When God Restores What the Locusts Eat

FROM The Daily Encourager

“I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten – the great locust and the young locust, the other locusts and the locust swarm – My great army that I sent among you.” – Joel 2:25

There are seasons in our lives that involve times of famine and times of restoration. Solomon tells us that He has made everything beautiful in its time and that there is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under Heaven. (See Ecclesiastes 3:1,11.)

God brings about both the good and the bad. The seasons of famine have a divine purpose in our lives. They accomplish things that only these hard places can accomplish. But there is a time when those hard places have accomplished their purpose and He begins to restore. God did this with the nation of Israel after a season of famine and devastation.

Be glad, O people of Zion, rejoice in the Lord your God, for He has given you the autumn rains in righteousness. He sends you abundant showers, both autumn and spring rains, as before. The threshing floors will be filled with grain; the vats will overflow with new wine and oil. “I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten – the great locust and the young locust, the other locusts and the locust swarm – My great army that I sent among you. You will have plenty to eat, until you are full, and you will praise the name of the Lord your God, who has worked wonders for you; never again will My people be shamed. Then you will know that I am in Israel, that I am the Lord your God, and that there is no other; never again will My people be shamed” (Joel 2:23-27).

God wants each of us to know that there is a time when He will restore in order to demonstrate His gracious hand in our lives. He is a loving Father who tenderly guides His children through the difficult places. If God has taken you through a time of leanness, know that He is the restorer of that which the locusts have eaten. Wait patiently for Him to bring this about in your life. He will do it.

Copyright 2000 by Os Hillman
TGIF (Today God Is First)
www.marketplaceleaders.org

Contend For The Faith

From Grace Waves by Dr. Terry Ellis

“Beloved, being very eager to write to you of our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.” Jude 3

Jude wrote his letter to warn churches against the influence of false teachers, a common problem in the early church and not so uncommon today. These “grumblers, malcontents, loud mouthed boasters” (v. 16) taught a perversion of grace (v. 4) and practiced a licentious lifestyle (v. 7).

In response, Jude appealed to Christians to “contend for the faith.” The word for contend is built on the word for “agony.” The stakes were high. The effort would need to be intense.

An apologist is someone who makes a defense. These early Christian apologists started a long line of intellectual inquiry and engagement that continues today. We need good Christians who will fight for the faith, define it, identify threats to it, and encourage Christians to embrace the teaching of the New Testament. They battle on behalf of the entire church body. (more…)

Harvesters of Signs

FROM The Daily Encourager

“God took Abraham outside and said, ‘Look up at the heavens and count the stars – if indeed you can count them.’ Then he said to him, ‘So shall your offspring be.'” (Genesis 15:5)

God had promised Abraham and Sarah that they would be founders of a great nation and a blessing to the earth. They had kept their part of the bargain and gone where God told them to go. They had trusted and believed. But the years had piled up like sand in the desert and no child had been born to them. True, God had brought them into a new land as promised, but what good was that if there was no one to leave it to?

The story of Sarah and Abraham is a story of barrenness – not only of their inability to have children, but also of a world in which our prayers seem to go unanswered, our deepest hopes remain unborn. As for Abraham, so also for us the time comes when we want action. Abraham, speaking for us all, says to God, in essence, “The land is fine, Lord, but what about the child you promised?”

We who worship the God of Abraham and Sarah and believe that the promised blessing is also for us feel the urgency in his question. We have asked it from the depths of our hearts too. Why am I unable to find a meaningful job? Where is the good health for which I’ve prayed? Will there ever be someone to love me? How long must we live in fear of terrorism? Where is the child I’ve been praying for?

As Abraham’s question cut through the night air, God gave him a sign. He took him outdoors, beneath a sky powdered with stars, and said again that he and Sarah would have descendants to outnumber the lights of heaven. It was not an explanation but simply a reiteration of the promise. It meant “Don’t give up!” “Keep the faith!” “I’m still around!”

Faith is a gift, something we receive rather than achieve. Some receive it in great measure, others less so. But all of us, like Abraham, are called to be observers of signs. When he grew tired of waiting, he saw in the stars something that helped him persevere. Our signs may be more subtle – a kind word, a gentle hand, a Christian song, a beautiful thing that reminds us of the Creator’s love. Harvest those signs. Share them. Each one, great or small, helps us in the long and difficult wait for the fulfillment of God’s promises.

Copyright 2010 Dr. Michael A. Halleen
Permission is granted to send this to others, with attribution, but not for commercial purposes.