Having One of Those Days

Have you ever had one of those days, maybe a string of days when you are frustrated and discouraged with your walk with the Lord? You hate to admit to even thinking it, but there are those days when you question your faith, you wonder, “Where is God?” Life circumstances, pain, and disappointments leave you asking, “Where are You, God?

David must have been having one of those days in Psalms 42 . . . he said, “My tears have been my food day and night” (Psa 42:3). In verse six he declared, “My soul is downcast within me.” This Psalm tells us that people around David were mocking his faith, his God, asking “Where is your God?” David said, “My foes taunt me all daylong” (Psa 42:10). The persecution of his soul even affected him physically. He described his pain as waves and breakers sweeping over him; his bones even hurt (Psa 42:10).

Well . . . if David can have those kind of days, I guess I can expect the enemy of my soul to tempt and torment me as well. David gives us the solution in verse one. David marks the beginning of climbing out of the spiritual doldrums. He longs, even pants, as a deer after water, his soul also longs after the Lord. The beginning place, back to spiritual vitality, begins with the Lord (Psa 42:1).

In Psalm 42:4, David declares the importance of going to the house of God. Within the “sanctuary” of His house we can enjoy worship, participate in prayer, discover encouragement, and find support.

Two times (Psalm 42:5 & Psalm 42:7) we find another nugget that David gives us. David talks to himself! “Why so downcast oh my soul?”(KJV) It is as if David is giving himself a quick kick in the seat of his pants, a spiritual swat . . . “Snap out of it, David,” he says, “Put your hope in God!” Then, the friend of God says with determination . . . in midst of turmoil, while having a bad day, week, or month, “Yet, I will praise Him, my Saviour and my God” (Psa 42;11).

Let’s take a cue from David . . . pant after, long for our Savior’s care. His words, determine to fellowship in the house of God, and give yourself a spiritual pep talk . . . He will get us through the storms of life, the doldrums of our faith. He will never leave us! Bless His Holy Name!

~Pastor Rod

It Is Well With My Soul

“Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say it is well, it is well with my soul.”
(Horatio Spafford, It Is Well With My Soul)
It was after his son died, a fire burned up his fortune, and his two daughters died in a shipwreck, that Spafford penned the above words. He wrote the hymn as he approached the area in the ocean where his children had drowned.
I don’t know about you, but that blows my mind. I think that if I was looking into ocean’s depths where my children had taken their last breath, the last thing I would be able to say is, ‘‘It is well with my soul.” I’m 100% certain that this man wasn’t happy. I know that he wasn’t smiling, or laughing when he wrote those words. How can he possibly I have found peace at a time like that?
Colossians 3:15 says,
“ …let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts…”
Letting the peace of Jesus lead our hearts is easier said than done, but it’s not unreachable. The reason that Spafford could say, “It is well with my soul” is because it WAS well with his soul. Would he have preferred that circumstances were different? Absolutely! However,  somehow he was still able to say, “It is well with my soul.”
My favorite part of Spafford’s hymn is verse one. “When peace, like a river attendeth my way. When sorrows like sea billows roll. Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say, it is well It is well with my soul. ” I love the imagery, but what I really love about it is the coexistence of peace and sorrow. It’s easy for me to resign my pursuit for peace when difficulty comes. I can make an excuse for myself to wallow in a puddle of pity when times are hard. However, that kind of attitude and response is not biblical. There is a peace that surpasses all reason, and it can only be found in Jesus.
To pursue peace means to pursue Jesus. My challenge to us today is that we never let the sea billows of sorrow toss us too far from knowing the peace of Christ. Whatever our lot, may we always be able to say, “It is well with my soul.”

Peace Be Still

It always amazes me how fast January goes by. One day we are celebrating the new year, and the next Punxatawney Phil is looking for his shadow. February can be a strange month weather wise. I never put much stock in the furry rodent’s predictions but, the up and down weather can be a trial. February can be cold, stormy, icy, warm, flirtatious, and down right horrible! What are you gonna do?

Tuesday and Wednesday evening during our Bible study . . . hey here’s an idea, if you don’t normally attend our Bible study, try it, I know you’ll like it. This past Wednesday we talked about Jesus calming the storm in Luke chapter eight. A furious storm descended upon Jesus and His disciples as they crossed the Sea of Galilee. This storm that was attempting to sink the boat can be likened to the storms of life . . . the storms of February that would try to sink us. The enemy stirs up those storms in order to frustrate, discourage, even destroy us. You may be experiencing a storm this morning. Be assured Jesus is with you, He cares, and He can speak to that storm, “Peace be still,” just as He did in Luke chapter eight.

Let February blast us with its worst . . . let the enemy throw what feeble attempts he may have at us . . . our God is greater, more than able to take the teeth out of the storms of life. At the end of the day we can rest assured in “Peace, Be Still.”

~Pastor Rod

Trials — Good or Bad?

According to the Word of God we would have to agree that they are good for us.

In I Peter 1:6-7 it says, “In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious. than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” In fact, Peter talks about trials several times in this letter: see 1 Peter 3:13-17; 1 Peter 4:12-19; and 1 Peter 5:9.

We really need to understand that these trials are definitely for our benefit. Just as the impurities in gold will rise to the top when the gold is heated so they can be skimmed off, so impurities in our life as they are burned away will prepare us to meet Christ.

The Spirit Filled Life Bible (NKJV) says, “Faith in the Person of Christ and the completed work of the Cross allows a Christian to endure rejection by the world. This rejection may even lead to death. The faith-filled Christian glorifies God and can count as a blessing to stand for his Lord. Such a stand for Christ is preceded by the denial of fleshly lust so that the Spirit is in control.”

So when we strugle with persecutions and trials rather than complaining and saying, “Why is this happening to me”, we should respond with confidence that God knows what is best for us and He will not forsake us but will lead us through the trial so we will be better off and able to serve Him as He wants us to.

He never said the Christian life would be easy, but will it be worth it — absolutely!


The Sweet & the Bitter

“God will not kill his children with sweets any more than he will destroy them with bitters.” C. H. Spurgeon

Is it possible that we often underestimate the value of struggles and the possible harm of our abundance? We often use the term “I’m blessed” to mean that we have financial security, nice things, a high paying job, or when everything is going great. I think that is true, however being “blessed” can also mean being poor, having little, and going through a difficult time.

God’s goodness doesn’t change based on circumstances. His blessings are new every morning, great is His faithfulness. (Leviticus 3:22-23)

Perhaps our struggles on this earth are to develop us into heroes of faith. Perhaps they are to protect us from our own devices. A child given too much freedom often causes harm to themselves and to others.

Whatever the reason for your struggles today, let me encourage you to trust your loving and faithful Father. He sees you. He loves you. He desires the very best for you and this world. Your present day struggles, as well as earthly successes, may both fall into the category of God’s blessings.

If you find yourself in a difficult play today, may I challenge you to give the Lord thanks and seek to glorify Him in it.