Posts Tagged ‘Abraham’

The Day the Laughter Died

Jan 05

by Victoria Robinson

Some would say that April 26, 1989 is the day the laughter died. That is the day that the greatest comedienne of all time died. Lucille Ball who spent her life bringing laughter to millions was silenced. My dearest friend Cyndee and I have spent numerous hours laughing while watching I Love Lucy. Who could resist laughing as Lucy and Ethel frantically gobble handfuls of chocolate candy to hide their failure on their new job venture. What about that hilarious expression on Lucy’s face when her boss says, “Speed it up a little!”? But alas, our lives are not always filled with laughter. Life has a way of turning laughter into mourning.

The Bible gives us many examples of times the laughter died. One such was when Sarah had given birth to Isaac. On this joyous day she said, “God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me.” Interestingly the name Isaac is Yitschaq in Hebrew which means “he laughs”. Yet, there would come a day when Sarah would find herself not laughing.  A great feast was held when Isaac was weaned. The truth is Sarah’s distress on this particular day was the result of sin. Sarah had refused to wait on the promise of God to have a child and took matters into her own hands. Subsequently Hagar gave birth to Abraham’s first son, Ishmael. At the feast, Sarah observed Ishmael mocking her son Isaac. Like any mother, this upset her.

Girlfriends, has your laughter died? There are many reasons we  find ourselves not laughing. One is quite simply sin. If this is why your laughter has ceased, then immediate repentance will bring joy to your heart and times of laughter to return.

 Another reason is that our heavenly Father allows difficulties to come into our life in order for His greater purposes to be accomplished. Such is the case of the many hardships Joseph had to endure in the book of Genesis. If this is the reason you have no laughter, then accepting God’s greater plan for your life will bring you joy. Last year in the short span of a week I had three friends lose their husbands. All these ladies have accepted Jesus Christ into their lives and have the comfort only He can provide. However, understandably this was a period in their lives with very little laughter.

The enemy of your soul also wants to steal your laughter. Sometimes he will even convince you of a lie. For instance, “God is not going to bring you through a difficult time.” The only way to prevent Satan from absconding with your laughter is shielding yourself with the Word. The book of Ephesians tells us to take up the shield of faith, with which we can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. The word faith in the original Greek is pistis which means conviction of the truth. The way to have conviction of the truth is to immerse yourself in the Word of God.

Laughter is an important gift our heavenly Father has given us. The Word of God tells us laughter can even bring healing to our bodies.
 
While we must recognize the truth that King Solomon told us so long ago—there is a time to weep and a time to laugh, let us examine our hearts to see if and why the laughter has died. If repentance is needed then, let us have a change of heart and watch the laughter return. If we are walking through divinely appointed hardships, let us rejoice in the fact that our heavenly Father knows what is best for us. If we are believing lies Satan is telling us, let us put on the shield of conviction of the truth of the Word of God.
 

Dearest girlfriends, I pray we would allow the laughter to return to our hearts and enjoy the life God has chosen for us.

Abraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him. Sarah said, “God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me.” And she added, “Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? Yet I have borne him a son in his old age.” The child grew and was weaned, and on the day Isaac was weaned Abraham held a great feast. But Sarah saw that the son whom Hagar the Egyptian had borne to Abraham was mocking, and she said to Abraham, “Get rid of that slave woman and her son, for that slave woman’s son will never share in the inheritance with my son Isaac.” ~ Genesis 21:5-10 NIV
 
But Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. ~ Genesis 50:19-20 NIV
  
So give yourselves humbly to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. And when you draw close to God, God will draw close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and let your hearts be filled with God alone to make them pure and true to him. Let there be tears for the wrong things you have done. Let there be sorrow and sincere grief. Let there be sadness instead of laughter, and gloom instead of joy. Then when you realize your worthlessness before the Lord, he will lift you up, encourage and help you. ~ James 7:7-10 TLB
 
In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. ~ Ephesians 6:16 NIV
 
A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. ~ Proverbs 17:22 NIV
  

a time to weep and a time to laugh … ~ Ecclesiastes 3:4 NIV
 
She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. ~ Proverbs 31:25 NIV
 
… Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh. ~ Luke 6:21 NIV

His Timing Is Everything

Aug 24

by Victoria Robinson

Girlfriends, how many times have you thought, “If only His timing was my timing!” Tick tock, tick tock, oh those hands on the clock! They seem to move so painfully slow when we are anxiously waiting for Him to move in our lives. Yet we must recognize the scriptural truth that His timing is always correct, even when we do not like it! This truth is penned in the prophetical book of Isaiah, “I, the Lord, will bring it all to pass at the right time.”

