God grant you the light in Christmas, which is faith;
the warmth of Christmas, which is love;
the radiance of Christmas, which is purity;
the righteousness of Christmas, which is justice;
the belief in Christmas, which is truth;
& all of Christmas, which is Christ.
--Wilda English

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Sunday Morning Sermonette

"In light of your sovereign grace, we thank You for blindness, for paralysis, for loss, for death, for broken dreams, for dissolved partnerships, & for disillusionment.  In faith, we praise You for times of insecurity, failure, divorce, & even those when others have treated us unfairly."

Chuck Swindoll
The Prayers of Charles R. Swindoll, Volume I

I came across this except from the above referenced prayer devotional several days ago.  It struck me like a bolt of lightning out of a clear blue sky.  Many people question the sense of such things happening, but then to have it suggested that they should thank & praise God for them?  For blindness?  For paralysis?  For broken dreams?  For divorce? Praise Him when others have treated us unfairly?  How?  How are we supposed to do this?

We do it in faith & we do it in obedience to God.  Of course it's difficult, but we can't let these or any other negative things that happen to us in this life tear us away from Him.  

In Philippians 4:4, Paul writes "Rejoice in the Lord always!  I will say it again!  Rejoice!" Paul wrote this while he was unjustly arrested, beaten, & thrown into the inner cell of a Roman prison.  I have read various descriptions of what prison life would have been like for Paul back in the first century AD when Philippians was written.  It consisted of little food, extreme filth, & darkness.  Men were crowded into the inner cells.  There was no privacy, no means of hygiene.  Historians tell us that when prisoners died, they were piled up in the corner of the cells & the bodies were collected at a later time.  Paul found himself in these conditions, but what was his response?  It was to rejoice.  

To wallow in despair & complain because of what we consider to be injustices in our lives builds a wall between us & God.  To accept that these things are a part of our world & to seek God's help in getting through them makes us stronger & brings us closer to God. Being closer to Him should be our #1 desire.

Whatever happens to you today ... whatever happened to you in the past ... whatever happens to you in the future ... I urge you to rejoice & grow closer to God.  We are not rejoicing because we have these circumstances in our lives.  We are rejoicing despite them!  We are rejoicing because no matter what, God is with us!

Have a great Sunday, & be blessed   : )     


Vickie said...

Thank you Shirlee! How very true. This is something I have been truly struggling with this year. I do constantly remind myself that God knows best. I do not. Be blessed my friend!

Maureen said...

Shirlee, I can't help but believe this came to us from the Holy Spirit through you. Thank you for delivering this message to us. You have given me much to think about. Bless you.

Jo who can't think of a clever nickname said...

Hello from one of your blessings!!

Or maybe I am one of the hardships you have to suffer?

Laura said...

Happy and blessed Sunday, Shirlee! I hope you're feeling better :) :) :)

Robin said...

Blessings to you as well, Shirlee!

butterfly said...

Blessings Shirlee, and you know you are so blessed, hugs.

Pamela said...

thank you Shirlee! I needed to read this today. Just feeling rather blue. But I do have so much more to be thankful for. I am now rejoicing.
Have a blessed day!

cl said...

How true - something bad happened to me this week and I was instantly ready to lash out in retaliation. But then I decided to take a deep breath and sleep on it (pray on it) and have a much different reaction now. I can only control my actions and words. I will not repay unkindness with the same - I will not speak poorly of the other person. That is not who I am nor who I want to be - taking the high road here - but sticking to my principles. Thanks fo the reminder.

Stitchy Mc Floss said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Almira said...

Thank you Shirlee. Hugs to you.

Minnie said...

A very much needed reminder. Thank you my friend.

Simply Victoria said...

Lovely dear! Thanks for sharing : )

cucki said...

blessings to you as well dear friend. xx

Kaisievic said...

Blessings, Shirlee - your great faith is a comfort to us all.

Pam in IL said...

Thanks for sharing. It's been a rough few days and I needed to be reminded of this.

Teresa S. said...

Well said, Shirlee!
Thanks for sharing.

Beauty Bonnet said...

Thank you for the inspiring words, Shirlee! My mom always says to give thanks. It's nice to be reminded.