Sad Song or Hopeful Hymn – Deuteronomy 32:36

TragicSong“The Lord will indeed vindicate His people and have compassion on His servants when He sees that their strength is gone” (Deuteronomy 32:36, HCSB).

Deuteronomy 32 is called the Song of Moses. It is a song that was intended to warn Israel through the ages of the consequences of apostasy and disobedience to God.

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Bad Weather Farmers – Psalm 126:5-6

badweatherfarmer“Those who plant in tears will harvest with shouts of joy. They weep as they go to plant their seed, but they sing as they return with the harvest” (Psalm 126:5-6, NLT).

Do you sometimes seem to be doing everything right and everything goes wrong?

You are faithful to God, planting seed for His Kingdom by serving and obeying Him in every way. Then, in the middle of your faithfulness and obedience, first one problem or tragedy strikes, then another, and then another.

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Opportunity Knocks – Mark 6:37

opportunity-knocks“But Jesus said, You feed them. With what? they asked. We’d have to work for months to earn enough money to buy food for all these people!” (Mark 6:37, NLT).

Before Jesus performed the miracle of feeding the five thousand (or ten or fifteen thousand, actually), He first commanded the disciples to feed them!

Now His command could be interpreted in two ways. Either Jesus was commanding the disciples to let Him empower them to perform the miracle or He was trying to teach them a lesson about God’s miraculous provisioning.

We usually interpret His command to the disciples in terms of the latter, but let’s take the perspective that He was actually commanding them to feed the five or ten or fifteen thousand.

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You’ve Got to Go Through It – Psalm 107:6-9

“Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble; He rescued them from their distress. He led them by the right path to go to a city where they could live. Let them give thanks to the Lord for His faithful love and His wonderful works for all humanity. For He has satisfied the thirsty and filled the hungry with good things” (Psalm 107:6-9, HCSB).Psalm 107 contains a powerful message of God’s lovingkindness and deliverance.

The fundamental message of the Psalm is that when people encounter adversity, if they cry out to God for help, He will rescue them from their troubles.

You’ve heard this message before, many times, but the Psalmist’s proclamation of God’s faithful love, His covenant loyalty, His chesed, in this Psalm is so powerful that it warrants further consideration.

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Trouble Along the Way – Acts 14:6

“And there they kept evangelizing” (Acts 14:6, HCSB).

This is one of those days when I get to the end of the day and find myself really weary. Some would say “weary from well-doing,” though I question how much “well” I’m really “doing.”

I’ll spare you the details of all my troubles because as hard as I think I have it, my troubles pale in comparison to the troubles encountered by Paul and Barnabas in Acts 13 and 14, who were undertaking the task God had assigned them.

In Acts 13:2 God sent Paul and Barnabas on their first missionary journey: “The Holy Spirit said, ‘Set apart for Me Barnabas and Saul for the work I have called them to.'”

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Fortunate Misfortunes – Psalm 66:10-12

“For You, God, tested us; You refined us as silver is refined. You lured us into a trap; you placed burdens on our backs. You let men ride over our heads; we went through fire and water, but You brought us out to abundance” (Psalm 66:10-12, HCSB).

The Psalmist indicates that refining is a process meant to purify God’s people.

And if these verses allude to God’s deliverance of Israel from Egyptian bondage, the Psalmist seems to apply Israel’s experience personally to us.

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