Posts Tagged ‘godly man’

What Misery is Mine!

Jun 09

by Victoria Robinson

Girlfriends, when misery beckons, it is easy to feel like uttering the heart wrenching words of the prophet Micah who said, “What misery is mine!” In his tremendous despair, Job poetically spoke these words, “If only my anguish could be weighed and all my misery be placed on the scales! It would surely outweigh the sand of the seas …”

If “misery loves company”, and you are experiencing some misery, then you are certainly in the company of two fine men—Micah and Job. Micah was a prophet. Job was a godly man who feared God and through his gut wrenching ordeals did not sin. A character trait we should desire to display when we are in misery.

All that aside, what is the answer to dealing with misery? Certainly not an easy question to answer. One thing we do know from looking at the Word of God is that even in misery, sin is never the answer. Also, focusing on ourselves always compounds the misery. One remedy is to look around and see who we can pray for in their time of trouble.

Above all—trusting our heavenly Father is in control and will only allow what is in our best interest. My precious friend Ann, who is a professional caterer and baker, frequently says, “God has everything under control.” An essential character quality for someone who has chosen a profession filled with urgent deadlines and unexpected emergencies. Oh my sweet Ann—how her godliness has taught me so much.

We cannot overlook the sad truth that our misery might be caused by sin and therefore relief will only come upon repentance. The great news is, outside of the rejection of Christ and His salvation, there is no sin so atrocious that can separate us from our compassionate heavenly Father. His love for us is unconditional and if only we will acknowledge our wrongdoing, we are at once forgiven. Micah so wonderfully stated, “Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy. You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea.”

Dearest girlfriends, I pray that in times of misery we would find our hope and allow our actions to be guided by our Savior’s life changing Word.

What misery is mine! I am like one who gathers summer fruit at the gleaning of the vineyard; there is no cluster of grapes to eat, none of the early figs that I crave. ~ Micah 7:1 NIV
 
If only my anguish could be weighed and all my misery be placed on the scales! It would surely outweigh the sand of the seas— no wonder my words have been impetuous. ~ Job 6:2-3 NIV
 
In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing. ~ Job 1:22 NIV
 
Why do you hide your face and forget our misery and oppression? ~ Psalm 44:24 NIV
 
Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy. You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea. ~ Micah 7:18-19 NIV
 
And when they heard that the LORD was concerned about them and had seen their misery, they bowed down and worshiped. ~ Exodus 4:31 NIV

Who’s in Charge?

Jun 02

by Victoria Robinson

Girlfriends, I know some of you think you are in charge, but the truth is—uh… NO! And no… the One in charge has not placed you as second in command because He just cannot manage without your help. (One of my best girlfriends is sooooo certain she is right and I am wrong about this!!! ggggggg)

King Nebuchadnezzar was a man God did place in charge  of a kingdom. However when this power went to his head, God had an interesting way of making it clear who was really in charge. God took away his royal throne and drove him away from people. His mind became like an animal and he lived with the wild donkeys. His cuisine went from the delicacies of the royal table to fields of grass. God did this to show him who was sovereign—the One and only true God. This peculiar story is a reminder to us that whether or not we want to admit it—we are not in control.

Even a godly man like Job had to be reminded who was in charge. The sovereign Lord posed these questions to him. “Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell me, if you understand. Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it? On what were its footings set, or who laid its cornerstone— while the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy?”

Dearest girlfriends, let us aknowledge the sovereignty of God found in the richness of His Word when it comes to the control of our lives.

