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Friday, May 2, 2008

Lawn flower (photo by Doris High)
Our lawn is full of these beautiful flowers
(photo by Doris High)

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“When We Wonder Why”

“After all that Hezekiah had so faithfully done, Sennacherib king of Assyria came and invaded Judah” (2 Chronicles 32:1).

I consider a friend of mine whom I've known for many years. Throughout his life he sought to serve God faithfully but in the last several years he has been dealing with a severe trial of lasting consequences. I speak to him periodically and hope to visit him soon but rejoice that he is staying faithful to the Lord through the trial.  When he shared his story with me it was one of those stories that makes me shake my head and wonder… "Why?"

We often kid about Hezekiah being a book in the Bible (it isn't). Hezekiah was one of Judah’s greatest kings.  When he became king the nation was in great apostasy (falling away from God's ways).  His father Ahaz “had promoted wickedness in Judah and had been most unfaithful to the LORD.”  Yet in spite of this example Hezekiah chose to follow the Lord.

2 Chronicles 29-31 records the major reforms made during Hezekiah’s time of leadership, ending with this statement: “This is what Hezekiah did throughout Judah, doing what was good and right and faithful before the LORD His God.  In everything that he undertook in the service of God's temple and in obedience to the law and the commands, he sought his God and worked wholeheartedly.  And so he prospered” (2 Chronicles 31:20, 21).  That's a neat summary but the text doesn't stop there.

The statement in our daily verse immediately follows this and illustrates a powerful spiritual principle:  “After all that Hezekiah had so faithfully done, Sennacherib king of Assyria came and invaded Judah.” 

That principle is this: A time of greater testing often follows obedience and blessing.  The remainder of chapter 32 records Hezekiah’s response to this invasion.

We desire to live our lives with a clear, sensible cause and effect relationship regarding what we face.  But it doesn’t always work that way, does it?  Hezekiah was faithfully serving God at the time of the enemy’s attack.

Today many of you are dealing with difficult situations in your life. You’ve sought to honor God and faithfully serve Him and you too may wonder, “Why?” 

Many of these questions will not be answered till we get to the other side but here's a Scripture to meditate upon:  “The Lord disciplines those He loves” (Hebrews 12:6).  He is with us in the midst of His discipline and He provides soothing medicine for our wounded hearts through His Holy Scriptures.  Rejoice in God’s faithfulness and steadfast love in the midst of His discipline!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Daily prayer:  Father, we are but clay in Your hands.  May You break down the hardened walls of our heart and reshape us into a useful vessel that is fully yielded to Your workmanship.  As we are crafted by the Master Potter, painful as it may be, let our confidence be founded upon the Rock of Ages rather than the shifting sands of our circumstances.  May we be faithful and obedient so that You pour out Your glory and honor through us, Your yielded vessels.  In the name of our Savior, Jesus Christ, we pray, amen.

Wisconsin deer (photo by Georgia McKelvey)
Wisconsin deer
Georgia McKelvey, my cousin's wife, sent this to me.
She took it
yesterday in her backyard near Holmen, Wisconsin.

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Today's Suggested Music
Supplemental Resources

"Potter's Hand"

"Thank You Lord For The Trials That Come My Way"
 Video  This is a popular song from the seventies that was one of the "contemporary" songs when we were in college.  The arrangement is dated now but the lyrics have a great perspective.

"Blessed Be Your Name"  Video Audio  I am sure many of you have sung this song in your churches.

"Tears Are A Language"  Video

Info about multi-media files used on daily encouragement.

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission; and the King James Version.
Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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