Demo of Julie's Bible Reference Library

Friday, November 16, 2012

Does God Take Pleasure in Us?

Don’t throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. 
For you need endurance, so that after you have done God’s will,
you may receive what was promised.
"For yet in a very little while, the Coming One will come and not delay. 
But My righteous one will live by faith;
and if he draws back, I have no pleasure in him" (Heb. 10:35-38 HCSB).


Treasured friend,

The reminder above is one I needed today--and quite possibly God will speak to you through it, as well. In the high-intensity season of caregiving where Mom and I find ourselves just now, we're experiencing a greater than ever dependency on God for the endurance He says we need.

I suppose this truth jumped out at me during my devotions today especially since the last portion quotes from a passage in Habbakuk 2 that formed the basis of a study I presented last week at our Adult Bible Fellowship group. The prophet is asking God why He allows distress and challenges and bad experiences in our lives. Why He doesn't do something about it -- and why He isn't quick about it. God's answer is that quote the writer of Hebrews uses in vv. 37-38. Here's my loose paraphrase and interpretation of how God responds to His prophet, His exhausted children in the days of the Hebrews, and His exhausted children today:

I'm not delaying. I'm coming in just a little while. But your task in the waiting time is to stay the course. No turning back. No throwing away the faith you've professed. It's not over. The reward for your hard work and endurance is on the way. Keep trusting. Keep waiting. It won't be too much longer -- in the greater scheme of things. I am coming. Wait for Me.

I'd challenge you to re-read the greater passage of Hebrews 10-12 devotionally in the next few days, and listen in particular to the ways God promises that He is already providing for you everything you need. He's offering refreshed energy, bolstered faith, and renewed resolve. I suspect you'll want to hear Him tell you one day that you've successfully lived by faith -- and that He takes pleasure in you. I know that's what I'm hoping to hear. With that in mind, I'm praying that His Spirit will renew in me a confidence, a desire to endure, a resolve to believe He is coming soon to bring an end to the suffering we and our loved ones are facing.

It's popular in our culture to BELIEVE. But I submit it's way more important to be sure you can trust the one in whom you believe. So, in faith, let's take our stand with the Apostle Paul and say, "I know Whom I have believed and am persuaded He is able to keep that which I've committed to Him against that day" (2 Tim. 1:12). I do believe if we're successful in living by this brand of faith, one day our Lord will indeed take pleasure in us.

Blessings and prayers,

Julie

© 2012, Julie-Allyson Ieron. All rights reserved. For reprint permission, email: orders@joymediaservices.com

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Because He Loves Us!

But now thus says the LORD, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel:
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;
when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.
Because you are precious in my eyes, and honored, and I love you,
I give men in return for you, peoples in exchange for your life.
Isaiah 43:1-4 (ESV)
 
Treasured friend,

What you’ve just read is a passage of Scripture I used as a basis for a teaching I did last Sunday morning at The Orchard EFC’s LifeBuilders class. And, related to it, I would like to share with you today the encouragement I’ve found in this passage, as I told it in my newest book, The GOD Interviews (Leafwood, 2012).

Have you ever been tempted to blame God, even to turn on Him? Like a petulant child, I’ve found my heart crying, “Obviously, You don’t like me, or this wouldn’t have happened. Maybe I won’t like You anymore; maybe I won’t even believe in You.”

What a slippery slope. And so misguided. “You are precious in My eyes,” He replies to that outburst. How amazing that the mouth of God speaks directly to our raw and aching hearts. Our suffering isn’t a negative reflection on our status in His eyes. He isn’t letting us know we’re on His bad side. He’s letting us know that in our suffering, He loves us. Listen to Him say it to you: He loves you. He thinks of you as precious.1
 

With that in mind, precious friend, I pray you’ll hear His voice speaking directly into your heart today …

 

You are precious in My eyes

            You are honored in My eyes

                        I LOVE YOU!

                                    Signed, Your Father in Heaven—

Who is always and forever with you.

 
Blessings and prayers,
Julie


1Quoted by permission from The GOD Interviews: Questions You Would Ask, Answers God Gives. © Julie-Allyson Ieron, Leafwood Publishers, 2012. All rights reserved. To purchase a copy of this book or any other by Julie, visit: www.joymediaservices.com.