We need God’s Word and God’s Spirit to give us strength for the journey.  When we are at our weakest, Jesus makes us strong.  When we are in the midst of depression and fear, Jesus calms our hearts.  When we are overcome and overwhelmed by the pressures of life, Jesus eases the burden.  I pray that if you’re laying under the broom bush today that God’s Word will come to you and strengthen you.  The journey may feel like it is too much for you and it probably is.  That’s why God is there.  He knows that it is too much for you and He wants to strengthen you and lead you on the journey home.

PRAYER:  Lord God, this journey is too much for me to take by myself.  Please go with me today that I might be strengthened by Your presence and by Your Spirit.  I can’t make it without You.  I need You.  Amen.

29
Sep
10

Never Separated

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?  Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?

I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. — Romans 8:35, 38-39 (NIV)
Christ’s love constantly and consistently flows like a mighty river.  Some rivers dry up.  Some are dammed and blocked from flowing.  The love of Jesus, though, never stops flowing.  I think of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill and how scientists and engineers came up with many ideas to try to stop the flow of oil into the Gulf.  Day after day, the oil flowed.  They tried various methods to stop the flow of oil.  Day after day, the oil continued to flow.  Finally, they were able to stop its flow.  Not so with God’s love.  The love of Christ never stops flowing.
We may think that because of tough times or tough circumstances that God does not love us.  That is just not true.  Nothing can separate us from the love of Christ.  Nothing gets in the way of His love.  Not even demons can stem the flow of His love towards humanity.  There is never any moment of any day that Jesus is not loving you.  His love pours forth twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.  You are loved and nothing can stop or change His love for you.  Circumstances change day by day.  Jesus’ love never changes.  Hardships come and go.  Jesus’ love always abides.  Even in the difficult days when you feel like no one loves you, God loves you.  It’s not just empty words, either.  He proved it by sending His Son to die for your sins.  The ultimate expression of His never ending love.



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