Ezekiel 6:9-10 Calamity For A Purpose

Then in the nations where they have been carried captive, those who escape will remember me–how I have been grieved by their adulterous hearts, which have turned away from me, and by their eyes, which have lusted after idols. They will loathe themselves for the evil they have done and for all their detestable practices. And they will know that I am the LORD; I did not threaten in vain to bring this calamity on them. Ezekiel 6:9-10

It was because of the sins of the people that God chose to destroy Jerusalem and place all the people in captivity in Babylon. In the process of doing that, God kept a remnant alive. Those who survived would realize what their sins had caused and would repent of those sins. The few left would turn their hearts back to God and the purpose of the calamity would be fulfilled. The captivity was not to just destroy the people, but to get them to turn their hearts back to God.

From the beginning of time, God has always wanted to have a relationship with mankind. He always wanted to be able to spend time with people and bless them with a full life. Never once was the final purpose of what happens to just be destruction.

God allows calamity and trials in the lives of those who follow Him for a purpose. Sometimes it is just to test the person and see if he is really following Him or not. Other times it is to draw the person back to God.

When a person begins to go through a hard time because of sin, he will realize how good he really had it when he was following God. At that point, he may turn back to God, hating the sin he had fallen in to. Some will fall away from God and give up on Him, while a remnant will turn back to Him during such times.

Throughout your life, God is working out all things to keep your focus on Him and to make you more like Jesus each day. Some of those things may be calamity. They may be painful and hard to go through, but the purpose is still the same.

Keep your eyes and life focused on God. Strive to be more like Jesus everyday. In that way, all the things you are going through will be for a good purpose. And God will not have to strike you to get your attention.

I pray today that you will be more like Jesus; that you will not fall away from God in hard times; and that you will turn from all sin in your life towards God.

Advertisements

Jeremiah 15:16 Joy In God’s Words

When your words came, I ate them; they were my joy and my heart’s delight, for I bear your name, LORD God Almighty. Jeremiah 15:16

As Jeremiah spoke the words God had given him, most of those words were not exactly the most comforting, kind words. They were often words of judgment and coming destruction. Yet, Jeremiah found great joy in those words and was glad to eat them. Despite the challenges and trials that Jeremiah had faced, he was glad to bear God’s name before the people. The words of God brought life and meaning to his life. Jeremiah was glad to bear God’s name on his life, despite the persecution he had to go through.

The world tries to say that the Bible is just a good story, but that it is not really from a god. It is often believed to be just a great book of stories made up by men. It is seen as one of the greatest literature books of all time.

The reason the Bible can be listed as the greatest literature of all time, is that it is in reality, God’s words. It was written by men who were under God’s inspiration, filled with His Holy Spirit. Thus the words of the Bible can bring about life. Any one who has life, also has joy.

It is easy to see the Bible as just a bunch of do and don’t regulations, however, it is much more than that. It gives you the instructions on how to really live life to the fullest. It tells you who God is, what He is like, and what He desires. It provides everything that you need in this life.

As you go through your life, day by day, you also need guidance. You need to know who God is, what He is like, and what He desires. All of this can be found in the Bible.

God will reveal Himself, first through the Bible, then through His Holy Spirit in your life. You cannot know too much about God. There is always more to learn. As you get to know God more, you will have more and more joy in your life. That joy will be there despite the trials of this life.

Are you finding joy in His Word today?

Spend your time with His Words today.

I pray today that you will know God more and more; that you will find joy in His word; that God will make the Bible come alive to you; that you will gladly bear His name in public; and that you will gladly speak His words to this world. 

Isaiah 7:4 Keep Calm

Say to him, ‘Be careful, keep calm and don’t be afraid. Do  not lose heart because of these two smoldering stubs of firewood–because of the fierce anger of Rezin and Aram and of the son of Remaliah. Isaiah 7:4

While Ahaz was the king of Judah, the nations of Aram and Israel had worked together to try to destroy the city of Jerusalem. Having two nations together against one, made their armies very large and powerful. King Ahaz and all the people were scared and did not know what to do.

