Robert Read's Thoughts

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Thriving Faith

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Isaiah 55

55:1 “Come, everyone who thirsts,
come to the waters;
and he who has no money,
come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
without money and without price.
2 Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread,
and your labor for that which does not satisfy?
Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good,
and delight yourselves in rich food.
3 Incline your ear, and come to me;
hear, that your soul may live;
and I will make with you an everlasting covenant,
my steadfast, sure love for David.
4 Behold, I made him a witness to the peoples,

5 Behold, you shall call a nation that you do not know,
and a nation that did not know you shall run to you,
because of the Lord your God, and of the Holy One of Israel,
for he has glorified you.

6 “Seek the Lord while he may be found;
call upon him while he is near;
7 let the wicked forsake his way,
and the unrighteous man his thoughts;
let him return to the Lord, that he may have compassion on him,
and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.
9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.

10 “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven
and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout,
giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,
11 so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;
it shall not return to me empty,
but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.

12 “For you shall go out in joy
and be led forth in peace;
the mountains and the hills before you
shall break forth into singing,
and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.
13 Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress;
instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle;
and it shall make a name for the Lord,
an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.” (ESV)

We have not had any petunias in our flower beds, oh in about three-years now. Yet, in a crack in our concrete driveway sprang up this beautiful bouquet of petunias this Spring. So, it’s just a narrow crack, maybe ¼” wide surrounded on both sides by solid concrete. The early church was like that. All around them were harsh, hard, and impenetrable conditions, yet they grew. One by one Herod was after the Disciples, killing some and throwing others in prison.

“But the Word of God increased and multiplied (Acts 12:24).”

The Apostle Peter’s time was up. He was arrested and thrown into prison and Herod intended to bring him before the people and have him executed. But, the people of God prayed and Peter was miraculously set free from prison. Like these petunias growing out of this crack in the hard harsh concrete God’s people can thrive even in harsh conditions such as we are experiencing in our community, state, country, and around the world. These harsh conditions can be overcome through the Word of God and prayer.

Just as it made a difference for Peter, your prayers can make a difference in these trying times we are going through. As our community of faith and our country goes through these difficult times, and we yearn for things to return to “normal”, while we ponder if this is the “new normal”, turn to the Holy Father in prayer. Pray for His Word to increase and multiply, and for God’s people to thrive! If we do that, and sharpen our focus on the Lord Jesus, and look to Him, then it’s all good!

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