Our Present Troubles

2 Corinthians 4:17 – 18 “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.”

If we look around at the condition of our world, it is easy to become discouraged, even alarmed, at the direction our world seems to be hurtling toward.

The TV news stations are almost gleeful in describing all the terrible things taking place in world conditions.  But, when we tune in to Christian channels, we not only get the good news of what is happening in our world today; but also in bringing our thoughts back to what will be permanent in the kingdom to come.  Praise God, the travesties are only temporary as the devil is in his last death throes and would suck us in to valleys of despair.  But we must fight him off as we read the words of truth in God’s Word, and fix our eyes on our Savior, Jesus Christ.  Only God sees the whole picture and gives us glimpses of the final outcome in his Word.  Revelation 21:1-4 gives us great hope and great joy as we view the final outcome.  We read: “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the old heaven and earth had disappeared.  And the sea was also gone.  And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven like a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.  I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, “Look, God’s home is now among his people!  He will live with them, and they will be his people.  God himself will be with them.  He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain.  All these things are gone forever.”

Are you ready for this glorious future?  God has made the way plain to us.  He sent his only Son to prepare the way as he took our sins into his own body there on the cross and died to sin!  But God raised him from the grave, giving him victory over death.  This gave him the power to save all who will believe in him and make him master of their life.

The Lost Coin

Luke 15:8-10 “Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one.  Won’t she light a lamp and sweep the entire house and search carefully until she finds it?  And when she finds it, she will call in her friends and neighbors and say, ‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost coin?’ In the same way, there is joy in the presence of God’s angels when even one sinner repents.”

A few days ago I discovered that my wallet was not in my purse where I always keep it.  After a quick search of my house I still could not find it.  By this time, worry had begun to take possession of me.  So I began doing a very thorough search and even began to talk to Jesus about it.  I remember saying: “Lord, You know exactly where that wallet is.  Please let me know.”  I searched some more and called a friend to help me pray about it.  We each prayed about it over the phone.  That was on Monday that I had discovered it missing.  After thinking about where I had recently been, I called a couple of grocery stores; after they checked they said:”Sorry, it’s not here.”  Then I decided: Well since my driver’s license or credit card was not in it, I hoped that the $84 that I knew was in it, would go to someone that needed it more than I.”

Then Tuesday came and I was getting the trash out as it was pickup day.  As I was getting the paper trash out, a cash receipt for $2.00 came flying out of the trash. I remembered stopping at the office supply store where my friend had taken us after spending time listening to our four 3rd graders read on the prior Wednesday.  She needed some ink cartridges and as I was standing in line with her to be checked out, I saw some yogurt covered raisins for $2.00. So, I purchased them.

When that receipt appeared, I immediately called that store about my lost wallet.  The one who answered the phone put me on hold to go check their safe.  I waited and waited and he finally came back to say :”I’m sorry but I can’t get into the safe yet.  Just give me your phone number and I’ll call you back later.”

The ladies of our Bible study that meets at my house joined me in prayer about the lost wallet.  The meeting was over and I still hadn’t received a call from the store.  After the ladies went home, I decided to call the store again.  The same fellow who had answered before put me on hold again; this time coming back soon and said “Your wallet is here!”  I said “Hallelujah – I’ll be down to get it this afternoon.”  I didn’t wait but went right away rejoicing all the way!

When I got there I told the staff how I discovered where my wallet was. (I  don’t think they were quite as excited as I was.)  I had several cards with my name on them but no phone number or address.  When I left the store and got to my car, I looked to see if the $84 was there.  There was only $82 and then I remembered “Oh yes, I paid $2 for the raisins.”

Key verse: Psalm 32:10b – “The Lord’s unfailing love surrounds the man who trusts in Him.

 

 

Closer than a brother

There is a friend that sticks closer than a brother! – Proverbs 18&24b  Lord, You made this clear to me as I experienced a “turbulence” in my life recently.  First, I let my Facebook friends know about this problem so that they could bless me with the comfort with which they had been comforted – 2 Corinthians 1:7.  Then, I explained my problem to the clerk from whom I had  purchased the defective product that had been scratched by one of their employees when applying the accessary when I bought it. The clerk first offered to let me buy a new one with ten percent off.  I reluctantly agreed.  But then he thought of a better way to solve my problem which would only cost me for the shipping for the new one.  I think that it was the prayers of my Facebook friends that brought about this happy solution.

Thank You God for your Holy Spirit living within me who truly “sticks closer than a brother”.

Today is my granddaughter’s birthday!

Today is my granddaughter’s birthday.  It is a momentous one as she is now 30 yeas old.  She and I have a wonderful history together.  First of all, when her first child was just a baby, we met weekly for mentoring sessions.  We studied Rick Warren’s book, The Purpose Driven Life.  We lived about 30 miles apart but the travel to and fro did not seem long as I anticipated our time together and had beautiful memories as I traveled home.  Then later, as her baby was now about 7, they came to live with me for a few months in my time of need.  My husband had died just a few months before. God knew my need and prepared this special time to be together. Thank You, Lord God for your special plan for my life.  Jeremiah 29:11. “For I know the plans I have for you, “says the Lord.”  They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.

Psalm 92:1,4,12,14,15 – “It is good to give thanks to the Lord, to sing praises to the Most High.  You thrill me, Lord, with all you have done for me!  I sing for joy because of what you have done.  But the godly will flourish like palm trees and grow strong like the cedars of Lebanon.  Even in old age they will produce fruit, they will remain vital and green.  They will declare, “The Lord is just!  He is my rock! There is no evil in him!”

Living by the Spirit

Galatians 5:25-26 “Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives. Let us not become conceited or provoke one another, or be jealous of one another. ”

I listened to Andy Stanley today on how to be happy.  He said that the only way to be truly happy is by giving yourself away to others.  He talked about how although there is still water flowing into the Dead Sea, it is shrinking. This is because it has no outflow. It stinks and nothing can live in it.  If we don’t give something of ourselves away to others, we will become dead in our spiritual lives.

I went to the Salton Sea in California many years ago.  It also has no outflow. It does have some fish in it, like Corvina, andTilapia, but it also has periods in the year that it has a time when many, many fish die and wash up on the shore.  I happened to be there when this took place.  Not only was it terribly hot but it stunk!   I was designed by the Giver of life to be a giving person and if I don’t give I will become stale and begin to be like salt that is no longer salty and is fit to be only trodden underfoot and will be unhappy because I am not fulfilling God’s gift to me that He desires me to give away.