spiritualsnippets.com

Seeing life's events in the light of God's Word.

Joy In Unrelenting Pain

 

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Job 6:10a- “Then I would still have this consolation— my joy in unrelenting pain—”

 

I recently heard a story about Austrian concert pianist, Paul Wittgenstein. In 1914, while serving in active duty in WWI, he was shot in the elbow and his right arm was amputated.

One would think this would be devastating, ending a brilliant career. But that was not the case.

During his recovery, he wrote to his teacher asking for a concerto for the left hand alone. Following the war’s end, he studied intensely and reclaimed his career. He gave hundreds of concerts throughout Europe, playing pieces arranged for the left hand alone.

I vowed that if times of self-pity should come, I would remember this brave man whose attitude made it possible for him to still experience joy in his life after such tragic circumstances.

The Bible tells the story of Job, whose wealth, children, and physical health were taken from him.

Not only did Job not curse God, but we learn that he was able to experience true joy in the midst of those trials.

This can be of great comfort to those who are experiencing physical illnesses, family problems, financial struggles.

But, how is it possible that during times of dire circumstances one could find joy?

Like Job, our faith sustains us. We look to God to be our strength. We lean on Him and the promises in His Word.

We look at these times, not as obstacles to our joy, but as times of refreshing.

We view them as vehicles to deepen our dependance on God and draw us in close relationship with him.

We do not allow our trials to defeat us, but instead look at them as opportunities to change us, inwardly, to refine our character, to transform our hearts— to fulfill His new purpose in us.

Can we experience the “joy that comes in the morning?”

Our Lord says we can. He will restore us anew, whether in this life or in the one to come.

The Bible says He is faithful and He will do it.

He gives us His Word.

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Never Alone

Deuteronomy 31:8– “The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”

Dateline’s new motto is: “Don’t Watch Alone.”

A sign outside Central Park says, “Don’t Walk Alone.”

Signs on beaches urge, “Don’t Swim Alone.”

I guess the idea is that it is dangerous, scary, and unsafe to be alone.

But, God’s Word tells us that we never have to be alone.

God is always with us.

That fact is comforting, isn’t it?

In times of joy, sadness, uncertainty.

When we would hide.

When we would flee.              14046488787_5f5eb9a815

We can stand firm.

Because he will never leave us alone.

In the dark of the night.

In the midst of the storm.

His perfect love casts out all fear.

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Do You Know the Good You Ought to Do?

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James 4:17– “Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins.”

 

 

SIN.

Boiled down into simplest terms it is doing something wrong.

But what about those times when the Holy Spirit speaks to us, prompting us to do something good for someone—but we don’t do it.

That is SIN, too.

We might shrug it off and say, “I’ll do it, later.”

Or, “How do I know that’s really The Holy Spirit speaking?”

Or, we rationalize why doing the “good thing” may not really be a good thing at all. (If I give money to that beggar, he might squander it! )

So, let’s get this straight. We know the right thing to do. We just don’t respond.

The Bible says it is SIN.

Am I sure about that?

I read it a second time.

That verse from James convicts me right where it hurts.

The good I should do

—could involve the spending of my time…my energy…my money…

—could mean a change of plans…a change of perspective…a change of heart…

Doing the good I know I should do requires responding to His prodding all day long…and it just may involve opportunities to minister to others in ways we might never imagine.

It just might lead to an opportunity to share the gospel.

It means seeing others needs through HIS eyes…the very eyes that one day saw me 

and sent Someone to meet my need.

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BELIEVE

Mark 11:23 For most certainly I tell you, whoever may tell this mountain,’Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ and doesn’t doubt in his heart, but Believes that what he says is happening; he shall have whatever he says.

 

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Believe.

I see this word on bumper stickers, jewelry, greeting cards, wall decor, and T-shirts.

It seems society has embraced it.

But, what does it really mean?

Believe in who?

Believe in what?

Believe in oneself?

Believe in the power within?

Believe in God?

I have a picture hanging in my home office, with simply “Believe” written in script.

It tells me that I can do it…achieve it…

But, I realize it is not me alone that makes anything happen in my personal life or my career.

It is God who leads me.

It is God who empowers me.

It is God who gives me the skills necessary to achieve.

But, it means still more.

To me, it is a reminder that I believe that Jesus is God’s Son and that I have eternal life through Him.

John 20:31 but these are written, that you may Believe

that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing

you may have life in his name.

It IS important to have confidence in oneself…if that confidence comes from God.

It IS important to have a “can do” attitude…if one realizes that their giftedness comes from our Creator.

It IS important to have faith…if it is in God.

We can have every confidence in Him.

For it  is in Him WHO IS TRUTH that we have the power to BELIEVE.

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