The finish line is near!

The miracle of pregnancy came to mind as I meditated for this Daily Recharge.  From conception to eight months, the woman experiences changes that signify the miracle inside her body – morning sickness, weight gain, appetite changes, etc.  The ninth month, however, produces the most clear sign of what’s about to happen – pain.  The pre-birth contractions are often so painful that the woman may wish she wasn’t pregnant.  But if she envisions the finish line – new life – she’ll press through the pain!

That’s how JESUS navigated excruciating pain in this text.  HIS agony was so severe that HE, after putting HIS hand to the plow and vowing to persevere, had second thoughts.  This experience was so painful that HE felt like dying, and HE asked GOD for clemency, “MY FATHER, if there’s anyway, relieve ME of my suffering.”  Somehow JESUS fixed HIS mind on the finish line – HIS resurrection, our salvation, and Satan’s defeat – and this inspired HIM to press through the pain.  No wonder we find these words so encouraging: “… Because of the joy awaiting HIM, HE endured the cross, disregarding its shame.  Now HE is seated in the place of honor beside GOD’S throne” (Hebrews 12:1-3, New Living Translation).

This recharge is a reminder that your finish line is near.  The pain you’re experiencing is confirmation of the blessing forthcoming.  Just hang in there; I promise, you won’t regret it!

The finish line is near.  Why quit now?

WAIT! HE’S coming!

Isaiah wrote, “But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength …” (Isaiah 40:31, King James Version).  If anyone is worth waiting for, it’s GOD, for HE can supply all of our needs.  Trials, however, have a way of eradicating our patience.  It’s hard to wait on GOD when you can’t trace the root of your struggles.  It’s hard to be patient when your spirit cries, “Why me?”

That’s what makes Job’s words so amazing!  Job had every reason to give up on GOD.  He lost everything – family, finances, and friends – and he hadn’t done anything wrong.  In spite of his plight, Job confessed, “All the days of my hard service I will wait for my renewal to come” (Job 14:14, New International Version).  In other words, he echoed the late Sam Cooke’s sentiments: “It’s been a long time coming, but I know, a change is going to come.”

GOD, in HIS infinite wisdom, left us a remedy for impatience, “Dear brethren and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.  For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance (patience) has a chance to grow.  So let it grow, for when your endurance (patience) is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing” (James 1:2-4, New Living Translation).  And that’s what happened to Job; he waited, and GOD blessed him abundantly (see Job 42:10)!  No matter your struggle, wait on HIM.  HE’S coming to deliver you!

You’ve waited this long.  Why quit now?

Keep on praying

Earlier this year, I mentioned the power of prayer – prayer changes things!  I’ve discovered that it’s easy to start praying.  Even people who don’t know GOD can reach HIM in their distress.  The challenging task, however, is to persist in prayer, to pray without ceasing as prescribed by Paul (see 1 Thessalonians 5:17).  It’s hard to keep praying when success seems unlikely.  But when we persist in prayer, GOD will grant our requests, according to HIS will.  That’s why JESUS said, “Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for …” (Matthew 7:7, New Living Translation).

Daniel had every reason to quit praying.  When he prayed, things became progressively worse.  He digressed from the most celebrated (Daniel 6:3), to the most hated (Daniel 6:4), to the most likely to die (Daniel 6:7).  In spite of the obstacles, however, Daniel kept praying.  And because of his persistence, GOD spared him again.  HE made lions lay down like lambs because of Daniel’s commitment to prayer!

This recharge is dedicated to weary prayer warriors – KEEP ON PRAYING!  GOD has heard your request, and it’s a matter of time until HE answers!  You’re prayed this long, so why quit now.

Press on to your healing

My girlfriend and I remodeled a bathroom in my parents’ house last week.  It was an arduous task, and near the end of the project, I got frustrated.  We were replacing some of the fixtures, and they wouldn’t cooperate.  I wanted to quit, but something inside kept saying, “Press on!”  So I did, and sure enough, we finished the project within our allotted time frame.

The woman featured in this text also had an empowering voice working within her.  She had exhausted her resources for 12 years, seeking relief from her suffering.  One day, someone told her about JESUS, and her revelation became her theme song.  She kept telling herself, “If I can just touch HIS robe, I will be healed.”  And she was right; the voice within brought her straight to her miracle!

I’m writing to someone who’s hearing THE VOICE inside – it’s true, everything WILL be alright!  GOD laid this on my heart in 2006, and I think it’s a fitting conclusion to this email.  Enjoy …

When the storms of life arise, endure.
If it doesn’t engulf you, it will empower you.
If you don’t drown, you’ll be delivered.
If you don’t faint, you’ll finish.
Don’t let frustrations destroy your faith!

Press on to your miracle!

Your blessing is on the way

Trials have a way of getting the best of us.  It seems like the longer the trial, the easier it is to lose hope.  Interestingly, however, miracles show up just when we think they’ve been canceled.  That’s why we can’t give up in the middle, or near the end, of our struggles.  Though we can’t see it, our blessing is around the corner.

Today’s recharge features a man who has healed in hopelessness.  He sat by a pool of healing water for 38 years envisioning his deliverance.  Imagine the anguish he experienced each year, as he watched people receive what he believed GOD for.  I’m sure he wanted to quit waiting.  But what he didn’t see was the work on the other side of the struggle.  Behind the black curtain of doubt, his miracle was on stage.  JESUS was on the way to deliver him.  When JESUS found him, HE gave the man more than he bargained for – healing and wholeness.  Truly, the wait was worth it!

Just like the man in this passage, your blessing is on the way.  You’ve waited patiently on GOD, and now HE’S about to work in your favor.  You’ve held on this long, so why quit now.  Hang in there, and watch GOD do it!