Friday, October 31, 2008

Devotional 311008

Dear brothers and sisters,
Good morning. God is good and His mercy endures forever. We have been threatened by the global financial tsunami. Everybody is concerned about the financial well being and livelihood. Faith based organization like churches and para-church organizations are usually on the hard hit list in this crisis. But the Bible teaches us to rejoice in Him even when we are in financial destitution, “Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior” (Hab 3:17-18). This is the time to experience God and His provision for our lives in a tangible manner. Prophet Habakkuk was in a much worse situation when his whole world seemed to collapse before him. His country was in panic mode while he remained calm. It was because God reminded him, crisis in life was a time to test the faith of His saints, “The righteous will live by his faith” (Hab 2:4b).
"…I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you." (Matt 17:20b). We have the idea that God rewards us for our faith, it may be so in the initial stages of our walk with Him; but we do not earn anything by faith, faith brings us into right relationship with God and gives God His opportunity to do whatever He thinks best for us. God frequently takes away your security blanket or even your survival means if you are a saint, in order to drive you toward Him. God wants you to understand that it is a life of faith, not a life of sentimental enjoyment of His blessings. Your earlier life of faith was narrow and intense, settled around a little sunspot of experience that had as much of sense as of faith in it, full of light and sweetness; then God withdrew His conscious blessings on you in order to teach you to walk by faith. You are worth far more to Him now than you were in your days of conscious delight and thrilling testimony.
Faith by its very nature must be tried, and the real trial of faith is not that we find it difficult to trust God, but that God's character has to be cleared in our own minds. Faith in its actual working out has to go through many tests of isolation. Never confuse the trial of faith with the ordinary discipline of life; much that we call the trial of faith is the inevitable result of being alive. Faith in the Bible is faith in God against everything that contradicts Him and His attributes - I will remain true to God's character whatever He may do. "Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him" - this is the most sublime utterance of faith in the whole of the Bible.
Honestly, our heart melts when we focus on the financial crisis around us. That’s why we need to focus on God than on our circumstances. Remember the incidence when the disciples were in panic mode during a storm? “Without warning, a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him, saying, "Lord, save us! We're going to drown!" He replied, "You of little faith, why are you so afraid?" Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm. The men were amazed and asked, "What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!" (Matt 8:24-27) The disciples had experienced the character of Christ during the storm. They realized that Christ was the Lord of history and nature. Please be reminded that the Holy Spirit is on the same boat with us even though we are going through troubled waters today.
Love you in accordance to His will,

No comments: