Monday, May 28, 2012
GOD'S FLOWING RIVER OF LIFE
The celebration of Pentecost yesterday is a joyful reminder of God’s love for us in the form of His life-giving Spirit. He knew that after Jesus ascended to heaven, we’d need a Helper—One who helps us grow in the grace and knowledge of God. The same Spirit who filled the apostles fills us today with power and boldness to proclaim His Gospel, and with the same love that Jesus expressed. We can all rejoice in singing, Happy Birthday, Christian Church!
ETERNAL PERSPECTIVES by Sally Bair
I sent a request by mail but the envelope came back to me with the note, “Not Deliverable.” I know I addressed it correctly, so why the return? Had the business folded? Moved with no forwarding address? Had I received wrong information about the address? Should I try again, knowing I might lose the price of another stamp and envelope?
Have you ever sent a prayer to God and it came back unanswered? Such a disappointment can bring puzzlement, doubt, even unbelief and anger. I think of those of us who have lost a loved one—especially a young child—through sudden death. It doesn’t seem fair, does it?
We don’t know God’s reasons for allowing such tragedies. We live in an imperfect world. Perhaps we raise our selfish expectations too high for our own good, or believe that God will fulfill all our desires and answer all our prayers.
Countless stories are told by people who have been maimed, grieved, or imprisoned and thanked God for the experience because it brought them immeasurable blessing. They testify that when they finally handed God their fears, anger, frustrations, and hopelessness, He delivered on His promise of peace and joy and restoration.
Others make known their unforgiveness over a wrong, perhaps perceived, perhaps not. Only when at last they reach the point of releasing their hold of unforgiveness to God do they find emotional and spiritual freedom. God doesn’t answer our prayers when we keep unforgiveness in our hearts. “If you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” (Matthew 6:15)
Sometimes we offer our worries and concerns to God with an open hand, say Amen, but immediately close our hand in the act of retrieving those worries and concerns. God is faithful. He can be trusted to take those worries and concerns and turn them into blessings. Our part is to trust that He will do as He promises through the power of the Holy Spirit and faith in Christ’s finished work on the cross.
When we mail a letter, we put it out of our minds, trusting that it will be delivered as addressed. When we send a letter-prayer to God, we can release it from our mind, knowing He will answer it. “Ask and it will be given to you ….” (Luke 11:9)
Lord, we thank You for the gift of prayer. As we send our needs and desires to You through prayer, help us remember that we can trust that You will answer our prayers according to Your perfect will. In Jesus’ name, amen.