spiritualsnippets.com

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

Reach Out

Acts: 17: 27: “God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us.”

“Why did God let this happen?”

This is a common question asked by those suffering from illness and loss. Isn’t it? Perhaps you have even said those words, yourself.

In Acts, we find that God wants to comfort those who are suffering. He hopes they will seek him “and find him.”

Over the years, I have heard stories about people who have come to know the Lord in the midst of difficult circumstances involving family members, friends, and even themselves.

These words remind me of the picture my parents had hanging in their house of Jesus knocking on the door of someone’s heart. 

Whether it is someone with a “scientific” mind who has doubts, or a person who has spent a lifetime running in the other direction, or a variety of other reasons, He is closer than you can imagine.

And He’s waiting for you to reach out for Him.

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Perfect Faithfulness

Isaiah 25:1- “Lord, you are my God; I will exalt you and praise your name, for in perfect faithfulness you have done wonderful things, things planned long ago.”

We invited some new friends over for dessert at our house last week. When a large frame with a dozen small pictures of our family over the years caught their eyes I told them a little bit about each person and pet displayed. 

What a thrill it was to share the joys of a lifetime with others. 

Thinking back to that experience, I realize that each photograph recounts, in some way, the faithfulness of God. We remember that He has blessed us with people and events in our lives that He planned for us before we were even born.

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The New Black

Isaiah 5:20- “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.”

I read on the internet this week that “Orange is the New Black.”  

When one uses the expression that something is the new black, they mean that it is suddenly fashionable or popular. What was once considered good is now replaced by something else.

I thought about the way our social culture has been changing rapidly during the past few years. Words which were once not allowed to be spoken on television and radio, are now commonly heard—and no one even blinks an eye.

The way people dress in public nowadays would never have been allowed in malls, public parks, or restaurants a decade ago. What was once discreet and tasteful is now thought to be old-fashioned. 

Actions that were labeled as wrong are now right; and those that were once considered right, have become wrong in the eyes of the world.

God told us in his Word that this is exactly what would happen in the End Times. He also has told us which behaviors He considers right and wrong/ sinful and not. God doesn’t change His mind. In fact, Hebrews 13:8 states that he remains the same yesterday, today, and forever.

With God, what is right is right; what is wrong is wrong. We never have to second-guess Him. 

Isn’t it a comfort to know He doesn’t change His mind or His standards? That unlike the world that changes constantly around us, we can always depend on Him?

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No Tears

“My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”  Psalm 73: 25b-26.

There were no tears at our mother’s deathbed this week. It’s true.

It wasn’t because she wasn’t a wonderful person, mother, and friend.

It was because she had suffered with Alzheimer’s for six years and we rejoiced to have her set free from a brain and body that no longer functioned as they should.

We cling to the promise that she is once again whole.

Of course, the next day it hit me that I would never see her smile again or hear her call my name. I broke down, as you would expect. I will miss my mother!

But God is our family’s strength and hope.

And our portion forever.

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Comfort and Compassion

Isaiah 49:13- “Sing for joy, O heavens, and exult, O earth; break forth, O mountains, into singing! For the Lord comforts his people and has compassion on his afflicted.

I currently have two friends battling cancer and one who recently lost a loved one to Covid-19. In all three cases, these Christians tell me that they feel much closer to God now than at any other time in their lives.

Why?

Could it be that they realize they do not have control over these situations and so rely on the one true God for help and comfort?

Maybe they are spending more time in prayer and in reading the scriptures, such as  

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.”

Or, this one from 2 Corinthians, chapter one, verse 3- “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles.”

He’s not a God on a lofty throne who has no idea what we are going through. His Word tells us that Jesus came to earth as a man and suffered many of the same things we do. He is well-acquainted with suffering and so He has given us His Holy Spirit to bring us comfort like no one else can. 

My friends have found the Holy Spirit to be compassionate… loving… understanding… and comforting.

No matter what the circumstances, He is there for His children.

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The Mediator

I Timothy 2:5- “For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus.”

We recently sold our house. 

We used a realtor to write the listing, manage the showings, and see the process through escrow to the day of closing. 

A home inspector did his job and an appraiser set a number for the value. 

