Grumbling in Paradise

Sharing today from Desiring God.

Grumbling in Paradise

How to Break Through Discontent

by Scott Hubbard

June 14, 2010, sticks out like a redwood tree in the orchard of my memory. For the previous two years, I had wandered through a spiritual wasteland of discontentment, doubt, and morbid introspection.

But on this summer day, God breathed a wind over my parched and cracked heart. I had just spent the afternoon reading a chapter in John Piper’s The Pleasures of God about God’s joy in his creation. As I walked out of the dim-lit, air-conditioned coffee shop into the bracing warmth of a summer afternoon, the words became real: God’s pleasure rang out in birds chirping, leaves whispering, dust motes soaring, cattails swaying. Earth and sky resounded in a chorus of praise to the God of glory, and for the first time in a long time, I heard the music.

Joy swelled my lungs and broke out in spontaneous laughter. My inward gaze exploded outward to find a universe of marvels. My discontentment fled the scene like a thief at daybreak. I discovered, in other words, a lost weapon in the fight for happiness and contentment: wonder.

Grumbling in Paradise

Wonder is that wide-eyed awareness of creation that leaves us hushed, self-forgetful, and brimming with gratitude. Where wonder reigns, contentment flourishes; where wonder is dethroned, discontentment takes root. Exhibit A: the garden of Eden.

……………………………………………………………………..
Here’s the scene. Adam and Eve live in a garden of delights, where God has “made to spring up every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food” and has said, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden” except for one (Genesis 2:916). The first couple bathes in a wonderland of spiritual bliss, marital intimacy, and created splendor.
…..
But then a liar slithers in and opens his mouth. And in a matter of a few sentences, Adam and Eve’s world shrinks from a pleasure-packed universe to a cramped backyard. The Maker of the galaxies walks in the garden. Birds and beasts chant his praise. A world of raptures awaits discovery. Adam and Eve grumble.

So too with us. 

Read the rest here. 

My #Glory

My Glory

But thou, O LORD, art a shield for me;
my glory, and the lifter up of mine head.
—Psalm 3:3

That God is “glory”—or “excellence”—beyond our understanding, none can deny. But do our hearts look up to Him today in humble, earnest worship, and know the truth, and speak the truth—”Thou are MY GLORY“? Our safety lies in the fact that He possesses us. Our deepest, holiest joy comes only when we humbly say in the hour of secret worship: “Thou art mine.” Oh, Lord my Glory, be Thou my shield this day. Amen.

The Lifter Up of Mine Head

Oh, Thou who hast given
Thy glory to me,

Anoint my blind eyes

Till Thy glory I see.

Lift up my bowed head,

Be my shield and my light,
Till Thy radiant glory
Shall banish my night.

[Taken from Wonderful Names of Our Wonderful Lord, by Charles E. Hurlburt and T. C. Horton. Copyright © 2002 by Barbour Publishing, Inc.]

My thoughts

I will lie down and sleep in peace,
for You alone, O LORD,
make we dwell in safety.
—Psalm 4:8

According to Dr. J. Vernon McGee, Psalm 3 has been called a “morning psalm:” in other words, a good psalm with which to start the day.

He calls Psalm 4 “an evening prayer.”

I love the way Dr. McGee puts it: “In spite of all the problems and troubles that David had, he trusted in the Lord. He could sleep at night … He simply trusted in the Lord, pillowed his head on the promises of God, and went to sleep.”¹

Imagine! David “pillowed his head on the promises of God, and went to sleep”! I love the visual imagery this conjures up.

A good night’s sleep is something our bodies need in order to regenerate and get ready for the next day. But for many of us, sleep problems dominate our lives. When we don’t get the refreshing and restoring deep sleep we need, we suffer the physical, psychological and emotional effects throughout the next day, and often beyond.

I’ve always been a very light sleeper. I will fall asleep almost immediately, but then wake up at the least bit of sound. After years of sleepless nights, I’ve learned to wear ear plugs. These do a great job of muffling the harsh sounds that jar me awake.  Certain sounds slip through anyway every so often, like the barking of neighbors’ dogs or the annoying beeps of a smoke detector that needs new batteries.

As I begin to fall asleep, there is usually a hymn going through my mind, one of several that I’ve somehow remembered from listening to Scripture songs over the years. I drift off while praising the Lord in my mind and heart and this, plus the silence that surrounds me, usually puts me right to sleep. And I notice that when I wake up during the night to change positions, that same song is still running through my mind.

But then there are the nights when I can’t sleep, no matter what I do or think about. That’s when I need to remind myself—like David did—to pillow my head on the promises of God, letting thoughts of anything else work their way out of my mind. I need to relax and allow Him to comfort and soothe me through any negative or unsettling thoughts, which only work against my desire and need for sleep.

Beloved, no matter how much or how little sleep we get, one thing should be a constant source of comfort to us: that the Lord is always with us while we sleep, keeping us safe in His care. And no matter if our night is sleepless or not, we can still rejoice in each new day and take comfort from the knowledge that the Lord is:

  • OUR SHIELD
  • OUR GLORY
  • THE LIFTER OF OUR HEADS

Now that’s something worth counting on!


¹Thru the Bible with J. Vernon McGee. Copyright © 1982 by Thru the Bible Radio.

Sunday Praise and Worship: Give You #Glory

SundayPraiseAndWorship--AMP

Have you ever pondered the many blessings we receive from God? Yes, even in the midst of trials, when we feel despair or frustration, we can choose to focus on God instead of ourselves and our circumstances. This opening passage of Psalm 115 is a wonderful way to remind ourselves why we need to praise our Lord:

Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us,
But to Your name give glory,
Because of Your mercy,
Because of Your truth.
Why should the Gentiles say,
“So where is their God?”

