Posts Tagged confidence in God

If God Should Go on Strike

God, Poetry“How good it is that God above has never gone on strike.
because he was not treated fair in things he didn’t like,
If only once he’d given up and said, “That’s it, I’m through!”
I’ve had enough of those on earth, so this is what I’ll do.
I’ll give my orders to the sun-cut off the heat supply!
And to the moon-give no more light, and run the oceans dry.
then just to make things really tough and put the pressure on,
turn off the vital oxygen till every breath is gone!
You know He would be justified, if fairness was the game, 
for no one has been more abused or met with more disdain
than God, and yet He carries on, supplying you and me
with all the favors of His grace, and everything for free.
Men say they want a better deal, and so on strike they go,
but what a deal we’ve given God to whom all things we owe.
We don’t care whom we hurt to gain the things we like; 
but what a mess we’d all be in, if God should go on strike.” ~ Walt Huntley

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I Asked God

Prayer, petitionI asked God for strength that I might achieve.
I was made weak that I might learn humbly to obey.
I asked for health that I might do greater things.
I was given infirmity that I might do better things.
I asked for riches that I might be happy.
I was given poverty that I might be wise.
I asked for power that I might have the praise of men.
I was given weakness that I might feel the need of God.
I asked for all things that I might enjoy life.
I was given life that I might enjoy all things.
I got nothing that I asked for, but everything I hoped for.
Almost despite myself, my unspoken prayers were answered.
I am, among all men, most richly blessed. ~ (Anonymous)

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God Knows

 

9363_10034_5“And she said, As the Lord thy God liveth, I have not a cake, but an handful of meal in a barrel, and a little oil in a cruse . . . that I may go in and dress it for me and my son, that we may eat and die.” I Kings 17:12 (King James Version)

The barrel that was once filled with meal was now touching bottom.  Only a few morsels remained.  For days she stretched the crumbs as far as she could and was finally at the point of giving up.

Habitually, her son would listen to the sound of the spoon as it scraped against the sides of the barrel as she gathered enough meal for the little cake they shared each day. But today the sound of the spoon against the barrel was different. It was hollow and piercing and seemed to re-echo throughout the barrel and bounce off the walls of the house.1219053_untitled

His mother had cried for days, but when she left the barrel this day her tears seemed more sorrowful and her cries more unsettling. He walked over to the table where she was sitting, wiped her tears and said something that you and I would do well to remember: “Mother, don’t cry because God hears the scraping” What a wonderful reminder when the faithful lose heart.

407355_barrelsLife is so hard sometimes that we easily forget. We come to our wit’s end and the ends of our ropes and roads. Situations many times seem hopeless and we feel we have nothing left to give.

In this economy, with so many facing bankruptcy, home foreclosures, job security, mounting bills, emptying bank accounts and maxed out credit cards, it’s understandable to feel helpless and alone.  But we must never forget our God is ALWAYS faithful and:

No matter how bleak things may seem.
No matter the state of our hearts, health, or heads.
No matter whether we  have  jobs or the jobs have us,
No matter whether we are homeless, helpless, or hopeless
No matter whether we have friends, fans, followers, or are all alone
NO MATTER WHAT WE ARE GOING THROUGH:

Behold, the LORD’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy that it cannot hear: Isaiah 59:1

GOD “KNOWS THE WAYS THAT WE TAKE” AND IS ALWAYS IN CONTROL. BEFORE WE EVER NEAR THE BOTTOMS OF OUR SITUATIONS — GOD HAS ALREADY HEARD THE SCRAPING!!

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These Times

These Times“Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love Him.” (James 1:12-NIV)

“It was the BEST of times and the WORST of times. It was the age of wisdom. It was the age of foolishness. It was the epoch of belief. It was the epoch of incredulity. It was the season of light. It was the season of darkness. It was the spring of hope. It was the winter of despair.” — Pride and Prejudice

These are the days of Elijah, Moses, Ezekiel and David. They are prophetic times. Times to make our callings sure. Times to come out of our comfort zones. Times to risk all for the Kingdom sake. Times for better or worse. Times to love for richer or poorer–in sickness and in health. Times when God’s strength is made perfect in our weakness. Times when our weaknesses are our strengths.

