Thursday, 13 July 2017

First Devotional Thoughts Platform (Part Six)

Lessons from God's Faithfulness (Part Three)
IC: The next lesson we learned is to always “Count our blessings and name them…even when the challenges are daunting.”
"Count our blessings and name them…even when the challenges are daunting."
IC: As human beings, we tend to focus on our challenges and ignore the blessings. We easily get used to the blessings of God, and unconsciously “normalize” them as what should ALWAYS be expected. When we go through our own unique version of “the valley of the shadow of death,” it is important to be mindful of the blessings we are experiencing (or have experienced), in other aspects of our life.

IC: We should contend against the temptation of being ungrateful. It is vital to maintain a BALANCED PERSPECTIVE. We should be grateful for the blessings while believing God for breakthrough(s) in the area(s) of our struggle.

Akin: The unique thing about God is, "He never leaves us in complete darkness." HE ALWAYS LEAVES US WITH A WITNESS – a seeming tiny ray of light to remind us, He is there, with us, all the way, even in the dark places.

Akin: (Speaking to our guest) In your specific case, you had a close shave with death, from an armed robbery and gunshot incident, just before the sixth miscarriage. As much as you could have been devastated by the miscarriage, things needed to be put in perspective. As much as there was the sad story of the miscarriage, there was the gift of life to be grateful for.

Akin: The other miracle(s) might yet be on their way, but we can take courage and be grateful for the mercies we already see, while we wait. The other Sunday, my pastor (Victoria Osteen) was encouraging us in this same direction. She said, “We should not be so focused on what we want that we forget what we already have. We need to always remember to take gratefulness breaks, to appreciate God for what we already have. Our gratefulness for what we have will bring about the things we want.”
"We should not be so focused on what we want that we forget what we already have. We need to always remember to take gratefulness breaks, to appreciate God for what we already have. Our gratefulness for what we have will bring about the things we want." (Victoria Osteen)
IC: I give God all the glory. Living daily, seeing the physical scars from that incident helped my wife and I put things in perspective, as we faced our challenge. It also helped us be more appreciative. I believe there are levels of challenges. When you see others going through challenges (or when you go through yours) that could have easily resulted in death, and God chose to spare you, your questions change. They change to songs – songs like, “Who am I that you are mindful of me….” (as rendered by Israel Houghton).

Akin: This is a pivotal principle for living, as it dictates our ability to wait on God. This is where a lot of people miss it. This is where dreams are aborted.
"Let there be more joy and laughter in your living." (Eileen Caddy)
Akin: Our ability to wait on God, aright, determines the birthing of our miracle – whether it comes speedily, it be delayed or never comes. We must have a balanced perspective on life. The scriptures tell us, “Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, NLT)
"Our ability to wait on God, aright, determines the birthing of our miracle – whether it comes speedily, it be delayed or never comes. We must have a balanced perspective to life."
Akin: Note, the scriptures do not say, “be thankful FOR all circumstances (or things).” Rather, it says, “be thankful IN all circumstances (or things).” For, the God of the mountain is still God in the valley. (1 Kings 20:23-30) The God of the day is still God in the night. (Psalm 121) We need to stand still in faith (expressed in thanksgiving) to see His salvation.

Akin: God seems to always leave (or allow) a “BUT” in each of our lives to remind us we are human and nothing without Him. The “BUT” is not an impossibility to Him. It is not meant to make us sad or sorrowful. In His own infinite wisdom, He leaves it to draw us to Him. It is that thing that brings us to the place of contention, where we build strength and grow.
"Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong." (2 Corinthians 12:8-10)
IC: Absolutely. Talking about BUT, I am reminded of the great army commander of the king of Syria, Naaman, who had everything going for him in terms of power and authority, BUT, was a leper! (2 Kings 5:1-15). We know how God used his challenge to get a confession out of his mouth.
"Don’t let the contradictions of life cause you to be sour, and lose out from your dream." (Joel Osteen) 
"The most important thing is not can you trust God. It is can God trust you." (Joel Osteen)
Akin: My pastor (Joel Osteen) preached a message in this line. It is titled “Secret Frustrations.” He said, “Don’t let the contradictions of life cause you to be sour, and lose out from your dream.” “Faith is trusting God when life doesn’t make sense.” “If you are going to reach your highest potential, you can’t be a weakling. You have to be a warrior.” “The secret frustration may just be the time of testing, to see if you will keep doing the right thing in the face of your secret frustrations.” “The most important thing is not can you trust God. It is can God trust you.”

© 2017 Akin Akinbodunse

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