Speaking through Isaiah, God told them to not only be careful, but to be calm and not afraid. They were to no longer shake with fear because of the armies coming against them. God describes those two armies as just pieces of smoldering firewood.

Smoldering firewood is not a very large threat. It can break out into flame and cause a lot of damage, but at the same time it can easily and quickly be put out before it bursts into flame. If a fire is smoldering it only takes a little water to put it out. Once a flame is going, it will take a lot more water to put it out.

As you are going through life, there will be times that there will be smoldering firewood in your life. There will be situations that are brewing underneath the surface threatening to burst into flame and destroy your life.

At times these smoldering pieces of firewood may only be one thing, but other times it will be multiple things all at the same time. Bills, health, vehicles, jobs, family, natural disasters, and the list goes on. Usually it is more than one thing happening that puts pressure on you.

God wants you to trust Him in every situation. When you put all of your trust in God, you will be calm and not afraid. There is nothing to fear when God is on your side.

Jesus paid the price for your life and said He would never leave you. Since He did that, you have a reason to be calm in spite of all the threats going on around you in your life. All those threats are just smoldering firewood that God can control and put out, in His time and way.

Trust God today and be calm.

I pray today that you will know God is in control; that you will know the peace of God in your life; that you will not fear any threats in your life; and that God will calm your heart and mind.

Proverbs 3:1 A Time For Everything

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: Proverbs 3:1

People hear this statement that there is a time for everything, but most do not want to believe or accept all of those times. Solomon continues on with listing many different things that there is a time for. Some of these are: to be born, to plant, to heal, to laugh, and to dance. People like these things and want more of them. These are the good times in a person’s life.

The other side of his statements, however, state that there is also a time: to die, to uproot, to tear down, to weep, to mourn, and to be silent. These are the ‘negative’ times in a person’s life. These are the times that very few people look forward too. Yet, God has ordered them in each person’s life.

It is easy to look at the good times of blessings from God and enjoy them. Everyone wants to be happy and have life go smoothly.

Yet, there are supposed to be times that are not so pleasant. Jesus said that unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies it will only be a single seed. Things have to happen to make things grow larger.

Take a look at the book of Acts. Until the persecution of all believers started to rise, the gospel message did not spread very far. It stayed among the Jews in a very small area. Once persecution set it, many people scattered and spread the message. The process was not fun, nor easy, but it brought about new life in the end.

When you live your life based on times of being happy, you will be disappointed and you will miss out on many other blessings in this life. It is in the difficult and painful times in life, that God can show up and do miraculous things. It is in those same times that God can move you to a new location in life to do great things through you and for you.

God is the one who is in control of everything. He has a time for every event that occurs in your life.

Are you trusting God in all the seasons of your life?

I pray today that you will know God’s plans for your life; that you will know God is in control; and that you will know God’s purpose for events in your life.

Job 40:3-4 Silence Before God

Then Job answered the LORD: “I am unworthy–how can I reply to you? I put my hand over my mouth. I spoke once, but I have no answer–twice, but I will say no more.” Job 40:3-4

God asks who is trying to correct Him. Job had been saying that he would stand before God to state his case and show that God made a mistake in punishing him with all the struggles he had been going through. Job realizes who God really is and states that he made a mistake in judging God. He will now keep silent before God and no longer accuse God of doing something wrong.

When people are going through a tough time, most people like to blame others for what is happening. It is easy for a person to think that the fault is someone else’s.

This also happens with blaming God for what is happening. There have been people who served God for years, then something catastrophic happens in their life. They choose to blame God for the problems and feel He is in the wrong. Then they choose to walk away from God, because they refuse to follow a God who allows bad things to happen.

God only allows things to happen in a person’s life that is the best thing for that person. As a person is going through a hard time, it is difficult to see how it can be the best thing to happen. It may feel like God made a mistake…but He never does make a mistake.

