“But my God shall supply all your need
according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 4:19 (KJV)
As long as we are living in this world we all shall find ourselves running out of resources of one sort or another.
Some exhaust their health, others find they do not have money to complete their education, some find that their patience comes to an end and they disown a rebellious child. In so many ways and for so many reasons we discover ourselves bankrupt.
Occasionally a person can be found who decides they are sufficient for anything life offers. Such a man was a poet named William Ernest Henley (1849-1903). He suffered as a child from disease and had his right leg amputated as a means of saving his life.
As an adult he spent years in hospital and one of his children, a 5 year old girl, passed away. So Henley’s life was filled with sorrow upon sorrow. Yet for all the tragedy that life brought him, he was a truly resilient man.
The poem for which Henley is best known was titled Invictus. In Latin the word means “undefeated”. A verse in the poem goes as follows:
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Continue reading 'What to do when life is too much'»
“Since the first day that you set your mind
to gain understanding and to humble yourself
before your God, your words were heard…”
Daniel 10:12 (NIV)
As we come to the New Year with all of its uncertainties, we each have certain desires or hopes for the future. Perhaps we wish to lose weight, to break from a personal habit, to get the sorrows of 2011 behind us and move on, or some other wish. It seems appropriate at the time of new calendars to be making vows to do this or cease that in our lives.
Certainly for some the past year brought heartache that will not soon be forgotten. You may have lost your job, a loved one passed away, some illness invaded your space and is not going away. There are as many sorrows as there are days.
As we come to the verse for today we are introduced to a rather remarkable Hebrew man named Daniel.
When he was but a teenager he and many like him were forced into exile in a foreign country. He lived his adult life there and though he rose to a very high place in the government of the country, he was still longing for his homeland.
Many of Daniel’s people had recently returned to their own country to rebuild the temple at Jerusalem and begin a new chapter in their existence as God’s nation.
Word had come back to Daniel, who was still in exile, that the work of rebuilding the temple had stopped. Daniel was deeply disappointed and went into mourning over this difficult situation.
Continue reading 'The voice of God'»
“I am angry with you and your two friends,
because you have not spoken of me
what is right, as my servant Job has.”
Job 42:7 (NIV)
Some people in life have had others gossip about them and spread lies. It is one thing to suffer physical pain but somehow we find slander to be especially painful.
When we lose treasured things in life it helps if we still have our dignity, our sense of self-worth. When that is taken from us we become very depressed and miserable.
Many of you have gone through various types of suffering, some have been divorced, some have had wayward children, some have had business or career failures, or perhaps some have been ill for a long time.
People looking on from the outside, who have little or no knowledge of the situation may make harsh judgments that are hurtful and inappropriate.
When an earthquake happens some foolish people say it was a judgment of God. This was the case when Haiti experienced the great earthquake in January 2010. But Haiti is on a fault line and when the earth’s crust moves an earthquake is inevitable.
Continue reading 'Who has the last word?'»
“Because the Sovereign Lord helps me, I will not be disgraced.
Therefore have I set my face like a flint,…”
Isaiah 50:7 (NIV)
“he steadfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem.”
Luke 9:51 (KJV)
The prophet Isaiah had a most unsuccessful ministry judged by modern standards. He did not “do the numbers” so often spoken of in sales circles today. People did not listen to him as he preached. God had told him at the beginning of his work that he would not have large numbers of people heed his words (Isaiah 6:9-13).
So, for the lonely prophet, a long and difficult life lay ahead of him as he moved among the kings of the country but had his message ignored.
In our verse from Isaiah today we read of the mysterious figure called the Servant of the Lord who would be brutalised by flogging, being spit upon, and having His beard ripped out (Isaiah 50:6). Reading these words we easily recognize their fulfilment in the life of the Lord Jesus. Isaiah, more than any other Old Testament prophet speaks with great clarity of the suffering and subsequent glory of Messiah.
Continue reading 'New Year’s Resolutions'»
“Get up,” he said, “take the child and his mother
and escape to Egypt.” Luke 2:13 (NIV)
Christmas is a time of celebration, colorful lights, festive food, seasonal songs, family and friends. Then comes the long, dark, cold Canadian winter! For many people this is the hardest time of the year.
In the time of Jesus we read about the hardship of His parents in the first few years following His birth.The problems that followed Jesus’ birth arrived when the Magi made inquiry in Jerusalem concerning the whereabouts of the One born king of the Jews. Mad King Herod who was always afraid that someone was trying to depose him was the Roman ruler in the area at the time.
I say “mad” King Herod because his rule was outwardly conducted in a most skillful manner, but the house of Herod was haunted by the ghosts of family members murdered on his order because he imagined they were after his throne. Those murdered included his favourite wife, Mariamne and several sons. His insane jealousy for his position led him to be suspicious of anyone close to him.
Continue reading 'A long winter ahead'»