Friday, March 12, 2010

I will Rise 3-12-10

Good morning, Lord Jesus. You are my Rock and my Redeemer. In You I put my hope and faith to cause all things to work together for good. … “Then David rose from the ground, washed, anointed himself, and changed his clothes. He went into the house of the Lord, and worshipped; he then went to his own house; and when he asked, they set food before him and he ate. Then his servants said to him, ‘What is this thing that you have done? You fasted and wept for the child while it was alive; but when the child died you, you rose and ate food.’ He said, ‘While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept; for I said, ‘Who knows? The Lord may be gracious to me, and the child may live.’ But now he is dead; why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he will not return to me’ ” (2 Samuel 12:20-23). Even when we fast and pray and cry out to God for the answers to our prayer to come, the honest truth of my experience of life so far is that we don’t always see the answer come in the way we want on this side of heaven. The truth is that sometimes we are disappointed. There’s something in the mystery of the sovereignty of God, which sovereignly allows human beings to make human choices that affect ourselves, our relationships, the community around us, and even the generations to come, which is hard to fully grasp. And sometimes it’s hard to fully accept. Our part is not to try to control the results or the people around us. Our part is to pray, to believe God’s Word is a revelation of God’s best for our lives, and make our choices accordingly. When we do, we will see breakthroughs and turnarounds in ways we can hardly imagine—sometimes even exceedingly, abundantly far more than we could ever ask or imagine. But at the same time, sometimes the honest truth is that is that it’s not the circumstances but our hearts that break. And sometimes it’s not the battle that turns around, but our heart that must keep turning to God, entrusting to Him even our disappointments of unanswered prayers. We are not promised that in this broken, fallen world where our lives are affected by our own choices as well as the choices of others, both directly and indirectly through the culture around us and generations before us, that there will be no disappointments. We are not promised that there will be no struggles, difficulties, pain, or injustice. But we are promised that when we go through the fires, the rivers, and the floods of this broken, fallen world, we go through it with God (Isaiah 43:2). When we go through the valleys of the shadow of death, God is with us (Psalm 23:4). He never leaves us and never forsakes us (Hebrews 13:5). If we hold on to Him and let Him hold on to us, He causes all things to work together for good—in His time, in His way, for His glory (Romans 8:28). I’m remembering the words of C. S. Lewis that prayer doesn’t change God, prayer changes me. Whether the answer comes as I hope and pray or not, prayer is a means of God’s grace to change my heart to be more like His, to bring my thoughts and desires into agreement with His. And we really have no idea how much our journey through the heartbreaks and disappointments, even the face of unanswered prayer, can inspire others to keep trusting God and His goodness, that keep working out His sovereign plan even in the midst of our human choices. We keep reminding one another of what God’s Word reminds us—that “this slight momentary affliction is preparing for us and eternal weight of glory beyond all measure, because we look not at what can be seen; for what can be seen is temporary, but what cannot be seen is eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:17-18). So we fast and pray and stand firm in the Word of God. We praise Him and proclaim Him. We entrust our lives to Him. We embrace Him through the darkest valleys and rejoice with Him on the highest mountains. And when we feel like we’ve lost a battle, when we feel we’ve mourned and grieved our disappointment and loss, there comes a new day that begins a new season. And when that day comes, we rise and dry our tears and wash our face. We change our clothes from the garments of mourning to the garments of praise. And we bow before our God—who is always faithful and true, mighty to save and merciful to redeem—and worship Him. With my hope and faith in my God, out of every season of disappointment and suffering, I will rise. I will let the Lord my God anoint my head with His oil even in the very presence of my enemies, my spiritual enemies who come to steal and kill and destroy all that my God has entrusted to me (Psalm 23:5). “But as for me, I will look to the Lord, I will wait for the God of my salvation; my God will hear me. Do not rejoice over me, O my enemy; when I fall, I shall rise; when I sit in darkness, the Lord will be a light to me” (Micah 7:7-8). In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen. Be encouraged today! In the Love of Jesus, Tommy Hays Friends, thank you for walking with me through the journey of life in prayer--through both the valleys and the mountains, morning by morning, one day at a time, with the Lord our God who is always good and whose tender mercies endure forever. God bless you, my friend and fellow traveler! Please come join us for our Celebration Evening March 19th in Lexington and bring some friends to learn more about all the Lord is doing through Messiah Ministries. Please spread the word to everyone you think might be interested in our ministry of "Preparing the Way of the Lord ... Ministering the Healing Love of God". For more information & to RSVP please click here: Information/RSVPCelebrationDessert You may not be able to come to Lexington, but we would still welcome your generous support and encouragement of our ministry as the Lord would lead, especially at this time. We welcome contributions to "Messiah Ministries" at our mailing address or through our web site, below. God bless you and thank you! I do hope this ministry is a blessing and encouragement to you. Subscribe for free by email to me at Messiah Ministries -- "Preparing the Way of the Lord ... Ministering the Healing Love of God" 2800 Tates Creek Rd; Lexington, KY 40502