Let me reflect on how God blesses the family according to His promise. He gives rest!
It is a known fact that Lord Jesus, at His very birth could not find an inn to be lodged. Rather He was born in an unsheltered manger though He is the image of the invisible God and the firstborn over all creation (Colossians 1:15). He had nowhere to lay His head. So He said, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.’” (Luke 9:58). “He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him!” (John 1:11).
Yes! When the Lord took the form of a man in this world, He had no resting place. He was born and brought up only in a setting which could least boast of cosy restfulness or comfortable peace. During His whole sojourn on this earth, he was only traversing through troubles, sorrows and griefs. At the end, surrendering Himself to the Cross He said to the Father, “…not as I will, but as you will” (Mathew 26:39). Even during the time of death He declared, “It is finished.” As a picture of humility, He humbled Himself before breathing His last, saying, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit” (Luke 23:46).
You might have read about Columbus. Hailing from Spain, he was much enthusiastic about discovering sea-routes to several lands even without proper food or sleep. After having made historically reputed geographical discoveries, he returned home in anticipation of great action. When his ship reached the home-harbour, none was there to welcome him and hail his discoveries. Broken-hearted, he went to the Spanish king and expounded to him his exploits. The king was just apathetic and indifferent as he did not realize either his valour or the significance of his epoch-making discoveries. Columbus died as a miserable man!
However, the case of our Lord was different. Though He was put to death in the body He was made alive by the Spirit. After that, God enabled Him to go and preach to the “spirits in prison” (1 Peter 3:18,19). After He had completed his task and fulfilled His Father’s will, He was received up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God” (Mark 16:19; 1 Peter 3:22). From the lower parts of the earth, He ascended higher than all the heavens. (Ephesians 4:10).
Dearly beloved, He is well aware of all our sorrows and troublesome burdens. So do not be dismayed, muddling yourself with worries- “I am being sunk by family problems…I have no rest at all…I find no other alternative than suicide.” Don’t get dejected. Instead cast your cares on the Lord (Psalm 55:22) for He cares for you (1 Peter 5:7). He will undoubtedly rid you of all your sorrows and burdens and give you rest!
Loving Lord Jesus,
I praise You and worship You. Though You are the Son of God, You were born in a manger. During your life time on earth, You had no resting place in the world. You were traversing through troubles and sorrows. You are well aware of all my sorrows and troublesome burdens. I cast my cares on You. I desperately need your help. Give rest to my weary soul. I believe that You will deliver me from my sorrows and burdens. Thank You for listening to my prayer.
In Your matchless name I pray.
Daniel was among the Jewish captives carried by King Nebuchadnezzar to Babylon. Following the death of Nebuchadnezzar, Darius the Mede ascended the throne. Daniel was one among the various satraps appointed by him to rule the kingdom. Impressed with his hard work, Darius planned to set him over the whole kingdom.
At this juncture, Daniel had to encounter a challenging trial. The envious governors, administrators and satraps sought to find some charge against him concerning his administration. So they conspired to touch upon the most sensitive aspect- his love for his God. They persuaded Darius to establish a firm decree that whoever petitioned any god or man for thirty days except the king, would be cast into the den of lions.
Though Daniel was aware of the decree and the resultant feasible dispensation of being thrown into the den of lions, he had firm faith that his God is mighty enough to protect him. He resolved that he would always trust in God, come what might. He was continually praying to God! We read in Daniel 6:10- “Now when Daniel learned that the decree had been published, he went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before.” Consequently, God delivered him from the mouth of the lions!
Once an engineering student confessed to me: “Brother, I am a regular member of a prayer group which takes up much of my time, sparing no time for my studies. Now I have failed in all subjects. How will God help me, if I don’t study at all? My friends berate me saying, ‘You were bent on running to prayer groups with your Bible. Now you have failed in all subjects.’ I am now ashamed of carrying the Bible. I have ceased to go to the prayer sessions; I don’t pray at all!” Pained by his attitude, I asked him, “Who is at a loss, if you have stopped praying, God or you?” I counseled him to seek God and His wisdom, and to study his lessons intensely at the same time. I assured him that God will certainly help him.
Dearly beloved, consider our Lord Jesus! After He had fasted forty days and forty nights, the devil came to tempt Him (Mathew 4:1,2). We should also face such trials.
Professing that you are having hardships even after praying and regular Bible reading, have you stopped seeking Christ? You are the ones to suffer loss if you sever your relationship with God. By the right logic, you should search Him more intensely only when you face difficulties, strains and trials. You have to seek Him at such times. Then He will give you the strength to overcome the adversities.