Let’s consider some people who refused to accept His timing and the consequences that followed.

  • Sarah refused to wait for the Lord to give her a child and heartache followed …

Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had borne him no children. But she had an Egyptian maidservant named Hagar; so she said to Abram, “The LORD has kept me from having children. Go, sleep with my maidservant; perhaps I can build a family through her.” Abram agreed to what Sarai said. So after Abram had been living in Canaan ten years, Sarai his wife took her Egyptian maidservant Hagar and gave her to her husband to be his wife. He slept with Hagar, and she conceived. … But Sarah saw that the son whom Hagar the Egyptian had borne to Abraham was mocking, and she said to Abraham, “Get rid of that slave woman and her son, for that slave woman’s son will never share in the inheritance with my son Isaac.” ~ Genesis 16:1-4, 20:9-10 NIV

  • The Israelites who waited too long and then went ahead into the Promised Land despite warnings …

The LORD said to Moses, “Send some men to explore the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the Israelites. From each ancestral tribe send one of its leaders.” … But the men who had gone up with him said, “We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are.” And they spread among the Israelites a bad report about the land they had explored. They said, “The land we explored devours those living in it. All the people we saw there are of great size. … “We have sinned,” they said. “We will go up to the place the LORD promised.” But Moses said, “Why are you disobeying the LORD’s command? This will not succeed! Do not go up, because the LORD is not with you. You will be defeated by your enemies, for the Amalekites and Canaanites will face you there. Because you have turned away from the LORD, he will not be with you and you will fall by the sword.” Nevertheless, in their presumption they went up toward the high hill country, though neither Moses nor the ark of the LORD’s covenant moved from the camp. Then the Amalekites and Canaanites who lived in that hill country came down and attacked them and beat them down all the way to Hormah. ~ Numbers 13:1-2, 31-32, 14:40-45 NIV

  • The centurion who was transporting his prisoner, the Apostle Paul, refused to wait to set sail and lost the ship and all cargo …

Much time had been lost, and sailing had already become dangerous because by now it was after the Fast. So Paul warned them, “Men, I can see that our voyage is going to be disastrous and bring great loss to ship and cargo, and to our own lives also.” But the centurion, instead of listening to what Paul said, followed the advice of the pilot and of the owner of the ship. … We took such a violent battering from the storm that the next day they began to throw the cargo overboard. On the third day, they threw the ship’s tackle overboard with their own hands. When neither sun nor stars appeared for many days and the storm continued raging, we finally gave up all hope of being saved. After the men had gone a long time without food, Paul stood up before them and said: “Men, you should have taken my advice not to sail from Crete; then you would have spared yourselves this damage and loss. ~ Acts 27:9-12, 27:18-21 NIV

Girlfriends, His timing is everything and when we either wait too long to act on His commands or run ahead without Him—dissaster is sure to follow. The psalmist so wonderfully told the Lord, “But I pray to you, Lord. So when the time is right, answer me and help me with your wonderful love.” I see tremendous confidence in this prayer. It was the cry of a King who was in the midst of severe trials, yet he knew the Lord’s timing was everything!

Dearest girlfriends, let us always seek to understand His timing and move ahead or wait according to His perfect will.

… I, the Lord, will bring it all to pass at the right time. ~ Isaiah 60:22 NLT

But I pray to you, Lord. So when the time is right, answer me and help me with your wonderful love. ~ Psalm 69:13 CEV

A ♥ N ♥ T ♥ I ♥ C ♥ I ♥ P ♥ A ♥ T ♥ I ♥ O ♥ N

Jun 15

by Victoria Robinson

I am a girl who loves the anticipation of something almost more than I enjoy the event itself. There is an excitement in my heart as I eagerly await. A perfect example is Heaven. While I am excited about spending eternity in such a wonderful place, I am not eager to be there yet. Still the Word of God encourages us to fill our minds with thoughts of Heaven. While it is great to think about Heaven, what else are we to anticipate?

