Browsing articles tagged with " promise"
Aug
22

When God Brings Laughter

By admin  //  Devotionals  //  No Comments

“Now the LORD was gracious to Sarah as he had said, and the LORD did to Sarah what he had promised…Sarah said, ‘God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me’”.  Genesis 21:1& 6 (NIV)

It is very encouraging to read here that God ‘was gracious to Sarah’. Just think, it was the same Sarah who doubted and laughed, whom God now visited for good! Our God is gracious. In as much as he longs to see strong faith develop in us, he does not disown us when it becomes a struggle for us to keep on believing.

Sarah had laughed the year before when the angels reaffirmed God’s promise that this aged woman would bear a son, and that it would be within a year (Genesis 18:9-15). Now I can relate to Sarah’s disbelief. After over two decades of hoping against hope, it had become hard for Sarah not to doubt. It was not that she could no longer believe. It was just that she could no longer help doubting.

Beloved, God understands the weariness that comes to our soul from waiting and struggling to keep holding onto his promises to us. But he is gracious. He does not abandon us when we struggle with believing. Listen:

“If we are faithless, he will remain faithful, for he cannot disown himself” 2 Tim 2:13 (NIV)

Sarah said God had brought her laughter. She had been used to people laughing all around her. But it was never with her but at her. For years she had endured the jeers of men because of her obvious barrenness and it seemed at one point that things would never change. But we serve a gracious God who knows how to bring us laughter!

“And she added, ‘Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? Yet I have borne him a son in his old age.” ‘ Gen 21:7 (NIV)

Who would have believed that Sarah’s case could ever have changed? But our God is gracious. He delights to bring us laughter!

Does your situation look impossible? Have you come to the point where it seems foolish to keep on believing that God’s promise to you will ever come to pass? Has it become a struggle for you to believe? Listen, don’t despair, our God is gracious. God has not forgotten you. At the right time he will bring laughter to you too. He knows how to make impossibilities possible. He will cause men to laugh with you too.

Aug
6

Avoiding the Seat of the Scoffers

By admin  //  Devotionals  //  3 Comments

Avoiding the Seat of the Scoffers:

‘The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness’ – 2 Peter 3:9

We must not let the ‘slowness’ of God in keeping his promise make us become scoffers. Proverbs 13:12 says ‘Hope deferred makes the heart sick’(NASB) and one of the worst heart sicknesses that can come upon us is to become scoffers. It is trap any one of us can fall into especially when we grow weary of waiting.

Peter tells us that scoffers will rise in the last days: ‘They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our fathers died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.” (NIV) A scoffer is a man who has begun to despise the promise of God. And right there in this verse we see the thing that provokes this skepticism about God’s promises. It is always the fact that ‘everything goes on as it has since the beginning’ that discourages and distracts us – the fact that things just go on as if no promise has been given. If things were at least changing gradually, we might be encouraged to wait. But when everything is at a standstill, we begin to wonder ‘Where is this ‘coming’ he promised?’  This is the point when we are in danger of growing a scornful heart.

Please get my point: this is more than just struggling with believing (a normal path of the fight of faith) – rather it is choosing no longer to believe. It says here of the scoffer: ‘they deliberately forget’. The scoffer is that man who raises his nose when you say ‘but God will do it…’ He thinks ‘get real, let’s not deceive ourselves, it’s not going to happen’. To be a scoffer is to ‘deliberately forget’ what God is doing and what he is saying. To come to a place where you deliberately make up your mind not to keep in view what God has done. A scoffer finds it wearisome to keep in view God’s promises (because they just do not seem to make anything different) so he deliberately chooses to keep them out of view (‘deliberately forget’).

We must avoid this sickness of the heart for not only does it injure our soul, it also takes us further away from the place where the love of God can reach us.

The way to guard against growing a scornful heart is found in Psalm 1:1-2. It speaks of the blessedness of the man who does not: ‘sit in the seat of the scornful; but his delight is in the law (promises) of the LORD, and in His law (promises) he meditates day and night’

The cure for the scornful heart is found in taking delight in what God has said – in the promises of God. It comes from placing those promises before your eyes day and night and letting it rejoice your heart because you know that he who has promised is faithful.

There is a song we used to sing:

‘When I remember his promises, I shout Alleluyah

When I remember his promises, I shout Alleluyah

Alleluyah, alleluyah, alleluyah, alleluyah

When I remember his promises, I shout Alleluyah’

Place his promise before you and meditate on it until it makes you shout ‘Alleluyah’ when you recall it.  A grateful heart cannot grow scornful. An expectant heart cannot grow scornful.

You see the reason why his Word to us must excite us is the understanding that Peter goes on to give in 3:5b ‘the earth was formed out of water and by water’.

God’s way, as in creation, has always been to make something solid (the earth) out of something that is not solid (waters). His promises are like waters – they do not look ‘solid’ to the natural man. Yet it is through these waters that he makes very solid things. Everything God does is through his word. When God wants to intervene in a situation, he sends his word. ‘He sent forth his word and healed them; he rescued them’ (Psalm 107:20).  So that word or promise that God has given you that looks like ‘waters’ is actually all you need to see his manifestation, if you will hold it and not let it go. So hold on to it and don’t let anything steal it from you. Beware especially of a scornful heart.

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Comments? Questions? etc. If these messages have been helpful or unclear it would encourage us to hear from you, please write to chim_ibidun@hotmail.com
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PLEASE are you born again? It is not enough to believe in the existence of God, to go to church, or be interested in spiritual things. Jesus said “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). Jesus died to deliver you from sin so that you can come to God. (John 3:16) If you ask him to forgive you and give you a new heart he will. (Acts 2:38; Romans 10:9-11).Try it. I’d love to hear from you @ chim_ibidun@hotmail.com
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Chim’sWRITE are regular articles on Christian living and cross-cultural missions from Chimezie Onyebilanma a cross-cultural missionary with Calvary Ministries (CAPRO). CAPRO is an indigenous African non-denominational cross-cultural  mission agency involved in reaching the remaining unreached peoples in 22 countries of Africa and the Middle East as of present. CAPRO is involved in missions mobilization, training, and research as well as church-planting and mercy ministries (literacy, rural development, primary health-care, relief and rehabilitation). CAPRO is a faith mission, both the ministry and its missionaries depend on God’s provision through the giving of his people. None of its missionaries are salaried. All gifts are used as designated.

Surface Address: CAPRO MISSIONS SA, Durban, 47 Sutherland Rd, Waterfall, 3610, Durban, P.O.Box 207, Hillcrest, 3650, South Africa.Tel: +2731 766 2336; +27 794737208 (cell)

To learn more about the ministry of Chimezie Onyebilanma and how you can partner with us please email chim_ibidun@hotmail.com
To learn more about the cross-cultural missionary work of CAPRO visit www.capromissions.org.za

Do you know that your monthly gifts to support a missionary can make a big difference? To learn more about supporting missionaries please visit www.adopt-a-missionary.org    or enquire at chim_ibidun@hotmail.com

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