Loving Lord Jesus,
You are the living God. I commit my life to You. I resolve always to trust in You, come what may. I firmly believe that You are mighty enough to protect me. I will not fear. What can flesh do to me? Give me the strength to remain faithful to You amidst the trials of life. Give me peace in the midst of difficult situations. I trust in You to deliver me from my trials. Give me the strength to overcome the adversities. Help me succeed in my life despite the trials. Deliver me in your mighty power. Protect and preserve me from all evil.
In Your matchless name I pray.
“Grace wherein we stand, and…tribulation [that] worketh patience.” Ro 5:2-3.
God Is Doing a Work in You…
There are two things you can count on as you walk with God:
1) tribulation that works for you, and
2) grace that enables you to stand while you’re going through it.
Have you been praying for patience? Get ready for tribulation; there’s no other way to get it! Patience only grows in the soil of adversity. The truth is, some of the people you can’t stand right now are the very ones who’ll mature you spiritually and get you to your destiny. God said: “Moab is my washbasin” (Ps 60:8 NIV). The Moabites were Israel’s troublesome next-door neighbors who
drove them crazy. But such people can also drive us closer to God!
So, who’s your washbasin? Who brings out the worst in you? Who drives you
to your knees? Who stretches your faith? Who develops your character? The problem is, we pray for certain things but God has a process; only as we get to know Him better do we begin to recognize it. Here’s how it works: you ask God for strength and He allows you to go through struggles that develop you. You ask Him for wisdom and you get to deal with messy situations that have no easy solutions. You ask Him for success and He gives you ability to work and wisdom to produce. You ask Him for favor and you get responsibility. (Then you want to run from it.) There’s a work going on in you right now! You may not be fully aware of it, but without it you’ll never be qualified to handle what God has in mind.
Bishop John Reed of Sydney, Australia, was preaching in Christ Church Cathedral one Sunday when a 75-year-old woman named Ethel Hatfield got saved. Mrs. Hatfield had attended that Anglican church for decades, but the message had never gotten through to her until that day. The following day she came to see Bishop Reed and said, “I could hardly sleep last night I was so excited about what happened. I want to do something to serve God with the few years I have left. I was wondering if I could teach Sunday School.”
Bishop Reed looked at this 75-year-old, white-haired lady and just couldn’t picture her controlling the rambunctious third or fourth grade kids. So he said, “I’m sorry, but we don’t have an opening in our Sunday School.” Her face fell. Bishop Reed said, “You mean business, don’t you? I don’t know what kind of service God may have for you, but let’s pray.” So they prayed for God to reveal His will for her.
The next day Mrs. Hatfield was out in her yard tending her roses when a Chinese student from Taiwan walked by. He stopped and complimented her on her roses and they began to talk. She thought, “He seems like a decent chap; I’ll invite him in for a spot of tea.” So she did and she told him her testimony. He found it an interesting story, so when he had to leave he asked if he could come back and talk further. She said, “Yes, and please bring a friend.”
He came back and brought a friend and she again shared how she had come to put her faith in Jesus Christ after all these years and how Christ had forgiven her sin and given her eternal life. These students came back and brought more friends, who brought even more. Within two weeks, Mrs. Hatfield was leading a weekly Bible study with 70 Chinese students in attendance! She led many of them to personal faith in Jesus Christ. That which seemed a hindrance to Mrs. Hatfield’s serving the Lord–her age–God turned into the key to reaching a group of people who respect old age!
Pencil: I’m sorry
Eraser: For what? You didn’t do anything wrong.
Pencil: I’m sorry because you get hurt because of me. Whenever I made a
mistake, you’re always there to erase it. But as you make my mistakes
vanish, you lose a part of yourself. You get smaller and smaller each
Eraser: That’s true. But I don’t really mind. You see, I was made
to do this. I was made to help you whenever you do something wrong.
Even though one day, I know I’ll be gone and you’ll replace me with a
new one, I’m actually happy with my job. So please, stop worrying. I
hate seeing you sad.
Conclusion: Every time we make mistakes and far away from God’s presence, He is willing to accept you. The parable of the Prodigal Son, is the example for it. Come closer to God and avoid making mistakes (Sins). He is willing to erase all the mistakes you had done in 2010. Just ask for His forgiveness. May the Lord Bless you and lead you all to live a Holy Life in the new year 2011.?