“O king, the Most High God gave your father Nebuchadnezzar sovereignty and greatness and glory and splendor. Because of the high position he gave him, all the peoples and nations and men of every language dreaded and feared him. Those the king wanted to put to death, he put to death; those he wanted to spare, he spared; those he wanted to promote, he promoted; and those he wanted to humble, he humbled. But when his heart became arrogant and hardened with pride, he was deposed from his royal throne and stripped of his glory. He was driven away from people and given the mind of an animal; he lived with the wild donkeys and ate grass like cattle; and his body was drenched with the dew of heaven, until he acknowledged that the Most High God is sovereign over the kingdoms of men and sets over them anyone he wishes. ~ Daniel 5:18-21 NIV

Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell me, if you understand. Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it? On what were its footings set, or who laid its cornerstone— while the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy?  ~ Job 38:4-7 NIV
 
It is good to say thank you to the Lord, to sing praises to the God who is above all gods. ~ Psalm 92:1 TLB

Lady Sings the Blues

May 31

by Victoria Robinson

Hannah was a lady who knew how to “sing the blues” because of her troubles. Sadness had overtaken her life to the point that she did not even desire food. What she did desire was unattainable to her. Being barren had taken a great toll on her heart.

As we follow the story of Hannah, we see that the Lord gave her a son named Samuel who grew up to be a godly man. He continued his mother’s legacy of prayer. When the Philistines battled against Israel, Samuel cried out to the Lord and the Lord thundered with a loud thunder upon the Philistines and gave the Israelites victory that day. When you cry out to the Lord in your distress the effects go far beyond Him answering you—you are creating a godly heritage to those in your life. Now that alone is worth “singing the blues” for!

Girlfriends, are you a lady who is “singing the blues”? Is something troubling your heart to the point of utter despair? Then take your burdens and sadness before the Lord and allow Him to relieve your sorrows as only He can. Then, just as Hannah did, you will be able to sing His praises instead of your blues.

Dearest girlfriends, let us “sing the blues” in our times of trouble so that we can sing His praises when He delivers us.

On the day Elkanah presented his sacrifice, he would give portions of the sacrifice to Peninnah and each of her children. But he gave Hannah a special portion because he loved her very much, even though the Lord had given her no children. But Peninnah made fun of Hannah because the Lord had closed her womb. Year after year it was the same—Peninnah would taunt Hannah as they went to the Tabernacle. Hannah would finally be reduced to tears and would not even eat. “What’s the matter, Hannah?” Elkanah would ask. “Why aren’t you eating? Why be so sad just because you have no children? You have me—isn’t that better than having ten sons?” Once when they were at Shiloh, Hannah went over to the Tabernacle after supper to pray to the Lord. Eli the priest was sitting at his customary place beside the entrance. Hannah was in deep anguish, crying bitterly as she prayed to the Lord. And she made this vow: “O Lord Almighty, if you will look down upon my sorrow and answer my prayer and give me a son, then I will give him back to you. He will be yours for his entire lifetime, and as a sign that he has been dedicated to the Lord, his hair will never be cut.” As she was praying to the Lord, Eli watched her. Seeing her lips moving but hearing no sound, he thought she had been drinking. “Must you come here drunk?” he demanded. “Throw away your wine!” “Oh no, sir!” she replied, “I’m not drunk! But I am very sad, and I was pouring out my heart to the Lord. Please don’t think I am a wicked woman! For I have been praying out of great anguish and sorrow.” “In that case,” Eli said, “cheer up! May the God of Israel grant the request you have asked of him.” “Oh, thank you, sir!” she exclaimed. Then she went back and began to eat again, and she was no longer sad. The entire family got up early the next morning and went to worship the Lord once more. Then they returned home to Ramah. When Elkanah slept with Hannah, the Lord remembered her request, and in due time she gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel, for she said, “I asked the Lord for him.” ~ 1 Samuel 1:4-20 NLT

Then Hannah prayed: “My heart rejoices in the Lord! Oh, how the Lord has blessed me! Now I have an answer for my enemies, as I delight in your deliverance. No one is holy like the Lord! There is no one besides you; there is no Rock like our God. ~ 1 Samuel 2:1-2 NLT

And Samuel took a suckling lamb and offered it as a whole burnt offering to the Lord. Then Samuel cried out to the Lord for Israel, and the Lord answered him. Now as Samuel was offering up the burnt offering, the Philistines drew near to battle against Israel. But the Lord thundered with a loud thunder upon the Philistines that day, and so confused them that they were overcome before Israel. And the men of Israel went out of Mizpah and pursued the Philistines, and drove them back as far as below Beth Car. Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen, and called its name Ebenezer, saying, “Thus far the Lord has helped us.” ~ 1 Samuel 7:9-12 NKJV

Then at last his people believed his promises. Then they finally sang his praise. ~ Psalm 106:12 NLT

This Is YOUR Life!

