Saturday, February 4, 2017

Beautiful, Part Twelve

Does God really care and know best?

Perhaps you or someone you know has “given God a try” and He “let you down.” Just remember, His ways are not like ours. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways," declares the Lord. "For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:8-9 He knows absolutely everything and He is all good. There is no evil whatsoever in Him. Did you know that before he created it, there was no such thing as time? (Time will end—we keep track of time by the moon and the sun, which God created, Genesis 1:16-19, and which will no longer exist when the new heavens and earth are created.) What is written about the future has as good as already happened as far as He is concerned. So He can actually know for a certainty everything there is to know, even before it happens, because He’s not constricted by time. So if He says “no” or “not yet,” then we can be sure that it’s for the best, because He loves us.

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28 For we walk by faith, not by sight. 2 Corinthians 5:7 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1 Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! "For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?" "Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?" For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen. Romans 11:33-36

The sun shall be no more your light by day, nor for brightness shall the moon give you light; but the Lord will be your everlasting light, and your God will be your glory. Your sun shall no more go down, nor your moon withdraw itself; for the Lord will be your everlasting light, and your days of mourning shall be ended. Isaiah 60:19-20 And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever. Revelation 22:5

Or maybe some think God is mean and doesn’t care about them, or that He doesn’t even exist because they never seem to get their way. He doesn’t want us asking for blessings constantly without any desire for a relationship with Him. Do we like that when others do it to us? No, we hate that! It’s called using others. A true friend lays down his life for you, just as Jesus did for all of us. We are to desire to know and please Him first, and then blessings will be bestowed on us. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Matthew 6:33

And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. Hebrews 11:6 

What if God seems to ignore my prayers?

But there’s another reason why God might not answer or even listen to our prayers: sin. We have the Good Book to tell us what He expects of us and we are not being honest if we claim that we have nothing to repent of. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. 1 John 1:10 We don’t earn our salvation, that was finished by Jesus on the cross, but God is holy and we are to be holy as well. It’s His power inside of us that enables us to overcome the world and its temptations. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, "You shall be holy, for I am holy." 1 Peter 1:14-16

Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. Galatians 6:7-8

You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. James 4:2-3

“Listen! The Lord’s arm is not too weak to save you, nor is his ear too deaf to hear you call. It’s your sins that have cut you off from God. Because of your sins, he has turned away and will not listen anymore.” Isaiah 59:1-2 And the word of the Lord came to me: "Son of man, these men have taken their idols into their hearts, and set the stumbling block of their iniquity before their faces. Should I indeed let myself be consulted by them? Ezekiel 14:2-3

This message from the Lord came to Zechariah again: "This is what the Lord of Hosts says: 'Administer true justice, and show gracious love and mercy toward each other. You are not to wrong the widow, orphans, the foreigner, or the poor, and you are not to plan evil against each other. But they refused to pay attention, turned their backs, and stopped listening. They made their hearts hard like a diamond, to keep from obeying the Law and the messages that the Lord of Hosts sent by his Spirit through the former prophets. Therefore, just as when I cried out and they would not listen, so also they will cry out, and I will not listen,' says the Lord of Hosts. Zechariah 7:8-13

This is Part Twelve of a series.  You may download the entire devotional in a "pretty" format here or in a basic, small file size format with highlighting here.