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Week 5/Day 4

Read 1 Kings 8:1-53

My husband likes to worry.  He does the finances.  I have a strong faith in that department, but I grew up without money.  I know what it feels like to fall to your knees in tears because the creditors won’t stop calling.  I’m used to second-hand clothing and letting a hair cut go for a while to make room in the budget.  I’ve always seen God work in my life practically and supernaturally.

My husband squirms when things get tight.  In this economy, we’re all tight.  Some of us are fortunate enough to still have our homes and others are losing everything.  This is when we settle into our livingrooms or place where we find our rest and remember gratitude.

I believe the check we recieved in the mail from the Town of Chino Valley was God’s answer to Tony’s faith question.  Tonight in prayer we thanked God for the food on the table, the roof over our heads, and the second car in the driveway.  Our basic needs are being met.  This is not a prosperity teaching.  I believe in giving as Abel did to God.

“Now Abel kept flocks and Cain worked the soil.  In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the Lord.  But Abel brought fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock.  The Lord looked with favor on Abel and his offering, but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor.”  Genesis 4:2b – 5

I come to the Lord tonight with a generous offering of my gifts, my money and of my love.  He provided an answer to prayer and more importantly sustained Tony’s faith through this difficult economy.   I once held back like Cain giving only what was left over.  My motivations and attitude were suspect.  That reflected the lack of love in my soul at the time.  My reasons were, “Well, God understands.  I can’t afford it.  But I give of my time.”

Yet you saw me in Starbucks.  I went out to lunch.  I bought on credit what I could not afford.  Solomon gave praise at the Feast of Tabernacles.  He pleaded for mercy for his people and gave gratitude.  I recall something Michael Hyatt, CEO of Thomas Nelson publishing stated on his blog, The Blessings of Discomfort, “Warning: this is completely counter-cultural to the feel-good, prosperity spirituality that is so popular today.

May God bless you with discomfort
At easy answers, half-truths, and superficial relationships,
So that you may live deep within your heart.
May God bless you with anger
At injustice, oppression and exploitation of people,
So that you may work for justice, freedom and peace.
May God bless you with tears
To shed for those who suffer pain, rejection, hunger, and war,
So that you may reach out your hand to comfort them
And turn their pain into joy.
And may God bless you with enough foolishness
To believe that you can make a difference in the world,
So that you can do what others claim cannot be done
To bring justice and kindness to all our children and the poor.

Whoever thought that someone would intentionally pray for discomfort, anger, tears, and foolishness? I don’t know anyone who prays like this.”

Today’s Reflecting Him is a reminder to praise in difficult times, to repent, and to love God with all of your heart.  It is a reminder to rest in His presence and trust Him to provide and have gratitude for the small joys.  It has long been proven that faith grows stronger in difficulty than in days of ease.

This is a part of a Reflecting Him Bible Study by Carla McDougal

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