WOW! God is so good.

Last night I was thinking about the first time I got a glimpse of God’s glory. It was absolutely amazing. This has happened a few times. Everything in me longs to stay in that place with God. A place where I am filled with an amazing peace and joy that only comes when you have been in the presence of God. I had this burning passion. I would bring my sister out into the garage for Bible study, planning on it taking half an hour, but every single time I would start talking I would lose myself and it would go on for hours. It was amazing. God was speaking to me and through me. After a few months things changed. It felt like God was testing my faith, and in that time I would get on my knees and pray. I would humble myself before Him and every time I did I could hear His voice so clearly. My heart lost that burning passion after a while. Last night was the first time in a long time that I spent time alone with God. I spent so much time praying. Praying that He would rekindle the flame within me. I prayed about every thing big and small that was holding me back from living in that wonderful place I talked about earlier. I asked the Lord for scripture and this is what he gave me…Psalms 51

Have mercy on me, O God,
according to your steadfast love;
according to your abundant mercy
blot out my transgressions.
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
and cleanse me from my sin!
For I know my transgressions,
and my sin is ever before me…
Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being,
and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart…
Create in me a clean heart, O God,
and renew a right spirit within me.
Cast me not away from your presence,
and take not your Holy spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
and uphold me with a willing spirit…
 
It was exactly what I needed. The Lord is always faithful!
The sermon today was another answer to prayer. The Pastor talked about a few things, but the part that really hit me was when he talked about the transfiguration.
Jesus took with him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. And he was transfigured before them,and his clothes became radiant, intensely white, as no one on earth could bleach them.And there appeared to them Elijah with Moses, and they were talking with Jesus.And Peter said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it is good that we are here. Let us make three tents, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah.”
You know when you get a glimpse of the glory of God you never want to leave. You want to stay there. You want to set up camp and stay there forever. But the pastor made a good point when he said we weren’t made to spend our lives “on the mountaintop”. We were made to live in the valley. When I first heard this I questioned it, but he went on to say, Yes, the mountaintop is the best, and He gives us those seasons, but you can’t always stay on the mountaintop. He puts us in the valley for a reason. He puts us there to build our faith. He puts us there to help…to make disciples. The valley is a privilege. If we always stay up on the mountaintop how can those who don’t know Jesus come to know Him? How can we bring hope to those hurting? We were made to live in the valley. So the encouragement I got is that whenever I go through a season that isn’t exactly what I want and isn’t a place that is comfortable it’s not always a bad thing. And I have realized that I need to work on thriving in every place God puts me…not just on the mountaintop. So wherever I am I need to press in more, seek God more, and pray more. Bless the Lord in EVERY circumstance. On the mountaintop and in the valley.

Though You Slay Me

I keep falling into this place of melancholy. (I can’t write or say that without thinking of Megamind, “mel-onc-oly”)

Honestly I believe the enemy is trying hard to take my focus off of the Lord.

I’ve been reading Job, and I cannot even imagine having everything that could fall apart, fall apart all at once. But even after all he had gone through he said,

“…The Lord gave and has taken away, may the name of the Lord be praised.”

One of the verses that really hit me said this,

“…Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?”

and, “For he wounds, bu he also binds up; he injures, but his hands also heal.”

Here’s the deal…

God knows what we are going through. And he cares (Luke 12:6-7, Hebrews 4:15-16)

James tells us,

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.

God won’t give us more than we can take. In the book of Job we see that God did allow Satan to afflict Job, but he set boundaries. Job didn’t know that. We have an advantage. We are able to see that God was in control still, it wasn’t as if Satan had snuck up when God wasn’t watching. So we’ve got to remember, God is in control.

Whatever the trial or test, there is always room to grow. Suffering isn’t always a “punishment” for your sin. in our trials and tests we should ask God for wisdom. Even Jesus learned through suffering. (Hebrews 5:8) God wants us to grow.

If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. James 1:5

When bad things happen we try to search through our hearts to figure out what we did wrong. We ask ourselves, Why is this happening? Remember bad things do not only happen to bad people. Sometimes we just have to ….

TRUST.

Let me clarify. Trust doesn’t mean, go obey. Obeying is easier than trusting. We trust someone because we believe in them. We need to TRUST that He knows what’s best for you in all situations. We’ve got to TRUST that whatever He puts in our lives, He is still to be praised.

When everyone else told Job to curse God and die he said,

“Though He slay me, yet I will hope in Him…”

It’s pretty easy to trust God when everything is going good, but what about when your world goes totally wrong? Satan figured that if God removed all the blessing he had given to Job, that Job would surely turn away. But he didn’t.

We’ve got to ask ourselves,

What am I in this christian thing for? Am I in it for the blessings?

What is my relationship based on? Jobs was based on his love for God. A sincere love, and devotion to his Heavenly Father. A steadfast trust. That’s what our relationship MUST be based on, not on the benefits. We trust God when we have a real relationship with Him.

So do you trust Him? Do you know Him?

Do you trust him for your salvation?

Do you trust Him for you daily needs

Do you trust Him for everything?

God is just. Life doesn’t always seem fair. I look around and see people who make no intention of serving the Lord, yet they seem to have blessings raining down on them.

This life is temporary.

Ultimately God will reward the righteous and punish the wicked. That doesn’t mean we won’t receive blessings while we’re here on earth. Job was blessed even more after all of the trials he went through. But don’t expect life to be “perfect” or “fair”.
The Lord lifts these trials and tests off of us once we learn what he is trying to teach us.

Now we can read all that, be inspired, and the next time something comes it’s so easy to go right back to saying WHYYYYYYYY! I’ve done it so many times. Just last night I realized what the Lord was trying to teach me. If you haven’t experienced that, I am sure you will. All of a sudden the Lord makes something click in your brain and you can feel this weight lifted off of you! It’s great! Life would be AMAZING without all the stresses and struggles, BUT life is even more amazing when you are able to see the Lord work through you in those times.
“Our trials can make us bitter, or they can make us better.”

The next time something comes up remember that.

And remember,

He is JUST.

He is SOVEREIGN.

HE is HOLY.

He is AWESOME.

He is MERCIFUL.

AND I LOVE HIM!

-Ally