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Posts Tagged ‘trials’

In those days Hezekiah became ill and was at the point of death. The prophet Isaiah son of Amoz went to him and said, “This is what the Lord says: Put your house in order, because you are going to die; you will not recover.”

Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord, “Remember, Lord, how I have walked before you faithfully and with wholehearted devotion and have done what is good in your eyes.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly.

Then the word of the Lord came to Isaiah:  “Go and tell Hezekiah, ‘This is what the Lord, the God of your father David, says: I have heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will add fifteen years to your life. And I will deliver you and this city from the hand of the king of Assyria. I will defend this city.

Isaiah 38:1-6 (NIV)

 

Many years ago I believed that Hezekiah changed God’s heart so that he would have more time on this earth. Later, I saw that God was using this to strengthen Hezekiah for God’s Will. God didn’t need to be enlightened by Hezekiah’s beliefs or to know what was really on Hezekiah’s heart. God knew. God wasn’t changed but Hezekiah’s faith was strengthened. This same ribbon of God’s love is seen throughout the Bible. Just as Abraham was called to offer his son as a sacrifice, God didn’t need to know Abraham’s heart—Abraham did.

 

Trials are not there for God’s benefit but for our own. He knows what is on our hearts. He knows our minds. Was Hezekiah in his last days? I believe so if he had accepted Isaiah’s message but he knew he had more to do. He didn’t accept the news…he pushed on 🙂 . Isn’t this what God really calls us to do? To be prepared to leave this earth at any time but we are called to do His will until we go.

 

May your day be wonderful and bright and may you always have God at your back! 😀

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15 The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.16 And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil …….  Genesis 2 (NIV)

 

This verse is written a little differently according to what translation you use, but here God is giving the command about THE TREE. I am not going into details of all of this. I am not even going to finish the rest of the command.  This is something I whole-heartedly believe is what the fall of man was all about.

 

God first put Adam and then Eve in the Garden. Too simple sounding? Maybe, but that is not the point. God gave life. He created it. Then He gave this ONE command. He said they were free to eat of everything in the Garden except ONE tree, THE TREE. He said, “You MUST NOT EAT…” That was not a choice. There was no freedom to choose. God did not say, “Hey, don’t let me catch you.” He said, “NO!”

 

Take all of the thoughts of what THE TREE really was out of your mind for a moment and just think of the command. That is where we let God down. We disobeyed THE command. There was no freedom of choice in the Garden. Do you see it? We stole that from God. So when you hear someone say that God gave us the freedom to choose, technically He did not. We took that away from Him. The evil one was there to tempt the couple (and not just Eve) – that is what God wanted them to stay away from—the evil one—temptation. That is what He wants us to avoid even today.

 

Today, it appears we have freedom to choose God or not to choose Him. In reality, there is no choice. There is no freedom. The command was, “Do NOT eat…” We can dumb down the command and make it sound less important but it really still applies today—nothing has changed since Genesis 2. Wow! That goes back a ways. Every morning I wake up, even though I have given my life to the Lord or rather because I have given my life to HIM, I choose God. I make that conscious choice each day but in reality, it is not up to me because God chose me first. 😀

 

Did you tell God you chose Him today? If not, please do. This is my reaffirmation of faith I make every day. I encourage you to do the same. May your day be so very blessed! 😀

 

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Dear Most Gracious God, Heavenly Father, and Blessed Savior, I come to You with heavy heart. Your mercy is abundant and more than I will ever fully understand. I seek not understanding but peace. I seek not retribution but love. I seek not vindication but hope for a better world and brighter tomorrow. I cannot put a face on evil because it lingers everywhere and not just in the hearts of a few lost souls. I cannot ask why because I know why. You do not promise a perfect world here and now. Bad things happen to good people and it will continue until You return. You do not wish bad things on us but when they happen we need to pull closer to You and not separate ourselves from You. You are our Joy, our Longing, our Love. You sustain us when all else is dark. You give us hope when the Light seems to be hidden. Help us to reach out to each other not separating ourselves from one another, not judging, and not seeking justice. We are fallen—each one of us. We cannot judge one another and we are no better than the other for we all bear sin. Help us to seek forgiveness for our sins, our misgivings, our spiritual lacking, and for rushing to judgment. Purify our hearts, cleanse our minds, and immerse our souls in the peace that only You can give. Let us not rise above one another but seek to be equal and shoulder responsibility for all mankind. May Your Love bind us to one another and help us to live within Your shadow. I pray this in Your Holy Name,

Amen.

 

This prayer was written in light of the tragedy of 14 DEC 2012 and the aftermath. It was to appear in My Letter to God (morningletters.wordpress.com) but will appear across all 4 of my wordpress blogs today… I have seen injustice not only in the deaths of precious children but by adults lashing out from all angles including nasty media coverage. Love is what God is about. Please embrace this as it is meant. We all fall short of God’s glory but through HIM we are made whole—each one of us. May your day be blessed and may we all thank God each and every day for our many blessings!

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I didn’t mean to neglect my blog. The trials I have been going through have not slowed down but have re-manifested themselves into other things that I am trying hard to deal with. In my younger days I could do so much like a circus performer with those spinning plates but now I have a tough time getting just one plate to spin… 😀 

 

I semi-joke that Job has become my buddy this past year. The trials of Job were great—immense. If nothing else, they are there for us to learn from. The book of Job is not a quick study like it seems and neither are “great” trials. Perseverance and patience..we must learn to wait on the Lord. In His good time—and not ours.

