Posts Tagged ‘facing problem’

The Lord hardened the heart of Pharaoh King of Egypt, so that he pursued the Israelites, who were marching out boldly.  – Exodus 14:8

Over protective parents do their children a great injustice.  The caterpillar that lies inside the cocoon will never become the beautiful butterfly if someone cuts open the cocoon prematurely.  It is the struggle itself that allows the butterfly to emerge as a strong, new creature of nature.

butterfly

God understands how necessary this process is.  That is why we are allowed to experience difficult, often life-changing events.  He even orchestrates them- all for our benefit.  What the Israelites thought was a cruel joke when Pharaoh sent troops to pursue them after they had been freed and penned against the shore of the Red Sea because the stage for the most publicized miracle of all time- the parting of the Red Sea.

red sea

 

Generation after generation has heard this incredible story of deliverance.  God puts us against the “Red Seas” in order to show His power in and through us.  If we do not know God can deliver, then we can never learn to trust Him.

Circumstances that go beyond our capabilities of solving them place us at God’s complete mercy.  This is how He likes it.

Do not fear the calamity that comes your way.  If you are faithful to Him in the test, you will see God’s power manifested like never before.  Just as the Israelites were able to sing a song of deliverance, you too will have your own testimony of the Lord’s faithfulness; and you will be able to recall it for others to build your faith and theirs.

[Source: Today God Is First by Os Hillman, Adversity]

 

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Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know. – Job 42:3b

job

If there was any one man on earth who had reason to question God’s love, it was Job.  He lost his health, and his wealth- all at the same time.  His friends came to his side only to question his spirituality.  God had already answered the question of his integrity.  Job was described in the opening verses of the book as “blameless and upright” (See Job 1:1).  His calamities were not born from sin.  Job acknowledged God’s right to do anything in his life until one day he could take it no longer.  He questioned God’s motives.

God answered Job, but not in the way he wanted to hear. God answered him with a series of questions that represents the most incredible discourse of correction by God to any human being.  Three chapters later, Job realized that he had questioned the motives of the Author of the universe, the Author of love.  He fell flat before his Creator and realized his total depravity. “Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know.”

Have you ever questioned God’s activity in your life? Have you questioned His love for you based on circumstances that came your way? Calvary__s_cross_by_joshuapierreThe cross at Calvary answers the love question.  He sent His own Son in replacement for your sin.  If you were the only person on earth, He would have done the same.  His ways cannot always be understood or reconciled in our finite minds.  That must be left for a future time when all will be understood.  For now, entrust your life to Him completely.  Embrace Him in the hard times and the good.

[Source: Today God Is First by Os Hillman, Section One Adversity]

Where there are no oxen, the manger is empty, but from the strength of an ox comes an abundant harvest.  Proverbs 14:4

Busting-Brick-Off-New-Home-2-300x168

photo from the internet

My wife and I run together through a new home subdivision.  Often we see the street filled with red clay from the land as bulldozers clear it to lay a foundation.  The job site littered with lumber, all sorts of trash from the workers, and is generally a mess.  The house looks ugly, it has all its insides exposed as it is being pieced together yet this process is necessary to get to the finished product.  When completed, the home is beautiful.  The landscaping looks like it came out of a home-design magazine.  Everything is clean and perfect in order for the new home-owner to move in.

Our walk with God is much the same process.  Often we must go through a messy period of our lives in which all aspects of it are in disarray.  It is in these times that God builds a new structure.  He might remove some structural timbers in our lives and replace them with new ones.  He might even add on another room.  And unless this process takes place, we will never see the end product.  The goal is more Christ likeness.  In order to achieve this in us, He requires a period of removing all that is not of Him.  It can be a painful process.

christlikeness

photo from the internet

It would be impossible to keep oxen in a barn without having to clean up the mess from time to time.  It just comes with the territory, but the result of the oxen is an abundant harvest.  God may be allowing a mess in order to ensure a fruitful harvest in your life.  Learn from Him so that you might experience the fulfillment of His purposes for you in these times.

[Source: Today God Is First by Os Hillman, Section One Adversity]

 

 

heart-check

Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the desert there forty years, to humble you and to test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep His commands.  – Deuteronomy 8:2

Has God performed a heart test on you lately? There are times in your lives when God leads us in to the desert in order to let us find out what is in our heart.  These times can be very difficult and humbling.  They can test our mettle like no other time.  Desert times often mean we are living without those things we are normally accustomed to: water, food, limited supplies – and with few comforts.  In modern terms, it may mean a different environment.  God is performing a very important work during these times.  He wants to know if we can be obedient to Him in these times; or will we be obedient only when times are good?

He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your fathers had known, to touch you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.  Your clothes did not wear out and your feet did not swell during these forty years.  Know then in your heart that as a man disciplines his son, so the Lord your God disciplines you (Deuteronomy 8:3-5)

These desert times may mean experiencing new ways of provision from the Lord.  Like manna from Heaven, it may mean seeing miracles we’ve never seen before.  Like clothing that never wears out, it may mean seeing your normal capabilities expanded.  Like walking hundreds of miles without pain, desert experiences provide new lessons and new experiences that only these times can teach us.

What desert experience has He brought into you life lately? Perhaps it is a lean time in business.  Perhaps it is a new environment.  Whatever it is, when God decides to bring new disciplines into our lives by bringing us into the desert, do not fear the heat that is sure to come.  He is walking beside you in order to test you and find out what is really in your heart.  Ask for His grace to pass the test.  He wants to bring all of His children into the Promised Land.

[Source: Today God Is First by Os Hillman]

hope

Read: Jeremiah 29:11-14

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for wholeness and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.  Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you.  You will seek me and find me.  When you seek me with all your heart, I will be found by you, declares the Lord, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, declares the Lord, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile.

 

ODB_110411 penny syndrome

Read: 1 Samuel 17:32-37

The penny has been called the most despised unit of US currency.  Many people will not bother to pick up a one-cent coin if they see it lying on the ground.  But some charities are finding that pennies add up to significant sums, and that children are generous givers.  As one participant said, “Small contributions can make a huge difference.”

The Bible account of David and Goliath describes a seemingly insignificant person whose confidence in God was greater than any of the powerful people around him.  When David volunteered to face the giant Goliath, King Saul said “You are not able to go against this Philistine” (1 Samuel 17:33).  But David had faith in the Lord who had delivered him in the past (v.37).

david and goliath

David did not suffer from “the penny syndrome”- a sense of inferiority and helplessness in the face of an overwhelming problem.  If he had listened to the pessimism of Saul or the threats of Goliath, he would have done nothing.  Instead, he acted with courage because he trusted God.

It’s easy to feel like a penny in a trillion-dollar deficit. But when we obey the Lord in every circumstance, it all adds up.  Collectively, our acts of faith, large or small, make a big difference.  And every penny counts- David McCasland.

It matters not how large or small your faith may seem be; what really counts is whom you trust in life’s uncertainty. –  Fitzhugh

Courage will follow when faith takes the lead.

[Source: Our Daily Bread, 11 April 2013]

joshua

 

 

 

 

Read: Joshua 1:9

“Be Strong and courageous  Do not be frighted and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go”

[Source:  Holy Bible (English Standard Version)]