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Believe for Greater Things!



Beautiful thought for the New Year: What might seem like bitter disappointments in life may in reality be the foundation of great things in our lives later! Jesus is always in the work of Redemption. In her book, “Stories I Love to Tell”, Gladys Talbot shares the parable of three little trees who wanted to be something special in life.


The first tree wanted to be a pretty cradle when it grew up. One day some people came to the forest and cut the tree down. The tree was hewn into rough pieces and carelessly put together to form a manger in a stable in Bethlehem. The little tree was disappointed because it was shoved into a dark cave with no one to see it but some cattle. One day however, God laid there His own Babe – the Son of God. The manger quivered with delight. “Oh, this is wonderful! In all my dreams I never thought to hold a Baby like this. This is better than all my planning. Why, I am part of a miracle!”


Years passed by, and men came to the forest to cut down the second tree. This tree aspired to be a great ship when it grew up. But the little tree did not do great things. It was not made into a great vessel, but instead it became a tiny fishing boat, owned by a simple Galilean fisherman named Peter. The little boat was most unhappy. One day it stood by the shores of the Sea of Galilee feeling dejected and disappointed. A crowd had gathered by the shore and, because of the multitude, a Man called Jesus stepped into the little boat and taught the people from it. “This is wonderful!” the boat whispered. “In all my dreams and planning I never thought I would be used as part of a miracle.”


After some months, men came to the forest to cut down the third tree. This tree just wanted to remain on the hillside and point to God. But men did not leave the little tree alone. They tore away its branches; they cut into its bark, and deeper, into its very heart. They hewed it apart and put it together again, in the form of a crude cross.


The little tree quivered through all its being. “This is terrible!” it whispered. “They are going to hang someone. Oh, I never wanted this to happen to me. I only wanted to point to God! This is awful!”


One day, outside of Jerusalem, a great crowd gathered. In the midst of the crowd was Jesus and beside Him was the cross. After He was nailed to the cross, the little tree heard words of forgiveness and peace that were offered to the whole world. Then Christ completed His work of redemption and “gave up the ghost.”


And the cross began to understand! “This is wonderful!” it whispered. “In all my dreams I never thought to point to God in this way. I am part of a miracle. This is better than all my planning.”


Do you feel like your life might be ordinary or small? With Jesus, that is certainly not the case. What is impossible with man is possible with God (Luke 18:27). Just like the trees, what the Lord is doing in your life might at first seem disappointing or even disastrous. But He knows what He is doing and, if we keep trusting Him, everything will turn out for the good, even “immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine” (Ephesians 3:20).


So don’t lose heart or be discouraged because of what you see as to what the Lord is doing in your life. Don’t get discouraged. Don’t be distracted by what you can see. Let faith rise up in your heart. Keep trusting in Jesus and He will make something beautiful out of your life. He is always in the work of Redemption (Genesis 50:20).

 

Are you ready to have the Lord increase your faith for the New Year? Let’s be inspired to “Believe for Greater Things” (John 14:12) this Sunday and our example is Caleb, who the Lord blessed for having a heart of faith: “because my servant Caleb has a different spirit and follows me wholeheartedly, I will bring him into the land he went to, and his descendants will inherit it” (Numbers 14:24). Others were saying about entering the Promised Land: “It can’t be done! It’s impossible!” But Caleb knew the Lord was leading the way and was bigger than any problem, obstacle, or enemy. Please invite someone to join you at 10:35am in the building or online for the Live broadcast on either Facebook (Honolulu AG) or our YouTube channel (Honolulu Assembly of God). We livestream every Sunday to both locations.


We will “Undeck the Halls” on Sunday, January 7. The “Joy of Belonging” membership classes happen January 7-28.


Hau’oli Makahiki Hou!


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