WEEKLY CHRISTIAN BIBLE STUDY AND DEVOTIONAL FROM GOD’S WORD, FOR THE NEWLY SAVED AND MORE SEASONED BELIEVER, AND FOR OTHERS SEEKING TRUTH. OUR PRAYER IS TO ENCOURAGE YOU AND STRENGTHEN YOUR FAITH IN GOD’S INFINITE MERCY, LOVE AND GRACE, AND IN THE GOSPEL OF THE DEATH, BURIAL AND RESURRECTION OF HIS SON JESUS CHRIST, THAT ALL WHO SEEK HIM HAVE ETERNAL, ABUNDANT LIFE.
Saturday, August 13, 2022
See What God Can Do!
Photo by Marwan Mohamad 2016
With so many friends undergoing extraordinary trials, I thought it would be fitting to repost this, which I wrote during a trial that changed our lives yet strengthened our faith and reassured us of God's faithfulness. May it be a blessing and encouragement to those who read it. Our trial is not over, but we are constantly reminded that Christ will never leave nor forsake us (Hebrews 13:5), and that He is working all things together for our good and His ultimate glory (Romans 8:28).
Recently my husband and I had some unsettling news that struck
us like a bolt of lightning and has been hanging over us like a heavy cloud
No one knows what tomorrow may bring, and we are not even
promised tomorrow (James 4:14).
But as born-again Christians (John 3:3-8)
who have trusted in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15:1-4) as the only Way (John 14:6) to Heaven, we
do know that with God, all things are possible (Matthew 19:26), and without Him, we can do nothing (John 15:5).
It is tempting to try to take control, using our flesh to
bring about a solution, rather than yielding to God’s perfect will, love,
knowledge and power (Isaiah 26:4).
Yet His grace is sufficient, and His strength is made perfect in our weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9). We must
leave our burdens at the foot of His cross, for those who wait on the Lord, and
His perfect timing and resolution, will have renewed strength and rise up with
wings as of eagles (Isaiah 40:31).
Looking back on trials we have gone through before, it is
reassuring to see how God always is faithful (1 Corinthians 1:9; 10:13), always protects and
provides for us (Matthew 6:25-34),
and always gives us what we need, even if it is not always what we think we
want (Matthew 6:8). Not only
in our own lives, but in those of our brothers and sisters in Christ, and in
countless Bible examples, we can see His hand at work (Isaiah 41:10).
Sometimes all we need to have the peace that passes all understanding (Philippians 4:7)
is a little reminder, like a love note or unexpected blessing as a token of our Bridegroom’s constant, unfailing love (Jeremiah
33:11). So when we first learned of this trial, part of my silent
prayer to our Father was that He would show me a rainbow as a symbol of His
protection and provision (Genesis 9:13-16).
We live in Florida, and it is summer, when showers often
pierce sunny skies, so this is not an unreasonable request. It is hardly of the
order of magnitude of Gideon asking for his fleece to be bone dry in the midst
of soggy ground (Judges 6:36-39),
or of Elijah pouring buckets of rain on the altar and asking God to ignite it
with fire from Heaven (1 Kings 18).
And I know that I can be sure of God’s love without needing a sign (Matthew 16:4), for we already
know of the life-changing sign of the empty tomb!
Still, I longed for this reassurance. A full month went by,
with no rainbow, even though we had been outside often as we had started a
daily brisk walking program. Finally, last week while walking the beach at
sunset as storm clouds were brewing overhead, I happened to look up. There was
the smallest, barest sliver of rainbow light peeking through the dark cloud cover!
I showed it to my husband and shared with him that I had
prayed for this sign of God’s promises, and we thanked God together for showing
it to us. But God always answers prayer exceeding abundantly (Ephesians 3:20) beyond what we
could ever think or imagine!
The next morning, we both awoke an hour before we had
planned to get out of bed. So we stumbled downstairs to get dressed for our
daily brisk walk before it rained or got too hot. I was in the next room when I
heard my husband yelling my name to come right away, followed by the blaring of
the house alarm! In his excitement to open the sliding doors facing the beach,
he had forgotten to shut it off!
So I ran out, still grumpy from restless sleep and lack of
coffee, about to chide him for his carelessness, when I saw firsthand what had
caused all the fuss – the most spectacular, stunning, amazing rainbow we had
ever seen! (I am not one to string superlatives together, but this sight truly defied description!)
It was a perfect half circle, parallel to the horizon, and
our porch was centered right in the middle of it! It was as if God said, “Have
a seat, kids, and enjoy the show, because I’ve given you the best seat in the
The arch of the rainbow was thick and unbroken by clouds,
even though a few fleecy clouds dotted the gray-blue sky. A silvery rain
sparkled in the sky to the left of our unit, but oddly there was no rain in
front of us to blur the perfect view. The colors were vibrant jewel tones of
ruby, sapphire, emerald and topaz, reflecting into the robin’s egg blue waves
as the ends of the rainbow reflected on and disappeared into the water. The
perfect arch was exactly centered on the horizon and extended over two thirds
of its length. It was as if the gateway to Heaven had opened before us!
As we sat there agape, we thought about taking a picture,
but we realized that even a wide-angle lens would be far too narrow to
encompass the glorious sight visible only to our eyes. Instead we were content
just to bask in God’s glory (Deuteronomy
5:24), the beauty of the Master Designer’s creation (Genesis 1-2), and His
faithfulness to bless us!It was time just to be still, and to know that He is God (Psalm 46:10).
As we sat in silent worship, praise and thanksgiving, a man
came out onto the beach, and almost instantaneously the brilliant rainbow began
to fade, disappearing completely in just a few seconds. It was as if God
orchestrated this magnificent display of His greatness solely for our benefit.
If God takes the time and care to answer the small requests
of His children in such a lavish way, would He not be even more faithful to
provide for our greatest needs? We still have no resolution of our trial, and
no knowledge of what tomorrow may bring. Yet we know that no harm can touch us
that He does not allow to accomplish His perfect plan for our life (Job 1:9-10), and we trust Him to
work all things together for our good and His glory (Romans 8:28).
33:3 Call unto me, and I
will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest