Thursday, December 20, 2007

Prayer, Provisions, Peace, and Promotions

Prayer. It works.
That is the first real truth about God that I understood when I first asked Him into my life. When I was first checking Him out, and checking out the people who said that they believed in God (and even NEEDED Him...interesting thought for me prior to my relationship with Him), I saw things happen in the lives of these different people that I knew who called themselves "Christians". I watched my father-in-law become well when the doctors said he would probably die, I saw a friend of mine manage a family situation that I thought would certainly tear her family apart. I watched another friend stand beside her father (and my then pastor) as he was pushed out of his pastorate for no reason, and remain loving and caring toward the people in that congregation.

God keeps His distance from the wicked, He closely attends to the prayers of God-loyal people.
Proverbs 15:29

Provision. He has never let us down.
Finances have not always been easy for my husband and myself. We started out our marriage with very little. I lost my job right before I found out that I was pregnant with our first son. Then there were lay offs at my hubby's job and he was moved to a lower position as was the guideline in the union that he was in. We took a tremendous cut in pay to what was an already small income. God always provided. He found us homes to live in for free...twice! Amazing. Every time that something happened with a job situation, God had a provision waiting. We never went without anything we needed and always felt blessed, even with very little. We found ourselves without Fred's corporate income again, just a few years ago. He was given a pretty decent severance package. Unbelievable, we only used a small portion of it as God provided work for Fred as he served others. We have been able to use that severance money to bless others as we tithe, give, and provide for the needs of other's around us. That money is God's and we still only use it as He directs us.

You can be sure that God will take care of everything you need...
Phil. 4:18

Peace. He gives it.
Throughout the many scary situations that have come along in our lifetime, God's peace has been present in my heart. There were times when I knew we only had enough money to eat meat 3 times in a week. It was OK. Peace. We were not able to use disposable diapers for our baby. It was OK. Peace. We found out we were moving, again, due to a job relocation. It was OK. Peace. Serious illness, serious accidents, serious struggles with our kids, and even death. It was OK. Peace.

And the peace of God which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Phil. 4:7

Promotions. He blesses.
When my husband and I started out our life together, Fred was a Pipeliner. I was a Bank Teller. Both of these jobs are perfectly respectful positions, but not what either of us really wanted to do for the rest of our lives. Our combined income was a little over $30,000 annually. Now, this was the early 1980's, but it was still quite tight. For most of our married life we raised our children on less than $50, 000 per year. God brought along promotions just about the time we didn't think we could take it anymore. There were a several years when there was not a raise in income. We always felt that I should be home with our children while they were young, but I took babysitting jobs and similar jobs to earn money for Christmas, or vacations. God is so good though. He has continued to lift us up in our jobs. Fred's salary is more than we ever hoped for. And I was recently given a job promotion and pay increase that blows me away. I am so grateful to God, the way He provides. When I started working for this company, I had negative feelings. I even left for six months. But, I went back, and I know it was something God orchestrated. And now, I am very happy. I like my job. And I am excited about the promotion. And I am excited that He makes a difference in my life, that He provides not only what we need, but also what we want. Even when it comes to promotions! Hooray!

A greedy man stirs up dissension, but he who trusts in the Lord will prosper.
Proverbs 28:25

God answers our prayers when we pray with a right heart.
He provides what we need and sometimes what we want.
He is a God of peace while we wait for Him.
I know that the promotion I just recieved was a result of my prayer, His provision and the peace that I have because I trust Him for all these things. Thank you, God!

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