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Monday, January 2, 2017

We have a Great Big God

We have a Great Big God

Last night there were fireworks displays, festivities, concerts, dances and parties taking place all around the world.  Some of our enthusiastic fellow humans drank alcoholic drinks, shot off guns, threw confetti around and wore silly hats as they counted down the last seconds of the old year.  And some went to church and prayed. We were all celebrating the beginning of a brand-new year!  And a new year brings new hope!  A new chance for a new start.  

We made some mistakes last year, didn’t always do the right thing, had some failures.  But that is all behind us now and we are being given a new year to live and try again.  To right some wrongs and have new goals.  So we humans greet this new year with cheers and hopes for another chance to accomplish new dreams and accomplishments. 

Many of us make new year’s resolutions.  We are going to try again.  We will lose weight, save more money, work harder, serve God better, stop worrying, learn a new skill, etc.  A new year for a new try!    Gyms and fitness clubs get a surge in business for the first few weeks of every new year. So many folks trying to exercise and lose weight.  So many good intentions! 

Some people reach their goals and keep their new year’s resolutions, lose the weight, stop being angry, etc.  But many of us end up with the same sins bothering us in the new year that brought us down in years past.  We try and try again, but somehow, we still end up gaining the weight back or not serving God the way we wanted.  And our good intentions and our new year’s resolutions are down the drain again!  Bummer!

As we grow older and get discouraged we may stop believing in miracles and start believing that things will never be the way we had hoped.  The promises in Scripture seem too good to be true! We try harder but still don’t reach the vision of what things should be.  We are trying to do everything in our own strength and it’s not working.  And when impossible things come into our lives that we can’t handle, we don’t trust God enough to take care of these things.  Our God is too small! 

One of our friends is an old man now and as long as he can remember, his grown daughter has not spoken to him. Years earlier the daughter had asked him for money to pay for a project that he didn’t feel was right, and she has never forgiven him for not agreeing with her on the issue or for not paying for something he believed was wrong.

Over the years, he would reach out to the daughter again and again but her cold silence was all he would get in return. Sometimes he felt angry.  Angry that his daughter could cut him off so thoroughly. He prayed and prayed but nothing seemed to change. He asked God to help him not be angry and to keep on loving the daughter.

Years had gone by and our friend became depressed and discouraged that this child he had raised and loved so dearly had rejected him so thoroughly. His heart began to harden against his daughter. This man began to feel that his daughter was gone forever. That things between them were impossible to solve. That even God couldn’t solve the impossible!

But then one day it seemed that God spoke right to this father’s heart.  “Do you believe that I am a great big God?” a Voice seemed to ask the old man.  And for a minute this father was surrounded by a wonderful vision of his great big God!  “Do you believe that I am big enough to take care of the impossible?  That I can restore your relationship with your daughter? “the father was asked. “Yes, I believe.” the stunned father answered.   For a minute the father could see a vision of his daughter, changed and loving and restored to the kind loving person she had been before.  “This is what I will do, if you will put your faith in Me.”  a voice seemed to promise the shaken father.

Now everything is different for our friend!  He believes that God is big enough to take care of his daughter. He trusts God with all his problems and he is happy and looking forward to when his prayers will be answered. No more discouragement and no more trying to fix everything on his own.

 Scripture reads: “Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7) And this father has done that.  Scripture also says:” Ask and it will be given, seek and you will find, knock and it will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks, receives and he who seeks, finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.”  (Luke 11:9-120) The gracious heavenly Father wants to give us good things if we will come to Him. 

Jesus calls us to “Have faith in God” (Mark 11:23) Faith is all important.  Without faith, it is impossible to please God.  Jesus goes on to say: “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.  And when you pray, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.” (Mark 11:24-26)   Here again faith in God is what He asks of us.  He promises to give us “anything” we ask for –anything that is good and in His will if we believe in Him.
 The Father only gives good gifts.  He doesn’t promise when we may receive all the answers to our prayers.  Perhaps the father may have to wait a long time before he is restored to his daughter.  God is working behind the scene.  But the father can know that it will happen. 
 But because this is in God’s will the father can count on this prayer to be answered if he believes and trusts his great big God.  Hebrews 4:16 says: “Fearlessly and confidently and boldly draw near to the throne of grace that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in good time for every need.”

Jesus teaches us that our heavenly Father loves to give gifts to his children.  He says that if our son or daughter is hungry and asks us for food we human parents will not give our hungry child a stone instead.  And even though we human parents have faults we still usually give good gifts to our children. (Luke 11:11-13) How much more will the heavenly Father give good gifts and give the Holy Spirit to His children. 

Now as we are entering a new year we may have hopes and dreams for this new year.  Let’s not try to make those hopes and dreams come true all by ourselves. Let’s remember that we have a great big God who can take care of the impossible things that get in the way of those dreams.   All we need to do is to ask and believe.  Our God is big enough to make it happen.     



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