Times to live what we profess. Times to seek and to serve. Times to reach and to teach–to watch and to wait. Times to trust and to obey–to fast and to pray. Times to love and to lift–to speak and to witness. These are times of change, challenge and choice. Times of hope and help. THESE ARE TIMES THAT TRY OUR SOULS!!

These are the times for which I was being prepared from my mother’s womb. I am one of “the called according to His purpose,” and “I am confident that He that has begun a good work in me will perform it until the day of Christ Jesus.”

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Beloveds, trust with me that our times are in God’s good Hands (even times like these). Believe with me that we need never fear what a day may bring forth. Realize that God is in control of our days and our destinies.

May these words of Charles A. Tindley, encourage and strengthen your faith in the days ahead,

Harder yet may be the fight
Right may often yield to might
Wickedness awhile may reign
Satan’s cause may seem to gain
There is a God that rules above
With a hand of power and heart of love,
And if (we) are right, He’ll fight (our) battle
(and) (we) shall have peace some day.

485605_450563531700504_526398939_nPRAYER:  Father, sometimes it’s hard to see the rainbow through the storms. It is difficult to fathom the silver lining behind the dark clouds of this life. Saturate us with your immeasurable strength for the living of these days. Give us Holy boldness as we try to faithfully move forward. Make our feet as hind’s feet for our mountains. Help us to stand tall in our high places and give us peace through every valley. Empower us as we strive to be the salt and light you have called us to be “for such a time as this.” For thy Son’s sake we pray. AMEN

I would love to hear from you today.  Let’s start a conversation. Are you concerned about the future? What comforts you when you watch or listen to today’s troubling news? What goes through your mind? How do you help those close to you during these disturbing times?

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The Blessings of Praise

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“I will bless the LORD at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth. Psalm 34:1 (KJV)

I have discovered that the best cure for self-pity and complaint is to consider the plight of others before our own. No matter what we are going through, there is always someone who is going through and enduring that same thing at a deeper level. A visit to any type of shelter, foster care facility, nursing home, or hospital ICU is a sobering and transforming experience. Better still, simply reading or watching the daily news will open our eyes. What keeps me humbled and focused is something I read many years ago: “I complained because I had no shoes until I met a man who had no feet.”

We are Blessed as Christians because we have God’s promise that no matter what we are going through, God will never leave nor forsake us.  More importantly, we have God’s Holy Word.  And if we will read, study and rely on it, it has the power to nourish and fortify our spirits.

Before we take our concerns to social media, we should take them to the Lord in prayer and trust our omnipresent, omniscient, and omnipotent God for the results. God hears every prayer, and will answer in God’s own time and way. And when we are ready to listen and not take matters into our own ill-equipped hands–God does speak. When we learn to truly and fully trust God in advance of every Blessing, we learn that God is faithful, just and inhabits the praises of His people (Psalm 22:3).

So, beloveds, we should never lose our faith. We should never lose our hope nor our love, but most of all—WE SHOULD NEVER LOSE OUR PRAISE!!!

Praise ye the Lord. Praise God in his sanctuary: praise him in the firmament of his power. 2 Praise him for his mighty acts: praise him according to his excellent greatness. 3 Praise him with the sound of the trumpet: praise him with the psaltery and harp. 4 Praise him with the timbrel and dance: praise him with stringed instruments and organs. 5 Praise him upon the loud cymbals: praise him upon the high sounding cymbals. 6 Let every thing that hath breath praise the Lord. Praise ye the Lord. (Psalm 150 King James Version (KJV))

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On Being Still

O how rare it is that the soul is sufficiently stilled to let God speak.” Francois Fenelon

I have always appreciated the Quaker’ approach to prayer how they quietly gather in small groups, sit in silence and await the voice of God. “Quaker’ prayer, notes Virginia Schurman, (a member of the organization ), is a prayer of quiet peace, of being in the Lord’s presence and of basking in His nearness and His Love. Even more, it is listening with the mind, heart and spirit and being made teachable. Most Quaker’s understand that being quiet in God’s presence is a powerful gift; that it is through silence that the Holy Spirit is heard and allowed to speak. It is an active surrendering, a listening stillness, a self-abandonment to Divine providence and this loving attentiveness and openness to God is beyond words.”

