Devoted to sharing the Word of God - in uplifting, informative and encouraging posts.
" It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life." John 6:63

Sunday 17 November 2019

Does Sad equal Bad?

(This has been in my drafts for a number of months as I’ve prayed and edited it. It’s longer than normal, and am sorry. 
After our weeks of fire, thought it was good to share.)
When asked a question to which there was no answer our Bible college lecturer would reply “Deuteronomy 29:29
"The secret things belong unto the Lord our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law.”
These days when it comes to mind it’s often accompanied by Romans 8:28
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”
The key of course is “the called according to His purpose.”
Perhaps some might be perplexed by the question with which my post begins?
Does Sad Equal Bad?
Older folk may not. Sorrow of heart, whether illness, loss of a dear one or someone once true now wandered away, loss of job or home, or some such calamity as often befell King David the Psalmist, it may indeed be bad.. but need not be sad in the end result.
When David was quietly keeping sheep, along came a bear or lion.. and he, a weak lad had faith in God, and slew lion and bear. 
By trial he was tested. 
When the big battle came, this testing stood him in good stead. He had faith to believe his God was able when it came to any battle big and small.
You may be facing a lion, a bear or a Goliath.. but the same God who aided a young shepherd lad is there with you in the midst of whatever dark valley you may be going through.
The battle is very wearying.
It may not end with a simple stone slung swiftly through the air of unbelief of those around this lad of faith. 
However long or short, however varied from the Biblical narrative you can be VERY sure of one thing. 
God has a higher, greater, more  holy and more glorifying purpose in the deep valley for you. 
He has you and I here  for a purpose - to glorify Him and to bring pleasure to Him.
Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.” Revelation 4:11
Created to bring pleasure... does our suffering bring God pleasure? Of course not, but the shining purified gold - by hard, sad things which you and I are purified. 
THAT brings God pleasure.
But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.” Job 23:10

So let's not add to the stress of trials by a questioning “Why me?” spirit. 
“Why not me?” is what I've been shown I need to ask.
Most of my life I've suffered with multiple chronic conditions. The diagnosis given to my parents in my youth, said I'd have been dead 35 years ago. Close calls 5 times, one of these times I won't make it.
I fought long with God over this.
At 25 years old I awoke! Finally I praised God for this. 
All the anger, bitterness, resentment were swallowed up by praise. 
“I will praise thee; 
for I am fearfully and wonderfully made:
marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.” 
Psalm 139:14
Image of iris, matches well this verse.
This condition limits me a lot but there's so very MUCH for which I'm  thankful. 
How richer, more glorious and deeper is my walk than if God had not done this!
 We live in a fallen world. 
God has allowed the grief, pain, sorrows of this fallen world to glorify His name through His work in us. 
One wondrous day, in the perfection of heaven the understanding of these trials will be there. 
Till then, dear ones, let us clasp that Hand - so loving, kind and true of our Saviour and cling to Him as we walk through the dark valley. 
The mountain top is coming.

By its nature, in the fallen, sinful world:
sad = bad. 
But our God can take that sad thing and make it glorious. In 2016, I had acute appendicitis -> perforated appendix with peritonitonitis, handled by a medical team so confused by complexities of my condition that they delayed operating 30 hours!
Indeed THAT was sad and bad. 
Such deeps to almost the point of death, but how the Lord shone gloriously in my weak, semi-conscious state. 
Never alone. 
There was wrapped around my heart a place of total utter peace, no fear.
'Tis a gift of God for His beloved, that those who are not His can never know. 
The deeper the thick darkness of that valley of trial, the richer we are in our close fellowship with Him. 
JUST say I hadn't come through?
and the Lord had said, "Come home".
I would then have been even richer! 
Was God able to take care of those ones I'd left behind? Yes, the yearning, weeping prayers I'd prayed for them, as Daniel's, Jeremiah's prayers are still awaiting answers for Israel, so would mine have been lifted up by the Spirit till God's time to answer.
Hymn - My Hope is Built on Nothing less, than Jesus' blood and Righteousness.. link here.
May we look up with hope, for blessings will be be poured out from heaven.
It may not be what we want, or for which we have pleaded, but it is God's very best for us now - as we will see in the glories of heaven above.
"For here we have no continuing city but we seek one to come". Heb.13:14
So the simple conclusion:
Sad + Me = Sad is Bad
Sad + Me + God = Good
Behold God makes it very good!
Praying much for all who have suffered with the extensive fires here in Nth NSW.
May lost ones call upon the Lord, Who alone is their Help and Hope.
 May God have great mercy upon sinfilled Oz. We are never worthy of any of the least of His many mercies.
Praying on with fasting, as circumstances permit - for spiritual rain (a real soul stirring awakening  for eternity in this nation + others) and physical rain upon poor Oz.
May God have mercy as VERY much more of both is needed.  
May the Lord bless your day, I pray this  has blessed you.
Prayer hugs, 🙏🤗🙏🤗
Shaz in Oz.x
PS for those who haven't seen or aware of them here's one of places (2 hours, Ebor Falls) devastated Fri 15th Nov by a deliberately lit fire. 
The two photos are 12 mths apart. 
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Tuesday 5 November 2019

How do we Pray Without Ceasing?