Our Lord and Savior anxiously anticipated dinner with friends. admittedly this was no ordinary dinner party—this would be the last time they would all be dining together on this side of eternity.  Who of us has not anticipated a wonderful glowing evening around a dining table with close friends? The laughter and warmth are life-giving to our hearts.

Girlfriends, I know all of you relate to the apostle Paul’s encouragement of looking forward to our new bodies. Many of us have more than one size of clothing hanging in our closets just waiting for the day we lose enough weight to wear that “to die for dress”. Be encouraged, for in eternity we will have that perfect body!

Abraham anticipated the Lord’s provision when he and Isaac went up on the mountain to make a sacrifice. While at first it seems evident to us that he will be sacrificing his own son, Abraham says things that would indicate he knew the Lord’s provision would ultimately come in another way. Twice he uses the term “we” when referring to his return down the mountain. This clearly shows his anticipation of the divine provision which turns out to be a ram caught in a thicket. We need to be just as confident that the Lord will provide for us.

We are to also anticipate the Lord’s deliverance in difficult situations. When looking to the Lord for deliverance, the apostle Paul said, “I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed …” He anticipated with full confidence that Christ would be exalted through all his sufferings.

Dearest girlfriends, lets us eagerly anticipate the greatness our Lord is going to bring into our lives here on earth and in eternity.

All creation anticipates the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay. ~ Romans 8:21 NLT 

 But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body. ~ Philippians 3:20-21 NIV
 
Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits at God’s right hand in the place of honor and power. Let heaven fill your thoughts. Do not think only about things down here on earth. For you died when Christ died, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God. And when Christ, who is your real life, is revealed to the whole world, you will share in all his glory. ~ Colossians 3:1-4 NLT
 
Then at the proper time Jesus and the twelve apostles sat down together at the table. Jesus said, “I have looked forward to this hour with deep longing, anxious to eat this Passover meal with you before my suffering begins. For I tell you now that I won’t eat it again until it comes to fulfillment in the Kingdom of God.” ~ Luke 22:14-16 NLT
And even we Christians, although we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, also groan to be released from pain and suffering. We, too, wait anxiously for that day when God will give us our full rights as his children, including the new bodies he has promised us. Now that we are saved, we eagerly look forward to this freedom. For if you already have something, you don’t need to hope for it. But if we look forward to something we don’t have yet, we must wait patiently and confidently. ~ Romans 8:23-25 NLT
 
He said to his servants, “Stay here with the donkey while I and the boy go over there. We will worship and then we will come back to you.” Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and placed it on his son Isaac, and he himself carried the fire and the knife. As the two of them went on together, Isaac spoke up and said to his father Abraham, “Father?” “Yes, my son?” Abraham replied. “The fire and wood are here,” Isaac said, “but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?” Abraham answered, “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” And the two of them went on together. … Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. So Abraham called that place The LORD Will Provide. And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided.” ~ Genesis 22:5-8,13-14 NIV
 
Yes, and I will continue to rejoice, for I know that through your prayers and the help given by the Spirit of Jesus Christ, what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance. I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. ~ Philippians 1:18-21 NIV

Why Have I Not Received?

Jan 29

by Victoria Robinson

This is certainly a perplexing question. All of us have known someone who appears to be godly and yet have not received what they have asked for. It could even be you are the one who has not received from God. We can never presume to know the motives of other’s hearts, but we should examine our own hearts. Not every request to our heavenly Father that has not been received is from an impure heart. Maybe the answer is simply no or maybe we just need to wait patiently as Abraham did.

If our request does stem from wrong motives, the apostle James tells us we will not receive. It is so easy to fall into the trap of wanting to receive just so we can use it for pleasure. Not at all meaning we cannot request of our heavenly Father some frivolous items. He does tell us He will give us the desire of our heart as long as we delight ourselves in Him. The book of Isaiah shows that as we do not focus on our own pleasure then we will, “ride on the high hills of the earth”.

