I Trust You, But…

I Trust You, But…

There is a specific prayer I’ve been consistently lifting to God for the last year.

Sometimes, I ask Him to give me just a tiny glimpse of a sign that He is hearing my prayer and working in this situation.

Sometimes I feel renewed in my belief that the answer is on its way. Sometimes I don’t, and then my prayer is punctuated with tears.

Sometimes I consider taking a break from praying about this specific situation because I convince myself God is sick of hearing about it.

Sometimes I believe His perceived silence means that other parts of the plan are getting set in motion.

Sometimes I believe He is developing a characteristic in me that I need to be equipped with to better handle the answer to the prayer once it comes.

And sometimes I conclude my prayer with, “Lord, I trust You, but…,” along with a variety of the following options: but I don’t see You working, but I don’t get why it’s taking so long, but maybe I heard You wrong, but maybe my prayer is on the bottom of Your list.

This morning was one of those times. Continue reading “I Trust You, But…”

Perfect Peace

Perfect Peace

Raise your hand if you would like to experience God’s perfect peace.

Isaiah 26:3 tells us that God gives perfect peace to those who “keep their purpose firm,” and “put their trust in Him.” In addition to perfect, the Bible also describes His peace as transcending all understanding in Philippians 4:7.

God’s peace sounds like something worth pursuing, doesn’t it? Continue reading “Perfect Peace”

Be Courageous

Be Courageous

Just a quick thought I wanted to share with you –

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

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

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.”

“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!

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.”