Psalm 66:8-12 - Praise our God, O peoples, let the sound of his praise be heard; he has preserved our lives and kept our feet from slipping. For you, O God, tested us; you refined us like silver. You brought us into prison and laid burdens on our backs. You let men ride over our heads; we went through fire and water, but you brought us to a place of abundance.
I love the brutal honesty of scriptures. I contrast that - in shame - with the script of my life and the brutal pride. Not pride that I'm proud I have it all together, but pride that I'm unwilling to share my faults for fear of shuns. Some might call it pride or arrogance, some might even say it's hypocrisy. Sure, ok.
We all do that, right?
We cross our t's and dot our i's. We make sure that our appearance is up to code. We shore up any frazzled lines that looks like we are out of control. And if some moment or decision happens to run haywire, we quickly defend ourselves by saying, "It's not my fault."
Am I the only one?
Well, when pride is not running the show and I'm broken in humility, I can own up to the faults and failures brought on by my enormous stupidity and ignorance. I'm sure you can as well. But what happens when you're doing everything right and you still get hit with rough times? What happens when it doesn't seem like we deserve what we get?
Psalm 66 has brutal honesty and truth - For you, O God, tested us; you refined us like silver. You brought us into prison and laid burdens on our backs. You let men ride over our heads; we went through fire and water.
God did this to His people. Why? Well, according to this Psalm, to preserve, protect, deliver, and bless. And probably a few more reasons that I'm missing. Point is - God did it. God fixed it. For God's purpose.
Who know's why things happen the way they do - we surely can't figure them out most of the time. And I really don't think we need to try to figure everything out. Maybe it's God's purpose and we should just be quiet and have faith and let Him do what He wants without complaining.
Wisdom doesn't always demand or need to know the answer to life's problems. Wisdom holds on to faith even in what seem to be foolishness.
We may be tested, refined, imprisoned, burdened, rode over, put through fire and water - but faith and trust in God will also bring us to a place of abundance.
...Except the Cause of Christ....
Which includes the homeless, refugee, heartbroken, poor, orphan, sex trafficked, sexually abused, pedophile, pornographer, fearful, drug addict, poorly educated, highly educated, politician, aristocrat, debauched, pretentious, proud, judgmental, homosexual, transgender, racist, racially profiled, complacent, complicit, ignorant, foolish, mentally ill, handicapped, cancer stricken, emotionally abused, depressed, suicidal, despots, dictators, women, children, and men.
Before everyone had access to the pulpit of social media, in order to get everyone's attention, they would stand on shipping crate's like soapboxes. Anyone could stand on a soapbox to vent, preach, politicize, spew hate or love. People still stand on soapboxes today, but the crate's are global boxes of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and a few dozen more. There are dozen's of causes that people are passionate about that I scroll past everyday. They're worthy causes. However, a lot of that soapbox rhetoric is drowned out by every other vent session.
If everyone is crying out and making noise for different causes, at some point clarity is crushed by clamor.
I've been asked many times, "What's your life verse?" or "What's your favorite verse of scripture?" - My answer, " I don't have one. " I don't have one because my favorite, my life verse changes as my situation and life changes. I don't want to be pegged with one verse, but I want to encapsulate the Word of God.
What is my cause? - I have no cause other than what is important to Christ. And so, what is important to Christ? - Everyone. The hurting and hopeless. The disadvantaged and destroyed. The abused and addicted. The power hungry and powerless. The prideful and perverted.
If we laser focus our attention to the cause of Christ, through Christ, our effectiveness in standing on the soapboxes will not be drowned out by the din of the world.
Maybe we need to get off the soapbox and began to serve the cause of Christ, not so much with our voices and fingertips on social media, but with the hands and feet of Christ.
One Community Radio has been broadcasting now for almost a month - and I am gratefully amazed. With very little advertising and mostly word of mouth, we are averaging a little more than 2000 listeners a week. And they have been from all around the world!
We also made some great connections with future ministry and mission opportunities. One that I'm excited about is the invitation to livestream the Alabama District of the Assemblies of God Youth Convention in March. This is a great opportunity to not only be a service to thousands of people across the state unable to attend this 2 night conference but also an opportunity to get the word out about One Community Radio.
If you will, help us as well. If you like what you hear, tell others about us. We just want to be a tool - a service - in helping people worship, in discipleship, in missions, etc. And as always, we thank you so much for your support and encouragement!
Proverbs 25:2 - It is the glory of God to conceal a matter; to search out a matter is the glory of kings.
I've pretty much used the same bible since about 2002. I have several bibles with different translations, but I've used my bonded leather, Zondervan NIV as the main study/reading one. It has been taped together several times for when the pages have separated from the binding. It's filled with pencil marks, notations, and yellow highlights. Even after reading through several times and marking verses that I like - I still can read those same verses and the Lord convict me and show me new things.
This verse in Proverbs is a great picture of where I am. I keep reading and searching and seeking because I love God's Word. Its power and truth is everlasting. To me, it's a great honor and precious gift to be able to read and know God through His Word. And even though veiled at times, God reveals fresh exciting things every time I sit down to seek.
Keep seeking! Keep searching out the wonderful powerful truths of God's Word. Don't seek this world. Don't search out tidbits and wise philosophical meanderings from those in the world. Search God's Word! It's all you need for now and for eternity.