|Posted by Lorraine Serra on November 1, 2010 at 11:40 AM|
We have joy that we are saved and sealed for heaven. This life, its pleasures as well as its challenges, is passing as we know. We can have joy in the knowledge of our salvation. We are guaranteed that as those who have accepted Christ as Lord and Savior, our names are written in the Lamb's Book of Life. Halleluia!
We have joy when we discover God's purpose, a plan and power at work in our lives.
Remember, God knows exactly WHAT He designs us for, though we do not.
He knows what service, what trials, what challenges, and will take care of us with all the equipping we need to endure and bring Him glory. Why? His grace is sufficient for us.
We have joy in sufferings and trials. Not happiness. Joy...counting it a privilege to share in Christ's sufferings, that we may experience restoration, resurrection power, and be strengthened to be a testimony and comfort to others.
But, my main revelation I discovered, praise God, in looking at Elijah. You may recall that after God used Elijah mightily, on Mt. Carmel, in a contest with the priests of Baal, he then ran for his life from Jezebel and ended up in a desert cave, exhausted and depressed. 1 Kings 18 and 19
A closer look reveals him to be a coward! God had just won the day, raining down fire and consuming everything on Mt. Carmel. The people were in awe of God and his prophet Elijah. Would he not expect that God would continue to use him to lead the people and set Jezebel straight?
There is a lesson in the beauty of God revealing His majesty to Elijah as he hid in a cave, begging for death, relief, and having a pity party. God revived His spirit with food and rest, and then set Elijah straight.
Elijah stood at the cave entrance to see God's power at work. There was a powerful wind, an earthquake and a great fire. But, Elijah did not see the Lord in these displays.
Then there came a still, small voice, and Elijah covered his face in shame. He stood convicted and humbled.
Elijah realized he had gloried in his own zeal, with fierce and terrible, loud vengeance , as God destroyed the altar at Mt. Carmel. He had jeered at and taunted the priests of Baal. This was not the behavior of a heart humbled before God.
The soft whisper, the pardon and grace of God, all of His tender mercies are more often effective in turning souls to the Lord than terrors and wonders. This is the joy inexplicable...being in His presence, listening to the words He whispers to our hearts and minds through His Word and in our worship.
Even great faith is not always strong. Remember it is in God's strength and power, not ours, that all things are possible to believers. Even joy in afflictions.