Focusing on God’s Goodness

I know it can be so easy to fall into the pattern of looking at the difficult things we face in life.  When we focus on the negative, we forget God’s goodness.  I think we know God is good, but we need to remember and think about the ways God is good.

God sent His Son, Jesus, to die on the cross to save us from our sins.  God provides for our needs and often wants.  God only gives good gifts (James 1:17).  So, the next time the weight of trials threatens, take refuge in God.  You can “taste and see” that God is good.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the good gifts You give.  Thank You that I can take refuge in You.  Thank you for the opportunity to “taste and see” that You are good!

I praise this in Jesus’ name.

God is so good.

Less of Me, More of Jesus

We live in a terrible world.  We are watching so many battles fought in front of us.  I often wish I could be a part of the solution – be an influencer to help change the world.  One of the issues I find is that my heart wants to make a difference to feel good about myself.  I am praying that God would continue to direct my heart to make a difference for the sake of Jesus.  There is no greater goal. 

In order to make a difference for Jesus Christ, I need to have less of me.  I must allow God to rule in every area of my life.  As God takes over, my life will be more usable.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for Your patience as I let go of my wishes.  Please take over my life and give me courage and strength for whatever You allow to come my way.

I pray this in Jesus’ name.

God is so good.

9/11 Never Forget

I still remember and can tell what happened on 9/11/2001 as though it was yesterday.  That was a shocking and horrible day for all of us.  At first, I was mixed on the concept of “Never Forget”.  We tend to hold grudges and I know that is not a good thing.  However, we are losing so much of history that I know we need to keep the memory and the facts of what happened. I watched a few minutes of the memorial in Pennsylvania today.  A couple of people reminded us of the unity we had at the time.  They also suggested that we could have unity again.  Right now, that unity is not even close. 

Many are struggling with what has happened over the last couple of years.  I understand.  I have struggled with all that I have seen.  There is so much fear, anger, arguing – many negatives on all sides of the arguments.  If we don’t address those things, we will never unify.  The problem is that we can’t have rational conversation about most things these days.  Sounds depressing.  I still think we need to go back to the basics. 

On this blog, my goal is to talk about God. The basics in this case, start with the gospel.  The Bible says that we are all sinners (“As it is written: ‘None is righteous, no, not one;’” Romans 3:10).  There is a penalty for sin (“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23).  The only way to be saved is the grace of God (“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9).

Friends, even for those of us who  have already trusted in the gospel of Jesus Christ, we need the reminder of the gospel every day.  None of us is perfect.

Dear Heavenly Father, we see so many bad things in our world.  We are fighting each other over our opinions and emotions instead of looking for truth.  We need to start with Your truth from the gospel.  Please help us to seek You and to share You with others.  We need Your help.

I pray this in Jesus’ name.

God is so good.

Overcoming Evil

I think this Bible verse is a difficult one to follow.  When evil happens (and it happens a lot), it is too easy to feel overcome.  However, God not only gives the first command, but also tells us to overcome evil with good.  I think both aspects of that command are difficult.  We are more likely to want to repay evil with evil.  I’m not convinced that we believe it is possible to overcome evil with good.  I do know that God would not tell us to do something without providing the means to do it.  Since God gives us this command, I simply need to follow it.

Dear Heavenly Father, please help us to follow this command regarding evil.  We struggle feeling overcome by evil and we don’t want to do good in the face of evil.  Please give us the goodness that can only come from You.  Thank You that with Your help we can overcome evil with good.

I pray this in Jesus’ name.

God is so good.

Being Renewed While Wasting Away

Today was the funeral of my uncle who passed away about a week ago.  His life was one of physical difficulty.  I heard from his pastor that my uncle had recently shared Psalm 119:71, “It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I might learn your statutes.”  My uncle suffered from the physical problems.  However, he rejoiced that God taught him Biblical truth.  He passed that truth on to his children.  I am watching my cousins working on passing on that truth to their children. What a beautiful legacy.

I do not want to diminish the harsh reality of physical suffering.  I can assure you; I struggle counting my own trials joy.  However, I have seen God use various difficulties to help His people grow.  Growing spiritually is a worthwhile pursuit.

