Devotional Thoughts From The Pastor . . .

Remembered

” . . . and the LORD remembered her.”
1 Samuel 1:19
 
Hannah was a woman in deep distress. She was married and greatly desired to become a mother, yet as the years went by it looked as if this was never going to happen. One day she was in the Tabernacle worshiping and praying to the Lord and she was deeply distressed. She knew that the only One Who could help her was God Himself. Her prayer was not casual or impersonal, but one that grabbed hold of the Throne of God in heaven. In time, God granted her the request and she was able to have a son, but the text of Scripture says something unique. We are told that the LORD remembered her. This seems strange since God is Omniscient and is incapable of forgetting. What is going on here? Well the word “remembered,” when used of God, signifies that there is a crisis on one side of us and deliverance on the other side. There were a few other times when this is used of God. In Genesis 8:1, God remembered Noah. In Genesis 19:29, God remembered Abraham, and in Genesis 30:22, God remembered Rachel. All of them had a crisis and they all were delivered. But keep in mind, God’s plan is to always deliver His children through a crisis, but not always from a crisis. As we read Hebrews 11, we find that God walked with many of His servants through a difficult time in life, and they did not see miraculous deliverance, nor supernatural miracles, but they did find the grace to endure what God had for them with joy and peace. Keep this in mind the next time you are in a crisis – The Lord will remember you!

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Preparation

“Boast not thyself of tomorrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.”
Proverbs 27:1
 
We can go to extremes in preparing every last detail of our lives, but if we fail to take into consideration the Providence of God, we will be sorely disappointed. How often do our plans go awry even though we had practically thought of everything? God encourages us in this chapter to plan and prepare ahead of time, but we must also make sure that we are surrendered to the will of God and that we have a desire to trust Him in He changes our plans. The flip side of this is that there are some people who seem to never plan and they just take life as it comes. They want you to think that they have tremendous faith in the plans of God so they refuse to think ahead. While that may sound spiritual, it goes against the direction of God in the Scriptures. We are told to prepare for tomorrow, but to trust God when the plans fall apart.

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Providence

“Man’s goings are of the LORD; how can a man then understand his own way?”
Proverbs 20:24
 
When we think of Providence, we think of Divine guidance or care. Since unbelievers would rather not acknowledge God, they call it coincidence. A strange occurrence that they cannot understand. While God certainly has given man a lot of freedom to choose his own path, there are some things that God will not allow man to do. There is an immense amount of wickedness that we can see going on in terror attacks in recent days and it is truly amazing that more of that does not happen because there are a lot of radicalized, angry people. We are told in the New Testament that the Holy Spirit of God is currently hindering or holding back much of the evil that is in man’s heart. For that we should truly be thankful. On the flip side, God is not just restraining sin; He is also Providentially guiding us along the way. There are times that God will place things in our path to make His choice the only obvious choice in our lives. He is carefully seeking to lead us down the right path. Imagine if we had a God Who had a desire to guide you into His perfect will, Who wanted to protect you and keep you safe, Who wanted you to grow spiritually through the difficulties of life, Who only had your best interest in mind, and in addition to that, we were daily praying for guidance to not stray from God’s will – imagine what that life would look like. We don’t have to imagine; it can be a reality for all of us. Praise God for His Providence in our lives.

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