All these people played a vital role as intermediaries between us and the buyer.

I felt a new appreciation that Christians, because of Jesus bearing our sins on the cross, don’t need an intermediary between ourselves and our wonderful God.  

Once we have professed faith in Jesus as our Savior, we can come directly to the Father’s throne of grace in prayer. We can have a personal relationship with Him, bringing Him our concerns, our requests, our praise.

 Because nothing and no one can come between us!!!

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See the Blessing

Jeremiah 29:11- “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

“Three years? Perhaps longer?”

Last month our son told us his family was moving to Germany where our daughter-in-law had accepted a position with the Department of Defense.

We had known about the job application. The possibility of them relocating. We’d even prayed that God’s will, not ours, would come to pass. And we really did want the very best for them. 

Still, the news devastated us.

My husband and I had just completed renovating a small condo near them. Four hours away from our home in Arizona.

We had looked forward to living part time near them and bonding with our newborn grandson. Now it looked like our dreams were only that. Dreams.

In the following weeks, they prepared for their move. Packing, selling many of their belongings, saying goodbye to family and friends.

Last March, God had led us to purchase the condo. We were so sure He wanted us to spend time with our son and family. Were we wrong?

No! We have come to realize that God blessed us in incredible ways. We had the resources to make the purchase, do renovations (which my husband and I love to do) and even bring us new friends in the process.

God knew that the sweet little family that we love so much would be leaving. He chose to bless all of us—ahead of time—with precious moments spent together. Times that have allowed us to form a close bond that will sustain us while we are apart.

Are you wondering where God is in all of the circumstances of your life? Ask Him to show you His hand of blessing… His plan for your future. 

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Take a Deep Breath

Proverbs 21:31b- “…victory rests with the Lord.”

At the end of the day, do you feel beaten down and dejected?

Do politically-charged events cause you stress?

Have you decided to keep the television—especially news channels—turned off for awhile due to divisive commentaries?

This constant state of unease and disruptiveness is NOT what God desires for us.

He wants us to rest in the knowledge that ultimately the victory will be His.

Take a deep breath. Go for a walk and enjoy the beautiful new day He has made. 

Trust Him for the outcome that will work out His plan for us as individuals and the world at large.

His Word says He is faithful. 

He will do it.

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Bringing Things Into Focus

2 Corinthians 5:7- “for we walk by faith, not by sight.”

My vision became progressively worse until my world took on a hazy glow.

I consulted my ophthalmologist. Cataract surgery was in order.

I actually looked forward to it. The thought of a brighter world—maybe even a world free of the glasses I had worn since sixth grade—was very appealing.

Within a few minutes of surgery, I was released from my foggy world. 

I think about times when I fail to see clearly the actions I should take and the decisions I should make. When I wrestle with the “why’s” and “how’s.”

Those are the times I go to God’s Word. I need His healing for my “spiritual eyes” bringing purpose and direction—a clear focus on what is important.,

One day, God will reveal all things to us. But for now, it is His Word that encourages and gives us insight. We can come before God with confidence, knowing that what we ask for aligns with His will as outlined in scripture.

Are you having trouble seeing the path ahead? Do you need someone to lead the way?

Surrender your own will to His and just follow. 

Walk by faith, not by sight.

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Spiritual Direction

Psalm 23:1-3  “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness, for His name’s sake.”

My husband loves to drive. 

I’d rather look at the scenery, read a good book, or recline my seat and take a little nap. 

Now and again, he’ll ask me to get the map out of his satchel and look for a certain road, landmark, or whatever. Often, he pulls over to the side of the road and interprets it for himself.

If we should happen to get lost (now really lost, you understand) and I suggest that we ask someone for directions, he gives me “the look.”

Why is it men are so against asking for directions? Think about how many hours could be saved and how many wrong turns could be avoided!

As Christians, we have an infallible source at our fingertips! God, who has always been in existence, knows the past, present, and future. With His Word as our “map” and His Holy Spirit as our Guide, we never have to face an uncertain future.

If we take a wrong turn, we can get back on the right path by heeding what scripture reveals to us as truth.

Confident and encouraged, with His help, we find our way.

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