spiritualsnippets.com

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

Finding Strength in Promises

 

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Romans 4:20– “He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God.”

 

 

I live in the desert southwest. One of my favorite plants is the Ocotillo cactus. But, they can be very finicky. If the soil or sunlight is not to their liking, they simply won’t grow.

We have planted several in the past and while our neighbors boast leafy ones with bright red flowers, we have never had one to leaf out. Ours look like dry… gray… dead.

We decided to try again. We planted one  prominently out front.

We followed the directions from the nursery salesman and waited.

I even prayed over the five-foot “sticks” and we continued our vigil.

As I passed by our living room window last week, I stopped dead in my tracks. Could it be a tiny red bud at the top of one of the arms? I rushed outside to get a better look.

Yes. There it was!

And, then this morning… behold, a second.

Now, Ocotillos leaf out, first, and then flower. But, not ours. We now have two flowers atop our non-leafy plant, which I call our “flowers of promise—our assurance of a healthy plant that will someday leaf out!

The Bible is full of God’s promises for those who love Him. In fact, my research shows that there are 7,487 promises that God has made to humans. Among them are: wisdom to Solomon; a son for Sarah and Abraham, eternal life for those who believe; the indwelling of the Holy Spirit for believers; and thousands more have been given and thousands already fulfilled!

The verse above refers to Abraham. I like it because it says he didn’t waiver through unbelief. He was strengthened when he received God’s promise.

The Bible is full of promises for us who love HIM. So, when we are discouraged or feel like giving up, we can turn to the scriptures and be refreshed by claiming His promises for ourselves and our situations.

Don’t waiver. Be strengthened!

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What To Do In That Little Slice of Time Between the “Question” and the “Answer”

Romans 15:4- For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.

 

We were among the thousands of people in airports this past week.

One of my favorite things about traveling is people watching. There are a lot of little jewels to be observed…and beyond the observations are often things to be learned.

In line at the ladies restroom, I overheard a grandmother as she prodded a toddler to hurry up and get in line; then, she encouraged him to be patient as he waited.

Isn’t that the way life seems to be sometimes?  Hurry up. Wait. Hurry up. Wait.

There are plenty of situations in which we must practice the art of patience. The dictionary definition of patience is:  “The capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting upset or angry.” My definition is: being content while waiting. A Bible Study leader once linked patience to the Biblical concept of “resting.”

Resting…hum…not struggling against…but, instead, taking a deep breath and just allowing oneself to be in perfect harmony with the “in between.” That often annoying and sometimes unbearable slice of time between the question and the answer.

I think of laying my head back in a swimming pool and relaxing—simply floating. Not treading water—no, that requires expending effort to just stay afloat in the same spot…But, floating, with my eyes closed…letting the water support me…Can you just see it? Feel it? The sheer peacefulness of it?

After all these years of me asking my prayer partners to pray that I would learn patience, could it possibly be that God didn’t want for me to just “tread water”—He might have wanted to teach me to float?

To be supported by Him, His love, His Word, His promises?

Not struggling.

No expending energy.

Just simply resting

In Him.

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Timeless, Relevant, Eternal

Genesis 28: 12-14  “(Jacob) had a dream in which he saw a stairway resting on the earth, with its top reaching to heaven, and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. 13 There above it[c] stood the Lord, and he said: “I am the Lord, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac. I will give you and your descendants the land on which you are lying. 14 Your descendants will be like the dust of the earth, and you will spread out to the west and to the east, to the north and to the south. All peoples on earth will be blessed through you and your offspring.”

 

 

On July 4th, Chinese artist, Cai Guoqiang, put on a stunning fireworks display featuring a 1,650 foot long ladder made of steel and gunpowder in the sky over Quanzhou, China. He created the fireworks in tribute to his grandmother turning 100 years old. It was a dazzling thank you for supporting his dreams as a young man.

Although this is one of the most impressive things I have ever seen with my own eyes (via U-Tube), it reminded me of Jacob’s Ladder and a Bible story I heard as a young child. In his dream, Jacob saw an even more spectacular display: angels ascending and descending a ladder that reached all the way to heaven! Through the dream, God gave Jacob a promise of land, descendants, and His protection.

It must be pretty awesome to receive a promise from God, you say. It sure is—and  although we may not receive a promise through a vision or a dream, the Bible is packed full of promises for each of us from our Heavenly Father.

The Bible is more than just a collection of old stories handed down through the ages. Each entry was included for God’s intended purpose. The verses weave together truths learned by those before us to help us in our own lives today because His Word is timeless and is just as relevant to our present situations as it was theirs hundreds of years ago.

Hebrews 4:12 says that God’s Word is “alive and active.” It’s not just a bunch of stale writing that has long since lost its appeal or relevance.

Since it can be challenging reading, however, you may find it helpful to get a Study Bible with added historical and geographical information. In addition, you may want to use a commentary. What the Bible is All About, by Henrietta Mears is easy to understand. I have used it for many years. If you want more in-depth information, your neighborhood Christian Bookstore has many to choose from.

Being involved in a small group Bible Study is another good way to gain understanding of God’s Word. Through discussion of passages/verses led by experienced leaders, we gain valuable understanding we might otherwise miss.

God’s word is TRUTH. It is ETERNAL. It NEVER RETURNS TO HIM VOID, or without accomplishing it’s intended purpose.

May He bless you, richly, as you let His Word speak His timeless truths to your soul today.

Brenda

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Is All That Glitters Really Gold?

Revelation 22:13 and 16b: “I am the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last…I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star.”

The young woman at the restaurant flashed her engagement ring to the five other young ladies seated at her table.

“It’s so HUGE! Is it real?” one girl asked.

“I didn’t know Dave had that much money,” another chimed in.

“I’d get it appraised, and then insured. In that order,” offered yet another guest.

In a world full of fake jewels, furs, purses—even flowers—conversations like this are not uncommon. The quest for what is real is an ongoing one. No one wants to be outwitted or fall for a counterfeit, a reproduction, a copy.

We all want the “real deal”, don’t we? We have an aversion to being duped.

So it is with people. We want to know that our friends are really our friends. That they don’t pretend to be our friends to our faces, and then talk about us behind our backs. We want to be able to depend on the fact that they are who they say they are.

The Bible tells us that we can be sure that Jesus is who He claims to be. That He cannot—and does not—ever lie. His Word assures us of who He is and that we can truly depend on Him to do what He says He will do. He keeps His promises. He never fails. He never changes. He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

One day, believers will meet Him in Heaven. We will see Him “face-to-face.”

We are not waiting to see a phony. We are looking forward to seeing our God, our Savior, our Lord. The true and Living Word…in all His Glory…our Bright and Morning Star!

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