Faith

God’s Gift

I woke up this morning to this verse from 2 Corinthians 5:7, “For we live by faith, not by sight.”  When I read verses like this, I wonder how some can choose not to believe there is a God because I tend to see his purposeful movements in my life.  Just when I need him near to guide or protect me, he shows himself to me with a verse like this.

Leaning on Faith

I get in the car and drive the hour plus for my father’s surgery.  A surgery where I have to have faith in the doctors and surgical team to preform the tedious operation he needs.  Without my watchful eye to know that all is well, I have been given the gift of this verse.  This verse was what I needed to start my day.  This was his gentle reminder to me that he is in control and I must be strong in faith.

God is in Control

As I sit and wait and wait, my faith is tested.  As my mind wonders to what is happening and what is going on when I should have gotten an update and hour ago.  I have to take a deep breath and realize that my faith is being tested.  God is here and in control and that is what I need when things begin feeling out of control.  Proverbs 16:9, is just one verse that reminds us of how much control God has, “The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.”  No matter my plans or my thoughts, God is establishing the future and I must trust no matter what that he knows best.  As Romans 8: 28 firmly reads, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

Good News

Jesus Christ brought the Good News into our lives so many years ago with his teachings and sacrifice for our sins.  John 1:14 reminds us that God sent his Son to walk among us and save us from ourselves, “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.”    The doctors have brought the good news that all is well and another step in a long journey has been taken toward healing and strength and God is good. Sometimes simple steps can be hard to take, but with God’s strength and guidance these necessary steps are easier with faith.

Closing Verse: “…faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.” Romans 10:17

Challenge: Find Christ and Find Your Faith.

 

Advertisements

Life’s Failures

IMG_8822

Moment In Time

That moment in time when I know something is wrong, something in my gut.   I can’t control what I feel, why am I feeling it.   I don’t feel like jealousy but is it jealousy.  I find myself on my knees begging for God to open my eyes and teach me.

Jealousy is an ugly beast that can raise its head every once in a while.   Why are we jealous of what other have, the lives others lead, the “things” that they have, the things that they do.  I am soul searching for whether it is jealousy or something deeper.  What am I missing from God?

Maybe it’s not…

Maybe it is not jealousy at all. Maybe at that moment I see something missing in myself.  Maybe I really am identifying my own shortcomings, but it is easier to thrust that painful knowledge somewhere else.  Maybe what appears as jealousy is really just looking closer at what I have failed to be or who I have failed to love.  I yearn for the words in Psalms 73:26, “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”  In a split moment I realize the pain of not caring for relationships.  Maybe the pain needs to be somewhere else all of a sudden to save me from the realization of my deeper failure as a person..

Failure and Pain

Maybe there is just too much pain.  Everything in life seems to be full of pain all of sudden.  It is overwhelming and the little things become areas to redirect and place this pain.  Maybe it is not jealousy at all maybe it is just a place for the pain because all of a sudden the pain of life and those people I have failed to love fully just all collide in one moment and what seems like jealousy that I  know should not be there is really just my failure to love, failure to hold, failure to be the person I  know I should be for those I love.

Maybe it is not an incident, person, or things but just that it represents so much failure in my life.  I believe that failure can be a learning moment, a challenge to move forward and even though at this moment it does not feel like I will move forward, I know that God will bless in this moment.  I know that he will bring the good from this moment.  He will make it better because I believe.

Learning From Failure

Learning from failure means realizing the pain that I have brought to others, the responsibility I have given others in my own suffering.  Suffering and loss that is not theirs to own or bear, but where I placed it because I could not carry it myself. Placing this on others is not where it should be placed but in the hands of my Father who wants to carry the burdens for me.  Matthew 11:28-30 lightens my heart, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”Give him the burden and the pain and just love those fully that he has given as a gift.

Closing Verse:   “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13

Challenge:  Give your failures to the Lord and you will be forgiven.  Only he can truly wipe the tears away.

When God is Quiet

IMG_95393FFB7F90-1

Why is He Quiet?

