Living on…”the rest”

maxresdefault-you-have-enoughThis morning my pastor talked about the poor widow in 2 Kings 4:1-7.  After her husband died, the creditors were coming to take her two sons as slaves because she couldn’t pay her debt. Because this woman feared the Lord, she called on His prophet, Elisha for help.

Elisha asked this widow what she had.  She only had a pot of oil.

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Elisha instructed her to borrow all the empty vessels she could from her neighbors, gather her sons and shut the door, and pour the oil into the vessels.  She kept pouring until all the vessels were full, then the oil stopped. This widow went outside and reported to Elisha she had done as he said.

He then told her to go sell the oil, pay her debt, and, “…live thou and thy children of the rest.” Our pastor pointed out that when we believe on Jesus, the biggest problem we will ever have is solved. Our salvation is sealed and we are given eternal life.

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However, as believers, we will have tribulation and adversity just like anybody else.  Sometimes we will have more because the devil fights us to destroy our testimonies, our influence for good in the lives of others, and the spread of the gospel.

But one of the best promises the Lord has given us is that He will never leave us and that He will supply our every need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. (Hebrews 13:5, Philippians 4:19)

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God doesn’t just save our souls and then leave us to figure the rest of life out on our own.  He continues to supply our every need as we seek, ask, trust, and depend on Him. His coffers are full and He faithfully supplies “the rest” until our days here are no more.

My husband went to heaven 21 months ago today.  Although I have so much more than the poor widow in 2 Kings,  a lot of my security left with my husband.  But I can testify that God has been so very faithful to supply my every  need.

He has sent many “Elisha’s” and neighbors my way when I’ve had trouble and needed help. I have gotten money in the mail anonymously, help with house and car repairs, wood cut and stacked for the winter and countless other random acts of kindness that lifted me up when I was in need or discouraged.  I am living on “the rest” and believe me, there is plenty there!

My prayer is that I long for His presence in my life more than anything or anyone else and that I will trust Him for the unknown future. I want a deeper understanding of who He is and the depth of His love. I hope this is your prayer too. Have a blessed day!

Keep looking up,

Gaye Hughes

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Gigi and the “Little Chipmunk” 09-2016

Resting in the Lord

6453ac28ca60bd6d5fa9ea3977533b06Recently two of my friends have told me the Lord had been speaking to them about resting in Him. They have been meditating on Scripture and trying to learn what that looks like in everyday life.

I haven’t heard many sermons on this subject, but as I’ve thought about it, I’ve realized this is an important principle to grasp…one I want to understand better. Sometimes when I’m having a hard time figuring out what something is, it is easier to think about what it isn’t.  I would say the opposite of rest is work, sleeplessness, being anxious, and worrying.

My friends realize resting isn’t just about the physical.  God wants us to work. We need to provide for our families, wash clothes, clean the house and fulfill a multitude of other responsibilities.  And the Bible is pretty clear about how God feels about laziness and wasting time.

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Both of my friends are grieving  their moms’ recent home-going to be with the Lord.  While these sweet mothers were ready to meet their Maker and the God whom they loved, it must be so hard for their daughters to not be able to walk down the hall or pick up the phone to talk with them.

In addition, these homeschooling moms are dealing with the last of their birdies leaving the nest, their children getting married and moving away, cancer, job loss, etc.  It’s no wonder they are seeking rest!

Jesus has already taken the brunt of our grief and sorrow. In Isaiah 53: 4 it says, Surely he hath borne our griefs (sicknesses), and carried our sorrows (pain). He took the worst of it on the cross when He died for the sins of the world.  But, we still are confronted with pain and sorrow in this sin-cursed world in which we live. So He wants us to even carry the leftover heartache to Him.

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In Matthew 11:28-30, Jesus said, Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of (from) me; for I am meek (gentle and humble) and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.  For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

So how do we stay calm and rest in our spirit when we’re being constantly bombarded by some heavy cares in this world? I think it means every time those uneasy feelings of worry, anxiety, and fear arise, we have to speak truth to ourselves from God’s Word. We talk to God about it and then refuse to worry about it anymore.

It’s like the game where the little heads keep popping up and you have to quickly hammer them back down. We crush fear, worry, uncertainty, anxiety, grief and pain with verses like….

Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

Philippians 4:19 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

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Psalm 34: 17-19 The righteous cry, and the LORD heareth them, and delivereth them out of all their troubles. The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite (grieving and penitent for sin or shortcoming- Websters Dictionary) spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all.

Ephesians 3:20, 21 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen!

