Have you ever been going through a tough time? How did others respond? Have you ever seen others going through a tough time? How did you respond?
Was it an attitude of judgment? Was it an attack that you must have done something wrong for you to be in such a place? Was it a verbal attack to explain to you all that you must have done wrong? Was it trying to place judgment on you for something you obviously had done and needed to have corrected? Was it hard to listen to and required rebuttle? Was it hard to listen to and would have been better off without any of it? Was it from a spirit of condemnation?
Was it an attitude of grace? Was it a conversation about the trial you were going through? Was it a conversation about not losing hope? Was it a discussion about God’s goodness and how He could be and must be working in and through this? Was it incorporating the benefits of trials and how we should consider it pure joy when we face trials of many kinds? Was it incorporating that because we are in a fallen world, we will face troubles and to grab hold of the promise and hope of Jesus who said that we can have hope through it all, because He has overcome the world? So we need to be overcomers!
It’s amazing how an attitude makes the difference be it when we are going through tough times or we are speaking to others who are going through tough times.
Today’s reading from Job 36 continues with Elihu who unlike the others who spoke before him, were speaking from a perspective of trials. It went like this…
Elihu Magnifies the Almighty1Then Elihu said further:2“Be patient with me a bit longer and I will show you that there is more to say on God’s behalf.3I get my knowledge from afar; I ascribe righteousness to my Maker.4For truly, my words are not false; One who is perfect in knowledge is with you.5“Indeed, God is mighty, but despises none, He is mighty in strength of understanding.6He does not keep the wicked alive, but gives justice to the afflicted.7He does not take His eyes from the righteous, but enthrones them with kings and exalts them forever.8But if they are bound in chains, and held captive by cords of affliction,9then He declares to them their deed that they have transgressed arrogantly.10And He opens their ear to instruction, and commands that they turn from evil.11If they obey and serve, they will end their days in prosperity, and their years in happiness.12But if they do not listen, they will perish by the sword, and die without knowledge.13“The godless in heart harbor anger, they do not cry for help even when He binds them.14Their souls die in youth, their life ends among cult prostitutes.15He delivers the afflicted by his affliction and opens their ear in oppression.16“And indeed, He will draw you from the mouth of distress, to a spacious place without constraint, and the comfort of a table full of rich food.17But you are full of judgment on the wicked, judgment and justice take hold of you!18Beware lest wrath entice you with riches; or a large bribe turn you aside.19Will your wealth sustain you to keep you from distress, or even all your mighty efforts?20Do not long for the night, when people vanish from their places.21Be careful, do not turn to iniquity; for you have chosen this rather than affliction.22“Indeed, God is exalted in His power. Who is a teacher like Him?23Who has prescribed His way for Him? Or said ‘You have done wrong’?24Remember to magnify His work, of which people have sung.25All mankind has seen it; people gaze on it from afar.26Behold, God is exalted —beyond our knowledge! The number of His years is unsearchable.27For He draws up the drops of water; they distill rain into its mist,28which the clouds pour down and shower mankind abundantly.29Indeed, who can understand the spreading of the clouds, and the thunder from His pavilion?30“See how He scatters His lightning about Him, covering the depths of the sea.31For by these, He judges peoples and supplies food in abundance.32He covers His hands with lightning and commands it to strike its target.33His thunder declares His presence, the cattle also, about what is coming.–from Job 36
If you hear it coming with a spirit of condemnation, realize where it is coming from, for there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus!
