Historically, the people of God have always fared well amid adversity. The history of both Israel and the church has demonstrated how safety and prosperity took away their zeal. This resulted in them falling away from God (1 Kings; 2 Kings; Rev. 2:2-5; 3:17). As much as we don't like to hear it, God often allows adversity in our lives to motivate us to cling to Him and seek Him. During these extremely difficult times as it relates to the pandemic as well as global economic and political unrest, we should trust God to reveal His glory greater than ever before. This biblical principle is shown in Isaiah when he prophesied that when darkness covers the earth, the glory of God will be seen upon His people (Isa. 60:2).
It was one of those rare warm days here in New Jersey. I determined that I would get outside and enjoy a walk. The wind was blowing but had a southern feel, so it warmed my hands and heart. I am a warm-weather type of girl. I noticed the running water and the remaining ice as I glanced in the ditch. However, I also saw a patch of fresh green grass. I chuckled at the confused grass, green before its time, and knew it would soon feel the cold bite of winter as the warmth would not last.
I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you. Psalm 32:8 NIV We will see a shift come as we get aligned with God's purposes for our lives. There is a major reformation at hand! The Lord is going to coach you through this season of transition and change. God has you covered. My times are in Your hand; deliver me from the hand of my enemies. Psalm 31:15 NKJV We are in a time that may feel out of control, but God still has you covered. He has not forgotten you and the promises of things to come still stand. I am the Lord; in its time I will do this swiftly. Isaiah 60:22 NIV
Have you ever been frustrated as to why someone hasn't changed? I know I have. The desire to tell someone, especially an unbeliever, how much better their life would be if they just did or didn't do something overwhelms our thoughts and at times comes out of our mouth. We attempt to be the change agent and become discouraged when the person does not quickly respond because we want the best for them. Unfortunately, this is one reason unbelievers do not associate with Christians: They feel judged.
The innate nature inside of all of us is to seek after and attain approval by man, to reach the bar of success that has been set by the world that is ultimately impossible to achieve. The desire to find approval in our work ability, hobbies, appearance, personality, intellect and so much more can leave one feeling inadequate based on a standard man has set. In the pop culture of the day, you may feel pressure to be, act or perform certain ways.
When we understand that dreams are a byproduct of the outpouring of God's Spirit and Presence, also understanding that it is one of the various means that God speaks to us, then it makes perfect sense that we would want a great outpouring of His Spirit in our lives. With that in mind let me share with you what has been very helpful to me in regard to having more Holy Spirit inspired dreams. Many of us have heard the phrase that "timing is everything." There is truth to this. Also understand that we live in a world that is on a time clock. There are windows of time that can be powerful for our lives.
Secondhand offense is like a cultural virus. It permeates our world and infects anyone who allows it to have access to his or her heart and mind. It spreads to everyone unless their emotional immune system is resistant through kindness and resilient through gathering objective understanding. My definition of offense is: observed or perceived attitude, belief, or action that insults, displeases, or angers the recipient or target. The secondhand element reveals that the offense is borrowed from another. In other words, secondhand offense is invited in when we grant access to someone else's offense to affect our thoughts and emotions.
The Lord has appeared of old to me, saying: "Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you." Jeremiah 31:3 I heard a story of a minister from Oregon who was assigned to provide counseling in a state mental institution. His first assignment was to a padded cell that housed deranged, barely clothed patients. He couldn't even talk to the inmates, let alone counsel them - the only responses he got were groans, moans, and demonic laughter.
The compassion of Jesus involves many things, which is always rooted in His love for us. His compassion looks like deep, tender care and affection. It looks like Him holding us close when we're hurting, suffering, overwhelmed, brokenhearted, scared, or weary. It can look like healing; spontaneous, a process, or however He chooses. It also looks like Him walking with us on long, hard, and painful journeys. It looks like Him whispering hope and love into our hearts. It looks like Him leaving the ninety-nine to go after the one.
You may be walking through a "dry place" in your life, perhaps having a difficult time....a time when it seems that all your opportunities have dried up. It appears that your financial needs are not being met and your future looks bleak. You may even feel like your prayers are not being heard. Circumstances rise up against you and you don't see a way out. Such were the circumstances in Samaria in 2 Kings 6:24-30. The entire city was in severe famine being surrounded by the armies of the king of Syria who was determined to destroy them. The enemy wanted to take their city and possessions. They could not leave the city to trade or get food from the fields or goods.