Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Bouquet of Thorns

Volume 4, Issue 2
Bouquet of Thorns

The color red, hearts, and flowers shape this month of February. Some look forward to this time others not so. Recently, I (Leslie) read a devotional that talked about a bouquet of thorns. A new concept! Instead of focusing on flowers (my husband knows I love) I thought I’d shift my thinking to the “thorns” of life. Presently in our world there is a lot of turmoil -- job loss, downturn of the economy, financially lean times, pain, heartache, sorrow, conflict, affliction …

Everyone has to deal with thorns. God said you will deal with this “all the days of your life.” There’s no one who can avoid thorns. Thorns and afflictions aren’t just for people who don’t know God -- they’re for believers as well.

God allows the thorns in our lives and doesn’t always remove them. Why, because He is God. The process that He has for us goes beyond what we can see. I have personally been learning about spiritual growth through difficult valleys. The thing that I am thankful for is the perspective that God is doing a work in me in spite of what I see. I am confident of what He is doing because I have seen what God has done previously in my life. My prayer is that I choose, in my thinking, to turn the thorns into blessings.

I am seeing He does have purpose in thorns, even though I don’t like it. In the Bible we see God as a redeeming God, who is in the process of making all things new. The measures my Heavenly Father goes to, to bring me to my knees, in complete reliance on Him, submission to His will, amazes me.

God is transforming me through my thorns. He is preparing me for something better. I still don’t have answers. I am realizing that living in mystery is His desire so that I trust and abide in Him- finding contentment in Him alone. I don’t understand, I can’t see the purpose in this, but I accept His plan. As an act of my will saying “I choose to bless your name O Lord.”

Ultimately God is the one who permits these thorns to come into our lives.

John MacArthur succinctly puts it: God, I know that this is from You. This is for my good. I receive it. I give You thanks for what you want to do in my life through this thorn. I know that You must know that this is what I need at this moment of my life.

2 Corinthians 12: 9 Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities [my weaknesses], that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore, I take pleasure in infirmities.

By faith I thank God for the thorns; to consider the thorns a blessing; to see God’s purpose and hand in bringing those thorns into our lives.

George Matheson– a blind 19th-century Scottish preacher finally came to the point where he could pray this prayer :Dear God, I have never thanked You for my thorns. I’ve thanked You a thousand times for my roses, but never once for my thorns. Teach me the glory of the cross I bear. Teach me the value of my thorns. Show me that I have climbed closer to You along the path of pain. And show me that through my tears, the colors of Your rainbow look much more brilliant.

Prayer Requests:
· We would grow in experiencing God’s grace and Love.
· For Keynote as we continue to seek new effective and creative ways in which we reach out to this generation.

When you are in the furnace, remember this: Your Father keeps His eye on the clock and His hand on the thermostat.
-Warren Wiersbe
Leslie & Andrea led a Freshman girls Bible Study in college. Daniele (rt.) was one of the girls in the study. They posed for a photo/were reunited at Andrea’s wedding last month.

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