May 29

by Victoria Robinson

In the song This Is Your Life, by Switchfoot, the question is posed, “This is your life, are you who you want to be?” Sometimes in life we can develop a “victim” mentality. That is based on the thinking—my life is not my fault. Things have happened to me along the way and I have no choice in what I have become. I can’t help but think about what a certain young man all of seventeen would have said about that idea. At seventeen, this young man was terrorized by his brothers, threatened with death, sold into slavery, falsely accused of rape, imprisoned, and left to languish in prison by a friend who neglected to help him. This godly man named Joseph did not understand “playing the victim”. Instead, he knew this was HIS life and he took responsibility for his actions. Because Joseph chose to act godly, the difficulties during this period of his life were intermingled with favor from the Lord.

Even after God places Joseph in a prominent position and gives him power over his brothers, there is never ever a hint of unforgiveness in his heart. Instead, once again, he chooses to be a blessing to those who have cursed him. After experiencing seventeen years of a difficult life, Joseph was godly enough to say to his brothers, “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. So then, don’t be afraid. I will provide for you and your children.”

Girlfriends, this is YOUR life and you need to behave properly regardless of what others have done to you. Just as Joseph was richly rewarded for his godly actions, so we will experience our heavenly Father’s blessings when we act appropriately.

Dearest girlfriends, I pray our actions would consistently reflect our heavenly Father’s principles no matter what difficulties we are living through.

 … So Joseph went after his brothers and found them near Dothan. But they saw him in the distance, and before he reached them, they plotted to kill him. “Here comes that dreamer!” they said to each other. “Come now, let’s kill him and throw him into one of these cisterns and say that a ferocious animal devoured him. Then we’ll see what comes of his dreams.” … So when Joseph came to his brothers, they stripped him of his robe—the richly ornamented robe he was wearing— and they took him and threw him into the cistern. Now the cistern was empty; there was no water in it. ~ Genesis 37:17-20,23-24 NIV
 
Come, let’s sell him to the Ishmaelites and not lay our hands on him; after all, he is our brother, our own flesh and blood.” His brothers agreed. So when the Midianite merchants came by, his brothers pulled Joseph up out of the cistern and sold him for twenty shekels of silver to the Ishmaelites, who took him to Egypt. … Meanwhile, the Midianites sold Joseph in Egypt to Potiphar, one of Pharaoh’s officials, the captain of the guard. ~ Genesis 37:27-28,36 NIV
 
… Now Joseph was well-built and handsome, and after a while his master’s wife took notice of Joseph and said, “Come to bed with me!” But he refused. “With me in charge,” he told her, “my master does not concern himself with anything in the house; everything he owns he has entrusted to my care. No one is greater in this house than I am. My master has withheld nothing from me except you, because you are his wife. How then could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?” And though she spoke to Joseph day after day, he refused to go to bed with her or even be with her. One day he went into the house to attend to his duties, and none of the household servants was inside. She caught him by his cloak and said, “Come to bed with me!” But he left his cloak in her hand and ran out of the house. When she saw that he had left his cloak in her hand and had run out of the house, she called her household servants. “Look,” she said to them, “this Hebrew has been brought to us to make sport of us! He came in here to sleep with me, but I screamed. When he heard me scream for help, he left his cloak beside me and ran out of the house.” She kept his cloak beside her until his master came home. Then she told him this story: “That Hebrew slave you brought us came to me to make sport of me. But as soon as I screamed for help, he left his cloak beside me and ran out of the house.” When his master heard the story his wife told him, saying, “This is how your slave treated me,” he burned with anger. Joseph’s master took him and put him in prison, the place where the king’s prisoners were confined. … ~ Genesis 39:6-20 NIV
 