We are perhaps familiar with the snap exhortations at the end of 1 Thessalonians 5, especially the command in v17: 
"Pray without ceasing”.
Meditating on this recently and also deeply burdened for special folk, I puzzled over the impossiblity of praying without ceasing.
The word is one - from Strong's Concordance:
"without ceasing" 
ἀδιαλείπτως adialeíptōs, ad-ee-al-ipe'-toce; adverb, uninterruptedly, i.e. without omission (on an appropriate occasion):—without ceasing.
Without ceasing, unceasingly, continuous action implied.
Simply put, it means a continuance of prayer constantly!
Elswhere in one of the Lord's parables on Prayer, in Luke 18 the Lord Jesus begins with:
Men ought always to pray, AND not to faint." 
i.e. not quit!
A human being is limited by physical limitations. 
However prayer is in the spiritual realm, of God, not of the physical or of man alone. 
It is intercession by the Spirit of God, on behalf of the blood-bought child of God, who trusts by simple faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
(How amazing is that??)
The Gospels repeat this verse in several places -
"WITH God, ALL things are possible".
Of myself, I cannot pray without stopping.
But with God's Spirit I can, if my heart is in the right place!
Romans 8:26-27
"Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
And He that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God."
God's Spirit is at work where our prayers lack, or where we may not even be able to pray, for our lips, words, hearts fail us ... 
God looketh on the heart.
He sees the great longing.. the prayer which you prayed at such a time is continuously presented until God's answer is given, as are the prayers of saints before us, Daniel, Moses, Isaiah, etc.
Does this mean we only pray once on something, then quit?
By no means! 
This is but one aspect of prayer without ceasing.
Luke 18 continues on with  the parable of the widow persisting with the unjust judge, she didn't quit:
The unjust judge said in
Luke 18:5,7-8a
"Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me. ..."
Jesus continued 
"And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them?
I tell you that he will avenge them speedily..."
So another key is in persistence, a constancy, a faithfulness with continual  deligence in prayer against all odds, as Daniel did.. 3 times a day, visually before all he prayed but the prayer chapter of Daniel 9 reveals humility in his deep, private prayer of faith.
I struggle in this too, for we are but flesh, but find asking the Lord to keep the burden before you in your mind, in spite of busy-ness, this helps.
Also when praying for a person, whom many others have prayed for & yearned over very often in years past, I may say:
"Heavenly Father, I agree with all those who've prayed for this dear one according to Thy will, I lift before Thy throne all of their prayers, agreeing with them in those requests".
By prayer, not only is the impossible made possible, but the limited is unlimited!
We may too pray in brief short text-like prayers, like a quick conversation with a friend, it's another aspect of prayer without ceasing. 
They need not be much more than a swift, breathed-up prayer for help - wisdom, provision, grace or strength. Prayer is as natural as breathing to a believer in tune with the Father. 
So let me close with those pithy exhortations of First Thessalonians:
"Rejoice evermore!
Pray without ceasing.
For this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you"
(I Thess 5: 16-18)
Let us KEEP on, keeping on!
Trust that this has blessed you as it has me!
May the Lord be with you, I'm  praying with you, agreeing with you in your burdens at the throne of grace, where we find grace to help in time of need (Heb 4:16)
Prayer hugs,
Shaz in Oz.x
On our rain front, MUCH answered prayer over weekend. I sat up late into Sun night, watching, praying over towns, naming them one by one, on the Bureau of Meteorology map. Rejoicing as the rain bands pulsed across, and numbers in green showed rainfall.

Darryn & Michelle at Carroll had 22mm (almost an inch) praise God, and Bourke had almost 100mm(4").
It was amazing to see water lying around in giant lake-like paddocks, and FB videos of dear old farmers dancing and running around jumping in it like kids! The joy of rain.. in Oz.

Praying on with fasting, as circumstances permit - for more, spiritual rain (a real soil stirring awakening   for eternity) and physical rain upon our sinfilled, wicked land.
May God have mercy as VERY much more of both is needed. Some towns out of water had none, but it was amazingly wide-spread, good falls.

We had none too.. but we’ve more access to water here.
**If you haven’t I'd love it you to join as a wonderful encourager of this blog ...  link HERE.  Thank YOU to those who have done so already. It really encourages me to keep on.
**If you'd like these posts in your inbox, you can add your email to email link option on side bar. If you're on a mobile device on which there is no sidebar, then scroll down and select "View Web Version" at very bottom of post. This will bring up sidebar and "follow by email" link. Thank YOU.