Thursday, February 5, 2009

My purpose in giving you this is that I hope you’ll find the same strength in these scriptures, stories, and prayer as I do. Scripture encourages us to share our testimonies and struggles so that we can help others. “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.” James 5:16 The New Testament contains Paul’s letters of encouragement and instruction to the early church. “I remember you in my prayers at all times…I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong— that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other's faith.” Romans 1:9-12. Furthermore, God uses everyday people to share our burdens. “He comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, he brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-5 Have you ever been sitting on a bus, waiting in the grocery store line, or casually talking with a coworker, only to discover they have gone through the same struggles? That is God in action! Not only do we serve an omnipotent God, we serve a practical God too.

My childhood experiences in church led me to believe that God was holding back but would eventually rain down fire and brimstone in judgment for all my sins~ that I was truly a Sinner in the hands of an Angry God. The older I grew and the more mistakes I’ve made, I realize that I worship a merciful, loving God who is waiting to welcome me back home. He isn’t just a good father figure; He’s the perfect Father Figure. Psalm 103:8-16 declares, “The LORD is compassionate and merciful, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. He will not constantly accuse us, nor remain angry forever. He does not punish us for all our sins; he does not deal harshly with us, as we deserve. …. He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west. The LORD is like a father to his children, tender and compassionate to those who fear him. For he knows how weak we are; he remembers we are only dust. …But the love of the LORD remains forever with those who fear him. His salvation extends to the children’s children of those who are faithful to his covenant, of those who obey his commandments!” If you are like myself and have a difficult relationship with your father, this might be a difficult concept to embrace. Imagine for a moment all the things you wish your human father would do and could be….God is willing and wanting to fill that hole in your heart.

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