—Psalm 115:1-2

I love the song “Give You Glory” sung by Jeremy Camp because the simple lyrics glorify and praise our Lord Jesus so well. Please join me with  your heart, voice and hands raised high in giving the Lord the glory that is due Him. Praise Him forever! 

We give You glory,
Lifting up our hands and singing holy,
You alone are worthy
We just want to touch Your heart, Lord, touch Your heart
Glory, lifting up our voice and singing holy,
You alone are worthy
We just want to touch Your heart, Lord, touch Your heart

 Please excuse any ads that may appear before the video begins
If for whatever reason you cannot view this video, you can read the complete lyrics here.

BlogSL2-smallest

Reaching Israelis and Arabs for Jesus

By Anna Popescu
First published at Cataclysm Missions International (CMI) on May 14, 2015  

Please visit CMI to see how you can become part of a team
to share the Good News of Jesus Christ with the world!

Reaching Israelis and Arabs
for Jesus

OneForIsrael-BlueBackground

ONE FOR ISRAEL is an organization utilizing many methods of reaching out to Jews and Arabs with the life-changing message of Jesus Christ. Today, because of the ongoing and escalating persecution and threats against them, Israelis believe that their lives are more endangered than ever before.

On the streets of Israel, terrorism is a constant.

“Young people generally feel very little hope for the future and are therefore more open to the gospel,” said Tuvya Zaretsky, chairman of the board for the Israel branch of Jews for Jesus.

According to the ONE FOR ISRAEL site, 99% of all Israeli homes are connected to the internet. For every 100 people, there are 122 computers. Israel is the number one country worldwide for time spent online, and social media is abundantly used:

About 97% of all Israelis between the ages of 13-34 have a Facebook account and actively use it.

Here’s another important piece of information. Israel ranks second in the world for how many smart phones are used per person. They spend about 70% of their time surfing the internet on those smart phones.

It is no wonder that ONE FOR ISRAEL is making such a great impact by utilizing the internet to show Israelis that their only hope is to believe in Jesus (Yeshua) as their Savior. Their site tagline reads:

Because the best way to bless Israel is with Yeshua (Jesus)

From the ONE FOR ISRAEL site:

ONE FOR ISRAEL is a ministry-initiative of native-born Israels (Jews & Arabs one in Christ!) on the forefront of high-tech evangelism, proclaiming salvation in Jesus to Israel, raising up leaders and equipping them with the tools they need to transform Israel with the gospel of Messiah! ONE FOR ISRAEL is perhaps the only place in the Middle East where true peace can be found – in Jesus!

ONE FOR ISRAEL in Netanya, Israel has a media center which enables them to broadcast the Good News worldwide. Their facilities also include the only Hebrew-speaking Bible College in Israel (and in the world). They know that there are many ways to share Yeshua with the Israelis and they strive to do this online by:

  • Reaching Israelis with the Gospel message.
  • Training up the next generation of leaders.

They have also launched several organizations, including I Met Messiah, We Love Israel – Because of Jesus, iGod, and Messiah Project (the English version of the Messiah Project is www.oneforisrael.org/messiah). You can also find a link there to a virtual community for Israelis.

ONE FOR ISRAEL has a newsletter to which you can subscribe, as well as a blog. They broadcast through Radio Agape – Messianic Radio from Israel (Agape.fm) and have a Q & A forum which is accessible through each of their sites.

One of the other great ways they share the Gospel message is through YouTube videos. Israel leads the world in the amount of time spent watching videos on YouTube, so ONE FOR ISRAEL has taken some of the most frequently asked questions from the Q&A forum and turned them into short video clips.

There are so many ways to partner with ONE FOR ISRAEL in using social media to share the Good News of Jesus Christ with the Israelis and Arabs that you’ll have no problem finding your best fit. Read more here.

BlogSL2-smallest

The Sequence Of Events In Rev. 20-22

The Sequence Of Events
In Rev. 20-22

From GraceThruFaith

A Bible Study by Jack Kelly  

In this study, I’d like to take another look at Revelation 20-22 specifically for the purpose of clarifying the sequence of events that are contained therein. This won’t be a verse by verse study, but will focus on what I believe to be the way John wanted us to understand what he was telling us.

Let me begin by stating once again my belief that the book of Revelation is laid out chronologically for the most part. But there are places where John followed a particular scene to its conclusion and then back tracked to pick up the story where he left off. A good example of this concerns the account of the two witnesses. Their entire 1260 day ministry was compressed into 11 verses between the 6th and 7th trumpet judgments (Rev. 11:3-13) and yet it will actually span most of the Great Tribulation.

Many of us were taught that Rev. 20 gives us a brief look at the Millennium before describing eternity in Rev. 21 and the first part of Rev. 22. From the questions I get, it appears that lots of people still believe that’s what these three chapters are saying. But that can’t be correct and here’s why.

Read the rest here.

BlogSL2-smallest

The Glory of God

Ps19-1--WoodrowKrollQuote--AMP

The heavens declare the glory of God;
    the skies proclaim the work of His hands.
—Psalm 19:1

No matter how hard Satan tries, he cannot dim the glory of Jesus.
People may close their eyes or turn their backs,
but neither of those actions reduces Jesus’ divine nature.
—Woodrow Kroll

 

Anna-Coffee2The advertising which may appear below is not placed by the author and is not to be considered as a part of this post or an expression of my views.