Angel believed the lies the world told her. She felt worthless and ugly. Her life became a swirling mess of men, booze, and drugs until one day she cried out to God, “Kill me or save me. But don’t …
When should you trust God?
God expects His children to trust Him and be sincere about it. Not just when their backs are up against a wall but also when things are going well for them. Not just when they have been laid off from their jobs but also when they are climbing the corporate ladder.
Unfortunately, not many people remember, or, even care to trust God when they are twirling around in an economic bubble, or when committed relationships are at their high-water marks. However, as soon as their situation heads south and one feels helpless, or perhaps, hopeless, the need to trust God suddenly appears enticing.
Friends, do not forget this, trusting God only when it seems cool or when one’s back is against a wall is a dangerous practice. It is akin to a soldier waiting until he or she gets caught in a cross-fire before putting on the armor.
Let’s suppose the prophet, Daniel waited until the guards threw him into the fiery furnace or the den of hungry lions before he starts trusting God. What do you surmise would have happened to him? Do you think the Book of Psalm would have existed today if the scrawny young David had waited until he confronted Goliath to trust God? Not a chance. Instead, David challenged and defeated that beast of a man with confidence. Knowing in his heart that the God in whom he trusted, and who helped him kill a lion and a bear with his bare hands, would once again come to his rescue.
So, despite the critics, good things happen when people trust God, but we must be consistent. And, yes, sometimes weeping endure for a night but be assured joy will come in the morning. The Psalmist David said it best: “Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires.
Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust him, and he will help you. He will make your innocence radiate like the dawn, and the justice of your cause will shine like the noonday sun” (Psalm 37:4-6).
Happy New Year everybody!
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was at the beginning with God. All things have been made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it” (John 1:1-5).
I would like to take a little time to thank all of you for your continued support of this blog. You guys have been simply awesome–beyond measure.
Even though we may not always agree on every point; we treat each other with respect. I wish the greater society on the whole would take a page out of our books.
I pray that the God of Abraham will continue to inspire you to inspire and lead others to Christ.
Who is in control?
God is in control. Whether you believe it or not. Despite your troubles–your pain and suffering. He is is Sovereign. He is the same Yesterday, today and forever.
He was in control when the Pharaoh held the Israelite captive in Egypt, and He was in control when the exodus happened. He was in control when manna miraculously fell from the skies to sustain those who wanted meat.
Therefore, hold on to God’s unchanging hands. He will reward you for your steadfastness. It is better to lose the earthly battle and win the heavenly one.
“Here is what James wrote to Jewish believers who, by then were scattered abroad: “Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith gets tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.
If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind. Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord because they have divided their loyalty between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do” (James 1:2-8).
Recently I read an extraordinarily inspiring post titled: “Give Thanks in Suffering,” in About Christianity @ www.about.com. I thought I would share it here.
The post reminds me of my struggles with an autoimmune disease. I was backed into a corner with two choices. Either I continue to lean on my understanding and die, or trust God and live. I chose the latter.
Giving thanks when you’re suffering seems like an idea so far-fetched nobody could take it seriously, yet that is exactly what God asks us to do.
The apostle Paul, who knew more than his share of sorrow, counseled his young apprentice Timothy to do just that:
Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. (1 Timothy 5:16-18, NIV)
Paul understood the spiritual benefit of giving thanks when you’re hurting. It takes your focus off self and puts it on God. But how, in the middle of our pain, can we possibly give thanks?
Let the Holy Spirit Speak for You
Paul was well aware of what he could do. He knew his missionary work was far beyond his natural strength, so he relied heavily on the power of the Holy Spirit within him.
It’s the same with us. Only when we stop struggling and surrender to God can we allow the Holy Spirit to work in and through us. When we become a conduit for the Spirit’s power, God helps us do impossible things, like give thanks even when we’re hurting.
