Today's Bible Verse...

Trusting God: Turning Our Worries, Doubts, and Fears into Laughter and Joy

“Is anything too hard for the LORD?” (Genesis 18:14.) Absolutely nothing. He brought everything into being at His spoken command. He can do anything He desires to do with, through, and for His creation. He can do it in His way and in His time. He can make bread from bricks, dissolve pain with a gentle loving touch, cause the blind to see, the deaf to hear, the dumb to speak, and the lame to walk. He can dispel evil with the breath of His mouth. With Him there is no such thing as an impossible task.  What is my impossibility? I must give it all (my all) to Jesus.

He performs the impossible for His glory. And in the process, he gives us laughter and joy. This is what he does for Abraham and Sarah. He had promised them the impossible, and we read here in Genesis 21:1-7 of his delivery: Sarah gives birth to a son for Abraham in his old age (he's 100). This baby comes just as God had promised many years earlier (Genesis 21:2; cf. Romans 9:9). Abraham names his son Isaac.

Sarah too (at 99), is far beyond the age for child bearing. (Indeed, she was already far beyond childbearing many years earlier when God made the promise!) “God has brought me laughter,” Sarah declares.

Yet, why does Sarah laugh, being so surprised? If she had simply believed God in the first place, her worry, doubt, and fear would have dissolved and she'd have been relaxed in God’s peace; as we see, God does fulfill his promise, howbeit "in the fullness of time", according to God’s schedule, not ours.

Zooming ahead now, to the New Testament era: We hear of another birth to be (two, in fact) which comes just at the right time (See Galatians 4:4.) – according to God’s perfect plan, not ours.

The angel Gabriel comes to a virgin named Mary and says, “Don’t be afraid, Mary … for you have found favor with God! You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus” (Luke 1:30-31.)

But before this, Gabriel had already appeared to Zechariah, husband of Elizabeth, Mary’s cousin. Elizabeth is, like Sarah of old, advanced in age, beyond the age of child bearing.

Zechariah is shaking in fear at Gabriel's appearance. Gabriel assures him, “Don’t be afraid, Zechariah! …Your wife, Elizabeth, will give you a son, and you are to name him John.” Gabriel goes on, “At his birth you will have great joy and gladness. Many others also will rejoice” (Luke 1:12-14).

Yet, it is the birth of Mary’s baby, Jesus, which will mean greater joy for all ‘nations’ (peoples of the earth), as the baby within her is of the Holy Spirit, the child of the promise – God Himself becoming one of us to set us free from the curse of the Law. (Luke 1:35; John 1:14; Galatians 4:21-31.) (Indeed, the baby who was bringing such joy to Elizabeth and Zechariah, this yet-to-be born baby himself, leaped with joy at Mary's news of the coming Savior of the World!)

And herein is our laughter and joy – we who believe – as Elizabeth proclaims concerning Mary, “God has blessed you above all women, and your child is blessed … you are blessed because you believed that the Lord would do what he said” (Luke 1:42, 45.)

And we are blessed who take God at His word – the God of the impossible – and proclaim this Good News of great joy to the ‘nations’ (peoples of the earth).

Moving forward now to the Nineteenth Century and to the South Pacific islands as  we look in on Florence Young, a native of Sydney, Australia. She is teaching a Bible class to the South Seas plantation laborers.

Having studied the Bible since early childhood suits Young well for her teaching ministry now. Thus, she finds her niche in God’s will for her life. Her first class of ten men, meeting on Sunday, soon grows to eighty, about half that number come to her class each evening during the week.

The men have been imported from the islands through trickery and kidnapping – "blackbirding” – to work on the plantations. Even though laboring long hours in the scorching sun, they “sacrifice their hours of rest to come [to Young’s Bible class] and hear the gospel” (From Jerusalem to Irian Jaya, by Ruth A. Tucker). No impossible task with God. He works even through that blackbirding business to open doors in the Solomon Islands for the spread of His Good News.

So overwhelmed and encouraged at the response, trusting God, Young branches out to other plantations on Queensland, where some 10,000 laborers live. Receiving a monetary gift from George Mueller she begins the Queensland Kanaka (importedlaborers) Mission. With the help of other missionaries, thousands of laborers enroll in classes. Some eventually carry the message of God’s love back to their own people.

God performs His work: Through His people. Yielded to His cause (regardless of the works of man – good or bad). And, there are no worries, doubts, or fears in our walk and work of faith. Let this be our endeavor, therefore, in proclaiming God’s love to the ‘nations’ (all peoples of the earth): Simply take God at His word – trust Him – and relax in the laughter, joy, and peace He gives, implementing 1 Peter 3:15!

“We were filled with laughter, and we sang for joy. And the other nations said, ‘What amazing things the LORD has done for them’” (Psalm 126:2.)

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