Encouraging others in Christ

Archive for the day “January 22, 2016”

A wall of faith requires prayer

Good Friday morning! And what a wet one for us here in Alabama. I was reading the book of Nehemiah this morning, and once I took my puppy, Jack, outside, I thought about how Nehemiah had been a cupbearer to the King, and now I found myself being an “umbrella bearer” to my “somewhat of a boss” Golden doodle. Ah, it’s great to be needed right? LOL
Nehemiah was an ordinary man in a unique position. He was secure and successful as cupbearer to the Persian King Artaxerxes. Nehemiah had little power, but he had considerable influence. He was trusted by the by the king. He was a man of God. Concerned about the fate of
Jerusalem. Seventy years earlier, Zerubbabel had managed to rebuild God’s Temple. Thirteen years had passed since Ezra had returned to Jerusalem and helped the people with their spiritual needs. Now Nehemiah was needed. Jerusalem’s wall was still in ruins, and the news broke his heart. As he talked to God, a plan began to take form in Nehemiah’s mind about his role in the rebuilding of the city walls. He willingly left the security of his home and job in Persia to follow God on an “impossible” mission. And the rest is history.
From beginning to end, Nehemiah prayed for God’s help. He never hesitated to ask God to remember him. Throughout the impossible task, Nehemiah displayed unusual leadership. The wall around Jerusalem was rebuilt in record time, despite resistance.
Even Israel’s enemies grudgingly and fearfully admitted that God was with these builders. Not only that, but God worked through Nehemiah to bring a spiritual awakening among the people of Judah.
You may not have Nehemiah’s unique abilities or feel that you are in a position where you can do anything great for God, but there are two ways you can become useful to God. First, be a person who talks to God. Welcome Him into your thoughts and share yourself with Him-your concerns, feelings and dreams. Second, be a person who walks with God. Put what you learn from His Word into action. God may have an “impossible” mission that he wants to do through you.

I couldn’t help but think how thankful I was for the privacy fence “wall” this morning because it “protected,” if you will, from the words of my relatives that live next door. For they would honestly think that I’ve lost it. Barely able to take myself outside, and there I was an umbrella bearer.
Remember God keeps a “wall” of protection about us even when we are met with opposition from others who mock us for our faith or criticize us for doing what we know is right, let us refuse to respond in the same way or to become discouraged. Telling God how we feel will open our heart and mind to receive His strength to carry on.

Let us make sure we are standing on the right side of the wall, where we are safe and protected from evil. 

Nehemiah never hesitated to ask God to remember him, closing with these words:

“Remember me O God , for good.”

Key verse:

“Then I told them of the hand of my God which was good upon me; as also the kings words that he had spoken unto me. And they said, Let us rise up and build. So they strengtheened their hands for this good work” (Nehemiah 2:18).


Smiling through trials? Really James?

Hello and HAPPY Thursday!
So, where do we begin this evening? How about with an area that we all face, which is trials and temptations?
Have you ever wondered why James wrote to the Christians telling them to count it all joy when ye fall into various temptations? I think that its an area that we all struggle with, especially when we experience loss or hurt, or having to watch those that we love suffer from an illness or a painful situation.
Let us take a look at what James means, shall we?
In the book of James, he is writing to the persecuted Christians who were once part of the Jerusalem church. To the twelve tribes which were scattered aboard.
V2 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers (various) temptations (trials or testing).
3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.
4 But let patience have her perfect work (full effect), that ye may be perfect and entire (mature and complete), wanting nothing.

Try making any sense out of that when you’re hurting and waiting for a breakthrough to come, right?
Hold on, take a look.
The word temptation as used here refers to trials or testing. It does not mean an enticement to do evil. While God tests us, he never provokes us to sin.
James doesn’t say if we face trails, but when we face them. He assumes we will have trials and that it is possible to profit from them. We are not required to pretend to be happy when we face pain, but to have a positive outlook because of the results trials will bring. James tells us that to turn our hardships into times of learning. Rough times can teach us patience.
We can’t really know the depth of our character until we see how we react under pressure. It is easy to be kind when everything is going well, but can we still be kind when others are treating us unfairly?
God desires to make us mature and complete (“perfect“), not to keep us from pain.
Instead of us complaining about our struggles, we should see them as opportunities for growth.
Thank God for promising to be with you in rough times. Ask Him to help you solve your problems or give you the strength to endure them.

We are told to be patient; God will not leave us alone with our problems; He will stay close by and help us grow.
We’ve heard it before, and it is hard but this is our instructions from Gods Word, and there isn’t anything else that’s going to compare to what He wants for us, which is for us to count it all joy!
So, remember as we are going through our hurts, waiting periods, and disappointments, God has a plan for our lives and knows why He allows what He allows.
So let’s do our absolute best to adjust our attitude and seek Him to help us in the midst of the trials.

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