Humanly speaking, you may not see anything you can be grateful for now. Your circumstances are miserable, and you’re desperately praying they will change. God hears you. In a very real sense, though, you are focusing on the bigness of your circumstances and not on the bigness of God. God is all-powerful. He may allow your situation to continue, but know this: God is in control, not your circumstances.
I tell you this, not by theory but by my own painful past. When I was unemployed for 18 months, it didn’t seem God was in control. When important relationships fell apart, I couldn’t understand. When my father died in 1995, I felt lost.
I had cancer in 1976. I was 25 years old and could not give thanks. In 2011 when I had cancer again, I was able to give thanks to God, not for cancer, of course, but for his steady, loving hand through it all. The difference was that I was able to look back and see that no matter what happened to me in the past, God was with me, and he brought me through it.
As you give yourself to God, he will help you through this hard time you are in now. One of God’s goals for you is to make you totally dependent on him. The more you depend on him and sense his support, the more you will want to give thanks.
One Thing Satan Hates
If there’s one thing Satan hates, it’s when believers trust God. Satan encourages us to trust our emotions instead. He wants us to put our faith in fear, worry, depression, and doubt.
Jesus Christ encountered this many times in his own disciples. He told them not to be afraid, but to believe. Negative emotions are so strong that they skew our judgment. We forget it is God who is reliable, not our feelings.
That’s why, when you’re hurting, it’s wise to read the Bible. You may not feel like it. It may be the last thing you want to do, and it’s the last thing Satan wants you to do, but again, there’s an important reason to. It brings your focus away from your emotions and back onto God.
There is power in God’s Word to fend off Satan’s attacks and power to remind you of God’s love for you. When Satan tempted Jesus in the wilderness, Jesus drove him off by quoting Scripture. Our emotions can lie to us. The Bible never does.
When you’re going through trouble, Satan wants you to blame God. In the middle of Job’s worst trials, even his wife said to him, “Curse God and die.” (Job 2:9, NIV) Later, Job showed extraordinary faith when he promised, “Though He slay me, yet will I hope in Him; ” (Job 13:15a, NIV)
Your hope is in God in this life and the next. Never forget that.
Doing What We Don’t Want to Do
Giving thanks when you’re hurting is like one of those tasks we don’t like to do. Perhaps dieting or a trip to the dentist, but it’s immensely more important because it brings you into God’s will for you. Obeying God is not always easy, but it is always worthwhile.
We seldom grow more intimate with God during good times. Pain has a way of drawing us close to him, making God so real we feel we can reach out and touch him.
You don’t have to give thanks for the thing afflicting you, but you can be grateful for God’s faithful presence. When you approach it that way, you’ll find that thanking God when you’re hurting does make perfect sense.
Worrying seems to be part of our lives. We cannot not worry about something or the other. Some of us worry about our kids, and rightly so. Those of us who are employed worry about our jobs. We worry about financial security, health and safety and whatever else we can find to add to the list. Still, worrying never solve anything, so why worry.
Worrying is an addiction for some of us. Often we worry about things over which we have no control. Mind you, there is a difference between worry and concern. Once we zero in on something to worry about, we put up barriers making it difficult for family and friends to convince us to do otherwise. Jesus had His hands full convincing His disciples not to worry, when He told them that His time had come to return to the Father.
“Let not your hearts be troubled”, He said. “If you believed in God; believe also in me” (John 14:1). That, however, was not enough to convince the disciples not to worry. After all, these men had given up everything they owned to follow Jesus. Furthermore, it was only three years in, so they were not about to let Jesus off the hook until He did some more explaining.
Obviously, the disciples had good reasons to worry, but worrying is not a good thing. Worry is a tool of the devil, and when worry gets out of control it can have a devastating effect on health, family and even your Christian life. Jesus warns against worrying (read Matthew 6:32-34). And the beloved apostle Paul, admonish us in the following verses: “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God, and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7).
Therefore, brothers and sister, the next time you get the urge to worry about something, ask yourself the following questions. “Why do you worry so much?” “Do you not know you are a child of a King?” Then take your burden to the Lord and leave it there.