Thursday, February 13, 2014

Keep Praying, Keep Watching for the Son to Rise

The weather forecast has most of us holding our breath. For the south, we’ve had a pretty hard winter. The cold temps have dipped and stayed low for a long time. Not much clear bright sunshine to speak of. 
When winter first comes we meet it with excitement. We can do this. The wood pile is full, the jackets and boots are taken out of storage and we anticipate changes of snow to play. But eventually winter is just winter. No longer fun, no longer tolerable, we’ve had it. Snow is messy, the wood pile is waning and the sun hasn’t shined much at all. We need spring. We need some sunny days and warmer temperatures. We’re tired of bundling up everywhere we go. 
Just as we prepare for winter, we also prepare for hard times. We know the Word and we speak it into our own hearts with confidence. We can do this. We can get through it. Sometimes though, the hard, cold reality is the chill of hard times gets to us. Spring gets delayed and our hopes get delayed. We were willing to believe God would get us through, that we’d have enough spiritual insight to get by, but now we’re done with it. Chilled to the bone, we want the Son to shine again. We want Jesus to come and take away the pain and make things new. The anticipation has given way to heartache. 
Maybe you’re there. You prayed, you quoted Scripture, you held tight to God’s hand and you bundled up in His love. But you’re tired of it. The prayers are waning, the hope is diminishing and even though the Word forecasts that better days are ahead, you’re beginning to doubt it all. You put all your hope in the forecast, but it’s not happening and you’re weakening. Where is God when the winter times linger, when the answers to prayer don’t come quickly and the chill of the present situation is starting to cause frostbite to your heart and mind?
Oh beloved, this is the time to hold tighter to God’s unfailing promises. His forecast is the only one you can rely on. He promises that better days are ahead, but we think that means everything is going to be fine quickly. Sometimes winter lingers far into the days that should be sunny. But God says you will be better. You will overcome. You will be victorious. You will live in the warmth of His light and His love. Keep praying, keep quoting Scripture, keep looking for Him. He’s your answer to hard times, bad outcomes and worse weather. He is the One who makes all things new. Even when the spouse stays gone, the money stays low, the friends stay gone and the child stays wayward. Even when you see no sign of the Son. Especially when you grow weak and weary and unsure if spring’s answer will come.
Whatever you are hoping for, praying about and trying to get through, God will see you through. Don’t give up now, for just as the forecast says warmer days are ahead, you know that the answer is just ahead. Just as you cannot choose the exact day that warm weather and sunny days will return, you cannot choose when God answers or how He will answer, but answer He will. The situation you are presently in is just a passage where your faith is growing and your knowledge of God is growing and your hope is becoming more steadfast. 
God loves you and He’s for you and that’s why you can endure the winter of waiting, knowing that God has an answer to your heartfelt cries as you look to Him.
Philippians 4:6-7 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
Ephesians 6:18 Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.
James 1:6 But when you ask Him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind.
Isaiah 60:19 No longer will you need the sun to shine by day, nor the moon to give its light by night, for the LORD your God will be your everlasting light, and your God will be your glory.
I Thessalonians 5:16-18 Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.
Psalm 55:22 Cast your burden upon the Lord and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken.

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