Saturday, October 26, 2019
Today's blog is about having endurance in this difficult and harsh world. Paul encourages us in Acts 20:23-24 by saying " Now all has been heard;
The way that a person responds to hardship reveals his or her true character. And tough situations are the times when God’s children most need to match actions to words. It’s easy to say, “I trust the Lord” or “My God is faithful” when life is good. But unless believers recognize that He is sovereign even in adversity, they may be tempted to complain and seek pity. Christians who trust in the Lord’s faithfulness and supremacy will steadfastly focus on Him and as a result will see their anxiety and doubt subside. Giving the Lord free rein allows Him to mature our faith, conform us to the likeness of His Son, and fulfill His unique plan for our lives." [intouch.org]
"If someone asked you what the Holy Spirit does, how would you answer? Some Christians may not be aware of what He is accomplishing in their life, but the Spirit’s work isn’t a total mystery—Scripture tells us what the role of our divine Helper is.
Although the Holy Spirit indwells and seals us immediately upon salvation, His work within each believer takes a lifetime. He is our constant Helper, who transforms us into Christ’s image and equips us for our daily challenges so we don’t have to struggle through life in our own strength. In all of our difficulties, conflicts, and heartaches, He guides our way, guards our hearts, and gives us His wisdom." [intouch.org]
Saturday, October 12, 2019
Romans 8:28 "And we know that in God works the of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."
Today's blog is about control and how little we have of it over most things in life. Control is really an illusion we have in this life. We have influence in this world, more than 'real' control. God is the only one in true and real control over all things, events and beings. Who controls time, the waves and tides, the sunrises and sunsets, your next heartbeat? God, and He alone. Job 9:8 "He alone stretches out the heavens and treads on the of the sea." We may fool ourselves during our healthiest, wealthiest, or most productive of days but God gives and takes away daily to remind us of His control over us in this world. Just ask any stroke patient, car wreck victim or tornado survivor...how did you let this happen and they will say 'it was out of my control." God never causes bad things to happen, but He allows them to draw our dependency to Him.
"Ellen Langer’s 1975 study titled The Illusion of Control examined the level of influence we exert over life’s events. She found that we overestimate our degree of control in most situations. The study also demonstrated how reality nearly always shatters our illusion. James identified the phenomenon long before she named it. In James 4, he wrote, “Now listen, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.’ Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes” (vv. 13–14). Then James provides a cure for the delusion, pointing to the One who’s in absolute control: “Instead, you ought to say, ‘If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that’” (v. 15). In these few verses, James summarized both a key failing of the human condition and its antidote." [odb.org]
Jeremiah 5:22 "Should you not fear me?” declares the . “Should you not tremble in my presence? I made the sand a boundary for the sea, an everlasting barrier it cannot cross. The may roll, but they cannot prevail; they may roar, but they cannot cross it."
Jeremiah 31:35 "This is what the says, he who appoints the sun to shine by day, who decrees the moon and stars to shine by night, who stirs up the sea so that its roar— the Almighty is his name"
"From the Christian’s perspective, there is no such thing as chance. God is either directly or indirectly involved in everything that happens to us. He can therefore be trusted and obeyed in any circumstance, because even the smallest details are under His control."
Things don't just happen to those who love God,
They're planned by His own dear hand,
Then molded and shaped, and timed by His clock;
Things don't just happen—they're planned. —Fields
If we go through life without thinking about the Lord, reading His Word, or praying, this is evidence that we are living for ourselves rather than for Christ. Before we continue going down this path, we should stop and heed God’s warnings in Scripture so we won’t have to suffer the consequences of rebelling against Him." [intouch.org]
Tuesday, October 1, 2019
Be strong and courageous.
1 Chronicles 28:20
Last week's blog talked about how God has used my life experiences to build courage within myself and trust in Him above all else. This week I want to continue with the theme of courage and how I use it daily. I don't intend to use the following examples as a way to give myself a pat on the back, but just to say 'just because I do it, doesn't mean it's easy for me.' Courage is a daily decision to put your life in the best possible way to show God is working on and thru you, to give you the best, abundantly full life.
The most obvious and visible display of courage is wearing my mask out publicly, and not hiding inside privately. I could say it would be easy to hide away, but it wouldn't be for me. I am out-going and love to do things with other people. I want to do what I can, while I can. Other people's looks, misconceptions and judgements are theirs. This is my life to enjoy, explore, live fully in, and endure. My mask is not a choice, but a requirement to breathe. I accept it and move on with it. Dale Carnegie (1888-1955) said... "One of the most tragic things I know about human nature is that all of us tend to put off living. We are all dreaming of some magical rose garden over the horizon - instead of enjoying the roses blooming outside our windows today." "When our Father allows painful things to happen, we must trust in His unchanging nature and enduring promises. People and circumstances change, but the Lord’s good and loving character does not." [intouch.org]
Another area of daily courage is the dependency on others to do things in this life. I used to be very independent with my activities in normal life, but that is not the case at all anymore. It takes courage to allow people to not only help you, but to do things for you. There is a release of power that no one ever wants to let go of. Courage involves trusting God to send you the right people at the right time to help you. It's a self dependence that transitions into a total dependence on God. "God doesn't give us what we can handle, but God helps us handle what we are given."
Courage also comes into play with just talking with people, friends or strangers. I know there's an awkwardness when others can't hear or understand me, and I feel the frustration as much as they do, if not more. I can't stay silent tho, because my mind is sharp and as long as I have breath, I will use it to voice what's on my mind...like it or not. Courage helps me think of alternative words for ones hard to say. Courage helps me encourage others with my words. Courage helps me persist and get across the vocal cord barriers that want to silence me.
"Fear is a hindrance. It creates anxiety in your heart, divides your mind, drains your energy, and gets in the way of whatever you're doing in life." Courage is the counter-action that we can use to diminish and overcome our fears. When you trust and believe that God is always with you, working things for your good, and that He will never forsake you...then courage is easier to have and hold on to. May God bless you with steadfast love and courage all the days of your life.
Lord, give me the courage to rise above fear,
Even of danger, because You are near;
I would be faithful to face any foe
While I am walking with You here below. —Hess