Tuesday, December 29, 2009

God is Enough

Speaker Glenna Salsbury, of whom I first became aware when I read an article she authored for the very first Chicken Soup for the Soul collection, has been an inspiration to me for years now. We've also shared a long-time personal email correspondence in which she has been a real encouragement to me as a Christian and as a pastor.

Glenna sends an emailed inspirational newsletter to thousands of people. It's called Heavenly Treasures. The December 21 installment was great. I asked Glenna for permission to present it here.

Heavenly Treasures
December 21, 2009
“How shall this be…?”
Luke 1:34

How many of us have been puzzled, discouraged, paralyzed or even hopeless over seemingly impossible circumstances in our lives? And in the midst of it all we
want to believe the promises of God, but our faith is weak and waning.

Can you imagine how the Virgin Mary must have felt in the midst of her life experience as a very young Jewish girl? She was engaged to be married to Joseph, a carpenter in Nazareth. To be engaged was an official commitment that required divorce if it was terminated. And any form of sexual immorality was subject to death by a public stoning based on Mosaic law.

Suddenly, Mary’s quiet, simple life is thrown into incredible, unforeseen turmoil. This young virgin experiences an angelic visitation. That event, in and of itself, created complete consternation in her. “And when she saw him, she was troubled… “(Luke 1:29) And even more troubling was the message the angel delivered. “… God has decided to bless you. You will become pregnant and have a son… “ (Luke 1:30, 31 NLT) Mary’s response: “How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?” In the New Living Translation we read, “But how can I have a baby? I am a virgin.” (Luke 1:34 NLT)

Imagine the fear, the anxiety and the confusion that must have overtaken Mary. And how could this apparently strange event be a sign of God’s blessing on her life? The fear of rejection, embarrassment, ridicule, even death must have gripped her. The angel encouraged her not to be afraid. And then Gabriel, the angel, answered her question. He explained
how the seemingly impossible would become a reality. “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you… For nothing is impossible with God.” (Luke 1:35, 37 NLT)

Gabriel’s answer to Mary’s question is the ultimate answer to every question, every dilemma, every fear that enters our own apparently impossible situations in life. The Holy Spirit, God living in us as believers, is our only source of comfort and our only source of power. And He is enough. He is God
in us.

As Christ was preparing to be crucified the disciples were confused and troubled because they could not understand what was happening. The Lord spoke to them, “Let not your heart be troubled… I go to prepare a place for you.” (John 14:1, 2) He promised them that what they perceived to be painful and agonizing and confusing was actually His sovereign plan for blessing them.

Now we know the end of the story in Mary’s experience: Christ was born! And we know of the Lord’s resurrection and pouring out of the Holy Spirit to comfort the disciples after His resurrection and ascension. The problem for us, humanly, is that we do not know the “rest of the story” in our own current circumstances. Yet the Lord is giving us the same promises right now.
All that is unfolding in our lives is a blessing straight from Him. He has designed “all things” for our highest good. (Romans 8:28) And He has filled us with Himself, the indwelling Holy Spirit. It is by His power that God will accomplish the seemingly impossible in our lives personally.

The peace of God that surpasses our understanding is ours as we, by His power, rest in the reality of His promises, His Word to us. (Philippians 4:7) That is the answer to our question, “How shall this be…?”

Oh, Holy Spirit, free us from worry and fear and concern. May we look to You for answers, and not be disturbed in our circumstances.
Glenna's new book HEAVENLY TREASURES is now available for $20 and Free Shipping. Just reply to this e-mail with a name and shipping address to receive your autographed copy. You can mail a check to Glenna Salsbury, 9228 N. 64th Place, Paradise Valley, AZ 85253 or provide Visa or MC information online or by phone, 480-483-7732. Also, Glenna's new 7 CD album, Digging Deeper...Discovering the Mystery That Sets You Free is available for $35.00 plus $4.95 for shipping. (The Study Guide can be downloaded from Glenna's website.)
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