Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Summer Bible Studies

This summer I'm doing two Bible studies: one in my home--Kay Arthur's Lord, Teach Me to Pray--and one online with the Siestas for Him forum called No Other Gods by Kelly Minter. Kay Arthur's is only 5 weeks, and we've just completed the 3rd week. It was awesome!

Today I was reminded that if my problems seem bigger than my God it is because I have not remembered who my God is. Kay Arthur said that before we ever present a request to God, we need to rehearse who God is--in other words, praise Him for His character and attributes. She listed several examples of prayers in Scripture which began in this way. Mark Buchanan says the same thing in his book, The Rest of God, (pg. 74-75, published 2006) which I came across last night while I was reading. He quoted Acts 4:23-31 where Peter and John and their companions pray for boldness to continue preaching after Peter and John had been warned not to do so. He called attention to the fact that the believers didn’t mention their prayer request until the end of the prayer. Most of the prayer was about the sovereignty and righteousness and justice of God—about His supremacy in all things.

I remembered Beth Moore saying something about this in her Believing God Bible study, and I came across notes that I had taken which also suggested we recall to mind who our God is and what He's done in the past in His Word and in our own lives when we’re faced with problems that we think are insurmountable.

So I read several passages from Isaiah 40 through 55. Let me tell you, after reading, I had a fresh and new perspective on just how awesome and big my God is! I'd like to share just a small portion. I hope they fan the flame of faith in you as they did in me. This is from Isaiah 40 (NIV):

10 See, the Sovereign LORD comes with power, and his arm rules for him. See, his reward is with him, and his recompense accompanies him.
11 He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.
12 Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, or with the breadth of his hand marked off the heavens? Who has held the dust of the earth in a basket, or weighed the mountains on the scales and the hills in a balance?
13 Who has understood the mind of the LORD, or instructed him as his counselor?
14 Whom did the LORD consult to enlighten him, and who taught him the right way? Who was it that taught him knowledge or showed him the path of understanding?
15 Surely the nations are like a drop in a bucket; they are regarded as dust on the scales; he weighs the islands as though they were fine dust.
16 Lebanon is not sufficient for altar fires, nor its animals enough for burnt offerings.
17 Before him all the nations are as nothing; they are regarded by him as worthless and less than nothing.
18 To whom, then, will you compare God? What image will you compare him to?

21 Do you not know? Have you not heard? Has it not been told you from the beginning? Have you not understood since the earth was founded?
22 He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth, and its people are like grasshoppers. He stretches out the heavens like a canopy, and spreads them out like a tent to live in.
23 He brings princes to naught and reduces the rulers of this world to nothing.
24 No sooner are they planted, no sooner are they sown, no sooner do they take root in the ground, than he blows on them and they wither, and a whirlwind sweeps them away like chaff.
25 "To whom will you compare me? Or who is my equal?" says the Holy One.
26 Lift your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these? He who brings out the starry host one by one, and calls them each by name. Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing.
27 Why do you say, O Jacob, and complain, O Israel, "My way is hidden from the LORD; my cause is disregarded by my God"?
28 Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom.
29 He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.
30 Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall;
31 but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

Our God is huge!!! There is nothing He can't do! Hallelujah!


Mary said...

I came to your blog after reading your glowing testimony on Sheryl's blog.
I enjoyed reading your post and the beautiful scriptures from Isaiah.
It was a special blessing to read of your deliverance from depression and panic disorder.


Sheryl said...

Thanks for stopping by and sharing your testimony. I am so glad that you confidently say that God is all you need. What victory you have won with Him. Keep sharing your story!