Do we recognize the blessings Hidden in our handicaps and difficulties?

Wherever I am 24/7, awake or asleep, I am in and aware of His loving Presence.

Do we have physical handicaps and other things which make our lives harder?  Do we plead with God to fix them and give us a painless life of smooth sailing?  Or do we, in intimate conversation with Jesus, peel back the layers and search for the enriching, eternal benefits?  It is not wrong (2 Corinthians 12:8-9) to ask the Lord for relief – BUT – it is wrong not to accept His answer and be subject to His purpose.  We recognize that common sense is a gift and we need to use it wisely.  We are often shocked at the foolish things people do.  Human reason can seem so reasonable but it is not Omniscient (Proverbs 3:5) and can be dangerously misleading.  We don’t need to understand in order to obey and discover (maybe not while on earth) the marvels that God has accomplished through our obedience.

Here is one of many cases in point.  Paul said (Romans 1:13-15) that he was willing and eager to preach the Gospel at Rome but was prevented from going to Rome.  So what did God do?  He put Paul in prison in Rome.  How could that help – in prison, chained to a guard – he certainly couldn’t travel around preaching.  Hold it – wait – you are jumping too soon.  Listen (Philippians 1:12-14) to Paul again.  You would think his imprisonment would halt the spread of the Gospel but instead it actually promoted it by other believers who were encouraged by Paul to share the Gospel and specifically by Paul himself.  How would that be possible?  Picture this clearly in your mind.  At the other end of Paul’s chain is a guard who can’t go anywhere either.  He is Paul’s captive audience and he continually hears the Gospel from Paul.  The guards are changed 4 times daily.  Obviously some of those guards became believers and shared the good news of the Gospel even in (Philippians 4:22) Caesar’s own household and because Paul later mentions (Hebrews 13:24) Italian Christians.  The population of heaven continues to increase, in our day, because Paul had been in prison. If we agree with Paul that it was abundantly worth it, we must also agree that anything in our lives, which seems to imprison us is more than worth it for God’s purpose.

If you are inclined to lean on your own reasoning, listen for a slither.  It could be the masquerading angel of light whispering just what you want to hear.  Why do so many, even professing Christians, embrace twisted truth and a false gospel?  Satan is not an ugly or comic figure in a red suit with a pitchfork.  He is the most gorgeous highly intelligent creature God ever created.  The prince of darkness hides all his demonic darkness inside himself and appears (2 Corinthians 11:14-15) as an angel of light.  He clothes himself in an angelic looking mantle of light and deceives by his charm, beauty and cleverly designed words.  Of course, his agents seem to be true preachers but they are the (Matthew 7:15-16) ravening wolves who look like sheep.  They wear sheep’s clothing to cover the fierce heart of a wolf and to lure people with false grapes and counterfeit figs.  They are very religious. They are the many (Matthew 7:22) who will say, “Lord, Lord, have we not”.  What they have done is counterfeit the miracles of God but they have no relationship with Him. By their fruits (Matthew 7:16,20) you shall know them.

 

I don’t remember who said it but listen to this, “Satan hates Christians because he is jealous of us.  It infuriates him and fills him with murderous rage against us because he knows that we, clouds of dust, experience all God’s love and joy, while he, formerly a glorious angel, is utterly cast out.”  I think this is a timely insight for us to be aware and warned of the devil’s subtle schemes and alert to avoid his seductive snares.  He is not called ‘the enemy’ for nothing.

 

We will not be deceived and led away by pride if we remember that true Godly wisdom (James 3:13) is always dressed in its fitting attire of genuine humility.  From this vantage point we will gladly take the yoke (Matthew 11:29-30) and learn of Jesus. (Oswald Chambers) – “The proof that we have taken one end of the yoke and walk alongside Jesus, is that we have unbroken communion with Him.”  We have a wonderful but conditional promise. The conditions are that we be diligent (2 Peter 1:3-7) in developing the characteristics of godly character.  The promise is (2 Peter 1:8) that as these qualities are ours, we will not be barren or unfruitful in personal knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Is this not worth every effort?  What greater riches could we have than ever-increasing knowledge of Jesus and to know Him personally in ever deepening levels of intimacy?

Apart from deliberate sin, nothing can touch us but the hand of God (Deuteronomy 33:27, Hebrews 13:5-6) so we have total security.  While our earthbound, physical outer shell (2 Corinthians 4:16) weakens and diminishes, our heaven-bound, spiritual self is continually enriched and strengthened.

Christian - - there is wonder and assurance for us because God is Omnipresent (everywhere present), which means that everywhere and everyone is always in His Presence.  Therefore, when I pray, I am immediately in (Isaiah 57:15) the Holy of holies at (Hebrews 4:15-16) the Throne of Grace, where Jesus (Ephesians 1:20), Hebrews 7:25) joins the Father (with total understanding of my weakness) and prays for me.  At the same time the Holy Spirit makes intercession for me and on my (Romans 8:26) behalf for others, editing my prayers, filling in the blanks of my ignorance and presenting my requests fittingly at the high and holy throne of Sovereign Majesty.  I am so thankful for the people who pray for me but also how greatly encouraging to know that the Almighty Persons of the Holy Trinity are involved in my prayers.  When I have conversations with the Triune God, I am instantly aware of His loving welcome and gracious attention.  When I meditate on Him, I am (Luke 10:39, Luke 10:42) sitting at His feet and drinking in His wonderful Words.  When I am out and about in my world, I am, by words, deeds and attitudes a witness to my Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.  That makes me (Matthew 5:13-14) salt and light in my world.  Wherever I am 24/7, awake or asleep, I am in and aware of His loving Presence.

The thoughts I write, the Lord reveals to me in prayer or tells me while I’m listening at His feet.

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