Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Day of Praise

Thur, 01/11/18, "Day of Praise"

Psalm 73:1-2 - "Truly God is good to Israel, to those who are pure in heart. But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled, my steps had nearly slipped."

Have you ever had a bad time in your life? A hard time? Have you ever "almost stumbled" and "nearly slipped"?

I remember two times I went to camp with my daughters and the special time we had for parent-child conversation. As a remembrance of that parent-child time, the camp gives each parent and each child a simple, string bracelet with beads that spell "G-O-D". I wore mine until they literally rotted off. 

However, one day before the one bracelet had rotted, the black string broke as I was getting ready for bed. The beads bounced around, including one that bounced into the bathtub and was headed straight for the drain. I quickly prayed, "Please, Lord." And right at the lip of the drain, it stopped. 

Did my prayer make a difference? I believe so. Even moreso, did God stop the bead that carries a special meaning for me? I believe so even more. 

In the same way, in your bad time in your life, in your hard time, when you "almost stumbled" and "nearly slipped" right down the drain, who kept you from going right down the tubes like a tiny bead on its way to its end? And if necessary, who would've kept going with you, even if you'd come to your end?

In Jesus the Christ, we have One who is God with us, holding us close, keeping us together, like a special bracelet on God's own wrist. But Jesus, the very Son of God, has also shown us plainly, on his cross and in his death, that when our lives are headed for the drain, he's pleading for us, advocating for us, to keep us from going straight down the tubes. 

In essence, he keeps us from stumbling and holds us upright. He's certainly held me up, by his Spirit and through his people, in the worst times of my life and in every other season too. And even if I'd fallen, he would've gone with me, all the way, because in the depths he meets us and from the depths he raises us up. 

Give thanks, dear friends, for Mighty God who is with us. And pray for your friends who are struggling, not only that God would keep them from falling and heading straight down the tubes, but also that your friend would know who is with them, even in the depths of despair. 

And even better than prayer for them, reach out and personally tell them! God promises to speak to them through your faith in Him with a powerful and life-changing encouragement that will give them strength in the Lord, if they'll but receive your testimony and trust God to hold them up and keep them from going down the drain!

For He who is with us when we stumble is the One who also raises us up!

Praise God!

Pastor Chris 
"The gospel is the story of Jesus [what God's only Son has done for us that we can't do for ourselves], spoken as a promise." - Robert Jenson

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