Girlfriends, if you have requests to your heavenly Father that have gone unanswered, then seek Him for the reason. The apostle James also told us, “If you need wisdom—if you want to know what God wants you to do—ask him, and he will gladly tell you. He will not resent your asking.” He goes on to tell us we will only receive if we do not doubt, but expect an answer.

Dearest girlfriends, I pray we would examine our hearts when it comes to unanswered requests and either, wait patiently, realize He said no, or change the motives for asking.

When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures. ~ James 4:3 NIV
 
If you need wisdom—if you want to know what God wants you to do—ask him, and he will gladly tell you. He will not resent your asking. But when you ask him, be sure that you really expect him to answer, for a doubtful mind is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. People like that should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. They can’t make up their minds. They waver back and forth in everything they do. ~ James 1:5-8 NLT
 
When God made his promise to Abraham, since there was no one greater for him to swear by, he swore by himself, saying, “I will surely bless you and give you many descendants.” And so after waiting patiently, Abraham received what was promised. ~ Hebrews 6:13-15 NIV
 
Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart. ~ Psalm 37:4 NIV
 
“If you turn away your foot from the Sabbath, From doing your pleasure on My holy day, And call the Sabbath a delight, The holy day of the Lord honorable, And shall honor Him, not doing your own ways, Nor finding your own pleasure, Nor speaking your own words, Then you shall delight yourself in the Lord; And I will cause you to ride on the high hills of the earth, And feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father. The mouth of the Lord has spoken.” ~ Isaiah 58:13-14 NIV

An Angelic Treasure Hunt

Dec 28

by Victoria Robinson

Girlfriends, an angelic treasure hunt sounds fun doesn’t it? I am not talking about searching for angels. I am referring to a beautiful story found in the book of Genesis. Abraham was old and wanted to find a proper wife for his son. He sent his chief servant on a treasure hunt and told him, “The LORD, the God of heaven, … will send his angel before you so that you can get a wife for my son from there.” Girlfriends, that is a breathtaking romantic story! We should all believe in God’s divine guidance when we seek to choose a spouse. My eldest son actually fasted and prayed for the beautiful lady he believed God had chosen for him. After a persistent romantic pursuit, (He inherited his father’s romantic gene!), she said yes, and  they are now blissfully married!

But this story has far more to do about a principle of our heavenly Father rather than about romance. It shows the wonderful guidance He wants to send us as we seek the treasures He wants to give us. In this story, His provision came through seeking, prayer, and angelic intervention.

Dearest girlfriends, are there treasures you are seeking from your heavenly Father today? If so, pray and believe Him to provide divine guidance.

Abraham was now old and well advanced in years, and the LORD had blessed him in every way. He said to the chief servant in his household, the one in charge of all that he had, “… I want you to swear by the LORD, the God of heaven and the God of earth, that you will … go to my country and my own relatives and get a wife for my son Isaac.” The servant asked him, “What if the woman is unwilling to come back with me to this land? Shall I then take your son back to the country you came from?” “Make sure that you do not take my son back there,” Abraham said. “The LORD, the God of heaven, who brought me out of my father’s household and my native land and who spoke to me and promised me on oath, saying, ‘To your offspring I will give this land’—he will send his angel before you so that you can get a wife for my son from there. ~ Genesis 24:1-7 NIV

Then he prayed, “O LORD, God of my master Abraham, give me success today, and show kindness to my master Abraham. See, I am standing beside this spring, and the daughters of the townspeople are coming out to draw water. May it be that when I say to a girl, ‘Please let down your jar that I may have a drink,’ and she says, ‘Drink, and I’ll water your camels too’—let her be the one you have chosen for your servant Isaac. By this I will know that you have shown kindness to my master.” Before he had finished praying, Rebekah came out with her jar on her shoulder. She was the daughter of Bethuel son of Milcah, who was the wife of Abraham’s brother Nahor. The girl was very beautiful, a virgin; no man had ever lain with her. She went down to the spring, filled her jar and came up again. The servant hurried to meet her and said, “Please give me a little water from your jar.” “Drink, my lord,” she said, and quickly lowered the jar to her hands and gave him a drink. After she had given him a drink, she said, “I’ll draw water for your camels too, until they have finished drinking.” So she quickly emptied her jar into the trough, ran back to the well to draw more water, and drew enough for all his camels. Without saying a word, the man watched her closely to learn whether or not the LORD had made his journey successful. ~ Genesis 24:12-21 NIV

