Reasons for Seasons

The trials that we face in our lives are also known as seasons. Some seasons are fruitful it seems, you have so much joy and everything is going as planned. It’s like your on a mountain top and you can see afar off. Then this comes, it sweeps you off your feet and suddenly your back in the wilderness, the valley. This is the moment when God begins to put you back on the potter’s wheel and works and molds you into what He wants you to be, you just have to let go and let God do what He must do.

These seasons are also testing seasons. I never understood fully why God kept having me go through re-occuring situations over and over again. I know I’m hard headed and for some things it takes a while for me to actually notice what I’m doing wrong. So I kept questioning God. Like a parent that is patient with their children in the early stages of walking so is God patient with us. Everyone matures at different stages with the Lord, I guess you could say he advanced me quickly but yet gentle. His Word says that He is able to keep us from falling. “Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy.” – Jude 1:24. 

In a prayer service God whispered  “my hand is in His hand”
When you fully surrender your life to God and allow Him to work on you, you’ll pass every test with no problem, just let Him grab a hold of your hand, He will keep you from falling.

GFJ

A Prayer of Urgency

uI’ve been praying more than I ever have because I have been asking God more than ever to create in me a burden for the lost. And I’m starting to get His attention. I’m feeling an urgency to pray more, not that I have to but I’m wanting to. For Him to create in me a pure heart and actions that follow.

A couple of days ago God had directed me to Matthew 9:13 “For I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” Got it God! I asked Him ” Show me what this really means…in Gary terms.” He spoke ” I AM Mercy.” God is love, and love comes from God. Like the prodigal son who went away for a while, lived his life the way he wanted to and found out that the grass isn’t greener on the other side. God, just like a parent who would want His child back uses His people who are in Him to call out to those who are lost. Simple, but some of us have a hard time with this.

We become busy bees losing track of the time. We have to ” Work while it is day; night is coming, when no one is able to work.”

On a Thursday morning at 6 a.m. out of no where my computer started playing worship music. I staggered into my office still half asleep to turn it off. The presence of God was strong but I was so tired and did not feel like praying. As I began to walk back to my bed God spoke to me and said ” I am coming very soon.” Should I have prayed? Of course but that bed sounded pretty good and the comforts of life got to me that time. What does all this mean? It means that God so desperately loves His children so much that He wants them to be saved. It’s not God’s will that any should perish but have everlasting life.

GFJ

Aching for Mercy

Have you ever ached for Mercy? Cried out to God for a miracle or just simply asking Him to meet a need in your life? 

This Bartemais was blind from birth. He has never seen a sunrise or a sunset, the face of his mother and father or sibling’s. He had never walked by himself, always needed someone to walk beside him. This blind man that everyone mocked at as they walked by him as Bartemais sat at the town’s square everyday, pleading, begging for relief. He was waiting, expecting a miracle until one day Mercy walked by.

Luke 18:35-43

[35] As he drew near to Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging. [36] And hearing a crowd going by, he inquired what this meant. [37] They told him, “Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.” [38] And he cried out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”

Are you persistent in your walk with God enough to where if you don’t see Jesus working in your life you will give up? Or are we going to seek His face so that we may hear him just like Bartemais had to do because that was his only option?

Persistance Pays Off

[39] And those who were in front rebuked him, telling him to be silent. But he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”

We tend to listen to the crowd more than Jesus. But this man was desperate more than ever. He wasn’t embarassed and didn’t listen to the crowd by crying out for Him he was wanting His attention because Bartemais had heard of this man they call Jesus. This was his only chance for a miracle. Nothing or no one got in his way.

[40] And Jesus stopped and commanded him to be brought to him. And when he came near, he asked him, [41] “What do you want me to do for you?” He said, “Lord, let me recover my sight.” [42] And Jesus said to him, “Recover your sight; your faith has made you well.” [43] And immediately he recovered his sight and followed him, glorifying God. And all the people, when they saw it, gave praise to God. (Luke 18:35-43 ESV)

Jesus stood still. All the comotion of the crowd, the shouting the noise on the journey to Jerusalem for His brutal death, He still took the time to stop and answer a persistent plea for mercy. After years of desperation and incredible faith, Bartemais was made whole and followed Jesus. 

This story would have never been known if Bartemais would not have cried out for a miracle. He would not have been able to see the sunrise or a sunset, the face of his mother and father. He would be walked to this particular spot where he would sit and beg with no one knowing that he was aching for Mercy.

 Jesus knew what Bartemais needed. Jesus asked the question with full knowledge. But God still wants us to tell Him our needs as a constant expression of our trust on Him.

Are you aching for Mercy?

GFJ

compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone whom it is within one’s power to punish or harm.

What is mercy? There are several Hebrew words that are associated with God’s mercy:

Kapporeth

      – means “ransom,” “propitiatory,” or “the mercy seat.”

Racham

      – means “to love,” “to have compassion,” or “to show mercy.”

Chesed

      – means “goodness,” “kindness,” “mercifulness,” or “loving-kindness.”

These Greek words are associated with mercy in the New Testament:

Eleemon

      – means “to show mercy,” “to pity,” “to have compassion,” or “to be merciful.”

Oiktirmos

      – carries the concept of “compassion” or “pity.”

His Ways, Not Ours

One of the great mysteries of God is His ways. Some of His ways almost appear to bring us into the most difficult places, as if He were indifferent to our circumstances. It would appear that He is turning His head from our sorrows. These events in our lives have a particular objective to perform for us. That objective is to bring us to the end of ourselves that we might discover the treasure of darkness. “Yet when I hoped for good, evil came; when I looked for light, then came darkness” (Job 30:26).

When we are taken into these dark periods, we begin to see light that we never knew existed. Our sensitivities become heightened and our ability to see through spiritual eyes is illuminated. Unless we are taken into these times, our souls never develop any depth of character. We do not gain wisdom, only knowledge. Knowledge is gained through under- standing; wisdom is gained through the experience of darkness.

After we go through these periods, we discover that God was, in fact, with us throughout the entire time. It does not feel or appear that He is there when we are in the midst of the dark periods. However, He is there walking with us. He has told us countless times that He will never leave us. However, when we are in those dark periods, it does not feel like He is there because He does not rescue us from the circumstances. He does this for our benefit in order that we might become more like Jesus. Jesus learned obedience from the things He suffered (see Heb. 5:8). What does that say about how you and I will learn obedience? Embrace the dark times and gain the wisdom that God intends for you from these times.

GFJ