Monday, November 8, 2010
Put your money where your mouth is
But let all those who rejoice who put their trust in You; let them ever shout for joy, because You defend them. let those also who love Your name be joyful in You. For You, O Lord, will bless the righteous; with favor You will surround him as with a shield.
Sometimes it is easier to talk about faith than to actually have it. Some many times in today's culture we have fun little statements about faith and bumper stickers that proclaim our beliefs, yet when life takes and unexpected turn, it is hard to put into practice.
My family has been going through a hard time lately. It is one of those things that you really don't know why it is happening the way that it is, and just when you think it can't worse, it did or still does. In times like this it is easy to continually imagine what else could happen. That is what is really hard, it seems like the possibilities of evil are endless. When the strength of the enemy becomes your focus, despair is usually the result.
It becomes a tidal wave of worse case scenarios and you wonder what is going to hit next, living life in a fetal position hoping that you can "just make it".
This is not how God wishes us to live. Let them ever shout for joy, because you defend them. How big is God to you? For me sometimes I see the strength of the opposition so easily, yet secretly doubt the ability of God to defend me. As a result, I live in despair instead of joy. If we don't accurately have perspective as to the power of God then our joy will be lacking. We must remember that nothing is bigger, stronger more powerful than God. Yes sorrow may come but joy comes in the morning. Yes things may hurt, but God is the one who heals and restores. It may not be instantaneous but joy will come.
When I lived in Slovakia we were able to go to the Nazi prison camps in Auschwitz, Poland. Your heart breaks as you take in the scene and you realize the great atrocity that happened there. The thousands that were in pain and suffering. One of the things that struck me most is as I walked around the barbed wire fence at the perimeter, there among the rubble were dandelions pushing through. Amongst the evil, beauty was pushing through. With God, there is always hope. I am not trying to minimize the pain that happened, but I am saying that if you just focus on the pain, you will neglect to see the full picture. I don't know why hard or bad things happen. I just know that God does defend and that He is there.
I have recently started thinking that God may allow the rials to increase in my life so that He may be revealed as a rescuer all the more. In hard times our focus should be on God, not on the circumstances. The circumstances lead to despair, God leads us to hope.
I am also reminded of the verses: We are pressed but not crushed, persecuted not abandoned, struck down but not destroyed.
There will be times when you have to put your money where your mouth is. You may talk like a Christian or have some witty bumper sticker or T-shirt, but what really brings glory to God is in the middle of the hard times, You place your faith in Him and live in confidence, not fear. Confidence in Him and His ability to save. I pray for His blessing and for His favor on you as you walk through life with Him.
Thanks for reading. May God bless,