Today’s reading continues into Luke 24 after Jesus was crucified and placed in the tomb, after the day of rest when the women went to check on Jesus in the tomb carrying the spices they had prepared before the Sabbath and the surprise that they found…including the divine encounter…
Women Visit the Garden Tomb1Now on the first day of the week, at daybreak, the women came to the tomb, carrying the spices they had prepared.2They found the stone had been rolled away from the tomb;3but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Yeshua.4And while they were perplexed about this, suddenly two men in dazzling clothes stood beside them.5The women were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you search for the living among the dead?6He is not here, but He is risen! Remember what He told you when He was still in the Galilee,7saying that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be executed, and on the third day rise up.”8And they were reminded of His words.9And when they returned from the tomb, they told all these things to the eleven and to everyone else.10Now it was Miriam from Magdala, Joanna, the Miriam of Jacob and others together with them who were telling these things to the emissaries.11But these words appeared to them as nonsense, and they would not believe them.12But Peter got up and ran to the tomb. Leaning in, he sees only the linen cloths. And he went away to his home, marveling at what had happened.–from Luke 24
Imagine getting such incredible and almost unbelievable news. Would you run to go check it out too? They did…Imagine walking down the road after learning that Jesus wasn’t in the tomb. Imagine walking down the road wondering about what would be next in life after the incredible journey you had just experienced. Imagine this…
Eyes Open in Emmaus13Now behold, two of them on that very day were traveling to a village named Emmaus, a distance of about seven miles from Jerusalem.14They were speaking with one another about all the things that had been happening.15While they were talking and discussing, YeshuaHimself approached and began traveling with them.16But their eyes were kept from recognizing Him.17Then He said to them, “What are these things you are discussing with one another as you are walking along?” They stood still, looking gloomy.18Then the one named Cleopas answered and said to Him, “Are You the only one visiting Jerusalem who doesn’t know the things that happened there in these days?”19Yeshua said to them, “What kind of things?” And they said to Him, “The things about Yeshua from Natzeret, who was a Prophet, powerful in deed and word before God and all the people—20how the ruling kohanim and our leaders handed Him over to be sentenced to death, and they executed Him.21But we were hoping that He was the One about to redeem Israel. Besides all this, today is the third day since these things happened.22“But also some women among us amazed us. Early in the morning they were at the tomb.23When they didn’t find His body, they came saying that they had also seen a vision of angels, who said He is alive!24Some of those with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women said, but they did not see Him.”25Yeshua said to them, “Oh foolish ones, so slow of heart to put your trust in all that the prophets spoke!26Was it not necessary for Messiah to suffer these things and to enter into His glory?”27Then beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, He explained to them the things written about Himself in all the Scriptures.28They approached the village where they were going, and He acted as though He were going farther on.29But they urged Him, saying, “Stay with us, for it is nearly evening and the day is already gone.” So He went in to stay with them.30And it happened that when He was reclining at the table with them, He took the matzah , offered a bracha and, breaking it, gave it to them.31Then their eyes were opened and they recognized Him, and He disappeared from them.–from Luke 24
How are you living today? Are you living asking God to open your eyes so that you can see what is going on around you? Are you living asking God for wisdom and discernment to be able to speak into the lives of others and to be able to hear His voice through others?
Good News for the Disciples in Jerusalem32They said to one another, “Didn’t our heart burn within us while He was speaking with us on the road, while He was explaining the Scriptures to us?”33And they got up that very hour and returned to Jerusalem. They found the eleven and others with them gathered together,34saying, “The Lord is risen indeed! He has appeared to Simon!”35Then they began telling about the events on the road and how He became recognized by them in the breaking of the matzah .36While they were speaking of these things, YeshuaHimself stood in the midst of them and said, “ShalomAleichem!”37But they were startled and terrified, thinking they were seeing a ghost.38Then He said to them, “Why are you so shaken? And why do doubts arise in your heart?39Look at My hands and My feet—it is I Myself! Touch Me and see! For a spirit doesn’t have flesh and bones, as you see I have.”40And when He had said this, He showed them His hands and His feet.41But while they were still in disbelief due to joy and wonder, He said to them, “Do you have anything to eat here?”42They gave Him a piece of broiled fish,43and He took it and ate it in their presence.44Then He said to them, “These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you—everything written concerning Me in the Torah of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.45Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures,46and He said to them, “So it is written, that the Messiah is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day,47and that repentance for the removal of sins is to be proclaimed in His name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.48You are witnesses of these things.49And behold, I am sending the promise of My Father upon you; but you are to stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.”–from Luke 24
So where are you at today? Are you on a journey and in disbelief? Are you on a journey and in the discovery mode? Are you on a journey and living in the miraculous? Are you on a journey and living with the joy of what took place? Where are you at today?
