Monday, June 16, 2014

Bible Study: Praise the Lord all nations

Romans 15:11
Psalm 117:1-2
2 Corinthians 4:16-18
What do you struggle with the most these days? Recently my biggest trial has been a screaming toddler. All day, every day, for everything she wants to communicate she screams. Loudly and shrilly. I end most days with a headache. But if she were not a screamer, then I would probably complain about another trial the Lord has entrusted to me: perhaps the amount of work involved in life with two babies, or differences in communication among family members, or struggles to defeat particular areas of sin in my life. Meanwhile, other individuals are dealing with far more significant trials than a screaming toddler: cancer, or life changing disability, or poverty, or religious persecution. I'd rather stick with my screaming one year old trial than many of the other difficulties people in this world face. (And someday she won't scream--this is only for a short while!) For we live in a fallen world and we all face trials of one type or another.
Once upon a time all Gentiles were excluded from full participation in worship of the one true God. They could not expect to be counted as members of His people. They could not enter far into the temple in Jerusalem to worship. They did not have the Holy Spirit guiding and helping them every day. In fact, even the Jews did not have the Holy Spirit aiding them every day. We rejoice now as God's people because 1) We are God's people, a privilege not always given to the Gentiles, 2) His Spirit helps us not just "someday" when we reach heaven, but today as we encounter various trials. His love and faithfulness are truly incredible, transforming impossible situations into opportunities to rejoice. He changes our perspective. He carries us through the difficulties. He provides all the grace we need to overcome each trial. He names us His own, claiming us as His children. Praise the Lord: for He has poured out blessing upon blessing on us throughout our lives and into eternity.

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