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This  is by Pastor Timothy Burdick, Minister of Abilities for Friday Study Ministries:

THE SPINACH OF REJOICING

Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength” (Nehemiah 8:10)

Back in what I think of as the "dark ages of my life," I used to enjoy the cartoon character, Popeye, who had amazing strength. His claim was that he possessed it because of the spinach that he ate. Since spinach is not a food that most of us gravitate toward, he wanted to teach kids to eat their vegetables instead of living off ice cream and cake.

In a similar way, God allows us to taste the "vegetables" of life and one of them is - suffering! When you are honest, you know as well as I do that we bring much of our suffering upon ourselves.  But much like an earthly parent, God’s heart breaks when he sees us grieve and suffer. So, He tells us that our response should instead be that of rejoicing. If we will do this and eat our "spinach" so to speak, responding in obedience,  He will give us the strength that it takes to get through our trials.

If you are facing something difficult today, be strong, but not in your own strength; be strong in the Lord. Look to Him. Instead of just physical food,  think also about your spiritual diet and eat the spinach of rejoicing. Think of all of the things you have to be thankful for; think of all of the gifts you have. Consider others who are worse off than you are, and help those who have less in life than you do. Be like Nehemiah and encourage people like he did.  Out of your service to them, God’s joy will well-up in your heart. Then you will see this amazing chain reaction in your own life. As you look for ways to serve, joy will become a reality. Out of the joy that will come, God through His grace will impart the strength that you need to live this life.

So, I want to leave you with a challenge today: Become  what I call a "Popeye Christian," and you will be amazed anew by the great God we serve. The joy and strength He gives will become a reality in your life and you will find a peace inside which is greater than anything you have never known.

This  is by Pastor Timothy Burdick, Minister of Abilities for Friday Study Ministries:

Pastor Timothy

You can join a discussion/prayer/Bible study with Chaplain Timothy on the telephone each week on Tuesday evenings at 6 PM Arizona time for his Bible study, by dialing 1.218.936.7979 (US) and entering access code number 139535.

You can also telephone Pastor Timothy at 623-692-6472.  Leave a message and he will get back to you.

Contact me:
Pastor Timothy Howard Burdick
www.mynvm.org

Friday Study Ministries
www.FridayStudy.org
www.FirstChurchOnTheNet.org

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