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Today’s excerpt from the book, “Signs of Hope: Ways to Survive in an Unfriendly World,” is about finding help when we think there is no other place to go. There are many people that are in that same boat.
Take Matters into Your Own Hands; Pray
Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall.
Ever feel so desperate you thought there was no place to go for help? Ever felt like giving up?
That is when I know I need to get a grip, take matters into my own hands—so to speak—and pray to God for help.
Many people in the Bible went through trials just like you and I do. They were desperate and didn’t think they had anyplace to turn either. They were ready to give up.
David is probably the most famous example of someone who let things get so far out of hand that he had weeds all through his garden of life. He became so desperate that he ended up living in a cave for fear of his life.
He had lost all of the friends he had except for Jonathan. He banded together a new bunch of “friends,” who, like him, were misfits. He finally cried out to God from the cave, asking God to show him the way. And God not only helped him get out of the cave, He also helped him become the king of the land he had been banished from. All because he prayed.
Abraham thought that all was lost as far as having a child. He was getting very old, and his wife Sarah was also very old. They were about to give up. They thought there was no hope of having a child. Abraham asked God what to do and God promised him a child. Abraham and Sarah had a son when Abraham was 99. All because they prayed.
Paul could have easily given up. He was shipwrecked, beaten many times, put in prison several times and endured fear for his life at all times. He could have walked away from his mission, but he stayed strong, and led many people to Jesus. All because he prayed.
There are many other examples where a “last minute” prayer saved a life. There is Daniel in the lions’ den. The Israelites had nowhere go, so Moses talked to God about it and He parted theRed Seato provide an escape. Elijah was on the run and God provided ravens that brought him food.
Talk about last-minute desperation. How about having someone die and you think all is lost? You’re getting ready to bury your loved one? Hold on! Not so fast!
In each of the following miracles, prayer preceded them:
Elijah raised a boy from the dead.
Elisha also raised a boy from the dead.
Even after Elisha was dead, his bones raised a man from the dead.
Jesus raised a boy from the dead.
Jesus raised a girl from the dead.
Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead.
Peter raised a woman from the dead.
Paul raised a man from the dead.
God is here today, tomorrow, and forever. He is the same God who stopped Abraham from killing his son; the same God who destroyedSodomandGomorrah; the same God who destroyed the Pharaoh’s army.
Our God, who can show strong force, is the same God who is there for us to soothe our desperate hearts. He is the same God who can be our place refuge, the same God who is there when we feel like giving up. The only step we need to take is to pray. He wants to hear from us and promises to help us in our darkest moments.
May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts
and strengthen you in every good deed and word.
2 Thessalonians 2:16–17
It’s time for a Bible study. (I just can’t take my teacher’s hat off forever, you know!) Look in the Bible for where prayer was answered. Your concordance should have that information for you. You don’t have to look up every situation. (I am an easy teacher.) But try to look up four or five.
See what God does after a prayer. Sometimes the prayer isn’t answered the way the person wanted. God knows each of us. He knows what we need, and it isn’t necessarily what we want.
See if God’s answer was the best for the person after all. I already know. I read the book.
Something to Ponder
Isn’t it funny that we pray for everything under the sun, but when it gets dark, we hide?