Be still, be still…
The Message (MSG)
“If I were in your shoes, I’d go straight to God, I’d throw myself on the mercy of God. After all, he’s famous for great and unexpected acts; there’s no end to his surprises. He gives rain, for instance, across the wide earth, sends water to irrigate the fields. He raises up the down-and-out,
1 Corinthians 10:13
No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.
I have been reading “Everyday a Friday” by Joel Osteen. In fact, I must be going through the book my fourth time. In the book Joel provides an inspiring story of Mordecai “three-finger” Brown. He sustained damage in his youth to his fingers on his throwing hand. He turned this setback into his advantage. This brings to mind the story of Joseph, shortly after his father Jacob died:
Joseph Reassures His Brothers
14 After burying Jacob, Joseph returned to Egypt with his brothers and all who had accompanied him to his father’s burial. 15But now that their father was dead, Joseph’s brothers became fearful. “Now Joseph will show his anger and pay us back for all the wrong we did to him,” they said. 16 So they sent this message to Joseph: “Before your father died, he instructed us 17 to say to you: ‘Please forgive your brothers for the great wrong they did to you—for their sin in treating you so cruelly.’ So we, the servants of the God of your father, beg you to forgive our sin.” When Joseph received the message, he broke down and wept. 18 Then his brothers came and threw themselves down before Joseph. “Look, we are your slaves!” they said. 19 But Joseph replied, “Don’t be afraid of me. Am I God, that I can punish you? 20 You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people. 21 No, don’t be afraid. I will continue to take care of you and your children.” So he reassured them by speaking kindly to them.
Many times we look at a setback, a situation that we are facing and have fear and become discouraged. When times like this come, let’s remember to keep serving God in faith. Let’s remember that God allows everything for a purpose. That at times we may feel disadvantaged when God doesn’t see a disadvantage, He knows that we are equipped and able to achieve His vision. Mordecai Brown had it in his heart to play baseball. He didn’t allow a setback to discourage him and loose his dream. Joseph had many setbacks in his life, but always remained in faith. Let us too remain in faith and know that God is in control. Let’s focus on His vision for us and not let anything take away our hope or joy.
If you want to read more about Mordecai Brown here is a link.
This morning I received a beautiful word from a friend. It is out of Psalm 77 and from it we can gain further insight on how to deal with adversity and challenges. I am sure that we can relate to verses 1-10. But when we come to verse 11 the mood shifts to one of praise and thanksgiving when the psalmist recalls the great deeds of God! Let’s count our blessings this morning. Let’s recall the greatness and favor of God! This will set the tone for a great and wonderful day. Let’s thank God for the little things and the big things! Let’s set our mind today for victory and success, let’s cast away every negative thought and idea with the love of God (1 John 4:18). The love of God is perfect and it is poured into our hearts through the holy spirit (Romans 5:5).
For Jeduthun, the choir director: A psalm of Asaph.
1 I cry out to God; yes, I shout.
Oh, that God would listen to me!
2 When I was in deep trouble,
I searched for the Lord.
All night long I prayed, with hands lifted toward heaven,
but my soul was not comforted.
3 I think of God, and I moan,
overwhelmed with longing for his help.
4 You don’t let me sleep.
I am too distressed even to pray!
5 I think of the good old days,
long since ended,
6 when my nights were filled with joyful songs.
I search my soul and ponder the difference now.
7 Has the Lord rejected me forever?
Will he never again be kind to me?
8 Is his unfailing love gone forever?
Have his promises permanently failed?
9 Has God forgotten to be gracious?
Has he slammed the door on his compassion?
10 And I said, “This is my fate;
the Most High has turned his hand against me.”
11 But then I recall all you have done, O LORD;
I remember your wonderful deeds of long ago.
12 They are constantly in my thoughts.
I cannot stop thinking about your mighty works.
13 O God, your ways are holy.
Is there any god as mighty as you?
14 You are the God of great wonders!
You demonstrate your awesome power among the nations.
15 By your strong arm, you redeemed your people,
the descendants of Jacob and Joseph.
16 When the Red Sea[a] saw you, O God,
its waters looked and trembled!
The sea quaked to its very depths.
17 The clouds poured down rain;
the thunder rumbled in the sky.
Your arrows of lightning flashed.
18 Your thunder roared from the whirlwind;
the lightning lit up the world!
The earth trembled and shook.
19 Your road led through the sea,
your pathway through the mighty waters—
a pathway no one knew was there!
20 You led your people along that road like a flock of sheep,
with Moses and Aaron as their shepherds.