Fireworks and Faith
“If I buy some fireworks for the 4th of July, can I set them off at your house so we can all enjoy them?” my friend Allen asked.
“I’ll pray about it,” I answered with my usual response.
I sought the Lord, and I heard Him say to my spirit, “No one will get hurt.” I had peace. I called Allen and told him yes.
That 4th of July was beautiful — perfect temperature, no humidity, and no rain. Who could ask for a better night?
My best friend Sarah and I spread blankets at the top of the driveway against the garage. We put a baby fence in front of the blankets to keep our young children from the temptation to run down the driveway into danger. Then we all sat down to enjoy the show; me with my three-year-old son Daniel in my lap. We were all having a great time. The fireworks were beautiful. Everything seemed perfect.
Allen dropped the next firework into the launching tube. As he lit it, he bumped the tube, and it fell. Instantly, a bright blue glowing firework headed straight toward my face! I could not move because Daniel was still on my lap. I remember it so clearly. I closed my eyes, crying out to God, “No! God, You said no one would get hurt!” My silent cry to God was heard by Him and Him alone. Yet, when I opened my eyes, the firework was gone!
Sarah was patting the blanket around us looking for ash or even a burn mark. There was nothing! I looked at Sarah and she told me, “The firework was headed straight for your face. It got a foot away, dropped straight down to the ground, and disappeared!”
We looked all around us. There was no sign of it happening at all – no ash, nothing!
Ephesians 6:10-18 instructs us to put on the full armor of God. I strive to do this every day. That night, it was the shield of faith from verse 16 that saved me and my son Daniel.
…above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one (Ephesians 6:16).
From studying Romans 10:17, we know that faith comes by hearing. I had spent time with God, listening to His voice. Therefore, when the time came, I was able to stand on His promise and no one got hurt. Oh, how important it is to spend time with the Lord and in His Word! We cannot stand on what we do not know. That 4th of July, we literally saw God use a shield of faith to quench a fiery dart. God is so good!
He tells us in Proverbs 3:5-6:
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.
God wants to direct us, we just need to be still and listen.
“Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10a).
The sympathy of the two worlds
By: Charles Spurgeon
“There is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.” Luke 15:10
Suggested Further Reading: Luke 1:5-23
Our text tells us that the angels of God rejoice over repenting sinners. How is that? They are always as happy as they can be; how can they be any happier? The text does not say that they are any happier; but perhaps that they show their happiness more. A man may have a Sabbath every day, as he ought to if he is a Christian; and yet on the first day of the week he will let his Sabbatarianism come out plainly; for then the world shall see that he rests. “A merry heart hath a continual feast;” but then even the merry heart has some special days on which it feasts well. To the glorified, every day is a Sabbath, but of some it can be said, “and that Sabbath was an high day.” There are days when the angels sing more loudly than usual; they are always harping God’s praise, but sometimes the gathering hosts who have been flitting far through the universe, come home to their centre; and round the throne of God, standing in close ranks, marshalled not for battle but for music, on certain set and appointed days they chant the praises of the Son of God, “who loved us and gave himself for us.” And do you ask me when those days occur? I tell you, the birthday of every Christian is a sonnet day in heaven. There are Christmas days in paradise, where Christ’s high mass is kept, and Christ is glorified not because he was born in a manger, but because he is born in a broken heart. There are days—good days in heaven; days of poetry, red letter days, of overflowing adoration. And these are days when the shepherd brings home the lost sheep upon his shoulder, when the church has swept her house and found the lost piece of money.
Interceding for a Nation
From: InTouch ministries
As we faithfully pray for our nation, God releases His power to effect change.
The Lord is sovereign over all things, and He’s the one who establishes nations and uproots them. In His eyes, they are as influential as “a drop from a bucket” or “a speck of dust on the scales” (Isaiah 40:15). Have you ever thought of your country like this? From our perspective as individual citizens, nations wield great power and authority, and it seems as if one person would be unable to bring about any change.
But Christians can impact a nation with their prayers. In fact, the way we can play a part in reversing the downward trajectory of a nation is by interceding for those in authority. Paul urges the church to pray “for kings and all who are in authority, [in order to] lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity.” He goes on to say that God approves of this approach, as He “desires all people to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:2-4).
The Lord has the power to turn a nation back to Himself, and amazingly, He often uses the prayers of His people to accomplish His will. As James 5:16 tells us, the prayers of a righteous person can accomplish much. Are you faithfully appealing to God on behalf of your country’s leaders?
Today Devotions source
“These things I have spoken to you so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33 NASB
Kansas had become a battleground. The conflict began after the United States Congress passed the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854. This determined that Kansas would become an official territory, but gave its people the right to determine if slavery would be banned or allowed.
In the following years, both antislavery and proslavery forces flooded Kansas. These forces clashed so often that the state became known as Bloody Kansas.
During these uncertain times, many pioneers moved into Kansas simply looking for a home. Many of these settlers realized how much they needed God’s help.
Christine Hokanson was one of those settlers. She expressed the sentiment of many when she wrote, “How grateful we are to God.” To her, this was a “wonderful country.” Like many others, she knew that God “helped and guided us through the struggles and vicissitudes of the pioneer days.” She knew that they were receiving His “rich blessings.”
Pioneers like Hokanson testified that God was faithful, that He guided and provided for them, and that He protected them and gave them peace amid unsettled circumstances.
God’s promises did not just apply to those pioneers. For God gave His incredible promises to all who seek and trust Him.
These promises are true for you. Call on Him. Trust Him. He can give you peace amid any storm. He is the key to blessing for you, your family, your country, and the world.
Reflection Question: Compose a prayer for protection for those in war-torn countries.