Wednesday, June 15, 2011

From Sorrow to Joy

God is All Powerful

The crowd joined in the attack against Paul and Silas, and the magistrates ordered them to be stripped and beaten. After they had been severely flogged, they were thrown into prison, and the jailer was commanded to guard them carefully. Upon receiving such orders, he put them in the inner cell and fastened their feet in the stocks.  About Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them.  Acts 16: 22-25

When having a bad day, it’s unlikely we’d describe our mood as joyous. To the contrary, we are likely to be tense, short tempered, angry or distraught.  In fact, from simple problems like being stuck in traffic to the most difficult of trials, being joyful is the last emotion we would expect to experience.

The Bible tells us that Paul and Silas, two of Jesus’ disciples, sang songs of praise after being whipped, beaten and then chained in a cold and dark prison cell.  Yes, bloody, cold and imprisoned without cause, they praised God!  Doesn’t seem possible, does it?  But Paul and Silas knew Jesus personally; they trusted He was in control of all things and that there wasn’t anything that God could not handle.  Their confidence in God gave them peace, and this peace gave them joy knowing they were with God and God was with them.  A joy that was so deep and profound they were able to sing praises despite their unfair and brutal treatment, their dire circumstances.  Not long after they praised God, an earthquake shook the ground violently and they were set free.  This same sincere joy that Paul and Silas experienced is available to us all at all times – and because of it, we too are set free.

I will praise you with the harp for your faithfulness, O my God; I will sing praise to you with the lyre, O Holy One of Israel. My lips will shout for joy when I sing praise to you— I, whom you have redeemed.    Psalm 71:22-23

Because God is all powerful, with Christ, we find joy in all our circumstances.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Trust Me

God is Sovereign

God’s voice thunders in marvelous ways; he does great things beyond our understanding.  Job 37:5

Have you ever had a boss or a mentor that you followed without question? Someone you completely trusted?  If so, it is likely you did not understand every action taken or how some things would come together, but you followed along because of your fundamental belief in this person.  And while you may not have enjoyed each task handed out to you to complete, you did what was asked, believing your efforts would be worth it in the end.
Our relationship with God is much the same.  With faith, we don’t need to understand all things or see God’s complete story to follow Him.  With just a small amount of faith, God begins to reveal His character and His plan to us. But God intentionally leaves out some of the details – filling them in at His discretion.  And while we can struggle to find patience to endure trials on God’s appointed terms and timing, we persevere when we remember who He is -- the Creator of the Universe, the all knowing, and all powerful God, who has our best interests at heart.  For some, it may appear risky to place one’s faith blindly, but that is what makes faith, faith. Will you choose to follow Him? 

He said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.”  Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures.  He told them, “This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. Luke 24:44-47


Because God is Sovereign, through Christ we can trust Him, even if we don’t understand Him completely.