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When praying for rain, don’t forget an umbrella

I

’ve heard the old saying “life is not a bed of roses” for as long as I can remember.

I understand what it’s trying to convey but I’ve also thought it would not really be all that great to lay down on a bed of sharp thorns.

Nevertheless, it’s safe to say our journey will have its ups and downs and, unfortunately, most of us will experience our share of hard times. Whether it’s a financial worry, a medical situation, family problems, a concern for the world or just being discouraged from the relentless grind of our job, life can be tough.

However, in the midst of all that is going on, we can always turn to God who is filled with an endless source of strength, hope and love. We can choose to embrace the encouraging truth God cares about our problems and He has the power and the solutions to give us the victory no matter the size of our mountain or how dark the night.

2 Corinthians 9:8 says, “And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.”

Yes, there are bumps in the road that can help us learn about faith and patience, but whatever the crisis, it was not God’s intention for us to dwell in a state of defeat.

In spite of being surrounded by negative forces, we have been given the opportunity through Christ to abide in His presence where there is an abundance of joy, security, and peace.

In John 10:10-11, we find the words of Christ, “The thief comes not but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: but I (Jesus) have come that you might have life and that you might have it more abundantly. I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd gives his life for the sheep.”

Whatever the situation, He has promised He wants to save you and bring you through your trials stronger and more confident than ever.

The concept of God supplying our needs is a wonderful and true spiritual reality, but there is also a very important component in receiving His abundant blessings: our responsibility to believe.

If we do not have faith, it’s not only impossible to please Him but highly unlikely His miracles can be activated in our life.

In Jeremiah 29:11 we see we are always on His mind and He has planned very good things for us to enjoy. But the next two verses tell us to take the initiative to call upon Him, pray and seek His presence with all of our heart which of course includes the element of trust and assurance.

I recall a story about a small farming community experiencing a terrible drought. The crops were dying in the fields and everyone was worried because this is how they made their living.

The pastor of the local church called a special prayer service for all the people of the town to gather in front of the church and spend some time agreeing in faith that God would send some rain. Many people arrived and you could sense the seriousness among the crowd.

As the pastor was getting ready to begin the meeting, he saw a young girl standing quietly in the front. Her face was beaming with excitement and then he noticed she was holding a large colorful umbrella. As he stared at the umbrella, he was a little ashamed he had not brought one but also felt a sudden surge of hope and confidence.

The little girl’s childlike innocence warmed his heart as he realized how much faith she possessed. Though the town had come together to pray for rain, it seemed no one else had really believed or at least anticipated getting wet.

A life without a positive expectation and a hopeful anticipation of goodness is an example of the miserable pessimist who abides in the shadows of fear, doubt and sadness.

The world, and even our own human nature, is constantly telling us it’s impossible, it’s risky, it’s hopeless, but faith will always believe nothing is too difficult for God and all things are possible with Him.

Dr. Billy Holland is a religious columnist who contributes often to the Jessamine Journal. Read more articles and stories about the Christian life and ask about our free scripture CD at billyhollandministries.com