Friday, April 27, 2012

Encouragement in the midst of trials

I have recently been going through a growing period in my Christian walk with God, and I am so grateful for it. I was comfortable yet uncomfortable for far too long, crying out but not receiving. Acknowledging but not letting go. Awakening once again to the truth that that is not ALL God has planned for me is exhilarating after slipping into period of passivity. He allowed me to fall, contrite and destitute but for a moment, His saving mercy and grace came swooping in. "Earthly comfort" is not what this life is about, and I do not believe that that is what God has for me! During this time of repentance, healing and growth God has used precious, precious souls to pour HIS heavenly comfort into my own life, and I am overwhelmed with how good my God is. His love for us is unfathomable, undeserved but yet He pours it out freely. The knowledge of that alone, brings peace, joy and freedom into any situation.

Praise to the God of All Comfort

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ,so also our comfort abounds through Christ. If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort. 1 Corinthians 1:3-7

In the New King James version, this verse reads "tribulation" instead of troubles, and when I think of tribulation, I instantly feel as though I have never gone through that! But trouble, tribulation, we've ALL had a dose of it whether mild or severe, and it has rocked our world. The beautiful realization I get from this passage is just how amazing God is at orchestrating an outpouring of His overwhelming comfort, through His Spirit covering those believers who are suffering!  As they pressed into God, as the trial pressed into them, a peace that passes worldly understanding covered them. And it doesn't stop there, it is then passed, like a torch to a fellow brother or sister in Christ through the testimony of those who have already been comforted in the midst of their tribulation. Trials, the crushing we receive through our suffering, opens us up to receive God's precious comfort. Comfort is receiving what we need at the moment! God uses trials as a channel to receive comfort through the agency of the Holy Spirit. Trials come for many reasons. Whether it be to wake us up to sin present in our lives, smacking us back to living in accordance with the truths of His word, to strengthen our faith or solely for the purpose of glorifying God and benefiting His kingdom; tribulation causes pain, growth, joy and comfort when it pushes us deeper still into our Heavenly Father's purposed arms. Praising, communing and living for Him today is what it's all about! Eyes open, heart soft, body and soul praising Him alone.

What a beautiful day today is to have the privilege to serve the Lord!

Monday, April 23, 2012

For such a time

"Have I been born-then born again-and brought through all of my life experiences for such a time as this?"

Father, make known to me the difference between restless unsatisfied flesh, always allured by change and the restlessness of my God breathed spirit, being grown and spurred on by Yours to be moved from it's current position, breaking free from the comfortable and soaring even higher, further than ever before.

If you extend your soul to the hungry
And satisfy the afflicted soul,
Then your light shall dawn in the darkness,
And your darkness shall be as the noonday.
The LORD will guide you continually,

And satisfy your soul in drought,
And strengthen your bones;
You shall be like a watered garden,
And like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.
Isaiah 58:10-11

Make me Lord, a dreamer for Your kingdom. Plant in my heart, heavenly desire, grant faith that can say, impossibilities shall be! And vision lest a world should perish not knowing Thee.

Make me Lord, a dreamer for Your kingdom. I would aspire to greater goals my God. So cause faith to rise, to motivate each word and deed. A faith that's well convinced that Jesus meets ev'ry need.

Make me Lord, a dreamer for Your kingdom. Dreams that will change a world that's lost it's way. May dreams that first found their birth in Your omnipotence, come alive in me, becoming reality.

-Make Me, Lord, A Dreamer, Chris Bowater

 When He had called the people to Himself, with His disciples also, He said to them, “Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.
Mark 8:34-38

All is Grace

"Out the kitchen window the sky rolls out. Apple blossoms fill all the orchard. The morning dove warms her bluing hope. I can hear Him, what He is telling the whole world and even me here: this is for you. The lover's smile in the morning, the child's laughter down the slide, the elder's eyes at even tide: this is for you. And the earth under your feet, the rain over your face upturned, the stars spinning all round you in the brazen glory: this is for you, you, you. These are for you--gifts--these are for you--grace--these are for you--God, so count the ways He loves, a thousand, more, never stop, that when you wake in the morning you can't help but turn humbly to the east, unfold your hand to the heavens, and though you tremble and though you wonder, though the world is ugly, it is beautiful, and you can slow and you can trust and you can receive each moment as grace. Eucharisteo."

~One Thousand Gifts