Friday, August 17, 2012

Everything is going to be ok.

Based on email devotional: The Response of Faith - TGIF Today God Is First Volume 1, by Os Hillman 08-18-2012

"But she said, “It will be all right.” {2 Kings 4:23}

In the 2 Kings 4 story we see a couple who supported and looked after Elisha when he came through town, offering him food and hospitality. Elisha appreciated that so much that he asked his servant, "what can I do for the lady of the house?" His answer was to give her something she didn't have - a son! I can imagine the joy that this barren woman would have felt when a year later, she held her son in her arms. This was a dream come true! This was an answered prayer! This was her very own miracle!  

Then one day when the baby grew to be a boy, he became very sick and he died. This woman's miracle, her answer to prayer, her promise had died. But you have to look closely at this woman's attitude and heart. She didn't stop everything, call in the rest of the household, call her husband back from the fields and say "Our son is dead, let's mourn for him." In fact she told no-one. "But she said, “It will be all right.” {2 Kings 4:23} This wasn't the end of the story as far as she was concerned. The woman went directly to Elisha to tell him what had happened.  As she was approaching in the distance, Elisha saw her coming and sent his servant to meet her and find out how she and her family was. “Yes,” the woman told Gehazi, “everything is fine.” {2 Kings 4:25} 

When she explained the situation to Elisha, he sent his servant over to the boy to lay his staff over him. The servant reported back with "He's still dead" {2 Kings 4:31} It all looks pretty hopeless until Elisha goes over there and does the job properly! The boy is raised from the dead and given back to his mother. 

I don't know about you, but if my son had died, I would not be saying "Everything is fine, it's going to be ok.". My whole world would turn upside-down! When you first look at it, you wonder, is this woman in denial? Her son is dead, it's NOT fine! But it wasn't denial, it was faith! She knew that everything was going to be ok. She looked at the situation through God's eyes. This is what faith does - it looks beyond what we see and know. Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see. {Hebrews 11:1} Faith does not fear. It is confident! 

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MY PRAYER
Dear Lord, help me to remember not to panic when life doesn't turn out the way I think it should. Help me to remember to see life and circumstances through your eyes. I know that your promises and your will is bigger than anything life has to throw at me. Thanks for reminding me about that. 
Amen.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Hang in there!

{2 Corinthians 4} Therefore, since God in his mercy has given us this new way, we never give up. We reject all shameful deeds and underhanded methods. We don’t try to trick anyone or distort the word of God. We tell the truth before God, and all who are honest know this.........We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves. We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies.....That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.

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This passage really spoke to me today. We are not promised an easy road to travel, but we are promised not to be destroyed by our circumstances. This will not kill me. This will not crush me. How do I know? Because it's in God's Word! If I give up, then it HAS crushed me. I have allowed my circumstances to beat me. We are likened to a fragile clay jar. Well... I don't have any clay jars, but let's liken it to a porcelain jar. It's not strong. It can't bear much weight. It can basically hold flowers and water. By itself it can't handle being dropped on a tiled floor. God makes it very clear that by ourselves we are very delicate and fragile, but our strength and our ability to withstand comes from Him. We can have heart and feel confident in the fact that yes, troubles come our way and they suck! But God will see us through!

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When I was a little girl, I was laying in bed one night, trying to go to sleep. I heard a rustling noise outside my bedroom window and I sat upright, my heart thumping and my hair standing on end. I had bushes outside my bedroom window and something was in there. I cried out for my Daddy and rushed out to the lounge where he was. "Daddy there is something in the bushes outside my bedroom window!!" Dad quickly stood, grabbed a cricket bat and ran outside to destroy what was there (it turned out to be a small cat!). That night my confidence in my Dad's strength and ability to protect me went through the roof. God is our heavenly Father who too picks up the bat and goes out on our behalf. I know that I can confidently face whatever comes my way because God has gone before me, with a bat and is my strength and protector. I don't have to fear that I will be crushed and abandoned. He is there every single step of the way.... bat in hand!

So today, whatever troubles you may have, take heart in what God has promised and never give up! Letting life's troubles beat you is not in God's plan. Persevere! Hang in there! Keep your eyes on the things that are unseen, and are in the future. Keep your eyes on Him, His promises, His glory, His future and His plans. These things are sure and true - the things that surround you now will fade away.


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