Sunday, May 31, 2015

Joy Comes in the Morning

At any given moment of the day, when we least expect it, circumstances arise that cause fear and despair to darken our attitude. Heaviness shrouds our spirit and joy flees in retreat. Other people are making decisions, which adversely affect our life.

They ignore our wishes and do not consult our opinion first. They drag us through the negative consequences of their decisions. Eventually anger may arise to shield us from imminent suffering, and we explode and strike out at those causing the issues.

It seems to them that we are reacting with severe sharpness at some small offense, and this leaves them wounded and resentful.

We are only attempting to restore order to our life; but our soul pours forth a storm of accusations, which drench the recipient to the point of drowning. Then we feel guilty for over-reacting.

Our anxiety and depression deepen and we withdraw into a stoic abyss, shutting our self off from life. Our heart is full of anguish and fear, and we feel horrible and overwhelmed.

We wish we could fly away with the wings of a dove and be at rest. We would gladly stay in a desert, if it was far enough away from the torment we currently feel. We cry out for shelter from the tempest of disappointments (Psalm 55:4-6).

The good news is that our Lord is our Shepherd. He provides all of our needs and shelters us from every storm. He walks with us, even through the valleys of the shadow of death.

We can trust God to restore our soul and help us to bring order back to our life. He will heal our wounded soul with His love, joy and peace (Psalm 23, 30:5).

Father God, You lead us to fountains of living water and You dry all of our tears (Revelation 7:17). Now, teach us to get along with difficult people who make a mess of our life, and then condemn us, because we get upset with them.

They act like we are the ones at fault, and they blame us for all of their problems. We cannot dwell in unity with this type of person, unless You come to our rescue. We ardently trust You to work out even these alarming situations for our ultimate good (Romans 8:28).

Thought for the Day:
As we dwell in the secret place of the Most High, He will lead us, guide us and make all things work out for our good. - Psalm 91

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Help My Unbelief

A father brings his son to Jesus. The boy has a mute spirit and experiences epileptic-type seizures. He believes Jesus can heal his son; yet because the disciples already failed to do so, he is afraid to try again. He asks Jesus for help with his unbelief (Mark 9:23-25).

We all feel this way sometimes. We know what the Word of God says, what preachers tell us, and what our friends share with us; yet, we still have such little faith!

Through this tiny verse God shows His humor and mercy in the same breath (Mark 9:23-25). He teaches us that the important aspect is to choose to believe, even when circumstances cause us to feel uncertain.

God understands that we lose hope and get discouraged. So, God put this powerful verse in the Bible to remind us that as long as we choose to believe, then He will do the rest.

Lord, we want to walk in obedience, trusting in Your promises and doing greater works than Jesus did (John 14:12). We believe in You; yet, at times, our faith is weak. Thank You for helping our unbelief, and for providing for all of our spiritual, physical and emotional needs.

We praise You day and night for Your wonderful works and multitude of blessings to the Your children. You do so much for us and take such an active roll in the details of our life. Thank You for caring enough to give Your life for our redemption and salvation.

Thought for the Day:
Hearing from God often requires that we find a quiet place to still our thoughts and focus on His presence in our life.

Friday, May 29, 2015

To Burn Brighter Still

We often encounter winds of adversity in our life. Satan means for them to snuff out our light; but God is faithful - not only to give us grace to withstand the storms, but also to allow them to help us to burn brighter still.

We may experience discomfort from a fiery trial, a disappointing loss or a daunting challenge; but we will always have light, because the Son within us never fades.

It is human nature to respond to adversity by fighting back or by grumbling and complaining. In resorting to this negative behavior, we actually lose our serenity altogether.

Even through circumstances, which rage out of our control, God provides a place of rest for us (Hebrews 4:11). The key is to patiently accept that He has everything under His control.

As the Great Physician, our Father God often applies His scalpel to some part of our life that is sick or diseased. He makes a clean cut and leaves no scar. Though He wounds, He will never break (Matthew 12:20).

He only operates when it is absolutely necessary, and when He knows it is for our ultimate, overall good health. He uses life’s circumstances as His surgical tools to remove dead weight from our life.

He may remove some cherished person, home, job, etc, but He knows the plans He has for our future (Jeremiah 29:11), and what He chooses to remove is not part of those plans.

When we realize the truth that God is always constant and sheds His love and wisdom on us regardless of our circumstances, we learn to be content in whatever condition we find our self (Philippians 4:11-13).

This way, we will never experience the depression of hopes dashed against the cold reality of a faded dream. Instead, we will rest in the solid constancy of a never changing Son who never fails us nor forsakes us (Isaiah 60:20; Hebrews 13:5).

Father God, sometimes, we foolishly fill the void in our life with earthly treasures. We play the game of “if only.” “If only I could have this possession or that person, I’d be complete.”  Remind us that even when we attain our heart’s desire, the newness eventually wears off, the meaning evaporates and we are empty once again.

Help us to see that it is only when we completely surrender to Christ in our life, and when we do not try to replace Him with earthly treasures, that we remain happy and fulfilled with true joy now and throughout eternity.

Thought for the Day:
Whatever we cherish as the desire of our heart is actually our god; if Jesus is our purest desire, we will feel the fulfillment, which only comes when we live a life entirely surrendered to the will of God.