Dear Heavenly Father, please comfort my family as they grieve.  I ask that You wrap Your loving arms around them to remind how much You love them.  Thank You for the spiritual growth You send through trials. Please help us to cling to You.

I pray this in Jesus’ name.

God is so good.

Tough Days

This week has been hard on my dad’s side of the family.  Yesterday morning, God chose to take one of my uncles home to glory.  This uncle had many health issues so while the family is grieving, we are thankful that he is no longer suffering.

The Bible tells us we will have difficulties in this life.  Each of us will suffer in different ways.  While I still struggle with the suffering piece of life, I can take comfort in the fact that Jesus has overcome the world.  When Jesus came to earth, His whole purpose was to die on a cross for us.  He came to pay the penalty for our sins.  Jesus overcame death and dying.  Those of us who place our trust in Jesus have hope for an eternal future.  I know that my uncle is rejoicing and whole. 

As you face the tough days in your life, know that you can have hope if you place your trust in Jesus.  He has overcome the world.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that Jesus’ overcame the world.  Please help me to share the hope that only comes from a relationship with Jesus Christ.

I pray this in Jesus’ name.

God is so good.

Payback

This verse can be challenging to obey.  We usually want to retaliate or at least see the person held accountable.  However, God’s Word commands us to seek to do good.  This doesn’t mean to reward evil – this just gives us a guideline for our actions when we face evil.  God will hold the wicked accountable (Romans 12:19).  This is His job. 

As we struggle watching the wicked seem to get away with their evil, we need to remember that every knee will bow to God (Romans 14:11).  We should desire that people bow the knee now while they have the chance to accept Jesus Christ as their personal Savior.  Pray and share the gospel while there is time.

Dear Heavenly Father, please help us as we struggle watching the wicked seem to succeed.  Give us the courage and strength to share the gospel so the wicked can change their ways.  Thank You for Your plan to hold the wicked accountable.  I praise Your name.

I pray this in Jesus’ name.

God is so good.

Freedom in Truth

The information age has so much information, but I’m not convinced we have enough truth.  We are strong willed and opinionated and think we are wise in discerning what we read and hear.  We cannot discern the truth without the help of God.  The Bible is filled with God’s truth (the only truth) and the way to wisdom.  We cannot access the truth of God unless we have placed our trust in His Son, Jesus Christ (read the book of Romans). 

Sadly, even those who claim to know Jesus Christ fall into the trap of misunderstanding and misinformation.  We need to daily ask God to give us wisdom and discernment to know how to process what we have seen and heard.  Daily, hourly, minute by minute – not just every once in a while.  We need frequent resets to make sure our hearts and minds are in the right place.  God can then lead us down the path to truth and understanding. 

If we don’t take this path, we are bound by the fear that comes from lies.  That is no life to live.  The remedy for fear is the truth that will set you free.

Dear Heavenly Father, we have been bombarded with mixed information about what is happening in our world.  We need Your truth.  Please help us to seek it.  Please help us to find it.  Thank You for the freedom You provide through truth.

I pray this in Jesus’ name.

God is so good.

Running to God in Faith

I grieve that so many in the world do not know about God or have a twisted view of who He really is.  Having the opportunity to please God through drawing near Him in faith is a great reward.  I have battled a difficult year.  Surgery in April and a year of supply chain issues {big effect on my job) is not something I would choose.  However, God has a plan for my life that includes drawing me closer to Him.  I can fight His plan or run to Him.  I can assure you, running to God is so much better than fighting against His way.

Dear Heavenly Father, when life is tough my first response is to run away.  I struggle when things are hard, but I know Your grace is strong enough to bring me through tough times.  Thank You for providing a way for me to draw near to You.  Thank You that You want me to draw close to You.  I am in awe of Your love.

I pray this in Jesus’ name.

God is so good.

Praise for Daily Help

I survived another week working smack dab in the middle of supply chain.  Things are still crazy due to the upheaval over the last year and a half.  And no, supply chain professionals aren’t going to fix it all.  When you look at many of the reasons behind the issues, we don’t have control over those things.  But I digress.

The reality, no matter the reasons, is that life is still tough.  I am so thankful that God is willing and able to hold me up throughout the challenges I face.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for bringing me through another challenging week.  I praise You for the salvation You have so freely given.

I pray this in Jesus’ name.

God is so good.