Sunday, June 16, 2013

Sing to the Lord in all circumstances!!

2 Corinthians 4:8-9
"We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed -"
Acts 16:25 "But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them." NKJV
My comments: How can we say,"Sing to the Lord," when we have just lost our beloved or been in a terrible car accident or lost our job and are being evicted? How can we say we find joy in every circumstance? How can we praise God when our whole world seems to be full of hardships and pain? How can we ask foreign missionaries who suffer persecution even death of them selves or family, to sing unto God? We can't but God does and so do those who have gone through these and more and know the joy of the Lord welling up in them so nothing else in the world is felt but the overwhelming joy of the Lord. I say yes you can if your eyes are on the Lord and not on self. With our eyes on Him then we know perfect joy.
Paul, Peter and all the Apostles felt this. That is how they could go out and proclaim the Gospel of Jesus to the nations who sought to kill them. Almost all of them were killed for their faith yet all counted it as joy to suffer as our Lord did. Many now in parts of the world we now live in are being murdered for proclaiming Jesus and His Gospel. Even in our country some places and it is growing, are calling those who proclaim Christianity as hateful and in our land where we should have freedom of religion we have persecution of those who believe in the one true God. Yet there is joy in this because it was foretold and shows the time of His second coming is at hand.
What is this joy? It is not the joy of opening up a surprise package or the birth of a child or even someone being saved from an accident. It is the joy of knowing the Living God, the Living Water, the Living Bread of Life who dwells in us and gives us life eternal. This joy gives us a song of thanksgiving, hope and a blessed assurance of life eternal. It is also knowing the Lord has everything, no matter how it looks to us, under His control. He allows us to go through things for our growth as well as for others. Job lost his health, friends, property, possessions, children and his wife turned on him yet he remained God's and then received more than he lost. Sometimes an accident brings salvation or growth or a new life. Sometimes the loss of a child bring people closer to God (it always should yet we know of people who that is not always true), and in all things there is growth and the knowledge that God goes with us through the fires of life and that is joy because we know we are not alone.

Daniel in the lions den was seen to have Jesus with him and was a peace. His eyes were ever on the Lord seeking His will and guidance even when it meant he could have been killed. I have been through many "lions dens" and "fires" even before being Born Again. Yet I know He has always been there with me. I can look back before and see He was there. Now I look forward knowing and trusting He will always be there and because of that like the early Christians who were martyred I can praise God in joy and song through the challenges He allows.
Christ's death and Resurrection forever changed the world and my world. When we accept Him and His free gift we feel joy even in the sorrow, even in the pain of living, even in the rejection of the ones we love. Because He eases our pains, and sorrows and He loves us when no one else does.

Loved ones Jesus loves you and He calls to you, to the whole world to turn from sin, turn to Him and accept His gift of salvation given freely with love never ending. Man's love is conditional, finite and often short lived. God's love is infinite and as long as we remain His it is continually ours. He does not take it away. Not ever!
I am asked often about losing my family over the years. Four miscarriages, my infant son, my oldest Grandchild, my fourth daughter, my parents, Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, cousins and just this last October (2012) my wonderful husband. I am asked how can I go on? How can I find joy? Why do I still smile? I have been raped, I am asked do I hate?I had polio do I blame God and get angry? I have been beat, I am asked am I angry? I have been cheated on and nearly had my life taken, I am asked how can I forgive or trust? To all I answer." I have Jesus as my Savior, He loves me, He is always there for me and with me, I can trust Him completely even with my life. He forgave me how can I not forgive others? He lost everything, how can I do less? He was beaten, spit on, humiliated, his family betrayed Him and turned their backs on Him, He carried my cross, suffered my death, how can I be anything other than joyful for all He has done for me. He helps me bear all things. I smile because I am blessed, I sing for the shear joy of loving and being loved by my Lord and King!" I pray you will accept His blessing for you as well.
Abba, I lift up to You all who come before You humbly seeking Your forgiveness and the free Grace of the Salvation of Jesus Your Son. Accept them as Yours Lord and fill their hearts with Your joy. Bring them to Your peace that passeth understanding. Place Your song in their hearts and Your words in their hearts and on their lips. When they come to You fill them with Your Holy Spirit to teach and guide them and help them to understand Your word. In Jesus name in union with the Holy Spirit I pray, Amen


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