Take a look at the natural world around you. Look at how the stars and planets move in perfect sync with each other. Look at how the animals survive. Look at how the oceans stay in place. Look at how the rains come and go as needed. See the wonder of the sunrise and sunset. If God can control all of those great things correctly, don’t you think He can control your life correctly?

Paul said that all things work together for your good. God is working to bring about the best in your life. Although Job felt pain and sorrow, he was going to be rewarded in the end. He would be set as an example of great faith and trust in God.

Are you blaming God?

Or will you trust He knows what He is doing?

I pray today that you will know God’s presence in your life; that you will trust God with your life; that you will trust that God knows what He is doing; and that you will be a great example of faith for God to use.

Job 34:11 Payment For Actions

He repays everyone for what they have done; he brings on them what their conduct deserves. Job 34:11

Elihu, a younger man, chooses to speak to Job. He focuses on the statement that Job had made saying that he was innocent of any wrong-doing. He then defends God by showing how God works with people. Elihu stated God brings judgement onto people for what they have done, causing to make them pay for their sins.

When people are going through a difficult time, or major troubles in their life, many believe that God is punishing them for some sin. God is making them pay for their sins in this life.

Believers in the church, have often been known to shun others going through a difficult time. They try to get the person to repent of some sin. To them, God is punishing the person.

Individuals are often known to kick themselves for sins that were done years ago because right now they are going through a difficult time in life. Many fear that God is looking down from heaven and striking them for a sin that was done a long time back, even though repentance for that sin has occurred many times.

Job had not done anything wrong to bring on the difficulties that he was going through. Look back at the first couple of chapters and see that God put Satan up to this trial.

If God were to give everyone the punishment that their conduct deserves, not a single person would be alive today. Everyone has sinned and walked away from God. No one has done perfectly right. Every person who has given his life to God, believing in Jesus, has also sinned since he gave his life to Jesus. The payment for sin is death.

Jesus came to forgive and save, not condemn and kill. You may be going through a difficult time. Look at your life. Are you living in some type of sin on purpose? If so, then change. Seek Jesus and His forgiveness.

If you are not living in a sin on purpose, then trust God. He is allowing a trial in your life for a reason, and it is not because of sin. He may be working to build you up. Or to make you His witness to this world.

Be willing to accept all that God gives you, both the blessings and the trials.

I pray today that you will see God’s purpose for your life; that you will trust God’s work in your life; that you will serve Jesus with your life; and that you will know that Jesus will forgive all sins.

Job 29:2-3 Only Looking Back

How I long for the months gone by, for the days when God watched over me, when his lamp shone on my head and by his light I walked through darkness! Job 29:2-3

Job starts to complain as he is looking back on his life. He is remembering the good times in life, when everything was going exactly as he thought it should be going. Looking back at the times of blessings when he felt God was on his side and pouring out blessings and there were no troubles in his life. He wants to go back to those days.

It is very common for people to look back on the “good old days” when things seemed to be much better. Every generation has a period in their lives when years ago life was easier and not as many problems.

Young adults look back at their high school years, when they did not have so many responsibilities or bills to pay. Middle aged people look back to when they were younger and had more time and dreams still seemed possible. Seniors look back to when their family was closer and they had more energy and less body aches.

Believers in the church are always talking about how God moved in their lives or church twenty years ago.

Looking back is good to remember, but not to want to go back to. Job was desiring to go back to those days, while missing what God was doing in the present time. God had never left his side. God was still pouring out blessings, in spite of all the trouble.

Jesus had said that He would be with you always. All throughout the Bible God told His people that He would never leave them, nor forsake them.

Keep this in the front of your mind when you are going through some of the many challenges of life. God has great things in store for you. Part of those things may include some suffering or challenges.

During those tough times, God is right there with you building you up to be more like Jesus. He is using you to be His witness to this lost world.

Do not fear the present and only long for the past. Look to the God of the present and future. Embrace what He has for you today.

I pray today that you will know God’s presence in your life; that you will see God’s hand at work in your life; and that you will know the joy of the salvation Jesus has given you while in the trials of this life.