Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The Thing I Long For

"Oh that I might have my request and that God would grant me the thing that I long for!" (Job 6:8)

Ever felt like that? I have. And we're in very good company because in the oldest book in the Bible, the book of Job, Mr. Job knew what desperation felt like. What request had he made of God and prayed that God would grant him the very thing in life he longed for the most? He had lost everything; his children. He had lost other things, too, but in comparison to the loss of sons and daughters, everything else paled. But Mrs. Job had lost the very same things that Mr. Job had lost. Was she desperate to hear from God, too? Did she long for Him to grant her the thing she longed for? I believe she did.

I know desperate people. They put on a smile, act as if everything is ok in their lives, but inside they are longing for something that only God can do. And time goes on and still God does not grant their request. I, too, have been one of those desperate people. I, too, have approached the throne of grace with the same request: "Oh that I might have my request and that God would grant me the thing that I long for!"

You've heard it said, I'm sure, that desperate people do desperate things. Job was desperate, but all he could do was sit in his "ash heap" covered from head to toe with boils and listen as those around him told him what they thought he should do. I've been there, too.

Ladies, let me share with you something I learned many years ago and it has sustained me many, many times through desperation; giving thanks for the very thing that I am so desperate for. I know it is not logical, it makes no sense, even sounds contradictory, but it is a spiritual discipline that will transform your prayer life and your intimacy with Christ. Here is how it works and it is based on the command in 1 Thessalonians 5:18; "In everything give thanks for this is the will of God concerning you."
God intends a command to be obeyed and we can give thanks with our mouth, even though we do not feel "thank-ful" in our heart. You may think you can't, but yes Ma'am you can!

You are desperate for God to heal your marriage. You give thanks for the very thing that is hurting your marriage, and you acknowledge (Prov.3:6) that God will do all things for His glory and your good. (Romans 8:28)

You are desperate for physical healing. Give thanks for your illness. (Proverbs 3:6, Romans 8:28)

You are desperate for God to bring your grown child to his/her senses. Give thanks for your child and what is happening in their lives. (Proverbs 3:6, Romans 8:28)

You are desperate for God to give you/your husband a job. Give thanks that you need a job. (Proverbs 3:6, Romans 8:28)

You are desperate for God to heal your relationship with a loved one. Give thanks for the problem with the relationship, acknowledge God's activity in your life, and trust Him to do all things for His glory and your good. (Proverbs 3:6, Romans 8:28)

True story; our son Kyle had an "old" work car that was not very dependable. Many nights on his way to work it broke down. One day he shared his frustration with me about that "old car" and he was just about at the end of his rope. (Kentucky slang for "had it") I shared 1 Thess. 5:18 and encouraged him to start right then and there giving thanks for that car. And each time it broke down or delayed him in some way, he gave thanks, and then he mentally listed every reason he could think of to give thanks for that old work car.  (very short list)
Long story short, it didn't happen overnight, but over the course of the next few weeks, God began to move in his circumstances and he was able to get a better work car. But more important than a better work car was a much needed lesson learned in obedience and the faithfulness of God to bless our obedience and enlarge our faith. Does your faith need to be enlarged today? It can be as simple as to "give thanks."

Ladies, it can hurt to say those words: "Lord, I give You thanks for............ I acknowledge your faithful work in my life, and I trust You to work even this seemingly hopeless situation for my good and your glory." But,
when you and I are obedient, even when it is painful, God releases His supernatural power upon our desperation and even though our situations may not change immediately, (although I have experienced it)
something changes in us and we have the peace of God that He is working in the heavenly realm to bring about our good and His glory here on earth.

Dear friend, if the mysteries of God made sense they would not be the mysteries of God. And I am glad they don't make sense because if they did, it would take the faith factor out of our desperation.

While we focus next week on Thanksgiving Day and all we have to truly be thankful for, allow your desperation and your longing to lead you to obedience and "In everything give thanks for this is the will of God concerning you."

Will you give this a try? And will you let me know either in a comment or an email how your obedience turned around your desperation?

Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Giving Thanks!1


Saturday, November 8, 2014

Give Away Jesus

I know it's only been a week since my last post, but I read a scripture a few days ago that I felt impressed
to share with you: Acts 3:6;
Then Peter said, "Silver and gold have I none, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk."

I love my Charles Stanley Life Principles Bible. Dr. Stanley has such incredible insight into the Word and I learn so much from his interpretation of the scripture. This is what he said about that verse:

"We may not have riches or political influence or many other things that the world craves, but we do have the Spirit of the Lord living within us--and we can always give away Jesus while still keeping Him."

Those of you who know me know that I believe in the inerrancy of the scripture and I believe that no matter how many times we read a verse or portion of text, we can learn something new. And I have learned something new---Jesus wants me to give Him away....everyday. And no matter how much of Him I give away, I still have all of Him. That revelation is so incredible to me.

When I give away His kindness to someone who is unkind to me, I am still full of His kindness.
When I give away His love, I am still full of His love.
When I give away His compassion and understanding, I am still full of His compassion and understanding.
When I give away His forgiveness, I am still full of His forgiveness.
When I give away His peace, I am still full of His peace.
When I give away His joy, I am still full of His joy.
When I give away His gentleness, I am still full of His gentleness.
When I give away His wisdom, I am still full of His wisdom.

What part of Jesus does someone need you to give them? Whatever it is, it is still ours to keep. Give it away and experience Him replacing it with more of Him. Oh dear lady He is so good and so worthy of our praise.
Give away Jesus today; no matter how much you give away, you'll still keep all of Him.