Sunday, April 26, 2015

SONday Devotions

Ship's Log  04.26.2015

Ahoy Mateys! I pray that these devotions bless ye in a big way!

SONday Devotions

Pearls From The Sea

Trust God through the Turbulent Waters
By MaryLu Tyndall

   Many of you know the story of Job. Job was a righteous, good man, blameless in his day, and God was bragging about him to Satan. (Did you know Satan has access to the throne of God? Read Job 1 if you don't believe me. The Scriptures tell us that the devil is the accuser of the brethren and is constantly before God's throne ratting us out.) But I digress. So Satan tells God that of course Job is good, God has blessed him with everything he could want. But take all that away, and then let's see how good he is. So God gave Satan permission (another key point, which I won't go into here) to destroy Job, but not to kill him. And Job lost everything. In modern terms, he lost his job, his house, his car, all his possessions, all his children died and he was afflicted by an extremely painful disease.
   This story brought to mind things I often hear from Christians and non-Christians alike. Why does God allow suffering? Why are some people born into poverty and disease in Africa and others are born rich in the US? Why does God allow child prostitution? We can explain many of these horrific things away by proclaiming that there is evil in the world-that Satan "roams the earth to and fro seeking whom he may devour" (1 Peter 5:8), and that these people have rejected God and therefore God is leaving them alone to suffer under their own consequences.
   But what about those who truly love God, who've committed their lives to following Jesus, who are righteous and blameless like Job? I hear so many horrible stories. One Christian couple's son died of a drug overdose, another person has cancer, another wonderful Christian family lost their house, another's son got into an accident and is paralyzed...and the list goes on and on. If God is so good, why does He allow His followers to suffer so much?
   The truth is, we may never know the answer this side of eternity. Job didn't. He lost everything a man could lose, and even at the end of it all, when God restored everything to him, Job never knew why all those bad things happened. He does now, I'm sure. Now, he knows that his suffering was all part of a cosmic bet between God and Satan and that through Job's faithfulness, God won and received great glory, which no doubt blessed many other people, perhaps even bringing many to God who never would have known Him otherwise.
   When turbulent waters afflict us, we can either get mad at God, feel sorry for ourselves or trust in Him and believe that He has a plan, a purpose that is far greater than ourselves.
   You can either pound your fist in anger, pout or praise God. Trust in His Love. Trust in Him, whether or not you understand why something is happening. God has a good purpose in mind, not only for you, but for others around you.
   When turbulent waters strike, and you're exhausted from struggling to stay afloat, remember:

1.  You are not alone.
2.  God loves you more than you could imagine.
3.  There is a grand purpose in it all.

   Hang in there and give glory to God, even when it hurts.

Lightning Storm
By Debbie Mitchell

   Have you ever watched the distant sky during a lightning storm? Lightning is beautiful, yet it can be frightening. It lights up the whole sky, yet for only a few seconds at a time. When lighting strikes the ground, it can cause a lot of destruction. Its strikes have no set pattern; they are totally random.

   His body was like chrysolite, his face like lightning...(Daniel 10:6 NIV).

   For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man (Matthew 24:27 NIV).

   His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow (Matthew 28:3 NIV).

   Whether He appears "as lightning" or causes lightning to strike, only God can control the lightning.

   When I watch lightning, I enjoy the awe factor, but it would frighten me if I were to get too close.

   We need to be in awe of God, but we also need to fear Him.

   Fear the LORD your God, serve him only and take your oaths in his name (Deuteronomy 6:13 NIV).

   To fear the LORD, is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech (Proverbs 8:13 NIV).

   ....and he will delight in the fear of the LORD (Isaiah 11:3 NIV).

   And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell (Matthew 10:28 ESV).

   Just like I am in awe of lightning, I am always in awe of God. I also have fear...but God will take away that fear.

   So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand (Isaiah 41:10 NIV).

Have a blessed SONday, Mateys!!!!

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