Comfort

1524511465672290947389.jpg

In Matthew 5:4 Jesus said, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.”

Jesus promises comfort to all who mourn.

In John 14:15-18 Jesus said  “I will pray the Father and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever-the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him;but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you”

We have a helper – the Holy Spirit is our Comforter and He helps us to pray, even when we have no words to say. The Holy Spirit will never leave us. He will not abandon us in our hour of need.

Some things may happen in life that we can never fully understand this side of eternity, but one day, we will understand. No matter what happens  God is good. He loves you and He promises to help you because He cares about you.

The Holy Spirit comes alongside us in our disappointment and grief and He shares our load. He says, “Come to me, all you who are burdened and heavy laden, and I will give you rest”

God’s yoke is easy and His burden is light.

Give your burden to God. He can handle your pain, your loss, your grief and He will help you through it.

 

Advertisements

When God says “No!” Part 3-Yes to Lydia

Acts 16:11-15

1523350583024387856389.jpg

The title of “When God says No!” is perhaps not a very catchy or appealing title  but actually when God is saying, “No” to one thing, He’s saying, “Yes” to something else. God’s  “No” to Bithynia at this time became a  “Yes” to Lydia and Philippi.

Timing is crucial.If Paul had tarried in Bithynia he may have missed the meeting with Lydia in Philippi. This meeting was a divine appointment. The Bible says that Lydia was a worshipper of God. God had been preparing her heart to receive Paul’s message.

God prepares us for a people and a people for us. We just need to trust His direction.

Lydia was a seller of purple. She was a well to do agent of a purple dye company from Thyatira. Purple cloth was extremely expensive – it was a symbol of status and wealth. The dye for purple was made from a juice found in minute quantities in shellfish. It took thousands of crustaceans to make a yard or two of purple cloth. So, to sell this cloth Lydia will have been mixing with very rich and influential people.

Lydia is believed to be the first European convert and the Orthodox churches have given her the title of, “Equal to the Apostles”  which signifies her importance and level of holiness.

The Lord opened Lydia’s heart and her and her household got baptized. Then she invited Paul to stay at her house. Later, when Paul had gone to jail and been released (Acts 16:30) he, along with Silas,  headed straight for Lydia’s house.

So after the  “No!” he received from God, Paul met this wonderful lady, Lydia, whose heart was responsive and open to the gospel  who became a big part of the Church at Philippi – a Church that was a constant source of supply for Paul – financially and spiritually. This connection was extremely significant

God’s  “No!” to Bithynia became a “Yes” to Philippi!

This happened because Paul listened to and obeyed the Holy Spirit

God has a plan for you. Don’t be discouraged if you sense a roadblock. God has a greater purpose.

God has good plans for you – to give you a future and a hope.

 

Stir up your spiritual gifts

Tonight I watched my daughters play their instruments at their school music concert. I saw a variety of instruments being played by players at different levels of ability. Instruments included the keyboard, cornet, tenor horn, guitar, flute, viola, saxophone and cello. There was a young boy who could just play a simple tune and some more experienced players. Together, in the diversity of their music, they made a superb concert.

But they all had a go. Some made mistakes, but nobody minded and parents waited with bated breath when a child struggled with the notes and applauded loudly when they managed to finish!

I think this is the attitude we should have when exercising spiritual gifts. God has distributed spiritual gifts to all believers in the church – In 1 Corinthians 12 it says, “But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit , to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, to another the workings of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit works all these things , distributing to each one individually as He wills”

Sometimes, people hold back from exercising their spiritual gift because they’re afraid of making a mistake. I have done this myself. I really think God, like those proud parents, just wants us to step out in faith and try. It doesn’t matter if we make a mistake. Everyone, when they first start out learning an instrument, makes mistakes. That is no reason not to learn or to give up. They need to keep practising and develop their musical gift. Similarly, as we keep using the gifts of the Spirit, we will develop those gifts and they will grow and we will get more confidence.

It might mean praying for a sick person to be healed. You might think, “What if they don’t get healed?” Well, what if they do? Let God handle the results of your prayer. It’s not your responsibility to heal someone (and you can’t). That part is up to God. But it’s your responsibility to pray and present someone to God.

It might mean speaking out a word that God has given you. Just speak it out, You might only get a sentence. That doesn’t matter, It could still make a difference to someone’s life.

I read a story on Facebook recently about a woman who was praying for a friend with cancer. She asked God to send  words of wisdom for her. What God spoke to her was, “Let there be light.” She did not understand this and it seemed strange but she shared it with her friend and her friend prayed into it. Her friend kept praying, “Let there be light”.  Later, when she went for an appointment her doctor told her that , “What we’re looking for are flashes of light because that’s where your antibodies are defeating the cancer.” The woman didn’t know that, but God knew that. So, maybe God will give you a word to share that doesn’t make any sense to you, but if you’ll just have faith to speak it out, it will bless someone.