Wednesday, September 24, 2008

A Sweeter Journey ~ Part II

I am continuing to repost writings from my old blog that I believe will be particularly helpful to those going through a struggle great or small. To follow is the second of a three part devotional that the Lord laid on my heart to write back in the summer.

I have been journeying through a book entitled Something More by Catherine Marshall. I first read the phrase “A Golden Bridge To The Heart of God” in her chapter on praising God. She writes “God steps in to change unhappy or even disastrous situations in our lives when we thank Him for the situation itself.” She goes on to reiterate the first theme (of which I posted yesterday) that this concept of praising can be true “only when we at last understand that God is ‘in’ every circumstance ~ good or bad ~ that He allows to come to us.” She further shares that growth comes when we take an “active step toward God who stands waiting for us at the center of the problem” ~ and the quickest route is via the pathway of praise.

Much scripture backs this up.

~ Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. I Thessalonians 5:16-18

~ Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Ephesians 5:20

Many more could be sighted. Marshall goes on to give illustrations from the Bible of praise being the “hinge upon which great events turned.” One in particular was the account of Paul and Silas in prison. Their backs were surely raw and bleeding from the stripes laid upon them. Their feet were in stocks. City authorities were clearly against them. It didn’t look good. Acts 16 tells the account of how Paul and Silas were arrested, beaten, and placed in prison. In verses 25 & 26 it is recorded And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them. And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one's bands were loosed. And the excitement didn’t stop there. Not only was the jailer and his entire family saved, by morning all charges were withdrawn and they were free to go.

Praising God in the good times is something I can do quite easily ~ but praising God for the bad things is not something I have a lot of practice with. Catherine Marshall writes that the prayer of praise is the most powerful prayer of all. “It is a golden bridge to the heart of God. No human situation is too burdensome, no circumstances too calamitous for praise to bring as marvelous of results today as in Bible times.” So I’m gonna pray toward this end. I’ve actually already begun. Being a Christian for so many years and yet not really dealing as well with “things” as I should ~ I want to see change. I want to see victory in my life and in the lives around me. I figure this route far outweighs the more traditional ones I've tried ~ praying yet still worrying, praying yet still complaining, and even praying yet still not truly believing that He CAN DO THE IMPOSSIBLE. There is so much more that can be shared but that will have to wait for another time. May the Lord richly bless you!

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