23 November 2014

A Compassionate Heart

(Big Lessons from a Little Maid--2 Kings 5)
If someone took you away from your family and set you to work as a servant, how would you feel towards that person? When you heard that they were sick and not going to recover, would you be happy? Would you think “It's serves them right! They deserve it.”
The little maid have every reason to think like that. But instead she had compassion on her Master.

How do you feel towards people who have hurt you?
I've been a bit convicted doing this study! I am definitely lacking in this area.
Compassion means sympathy or sorrow for others suffering.
It's not so hard to feel compassion for people that we love and are close to us. But it's not always so easy to feel compassion for someone who we think deserves what they are getting!
Or even for someone we do love very much that has hurt us. We get hardened and just don't care. But that's not what we should do

But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; Matthew 5:44

How can we have compassion on someone who has hurt us or on someone that we really don't like?
By remembering that God has compassion on us! We have hurt God far more than anyone will ever hurt us. There is absolutely no reason why God should have compassion on us.

The LORD is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy. Psalm 145:8

If you want to be like Jesus, you must be compassionate!

But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd. Matthew 9:36

5 November 2014

Big Lessons from a Little Maid #1

When Things Go Wrong...
And the Syrians had gone out by companies, and had brought away captive out of the land of Israel a little maid; and she waited on Naaman's wife. 
 And she said unto her mistress, Would God my lord were with the prophet that is in Samaria! for he would recover him of his leprosy. 2 Kings 5:2-3 (for the full story read the whole chapter)
How would you feel if you were kidnapped, taken to a different country and made a servant in a household that worships idols?
How would you like to be the only one in your area who believes in and worships God?
How would you feel toward God? Would you still believe in Him?
Would you change to become like the people you are now around?
I can't imagine how this girl must have felt!
Surely she must have had moments of feeling confused, discouraged, angry and maybe even abandoned by God.
But instead of losing her faith in God, it grew stronger. After all, God was all she had left!
Instead of losing her faith, she helped others to find it.

I hope you'll never be in a situation like this, but you may have other troubles which seem just as big. A family member or friend who has died. A move to a new area or country. Living in a family that is broken up. Having parents who aren't Christians. Hearing bad news. Friends that hurt you. Someone that has let you down etc.
What difficulties are you going through at the moment?
Are you feeling like this girl might have felt?
Will you be like her and keep trusting in God?
Will you stand up for God even if you're the only one doing it?
This girl didn't have a complete Bible like us to read. I don't know if she even had any of the Bible to read or if she could even read. I doubt she had any way to meet with other people who believed in God. She was far away from her parents and family.
How much more do we have than this girl? If she could still keep trusting in God in her circumstances, how much more should we??

Difficulties come in our lives for a purpose. If we let them turn us away from God, what do we have left? Instead we can turn to God and watch for the rainbow in the clouds. What happened as a result of the little maid living in this house?
So why does God allow hard times? Maybe the same reason that he allows rain to fall. A beautiful garden would be a desert without rain. As an old Proverb goes, “All sunshine makes a desert.” And if you only had good happy times in your life, what kind of person would you turn out to be?