Saturday, February 04, 2017

February 4, 2017 ... ALWAYS !!

Berry Patch Devotions in 2017 - Day 35 

Devotional Song:  … GO TO THIS LINK …  Please take the time to take in a YouTube video of images from Laura Story singing her song … Blessings … poignantly expressing the reality that often God’s blessings are disguised as the challenges we face in life.

Highlight Verse[s]: 1st Thessalonians 5:18 [NLT] … 
18 Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. 
… Yes, ALWAYS!!
Highlight Passage [context]: 1st Thessalonians 5:16-18 [NLT] … USE THIS LINK
… Paul trying to show fellow Christians how we should live.

Reference Passage #1 [NKJV] : … Romans 8:28 [NKJV] … USE THIS LINK … 
28 All things work together for the good of those who love the Lord and are the called according to His purpose. 

Reference Passage #2 [NKJV] : … 1st Corinthians 10:13 [NKJV] … 
13 The temptations [also translated “tests, trials, troubles, or tribulations”] in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.
… No matter what we go thru, God’s faithfulness will allow Christians to deal with the situation.

Reference Passage #3 [NKJV] : … 2nd Corinthians 12:8 [NKJV] … 
9 Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. 
… Yes, even when we’re weak, Jesus, thru His Spirit, will give us the strength we need.

My Devotional Journal: Today's ODB author, Lawrence Darmani, uses a personal analogy to illustrate God lifting us up when we need His power. The ODB author wrote: In our suburb we complain about the constant power outages. They can hit three times in a week and last up to twenty-four hours, plunging the neighborhood into darkness. The inconvenience is hard to bear when we cannot use basic household appliances. 

Then the ODB made reference to Paul’s teaching (in 1st Thess. 5:8) that we Christians should have a thankful attitude no matter how uncomfortable our circumstances; and I think we’d all agree that in some of our trials, it can be really difficult to give thanks to God.

But then the ODB entry today made it clear that even the power outages were something for which we should be thankful with this further explanation: One day, however, our belief in thanking God in all circumstances took on new meaning. I returned from work to find our neighbor visibly shaken as she cried, “Thank Jesus the power was off. My house would have burned down, and my family and I would have perished!” … A refuse-collection truck had hit the electricity pole in front of her house and brought down the high-tension cables right over several houses. Had there been power in the cables, fatalities would have been likely. 

It’s really tough to be thankful ALWAYS, isn’t it? And certainly we have trouble seeing that even our tough times are blessings from God, as Laura Story sings (linked above) and the Apostle Paul preaches in the reference passages above. … Yes, those verses are some of the toughest verses to believe and live out when circumstances really challenge out faith and strength. But as God taught and promised, thru Paul (and Jesus Himself), we can rely on God’s grace to give us power when we’re weak; and we can be faithful that God will not allow us to get into any predicament that we cannot handle WITH HIS FAITHFUL HELP. 

So, … THANKFUL He calls us to be today and always; and thankful we can - and will - be if we trust in Him (see again Prov. 3: 5-6).

My Prayer Today: Heavenly Father, … Even facing some tough trials right now, Lord, I am thankful for your enabling/empowering grace. … Amen

Blogger Note:  Everyday during this year, my daily devotional blogs are influenced by the reading and study of the online devotional blog entitled Our Daily Bread, distributed online via email by RBC Ministries.  If you GO TO THIS LINK on the date of my blog, you can read/study the ODB blogs; or you can subscribe to the blog via email at that site.

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