What a brilliant idea and a novel concept to sit in silence, lift one’s spirit to God’s, and simply await God’s Word. Because unfortunately, many of us, notes Kirk Byron Jones, are “walking storms, personal winds and waves of busyness, moving from one thing to the next with little or no time for respite,” much less for prayer.” In fact, my own devotional times have been bombarded with so many competing distractions that I am guilty of neglectful prayer.

In the maddening maze of things, though tossed by storm and flood. To one sure hope my spirit clings—I know that God is good.  John Greenleaf Whittier

But fortunately, as I mature in faith, the better I understand that God’s ways are not my ways. That God is not impressed with my busyness or exhaustion and that life is more than simply a list of things to do. There is no doubt that there is a priority and order to God’s plan for our lives. To know that plan is to seek it in silence – in a quiet place of prayer and to make ourselves fully present to God. There, in the stillness, we can recall our “God Moments.” There, in calmness, we can remember God’s promises and faithfulness. There, in serenity, we can spiritually navigate the troubled seas and pressures of life. There, by God’s Grace, we can patiently await true peace that only comes from the Prince of Peace, who dwells in our heart by faith.

Before they call I will answer, while they are yet speaking I will hear. Isaiah 65:24

Beloveds, God is always speaking — Are you listening?

PRAYER SCRIPTURE:  And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7

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On Trusting God

“Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him. . . .” Job 13:15 (King James Translation)

Job (pronounced “jobe”) was a man who was wise, wealthy and good. He lived a sinless life before God and was greatly blessed. He did “justly, loved mercy and walked humbly with his God.” God was so pleased with Job, that God boasted of his faithfulness to Satan, and allowed him to test him. Almost immediately, Job’s perfect life vanished. He lost everything — his wealth, his children and his health. Taunted daily by his wife and friends, he became discouraged and angry at those who suggested that his suffering was because he sinned and was God’s punishment. Throughout his trials, Job’s trust in God never diminished, as shown by his confession of faith above. Still, he didn’t understand why God allowed his suffering. Despising himself in moments of weakness he questions God and is reminded that the greatness of God can never be understood through the lens of human frailty, and that trust in God is not dependent upon circumstances. Job and his friends mistakenly justified his circumstances by condemning God and later incurred God’s wrath. They dismissed God as always faithful and good whether we understand what is happening in our lives or not.

What about our faith? What about our trust in God? How do we react to a devastating report from the doctor? What do we do with God when the bills are due and we have no money? Do we trust God when friends have turned their backs on us? Or when the years have sapped our youth and  beauty? In other words, where is our trust in God when we are in the midst of life and living and everything falls completely apart – do we walk by faith or by sight? Do we trust or doubt God? Do we instantly reason and question? Reasoning, questioning and doubt are human frailties, and unfortunately, they are not faith or trust in God! Tests and trials remind us that apart from God we can do nothing and that we must rely on something greater than ourselves.

We are not required to understand God’s ways and timing – only to trust that whatever God is doing, it will ultimately work together for our good and for His Glory. We must say without a doubt, “I don’t understand what’s going on, but God I trust YOU.”  It is that simple. Even more, I have discovered when the struggle is the hardest is when the need to trust is the strongest. That’s when it helps to remember the promises and faithfulness of God and that “God is not a man that He should lie.” (Numbers 23:19)

In the end, Job was greatly Blessed. He received double for his trouble and proudly proclaimed,“God knows the way that I take: when He hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.” (Job 23:10)

Prayer: Father, please give us the capacity to trust you fully in all things, never doubting and without reservation. For thy Son’s sake. Amen


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