Proverbs Psalms 31:24: “Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the LORD.”
Lot’s wife:The Sunday School teacher was describing that when Lot's wife looked back at Sodom she turned into a pillar of salt, when Bobby interrupted. "My mommy looked back once while she was driving," he announced, "and she turned into a telephone pole."
Bragging about dad: Three boys are in the school yard bragging about their fathers. The first boy says, "My Dad scribbles a few words on a piece of paper, he calls it a poem, and they give him $25." The second boy says, "That's nothing. My Dad scribbles a few words on a piece of paper, he calls it a song, and they give him $200." The third boy says, "I got you both beat. My Dad scribbles a few words on a piece of paper, he calls it a sermon, and it takes eight men to collect all the money!"
“Do not look to your hope, but to Christ, the source of your hope.”- Charles Spurgeon
Proverbs 13:12 “Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.”
When what we greatly desire in our heart does not happen in the way in which we planned we suffer great personal disappointment. When the thing we desire is so close to our grasp and then slips away out of our reach our heartbreaks and great frustration sets in.
I lived in Western New York (outside of Buffalo) for 6 years. One of the things that people in the area are passionate about is the Buffalo Bills football team. January 27th, 1991 was the day that Western New York had been waiting for with great anticipation. It was their first Super Bowl appearance and they were very optimistic that they would win. It came down to the last play and Scott Norwood would attempt a 47-yard field goal for the Bills. If he makes it they win the game and if he misses they lose the game. The kick had the distance, but it was wide right and the Buffalo Bills lost the game. The team and all the Bills fans were crushed that day.
I did not move to Western New York until 2006 and 15 years later people were still agonizing over that loss. Though they played in the next 3 Super Bowl games unfortunately they lost every one of them, but first one was the most painful loss of them all.
When people face disappoints with their marriage or their children it can be devastating. When one suffers a setback in their career or their ministry it can be a very painful thing to deal with. When we write the script for our life we do not include children turning away from God, business reversals, ministry failures, poor marriages or premature deaths.
When something we desire comes to pass what great joy it brings to our life. I remember back on February 4th, 1991 Pam and I had one of the greatest blessings of our life. We had prayed 6 years for a child and God allowed us to adopt our son Mark on that day. There was wonderful joy that day and it has grown more blessed with each passing year. Mark is now 28 and is the music director of our church and I am so thankful for him.
It is not about being well known, but about moving forward with your life and being the best, you can be for God. Briana Pulido is a name that very few people would recognize. She played on woman’s basketball team at the University of Connecticut. She was a walk on and was overshadowed by three other seniors who were All Americans. They led UConn to 4 straight national championships and will play in the WNBA. Briana will go to medical school and pursue her dream. She got to play in the championship game this year in the closing seconds that UConn had already had the victory in hand. She got to make a basket in the closing seconds and her teammates cheered for her greatly.
Perhaps at times you feel overshadowed by others or feel like you are making no impact on anyone. This simply is not true at all. God has you were you are for a specific reason and we need to fulfill that purpose for God’s honor and glory.
We should desire to be used of God in our life. We need to focus on surrendering our life to God and leaving the results with him. Man will glory in statistics, but God will glory in our relationship with him and our service that comes from a pure heart. May we bathe our desires in prayer and let God adjust them according to his will so our focus is on him.
Never settle for less than God’s best in your life. Keep moving forward, never lose your vision and never give up hope no matter what your circumstances are. God loves you and a great heavenly host is cheering for you.
Romans 8:37 "Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us."
There was a little boy visiting his grandparents on their farm. He was given a slingshot to play with out in the woods. He practiced in the woods, but he could never hit the target. Getting a little discouraged, he headed back for dinner. As he was walking back he saw Grandma's pet duck.
Just out of impulse, he let the slingshot fly, hit the duck square in the head, and killed it. He was shocked and grieved. In a panic, he hid its dead body in the wood pile, only to see his sister watching! Sally had seen it all, but she said nothing.
After lunch, the next day Grandma said, "Sally, let's wash the dishes." But Sally said, "Grandma, Johnny told me he wanted to help in the kitchen. Then she whispered to him, "Remember the duck?" So, Johnny did the dishes. Later that day, Grandpa asked if the children wanted to go fishing and Grandma said, "I'm sorry but I need Sally to help make supper." Sally just smiled and said," Well that's all right because Johnny told me he wanted to help." She whispered again, "Remember the duck?" So, Sally went fishing and Johnny stayed to help.!
After several days of Johnny doing both his chores and Sally's he finally couldn't stand it any longer. He came to Grandma and confessed that he had killed the duck. Grandma knelt down, gave him a hug, and said, "Sweetheart, I know. You see, I was standing at the window and I saw the whole thing, but because I love you, I forgave you. I was just wondering how long you would let Sally make a slave of you."
The Lesson: Whatever is in your past that is not good, the devil keeps throwing it up in your face to discourage you. He wants you to think you have no hope and that your best option is to hide your sin and pretend it never happened. Whether it is hatred, anger, bitterness, or any sin of the flesh he will seek to use it against you. You need to know that God in heaven saw every sin that we have committed. Jesus has seen your whole life and he is waiting for you to come to him and admit your sin. When you come to him confessing your sin and asking him to be your savior he will forgive you and shower his love upon you. It grieves him when you let the devil make a slave of you when you can come to him for forgiveness. When God forgives he never brings up the past again. Whether you are person who has never turned to Jesus for saving faith or a believer who needs to get something right in your life, it is important that you go to God now and take care of it. It is by God's grace and mercy that we experience his forgiveness.