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Fri, Nov 10 2017 - 08:34 AM

Response to adversity

I remember years ago when I thought so much in the World was bad. I talked to my earthly father who was agreeable about talking through many of my concerns. I mentioned how everyone was struggling with high cost of living and wages that weren't enough to go around. As I talked from my view point, he was quick to try and bring my view point into a larger picture of not only what we are dealing with now, but what history also reveals about how things were in the past. He spoke of a time when he was born just before the roaring 20's and how people were living richly, money was flowing and everyone was talking about so much prosperity. Then he spoke of times in the depression when the stock market fallen and there were no jobs, no prosperity and the money people had would not buy anything. He also talked about how people were hopeless and many threw themselves to their death seeing no hope. As we talked, he brought to mind how we are all dependent in the natural on stability as we see it, but then he brought to the reality that we have no true stability if we depend on things that can come crashing down. When he pointed out that his retirement and social security could end easily in one day, life as we know it can come crashing down with the loss of health, finances, change in circumstances. As he spoke, I cried out in despair and said, "Then where is security?!?" He calmly lead me back to my only security in this World, Christ Jesus, the hope of glory. My daddy was a wise man who had lived through many unforseen things, but always kept his eye on what he knew was stability in adversity.

Today I received a list of prayer requests from my church prayer leader. We have two campuses, so the list is rather lenghty. Several of the prayer requests were cries of needs for prayers when there lives have come to seem hopeless to the point of giving up living. Some prayer requests were for themselves, some for others and some spoke of how this has been the worst year due to finances and needs. Some were due to changes my dad mentioned that day as I was in danger of losing the grip on my rudder in life. I feel helpless in the natural bringing these prayer requests before the Father. But just as I discussed what seemed hopeless at the time with my earthly father, I know because of relationship I can discuss things just the same with my heavenly Father. As I prayed bold prayers for the adults facing so much in their lives, I came to the last but not least on the prayer requests, the children. Their requests always make me smile as they ask for prayers for their family, friends and pets. 

While I was pondering on the discussion with my father years ago, the prayer requests from church and relationship with the Father, I began to think about what was going on when the different parts of the Bible were written. The time when Christ came to Earth there were ruling groups among his people. Right after He was born and visited by wise men from the East, his birth was proclaimed by many until it reached the ears of the ruling king. Because his instructions weren't followed to return and tell him where the baby was so he could "also come and worship Him", the king sent out soldiers to kill all children that were the age he believed the baby to be. Angels had appeared to the parents and the baby was taken to Egypt for protection from the threat. They stayed in Egypt until it was revealed to the parents that it was safe for them to return home and continue their lives. So their response was to flee adversity at that time. Jesus grew up under the rule of Rome although little is written about him until he turned twelve. He went missing on the return trip home and when his parents looked for and found Him, He was in the synagog speaking to the leaders of that time. After having to flee the country to protect the baby, I am sure it was terrifying to find there child right in the middle of people who had been part of seeking to kill him. When they questioned what he was thinking, He replied, "Don't you know I must be about my Father's business?" Right then, He was facing adversity. As Jesus began his ministry, He went up on a mountaintop and began to speak to people. What would his first sermon be with all He had seen of adversity? Recorded in Matthew 5, He taught them about blessings or as some people say, happiness. He further taught about how to live and how to pray to our Father in Heaven. The prayer begins with praise and honor of God "Our Father in Heaven, hallowed be your name," and with that seeing into a realm that is beyond what our eyes can see. "Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven." He taught to be bold in asking for the bread for the day and to be forgiving of ourselves and others as we forgive others as ourselves. "Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors." He taught us to ask that our paths be free of temptation and that we have no evil in our lives. "And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil." He further explains that our forgiveness hinges upon how we forgive others. These are all found in Matthew 6, but the message does not end there. He tells us that about fasting and how to fast, what to do with our money, where are eyes are to be and how to serve God. He tells us not to be anxious and suggests we look at the birds who live their lives without care but are cared for by our Father in heaven. Are we not more important than the birds to our Father? Jesus' first sermon continued through Matthew 7 and was full of information about our response to life and how we should be living. His teaching was shocking to the people who listened because he, "spoke as one who had authority." From there, he went out among the people and began to serve them. 

Jesus life, death and resurrection was His response to adversity. His brother wrote about things later on in James 1 when he said, "count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds." Much of what he writes mirrors what Jesus not only preached, but lived. We are so blessed to live in this time where the way has been paved for us to see truth where it was difficult in times past. We have hope and promise and knowledge of what is to come. The news today speaks of adversity, but our response should be from the spiritual place where we abide.  News on television, papers or social media is only speaking of the natural. We have the ability to look up and praise God as our response to adversity. There is power in praise and God is a good good Father! It reminds me of the song that says, "I will praise Him in the storm!" Praying God will draw near as we seek His face in our daily walk with Him. May we be able to say, "I only speak what the Father speaks and do what the Father does." John 8:38

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Name: blessed2b

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About: I am originally from Texas but moved here to Southern California about 18 years ago to be near family for help in raising my children. I worked as a nurse in a local hospital in this area until retiring a year ago. My children are all grown, but still are a joy and then there are the grandchildren who are a joy also. Now I am continuing to venture forth with God as my guide. I chose my screen name because my name comes from Hebrew and means "a bee". My middle name, Kay, comes from Greek and means "exultant or rejoicing". So to me my name means, "One who seeks only the sweet (the Lord) in life with rejoicing". I believe and claim scriptural motivations for my name in the verses of Ezekial 3:3, Proverbs 16:21, and Psalms 19 I had a personal ministry within nursing which God placed me in years ago and now am seeking where He is taking me. The scripture He gave me years ago regarding my ministry is in Isaiah 40:1 "Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, Saith the Lord your God." Through His assistance, He works to do just that with the people I serve. My prayer is that all would come to have a supernatural experience with Jesus, to meet Him, accept Him into their lives and have a special relationship with Him forever. I just love a big family!!

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