Walking through this week, I God has been quiet.  I have struggled to listen for him, hear him, but he has remained silent.  I pray Psalm 37:7, “Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices!”  I know that he is near, but just now speaking to me right now.  I stop to pray and ask for his guidance, his blessing, for him to be near my family and I know that he is, but yet the question still remains – Why is he quiet?

Scripture Says…

Searching scripture not just for the Why but hear what he trying to tell me this week has left me curious and wondering.  Many times when God has been silent in scripture, he is allowing those he love to wallow in their sin of not putting him first.  Just as Isaiah 57: 11 reads, “Of whom were you worried and fearful When you lied, and did not remember Me Nor give Me a thought? Was I not silent even for a long time So you do not fear Me?”  Should I be concerned?  Maybe he is just silently holding me through this week.  Quietly showing me the way to walk this week.  Allowing me to find him in the “little things” where it has seemed so much pain might actually be.  Maybe he is loving me a different way this week.

Feeling His Quiet Love

That must be it!  In the midst of pain and darkness came a small victory.  Even though, I was seeking him – I know now that he was near.  He was allowing me to feel the pain, but preparing me for the small victories.  The little things that brought tears with more joy than sadness.   Zephaniah 3:17, “The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.” is a verse that I celebrate this week.  I know his love was quiet but his quietness has brought rejoicing to my life.  

Closing Verse:  ” O God, do not keep silence; do not hold your peace or be still, O God!” Psalm 83:1

Challenge:  God we know that you will sometimes be quiet, but may we constantly seek you to know even at those times you are working in our lives.  My prayer is that God is not silent or still in your life.  

 

On My Knees

IMG_0224

Brought to My Knees

I am on my knees and trying to figure why I am down here, but God has a way of getting your attention when you least expect it but when you desperately need it.  That is where I am this week, in desperate need of my Father.  He knew it was coming and that I had been unfaithful to him, so he showed up and brought me to my knees.

As I have stopped to reflect on everything that has happened this week, I see God so clearly calling my name, wanting me to seek him first.  The introvert in me turns every more inward to search for what he is trying to say to me.  This past Sunday the sermon was titled, “Nowhere to Hide” from Revelations 2: 18-29.  What did it reveal to me that I was not hiding, but that God was watching me.  I felt it deep down inside his presence with me, I was moved to evaluate my life and our relationship.  This began my inward turn, my soul-searching and I felt like I was in a battle or struggle much like Jacob in Genesis 32: 24, ” And Jacob was left alone. And a man wrestled with him until the breaking of the day. ”  Was I wrestling with God?  Why would I be?   Was he making me stronger or bringing me down? I asked these questions, but searching the sermon even deeper I felt like Joseph’s brothers when the gold was found with the grain in their bags.  Even before Reuben was feeling convicted of his sins, but God needed to bring them to their knees to show them all his glory.

Seeing Clearly

I pray as I struggle and fall on my knees my eyes will clearly see God and the glory he wants to bring to my life , if I will only stay focused on him.  When the blessing flow again, I pray for strength and guidance to stay focused on God and not slip away.  Philippians 4:12 reads, “I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need.”  This verse reminds me that I will have times of abundance and times of need, yet the Lord will stand with me through both, but I must stay focused on Him.

Leaning on the Lord

God has my attention now that I am on my knees.  I am searching for his wisdom and know that he will answer.  I know that the pain of this week will turn for good because I believe in his name.  Romans 8: 18 promises, ” For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us..”  This promise that joy is coming is why I cling to the cross and his word in the midst of the pain that I feel.  I will stand and rejoice that God has claimed me as his own.  “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice”, as Philippians 4:4 exclaims!  I know now that I can rejoice because he is near.  2 Timothy 4:17 states, “But the Lord stood by me and strengthened me…”  I feel him near me and I feel his strength building inside of me.  I feel his love and passion overflowing my heart.  I feel my Father back home.

Closing Verse:  “The Lord is greater than the giants you face.” 1 John 4:4

Challenge:   You can face anything with the Lord by your side.  Stop, fall on your knees, and pray.