Jewels From Judy
Friday, June 19 2015
Do you feel completely overwhelmed by life? Don't feel alone. You are in good company! There are many cases of people in the Bible feeling discouraged to the point of wishing for death. I strongly encourage you to speak this over yourself, “Take heart! The Lord is near and His awesome redemption power is at hand!”
The Bible reveals that God’s people were constantly getting themselves into trouble and needing God's mercy and unfailing love to get them out of it. Often times the people would run from what God had spoke to them to do, but God brought them back with His Mighty Hand. Are we any different today? We humans may have a lot of “advancements” in life, but we all need God. I am so glad there are examples of people’s struggles all throughout Scripture. Otherwise, we would all think it was a cakewalk for those who passed before us. Here are a few examples I share in the hope of encouraging you today:
Joseph - His father dearly loved him, and because of this, his brothers were so jealous that they plotted to kill him. Instead they sold him into slavery. They told his father that a wild beast had killed him. Joseph later ended up in jail for not agreeing to sin against God and spend 14 years in jail; however, God did not forget him there. Joseph walked in such integrity that he was not only released, but given great power and many blessings. He was not only able to save his father and brother's from starving, but the entire population of people survived because of his insight from the Lord.
Job – Here was a man who suffered nearly every calamity known to man. All his children died in an accident, his servants, livestock were either killed or stolen by his enemies. All this took place within a few hours. His first act was to fall to the ground and worship God! This left me with my mouth hanging open. I doubt that would have been my response, but praise God it was Job’s. Then the devil was allowed to further torment him by giving him an ailment causing him great distress. His wife's advice was to curse God and die. Most of his friends accused him of offending God when the opposite was true. The long and short of the story of Job was that he loved the Lord and didn't fall into the trap of the enemy which was to curse God.
Moses – Nearly killed at birth, lived like a king, but then murdered an Egyptian soldier and fled to the dessert. He spent the next 40 years there before even beginning his ministry, which led millions of Hebrews out of bondage. Many examples could be given about Moses’ reliance of God.
David – Had relations with a married woman, got her pregnant, and then tried to hide it by getting her husband to come home and have relations with her. He could not take comfort from his wife knowing his fellow soldiers were on the battlefield. Then King David sent him back with written and sealed orders for the troops to fall back from pregnant woman’s husband so he would be killed. Talk about abuse of power! Then David did not even repent for a year afterwards. However, God loved David. The Bible says that David was a man after God's own heart. WHY? Because God knew David truly loved Him. While David suffered in his lifetime for his iniquity, he was also greatly blessed.
Jehoshaphat – the enemy was coming to destroy the nation, so he called the people to fast and pray. The Lord spoke through a prophet that the battle belonged to Him. God said to stand firm and watch. King Jehoshaphat had a job to do and that was to trust God at His word. His job was to believe that God would defeat the great multitudes coming against him. He ended up on his face before God in worship when most men would have been arming up to do battle. He called the worshipers to go before the army, and because their enemies suspected treason by their allies, the enemies were self slaughtered! Not one survived! It took three days to bring in the booty.
Esther – She was prepared to please the king and saved her entire race. However, it could have cost her life. She fasted and prayed for three days, and had all the other Hebrews and all the animals fast and pray as well. The Jews were saved and the gallows built to hang her uncle were used to hang the one responsible for the evil plot against the Jewish nation!
Matthew – He work for the Romans to collect taxes from the Hebrews and was hated among his own people for it. It is likely even the other disciples were wondering why Jesus called him. His gospel is foundational in our understanding of the Jesus’ teaching on the kingdom of heaven.
Peter – He was constantly being corrected by Jesus. One time Jesus actually said Peter, "Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men." Just before Jesus was killed Jesus told him that he would deny Him three times. Peter said that there was no way! Yet that is exactly what happened. When Jesus arose from the dead he sent word to the apostles and Peter with a special mention for Peter, because Jesus knew that he was deeply grieved. Like Job, Peter was tested of the devil and passed the test. When he returned, he strengthened the brethren and you and I are tested and strengthened likewise.
Paul – This man killed Christians in what he believed was a service to God! God saw his heart and appeared to him on the road to Damascus. Paul, then Saul, did not consult men, but got still before God and studied himself approved.
What all these people have in common was that they were not able to save themselves, but God redeemed their lives. Many of them struggled fiercely. God's power was made perfect in their weakness. There are many other excellent examples of how to rely on God when it could not look worse. Just as Lazarus was raised from the dead, we need to understand that we have the power of the resurrecting God living on the inside of us. He can and He will bring us back to life. We need to take off the grave clothes, and go forth in the confidence of the Lord. Amen
In the Father’s love,
Judy A Bauman
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