"That He may grant you to be strengthened with power
through His Spirit in your inner being so that Christ
may dwell in your hearts through faith."
I was sitting here this morning running through my Facebook before I begin my day. I don't spend a lot of time there any more, because the political posts annoy me. But this morning, several posts caught my eye.
I have a classmate from high school who is in surgery as we speak having tumors removed. She and her family have kept us updated via Facebook, so I was looking to hear from them. Debbie's daughter had posted that she was in surgery and they had been given an update from the doctor...things were going well, but it would take longer than they had expected.
I scrolled on down and found a post my sister had shared. It was a quote from Christine Caine that said,
"In the midst of what may seem like the toughest storm, if we will simply trust Him and listen for His instruction, we'll undoubtedly hear Him whisper to our heart: "Yes, right now it all seems impossible. But just stick with Me because when you have Me in you - surrounding you, ahead of you, and behind you - nothing is impossible."
"He is my refuge and my fortress; my God in whom I trust."
I shared that with Debbie's daughter hoping to bring encouragement to her and the family.
Then I continued to scroll down the page. Another friend had posted a song; it was a Christian version of the song, Say Something. I was concerned as I first began to listen, because the words are:
Say something, I'm giving up on You.
I'm sorry that I couldn't get to You.
Anywhere I would have followed You.
Say something, I'm giving up on You.
It disturbed me a bit because it was as if they were saying, "God, You're not doing anything, so I'm outta here." (And, yes, I know there are those who feel that way...). But as I listened, it changed...in the middle of the song, they began reading Scriptures - promises from the Father.
Be strong and courageous...
Come to Me if you are weary and heavy burdened - I will give you rest.
You are not slaves, but My children!
And I am your Father!
Then they began to read the portion of Scripture where the prodigal son returns home (Luke 15:22-24 Message); and the Father, who has never given up on His son, embraces him and throws a massive celebration....and I wept!
You see, I have a son who is not walking with the Lord. In fact, he has given up on God...believing God has given up on him. And it breaks my heart. If only...if only...he could hear, truly hear these Promises of God.
God hasn't given up on him!!
We've all been there at some time in our lives. Wondering if God is there, is He listening... does He even care. But His Word is FULL of promises and all He asks of us is to believe Him; take Him at His Word. Rest in Him.
You're probably wondering what these two stories have to do with each other. Well, the same theme ran through both stories.....
We all know someone who is battling something....sometimes it's ourselves. Health issues, finances, relationship issues, employment issues, or spiritual issues. None of us are exempt from the battles.
We need to encourage one another with the Promises God has given us. "Be strong in the Lord and in the power of HIS might" (Ephesians 6:10). We don't have to do anything in our own strength. As Christine Caine reminded us, God says, "right now it all seems impossible. But...when you have Me in you - nothing is impossible!"
And, if you are feeling abandoned or bereft, and feel like giving up, remember...Your Father is saying something to you. He's not giving up on you! "He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion..." (Philippians 1:6).
This morning, not only was I encouraged by others, I was reminded to pray for those who are in need. And may I encourage you, as you read posts from your friends if someone says, "Please pray for me..." truly pray. It's so easy to type "praying"; I know, because I've done it myself. But after doing so, stop for a moment and lift that person up in prayer. It really only takes a moment. And they are asking because the need the love and support, encouragement and strength that we can give each other.
Finally, I know many of us use Facebook way too much; it's easy to get lost as we scroll down the page and through the posts. But, it really is a great tool to stay in touch with one another, share one another's burdens, and bring encouragement to one another. Sometimes, that verse you read this morning, or that song you heard is exactly what someone else needs to hear. I have been challenged by God lately to make the things I post on Facebook....matter.
For this reason I bow my knees before the Father
from whom every family in heaven and on earth is names,
that according to the riches of His glory He may grant you
to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in your
inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through
faith - that you, being rooted and grounded in love,may have
strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth
and length and height and depth, and to know the love of
Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled
with all the fullness of God."