Tag: trust in God

Beyond our ability is…God

“We think you ought to know, dear brothers and sisters, about the trouble we went through in the province of Asia. We were crushed and overwhelmed beyond our ability to endure, and we thought we would never live through it. In fact, we expected to die. But as a result, we stopped relying on ourselves and learned to rely only on God, who raises the dead.” (2 Corinthians 1:8 – 1:9 NLT)

Tough times happen. Trouble comes. Yes, even for people who seem to have it all together, and are a testimony of godliness to their community.

Take the apostle Paul. Busy with God’s work, he ran into some unexpected trouble. At one point, he and his pals thought they might even die!

See what he wrote? “In fact, we expected to die.”

But they didn’t die.

Instead, they learned something very important.

“…we stopped relying on ourselves and learned to rely only on God, who raises the dead.”

They learned to rely on God.

Even if things didn’t turn out the way they wanted, they were still determined to rely on God.

On God Who raises the dead.

You could possibly be facing the biggest problem you’ve ever faced. It might be a huge physical problem, financial worries, or family relationship issues.

And it may appear to be just about over; finished with no way out.

But maybe you could take this opportunity to learn something about God.

He’s faithful, He will not quit, and…

He raises the dead.

I’m not saying it’s a fun time, nor do I believe that’s what Paul was implying.

Troublesome times come, even to those who seem to be God’s special people.

But we can face those moments much easier if we’ve prepared ourselves to rely upon God Who raises the dead.

Even when things look hopeless.

Are you ready for your next lesson?

Still Waters 

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In this fast moving world, one hardly has time to think straight. It’s no wonder so many people’s lives resemble an old pinball machine; bouncing from one problem to another, never stopping long enough to get help or find out how to change the course they’re on.

The only time they stop is when they slip past the flippers or the machine gets tilted. 

By then it’s game over, better luck next time; only there’s never a next time.

We only get to do this thing called life once. Just once.

That’s why we need to learn to slow down and make time for honest reflection. Time to ask ourselves the questions that really matter.

Questions like:

1. Where’s my life headed?

2. Is there life after death?

3. Am I prepared to die?

4. Why am I here in the first place?

5. Why do I keep doing things that bring destruction?

Time for reflection.

Time to look into the mirror and see ourselves the way others see us.

And possibly, the way God sees us.

Have you ever gotten up early, driven to a lake, and walked along the bank while looking into the calm, glass-like water? If you look close enough, and at the right angle, you’ll see your own reflection.

Interesting thing about a reflection; it never lies. It shows you the way you really are, not the way you think you are or the way people say you are.

You and I may not like the reflection, but that’s just how things are. Want to change the image? The reflection shows what needs to be worked on.

A lot of people never take time to reflect because they know what they’ll see and they don’t want to face it. I’ve been there before.

I hated what I had become. 

But God, like the Good Shepherd He is, led me beside the still waters. He led me to the place of reflection. The place of seeing myself the way others see me; the way God saw me.

And I hated what I saw. 

But it was the first step toward restoration. For at the place of still waters, the place of reflection, is where He restored my soul.

Like the Psalmist said, “He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul” (Psalm 23:2-3 ESV); my soul began to be restored at the place of reflection.

Beside the still waters. 

Now, when I pull aside from my busyness, from bouncing from one problem to the next, and take time to reflect, my strength is renewed and my vision and hope restored.

I can run and not be weary, and walk without fainting. All because of the rest and reflection beside the still waters.

How about you? Can you stop long enough, and often enough, to reflect on your life? Ask yourself questions and listen to your answers? Have a conversation with the Lord and allow Him to really direct your steps?

Life won’t allow you the time reflect; you must make the time. If not, something’s going to break and then you’ll have plenty of time but it may be too late.

Think about it and remember this passage from Isaiah: “…they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint” (Isaiah 40:31 ESV).

