David Chadwell

 

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Daily Devotional - Thoughts From Matthew

 

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Need to Turn Your Life Around? Look to the Lord! Pt. 2

Psalm 107:23-43

Sometimes we are convinced we have alternatives we never had.  We tell ourselves there are no unavoidable consequences.  We often are convinced that good solutions to horrible mistakes are as simple as our desires.  We often think solutions are produced by wishing or apologizing.  Then we are shocked by the unavoidable consequences of our decisions.  Lingering effects astound us!

This psalmist said godless mistakes were complex with horrendous consequences.

Fourth, some thought distance was always the solution.  Go to an unexpected occupation/place and work in an unexpected job.  Let the sea hide you! 

However, the sea could not hide anyone from God.  In a sea storm people encountered their helplessness.  When they felt the angry wind, saw the towering waves, and experienced their helplessness, they were terrified and cried to the Lord.  When the situation stilled, they praised the Lord.  They knew He brought them from certain disaster to a secure safety.  They were not ashamed of their Deliverer!

With God, rivers become deserts, and deserts become rich, life sustaining farmland.  When godless people oppressed, God looked with contempt upon their leaders.  The people became wanderers in wastelands.

It was the defenseless and the abused who experienced the joy of increase.  It was the godly who knew gladness as the wicked were confused by the situation.

If you were wise, you would see Israel’s history in God’s love.

Two conclusions devastate us.  (1) We conclude all good in life is produced by us, and all bad in life is produced by God.  Thus, (2) God is the problem.  Really?

August 31, 2016  *  Fort Smith, AR

Lord, You Fill Me, But Your People Are In Distress

Psalm 108

People who genuinely, maturely belong to God feel a sense of exuberance in the face of distress.  It is not a matter of blindness to conditions, but (1) seeing the evident and (2) knowing Who God is.  We often forget how thoroughly distress blinds us to divine reality!

The psalmist was enthralled with God’s reality.  His confidence in God explained his attitude!  He woke up singing God’s praises.  His songs thanked God for His dependability.  At dawn he declared God’s love and faithfulness.  God should be exalted and His glory should shine over the earth.

However, not all was well with the Israelite people.  Rescue was needed!  The psalmist asked God to recall His intents for Israel.  He asked God to remember His intents for those who threatened Israel.

The psalmist praised God for His role in the psalmist’s life.  However, he was distressed by God’s role in the nation of Israel.  Israel needed help!  While he rejoiced in God’s role in his life, he was confused by God’s role in the Israelite nation.  Help for the Israelite nation would come only through God’s mighty acts.

God’s people’s vision is often obscured by spiritual cataracts and “NOW” events.   Yes, it is possible to be enthralled by God and confused by God at the same time.  To see God’s obvious acts enthralls us.  Understanding the “now” consequences of previous human acts/choices confuses us.

The result: we genuinely praise and ask “why” at the same time.  In the same moment, faith elates and confuses.  We need spiritual bifocals!  We must see more than “NOW.” 

September 1, 2016  *  Fort Smith, AR

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Faith is the product of a combination of knowledge, understanding, and insight.  May you place your faith in God by growing in knowledge, increasing in understanding, and not being fearful of insights.  May you accept the challenge to draw closer to God as you grow in faith in a Father who loves you so much that He gave you a Savior.  Allow Jesus Christ to be your way to God the Father, the guide to truth regarding righteousness and evil, and your light to lead you as you live in a world of darkness.  

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Updated on 08/31/2016