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Rest in God, in His goodness, knowing He is faithful to see you through although your storm is raging right now.  You can trust Him.

Behold the eye of the LORD is upon them that fear him, upon them that hope in his mercy; To deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine.  Our soul waiteth for the LORD: he is our help and our shield. (Psalm 33:18-20)

I would love to hear from you, Readers!  What have you learned about resting in Him?

Keep looking up,

Gaye

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When It Doesn’t Make Sense

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The Bible intrigues me! So many times God asks people to step out in faith to obey Him when it makes no sense to the human mind. That is what faith is…the substance (realization) of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1)  When we put aside our doubts, and step out in faith, believing God, He does amazing things!

I Kings 17:8-16 tells how God told His prophet, Elijah to go Zarephath because He had commanded a widow to feed him.  There was a severe famine in the land and God asked this widow to do a very hard thing…to provide lunch for a stranger while she and her son were hungry and her food supply was almost diminished.

When Elijah asks her to use the last of her oil and meal to make him a cake first, the woman responds,

“I have not a cake, but a handful of meal in a barrel, and a little oil in a cruse (pitcher): and, behold, I am gathering two sticks, that I may go in and dress (prepare) it for me and my son, that we may eat it, and die.” Elijah tells her to not be afraid, but to go and make him a little cake first!

Can you believe the audacity of such a request?  I’m sure this mother loved her son. If a stranger told most women this, they would say, “In your dreams Buddy!” And I’m afraid I would have been one of those women in this case!

Elijah assures this widow she will have a  supply of meal and oil until the Lord sends rain.   By faith, she did and as he asked a result,  the LORD kept His promise and she, her son, and Elijah ate many days after that until the Lord sent the rain.

If she hadn’t had the faith to obey, God would not have had the opportunity to reward her faith.

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In 2 Kings 5:10-14, Naaman, captain of the Syrian army, had leprosy.  God tells His prophet, Elisha to tell him to go dip in the dirty Jordan River seven times.  That made no sense to this captain.  Naaman’s pride got in the way.  First, he was offended that this man of God didn’t even come out and speak to him face to face, but sent his servant to give the solution to his disease.

Then, he couldn’t understand why his cleaner river back home wouldn’t be the better option. Naaman was trusting in the water to heal him and not in the God who made the water. Naaman was ready to leave, when his servants begged him to give it a try.

Because Naaman obeyed, although unwillingly, God honored His word and healed the captain.  What if Naaman had walked away without obeying?  He would not have been healed.  How many times do I walk away because God’s word doesn’t make sense to me?

Here’s another one. Jesus said in Luke 6:38

“Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom.  For with the same measure that ye mete (use) withal it shall be measured to you again.”

How can we give and end up with more than we gave?  It does not make sense. This is one of the glorious characteristics about God! This is what makes Him so awesome! This is what makes Him God and not me!

God works miracles when we exhibit faith.  This goes against every grain in our earthly, sinful body.  We think we are smart and can figure things out for ourselves. Blessed is every man, woman, and child who realizes they cannot figure this life out without the help of Almighty God! “With men it is impossible, but not with God:  for with God all things are possible.” (Mark 10 27)

“But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder to them that diligently seek Him.” (Hebrews 11:6)

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In Matthew 10:38-39 Jesus said,

“And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. He that findeth his life shall lose it:  and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.”

To me, these verses mean we must each lay down our hopes and dreams and be willing to trust God with our future. When we do, a lot of times are hopes and dreams do come true.  God knows us better than we know ourselves and He wants the very best for us. We may think we know what we want, but we really don’t.

God knows the end from the beginning.  We don’t have to fret and worry and try to figure things out and make things happen.  Jesus is asking us to let Him carry our burdens in this life, to trust Him, to rest in Him, and to wait on Him.

When we take our eyes off ourselves and give to God and others, we are dying to ourselves to gain true life. This song pretty much sums up what I’ve been trying to say. May this be the prayer of our heart.

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Instrument of Peace

Where there is hatred, let me bring love
Where there is doubt, let me bring faith
Where there is falsehood, let me bring truth
Where there is pain, I’ll comfort you
Where there is silence, let me sing praise
Where there’s despair, let me bring hope
Where there is blindness, let me bring sight
Where there is darkness, let me bring light
And with these words I speak
Grant that I may not seek
To be heard but to hear
To be consoled but to console,
Not to be seen, but to see
To be loved but to love
For when we give love we will receive
When we forgive love, we’ll find reprieve
It is in dying we’ll be released
Make me an instrument of peace

Keep looking up,

Gaye Hughes

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