Tag Archives: trust

Be Courageous

5B577980-E942-429B-A0C8-49377EFFE604Just a quick thought I wanted to share with you today!

We’re told many times in the Bible to be courageous. God doesn’t tell us to feel courageous. He says, “Be courageous.” Often it’s more about us doing that thing God has asked us to do even though we might still feel nervous or fearful. Courage is doing it anyway. Do it knowing that God will show up and help you through it. Do it knowing that the world’s response is much less important than the obedience you’ve shown in doing it. If you’re waiting for a feeling of courage to come before you step out of your comfort zone, you’re going to wait yourself right out of an opportunity to do something great.

Do Not Trust In What You See

Recently, I wrote a song that contains the lyrics, “Do not trust in what you see,” in the chorus. God continually brings this phrase to my mind as I pray for my loved ones who are facing challenges. There have been instances in which I felt as if God forgot to intervene or chose not to, and that is when the words, “Do not trust in what you see,” have served as a reminder that He is constantly working in the lives of people we are praying for. However, it can be difficult to remain strong in our faith when He is working in ways that we cannot see.

The lyrics of the first verse are: “Looking at our problems with human eyes, we don’t always realize that God is a god of miracles; specializing in impossible. When it seems like He is far away, when you can’t grasp why life’s working out this way – if we love and live for Him it’s understood: He’s working all things for our good.” 

Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good…” When I do not see (with my human eyes) situations “working together for good” for the people I love, I can easily allow my faith in my all-knowing God turn into doubt. Doubt about whether God is actually fulfilling the promise to work things together for good can begin to cloud my regularly unswerving faith. (You know, the faith that is unswerving as long as God is answering prayers the way I think He should…) However, His good and our good often have different definitions. 

Our definition of good stems from looking at our life solely from our perspective and seeing how certain answers to prayer would benefit the people we are praying for. Our definition is very limited in scope. God’s is not. His definition of good comes from the perspective of seeing the entire universe of people, whom He longs to bring to salvation, and intertwining our stories together to form a beautifully designed tapestry. A tapestry that brings glory to His name. A tapestry in which the goodness of His plans for each and every one of us is woven beautifully throughout. 

When we can get to the point at which we trust in the goodness of God’s plans instead of “what we see,” that is truly…good.

 

Lord, help us to believe that You are working in our lives and the lives of our loved ones even when we have difficulty seeing Your hands. Help us to not trust in what we see, but to instead trust in Your goodness and Your promises.

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New Song: Place Your Faith In Me

I want to share a song with you that I just finished writing yesterday!  The end of the chorus, “Do not trust in what you see,” is a phrase that God keeps bringing to my mind lately. He is constantly working in our lives and the lives of people we are praying for…sometimes in ways that we can see and sometimes not. He asks us to keep trusting in Him and believing that (as Romans 8:28 says) He is working “all things together for good.”

Scroll down for the link, take a listen and as always, I would love to hear from you!

Here are the lyrics:

Verse 1: Looking at our problems with human eyes, we don’t always realize that God is a god of miracles, specializing in impossible.

When it seems like He is far away, when you can’t grasp why life’s working out this way –if we love and live for Him it’s understood:  He’s working all things for our good.

Chorus:  Amidst the chaos ringing loud and clear, God’s voice reminds us that we need not fear. When burdens on your heart are weighing, on your knees you’re praying, Can you hear Him saying? “Do not trust in what you see. My child, place your faith in me.”

Verse 2: Daniel was in a lion’s den. Gideon fought against stronger men. Sarah thought she was past her prime.  God came through just in time.

David was hiding inside a cave. Joseph’s brothers sold him as a slave. The thief felt defeated by his crime. God came through just in time.

Chorus: Amidst the chaos ringing loud and clear, God’s voice reminds us that we need not fear. When burdens on your heart are weighing, on your knees you’re praying, Can you hear Him saying? “Do not trust in what you see. My child, place your faith in me.”

Bridge: Since before we were born, we were called by His grace to pursue and reflect His beautiful face. So, remember when you don’t see the hands of God, You can always trust the plans of God.

Chorus:  Amidst the chaos ringing loud and clear, God’s voice reminds us that we need not fear. When burdens on your heart are weighing, on your knees you’re praying, Can you hear Him saying? “Do not trust in what you see. My child, place your faith in me.”

Place Your Faith In Me

 

 

 

 

“It’s Gonna Be Alright.”

