‘What majestic trees!
‘What powerful rivers!
‘What beautiful animals!
He said to himself.
As he was walking alongside the river, he heard a rustling in the bushes behind him.
He turned to look. He saw a 7-foot grizzly bear charge towards him.
He ran as fast as he could up the path. He looked over his shoulder & saw that the bear was closing in on him..
He looked over his shoulder again, & the bear was even closer.
He tripped & fell on the ground.
He rolled over to pick himself up but saw that the bear was right on top of him, reaching for him with his left paw & raising his right paw to strike him…
At that instant the Atheist cried out,
‘Oh my God!’
The bear froze.
The forest was silent.
As a bright light shone upon the man, a voice came out of the sky.
‘Are you taking My name in vain or are you calling out to Me for help? You deny my existence for all these years, teach others I don’t exist and even credit creation to cosmic accident.’
‘Are you wanting me to help you out of this predicament?
Am I to count you as a believer?
The atheist looked directly into the light, ‘It would be hypocritical of me to suddenly ask you to treat me as a Christian now, but perhaps you could make the BEAR a Christian’?
‘Very well,’ said the voice..
The light went out. The sounds of the forest resumed.. And the bear dropped his right paw, brought both paws together, bowed his head & spoke:
‘Lord bless this food, which I am about to receive from thy bounty through Christ our Lord, Amen.
- Day by day, and with each passing moment,
Strength I find to meet my trials here;
Trusting in my Father’s wise bestowment,
I’ve no cause for worry or for fear.
He, whose heart is kind beyond all measure,
Gives unto each day what He deems best,
Lovingly its part of pain and pleasure,
Mingling toil with peace and rest.
- Every day the Lord Himself is near me,
With a special mercy for each hour;
All my cares He fain would bear and cheer me,
He whose name is Counselor and Pow’r.
The protection of His child and treasure
Is a charge that on Himself He laid;
“As thy days, thy strength shall be in measure,”
This the pledge to me He made.
- Help me then, in every tribulation,
So to trust Thy promises, O Lord,
That I lose not faith’s sweet consolation,
Offered me within Thy holy Word.
Help me, Lord, when toil and trouble meeting,
E’er to take, as from a father’s hand,
One by one, the days, the moments fleeting,
Till with Christ the Lord I stand.
New King James Version (NKJV)
2 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.
New Living Translation (NLT)
2 Dear brothers and sisters,[a] when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. 3 For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.
J.B. Phillips New Testament (PHILLIPS)
Amplified Bible (AMP)
2Consider it wholly joyful, my brethren, whenever you are enveloped in or encounter trials of any sort or fall into various temptations. 3Be assured and understand that the trial and proving of your faith bring out endurance and steadfastness and patience.
The Message (MSG)
2-4Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.
Lord, every single good gift comes from You…
324. I will choose to consider it an opportunity for great joy–even an on-purpose gift from God Himself–WHEN trials, temptations, tests, and troubles come my way, including the ones that seem downright huge and overwhelming, like aggressive, stage three breast cancer. These are testing grounds to bring my faith to maturity. God controls the timing, the intensity, and the duration of every difficulty I will ever face, down to minutest detail. The process of going through these pressures while walking in His strength and enabling power will bring beautiful fruit of endurance, steadfastness, and patience. (Personalizing James 1:2-3 for me)
325. The fun of bringing Mom, Bets, and Heidi to some of the letterboxes I have planted http://www.atlasquest.com/
326. Taking time to browse antique shops, play games, reminisce over cherished childhood memories
327. The truth behind the words of “Day By Day” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lNVCcph6cnI
Enjoying the warmth of His arm around my shoulder as we walk together-Him and me together,