Tuesday, April 17, 2012
on hanging in there
These verses from my Bible reading this morning were so, so timely for me, I felt compelled to share them with you:
"And let us not lose heart and grow weary and faint in acting nobly and doing right, for in due time and at the appointed season we shall reap, if we do not loosen and relax our courage and faint.
"So then, as occasion and opportunity open up to us, let us do good [morally] to all people [not only being useful or profitable to them, but also doing what is for their spiritual good and advantage]. Be mindful to be a blessing, especially to those of the household of faith [those who belong to God's family with you, the believers]" (Gal 6:9-10)
Time and time again, God has shown me that when I'm going through a challenging time, the "trick" is to keep steadfast in faith, and go be a blessing to others. When I put my trust and reliance in God -- essentially, when I focus on God, rather than my circumstances, when I get my mind off myself -- I can endure with a peaceful, if not a cheerful, heart. And God is always faithful to deliver me! I can say it now, on hindsight; that's what experience with God does. It's like that hymn, 'Tis So Sweet To Trust In Jesus, written way back in 1882: "Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him!" goes the refrain, "How I've proved Him o'er and o'er!"
Then, my devotion for today was entitled: Go to God first. The quoted Bible verse was: "He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him" (Ps 91:15). Isn't that lovely -- I felt so full of God's comfort and reassurance when I saw that.
This devotion began with the author describing an emotionally painful situation she'd gone through. After it had happened, she sat in her car and prayed, "God I need you to comfort me. I don't want to feel like this... I'm having trouble handling it and I have to have Your help".
"God took the pain and all my bad feelings went away... We tend to do everything we can think of before turning to God, and nothing ever changes the situation. We would be so much better off if our first response to every emergency and every kind of emotional pain were to pray" (extracted from Hearing From God Each Morning, by Joyce Meyer, italics mine).
And then, as I stuck my bookmark in for the next day, I saw that devotion was entitled Sometimes You Just Stand. Well of course I couldn't resist a sneak peek, especially since I noticed I'd underlined parts of it from the year before. Quickly, I read this bit: "Often in our lives, we take action naturally and do little or nothing spiritually. But when we discipline ourselves to be still and wait on the Lord, we are engaging in powerful spiritual activity. Our willingness to be still says to the Lord, 'I am going to wait on You until You do something about this situation. In the meantime, I am going to be peaceful and enjoy my life while I wait on You'".
Have a blessed, peace-filled Tuesday :)
(PS. some people have asked me what version of the Bible I read, that's so full of brackets and things. I read the Amplified Bible, which, as its publisher describes, "takes both word meaning and context into account in order to accurately translate the original text from one language into another. [It] does this through the use of explanatory alternate readings and amplifications to assist the reader in understanding what Scripture really says. Multiple English word equivalents to each key Hebrew and Greek word clarify and amplify meanings that may otherwise have been concealed by the traditional translation method").