Then the man bowed down and worshiped the LORD, saying, “Praise be to the LORD, the God of my master Abraham, who has not abandoned his kindness and faithfulness to my master. As for me, the LORD has led me on the journey to the house of my master’s relatives.” ~ Genesis 24:26-27 NIV

Disbelief to Belief

Nov 07

by Victoria Robinson

Have you ever been in a state of disbelief? When all the facts seem to go against the Word of God, it is easy to have disbelief. This is what Abraham first thought when God told him he and Sarah would have a baby. He would be one hundred years old and Sarah would be ninety. Girlfriends, can you even imagine going though a pregnancy and then giving birth at such an age? Remember, this was natural childbirth. Are you saying, “Ouch!”? (I am just kidding, I gave birth naturally and it was a wonderful experience, some pain, but absolutely wonderful.)

How does one go from disbelief to belief? In the story of Abraham we see that he inquired of God for a sign. God told him to prepare a blood covenant. After Abraham prepared the animals and was waiting on God to show up, some vultures came down upon the carcasses. It is at this point, he had to make a choice. Give up waiting on God, or defend what God had told him. He wisely chose to believe God and shooed the vultures away. This is the same choice we must make concerning the promises God has made to us. Inevitably, when we have a promise from God, a “vulture” is sure to come and try to dissuade us of the truth. To walk away and give up is the easy road to take. It is also the road with a destination of dissatisfaction.

If only Abraham had not only defended, but had waited as well. As this story unfolds we see that Sarah had given up on the exact promise and decided to tweak it. She convinces Abraham to sleep with her maidservant Hagar in order to make God’s promise happen. Do we really think God needs any help fulfilling His promises? Yet, we tend to do the very same thing when we are tired of waiting on God. Sarah’s idea was not from God and therefore did not work out well. While Abraham did have a son through Hagar, it ultimately produced unhappiness with everyone concerned.

In the end God is shown to be a true gentleman who stuck to His word regardless of the disbelief and reckless behavior of Abraham and Sarah. Thus the promise was fulfilled, but did come with unnecessary grief. Dearest girlfriends, let us wait patiently on the promises of God and defend what He has said.

Then Abraham threw himself down in worship before the Lord, but inside he was laughing in disbelief! “Me, be a father?” he said in amusement. “Me—100 years old? And Sarah, to have a baby at 90?” ~ Genesis 17:17 TLB
But Abram replied, “O Lord Jehovah, how can I be sure that you will give it to me?” Then Jehovah told him to take a three-year-old heifer, a three-year-old female goat, a three-year-old ram, a turtledove and a young pigeon, and to slay them and to cut them apart down the middle, and to separate the halves, but not to divide the birds. And when the vultures came down upon the carcasses, Abram shooed them away. ~ Genesis 15:8-11 TLB
Then the LORD said, “I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife will have a son.” Now Sarah was listening at the entrance to the tent, which was behind him. Abraham and Sarah were already old and well advanced in years, and Sarah was past the age of childbearing. So Sarah laughed to herself as she thought, “After I am worn out and my master is old, will I now have this pleasure?” Then the LORD said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Will I really have a child, now that I am old?’ Is anything too hard for the LORD? I will return to you at the appointed time next year and Sarah will have a son.” ~ Genesis 18:10-14 NIV
Now the LORD was gracious to Sarah as he had said, and the LORD did for Sarah what he had promised. Sarah became pregnant and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the very time God had promised him. Abraham gave the name Isaac to the son Sarah bore him. ~ Genesis 21:1-3 NIV
Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead—since he was about a hundred years old—and that Sarah’s womb was also dead. Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised. This is why “it was credited to him as righteousness.” The words “it was credited to him” were written not for him alone, but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness—for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification. ~ Romans 4:18-25 NIV