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God Will Make a Way

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How many times have I heard it said that “God will make a way”? Thousands of times I’m sure, as have many of you. I’ve used the statement hundreds of times myself when consoling someone or trying to offer hope in a desperate situation.

But what are we really saying when we tell someone that ‘God will make a way’? Are we telling the person that whatever their situation, God will move in their favor? Are we telling them that the rent money will show up somehow or another? Are we telling them that a job is finally coming their way? If in fact that is what we are doing, how do we know for certainty that God will make a way?

Can the statement ‘God will make a way’ be supported by scripture? That’s a great question, and one worth investigating. The answer is that is there are exactly two verses in all of scripture (KJV) that declares ‘God will make a way’. In 1st Corinthians 10:13, the apostle Paul says this: “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it”. The second example is found in Isaiah 43:16: “Thus saith the Lord, which maketh a way in the sea, and a path in the mighty waters”.

Did you notice anything in particular about those two verses? Here’s a little hint. Neither of them speaks of receiving a financial blessing, or any other materialistic gift. What they speak to is that in the midst of temptation, God will make a way for you to be able to endure that same temptation! When all around you are the rising flood waters of despair, God will make a path through those waters for you.

Think about that last paragraph for a few moments. Whenever the Lord came to the rescue of Israel, it was because they were in trouble. God did not come until they needed his help! In other words, it is true that God will make a way. We have an entire Bible full of examples of this. He is not, however, a genie that we can summon at our command so that he can present to us everything that is on our wish list.

So, what has to happen for ‘God to make a way’ for us? The first thing that has to happen is we must call upon the Lord. The battle is His, after all. Secondly, we have to trust Him. That means we are trusting completely in His Sovereignty to bring deliverance in the manner of HIS choosing, not ours. If you’re like me, there are few things more challenging than letting go of the issue and giving it to God. Yet that is what He demands from us: our complete trust and faith in Him.

If you are dealing with an impossible situation, give it to God. If your back is against the wall and there’s no way out, give it to God. If the Dr. has said there is nothing more I can do, give it to God. In the midst of it all, He will make a way that you might be able to bear it.

You are loved!

Ron

Well, Now What?

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As I write this, the “official” word has been given that we have a new President-elect of the United States. Depending on your political point of view, this news will be met with either joy, hopefulness, and relief, or with a feeling that America is doomed to slide into the abyss of an eternal inferno at breakneck speed.

It seems that in America these days there is no middle ground, no common territory where all can feel welcome and safe to express their personal opinions. You’re either one of them or one of them, but you better not be one of them!

Long time readers will remember that I’m one of them. I’m one of those who hold to the Biblical viewpoint that God is always working in the affairs of man. This statement from Daniel chapter 22:20-21 sums it up nicely I believe.

Daniel answered and said:

Blessed be the name of God forever and ever,
For wisdom and might are His.
And He changes the times and the seasons;
He removes kings and raises up kings;
He gives wisdom to the wise
And knowledge to those who have understanding
“.

Whatever is to come, rest assured that it will not take God by surprise. On the contrary, this world and all that it contains is encased in God’s eternal plan of redemption for man. Therefore, the results of an election can not alter what the Almighty has already decreed. Whether your favorite candidate won or lost is of no consequence to the Ancient of Days, for He alone knows the end from the beginning.

What then is our role to be in all of this?

To Pray.

Christians are commanded to pray for those in authority. That’s right, praying for our leaders is not optional according to God’s word. Paul said in Romans 13:1 to “Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God“. We are all held to the same standard, meaning every one of us is required to pray for our leaders. You may not like the person in authority, but the word of God says it doesn’t matter. We are to pray for them. Regardless of whether or not you voted for them. We do not get a choice in the matter.

Additionally, our Christian witness and testimony should be one of gratitude and thanksgiving that we live in a nation where we have the opportunity to have our voices heard. If we fully understood just how rare that is, I’d like to think we would appreciate such opportunity even more. We cannot be Christlike only when our candidate of choice is elected to office, for to be so would be hypocritical. What does such an attitude say to the world about us, or our Lord?

