In spite of...
In our lives we do a lot of things because we have to or because we want to. We work because we need money to live. We go to school because we need (or want) to learn. We cook because we need to feed our bellies and the bellies of our family. We vacation because we want to unplug and get some overdue relaxation. And the list goes on.
Today however, let’s think of what we can stretch to do in spite of. I think about the examples in the Bible of people who dared to do something that was challenging or even seemed impossible but they chose to act in spite of. In each and every case, somehow, someway they were blessed and/or the lives around them were blessed.
Joseph choose to show his brothers mercy in spite of the fact that they betrayed him, sold him into slavery and wanted him dead. (Genesis chapters 41-50)
Esther went to the king in spite of the fact that it could have meant her life but she was willing to take the chance to save her people. (Esther chapters 1-10)
Job chose to worship the Lord and keep his commands in spite of the fact that the devil killed his children, turned his wife and friends against him, took all of his money and resources and struck him with leprosy. (Job chapters 1-42)
Daniel refused to stop praying to God in spite of the fact that he would be thrown in a lion's den to be devoured in a horrific certain death. (Daniel chapter 6)
Jesus chose to be humiliated, tortured and killed for us to have eternal life in spite of the fact that he could have destroyed them all at any given time. And to top it off, he even forgave those that tortured and killed him! (John chapters 17-21)
Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God in spite of the fact that they were locked in prison. (Acts 16:16-34)
We know that in each of these stories and SO many more throughout the Bible, God showed up in miraculous fashion, rescuing and blessing them all abundantly. I encourage you to look up the scriptures referenced above. Take the time and be encouraged by their faith, courage and unwavering trust in God. Other than Jesus, these were people just like you and me! We would surely be the wiser to see and learn from how their choices to fully surrender to the will of God, even in the face of adversity worked out for them.
Today, what can you do in spite of?
In spite of fear or anxiety, I will seek the Lord in prayer and find the peace only He can truly offer. I will take the time to look for moments of rest in my day. I will surrender everyone and everything to my loving Father. I will close my eyes, take a deep breath and commit my day and my life to Him. I will open His word and find Him right there and I will be calmed and encouraged.
In spite of depression, I will find at least one thing to smile about today. I will look up to the beautiful, vast sky and praise God for sending Jesus to die for me so that I may have a hope in my future to one day feel happy again. I will sing out loud songs of worship and feel the transformation in my soul. Worship nourishes my spirit and brings joy to my bones.
In spite of financial hardship, I will find three things to be grateful for today. I will not take the blessings I do have for granted today. The Lord knows what I need. (Psalm 23:1- "The Lord is my Shepherd, I lack nothing") He will continue to provide. I will not allow worry to steal the joy available today. I choose to trust God with my finances. Nothing is impossible for God!
In spite of quarantine and isolation, I will look with a new set of eyes today at the people in my home with me. I will see what a blessing it is to have family in my life. Today, I will try something new to find joy in our time together. For those that are alone: I affirm that in the Lord, I am never truly alone. I will call friends, family and others to be encouraged and be an encouragement where I can be. I will step outside (adhering to the rules of safe distancing) and enjoy the sun or rain on my face knowing fully that both are a blessing from above.
Friends, I want to encourage you to find something to consider today in spite of. No one has a perfect life while on this earth (no matter how perfect some will want you to think their life is). We all have hurts, hurdles, struggles or hardships but we ALL have the ability of free will and choice! Today, let’s make the choice for a better today, somehow… someway.
“...with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26
Feel free to click on the song attached and stay encouraged. I pray for your day and your life to be abundantly blessed.
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