Complete and Total Trust

This last week I have been fighting a different battle.  The company that manages my employer’s disability policy does not have the information they want to process my claim.  I have been confused and felt hassled trying to be the go-between to get this situation resolved.  I have needed the reminder to pray and trust the Lord completely.  God has this situation in hand, just as He had my surgery and recovery taken care of.

Life is full of various challenges.  God has the ability to take care of us through anything He allows in our lives.  I need to rely completely and totally on God to be able to make it through those situations.

Dear Heavenly Father, Thank You for providing secure footing when I rely completely on You.  Please help me when I struggle to trust You completely.  I know You are trustworthy. 

I pray this in Jesus’ name.

God is so good.

All Sufficiency

God’s grace is an amazing gift.  2 Corinthians 9:8 tells us that God’s grace gives us all sufficiency…in all things…at all times.  All is a big concept in a little word.  All or nothing is rarely true – it IS true when talking about God.  Only God can be that consistent. 

When times are tough it can feel like we don’t have enough.  Worry and fear set in and we don’t respond well or do well in trials.  I want to live this verse especially in the next week as I have pre-op appointments and surgery.  There will be plenty of challenges, but my God is bigger than the challenges and my fervent prayer is that God’s name will be glorified through my life. 

Dear Heavenly Father, please show Yourself strong in the upcoming week.  I want to see and show others that Your grace will give all sufficiency in all things at all times.  I know You will as I give my circumstances to You.

I pray this in Jesus’ name.

God is so good.

So Many Choices

Two weeks ago, I talked about the many things outside of our control.  Today I want to focus on what is within our control.  We have many choices to make and the Bible tells us that there are natural consequences to our choices. Galatians 6:7-8 reminds us that fleshly choices bring what is bad.  Choices made with the Holy Spirit’s help bring eternal good.

Bad choices come easily to our sin nature.  However, we can have hope that God will take care of us and direct us towards good choices.  We still need to allow God to lead.  I think too often Christians assume they are doing what is right without allowing the Holy Spirit to lead.  My friend, please make sure God is leading you.

Dear Heavenly Father, we struggle with the choices we do have.  Please guide us to the right choices for Your honor and glory.

I pray this in Jesus name.

God is so good.

Control or Not

In a world that seems out of control, we need to understand what we do have control over and what we don’t.  We do have the ability to make many choices and we need to take responsibility for our decisions.  We do not have control over other people’s decisions. 

Ultimately, God is in control.  We have choices, but God determines where we go. This is a huge relief.  The burden of taking responsibility that is not our own is heavy…a weight we were never meant to bear. 

In the midst of chaos, remember the God of the Bible IS in control.  He allows bad things, but He has a purpose.  God wants to draw people to Himself.  Unfortunately, as stubborn as most of us are it takes a lot to get our attention.  God uses many tools to teach us the gospel. 

The gospel simply tells us that we are sinners and Jesus died, was buried and rose again to pay the penalty for that sin.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for having purpose in the chaos we see.  Thank You for sending Jesus to pay the penalty.  Please help me to share the truth of Your word with others.  We all need more of You.

I pray this in Jesus’ name.

God is so good.

Praise and Glory

While it seems easier to ask for things in our prayers, we need to remember to praise and thank God for what He does.  God allows us to see some of His work, but I am convinced that He doesn’t share everything He does.  None of us could handle all the work Almighty God performs – even in our own lives. 

God is in control.  He does wonderful things.

Praise and glory to God!

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for all You have done.  I know Your work is great and You are mighty.  Please help us to focus on Your work and what You will do in our lives.  Thank you for all You will do.

I pray this in Jesus’ name.

God is so good.

Sleep in Peace

One of the biggest battles we have fought in the last 4 months is fear.  The fears are as diverse as the population.  Much of the fear is turning into anger.  Anger at anyone who disagrees or doesn’t seem to understand.  There are facts, misinformation, and opinions being shared at every turn.  Each of those sway our emotions again and again.

How do we survive times like this? How can anyone sleep at night?  King David wrote Psalm 4. He had experience in many difficult situations, frequently counseling himself to trust in God.  Psalm 4:8 shows how he could “lie down and sleep.”  He knows that God is in control.  God is the means of our safety.  I am all for making wise choices, but no matter how good the choice is we don’t have ultimate control over the results.  With all the disagreement lately, our choices have been somewhat limited. 

Friends, whether we believe it or not…whether we live it or not, God IS in control and will provide safety when we ask.

Dear Heavenly Father, we are facing so much fear. Please help us to turn to You instead of turning against each other. Please guide us in following You.  Thank you for the safety that You provide.

I pray this in Jesus’ name.

God is so good.

Leading through Uncertainty

There has been a lot of uncertainty over the last 4 months.  Things have changed so quickly and, in some cases, drastically.  People are reacting in fear on both sides of each viewpoint.  There has been bullying on both sides.  There are people who care on both sides.  Many times, in a crisis, true character (or lack thereof) is revealed.  I believe we are seeing a lot of that right now. 