Have you ever comforted someone with the words, “It’s gonna be alright,” confident you were correct, but trying to hide any hints of uncertainty in your voice regarding HOW their situation was going to reach the “alright” stage?

When I’ve held someone dear to me and promised them that it’s going to be okay after they lost a big game, a cherished relationship, or a job they had their heart set on, I have been confident that God was indeed going to swoop in and intervene in each situation. I have been sure that He was going to give them a better blessing and/or a better perspective, and therefore make it “alright.” However, communicating that to a hurting heart is difficult, to say the least.

There is a quote attributed to Beth Moore that sums up this concept quite nicely: “I don’t know how, but I know Who.” When we do not foresee a place of peace in a troubling situation, or even a pathway to that destination, we need to remind ourselves and others that our minds should be focused on the Who, rather than the how.

When your loved ones assure you after you lose your first baby early-on in pregnancy that it is somehow going to turn out okay, speaking from experience, you might be in a place where the doubts of how it is going be okay overshadow the certainty of Who is going to make it okay! Four children later, (and on the verge of becoming a grandma…which I am just a bit excited about!!) I can say that things certainly turned out even better than “alright.”

I frequently think about how God doesn’t think like us. I mean, I try to figure out how He thinks, but then I remember that I will not grasp His ways this side of heaven.

Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” He is a Master Designer, a Master Orchestrator. Everything works together, even when we do not know how it possibly ever could in our finite minds. He is unconventional, that’s for sure.

Sometimes I wonder if He wants to lovingly put His hands on my shoulders, look me right in the eyes and say, “I’ll take care of the how and you just focus on the Who.”

Do you believe He hears our prayers? “The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous, and his ears are attentive to their cry;” (Psalm 34:15)
Do you believe He has a plan for you?  “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”(Jeremiah 29:11)
Do you believe all things work together for good? “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” (Romans 8:28)

Well then, wouldn’t you agree? It’s gonna be alright!

Aha!

2016 was a year of some exciting events. To name a few: one son got married, one son got engaged, and a devotional I wrote is being published. Major ups! Also, there were some downs. Forgive me for not listing them, as they are pretty fresh in my mind.

What has struck me a few times seemingly right smack-dab over my head about the aforementioned low points…the prayers answered differently than I had hoped…is: Try as I might, I have not been able to make sense of them.

I know Romans 8:28. I repeat it often. “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” I remind myself that God said, “ALL” things. And I remind myself that His good and my good are not always identical, because His ways are higher than mine. His thoughts are higher than mine. He and I are looking at these situations from different perspectives. One of those perspectives is a tad bit self-centered at times.

Do you ever try to politely explain to God why answering a certain prayer a certain way will surely be better for everyone involved? You don’t? Okay, maybe I am the only person who thinks God doesn’t “get it” sometimes. How super-nice of me to take the time to explain it to Him.

By the way, I am a slow lesson-learner when the lesson is, “God is really good at being God, and He knows what He is doing at all times.”

Prayer requests are never unanswered. As I have heard numerous times: sometimes the answer is, “Yes,” sometimes it is “No,” and sometimes it is, “Not yet.”

When the answer is, “Not yet,” that delayed answer to prayer reminds us that God’s timetable is much more timely than ours, after all.

And when the answer is, “No,” sometimes we eventually have that revelation moment, when we say, “Okay, I get it,” because through the trial, someone came to an important realization in their faith life.

But we are not going to be granted that revelation “Aha” moment every time circumstances don’t turn out as we expect or request. If we think that everything that happens in our lifetime is going to make sense this side of heaven, we may waste precious time on this earth being puzzled instead of at peace.

I wholeheartedly believe there will be some monumental revelation moments when we get to heaven. “Aha” moments of unmatched proportions when answers to some of our unanswered earthly questions will cause things to fall into heavenly place in a heavenly way.

Some answers will make sense here, and some will make sense there. Some may seemingly not make sense…anywhere. One of the most powerful statements I have ever heard is, “God is not obligated to explain Himself to us.”

Perhaps saying the following prayer will give us the “Aha” moment we need to experience that will trump all other “Aha” moments: “Dear God, I know You are good. I know Your reasons are good. Even when I do not understand, I choose to trust You and Your loving ways. Thank You for making ALL things work together for good. In Your holy and perfect name I pray. Amen.”

Mary’s Song

Have you ever thought about what would have been going through your mind had you been in Mary’s position when the angel appeared to her in Luke 1? Undoubtedly, she had a vision of her future home, her future family, and all of the possibilities that awaited her as she was getting ready to wed Joseph. We would most likely be safe in assuming that she was quite excited to raise children with the man she loved. However, we would also most likely be safe in assuming that part of her excitement hinged on their firstborn child arriving at a later date and arriving under ‘normal’ circumstances!