Christians in America would do well to remember that God is Sovereign. He rules and reins from His throne over every nation and government, and that includes America. The writer of Hebrews reminds us that God will never leave us or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). Why would we ever think He would do so now?

The answer to the question of “well, now what” is simple: PRAY.

Have blessed day everyone,

Ron

When Life Hands You Lemons

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You’ve all heard the expression “When life hands you lemons, make some lemonade”.

Well, I had one of those life situations the other day, so I thought I would share it with you. Now before I get started I should tell you up front that the “lemon” I was handed was hardly worth making a fuss over. And when compared to some of the real problems others are facing, it pales in comparison. Be that as it may, I want to tell the story because the “lemonade” part of the story is well worth it.

A couple of days ago I went outside to mow the lawn. I grabbed my trimmer and trimmed around the shrubs and landscape just like I do every week. I then filled the mower with gas and pulled the rope to start the mower, except the rope wouldn’t pull no matter how hard I tried. Uh oh, I thought, this is not good. Especially since I just got the mower out of the shop a week and a half ago for the very same problem!

No matter what I did, I couldn’t get the starter rope to pull. Of course, I knew exactly what was wrong with it. The valves in the engine needed adjusted. Just like they did a week and a half ago! By this time the Princess is looking at me through the garage door, offering advice as only she could. “Maybe you should anoint it with oil and pray over it” she says. Funny, that’s not at all what I was thinking. I was actually thinking of a spot in the ocean where I could toss the mower off of a bridge! Being the (somewhat) dutiful husband that I am however, I prayed for the mower to start. Not happening.

So, it’s back to the dealer again for another 60 mile round trip in traffic I am in no mood to deal with. As we settle in for the drive, I’m quietly contemplating this mowers demise when all of a sudden the Princess says to me “well, we always like these drives anyway”. “Of course you would say that” I tell her. It’s just like her to try to put a positive spin on everything. Like when we were loading the mower in the SUV she said “there must be a reason why you weren’t supposed to mow the lawn today”. Sure, I thought to myself. On a day when it’s not hot out but sunny, mild, and breezy and I was actually looking forward to getting outside to mow…THIS HAPPENED!

So we drop the mower off and the Princess turns to me and says “you want to go to the beach”? Well, that’s a no brainer I say to myself. So instead of coming home we head to the beach, which is just a few miles from where we were. Fortunately, its still early in the tourist season so finding a parking spot was a breeze.

So, like a couple of love struck teenagers we start walking towards the beach, holding hands like we always do. As we get to the beach, it hits me. That familiar feeling I always get when I go there. Peace and relaxation suddenly displace the stress, frustration, and anxiety that had built up over the mower issue. A silly, ridiculous, ‘what was I so upset about mower issue’.

For the next hour and a half we stroll the beach, picking up the occasional pretty shell or in the case of the Princess, a sharks tooth. She has an uncanny ability to spot those things in the sand. We have them everywhere in jars of shells and sand. She has one that is a couple of inches long that she found many years ago. No way I’d want to meet the shark that lost that tooth!

Walking in the surf, listening to the crashing waves, feeling the warm sand on our feet, all of that made me realize that yes indeed, there was a reason why I wasn’t supposed to mow the lawn that day. There were better, more important things I was supposed to be doing instead. And you know what? We needed that time at the beach. The hectic pace I’ve been keeping these past few months hasn’t left much time for fun things like walking on the beach. Which, as if you didn’t already know, is NOT the way to spend retirement!

image courtesy of Ron Whited

The next time life throws you a curveball, or hands you a bowlful of lemons, try to remember that whatever the situation, it will pass eventually. We just never know what tomorrow is going to bring us. For that matter, we don’t even know if we’ll have a tomorrow! All the more reason not to sweat the small stuff. Perspective is a powerful thing isn’t it? It can make all the difference in how we see things and in what kind of attitude we have.

All of us have so many things to be thankful for. Now, I think I’ll have another glass of that lemonade!

Ron

God Will Still Be God On Wednesday!

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Well, this is embarrassing. It’s been nearly two months since my last post. How is that even possible? Is time really moving that quickly? I guess the best answer is always an honest answer, so the truth is I’ve been so busy doing ministry in my own home church that it leaves me precious little free time to write about things that are important to me personally.