One piece of misinformation that is being spread is the amount of control we really have in any situation.  The book of Proverbs reminds us that God is the one who “establishes our steps”.  We can make plans, but we need to seek God throughout the process of making those plans.

Dear Heavenly Father, please guide me as I make plans for my life.  Please help me to remember that I belong to You and my life is in Your hands.  Please strengthen me as I wait on Your timing.  Thank you for being so good to lovingly lead those who choose to follow You.

I pray this in Jesus’ name.

God is so good.

Wait for God’s Timing. Trust God’s Timing.

Another week has come and gone with the usual bruises that go with the challenges of life. As I process the circumstances in my little piece of the world, I found myself drawn to a couple of statements posted on Facebook.  One reminded me that God’s timing is always trustworthy.  The other reminds me of God’s control over and through difficult circumstances.  As I looked for a verse to use in today’s blog, the YouVersion Bible app had Psalm 27:14 as today’s verse of the day. 

I’m not a big fan of waiting.  I would rather keep moving.  Maybe not as fast as the waterfall in the picture my friend sent to me, but at least moving.  However, sometimes God asks us to wait.  His timing is perfect.  He has a plan and will bring it about His way, in His time.  God IS in control, even when life seems out of control.  When I don’t see how things are going to work out…when I start to worry about the big and little things in my life, I need to stop and go to God.  Talking to Him in prayer will help me to be strong and allow me to take courage as I wait on God.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for always being available.  Thank You for providing the way to have courage.  I claim Your promise to promise to provide courage.  Please help me to wait on You and Your timing for all the details of my life.

I pray this in Jesus’ name.

God is so good.

Trying to Make a Difference

This week has been a doozy.  We continue to struggle with the “side effects” of the stay at home orders.  As I navigate my piece of this, I have tried to be careful what I read, watch, and share.  However, I have been watching and reading about two doctors from Bakersfield, CA who spoke up with their opinion of our current situation.  They have been under attack.  They weren’t trying to make waves.  Their goal was to take care of their patients and be examples in their community.  That has stuck with me.  I want to make a difference.  I’m not likely to change the world, but I hope to be an appropriate example where I live.  Hopefully, direct someone to the truth.

As I thought about what I wanted to write this week, the news flooded with the story of George Floyd, a black man who died when a police officer knelt on his neck.  Then the city of Minneapolis (and many others) became the site of rioting and looting.  People, who are no doubt hurting for multiple reasons, are lashing out at this injustice.

With all that has been going on and the addition of this horrible situation in my home state, words truthfully seem futile.  I knew that I still wanted to pursue my original thoughts.  Be an example – lead by example – lead towards truth.

I can’t change people’s hearts and minds.  The evidence that George Floyd died wrongfully is overwhelming.  I don’t know the heart of the police officer, but I pray that he acknowledges his wrong and accepts lawful punishment.  I pray that those rioting and looting wake up to their own ugliness and learn of God’s love.  I pray that those who manipulated through the pandemic situation are held accountable.  I pray that we learn and move forward appropriately.

What I can do is to speak the truth of Who God is.  That is my goal with this blog.  He does not force us to choose the right path.  He has the power to change wrong and ugliness, but He has allowed us to choose. The truth is that we all choose sin at some time.  All sin is ugly and deserves to be punished.  The truth is that Jesus died to save us from sin (Romans 6:23).  If we confess our sin and trust in Jesus, we will be saved from the eternal effects of sin (Romans 10:9-10).  We ALL need this.

There are many Bible verses that tell what God does for those who follow Him. I am sharing 3 with this post.  We are facing hard times.  We need to turn to the truth of the Bible to make a difference that will matter for all eternity.

Dear Heavenly Father, it feels as though multiple powder kegs were lit and blew up. We have so much hurt and pain – all based in sin.  Please convict us and forgive us for the wrong each of us has done.  We are in desperate need of Your help.  Please help me as I seek to show truth – Your truth – the only truth.  Please break through the barriers that keep people from knowing You and how much You love them.  Please help me to be an instrument of Your peace.

I pray this in Jesus’ name.

God is so good.

Gracious Seasoning

Hello, friends.  How has your week been?  I think some places feel a little more normal, some are still facing various limitations.  Based on the advice of a friend, I am trying to get back to normal as much as I can.  Restrictions are being lifted and let’s face it – I still need groceries (and now home improvement stores are becoming a need). 

We are still facing heightened emotions based on all the things we hear and read as well as what we are living through.  Friends who claim to know and serve Christ – we have a job to do no matter what. We need to make wise use of our time and be gracious in our speech.  Right now, it is hard.  We are being hit in areas of our lives that we are not used to.  This scares us.  Fear can push us towards ungracious words and behavior.  We need to keep praying for wisdom and grace to navigate our circumstances in a way that honors the One Who has given us eternal life.

Dear Heavenly Father,

Please help me to navigate my current circumstances with wisdom and grace.  I want others to see Who You truly are.  We need the truth to prevail.  Please help me to encourage truth and not get in the way with foolish, ungracious speech.

I pray this in Jesus’ name.

God is so good.