Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Hope Through Affliction

All the days of the afflicted are evil, But he who is of a merry heart has a continual feast. (Proverbs 15:15 NKJV)

Affliction comes to every child of God. It's a well-known fact of life. If we follow Jesus, we will find affliction in many shapes and forms. God uses these to sharpen us, strengthen our faith and patience, and to mold our character. However this does not mean that these afflictions are sent upon us by God Himself.

The world is a dark place because of the wicked actions of sinful people. God gave us the earth, (Psalm 115:16) and the terrible things that happen upon it are results of sin. So it makes sense to me that this verse would say "all the days of the afflicted are evil". Affliction is what we receive because we live in a world full of evil. The Amplified Bible says it well:

All the days of the desponding and afflicted are made evil [by anxious thoughts and forebodings], but he who has a glad heart has a continual feast [regardless of circumstances]. (Proverbs 15:15 AMP)

Praise God that even though hard times come against us, we still have hope! God promises to deliver us, strengthen us, and give us joy through the difficult times. When He puts His joy in our hearts, we have a continual feast: a continued fulfillment of peace and gladness. How awesome is it to know that our Father in heaven loves to give GOOD gifts to His children? How wonderful it is to know that even through the dark times the world throws at us, we still have a good God to carry us through.
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Monday, October 1, 2012

Life = Good

The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. (John 10:10 NKJV)

Jesus said the thief is the one who comes to kill, to steal, and destroy. So by what manner of thinking do we perceive that God is the one who brings trials upon us? If we are sick, our health is being destroyed, and we are slowly being "killed" by the disease. If we are constantly in the red financially and money is scarce, than our riches are being "stolen". If our God-invested plans come to ruin, or our circumstances turn terrible, our hopes and dreams are being "destroyed". If you look at things objectively, there is no way these things are of God.

Jesus came that we might have life; and have it abundantly, pressed down, shaken together and running over. "Every good and perfect gift comes from above". Who are we to call good things evil, much less evil things good? Life is health. Abundance is prosperity. Dreams and hopes that have life are evident goodnesses in our world. These things are what truly comes from God.

Jesus didn't say life would be all a bed of roses. He said trouble would come, and this is because the devil is in it, seeking to kill, steal, and destroy us. However He told us not to fear - for He overcame it that we might also. In Him, we can overcome all that the devil throws our way. Psalms says "though we walk through the valley of the shadow of death", not camp in the valley. Though sorrow may last for a night, joy comes with the morning.

If you are in the valley right now, don't set up camp. Press onwards to what God has promised for you, and lay hold of those promises. For through Him, you can overcome *all* things.
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