9/27/16: The Bag of Tricks
My favorite cartoon was Felix the Cat. Felix started every episode just trying to live life without trouble. He’d whistle as he walked along or as he worked. Then trouble always found him in the form of the evil Professor or Master Cylinder. Both of these adversaries wanted nothing more than to obtain Felix’s magic bag of tricks which Felix was always able to use to escape from their sinister schemes.
Like Felix, most of us don’t go looking for trouble, but trouble often finds us. And trouble is real. Having faith doesn’t mean we ignore problems as if they didn’t exist and just skip on our merry way. We shouldn’t beat ourselves up because we feel hurt or frustrated or misused. Nothing is wrong with us if we experience a financial reversal, disappointment, disillusionment, or grief. No, we are not weak in faith because distress-producing tribulations come our way. We are people of faith because no matter what trouble rears its ugly head, we have the rock-solid assurance that the trouble won’t consume us. We have in our possession the ultimate bag of tricks – the real and true God.
King Hezekiah turned to this very “bag of tricks” when his nation was threatened. The Assyrian king had sent his bullying messenger, the Rabshakeh, to intimidate King Hezekiah and in a letter had queried, “Have the gods of the nations delivered those whom my fathers have destroyed?” Isaiah 37:12 (NKJ). King Hezekiah took the letter, spread it before the Lord, and prayed, “O LORD of hosts, God of Israel… You are God, You alone… Incline Your ear, O LORD, and hear; open Your eyes, O LORD, and see; and hear all the words of Sennacherib, which he has sent to reproach the living God. Truly, LORD, the kings of Assyria have laid waste all the nations and their lands, and have cast their gods into the fire; for they were not gods, but the work of men’s hands– wood and stone. Therefore they have destroyed them. Now therefore, O LORD our God, save us from his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that You are the LORD, You alone” Isaiah 37:16-20 (NKJ).
Felix the Cat realized the trouble that came his way was not ever really directed at him. The problems he faced were always ultimately focused on getting to his bag of tricks. King Hezekiah saw the same ploy. If the Assyrians destroyed the children of Israel, they would essentially be destroying the assertion that Israel worshipped the true God. It’s the same with us. Our evil adversary, the devil, couldn’t care less about us. He is trying to besmirch the glory of God. If he can get us to give up on our “bag of tricks” – our faith in God through Jesus Christ and in the power of the Holy Spirit – we’ll go down and God’s honor will be tarnished.
Hold on in faith. Let God show Himself mighty as He delivers you. There will be no other answer as to how you got out and got over except to give God the glory. Troubles are big, but our God is bigger. As Corrie ten Boom said, “There is no pit so deep that our God is not deeper still.”
Mission Trip Update! 13 days to go! I can really still use your financial donations. Gifts you now send between today and when we leave are still necessary for personal expenses and gift books. Since I was not able to raise enough money to ship a large number of books for all the ladies who will attend the women’s conferences, I will pack as many Power Suit books as possible (to meet the weight restrictions) to give to pastor’s wives and the women at the television stations in Kenya and Zambia; and I’ll take as many Why I Get Into Trouble children’s books and I’ll figure out a way to distribute them.
The trip has been narrowed down to KENYA and ZAMBIA! I’ve seen the proof of the posters that will be passed out and the billboards that will be placed throughout the cities. I will be teaching at the Leader’s Seminars, encouraging the ladies at the Women’s Seminars, and preaching at the evening crusades. People travel all over the world every day, but it’s my first time and I’m pinching myself being sure it’s all actually real! Thank you in advance! You can give three ways:
- Via Paypal through my ministry website: http://www.lifethatmatters.net. Click “Donate.” [Remember that Paypal charges a 3-4% fee on my end.]
- By check sent to my post office box: P.O. Box 1519, Inglewood, CA 90308
- Via Paypal through the HSBN.tv website. (Be sure to let the network know your donation is for Rev. Sharon Elliott’s Africa trip.)
Links you won’t want to miss:
- Watch Sharon in two shows on The Holy Spirit Broadcasting Network:
- Life That Matters with Sharon Norris Elliott, and
- A View from the Upper Room
from any internet-connected device at www.HSBN.tv.
(Stream current show or view past episodes anytime!)
- Pick up a copies of Sharon’s books for yourself and as gifts for your family members and friends!
- Why I Get Into Trouble link to our eStore: https://www.createspace.com/5131814
- Boomerangs to Arrows: A Godly Guide for Launching Young Adult Children available from Judson Press (http://www.judsonpress.com/product.cfm?product_id=17387),
Boomerangs Videolink: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f2JH_gbinMk
- Power Suit: The Armor of God Fit for the Feminine Frame from New Hope Publishers (http://www.newhopedigital.com/2010/08/power-suit/)
Sharon’s other books still available: