Friday, September 24, 2010

Is it Well With Your Soul?

Can you say, "It is well with my soul" no matter what happens in your life?  As I listened and sang this song, It is Well With My Soul, at the funeral of one of God's saints who suffered from MS for over 34 years, I asked myself the question, "is it well with my soul?"

When life throws me curves, and it will, am I experiencing wellness of my soul?  As I ponder this question, I think of my friends who have experienced really hard things - the loss of a spouse, prostate cancer, breast cancer, kidney transplant, broken wedding vows - my difficulties seem so trivial.

I have watched friends go through tough trials and most, if not all, can truly say, "It is well with my soul."  How can we do that?  By faith and trust in "Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine" (Ephesians 3:20).  There is no other way.

Our God is sufficient to meet all of our needs.  He is able.  We just have to trust Him to give us victory in our every day lives - whatever our circumstances.

"Praise God from whom all blessings flow." (Doxology)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Songs in the Night

God has a sense of humor, don't you think?  It is amazing how He teaches me when I am preparing to teach others.  As I prepared a lesson on how we respond to our difficulties, I realized I didn't score very well.

Paul and Silas were thrown in the inner cell of prison with their feet in stocks after they had been stripped, beaten and flogged (Acts 16).  All this happened to them because they did the right thing - commanded the demonic spirit to come out of the slave girl, in the name of Jesus.

While Paul and Silas were in jail, "About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God." (Acts 16:25)  Is that how you respond to difficulties?

Prayer is one of my early responses when difficulties come, but I often spend a lot of time in tears before the song comes.  God is the only one who can give us songs in the night - songs in our suffering.  "Where is God my Maker, who gives songs in the night?" (Job 35:10)   The psalmist said, "at night His song is with me" (Psalm 42:8).  We must surrender/release our hurts, difficulties and sufferings to Him and trust Him with them.

Prayer:  Lord, teach me to surrender everything to You - all my hurts, disappointments, changes in my plans, interruptions, etc.  As I learn to surrender, help me trust You with the results - even the timing of the results.  Give me songs in the night.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

God's Eyes Are On You

Most are aware that Satan roams throughout the earth and goes back and forth in it. (Job 1:7)  What is his purpose?  "Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour." (1 Peter 5:8 NIV)  Satan, who is the thief, "comes only to steal, kill and destroy." (John 10:10 NIV)  Satan wants to devour us, steal, kill and destroy.  That paints a frightening scenario, but never fear, God is everywhere.  He is Omni-Present.  He doesn't have to roam, going back and forth, He is everywhere at the same time!

Did you know that God's eyes range throughout the earth?  "For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to Him." (2 Chronicles 16:9 NIV)  Notice God's purpose is to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to Him.

I am glad I serve the God who is Omnipresent, who is El Ro-i (the God who sees me).  I am blessed to know Him personally for a very long time.  But, Satan has a purpose and He is not easily discouraged.  He sometimes gains a victory in my life for a time, but praise God, it is temporary.  My God's eyes range throughout the earth to strengthen His children.  His eyes are on ______________ (put your name in the blank if you are a believer.)  He has promised He will not leave me (you), not ever.  

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Am I Completing God's Work?

God has a plan for you and for me.  "For I know the plans I have for you . . . . ." (Jeremiah 29:11).  He has a work He wants each of us to accomplish here on earth.  I have been doing a little soul-searching - Am I completing the work God gave me to do?  Jesus did.  "I have brought You glory on earth by completing the work You gave me to do," (John 17:4).
I am asking myself, "What is my work here on earth?  Am I completing it?  Is teaching Sunday School and Bible studies my work or have I missed the boat?"  My desire is to bring glory to God so I need to complete the work He has for me.  I need to follow His plan.  Do a little soul-searching and ask yourself similar questions about your work.  Is it His work, His plan for you?

One day I want to hear those words, "Well done, good and faithful servant" (Matthew 25:21).  If we have sought out and followed God's plan, completed His work (and not our own), then those words will be spoken over us.  Aah! music to our ears!