Friday, October 30, 2009

Disappointments

I Samuel 22:1-5; II Samuel 22:1-5

David, anointed King is running from King Saul’s attempts to kill him and hides himself in the cave of Adullam. His brethren and all his father’s house hear of his plight and come to the cave to join up with David. All that were distressed, in debt, and discontented, congregated in the cave with David. Would you being in the situation that David was in, discouraged and fearful for his life, want a crowd of disgruntled, frustrated, irritated, restless, annoyed, and broke people in your cave? Four hundred men take up a great deal of space and given their circumstances could be quite discouraging to have around.
What did David do when he was faced with the realization that King Saul was trying to take his life? What would you have done? Can God take the most troublesome circumstances and turn them for our good? Were the years David spent battling hardship and disappointment all in vain or did God take these trials and turn them into tremendous times of growth and preparation for what God had in store for him?
What is it that will bring you to the point of disappointment and discouragement in your life? Will you turn away from God or will you let Him embrace you with His love and boundless mercy. If you can identify the source of discouragement and not give in to the negative aspects of your situation, you will be able take the necessary steps forward to emerge from disappointment and despair.
Satan wants us to focus on the negative, those areas of weakness in our lives such as: gossip, unforgiveness, anger, feelings of bitterness and lust. We can’t think clearly when we’re focused on the lies of Satan. His lies divide our minds and cause us to blame God and others. If we continue to live in this harmful condition and eventually pass it on to others, we will suffer immense negative effects. 
How do I get out of this? How do I emerge from disappointment? 
  • Realize that God is aware of your circumstances and nothing catches Him off guard.
  • Understand that disappointment is a part of life (James 1:2-4) Testing produces endurance.
  • Recognize that disappointments can be conquered and your response is important.
  • Be hopeful because hope is contagious. (I Corinthians 10:13) “peirasmos” Greek word which means: trial with beneficial purpose and effect.

Conclusion:
Disappointment can be a breeding ground for bitterness and resentment This can be so damaging to your life if you are not diligent with your thoughts and devotion to God. You can overcome disappointment by confessing the truth of God’s Word and studying about His faithfulness, attributes, and personal promises to you. He will come to your aid, just as He did David’s.
*Extra reading Psalm 57 “Pleading for God’s Help” To the chief Musician, Al-tashchith, Michtam of Daivd, when he fled from Saul in the cave.

Friday, October 23, 2009

The Weapon of Praise

II Chronicles 20:20-25

The weapon of praise is a mighty weapon that God has given to us in fighting the enemy. This is not necessarily how we would choose to fight the enemy, nor does it seem as though it would work in opposing such a hostile army in the Word of God but God chose praise to defeat the enemy nonetheless. The enemy’s army we battle against daily in our hearts and minds can be overpowered by the expressed admiration and praise directed to our God.
Jehovah God used the weapon of praise to defeat the children of Moab and the children of Ammon. Jehoshaphat, King of Judah, rose up early and went to the wilderness with his army and spoke these words to them, “Believe in the Lord your God, and ye shall be established, believe his prophets, so shall ye prosper” (II Chronicles 20:20b). To be established means to be supported by God. Why wouldn’t we want to believe in Him if He is going to support us against the enemy?
After Jehoshaphat had directed them to fast and pray (vs. 3,4) he spoke to his people and appointed singers to sing praises unto the Lord of His beauty and holiness as they marched out before the enemy. “And when they began to sing and to praise, the LORD set ambushments against the children of Ammon, Moab and mount Seir, which were come against Judah; and they were smitten” (II Chronicles 20:22). God often makes wicked people destroy one another and that is exactly what they did. As the army of Judah came forward to see what had happened, there was a multitude of dead bodies fallen to the earth and none escaped. The weapon of praise was in action.
Thought:
Why do you think this simple weapon could work against the mighty armies of Moab, Ammon and Mount Seir? Only by God can the enemy be defeated through the power of praise. We need only to obey and praise our great God to have victory over Satan. We may not be able to see our enemy fallen to the ground as the Children of God did, but the enemy will be defeated in our hearts and minds through the weapon of praise.
Note: the song the Children of God sang just before they were to go into battle against Moab, Ammon, and Mount Seir was Psalm 136, it contains nothing but praise to our God, the Lord of lords, and Great Creator, “...for his mercy endureth forever.” Psalm 136:5b

