“Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” – Isaiah 40:28-31
Listen to this song:
No matter what is going on in our life God is always there. Thank God he shows us so many examples in the Bible of a storm happening in someones life and he is in control. When Moses was crossing the Red Sea he told the people in Exodus 14:14 “‘The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.'” Now this doesn’t mean sit back and do nothing, but God is fighting the battle for us. We have to do his will and what he has called us to do.
Remember Mordecai telling Esther, “‘For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?'” (Esther 4:14) “For such a time as thing?” Just linger on those words for a second. God has you in a position of your life for a reason. Moses was there to help the people be rescued and now with Esther to rescue the Jews.
Are you now in a position that feels like it’s too much but God keeps bringing you back to this place or to be with this person or group? Sometimes it could be out own will, but God could be needing you there. Ask for his guidance. You may not be in a position to save hundreds of lives like Moses or Esther, but God goes after that one. Can’t we do the same? Having the mentality of helping that one person it is doable then being able to do it for them all.
“Be very careful, then, how you live – not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.” Ephesians 5:15,16.
“Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and he brought them out of their distress. He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed. They were glad when it grew calm, and he guided them to their desired haven. Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind.” – Psalm 107:28-31
Photo credit Shelby Ann Photography and her blog is Shelbyannphoto.com
Going through a storm in life can easily begin to look for a quick fix or cause us to run, but God is the one who calms the storms. In Proverbs there are mentions of fools and a hot-tempered person creates conflict, but the calm one can end a quarrel or bring the issue to an end. Whenever a storm is brought up, it causes my mind to go back to thoughts of Sunday School and hearing about Jonah and the whale. The men are freaking out on this boat and Jonah was sleeping! They are throwing out their cargo and prayer to their gods and ask Jonah to try his so they can possibly get an answer. Just picture that, everyone in a panic and crying out to these gods to help them, and they realize their gods are of no help so why not try this other guys? Praise God that he calls us to trust him and that we can trust in him to guide us, he watches over us, and he truly wants the best for our life.
When Jonah shares with these men that he is running from God, they are even in fear. What a powerful God?! Jonah then tells the men if they hurl him into sea, the storm storm will stop. They are scared of what could happen to them but after the storm became fiercer they did as Jonah said:
“So they picked up Jonah and hurled him into the sea, and the sea ceased from its raging. Then the men feared the Lord exceedingly, and they offered a sacrifice to the Lord and made vows.” Jonah 1:1-16
Not only did God calm the storm for the men who were not running from God, but they then feared the Lord. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” Proverbs 9:10, God used Jonah running from him for his glory! These men came to bare witness to what a powerful God we serve. Jonah’s running gave this witness to these men during a ragging storm they did not think they would survive. The men were concerned for Jonah’s life and what would happen if they cast him off, but God is always watching over us and has a plan. God had Jonah rescued and given the time needed for him to cry out for God’s will for his life and be in silence.
During a storm seek a quiet place to just listen to God for him to calm your heart and mind. “Now may the Lord of Peace himself give you peace at all times in every way. The Lord be with you all.” – 2 Thessalonians 3:16.
Saying I’m sorry can be one of the easiest things, yet it can but one of the hardest things to truly do. Saying it is one thing, but truly living it out, God tells us to pray. “For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” Matthew 6:14-15.
While looking for a verse about bitterness God brought me to Lamentations 3. This chapter is called “Great Is Your Faithfulness” which reading this at first you must wonder how someone could possibly believe in God when he says all the ways he has been beaten by God. One could see all these things and honestly believe how they could possibly be God doing this, it seems like these are acts of Satan. “I am the man who has seen affliction by the rod of the Lord’s wrath. He has driven me away and made me walk in darkness rather than light;” Lamentations 3:1-2, whoa! God does love us, but he can become angry with us when we are not doing his will and can be caught up so much is our own lives and so focused on our self and consumed by our own desires.
Lamentations 3:4-18 we go through the way this man is tortured by God. But from these moments this man reflects and knows he has gone through this because he has wandered from God. It is not God being unjust. He than thanks God! He thanks God! Can you honestly process that? God putting us through challenges, can’t we be like this man in Lamentations and praise him. “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. ‘The Lord is my portion,’ says me soul, ‘therefore I will hope in him.'” Lamentations 3:22-24, may this be us. May we remember God’s steadfast love!
When we forgive someone, may we truly forgive them.
Past John Oostdyk spoke this Sunday at Cornerstone Christian Church on 1 Corinthians 12, which is about the fruit of the Spirit and Spiritual gifts. While trying to figure out your Spiritual gift 1 Corinthians 1:7 tells us, “therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed.” Take some time and listen to John’s sermon, “Finding Our Full Potential”: http://sermon.net/CornerstoneWyckoff
Have you ever been in a position like John? Was God pushing you spiritually to be out of your comfort zone? In a time of small groups you can share more of yourself then you may have planned, a member could be moved by another, or you have been moved by another member, any could make us feel uncomfortable. We may get thoughts like John did, to simply run! Although John stayed and realized God was giving him that girls pain and he was feeling compassion for her. Isn’t it powerful how God can give us another person’s pain or be shown compassion?
1 Corinthians 12:12 says, “The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ.” Can I just point out how awesome that is? We all form the body of Christ. The commentator in my Bible gave an example of a person could live without their eyes by relying on other senses and people, but a bodiless eyes is unimaginable. The same applies to the body of Christ. When all parts are working together then the body functions properly. But as Paul uses the examples of the eye and foot, if one suffers it makes the whole body vulnerable. We are meant to be a body, people who work together, serve together, grow together, fellowship together, and challenge on another.
As John says, we are to be unified, let us not confused that as meaning that we are all to be the same. We are all different, which is such a blessing. Respect other members of the body and love like Christ loved. We are all one body of Christ.
On today’s post it previewed Jefferson Bethke’s video, “Why Some Christians Are Actually Thieves”. God’s ways are good. Psalm 77:13 ask, “Your ways, God, are holy. What god is as great as our God?” Is there any greater god? Then why do we divide up God’s creation to what we say is good and what isn’t? Watch this video and then give some thought to the questions Jefferson Bethke raises: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4dr0oFRQqlg.
While watching this were you reminded of what goodness God has blessed you with, the good that you don’t acknowledge daily? Do we have the right to declare what is good and what is wrong? God says that his ways are good. Then, why do we question what is good and what is bad? When we are walking with God, doesn’t he distinct that for us?
“It is when a person walks at night that they stumble, for they have no light.” John 11:10, God is our light, as he says in Psalm 119:105 “Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.” Keeping in God’s word is how we can stay in the light and not stumble in the darkness. Jefferson Bethke helps remind us that God is good. May we constantly remember this daily.