Lucifer Loves Worry

IMG_7291.GIFAstrology: the study of how the positions of the stars and movements of the planets have a supposed influence on events and on the lives and behavior of people, is ALMOST as old as mankind.
Its author is Lucifer, whose name means “shining one” or “morning star”.

Lucifer, at the time of his fall, was no longer content with his position as Heaven’s chief musician. He didn’t want to lead others in worshipping the Great God and King, the Almighty, but had in his heart that HE was the one who deserved the worship and adoration.

He is STILL after the worship, in whatever way he can drum it up!

Astrology is only one of many ways he uses. As people look to the stars, planets, and birth-signs for guidance, Lucifer laps up the attention like a spoiled pet.

Though it’s kind of a back handed worship of Lucifer, he’ll take it. He figures any time people ignore the Living God it’s worship for him.

Of course, any God-fearing, bible reading, Jesus fanatic would never read the Daily Horoscope column. So for Lucifer to receive worship from Christians (unknowingly on our part, of course) he had to invent some other opportunities. He needed some well camouflaged entry points, so people like you and I could feel good and righteous with our actions.

Therefore, one of Lucifer’s favorite, and most widely used worship “tools” among the saints is worry.

That’s right. Worry.

Lucifer loves worry!

Hand wringing, nail biting, ulcer feeding worry.

You can almost hear him say, “Come now, my dear; do you REALLY think your God has time for YOU? You know, if you don’t do something in a hurry, you’re going to be in a real mess.”

“Look, my friend. You remember old brother Boogernose? He TRIED to believe his God. But his God simply ignored him. Lost everything, too.”

“Did God REALLY tell you not to worry? You realize, don’t you, it was just some man who wrote that book you say you’re believing. Word of God? Hah! God has never written anything!”

“If you’ll only ignore God and worry, I’m certain you’ll find a way to make ends meet.”

“Look what I’LL give you, if you’ll bow down and worry.

Lucifer loves it when people worry. He has his best conversations with worry-warts. His shining “revelations”, those epiphanic moments when you suddenly come to “understand” God has terminated your online connection so you’d better come up with Plan B, are guaranteed to put you right where he wants you. 

Kneeling in worship at his makeshift throne of worry.

Old Lucifer is still obsessed with his need to be worshipped. And whether he uses worry, or another of his many tools, the results are the same for those who give him the worship he craves.

Peace? Wholeness? Joy?

Not a chance.

Total, complete, emptiness.

But blessed is the person who trusts in the Lord; who delights in their God!

“Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who trusts in Him!” (Psalm 34:8 NKJV)

“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 NKJV)

Stuck InTraffic

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Yesterday evening, while traveling on the interstate, we came up on traffic which was barely moving at all.

We were on our way to meet some friends for supper, and were about 20 miles from our exit.

Both west bound lanes were jammed with cars and trucks, inching along and shifting from lane to lane. No one seemed to know which lane they should be in, or what had happened up ahead.

Oh, I tried to take a peek by driving over to the left shoulder and peering ahead as far as traffic would allow. But there was nothing that would indicate road work or an accident.

We were simply stuck in traffic.

Life is sort of like that. You’re stuck in traffic, not knowing which lane to drive in; kind of like driving blind.

Of course, we tried to get our iPhone’s Siri to identify the traffic problem, but this time even Siri couldn’t help us.

We needed to hear from someone who had been where we were headed.

I thought about that while driving home from our dinner date. Driving on that same road, this time traveling east, it was easy to understand why the traffic was so slow on the westbound side – road construction. There wasn’t any problem in identifying which was the correct lane to travel in.

It’s amazing what a different perspective can do for a person.

As I said, at times life is a bit like getting stuck in traffic. We really need the help of Someone Who has been where we’re going.

I know Someone like that. 

I may not always know which lane to be in, but I know Who will guide me in the right direction.

How about you?

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil.” (Proverbs 3:5-7 ESV)

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