Being a holdout that favors the Classic WP editor, my first surprise was to find that I am now forced to learn how to use the Block editor. Oh well, I’ll simply add this to the ever growing list of new things I’ve had to learn over the past two months. There should be an old saying I could insert here about how learning new things keeps your mind sharp, or something to that effect. If there is I cannot remember it. So much for staying sharp!

With all of that out of the way, I feel compelled to offer up a few short words of encouragement to anyone that may need them. I hear from people nearly every day that are discouraged, weary, stressed, and very frightened concerning the upcoming Presidential election. In particular, what I hear mostly is grave concern over the direction our nation is headed. It seems that regardless of which side of the political fence you are standing on, the “other side” is the sure and certain path to destruction.

Regular readers of this blog (if any are still around) no doubt remember that I share the sentiments of those who are deeply concerned about the direction our nation is headed. My concern lies in the fact that as a nation we have forgotten where our true strength comes from. In short, just as ancient Israel rejected the Lordship of the Almighty, so have we.

For all of the grievous sins of the nations of Judah and Israel, God ultimately allowed these nations to be carried away as slaves to Babylon and Assyria. Having ignored the near constant pleas of the Almighty to return unto Him, these nations nonetheless rejected God’s offer of grace and mercy, determined to rule themselves by their own intellect. Sadly, Israel’s history was all too brief, lasting but 207 years. Her sister Judah lasted a bit longer, having existed for 344 years before being carried into Babylon. Apparently, it doesn’t take all that long to self destruct does it?

I point all of this out to show that God can and does run out of patience when the nations forsake Him. For this very reason I am persuaded to believe that God has lifted the hedge of protection once enjoyed by this nation, and we are seeing the results of His turning away from us on a daily basis. There is no need for me to go into the details, for it is plain for all to see that we are walking the same roads as every nation before us has walked who chose to reject the Lord.

One thing we can know however is that no matter which way the election goes, half of our nation will not be pleased. We will still be divided, perhaps more than we currently are. If that isn’t enough to cause you concern, I don’t know what is. Animosity, hatred, and bitterness will still be on full display for all to view. This is what happens when the Source of our strength has been forgotten and abandoned. Love, kindness, and civility are tossed out like dirty dishwater, to be replaced by ugliness and brutality.

So, what about those words of encouragement I mentioned? Firstly, as to what will happen in the upcoming election, there is One who already knows the outcome, and we can take solace in the fact that the results will not take Him by surprise. I take great comfort in knowing that God is orchestrating things according to His plan for mankind. Of course, that doesn’t mean I understand all of it. His ways, after all, are beyond my understanding. I simply choose to trust Him. Amazingly, as I have come to learn, the Lord doesn’t need my approval (or yours), or my permission!

Secondly, no matter the outcome God will still be God. He will still be the same God who “is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble”(Psalm 46:1). This is important! Our fears over things that are out of our control speak volumes about where our hope lies. To put it in plain English, we cannot go to church on Sunday and sing “He’s got the whole world in His hands”, while on Monday we’re wringing our hands over things we cannot control. Is that faith beloved? Is our hope in things above, or is our hope in the outcome of an election?

Finally, I believe a change in perspective and attitude is in order. Maybe what we should be doing is instead of living in fear of what might be, we should live in gratitude of what God has already done for us. Maybe, just maybe, a grateful heart will cause us to see more clearly that the sky is not falling after all. Perhaps an “attitude of gratitude” is the key to unlocking the faith and hope that so many seem to be lacking. The fact is that it really does not matter who resides in the Big White House. What matters is that we learn to trust completely upon the Lord for our needs, not some politician who will say anything to get your vote.

All of these are reasons why I am grateful to be a child of God. I am a temporary resident of a world gone mad, one who is looking forward to the day when I step into a world “where the former things are passed away“. I cling to the knowledge that every king, ruler, or president is accountable to God for how they have handled the authority entrusted to them. And yes, we can be sure that God is watching.

He rules by His power forever;
His eyes observe the nations;
Do not let the rebellious exalt themselves
Selah

Psalm 66:7 NKJV

Take courage friends! God is the same yesterday, today, and forever!

Ron