It is such a great honor to be part of the ladies of First UPC Grand Prairie. My heart is overwhelmed often when I think of my sisters. We have been endowed with special blessings from God to have such unity and oneness in kinship. I look forward to our blog postings. If you are a blogger and want to join in, let me know!
My initial plan was to write a devotional to the Proverbs 31 woman. One of my favorite topics but as I sat down to write, God laid something else on my heart.
In these tough times, God's Provision is enough for us. The tough times we are facing are not only financially but also emotionally, physically, mentally. We are surrounded by stresses of life that take our time and we become weary. We are surrounded by a lifestyle that causes us to eat unhealthy and live in a worn out state. We are surrounded by the snares of this world that cause us to begin to doubt each other, our God-called ministry, our effectiveness, our purpose. BUT....we have hope that far exceeds this present world. We have been called out of the world and those things which would so easily beset others are able to be overcome by the child of God. Can I take a minute of your time and tell you what our God tells us about His provision?
Financially: He will provide!
I am reminded of the story of Elijah. In 1 Kings Chapter 17 there was a drought in the land as a result of the words that the prophet Elijah spoke whereby he told King Ahab there would be drought in the land and it would only lift when he commanded it to lift . The Prophet Elijah was told by God afterwards to go by the brook Cherith and he should drink water from the brook and he would command the ravens to feed him both bread and meat so Elijah obeyed God and went to the brook. Elijah drank some water from the river and ravens came to him with meat and bread and as a result he was able to survive. We have to remind ourselves that God has ALWAYS provided for His children. Recently I shared a story with my Covenant kids about a good friend of ours...Kevin Blake. Bro. Blake was raised in Africa as a missionary's kid. He has told us many stories of how God provided for him. However, he shared one with us that is such a blessing. Bro. Blake's mother has a very sweet tooth. When they were on the missions field, she would crave sweets but it was hard to get sugar to bake. He said they had a barrel out in a shed that they stored sugar in and his mom would send him out to get a cup of sugar for baking. After retrieving the sugar one day, he came back into the house and told his mother that he had scrapped the barrel and there was no more sugar. To his surprise, the next day, his mom sent him out for sugar again. As a young boy would do, he argued and said, "Mom, there's no sugar. I emptied the barrel yesterday." His mom insisted that he go out and scrape the sides and sure enough, he was able to get a cup of sugar. This routine continued for over a month and he was always able to fill a cup of sugar. After a period of time, they received new provisions in the mail and he could not longer scrape ANY sugar from the barrel because God had sent a new barrel. See...God not only provides for us, he gives us the desires of our heart!
Emotionally/Mentally: Jehovah Shalom
We are surrounded by media and tragedy. The world today would seek to make us believe that there is no hope. Depression is increasing in our nation. However, a child of God does not have to fall prey to the snares of this emotional pit. We have in this earthen vessel...hope. Hope that we are overcomers, hope that we have answers, hope that we will make it. God has provision for you emotionally and mentally. Psalm 37:5 says, " I have been young and now I am old, Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken Or his descendants begging bread." (NIV). The enemy would try to make us feel "forsaken", alone, empty. But, the Psalmist says he has never seen the righteous forsaken. I have to agree. Talk to an elderly person who has walked with God for many years. I guarantee you that you won't find one who has kept on the path tell you that God has forsaken them or that they have seen God not provide emotionally. You may be wondering how God will provide for you when you feel like you can't take another step. He provides for you through fellowship. Fellowship in prayer, the Word, and with each other. One of my favorite passages is Psalm 142. Notice how despondent it begins but how at the end the answer is found in praise.
1 I cry aloud to the LORD; I lift up my voice to the LORD for mercy.
2 I pour out my complaint before him; before him I tell my trouble.
3 When my spirit grows faint within me, it is you who know my way. In the path where I walk men have hidden a snare for me.
4 Look to my right and see; no one is concerned for me. I have no refuge; no one cares for my life.
5 I cry to you, O LORD; I say, "You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living."
6 Listen to my cry, for I am in desperate need; rescue me from those who pursue me, for they are too strong for me.
7 Set me free from my prison, that I may praise your name. Then the righteous will gather about me because of your goodness to me.
From the beginning of time, the enemy has tried to separate the people of God and make us believe that we aren't cared for by our brothers and sisters. Recognize this trap! You are loved, you are needed, and God does have a ministry for you! But...you must take the first step to trust in God's provision by giving Him the praise and walking into His fellowship.
One of my favorite speakers is Dr. Randy Carlson. Dr. Carlson talks a lot about intentional living. He says, "Intentional Living is a "No Excuse" zone, where we focus on taking good intentions, and acting on them in order to make them reality. Ephesians 5:10 says it this way, "Figure out what will please Christ, and then do it." Is there something - ONE THING - you could do today that would please Christ and make a huge difference in your life? You can do it." I agree! We can do it. What can YOU do today that will bring you closer to Christ and closer to each other? Pick up the phone, send a text, tell someone how much you love them. Hug that child and remind them they are called of God. Live intentionally as a child of God.
Until next week....