Saturday, July 30, 2011
Friday, July 29, 2011
For every hectic work day there is a quiet rest...
For every painful experience there is a healing touch...
For every negative feeling there is an abiding joy...
For every disappointment there is a certain hope...
For every turbulent storm there is a sure foundation...
For every doubting thought there is a calm assurance...
For every hurtful action there is a forgiving love.
In all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. Romans 8:37
Thursday, July 28, 2011
I think one of the most freeing times in my spiritual journey was when I was able to whole-heartedly live this verse. I’m not sure at which point it occurred but somehow, someway through my prayer time, study of the word, and application of God’s principles to my life, & sincerely knowing Him, God had transformed my heart to be able to get there. I don’t remember a specific event or situation that I became aware that this change had been made in my life. I just know that it did.
Now generally we think we don’t have too big of a problem weeping with those who weep but do we? Do we have a little snippet of joy when we think someone gets what they quite possibly deserve? Maybe a person is heartbroken over a situation, and we are somewhat saddened but deep down think, well if you had done this or that you wouldn’t be in this situation, even if it is true? Is that weeping with those who weep? Do we have 1000 solutions of what they should do to fix their problems instead of listening & then just praying? Most of the time people just want to know that someone hears them & is attentive to their need, even if a solution isn’t possible. Are we really weeping with those who weep? Or in our elevated sense of us, do we feel the need to correct?
On the other side of the verse is the rejoicing side, do we have a problem with the rejoicing part? We have a hard time being happy for those who get blessed with something we don’t. We don’t like the fact that they got a brand new…whatever….and ours is 10 years old. They get an enormous raise or a new house. We have a hard time being truly happy for the happiness of others. This little green monster creeps up called jealously and envy, and we cannot truly be happy them.
When we are able to rejoice with those who are rejoicing it opens so many doors for us. It allows us to be able to be happy with them, be happy in ourselves & just have all around joy. We don’t have to worry about jealousy or envy because we are rejoicing. When we weep with others, we have compassion and concern & love. We are able to empathize with them and understand the pain we would feel if we were in that situation.
As we walk with God, He shows us how to weep & rejoice. As we learn & relate to His heart, we become Christians who can relate to one another’s hearts. For God weeps and rejoices with us. He loves us. He cares for us. He delights in us. We in turn should do that for others.
If you find yourself not being able to sincerely weep or rejoice for others, then ask God why. Wait on His reply because He will show you. Look sincerely at your heart because it needs fixing and the only One who can mend it is Him! Trust me, I know, I used to have a broken heart too but God gave me the gift of weeping & rejoicing!
©Stephanie Thompson July 2011
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
In Genesis 15 God made a covenant with Abram regarding his heirs. He promised Abram a son, and that he would have descendants as numerous as the stars. Abram asked God, “How shall I know this will happen?” In other words, pinky promise? God tells Abram to offer a sacrifice to Him to seal the covenant. So Abram follows God’s specific sacrificial instructions. All is going well until verse 11 “when the birds of prey swooped down upon the carcasses, Abram drove them away.”
Now isn’t that just like Satan? God gives us a promise. We are taking it to the bank; we’re sealing it in our hearts, believing that God is going to come through for us. It’s going to happen! Then out of nowhere the nasty birds of prey swoop down & try to steal or ravage the promise? They want to sneak in and keep coming back again & again to pick bits & pieces until the promise is devoured and nothing is left but bones.
Abram was having a moment with God, sealing the Covenant with Him & at this holy, life changing time, the birds of prey swoop in to steal his sacrifice, his promise. Can’t you just see Abram out there with his heifer, goat, ram, turtledoves & a pigeon offering them to God & all of these birds swooping down trying to eat this holy sacrifice, holy promise? The bible says he drove them away. Now I can see him flapping his arms, yelling, jumping at them, and trying to keep them from the sacrifice. Yelling as we would in the south…”git on outta here’!
How many times has that happened? We’re moving along in our Christian walk, standing on the promises of God and then something happens that throws us off guard. Someone speaks against our promise? We doubt. We stop praying as we should. We don’t feed our spirits as we should. And some unexpected event, like birds of prey, shows up and throws us totally off.
This story tells me two things. First, that I should be watchful because the enemy is out there walking about seeking whom he may devour (1 Peter 5:8). He’s looking for promises that God has made to us to try his best to see to it that they do not come to pass (John 10:10). He wants to keep us doubting God’s promises. From believing that what God says is true. He wants us to not have faith in what God has promised. He wants us to waver in our faith; be tossed about like on wave in the ocean (James 1:6). We must be watchful of the enemy, because he will send the birds of prey in to try to steal our promise.
Secondly, it tells me like Abram, I have to be ready to protect the promise that God has given me. I can’t sit back & let the enemy pick my promise apart piece by piece until there is nothing left but bones. I must be willing to flap my arms, yell, & protect my promise from the birds of prey. I must be willing to hold on to & protect my promise at all cost.
We must be watchful and diligent in our lives so that when God gives us a specific promise, we hold it and protect it until we see it fulfilled in our lives or the lives of our families or our churches or our communities. Our specific promises are ours alone. And no one can take them from us unless we let them, not even the birds of prey.
Remember your promise today…is it that you will be debt free? Is it that your children will be saved? Is it that you want a Godly husband or wife? Is it that you want to find your place and minister? Is it to see loved ones delivered? Is it that you will be healed? Is it that you will find a job? Is it that your family be protected? Is it you want to see a move of God in your church? Whatever your promise from God is……do not let the birds of prey swoop in to steal what God has for you!
©Stephanie Thompson July 2011
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
Do you wonder….why God?
Why are there mosquitoes?
Ok…maybe for birds and reptiles to eat.
But why so many bugs? Spiders? Was it necessary to create chiggers?
I wonder what divine purpose God had in mind?
I certainly haven’t discovered a reason.
What about poison ivy, oak, & sumac? For what purpose?
Was He sitting there at the beginning thinking of ways to torment us?
No!! But why God?
I’m sure we can ponder, come up with great reasons…and wonder….and wonder.
Or we can just accept the good and the bad of it all & know that on the day of creation He saw that it was good.
Maybe we’ll just have to wait to ask Him & then maybe….it just won’t matter.
©Stephanie Thompson August 24, 2009