The Jewish Leaders were taken back by the Apostle’s confidence and boldness in speaking of the risen Jesus. Their outward appearance was that of unskilled laborers, but the Jewish Leaders quickly realized that these were no ordinary men. It says that. . “they took note that these men had been with Jesus.” That word “with” holds so much more meaning than just hanging out with the Lord…it means relationship, and companionship. Peter and John had a deep abiding relationship with Jesus and it showed in how they spoke and conducted themselves. What would men say about you…have you been with Jesus?
God’s love holds us together while the world around us may be falling apart. His love is a powerful embrace that gives us peace in the midst of turmoil. This love holds us together just like a safety-pin holds cloth… and the name of this blog. Here is the story behind it.
It was about 4:30 AM on a bitter Winter morning in Spokane,WA. I was getting dressed in a motel to go back to the hospital to be with my husband before they took him in for open heart surgery. He had suffered a massive heart attack a few days prior and the surgeon was not optimistic about his chances of making it off the table alive…but this was his only option. I was determined to look my best for him, so I put on a favorite dress, only to have a button pop off. Thus the search began to find something to fix this problem…from purse, to suitcase, to makeup bag and back again I went. Finally in utter despair, fueled by lack of sleep, anxiety, and fear, I stood in the middle of the room sobbing. Too exhausted to even take the dress off, I begged God for strength to go on. Suddenly a peace I can’t explain washed over me and through tear blurred eyes I saw a little safety-pin attached to the lid of my suitcase. At that moment I knew that God not only would put my dress back together,but He would hold me together for the day ahead. That little safety-pin became a tangible symbol of His Love for me. The surgery was a success, and 16 years later it is still a miracle.
Fog is as real as bright sunshine. Spiritual fog or confusion happens to us all. Events happen everyday that are confusing, and many times it is not because of us being disobedient, but rather by the very nature of things happening around us. It may not be about us at all, but others. This spiritual fog is unsettling, it makes us feel unbalanced and unclear. But the amazing thing is God can dispel this fog in our lives with His peace and bring clarity to our thoughts. He can bring us out of the confusion and into the bright ” sonshine” of His peace.
When we accept Jesus into our life we are saved in an instant, but the remainder of that new life is a process…sometimes a rather slow and arduous process. We get discouraged when our healing is slow to come, or when a promise the Lord has spoken into our heart is still just that- a promise. Impatiently we ask the Lord how much longer must we wait. But this verse shows that God does not forget, let alone does He lose sight of our journey thus far. We unfortunately, are creatures of instant gratification, and chafe at waiting for anything. But God in His infinite knowledge perceives the perfect time to fulfill those promises in our life…and the amazing news is that not one of those promises will fall short…every one will be fulfilled!
Job had realized the possibility of trouble coming into his life prior to his suffering, showing he had not taken all of God’s Blessings for granted.
Troubles will come into our lives…but it is how we react to them that God is looking for. What do we fixate on, the trouble or the Lord? It’s sometime so very difficult to remember in the midst of chaos that God is still in control. But regardless of the situation or how desperate it appears, He is still not only in control, but has total authority over it. So take heart!
God was calling Ezekiel to be a Prophet to the Jewish people in Jerusalem, but instead of being overjoyed with the prospect, Ezekiel was angry, sad, and indignant of what lie ahead. God had His hand in the middle of Ezekiel’s back forcefully pushing him ahead to his destiny. How many times do we think we know the path God has for us , only to be pushed in the opposite way. Do we go happily or with anger and resentment? That strong hand in the middle of your back pushing won’t change… only your attitude about it!
“Have mercy on me”… This Greek word- Eleeo- is often and inadequately defined as merely clemency for holding back a deserved punishment, when in reality it means to relieve or remove the suffering. This Greek word is used especially to signify God’s salvation in which He acts to reverse the adverse effects of sin. Our sins are not just forgiven, but they are removed as far as the East is from the West. The Lord’s mercy towards us has nothing to do with us, our predicament, or even how good or bad we are…it is because of His great mercy towards us that we are saved. We can do nothing to change His mercy towards us. Thank you Lord for having mercy on me today!
Sometimes God will do just that to us. He will take away our control over a situation. He will orchestrate circumstances that will hem us in and cover us over like a large stone. Then finally, He will seal it all up…so that our situation might not be changed…by us or other human hands. But be encouraged, this is the time when miracles happen. Miracles that baffle doctors and logical thinking. Things that only a mighty God can accomplish. So do not despair the stone over your life today, instead anticipate a miracle!
If Daniel was blameless in God’s eyes, why did he still have to endure a night in the lion’s den? If he was innocent in the Lord’s sight why wasn’t Daniel taken out of the horrific situation? The angel may have closed the mouths of the lions,but they were still slinking around sniffing and drooling. Sometimes you too will have to spend a night in the lion’s den through no fault of your own. You also may be innocent in His sight,but will still have to endure those menacing lions for a bit. But take heart, the Lord is still with you during those trying times…keeping the lions at bay.
We all go through confusing,dark times in our lives- times when God seems very distant. These are the times when we need to listen. Hearing becomes more acute in the dark…so listen. The Lord has a important message to give you. A message so important that only after you have come out of the darkness will you be able to fully understand and share with others the wonderful truths He revealed during those dark times.