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Plenty of Food and Joy

by J. M. Farro on May 10th, 2020

   “In the past God let all the nations do what they wanted.  But God was always there doing the good things that prove He is real.  He gives you rain from heaven and good harvests at the right times.  He gives you plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy.”  Acts 14:16-17 ERV

   These verses are from a sermon that the apostle Paul preached to the people of Lystra.  After miraculously healing a man who was crippled from birth, the people there tried to worship him and his traveling companion, Barnabas, as gods.  Paul tells them:  “Men, why are you doing this?  We are not gods.  We are human just like you.  We came to tell you the Good News.  We are telling you to turn away from these worthless things.  Turn to the true living God, the One who made the sky, the earth, the sea, and everything that is in them.” (Acts 14:15 ERV)  Paul is preaching his heart out, and urging the people to turn away from their idols, and to turn to the one true God.

    Paul continues:  “In the past God let all the nations do what they wanted.  But God was always there doing the good things that prove He is real.” (v. 16-17)  Think about that.  Before Jesus came, even in the midst of God letting everyone “do what they wanted,” He was always there giving evidence of His goodness to prove His existence.  How?  “He gives you rain from heaven and good harvests at the right times.” (v. 17)  And here’s my favorite part in the midst of this COVID-19 lockdown:  “He gives you plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy.” (v. 17)  Hallelujah!  Right in the midst of increasing shortages of food and supplies, the Lord promises us “plenty of food.”  But He doesn’t stop there.  He “fills [our] hearts with JOY”!  I love the fact that our God takes care of ALL our needs – not just material ones, but emotional and spiritual ones, too.  We may be IN a crisis right now, but we don’t have to let it get INSIDE of us.  We can have Holy Spirit joy and gladness, right in the midst of trouble and turmoil.

   The Message Bible’s translation of verse 17 says:  “When your bellies were full and your hearts happy, there was evidence of good beyond your doing.”  This is talking about supernatural provision and joy.  Glory to God!  Believe it.  Lay hold of it by faith.  And enjoy plenty of food and joy today – and in the days to come!

   Lord, I rejoice in the fact that You are walking closely with me through these difficult times.  Make Yourself real to me now in fresh, new ways.  Speak to my heart, and help me to hear – and to heed – Your voice.  Help me to navigate these challenging times with Your wisdom and grace.  Thank You that I will experience Your supernatural provision and joy throughout this crisis and beyond!

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