Thursday, 29 June 2017

First Devotional Thoughts Platform (Part Five)

Lessons from God's Faithfulness (Part Two)

Akin: You are welcome back. We continue with the lessons from our guest’s testimony.

IC: Aptly tied to the first lesson is the need to avoid going through our trials with an attitude.
Attitude is the difference between an ordeal and an adventure. (Bob Bitchin)
IC: Each one of us has his/her our own issue(s). There is no need going about with a “my situation is worse than yours” attitude. Don't be an open book for every Tom, Dick and Harry to read and see your pain. Your help does not come from man. Your face ought to be turned in the right direction – towards God. As the Psalmist says, “My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth!” (Psalm 121:2, NLT) In fact, God’s recommendation is that we go through our trials with joy.

Akin: Wow! Very well said, indeed. To quote Charles Stanley, “Trials require wisdom because each one brings with it a choice. We can either become bitter and hostile toward God or respond in a way that benefits us.” The choice is always ours to make.

Akin: Like I often tell people, when you go through trials, “Life is asking you questions.” The answers you give go a long way in determining whether you remain in the crowd, or become an “intimate with God.” Some people make the mistake of thinking we are all the same before God. That is not scriptural. GOD HAS INTIMATES (FRIENDS). And, He does not determine His friends. We do, by the answers we give to life’s questions.
When you go through trials, “Life is asking you questions.”
Akin: Abraham became God’s friend because “he chose” to believe Him. [James 2:23] “Moses chose” to keep his eyes on the one who is invisible, and the one who is invisible gave this testimony of him, “I speak to him face to face, clearly, and not in riddles! He sees the Lord as he is.” [Numbers 12:6-8, NLT] The scriptures have this testimony of him, “Inside the Tent of Meeting, the Lord would speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend.” [Exodus 33:11a]
God has intimates (friends). Are you one?
Akin: It is up to each of us to differentiate ourselves by the decisions we make while going through life and its accompanying trials. We can provoke God’s blessings, like Abraham and Solomon, or live in misery. [Genesis 22:15-18; 1 Kings 3:10-14] The choice is ours. God wants to bless us. That is what He takes pleasure in. [Psalm 35:27] It is, however, up to us to let Him. Will you?
God wants to bless us. That is what He takes pleasure in.
Akin: Drowning in self-pity and/or pity parties only makes the situation worse. In fact God does not attend pity parties. The devil, on the other hand, rejoices over pity parties. He comes for them with all his associates ready to steal, kill and destroy. It is up to us to decide who we want in our life and situation – God or the devil. The kind of party we call makes all the difference – one which God attends (which involves an exercise of our faith and trust in Him), or one which the devil revels (pity parties).
Drowning in self-pity and/or pity parties only makes the situation worse.
Akin: Joel Osteen preached a message back in 2015, titled, “Blessed in the Dark Places.” To quote him, “God uses the dark places. They are all a part of His plan. The dark place is a pre-requisite for entering into the fullness of your destiny. God does not send the difficulties, but He will use anything that comes our way. You cannot reach your highest potential if everything is always going your way.”

Akin: When I went through my own “Dark Place,” my resurrection came when I shook off all the “why me.” The Lord illuminated Hebrews 10:35 in my heart. I call it my resurrection scripture. It reads,
So do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord. Remember the great reward it brings you! (NLT)
IC: I like that. It is so normal for us to always ask the “why me” question when things are tough and conveniently fail to ask the same question when we are being blessed beyond measure. It is natural to always compare ourselves with people seemingly above us and depending on our level of internal peace, grumble, and never strike a balance that there are also people that are equally dreaming of getting to our status in life. It calls for us to be appreciative of everything and consciously avoid the negative “why me” questions because God knows why. Remember His answers in response to the questions and complaints of Job (Job 38:1-40:1).
In spite of everything I shall rise again: I will take up my pencil, which I have forsaken in my great discouragement, and I will go on with my drawing. (Vincent van Gogh)
Akin: Amen. We will pick up from here next week.


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