Posted by: heisourstrongtower | June 21, 2012

Jesus Calling – June 22nd

“THANK ME for the very things that are troubling you.  You are on the brink of rebellion, precariously close to shaking your fist in My face.  You are tempted to indulge in just a little complaining of My treatment of you.  But once you step over that line, torrents of rage and self-pity can sweep you away.  The best protection against this indulgence is thanksgiving.  It is impossible to thank Me and curse Me at the same time. 

Thanking Me for trials will seem awkward and contrived at first.  But if you persist, your thankful words, prayed in faith, will eventually make a difference in your heart.  Thankfulness awakens you to My Presence, which overshadows all your problems.”

Psalm 116:17 (NKJV) – I will offer to You the sacrifice of thanksgiving, And will call upon the name of the Lord. 

Philippians 4:4-6 – Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!  Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.  Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 

Jesus Calling For Kids – June 22nd

Your Best Protection

“I am always near.  So I know that sometimes you get angry at Me – and may even feel like shaking your fist in My face.  You are tempted to complain about the way I am treating you.  You want to rebel against Me.  But that is a dangerous thing to do.  Once you step over that line, rivers of rage and self-pity can sweep you away. 

Your best protection is to thank Me for the things that are troubling you.  You see, it is impossible for you to thank Me and complain at the same time.  It may feel weird at first to thank Me when you are upset with Me.  But keep trying.  Your thankful words, prayed in faith, will change your heart and bring you closer to Me.”

Rejoice…the devotions for today are telling us to rejoice and thank God for the problems in our life.  I asked you all to read Habakkuk 3 before our conference all and if you did, you will remember that most of the chapter was glorifying the great acts of God, in the past. He is looking back to what God has done.  Habakkuk used words that beautifully expressed the sheer majesty of God in the way in which He overcame the Egyptians at the Red Sea and the manner in which He brought His people through the experiences of the desert and into the Promised Land; the overthrow of the nations of Canaan and the planting of His people in their state. And you could say it’s a sort of symbolical history of the people of God of all ages. Now, it’s very obvious why Habakkuk is looking back into the past. It is because he was living in a very difficult day. The cause of Christ was low in the day in which he lived. There was very little of an outward kind to give him joy and encouragement.

And yet as he looks at the present situation surrounding him, he is still hoping in God. He imagines, in verse 17, the darkest possible picture that he can paint. So he goes on painting what today, I suppose, we would call the worst-case-scenario. He is saying that even if the very worst-case imaginable were to take place as people of God, we still have abundant reason for thankfulness. And so at verse 18, he puts it like this, “yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will rejoice in the God of my salvation”

Let’s transpose verse 17 into today’s terms – suppose there is no food in the grocery stores, no gas in the filling station,  there is no electricity on the wires, no jobs to be had, no health service and its benefit, no hospital treatment and their good, and no pensions for the elderly, (Oh, wait most of this is true for today, isn’t it???) yet, in spite of it all, we have as believers cause to rejoice in the Lord and to feel joy in the God of our salvation. In other words, our response to the problems around us today, ought always to take God into the equation. No matter how bleak the prospect seems to us, and even though they were magnified a thousand times, yet we must never leave God out of the picture. And because God is capable of doing all things, therefore, we must adopt the same philosophy that Habakkuk adopts. “Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation.”

The point I want to make with you is this, that the Christian may rejoice in God when all else seems to fail. Let me repeat that again, the Christian may rejoice in God when all else seems to fail. How? The unbeliever is feeding upon the creature but the Christian in feeding upon God. You and I must not feed upon anything but God Himself. The preacher must not feed upon his preaching. And you and I must not feed upon the means of grace. We must feed upon God Himself. We must make Him our supreme delight. Our ambition is not simply to hear His Words by someone else’s voice or writing.  Our ambition…our goal should be, to know God personally, intimately for ourselves. We feed upon Him.  When we feed upon God through Jesus Christ, and go to Him moment by moment…He will always give us good reasons why we may rejoice and be comforted, even when there seems to be very little outwardly to give us that encouragement.  Go to God, spend time with God and ask Him to let you see the world through His perspective and then rejoice to Him for His goodness and His mercy and for granting you the opportunity to see things as He sees them.

Rejoice in the Lord always and again I say, again I say…REJOICE!!!!!!

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