“When times get bad, people cry out for help. They cry for relief from being kicked around, But never give God a thought when things go well, when God puts spontaneous songs in their hearts, When God sets out the entire creation as a science classroom, using birds and beasts to teach wisdom.” Job 35:9-11 Message
Have you ever sat and just watched the stars? Have you considered what they do? Are they just there to look pretty and to entertain us when we decide to stop and take a peek? No, they are declaring the glory of God. They shout day and night by their very existence that God is God and His works are marvelous. Neither storms in space, nor on the earth can cause them to cease their praises. Night and day, throughout the seasons, and throughout all generations their song and existence shout to the wonder of God. They are a continual reminder to us of just how great our God really is. This God created billions of these stars and knows them all by name. Let your mind and heart ponder that reality for just a moment, then consider Job. It will drastically influence your perspective.
When I look at Job and then the universe, he seems to have been mistreated and given a raw deal, but when I consider God, and then Job, I see it very differently. For how could a God with such detail and care to our immense universe not have something incredible in mind for the very thing He created in His own image?
How I see is so crucial to how I live. Walk with me for a moment with this verse. Man leaves God out, man fights with God and God’s plan for his life, but then blames God when difficulty comes. Yet, if we would just stop and look around us, we would see everything telling us that God is working this out. We would see in all of His creation, from the birds, to the crashing waves of the ocean, to the incredible wonder of the universe, that God is not asleep. In fact, He is surrounding us with His presence, and His glory, but we are too busy doing our own thing. Too busy trying to explain it all away, and come up with our own answers to the things that are unfolding.
It is easy to judge Job and his friends. People who just could not lay down their need to know everything, trust that God was good and if this was what Job was called to walk through, that God would be with him. No, they had to have all of their religious answers that were so far from who God was. They had to explain Job’s situation instead of just testifying to God’s glory despite Job’s situation. I have been Job’s friends. I have missed the science classroom all around me when I did not understand what was happening to someone I cared about or in my own life.
God is not wanting us to just look for Him when we are in a moment of desperation, but He wants us to join with all of creation, all of the time to testify of His glory. He wants us to shout with the birds, with the crashing waves of the ocean, with the light of the stars, that He is God, and He is good, all of the time.
Let’s not wait until trouble to call on God and be grateful that He came. Let’s recognize the spontaneous song He puts in our hearts today. Let’s look around and join in the chorus of the heavens and the earth. Let’s not choose ingratitude but stand in grateful wonder of a God who would choose us to join in such a marvelous song.
How Great is our God!
Today I am grateful that my life is not to be lived outside of God’s glory. I am thankful that He has set up all around me His classroom of glory. He longs for me to see and to stand in wonder of this incredible God. I pray He will teach me how to truly live recognizing the spontaneous song placed by Him, and to reject any notion to play God in someone else’s life.
Patricia De'Bell says:February 20, 2015 at 1:49 am
This week I had the privilege to stand once again in Durham Cathedral. It is so huge and strong and beautiful and awe-inspiring and filled to the brim with over a thousand years of prayer, of people meeting with their God, just as I was doing right then and there. I also had the privilege to come into God’s presence in the “empty” Worship space of the IHOP in York, housed in St. Cuthbert’s Church, to watch and listen and join in with live-streaming from the IHOP in Kansas and then do the same when someone came into the space to play keyboard and sing praises and prayer to our Lord God. These were very special times for me and I was – and am – very thankful for them, for having been able to travel here to experience them. I know, though, that the same God who inspired the building of Durham Cathedral and the creating of St Cuthbert’s so many years ago – and the creation of IHOP – is the God who is there for me anywhere I am located. Is there as I stand in awe of the stars at night in Nova Scotia and as I gather with family He has given me at Bethel Church and elsewhere and as I am in my house by myself (which means I’m not by myself!) – and how awesome is that and how awesome is He? Beyond all my thinking, beyond all my words. Oh, how He loves us! I’m praising and thanking You, Lord God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen!
Keith De'Bell says:February 20, 2015 at 5:00 am
Psalm 148 Amen
Pat McRae says:February 20, 2015 at 12:22 pm
Well said Message Bible! Sure puts the rubber on the road today! This has so been me over the years! God, HELP!!! It’s me again. I know we haven’t talked much lately
(had I been honest, it would of been at all lately), but please help. And all the promises that go with a prayer like this were offered. So God knowing full well what would happen when He intervened, does so anyway. He pulls me out of the mess I have created or someone else has so kindly made for me, sets my feet on solid ground again with a hug, a kiss and a I love you baby girl. Why? Because He is love! This morning I was reminded that in Hosea Jesus is reveled as: ‘the faithful husband forever of the backslider’. As I ponder this amazing act of love, I am amazed at how many times He has shown His love to me in my backsliding years. Oh as much I don’t like to admit it there are still times the narrow road is not always under my feet. No conditions, no condemnation just pure love poured out. Again I ask WHY God? And the only answer I get is: because I have loved you everyday of your life. I had plans for you, purposes for your life only I knew about. I knew the day would come when you would recognize it was me. So I picked you up with great love and watched you glorify me for a few days and then watched you go your way in your own strength again. It hurt My heart to see you getting in trouble again and I knew your cry and promises would come again. And I knew it would be a cycle for many years, but I saw a day when the cycle would be broken. So for that day I kept you close because I knew what you didn’t know.’
