Thursday, August 29, 2013

How Will God Provide During an Economic Crisis?

(The following is taken from The Sure Cure for Worry, Chosen Books 2013, pages 197-198)

No one is really worried about starving to death when everything is going well. But if the country were to plunge into an economic depression, nearly everyone would panic. How will God provide for His people during an economic crisis?

The story of Elijah demonstrates how the Lord can provide food and water during a famine or drought. The prophet Elijah “prayed earnestly that it might not rain, and it did not rain on the earth for three years and six months” (James 5:17). Sometimes the Lord will allow a country to suffer hardship so that the people will have a change in heart and surrender their lives to Him. Even when a nation is going through a depression or another crisis, He still promises to make sure His people are provided for.

Learning to follow God’s leading will keep you from worrying because He can show you what to do in every situation. After the Lord quit sending rain in Israel, He told Elijah to go to the brook Cherith. “It shall be that you will drink of the brook, and I have commanded the ravens to provide for you there. . . . The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning and bread and meat in the evening, and he would drink from the brook” (1 Kings 17:4, 6). Because Elijah followed God’s guidance, he received the provision he needed.

Notice that God commanded the ravens to provide for Elijah. This gives us an insight into how the Lord can provide for His people in unusual ways during difficult times. God spoke to the birds and they went out and found food, and the Lord showed them exactly where to fly to find Elijah. Later God commanded a widow to provide for him (1 Kings 17:9).

Do you understand the lesson here? He knows exactly where you are and how to deliver His provision to you. Every day the birds flew in breakfast and supper (the first airline food). Elijah did not worry about where they got the food or if they would show up on time. God simply wants you to obey Him, and He will take care of providing for you.
Are you worried about an economic collapse or some other tragedy?  Read The Sure Cure for Worry

Do you want to conquer anger, unforgiveness, and rejectionRead Slaying Your Giants



Friday, August 9, 2013

The Purpose of Prayer

Many people aren’t motivated to pray because they don’t understand why they need to do it. Suppose your friend says, “I’d like for you to go in my backyard and dig some holes four feet deep.” You don’t want to do it but because he’s your friend, you agree to do it.  

Ten minutes into digging you start complaining about the heat. Twenty minutes later your back begins to hurt. You keep looking at your watch, wondering how much longer he wants you to dig. After an hour you’re mad at him because you have no idea why you’re doing useless work.

But suppose your friend gives you more information. “My grandfather buried bags of gold coins in my backyard four feet deep. If you will dig them up, I’ll share the treasure with you.” You get excited and start shoveling dirt as fast as you can. You’re not even thinking about sweating, blisters, or backaches. Now you have one thing on your mind—finding the gold.

What changed? Your motivation increased once you understood the reason for your digging and that you would benefit from it. In the same way, your motivation to pray will increase once you understand the purpose of prayer and how you will benefit by doing it.  

Did you know that some things will not happen unless you pray? Otherwise, prayer would serve no purpose. “You do not have because you do not ask” (James 4:2). Prayer is like having a passkey that will unlock doors.  It won’t open every door, but it will unlock the doors that are in God’s will.  However, if you don’t use the passkey many doors will remain closed.  

Through your prayers God can change your circumstances and open doors of opportunity for you. The Lord wants you to participate in bringing His will to pass on earth through your prayers. The key is in your hand. It’s up to you to use it.
Are you worried about an economic collapse or some other tragedy?  Read The Sure Cure for Worry

Do you want to conquer anger, unforgiveness, and rejectionRead Slaying Your Giants

Monday, August 5, 2013

Falling Overboard into the Atlantic

In March 2002, a 24-year old crew member on a Norway cruise ship fell overboard into the Atlantic Ocean one evening. She didn’t know how to swim. The crew discovered she was missing four hours later when she failed to show up for a late roll call.

The ship’s captain had a tough decision to make. With over 1,000 passengers who paid to go to St. Martin Island in the Caribbean, should he take them to their destination, or should he go back and search for her body? He decided to turn the ship around and go look for her, in spite of the many protests from angry passengers.

After back-tracking their path for over 4 hours, passengers gathered on the deck to look for a floating body. It's extremely difficult to spot someone in the water due to the waves, but against all odds, a passenger caught a glimpse of her—and she was still alive! She had been treading water for 10 hours, even though she didn’t know that the ship would return looking for her.

Now, change perspectives and see it through this woman's eyes. Imagine how frightened she felt after plunging into the water and watching the lights of the cruise ship disappear into the night. Can you see her frantically splashing, trying to teach herself how to dog paddle, just keeping her head barely above water? Think how terrified she must have been of the sharks in the pitch dark.

The chances of her surviving were one in a million. Her only option was to tread water throughout the night and pray for a miracle from God. Imagine her excitement when she sees the ship appear on the horizon, heading her way and soon to rescue her!  There can be no doubt that she is forever grateful to the brave captain, who refused to give in to the angry complaints of critical passengers.

This incredible rescue is an illustration of being saved by God's grace. We are all treading water in a sea of sin during our time on earth. If we go under, we will descend into hell forever. We have no hope of being saved. Yet, God does the impossible and comes looking for us.

Jesus said, "What man among you, if he has a hundred sheep and has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in open pasture, and go after the one which is lost, until he finds it?" (Luke 15:4). Jesus has come looking for you!  We can't save ourselves any more than that woman lost at sea could save herself. "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God." (Eph. 2:8) All we can do is cry out in desperation. "Whoever will call upon the name of the Lord will be saved." (Rom. 10:13)

If you want to be saved, simply call out to Him, "Jesus, please save me! Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins. I believe you rose from the dead. I give you my life. Amen."
Are you worried about an economic collapse or some other tragedy?  Read The Sure Cure for Worry
Do you want to conquer anger, unforgiveness, and rejectionRead Slaying Your Giants