Answering the Call

“Amos answered Amaziah, ‘I was neither a prophet nor a prophet’s son, but I was a shepherd, and I also took care of sycamore-fig trees. But the Lord took me from tending the flock and said to me, ‘Go, prophesy to my people Israel.’.” -Amos 7:14-15 (NIV)

Sometimes, we know exactly what we want to do with our lives. Based on our desires and what appears to be in our minds the logical fit for us, we move forward and chart the path that we feel is right. In this we develop a zone of comfort because we feel that we are in control of our destiny. But God’s plans for our lives may not entirely agree with ours. In fact His plans could be in complete opposition to what we wish; taking us in a different direction than we imagined. When this happens, we stubbornly refuse to obey Him. We come up with excuses saying that we are incapable and are not suitable for the task God has called us to. However, these excuses only serve to betray our unwillingness to leave our comfort zone and surrender ourselves to God and His perfect will.

If God has called us to something, He will provide us with all that we need. In His love, God does not abandon those who call upon His name and choose to walk with Him. Our perceived weaknesses and inaptitude means nothing, for God promises to be more than sufficient for us to carry out the task He wants us to accomplish. The question is will we trust Him? Will we like Amos leave our comfort zone to follow the will of God? His plan is never to harm us, but to prosper us and give us hope. When we allow Christ to reign in our hearts and seek to align our desires with His, He will guide us in the path we should go. By choosing to walk with Him and follow His voice, He will prove to us His faithfulness and He equips and sustains us; teaching us of the blessings and joy which comes by submitting our lives to His purposes.

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

Rising Above the Storm

“Hear my prayer, O Lord; listen to my cry for mercy. In the day of my trouble I will call to you, for you will answer me.” -Psalm 86:6-7 (NIV)

It is an almost instinctive cry. When our world has been turned upside-down, and chaos and despair is all around us, our voices turn to God. Knowing that He has ultimate power when we are powerless, we ask for His aid; to help us in our misery and suffering. But sometimes it feels as if our cries are in vain. Despite our constant prayers it feels as if God is not listening. Our sufferings continue to haunt us and we begin to wonder where He is in the midst of our circumstances. We ask if He sees our pain and feels our hurts, or if He is blind and simply does not care. These thoughts can discourage us greatly. But if we allow them to consume us they will lead us away from the truth of who God really is.

God is love. It is in His very nature. Him creating us is an act of love in itself because we are made in His image and we are irreplaceable to Him. Yet we live in a fallen world, made so because of the entrance of sin. But does His seeming silence mean that He has turned His back on humanity because we have allowed sin to corrupt His creation? Not at all! It grieves Him to watch us suffer and He knows full well the hardship we endure here on Earth. That is why He is always at work, seeking to redeem us from sin and restore what has been destroyed. He has done this to Christ so that by His death and resurrection we are cleansed of our sin and have the hope of eternal life with Him. When we choose to trust in Him, He will prove His faithfulness to us for He is able and works all things together for good. In Him we will find joy in our sufferings as He lifts us up according to His perfect will, and assures of the day when He will wipe every tear from our eyes and will turn our mourning into dancing.

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

A Lasting Joy

“Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” -Nehemiah 8:10b (NIV)

Troubling circumstances can often rob us of our joy. Faced with situations that seem overwhelming and demanding, our hearts sink and any trace of peace we feel in our lives slowly vanishes. Like a toy being fought over between two children, we feel as if we are being pulled here and there about to reach the breaking point. In our despair we feel weak and powerless to confront and overcome the many obstacles that weigh heavy on our minds. We want to be free, we want to breathe that sigh of relief, and we search for that strength and joy which will carry us through. But no matter how hard we look or where we turn, nothing in this world can seem to provide what we yearn for; further heightening our misery.

But there is hope! Hope in the One who has conquered the world and its grief. God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, so that man may be set free from sin and be reconciled to Him. Through His death and resurrection, Christ has promised us with the hope of dwelling with Him in Heaven and has assured us that His Spirit will strengthen us through this life until the day we meet with Him face to face. In His omnipotence nothing is too great for God and we can find rest in the fact that His Spirit always works towards our benefit so that we may have life abundant. When we have allowed Christ’s Spirit to enter into our hearts and have permitted Him to fulfill His perfect plan for our lives, we will find a lasting joy that transcends our circumstances and can never be taken away. This joy is rooted in the knowledge that Christ never forsakes those who call upon His Name, and that when we seek to align ourselves with Him, He will restore us when we are weary and will always emerge victorious over all that we may face.

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.