 

We have to be ready to hear God’s message. Many times we don’t hear because we are not listening fully. Elihu was the young friend who prepared Job for His talk with God. God uses messengers, physical people, to prepare us for what He is about to reveal. I suspect that most messengers have no clue at what role they play in God’s plan and desire for us. I have had quite a few of these messengers along the way, especially lately…a great many these past few weeks. Of course, one must discern if the message is divine or from some other source—not easy to be sure sometimes but it is critical that we know.

 

In essence we are all messengers in some way. If we walk with God, we can be messengers for God. If don’t walk with Him, we can become messengers for evil even when we seem to be doing good. Here is to being a messenger for God and serving Him. May you walk with God always!

 

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Is it simply coincidence that things happen in the way that they do? Do they happen truly by chance? I don’t believe so—maybe sometimes but not always. I believe there are times when God speaks to us through these things if nothing else but to let us know He is there and that we need to take notice. For me, it is further proof that I am on the right track.

 

I posted the previous post this past Saturday, “Great Is the Lord” with scripture taken from Psalms 96. My soul needed scripture to study, to dwell in, to quench my thirst. This scripture is what answered my need and I wanted to share it. When searching in the Bible next to the computer, I first started in a passage from Job–chapter 21. Job and I have become so close in “buddyship” that I am ready to leave him (sorry ole pal). I moved on. The next devotional was Psalms 96. Oh, what words! What a beautiful Psalm-such meaning and fervor.

 

Some other things have happened since Thanksgiving that have shown me God’s hand. I am trying to follow His lead as He lifts me up over the briar thickets. As I listened to the scripture being read at Sunday morning worship, what was the passage for the day? Psalms 96! Coincidence? Chance? I don’t believe that for one second! God had a message for me. My message is not the same as for others but we must do our best to discern what God is saying in order to follow HIM. This message was so great that my heart leaped for joy and if anyone knows anything about me, there has been very little joy around for all of the pain that has been caused in my family.

 

I don’t know what lies ahead in my life (or anyone else’s) but I know that without God so many things would have never happened. What does this really mean? To me, this means that God has enveloped me so great as my Protector. Thank you, God! You have given me everything I need. Just as I moved from the passage of Job into a new devotional of Psalms so shall my life imitate the Word. May God continue to be a bigger part of my life each and every day that I walk with Him. Please watch out for those little times in your life where God is speaking. Sometimes is it is through times of coincidence. People refer to these things by different names but I believe they are special. Please take care and love the Lord!

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Some may ask, “Does God speak?” but that is not the question.

Some may say, “How do you know that God speaks?”

That’s not the question either.

The question is, “What does God say WHEN He speaks?”

 

Before the creation of this blog, God spoke. He said, “Feed my sheep.” Now, that’s not really off the wall and it is

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not new. Jesus told Peter to feed his sheep—three times he told him. What does it mean in the Bible? And, does it mean the same today as it did 2000 years ago? These were my questions. I wanted to know what it all meant and if it was really God speaking. Yes, He was speaking and my answer was to follow my heart—that my heart would lead me to where I needed to go.

 

While I am still following my heart as I pursue my command, I don’t know where the journey will take me but I know where it will lead—the destination. I know it will lead to God as long as I do as I was commanded—as long as I follow my heart and trust in God completely. This doesn’t mean that I follow blindly or with emotion. It means that I take what I have learned for the past 46 years and apply it to life. It means the trials I have been going through for so many years will give me the solid platform to jump from.

 

Has God called you for something? Do you know what it means? Maybe it is that reoccurring nudge to help others… I don’t know but I know someone who does know. God calls us all. It is a matter of whether we are listening and if we choose to accept.

 

Listen. Discern. Accept. And, follow through. If you need to understand (and we all do)—read, and read, and read. Read the Bible like there is no tomorrow! Ready your heart!

 

9 “And you, my son Solomon, acknowledge the God of your father, and serve him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the Lord searches every heart and understands every desire and every thought. If you seek him, he will be found by you; but if you forsake him, he will reject you forever. 10 Consider now, for the Lord has chosen you to build a house as the sanctuary. Be strong and do the work.”  — 1 Chronicles 28:9-10 (NIV)

 

May God bless you always!

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Each year at this time there is an art festival downtown featuring a nationality or certain culture. It was good weather Saturday, so my daughters and I went down to get some German food and visit the art stands. We stood in line in the warm sun (we got burned) for about 20-30 minutes before we gathered our food and looked for a place to sit. Well, of course there were no seats and I motioned for us to gather around this big block thing that was helping to hold up the tent. I was going to stand but decided to sit on the ground. Not long after this couple came up and told us to take their seats.

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Then this lady at the table said my daughter could sit in her mother’s seat until her mother returned and when she got there a man gave up his seat for my daughter. Can you believe this? I’m not used to people being so nice.

 

The Lord will provide as long as we trust in Him. Things may not always go the way we want them but He will provide in the way that we need. Some may argue this point especially in sickness and in death, but those are a natural part of life.

 

I don’t want to get very far into my family situation on this blog, but when the girls’ father left I was concerned about what might happen since I can no longer provide for myself or anyone else. God had been telling me that He would take care of us—for several months this is what I heard when I prayed before the news came. Do you know how hard it is to trust completely? I had a conversation about this with one daughter—about how I believe God would provide—and she said that she didn’t understand God but that no matter what the family seemed to go through, it seemed that we were taken care of. I said that was God.

 

God sees our pain and suffering and he doesn’t want us to be in the middle. At times, these occasions are tempering different parts of our lives, beating back what is not needed and making strong of what is. Trust in God. He is there when we need Him. I know.

 

May your day blessed and your week filled with happiness! 😀

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