The Word is My Life
Monday, December 11, 2017
My Words are life to those that find them . . . . Prov. 4:22

Listen to commercial-free worship music brought to you by AllWorship.com.

September 2017 A Masterpiece for the Kingdom

From My Life’s Journey                                                                               September, 2017
 

Topic:  A Masterpiece for the Kingdom 

In my March ministry letter, I began with these words: “These are the times that try men’s souls.” Sadly, given the catastrophic situation in Houston (and now, Florida), I can begin this letter again with the same words.  In Houston and Florida, many ask, “How do we move forward and not lose hope?” You may also ask, “How do I move forward when crippling circumstances arise? How do I stay stable in mind and heart?” God is dealing with me about these questions, and I will share answers I am receiving with you.   

Friends, much goes back to the Garden of Eden and God’s original intent for mankind.  We see here that God intricately made man, forming him from the dust of the earth and breathing into his nostrils the breath of life (Gen. 2:7).  Man then became a living soul with the breath of God within him.  Afterward, God gave Adam work to do – tend the garden and name the animals (Gen. 2:20).  We see God’s direct involvement in forming man and giving His creation purpose – something to do with the giftings given them.  

We see this mentioned as well in the New Testament. Eph. 2:10 says, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” The New Living Translation says, “We are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. This verse tells us that those who have been created anew in Christ are a design original – His masterpiece. He has a good purpose for us that will impact the earth.  

Some of you might say, “Well, that’s good, but what does it have to do with the hard situation in Houston and also the challenges I face?”  Part of the answer comes from Jeremiah 1:5 which reveals that before we were formed in our mother’s womb, God knew us and set us apart for His purposes. That means anything we go through in no way changes the fact that 1) God has His hands on our lives, 2) He has set us apart for a purpose, and 3) He will work everything out for our good (Rom. 8:28).  A divine force for good is in motion if we don’t lose heart and give up on God in the midst of our troubles. God has answers for us … and each person in the flooding.  

Consider Joseph who endured hardship from childhood to adulthood, but He kept the faith, and God promoted Him to greatness in spite of his trials.  Actually, throughout his trials, he was always in a place of favor and eventually was summoned to interpret a dream for Pharaoh (Gen. 41:14).  The depth of Joseph’s struggle prepared him to ascend to the heights of leadership – second only to Pharaoh.  This was his purpose. Ladies, when it seems the enemy is winning, God can move within our situations to turn them to our favor.  Take heart!  The God who moved the moon in front of the sun during the eclipse and made the middle of day seem as night has a customized plan to bring help and wholeness to each soul who draws near to Him.  Often I think on the hardness of the trial I endured to obtain a doctorate degree.  Now I know that God used the experience to take me rounds higher in Him. God also gave me deeper roots. God is always in the trial working things out for our good.  Even in Houston, unity and compassion abound in a way that stands in stark contrast to the harsh division in our nation.  God is at work on a grand scale through tragedy. 

Allow me to remind you again about our uniqueness: Each soul is God’s masterpiece.  As we embrace our identity in Christ – who we really are – we are gradually transformed by Him.  This transformation continues through every experience we have in life … the good and the bad.  God uses it all. Even in hardness, God’s plans for us don’t change.  Romans 8:18-19 says, the earth groans in expectation of the sons of man arising in their identity and in power: “For I consider [from the standpoint of faith] that the sufferings of the present life are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is about to be revealed to us and in us! For [even the whole] creation [all nature] waits eagerly for the children of God to be revealed.” The world waits to be blessed by our uniqueness and gifting.   

In the Old Testament, Deborah was a leader, a judge, a prophet, and a poet (Judges 4).  Yes, a woman!  God gave her unique gifts that were used to aid the children of Israel.  Barak, Israel’s general, would not go into battle against King Jabin unless Deborah went with him.  Under Deborah’s leadership, the children of Israel defeated Jabin’s army.  God’s power arose within Deborah as a mighty, conquering force, and afterward Judges 5:31 says that “the land had rest for forty years.” Yes, through a woman!  Hardness does an eternal work that leads to the releasing of God’s divine power within you (Eph. 3:20).    

Note that when Jesus came to earth, He did not remove all sin and evil.  He knew that His presence was – and still is – the answer.  He says, “Be still and know that I am God” (Ps. 46:10). Look for Jesus in your trial for He knows the way through. The Kingdom of God is within us (Luke 17:21).  Indeed, this victory lies within because “it is Christ in us, the hope of glory” (Col. 1:27).  Turmoil may abound, but Christ – the victor – has overcome and so have you. Be used of Him and be encouraged.  Think on these things.    

 

Ever onward, ever forward~

Iris Barrett, Ed.D.  

“The Word is My Life” Training Ministr