December 3

Today's Bible Reading
     II Chronicles 2
     I John 2
     Nahum 1
     Luke 17
“The Lord is slow to anger and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked. The Lord has His way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of His feet.” (Nahum 1:3)
            Do you see Jesus in your clouds? Our wonderful memory verse tells us that He is in the storms and the whirlwinds, and the clouds are even the dust of His feet.
            In the Bible, clouds are always associated with God. Clouds seem to represent the sufferings, sorrows, andprovidential circumstances within or without our personal lives, which actually seems to contradict the sovereignty of God.
            There is a connection between the strange, providential circumstances allowed by God, and what we know of Him, and we have to learn to interpret the mysteries of life in the light of our knowledge of God. Until we can come face to face with the deepest, darkest fact of life without damaging our view of God's character, we do not yet know Him.
            The longer I get to know the Lord, and to learn of His gracious care in my life, the more I realize that it is through the darkest cloud in my life that the Spirit of God is teaching me how to walk by faith. If there were never any clouds in our lives, we would have no faith.  They are a sign that God is there.
            What a revelation for the Child of God to learn that sorrow, bereavement, and suffering are actually the clouds that come along with God. God does not often come near us without clouds - He does not always come in clear - shining brightness.
            It is not true to say that with the clouds God is only wanting to teach us something. He does, indeed, teach us something, but He also wants us to unlearn something. His purpose in using the cloud is to simplify beliefs until our relationship with Him is exactly like that of a child - a relationship simply between God and ourselves, and where other people are but shadows. Until other people become shadows to us, clouds and darkness will be ours every once in awhile. Is our relationship with God becoming more simple than it's ever been?
            In Luke 9:34, we are told, ''. . .they were fearful as they entered the cloud." Is there anyone except Jesus in your cloud?  If so, it will only get darker until you get to the place where there is ''no one anymore, but only Jesus.. .'' (Mark 9:8).
           You need to check your cloud today as the Disciples did on the Mount of Transfiguration. You will discover, as they did, that Jesus is there in your cloud.
            One of the most difficult areas of the world is Papua New Guina in the Indonesian chain. We praise God for the people movements that have brought stone-age cultures to faith in Christ among most of the 275 tribes. The reason it is so difficult here is that there are over 247 languages spoken, and only the Dani of the Central Highlands have a population of over 100,000 among the more than 2 million people who live here.
            The Dani people total 300,000. Many of them have turned to the Lord in great spiritual movements over the last few decades of the 20th Century. The vision, however, among them is dim. Pray for renewal of life and vision for the Dani churches, and pray that this will spread throughout the region of Papua.
''It is of no use to grumble and complain; It's just cheap and easy to rejoice,
When God sorts out the weather and sends rain - Why, rain's my choice."
James Whitcomb Riley