Archives For seasons

The Power of Perseverance

October 21, 2013

Here is another great guest post by Dr. Ed Hird:

Winston Churchill is famous for his advice during the Battle of Britain: “Never, ever, ever give up. Never give up. Never give up.”  It is so easy to let setbacks set us back, to let disappointments discourage us.  We can lose our first love, our original passion, our vision and focus.

Perseverance is the key to breakthrough in our lives, our marriages, our families and our work.  Without perseverance, we don’t finish well, we don’t fight the good fight, we don’t keep the faith.  The Good Shepherd once told a story in Luke 18:1-8 about a widow who was being exploited by a corrupt judge.  Widows have historically been some of the most powerless people, lacking protection and financial resources.  In some countries around the world, widows were even burned alive (Sati) on their husband’s funeral pyre.   This widow had no bribe to pay off the judge, so instead she wore him out with her pleading.

The Good Shepherd Jesus commended this persevering widow, and encouraged us to be preserving, especially in our prayer lives, never giving up.  Why are many people tempted to give up in their prayer lives? Sometimes the answers to our prayers often seem to take too long. Sometimes God says slow, or grow, or even no.   When there is great grief in our lives, our prayer lives can take a hit.  Our experience of tragedy can embitter us, and rob us of hope.  Jesus commended the persevering widow as a model for all of us.  God wants us to persevere.

Andrew Murray, a famous 19th Century South African write, once said “Of all the mysteries of the prayer world, the need for persevering prayer is one of the greatest.”  A Facebook friend of mine, Matthew Lee Smith, sent me this note: “This Sunday, preach like Jesus is coming Monday! I am praying for you right now my friend!”  I am so encouraged when I know that people are praying for me. People can gossip about you, or they can pray for you.  It is a radical choice.  It is so easy to get discouraged and cut back in our praying for certain people. We may not even want to think about them, let alone pray for them.  It’s too painful.  God wants us to persevere.

Jesus was a man of prayer. The closer Jesus came to the cross, the more he prayed. Jesus prayed like no one else did.  He ever got a prayer named after him: The Lord’s Prayer.   This is a challenging time to be a Christian, to attend Church, to be a worshiper. Without prayer, we will get taken out, distracted, knocked off course.  If you are discouraged, pray. If you have lost heart, pray. If you don’t know the way forward, pray.  Prayer is the way forward. God always makes a way when it seems that there is no way forward.

God loves to keep his promises.  He loves to answer prayer.  Prayer is about leaning on the everlasting arms.  It is about trusting that He’s got the whole world in his hands, his faithfulness is great, and all that I have needed his hand has provided.  Prayer is about practicing God’s presence.  Jesus will never leave us or forsake us. He loves us with an everlasting love.  My prayer for those reading this article is that we will learn from the persevering widow to never give up, to always persist, and to always keep on praying.

(Please give your comments below to this article – Zach)

The Forgotten Secret Of Life

September 28, 2013

 

Hello all!

It’s wonderful to see you all and to be able to share with you again!
I pray you are doing well and I want you to know that I pray for my regular readers and everyone who is drawn to my blog by the Holy Spirit of God. Praise the mighty and holy name of our Lord,

There’s just something about fall, isn’t there? Leaves are already falling from the trees where I live and the air has a definite tinge of Fall Festival about it.

I am reminded of the seasons of life as I walk familiar paths that I have walked through the years of ever changing seasons.

God’s creation reveals His presence as surely as His word. His word makes sense of the specific questions that crop up during the changing seasons of our lives, doesn’t it? For instance, when I was a child, I pondered much different questions than I did as a young adult.

The thoughts that troubled me in middle age have since been resolved and replaced by questions more appropriate to my present and final season.

In retrospect, I can see my past seasons as a classroom preparing me in advance for each progressing, future season which, in turn, prepped and prepared me for each proceeding one right up to today. I write this as I slide into position from fall to the beginnings of the winter of my life.

“I can’t even walk without I’m holding His hand.”

I enter it unafraid due to the successful and God-led path I have followed through the first three seasons—my undergraduate degree in life, if you will. I feel prepared to tackle acceptance as my post graduate thesis during this race of endurance towards the finish line of the winter of my life.

The goal of this endurance being the prize of eternal life with Christ forever.
It’s amazing to me how the winding down of our personal life clock seems to be at odds with our level of creativity and confidence that God will see us through in our quest to touch the lives of others in a meaningful and enlightening way.

The older I seem to get, the more ambition for the kingdom work I appear to have!  As I painstakingly continue with my manuscript and ministerial duties, I find these insightful moments from God refreshing my mind and clarifying my spiritual calling.

It is during such insightful moments, alone and in conversation with God, that I am reminded, “I can’t even walk without I’m holding His hand.”

Until next time!

Zach

QUESTION: Do you have a salvation relationship with Jesus Christ?