Today’s show brings some new perspectives on God’s character!
You know, God is a mighty God. He created the universe with the power of his word. Think about it. The book of genesis tells us that He said, “Let there be light”, and there was light. Let there be fish and other animals in the seas, and there they were. He controls the storms, right? On that stormy night when the disciples thought their boat could not stand the wind and waves, the Bible says that Jesus rebuked the wind and waves, and suddenly, all was calm…
“I can remember it like it was yesterday. I awoke to find myself in decidedly unfamiliar surroundings. “Where am I?” I asked myself. I tried to focus, but I felt groggy, and the room was dark, with the only light coming in from the open door that led to a lit hallway. But there was something between me and that light?bars!”
Thus begins this episode of In Touch With God’s Character. It is a true story from my past. Listen to the show for “the rest of the story!”
We should remember the God “who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world” as He is called in the New Testament book of John in the sixth chapter. You and I have reason to give thanks today. We have life.
In the book “Deliver Us From Evil?, Ravi Zachariahs writes:
Joseph Damien was a nineteenth-century missionary who ministered to people with leprosy on the island of Moloka’i, Hawai’i. Those suffering grew to love him and revered the sacrificial life he lived out before them.
One morning before Damien was to lead daily worship, he was pouring some hot water into a cup when the water swirled out and fell onto his bare foot. It took him a moment to realize that he had not felt any sensation. Gripped by the sudden fear of what this could mean, he poured more hot water on the same spot. No feeling whatsoever.
Damien immediately knew what had happened. As he walked tearfully to deliver his sermon, no one at first noticed the difference in his opening line. He normally began every sermon with, “My fellow believers.” But this morning he began with, “My fellow lepers.”
I most certainly do not know for sure, but it would not surprise me if Damien thought of Jeremiah 16:19′s description of God on this day. In that scripture, the prophet called upon God as, “my strength, and my stronghold, and my refuge in the day of affliction”
Yes, even as dedicated and sacrificial believers, affliction is bound to come our way. It is in those times where we must not lean on our own strength, because sooner or later, it will fail us. We must turn to God as our strength, our stronghold and our refuge.
God says in Joshua 1:5 (NIV) “As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
So, in the day of your affliction, be strengthened. Be encouraged. Know that you are not alone. You have His promise. He is with you.
Paul said in Romans, “If God is for us, who can be against us” Indeed. Affliction may come, but it cannot defeat us.
God is “my strength, and my stronghold, and my refuge in the day of affliction”
“When you fall, pick up something.” ~Oswald Avery
Wise words from a very smart man. Oswald Avery was one of the scientists who discovered that DNA is the material of which genes and chromosomes are made, back in 1944.
We usually think of falling in a negative light. We associate falling with pain, or failure. No one wants to fall.
But Dr. Avery throws a different light on falling with this six word sentence “Whenever you fall, pick something up. Now we are challenged to look for something useful while we’re down in this new “fallen” position. We might as well take advantage of the new view of things given us by our lower vantage point. Most successful people will attest that they have learned valuable lessons from such setbacks.
So, given the idea that falling can be a good thing, what of the object that caused the fall? This is the characteristic of God I want to focus on in todays In Touch With God’s Character.
We cannot know God? He works in mysterious ways? Can we really know God? Does He want us to know Him?
U2’s Bono and his statement of faith is the jumping-off point of this look at one of God’s attributes.
Skiing, shells, for you.
I love a good steak. A nice, thick, juicy, medium rare filet mignon is one of the great pleasures of life, in my opinion. When you partner that beef with a nice hot baked potato, slathered with butter, sour cream and chives, a crispy fresh salad and cold, freshly brewed iced tea, you’ve got the perfect meal. Not a meal that should be indulged in very often, but as a treat, it can’t be beat.
I used to live in a ski town. MammothLakes, CA. Home to one of the world’s best ski areas, MammothMountain. There is a restaurant in town that is very popular with the skiers. It’s called The Mogul, and the steaks there are out of this world. When I lived in town, besides having fantastic steaks, what really made the Mogul unique was that you cooked your own. There was a big wood fired grill in the middle of the dining room, and they would bring whatever cut of beef you ordered to your table, after which you would take it to the grill and cook it yourself. That’s great, if you like to cook, and if you don’t mess it up. But if you don’t know what you’re doing, you have ruined it. You know, if I’m paying restaurant prices, I’d really rather have someone who is an expert cook my filet. I want it to be perfect.
Let the expert do it.
Turning our attention to the spiritual realm, there is the matter of faith. Would you like to have more faith? Is your faith strong, or is it weak? If it is weak, I have a guaranteed seven step program that if you will just follow my instructions, you will have more faith than you ever thought possible. Nah. I’m kidding. I can’t do that for you. Why? Because faith doesn’t come from me. I am not the source of faith. And neither are you! You are not responsible for the faith you have! “Well if it’s my faith, Steve, who is responsible?”
Heb 12:2 (NIV) “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith,”
Now, don’t get me wrong, it is up to us to choose to follow His lead, but the building up of our faith comes as He leads us through the events of our lives. As we see Him working, as we see His promises fulfilled, as we see lives changed, as we see how He brings us through difficult circumstances, our faith is built up. Not because of my performance, but because of His.
He is the author, or the one who begins your faith. And He is the finisher of your faith. He is the one who is constantly working in your life, allowing you to face situations that require faith, and giving you the faith to make it through. He brings it to the table, not you.
Just as I would rather have an expert chef cook my filet mignon, I am so glad that in spiritual things, my faith will be completed by the one who began it. Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.