But when all goes well with you, remember me and show me kindness; mention me to Pharaoh and get me out of this prison. For I was forcibly carried off from the land of the Hebrews, and even here I have done nothing to deserve being put in a dungeon.” … Now the third day was Pharaoh’s birthday, and he gave a feast for all his officials. He lifted up the heads of the chief cupbearer and the chief baker in the presence of his officials: He restored the chief cupbearer to his position, so that he once again put the cup into Pharaoh’s hand, but he hanged the chief baker, just as Joseph had said to them in his interpretation. The chief cupbearer, however, did not remember Joseph; he forgot him. ~ Genesis 40:14-15,20-23 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. So then, don’t be afraid. I will provide for you and your children.” And he reassured them and spoke kindly to them. ~ Genesis 50:19-21 NIV
 
But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. ~ Luke 6:27-28 NIV
 
Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable. Do your part to live in peace with everyone, as much as possible. Dear friends, never avenge yourselves. Leave that to God. For it is written, “I will take vengeance; I will repay those who deserve it,” says the Lord. Instead, do what the Scriptures say: “If your enemies are hungry, feed them. If they are thirsty, give them something to drink, and they will be ashamed of what they have done to you.” Don’t let evil get the best of you, but conquer evil by doing good. ~ Romans 12:17-21 NLT
 
Oh, that my actions would consistently reflect your principles! Then I will not be disgraced when I compare my life with your commands. ~ Psalm 119:5-6 NLT

Follow the Light of His Way

Mar 08

by Victoria Robinson

As we walk through this life wouldn’t it be wonderful if there was a giant neon lighted arrow to point us in the right direction? As the Israelites were traveling to the promised land they had just such an awesome directional system. God sent them a cloud in the daytime and a pillar of fire at night. That must have been beautiful!

After the Tabernacle was built in the wilderness, it was covered by a cloud that had the appearance of fire by night. Although this cloud was not described as a pillar, it must have been the same phenomenon. While the cloud remained over the tabernacle, the people did not break camp. But they set out when the cloud was taken up. Wherever it settled down again was to be the next stopping place. ¹

Another directional sign the Lord gave the Israelites was the ark of the covenant. The Lord instructed them when they saw the priests carrying the ark, they were to follow it.

When we are praying for God’s direction, His lighted arrow can come in many forms. It may be the words of a trusted friend, the words of a preacher, the written words of our Lord, even circumstances whether good or bad. The patriarch Jacob’s family experienced restoration through unfortunate events. Because of a famine, Jacob sent his sons to Egypt to buy some food. This in turn brought the brothers back together. Then the beautiful healing of Jacob’s heart as he came to realize Joseph was not dead, but had grown into  a godly man.

Dearest girlfriends, if you are seeking God’s direction today, open your eyes and see what He has placed in your path to guide you.

By day the LORD went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night. Neither the pillar of cloud by day nor the pillar of fire by night left its place in front of the people. ~ Exodus 13:21-22 NIV
 
… When you see the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God, and the priests, who are Levites, carrying it, you are to move out from your positions and follow it. Then you will know which way to go, since you have never been this way before. … ~ Joshua 3:3-4 NIV
 
Judah said to his brothers, “What will we gain if we kill our brother and cover up his blood? Come, let’s sell him to the Ishmaelites and not lay our hands on him; after all, he is our brother, our own flesh and blood.” His brothers agreed. So when the Midianite merchants came by, his brothers pulled Joseph up out of the cistern and sold him for twenty shekels of silver to the Ishmaelites, who took him to Egypt. ~ Genesis 37:26-28 NIV
 
When Jacob learned that there was grain in Egypt, he said to his sons, “Why do you just keep looking at each other?” He continued, “I have heard that there is grain in Egypt. Go down there and buy some for us, so that we may live and not die.” ~ Genesis 42:1-2 NIV
 
Then Jacob said to Joseph, “I never thought I would see you again, but now God has let me see your children, too.” ~ Genesis 48:11 NLT
 
¹ Nelson’s New Illustrated Bible Dictionary