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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Not Cursed! Not a Wanderer! You Are Blessed!

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt

People can experience tough times at any time and for a diversity of reasons. When times get tough, especially economically, people often get this feeling like they are floundering, wandering or grasping at straws just trying to do what it takes to survive. I've been to that place before. I was there early on in our marriage when we started having children and Renee and I prayerfully made the decision for her to quit her job to stay home with our children. She was making more than I was which meant we lost over half our income. I was convinced that I would do what it took to survive and I wasn't afraid of hard work. I was also convinced that God was with us and would lead us in the way. It seemed like the right decision when we made it and we really felt we were prayerfully following the direction God was giving us, but it didn't take long before our personal economy had gotten scary.

We, like anyone would that makes a decision in faith to trust God, experienced the temptation to doubt the choice we had made. We had those moments of doubt crying out God you are helping us through this aren't you?  They were just moments because as we stayed in God's word and prayed, we could continually sense His encouragement through His Word. That is where you have to hear from God and get encouragement because it's not in Satan's nature to encourage Christians who are walking by faith trusting God. Satan is skilled at painting pictures in our head and they are always pictures of doom and gloom and disaster.

In the story of Cain and Abel, Cain had murdered his brother. He tried to avoid the truth about it in a discussion with God and showed no remorse other than for his own personal condition. Cain had brought terrible consequences upon himself and was literally cursed. God told him that he would become a vagabond – a wanderer for the rest of his life. That wasn't God’s doing. It was Cain’s. He was stubborn, jealous, rebellious, and unrepentant. These very attitudes are cursed. When someone is like this, they will wander through life as a vagabond.

You are not a vagabond, nor are you a wanderer. You may be struggling somewhat to survive but you are not an aimless wanderer never getting anywhere. No, when you received Jesus, God made a promise to you. He said, “Christ has redeemed and rescued us from the curse pronounced by the law. When He was hung on the cross, He took upon himself the curse for our wrongdoing. For it is written in the Scriptures, "Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree." Galatians 3:13 (NLT) Jesus is the one who hung upon a tree (the cross) for you, exchanging your sins for adoption into His family and the promised blessings of Abraham reaching all the way into our life today!

In tough times this thought needs to anchor you. You are not cursed. You are blessed. God has not abandoned you. Hebrews 13:5 instructs our thinking saying, “Let your conduct be without covetousness; and be content with such things as you have: for He has said, I will never leave you, nor forsake you.” The Lord is not saying you shouldn't work to improve your situation. He is telling you not to grasp for straws, don't be indecisive, and don't be tempted to violate your integrity. You don’t need to because He is with you! He is in you! And He will lead you!

Let me say it again! You are not Cain. You are not rebellious. You are not a wanderer. You are blessed! Seek God and He will lead you. Shake off desperation. Seek God for guidance and for the steps you should take. GET FOCUSED! Be diligent to seek Him and work toward your future. You have one a blessed one ahead of you! Jeremiah 29:11-14 (NIV) says, “For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you," declares the Lord, "and will bring you back from captivity.” Because you do belong to Him and are blessed, He’ll lead you step-by-step to your land of promise. As you trust in Him at every moment and step, you'll see His touch, His mercy and grace, and His divine help supply your needs.

Renee and I now have the benefit of years past and hindsight looking back at all the ways the Lord was there to help us! Distrust and fear would have made us wanderers! Instead, we believed we were His and we were blessed! Now our heart aches for everyone to experience this divine life that comes from trusting Him by faith. It is the life He wants us to live! It is His way of getting us to where He wants us to go!

Psalm 9:10 Those who know your name trust in you, for you, O Lord, have never abandoned anyone who searches for you.

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

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