Thursday, September 25, 2014

Waiting upon the Lord

John 20:29
Waiting upon the Lord

     Jesus said to him, “Because you have seen Me, have you believed? Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed.”

     It is a step of faith that Jesus calls us to. Jesus is speaking to Thomas – one of his disciples who spoke out to the others that he would not believe that Jesus had risen from the dead unless he was able to see Him in person and put his fingers into Jesus’ wounds. Jesus says to him, “Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed.”
     Jesus will often come to our aid in a very visible way and yet there are many times when we are enduring some hardship or period of waiting for something which we have asked Him for and we start to doubt that He will come to our rescue or answer our prayers. We start to doubt even though we have many witnesses to the contrary. We have so many proofs of His faithfulness to keep His promises to us and yet sometimes we are like Thomas and declare that unless we see proof we will not believe that He will do as He said. Jesus words, “Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed,” is His promise of blessing for us if we hold fast to His promises no matter what things look like. He will come through and take care of whatever it is that we have asked Him for.
     So how does this translate into our everyday walk with God? Well, quite simple really. The Devil is always trying to offer us things that we don’t have to wait for or don’t seem to require any pain to achieve, things that we can have right now if we are willing to overstep a few of God’s laws. He often stirs up our hearts so that there seems to be no other alternative than to do things his way. He likes to fill us with such passion that we refuse to look at the consequences of our actions and do things in the heat of the moment that will cause us a lifetime of misery. God on the other hand, desires for us to have what is truly good for us and part of this is working on our character so that we will not waste what He gives to us, but will make the best use of it. So He allows delays to test us and to work patience and trust in us. God has our eternity in mind when He takes care of us and He is constantly working to conform our character into His image. We are His children forever and so He takes great pains with us to set our lives on a good foundation.
     So how do we hold onto the truth of these things when we are in the midst of a temptation or trial? It seems like it is just too hard to remember when we are fighting with a desire or test and we are contending with our weak nature. The answer is to hold onto God’s love for us and to not be afraid to cry out loud for His help to overcome what we are struggling with. If we cry out, He will refresh our spirit and renew our confidence, and give us a fresh wind to go forth and endure until He has finished all that He is accomplishing in our lives.
     So let us keep eternity in our hearts, and God’s love for us and our love for Him, continually on our minds. A good verse to dwell on is Proverbs 16:17. “The highway of the upright is to depart from evil; He who watches his way preserves his life.” 
          God bless!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Why do we resist God’s will for our lives?

John 18:10-11
Why do we resist God’s will for our lives?

     Simon Peter therefore having a sword, drew it, and struck the high priest’s slave, and cut off his right ear; and the slaves name was Malchus. Jesus therefore said to Peter, “Put the sword into the sheath; the cup which the Father has given Me, shall I not drink it?”

     Why do we resist God’s plan for our lives? The Father’s plan for Jesus was leading Him to the cross. I need not explain that this was going to be a painful event. Submitting to God’s plan very often will lead us into painful experiences that our bodies do not want to undergo. So many of God’s lessons for us can be quite painful and we would never have chosen to go through them of our own will. God often brings things to pass where our most precious possessions get taken from us and we are unable to stop it from happening, but when the ordeal is over our heart has let go of another idol and we gain a peace in Christ that is deeper then before.
     Jesus’ word – “Shall I not drink the cup that the Father has given Me” is full of strength and encouragement for us when our hearts are torn with the loss of something we hold dear or when we are at a crossroads in our walk with Him and He is asking us to freely let go of something we have been holding onto. The cup that the Father has for us enables us to let go of the world and be free to love Him completely.
     However, there is another factor in the cup that the Father has for us and it is this. It will save souls! The cup that God has for you is going to make your life fruitful and exciting! This is the joy that is set before us, that in enduring all of these things great fruit will come forth. Our flesh recoils at the pain of the experiences therefore we must look past it to the joy of the eternal fruit that will be produced as we walk in the steps that God desires us to walk and fulfill the plans that He has for us.
     Why is it hard to except God’s will for us and endure these things? It is hard because we are not focused on the love for our neighbours and seeing them brought into the kingdom of God. Brothers and Sisters, we need more love for those around us. We need the love that gladly endures all hardships for their salvation. We get so caught up in our own pains that we stop looking outside of ourselves. We want to set ourselves aside and become a blessing to everyone around us.
     These trials produce two things, they refine us into God’s character and they draw others into the kingdom of God. Therefore, shall we not drink the cup that the Father has for us? Let us pray for perseverance and courage and love that we might endure these things that we might not only please our Heavenly Father and make His heart glad, but that we might bear fruit that will endure for eternity and have many friends who have entered in because of our labors. Jesus is returning soon! Let us be found diligently working in His vineyard when He comes!        God bless you all!