Suddenly, the angel jolted Mary out of her blissful daydreams, and she realized she was pregnant before marriage in a way that nobody would believe! This pregnancy was going to cause tongues to wag, well-meaning people to nag, and her energy level to drag.

Mary’s immediate response is the question, “How can this be?’ After the angel answers by assuring her this news is indeed all God’s plan and she is in the center of it, she again responds immediately. This time it is a statement: “Let it be with me just as you say.” The Living Bible’s version of her mature reply is, “I am the Lord’s servant, and I am willing to do whatever he wants. May everything you said come true.”

I am amazed by Mary’s answer to the angel. She trusts her Lord unwaveringly! And eight verses later, she proceeds to proudly praise the powerful presence and plans of her Lord to her cousin Elizabeth, and I am amazed again!

In some Bible versions, Luke 1:46-55 has a title such as, “The Song of Mary,” or something similar. It is peculiar because verse 46 starts off her “song” with the words, “Mary said,” and I cannot find a Bible that says differently. The words in those verses are so lyrical and so beautiful that they are considered to be a song, even though she did not sing them!

In those ten verses in Luke, Mary’s beautiful words have the potential to stop us in our tracks, especially if we take a moment to think about who spoke them and what her situation was. Mary’s spirit rejoiced in her Lord and her soul glorified Him at a time when she could have been throwing a self-pity party. When I am presented with unexpected circumstances, my natural reaction falls incredibly short of the reaction of a teenager who was given news that could be described as not just unexpected, but also earth-shattering and life-altering!

Friends, we can make the choice for our spirits to rejoice and our souls to glorify our Lord no matter what predicament we find ourselves in. Let us pray for a “Mary-like” trust; a trust that is immediate, unwavering and believes the Lord’s plan is the best plan.

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Dear Lord, Heal Our Land

 

If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14

Dear Lord,
What an amazing blessing it is to identify as ‘Your people.’ We are thankful for the opportunity to be Yours; that we can go to You in prayer at any time, that we can know for certain You hear our prayers, and that we can know You have a plan for our lives that was set in motion before we were in our mother’s womb. We are grateful, but wow, do we ever take these facts for granted. Forgive us, Lord and help us keep these truths close to our hearts and foremost in our minds from now on.

Lord, help us humble ourselves. We have sadly embraced the idea that we are self-sufficient…that we do not need You until we are desperate. We have uninvited You from being part of the daily routines of our lives, the daily decisions that we make, and the daily burdens that we carry. Forgive us and remind us that we not only need You, but that You actually desire to be in everything we say and do. Clearly, we need to remember Who You are, and who we are in comparison to You. You are God. We are not. Help us live daily in a humble manner.

Lord, we talk about what is happening in our country. We post, tweet, complain, rant, and argue about what is happening in our country. Help us, Lord, to pray about what is happening in our country…to drop to our knees, literally or figuratively in humility, and ask for Your direction and Your answers in our land. We pray for wisdom for our nation. Your Word says You will give wisdom if we ask. We pray for peace for our nation. Your Word promises a peace that is beyond understanding.

Dear Lord, help us seek Your face; to pursue You above all else. Place in us a desire to seek You above all this world has to offer. You inspired a written love letter from You to us in Your Holy Bible. Help us to read it, understand it, love it, and hide it in our hearts, Lord. We want to know You in a deeper way; to cherish You. The more we get to know You, the more we want to get to know You! Lord, thank You for wanting a personal, loving relationship with Your children.

Lord, help us turn from our wicked ways. We have strayed dangerously far from the wonderful path You desire to graciously lead us on. We justify our sin, instead of seeking Your ways. We make excuses and live as though going against Your Word is no big deal. We are desensitized to what sin really is and how it affects our hearts, lives, and everyone around us. Yet, You are a forgiving God, and You welcome us back with open arms. Thank You, Lord, that You readily forgive us when we confess our sins. Reveal to us everything in our lives that is not pleasing to You. The temporary and false rewards that sin offers will never come close to comparing to the exquisite gift of living in Your will.

Please forgive our sin. Please heal our land. Only You, Lord, can help us in this time of need. We come to You in confidence, knowing You love us and that only You can come into the midst of this mess and bring beauty.

In Your perfect, loving, and holy name we pray. Amen.