I could write books full of these cycles of crying out in desperation and the promises and the rescue. Two stand out that I would like to share. My husband and I were in the standardbred horse racing business. I was taught to pay bills, he was not! So we had a bill go to collections. We had no money to pay this bill, but we did have a horse racing. The chances of this horse ever winning was nil! But I cried out to the only one I knew would listen. Of course I knew I was asking the impossible and of course I made all the promises again that I knew I could never keep. But God in His mercy and grace reached down and gave that horse wings and we won. Everyone including my husband were amazed. I told my husband I had prayed, and our win was the money to pay that bill. About the only time I remember he listened, paid the bill and told everyone in the backstretch that asked how that darn horse won I had prayed. Well a few weeks later rain was threatening to come during the races. There is nothing worse then racing in the rain. As I walked to the backstretch to help my husband a few horsemen asked jokingly if I would pray it would not rain until after the races. I said I would pray and ask but the answer would be God’s call how He wanted to answer. So I did pray but this time I asked that God would do it so these men would know his power, might and majesty. The races went off and as the last race crossed the finish line the rains came down, pouring down. The win picture for that race was taken in the pouring rain. As I went back to our trailer after the races were done I quietly thanked God for answering. As I passed those men I asked if them if they had thanked God yet for keeping the rain off until after the races. Many talked about these two incidents for many days if not months. It was God’s love and goodness in a time of my life where I was really a backslider, no Word, no church and only emergency prayers.
Today I am thankful for each and every time God bailed me out. Why? Because those are testimonies to a God Who loves without boundaries and conditions. I am thankful for parents that taught me Jesus died for my sins and He loved me and wanted me to love Him. I truly believe the Word that says to raise children in the way they should go and when they are old they won’t depart from it. I am one of those children! I am thankful today that the emergency prayers are less and the promises are gone because I know I do not have to manipulate a loving God to do what is right for me or others. I am thankful for my night songs that wake me praising His name in words and tongues. And for the songs that bubble up during the day, all bringing joy, peace and love so sweet it brings tears. Nothing is sweeter! I am thankful for this Bible Study on Gratitude, it is showing me where I fail to have gratitude and allows the Holy Spirit the opportunity to teach me to have the victory in those areas. Hallelujah!!!
Thank You Lord for Your faithfulness to me over all the years of my life!
Susan Craig says:February 20, 2015 at 3:45 pm
I am reminded of the Lord’s words when He said to “suffer the little children to come unto Me-and forbid them not-for such is the Kingdom of Heaven.” I have lived many years since my childhood but whenever I think back to my early years ,immediately I remember God-I saw Him everywhere I looked. He was up in the sky with the clouds,the rainbows,thunder and lightning,raindrops,snowflakes, the wind,the sun,moon and stars-the heavens declaring His glory. He was all around me on the earth seen in His creation-the plants,the fall leaves,the animals,birds and fish,the ocean,the brooks,the mountains,the sand. He was in people-a perfectly formed newborn baby,the kind words of my Sunday School teachers,the hymns and songs that I sang, the smiles and hugs from my mom, the strong hands of my Dad,the laughter of my friends as we played games. Everywhere I looked around me I could see Him and I felt His love and presence in my heart and life. I cannot think of a time that I did not see and feel His presence. Therefore it was not very difficult for me to believe He existed or that He was the Creator of all things bright and beautiful.
As I got older,the problems of life tried to choke out that awareness of God-trying to see Him or understand His Will when a dear friend passed away at 17 years of age, when my fiance’ walked away from me and never looked back, when my health deteriorated and my strength failed, when my marriage was not what I hoped it would be, in financial troubles, when I developed an illness that most doctors had no idea how to treat, when my eldest son became sick and had to live with a chronic illness, when my sons were rebellious as teenagers,when my mother was so sick snd then passed away…..the list of difficulties was long. These difficulties tried to crowd out my knowledge that God was in everything and that He was good all the time. How could I see the goodness of God in all that I was enduring??? I had to search hard to see Him in all the trials of my life and spent much time searching the scriptures and praying for answers to the hard questions of real life. The word of God became so precious to me in my adult years-verses popped out at me to help me know that God was still with me no matter what I was going through at the time. One in particular kept me going forward-“my heart would have fainted within me, had I not seen the hand of the Lord in the land of the living.” The Lord was telling me that He was still with me-that His Hand was even in the hard things of life. I grew up in those years from a wide-eyed young child to an adult fully dependent on the love and strength of God everyday to give me motivation and ability to continue on the path He had set before me. Now when I look back I see evidence of His presence and goodness over my whole life-in the good years and even in the times of difficulty. God’s Glory does not disappear when we are going thru trials-His Glory never fades and is never dependant on our ever changing feelings and circumstances. God never changes from being Who He is. That fact keeps me grounded. When all else around me is faltering-God never falters. When others forsake me,Jesus never ever forskes me. When the devil tries to sidetrack me, God remains faithful and His truth never changes. Though HE slay me, yet I will praise HIM. You see this life has never been about me-it has been ALL about HIM. Every trial I went thru was teaching me to let go-let go of all that holds me to this world, let go of any preconceived ideas of what my life should be, let go of my need to know everything, let go of my need to control everything…. That God is in control, God ‘s will is always going to be done, God will share His Glory with no one else, God ‘s way is always the best way-It has been,is,and ultimately will always be ALL ABOUT HIM. And because He loves me and has only the best plans and purposes for my life, I will thank Him and praise Him in all things,everyday,for all of my life. It is alright to not know everything God is doing in this world-we are only meant to know in part in this life. WE CAN TRUST HIM in the unknown,in the storms of life,in everything! To God be the Glory,Great things HE has done!!!!!!