Today’s Text and Thought of Encouragement:
“I will lead them in paths that they have not known…and I will not leave them forsaken.”
Isaiah 42: 16
“I do not know what is around that next turn in this winding trail of life, but I know this, whatever there is around that corner, I shall have my hand in Another’s hand when I go and face it. And if I feel a little bit disturbed, I shall move my finger around in the palm of that hand till I find the scar, and then I shall know that Jesus Christ, who on the cross was wounded for my sins, is not going to leave me no matter what corner I go around on the winding road of life.”
W. B. Hinson
Today’s Study Text:
“The jar of meal was not spent nor did the bottle of oil fail, according to the word which the Lord spoke through Elijah.”
1 Kings 17: 16
“A God Who Freely Meets Our Needs”
“He who did not withhold or spare even His own Son but gave Him up for us all, will He not also with Him freely and graciously give us all things?”
Romans 8: 32
What needs do I have right now?
In what ways have I brought my needs to God to take care of each one?
“Are you encompassed with needs at this very moment, and almost overwhelmed with difficulties, trials and emergencies? These are all divinely provided vessels…they would become opportunities for receiving new blessings and deliverances which you can get in no other way. Bring these vessels to God. Hold them steadily before Him in faith and prayer. Keep still, and stop your own restless working until He begins to work. Do nothing that He does not Himself command you to do. Give Him a chance to work, and He will surely do so; and the very trials that threatened to overcome you with discouragement and disaster, will become God’s opportunity for the revelation of His grace and glory in your life, as you have never known Him before.”
A. B. Simpson
“You can be sure that God will take care of everything you need, His generosity exceeding even yours in the glory that pours from Jesus. Our God and Father abounds in glory that just pours out into eternity. Yes.”
Philippians 4: 19
The Message Bible
In the area where we live, we are facing a lack of rain. Usually during the summer rainy season, called the monsoon, we have several big “gully washers” as my dad used to call the downpours which caused many dry spring beds to overflow their banks. However, this last year, the creek by our house that often runs very full during the summer rains, never once filled up, due to the drought. In fact, Jim and I received a note informing us that we would need to provide water for all the trees around our house -- something which is usually unheard of.
Sometimes, I feel that my personal life is a reflection of what goes on in nature. I find myself facing what I’ll call a “dry season.” It seems that the fervor, the infusion of moisture, the fertility and joy of life, seem to disappear.
As one person describes this time in our life: “Let but thy heart become a “valley low.” May I ask you, does your life feel like you are residing in a “valley low” today?
If we were to have met the widow of Zarephath before Elijah’s arrival, I think she would have been the first to admit that she had reached a low point in her life. With impending death being the next event she and her son were facing -- one couldn’t get much lower.
But it is when we think we can’t fall any deeper or become any drier that God brings the showers. How do I know? He promised! How’s that for a response we can trust. As the prophet Ezekiel so beautifully records God’s words: “I will make them and the places round about My hill a blessing, and I will cause the showers to come down in their season; there shall be showers of blessing of good insured by God’s favor…and My people shall be secure in their land, and they shall be confident and know that I am the Lord” (Ezekiel 34: 26-27, Amplified Bible).
I have to believe that everyday as the widow of Zarephath made cakes of meal from a supply that never ran out, she must have thought that heaven’s blessings were being showered upon her and her family.
I really like what Charles Haddon Spurgeon said regarding the passage in Ezekiel, especially the portion referring to the “showers of blessings”: “I will give thee showers of blessings.” The word (showers) is in the plural. “All kinds of blessings God will send. All God’s blessings go together, like links in a golden chain…Look up today, O parched plant, and open thy leaves and flowers for a heavenly watering.”
Thinking that she and her son would die, the widow decided to believe the words of Elijah’s God and as our study text for today tells us, “the jar of meal didn’t run out and the bottle of oil didn’t become empty: God’s promise fulfilled to the letter, exactly as Elijah had delivered it” (1 Kings 17: 14, Amplified Bible).
I have been greatly inspired, in my own spiritual life by the written words of the Scottish theologian, teacher, and author George Matheson. Having lost his eyesight as a young man, he also lost the love of his fiancée who didn’t feel she could be married to a blind man. Knowing the painful circumstances surrounding his life, impressed me even more when I read his encouraging prayer:
“Thou, O Lord, canst transform my thorn into a flower. And I want my thorn transformed into a flower. Job got the sunshine after the rain, but has the rain been all waste? Job wants to know, I want to know if the shower had nothing to do with the shining. And Thou canst tell me -- Thy cross can tell me. Thou hast crowned Thy sorrow. Be this my crown, O Lord. I only triumph in Thee when I have learned the radiance of the rain.
My Cup Runneth Over
“There is always something over,
When we trust our gracious Lord;
Every cup He fills o’er floweth,
His great rivers all are broad.
Nothing narrow, nothing stinted,
Ever issues from His store;
To His own He gives full measure,
Running over, evermore.
There is always something over,
When we, from the Father’s hand,
Take our portion with thanksgiving,
Praising for the path He planned.
Satisfaction, full and deepening,
Fills the soul, and lights the eyes,
When the heart has trusted Jesus
All its need to satisfy.
There is always something over,
When we tell of all His love,
Unplumbed depths still lie beneath us,
Unscaled heights rise far above,
Human lips can never utter
All His wondrous tenderness,
We can only praise and wonder,
And His name forever bless.”
Margaret E. Barber
Dorothy Valcárcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
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