50Then Yeshua led them out as far as Bethany, and He lifted up His hands and blessed them.51And while blessing them, He departed from them and was taken up into heaven.52After worshiping Him, they returned to Jerusalem with great joy.53And they were continually in the Temple, praising God.–from Luke 24
Jesus went up on a cloud and will return the same way He left! Jesus is now sitting at the right hand of the Father interceding for you and me. Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life so let’s follow after Him till we are reunited in Heaven with Him on that day when He calls us up to be with Him! That we will be on the right side because we are living our lives to glorify Him and our Father in Heaven!
Today’s reading concludes in Revelation 18. In the end there will be the final judgment! Everyone will need and be held accountable for what they have done! Those who are in the book of life will spend eternity with God and those who didn’t will spend eternity apart from God!
Judgment of Babylon1After these things, I saw another angel coming down from heaven, having great authority, and the earth was illuminated by his glory.2He cried out with a mighty voice, saying: “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great! She has become a den for demons, a haunt for every unclean spirit and for every unclean bird and for every unclean and detestable beast.3For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the fury of her immorality. The kings of the earth have committed sexual immorality with her, and the merchants of the earth grew rich off the power of her self-indulgence.”4Then I heard another voice from heaven saying, “Come out of her, my people, lest you participate in her sins and receive her plagues!5For her sins have piled up to heaven, and God has remembered her crimes.6Pay her back just as she has paid out, and give her back double for her deeds! In the cup she has mixed— mix a double dose for her!7As she has exalted herself and indulged herself in luxury, so give her the same measure of torment and grief! For in her heart she says, ‘I sit as a queen— I am no widow; I shall never see grief.’8For this reason her plagues will arrive in a single day— death and grief and famine— and she shall be burned down with fire. For mighty is Adonai Elohim who judges her!”9Then the kings of the earth, who committed sexual immorality and indulged in luxury with her shall weep and wail over her when they see the smoke of her burning—10standing far off because of the terror of her torment, saying: “Alas, alas, O great city— O Babylon, the mighty city! For in a single hour your judgment has come!”11And the merchants of the earth weep and mourn for her, because no one buys their merchandise anymore—12shipments of gold, silver, precious stones, and pearls; fine linen, purple, silk, and scarlet; all kinds of citron wood; all kinds of ivory products; all kinds of products made of costly wood, bronze, iron, and marble;13cinnamon, spice, incense, myrrh, and frankincense; wine, oil, fine flour, and wheat; cattle, sheep, horses, and chariots; and slaves—that is, human souls.14The fruit of your soul’s desire has gone from you, and all the expensive and beautiful things are lost to you —never again will people find them.15The merchants of these things, who became rich from her, shall stand far off for fear of her torment, weeping and mourning,16saying, “Alas, alas, O great city— clothed in fine linen and purple and scarlet, adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls!17For in a single hour so much wealth has been ruined!” And every ship captain and passenger, sailors and all who make their living at sea, stood at a distance18and were crying out, seeing the smoke of her burning, saying, ‘What city is like the great city?’19And they threw dust on their heads and were crying out, weeping and mourning, “Alas, alas, O great city— in her all who had ships at sea grew rich from her wealth! For in a single hour has she been ruined!20Rejoice over her, O heaven, and you kedoshim, emissaries and prophets! For God has judged her condemnation of you!”21Then a mighty angel picked up a stone like a great millstone and threw it into the sea, saying: “So shall Babylon, the great city, be thrown down with violence, never to be found again!22And the sound of harpists and musicians, flautists and trumpeters, shall never be heard in you again! And the craftsman of any craft shall never be found in you again! And the sound of a mill shall never be heard in you again!23And the light of a lamp shall never shine in you again! And the voice of the bridegroom and bride shall never be heard in you again! For your businessmen were the tycoons of the world, for all the nations were deceived by your sorcery!24And in her was found the blood of the prophets andkedoshim and all those slaughtered on the earth.”–from Revelation 18