Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Cape Tribulation

Photo by Amelia Grace photography

Cape Tribulation 

By Debra Courtney

“That’s what happens when you fill your barn with Self and not with God.” 

Luke 12:21 MSG 

It is easy to justify maintaining a larger savings accounts for the sake of security; however, for the heart hungry for God, security is in Christ, not a bank account.  Future uncertainties are submissive to faith, not wealth.  Yes, to be rich toward God is to be rich in faith that exhibits generosity.  True riches are found in the trust that you place in Jesus and that leads to charity in Jesus' name.  To build an excessively bigger bank accounts builds an ego and creates fear, but a life rich toward the Lord wisely gives away as the world wonders.  To truly be a giver of my time, talents, and treasures is the richest thing I can possibly do.  I have found that the more I sow, the more I reap the sowed seed. 

How is our degree of richness toward God defined?  Are we overly cautious or aggressively generous?  Perhaps we defer a major expenditure, so we can give away some of our excess to those who hunger to hear the gospel.  Professionals and poor alike need regular reminders of the love, forgiveness, and justice of Jesus.  Our intentional investment in the Kingdom bears big fruit. 

“And a windfall, if it comes – don’t make much of it.”  Psalm 62:10 MSG 

It’s our inheritance in Heaven, not on Earth, that captures the heart of focused followers of Christ.  Fortunes fade away, but treasures sent ahead to Heaven are never lost, only compounded in value.  Yes, the development and deployment of our spiritual resources are the most strategic use of wealth.  Human accolades over our earthly accomplishments are hollow compared to our Heavenly Father’s smile and affirmation over our richness toward Him.

We can’t out give God!  There’s a song that I love to listen to on occasion, and I change the verse to go something like this: “When I see you smile, Jesus, I can face the world; you know I can do anything.  When I see you smile, Jesus, I see a ray of light; I see it shinning right through the rain.” When I participate in the things that interest God and His agenda, I can just imagine Him smiling right down on me, and it makes me feel so good that my Abba Father is pleased with me.

Perhaps we draft a portfolio of generosity before we experience abundance, so we predetermine aggressive giving.  Preplanning protects us from the temptation to trust in stuff over our Savior Jesus.  The best remedy for greed is radical seed sowing.  Hoarding feeds a life of miserable misery, but significant eternal investments enhance a life engaged in the Almighty’s agenda.  Be rich toward our Heavenly Father, since He has already given us His riches in Christ Jesus!  We will ultimately be the richer for it! 

“He valued suffering in the Messiah’s camp far greater than Egyptian wealth because he was looking ahead, anticipating the payoff.”  Hebrews 11:26 MSG

On June 10, 1770, British navigator James Cook’s ship hit a reef off the northeast coast of Australia.  He sailed the ship out into deeper water only to hit the reef again, and this time the collision almost sank the ship.  This experience moved Cook to write in the ship’s log: “The North point [was named] Cape Tribulation because here began all our troubles.”

Many of us, living and breathing on the face of this Earth, have experienced a trial that has seemed to trigger a string of other trials.  The loss of a job, the death of a loved one, an unwanted divorce, or a decline in health could all be part of the list.  Even though a crisis may seem to be our “Cape Tribulation,” God is still sovereign, and He most certainly is in control. It is His purpose to use tribulation to build resilience into us.  We can smile through the rain.  In the midst of our life-changing trial, remember that God is still at work.  He wants to use our “Cape Tribulation” experience to build our character.  He has promised His grace to see us through (2 Cor. 12:9).

The Afters - Every Good Thing (Lyric Video) from the-afters on GodTube.

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