The Treasury of David by Charles H. Spurgeon

Friday, October 16, 2009

Joy Is My Strength

Philippians 4:1-9
Nehemiah 8:10
 A great deception and lie from Satan is that we cannot enjoy our lives in the midst of trials and unpleasant circumstances. If you study the life of Christ, the Apostle Paul, and others, their lives proved otherwise. They knew joy was a spiritual strength that would help them overcome their problems. According to Galatians 5:22, joy is a fruit of the Spirit--not the fruit of sadness or depression.
The lack of joy is why we sometimes give up when we should be enduring to the end. The presence of joy gives us the endurance to withstand the attacks of the Devil and to overcome the overwhelming circumstances of the trials of life. We need to enjoy life and use the gift of the fruit of the Spirit to enhance, strengthen, improve and enrich the life He has given us. “...for the joy of the LORD is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10b
Paul was in prison when he wrote, “Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.” Philippians 4:4. He said in the first part of Chapter Four that the Philippians were his joy and his crown. He was encouraged by their faith and steadfastness for Christ during these most difficult times. When God was giving Joshua direction for his life, He repeatedly told him to “be of good courage, and be strong.” Joshua 1:6,9  Courage and strength are a by-product of the Spirit of joy. The little word, ”be” written in these verses is a verb which means, to express  necessity, obligation and action. It takes action on our part to be joyful. The keeping of a joyful heart must be cultivated and developed as we with a conscious effort delight ourselves in a triumphant life through Christ.
Thought:
An outward evidence of inward joy is laughter and smiling. Laughter releases the stress and pressures of life and gives reassurance and relaxation to the mind.   This  is sometimes called, “a sigh of relief,” after a howling laugh. Maybe it’s time you notified your face that you are a Christian---that is something to smile about. The joy of Christ is “joy unspeakable and full of glory.” I Peter 1:8 Why would you want to poison your day with thoughts that are less than joyous when you can think on the things of God to enrich the quality of life? “Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.” Philippians 4:4

Friday, October 9, 2009

Will You?

For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning. Psalm 30:5 Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved. Psalm 55:22
When no peace has come and you’ve prayed the night through,
Will you trust Christ with what He desires for you?

When your hearts been broken by the loss of a loved one,
Will you be able to say, “Thy will be done?”


When you’ve prayed in your heart, “Lord, let this cup pass from me.”
Will you stand in His presence, unashamedly?

Will you take up His cross and His burden to bear,
When He says, “No,” and it seems so unfair?


Will you trust Christ today with His will for you,
When the door is shut and there’s no light coming through?

In the darkest of midnight and in deep despair,
Will you hold on dear child, and know that He cares?

Will you wait on the Lord, there’s no more you can do?
You’ve wept through the night, now joy comes in the morning for you.


Thought:

Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning. So, when life with its struggles and toils and sins, brings to us conflict of soul, God, "giveth his beloved sleep." (Psalm 127:2) We sleep in Jesus, and awake to the joy of a morning which shall not fade away -- the morning of joy.  Our sorrows, our doubts, our difficulties, overwhelmed us in the night, but as we awake to the morning Light we wonder, “Where have they all gone?” We made it through the night, we have cast our burden upon the Lord and He has given us sweet rest. His promise is sure He will support, help, encourage, give strength, provide, keep us, cheer us, and carry us through the long night of trial, His great gift to us, Christ’s sustaining power.
  For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning. Psalm 30:5 Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved. Psalm 55:22