In the story of Elijah, Book of 1 Kings 19, we learn that running on empty and making decisions does not bode well. When you are tried, frustrated, hungry, and angry thinking through your options is a distorted and confusing process. The outcome is often disastrous. ~ Lisa Blair
In lesson 5, Bible Study Fellowship (BSF) course entitled, The People of the Promise, Divided Kingdom, God’s prophet, Elijah, had just experienced Gods work. He experienced God’s miracles over and over again in his life. However, when he heard that King Ahab wanted to kill him, instead of thinking back and relying on God to save him as he did earlier, he became crippled with fear and ran for his life. How often do we see God’s hand in our lives only to fall the next moment? One of Charles Stanley’s life lessons encourages us to halt, take a minute, rest, and pray for direction.
“Whenever you are Hungry, Angry,Lonely, or, Tired, HALT, be very careful because you are especially vulnerable to sin and disheartenment. Before giving up or taking a rash course of action, stop and seek God. He will refresh you and give you the strength to continue (1 Kings 19:8).”
Resource – The Charles Stanley Life Principle Bible. Pp.551.
As humans, we always look to ourselves for the answers. But in our limited capacity, we only see what could be at the end of the trajectory within our limited scope. God created a plan and a way for us. Let him take the lead. ~ Lisa Blair
I believe this scripture is saying we all commit sin and transgressions, but if we are to be like Christ, we must look at the situation(s) we are in and give it to God. We must show mercy to others and ourselves, as He who is sinless did for us. We are quick to blame, point our fingers, and choose our own method of attacking the transgression.
If we allow Him, God works out the consequences of our actions. I am not expressing there will be no consequences because we will have consequences until Christ returns. We live in a fallen world. However, because He loves us, He will always offer a way of escape (1 Corinthians 10:13 NIV). We must stay faithful as we process through the dark moments, knowing God is with us, taking the lead. We are not alone.
Referring back to the Old Testament, it is not God’s nature to retain His anger forever. Jeremiah 3:12 reads, “I am merciful, saith the Lord, and I will not keep anger forever,” and nor should we.
If we take it all into our own hands without His guidance, the outcome may be a temporary resolve; however, if we put it in His hands and repent for our portion of whatever is going on, He will work it out in His Will and His way.
None of us is blameless. And, once we understand this and repent, we are redeemed. God took our sins and laid them on Christ, who died and freed us of the burden of eternal damnation. We will feel God when we repent; we have warmth and light and know He is working on our behalf. He will not leave us in the shadows. This is one of life’s great lessons.
So again, go before God with all of your concerns and transgressions. Let God take the lead and guide you through the consequences, leading you to an outcome you would have never imagined.
1 Corinthians 10:13, “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind (us all). And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” (Bible.com)
I attended church service today and the Pastor shared a story that speaks to God’s love and how we should share His love with others.
A friend of the pastor’s visited the countryside in Ghana where he was on assignment at a government hospital. He noticed from his office window that daily the sick passed the government hospital to travel on foot to the missionary hospital which was many miles away.
He watched people take the trek to the missionary hospital for a week and finally asked his friend why they chose the missionary hospital instead of the government hospital that was better equipped.
His friend replied that the medicine is the same. The people chose the missionary hospital because the hands were different.
In effect, they felt the hands of God upon them in every nook and cranny throughout the missionary hospital. They knew they were well cared for because God was present. The government hospital was medically far superior, but the atmosphere in the hospital was sterile and loveless.
My question is – are your hands different? How do people see you as a Christian? Do they feel the love of God emanating from you? Are you warm and welcoming, or cold and remote? Do you reflect God in your actions? Do you love as God loves you? Do you reflect Christ’s love, compassion, and strength in your convictions, or do you represent the emptiness of a sterile government hospital?
Scriptures and scripture images (Biblestudytools.com)
“Are any of you suffering hardships? You should pray. Are any of you happy? You should sing praises.” James 5:13 NIV
Dissecting the Scripture
When we suffer hardships, we are afflicted by our circumstances. Affliction is broad and covers all trials, circumstances, and situations. The answer to affliction is prayer.
Biblically, happiness is the state of joy, the absence of anxiety and fear that tears at your soul. Singing praise is a form of thanking God. Praise is appropriate when you are happy, not fearful, anxious or depressed. Praise is a state of joy, not earthy joy, but joy in your soul. Praise is also appropriate when you are struggling. In those moments it is important to become laser focused on something that is working in your life no matter how small or transitory. When you praise God for that small thing, He offers a place of calmness and peace.
Prayer and praise are forms of connection to peace. We find peace when we are connected to our Lord. God’s ears are always inclined to our cries, our shouts of praise, and joy. Our relationship with Him can overcome the afflictions of this world if we pray. We must focus on Him and not our circumstances to allow His peace to enter our souls, where we can rest in the comfort of His arms.
“pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5:17-18 https://bible.com/bible/59/1th.5.17-18.ESV
Our Lord is all truth and the truth is, God loves us and is in the center of our prayers and our praise. He is at the center of our life. Once we accept His place in our lives and we accept being dependent upon Him, our life begins to change and we begin to pray and praise as part of who we are, children of God. Praise God for being our father.
To quote John McArthur (biblereasons.com): “The more you focus on yourself, the more distracted you will be from the proper path. The more you know Him and commune with Him, the more the Spirit will make you like Him. The more you are like Him, the better you will understand His utter sufficiency for all of life’s difficulties.”
The only way we can reach God is through prayer, praise and worship. And, when we do so, we find God in the center of our lives orchestrating our path according to His will and His way. The path will not be smooth, but more like a dirt road with crooks, crannies, pot holes and mounds. However, with GOD at the center we can continue to move forward. Prayer and praise are the resources we need to strengthen our relationship with the Lord and rely on His truth that will set us free.
Image: KCIS 630 Radio, Google Images; Biblestudytools.com
A friend posted this sermon on FB. This makes you say, hum. We have heard this story throughout our lives, we know this story, and it may be time to hear it again, for many, it is time to believe it and move forward in the divine providence of God, meaning the protective care of God. (Online, dictionary.com)
Cain killed Abel not because Abel wronged him or fought with him but, it was because Cain couldn’t stand the FAVOUR OF GOD on Abel’s life.
Sometimes you may wonder why people talk behind your back, why they hate you, why they do the things they do to you. It’s not that you have a problem, it’s because they can’t stand the favour of God on your life.
That’s why you don’t need to stress yourself over people who are determined to frustrate or misunderstand you. You have to understand that not everyone will like you but everyone shall witness that you are favoured by the Lord.
Stand firm in God and what you believe in and no one will shake you.