pastorjohnb

Thoughts and musings on faith and our mighty God!


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Reconnect to God

Reading: Psalm 42

It can be easy to feel overwhelmed by problems relating to money, health, relationships, and vocation.  When a couple of these worries pair up, which they often do, then our lives can be quite challenging.  Our habit tends to be to dwell on such things, to allow them to consume our lives.  The cloudiness that settles in can even affect our relationship with God.

Sometimes we become so centered on our problems that we forget God is available as a source of strength and relief.  Our troubles can consume us.  When we finally are reminded of His presence we wonder why we did not turn to Him sooner.  At other times we are like the psalmist.  We seek God but end up asking, “Where is God”?  Despite our efforts, God feels distant.  The cloudiness can be hard to shake.

In these cases, we need to practice the motions of faith that we know so well.  First, we need to pray.  We need to pray out to God even if we feel all alone.  God is near and He is listening.  If we pray faithfully, He will be present.  Second, we need to praise God.  If we are too downcast to find any current praises, turn back to times and ways in which God has blessed you before.  Also, we can be thankful for the littlest things.  Song is another way to pray and to praise God.

In both of these ways we will reconnect to our God, our help and our rock.  In prayer and praise we invite God’s presence to be real to us and to also offer ourselves back to Him.  May we place our hope in God, for He is ever faithful and His love never fails.

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God Is Present

Satan took all from Job except his wife and his life.  In spite of all the loss in Job’s life, he remained resolute in his faith.  So Satan gains permission to afflict Job’s health.  God draws the line at taking is life.  Satan covers Job’s body from head to toe with painful sores.  Satan assures God that this will break Job as a person is willing to give anything to save one’s own life.

Have you ever been in a stretch of a few bad breaks?  You are down but holding on, and then one more thing happens.  It is easy to feel like giving up at this point.  It’s tempting to scream out, “Why God?!”  In these moments, words of encouragement from our spouse and close friends are essential to maintaining our faith and to keep our spirits up.

As Job’s wife sees him covered in cores, sitting in ashes, she offers these words: “Curse God and die.”  Can you imagine those being the first words from your spouse after being afflicted with one more thing?  She may have meant well, seeking to end his pain.  Job did not take it that way though.  I would not have either.  Job’s response reveals his wisdom and the depth of his faith.  Job understands that life brings both the good and the bad.  He asks her, “Shall we accept good from God and not trouble?”  He understands that both are a part of life.

Job’s answer also reminds us that God is present with us in both the good and in the times of trial.  It is important in times of trial to acknowledge that it is difficult.  But it is even more important to remember that God is always a present source of strength in the midst of our troubles.

Scripture reference: Job 2: 4-10


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What Do You Want?

“Ask for whatever you want me to give you.”  Just imagine for a moment if God asked you that.  I am sure we have all had practice dreaming about what we would do if we won the lottery or if we somehow found a genie in a bottle.  Our answer would reveal a lot about us.

God asked Solomon this very question.  He could have asked for wealth or power or at least for peace during his reign.  He could have asked for long life.  He did not ask for anything for himself.  Or for his family.  Solomon asked God for a discerning heart to govern justly and to be able to distinguish right from wrong.  God was very pleased with Solomon’s request so He granted it and gave him more.

You and I may never be asked this question.  But we do answer it each day with how we live.  We reveal what we desire and what we value by the way we live.  Every word we speak, every choice we make, every action we undertake, every goal we set – all answers the same question: “What do you want?”

If we desire a deep faith, do we invest daily in the development of this faith?  If we long for contentment, do we choose to live simply and not choose to chase after the next, newest, best thing?  If we want quality relationships, do we give of ourselves honestly and sincerely all the time?  If we feel led to help the lost and the least, do we spend time with alongside them ministering to their needs?

So.. what do you want?  What has your answer been and how does it need to change?

Scripture reference: 1 Kings 3: 5-9