This week Michael writes that we're all on an epic journey. When life throws us a curve and throws obstacles in our path, sometimes we struggle to get back to the straight and narrow way. Our challenge is to respond to the curves in life as Jesus would. This means that we must continue to walk in his presence. Grace is not giving us what we deserve, but rather giving us what we don't deserve. God's grace will cover to bless your life if you support others.
The Word of God says, ‘delight thyself in the Lord, and he shall give you the desires of your heart.” We cannot trust our own desires of the flesh. To have the right desires, He will direct us in all of His ways. God gives us opportunities every day to do that which He's called us to do. Therefore, trust in the Lord and do good for goodness sake is the nature of God himself. Dwell in the land to which He's called you. Wherever God has called us, work the field. “Whatsoever thy hand finds to do, do it heartily as unto the Lord and not unto men.” He has called us to live in the land of the dying in sin, heading for the land of the living. The hope that we all have in this life is the hope of the resurrection in Christ. Hope assured of.
God is in control. However, life in this secular humanistic world will be tempered with tribulation and suffering. Life is a "hard row to hoe." All of us will die. Mortality is 100%. Given these truths, our challenge and our privilege is to trust in the Lord with all our heart and lean not unto our own understanding. It's difficult to submit our hearts to His heart, because we are accustomed to the physical realm. What motivates the average person is pain. Like the Apostle Paul who prayed three times "Lord remove this thorn from my flesh," God will finally answer our prayer for deliverance when we arrive at the place of understanding the Word of God when he says, "My strength is made perfect in your weakness, my grace is sufficient for thee." Pain is gain.
Pain, suffering, and tribulation are our friends. They force us to turn to the Lord because thy grace is sufficient for me. When the crisis comes and courage is required, we will be the faithful ones who trust in the Lord. Jesus said, "If you want to be my true disciple, you must deny yourself, take up your cross daily and follow me." Joy is not the absence of pain. Rather, true joy is the presence of the Lord. The devil is prowling about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. He is the deceiver and the accuser and his job is to discourage us. “The thief cometh not but for to steal, to kill, and to destroy.” The antidote to fear is to trust in the Lord with all your heart. Jesus Christ came so that we might have life and have it more abundantly. Despite our weakness and failures, we can run toward Him despite our sins.
Ephesians 4:29 "Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying that it may minister grace unto the hearers."
This is the way our Heavenly Father embraces us when His (Luke 15) prodigal son comes to Him with a heart of repentance from sin. He's watching and waiting for us to return home. When He sees us from a distance, He runs to embrace us. He says, "That's my boy! My son was lost and now is found. Let's have a feast and celebrate." Spending time in the presence of our Lord will make our lives an example of His grace. According to Isaiah 61:3, the purpose that Jesus came was “unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.”
We who have been “born again” (born of the Spirit) have the hope of the resurrection. In Psalm 1, the conclusion is that they shall be called "oaks of righteousness."
"Blessed is the man who walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree that is planted by the rivers of waters that bringeth forth his fruit in due season. His leaf also shall not wither and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper."
Our challenge is to be an encourager. Our job is to glorify Christ by walking in fellowship and communion with Him. As the psalmist said in Psalms 19:14, "Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable unto Thee, O Lord my strength and my Redeemer."
May God richly bless you!
Your brother in Christ, Michael