Why is Hard Work so Hard?

This picture is an ant working hard to navigate the mote on a hummingbird feeder.

When I first read this verse, I think about my job.  I work smack dab in the middle of supply chain as a production planner.  Like others, we have fought the many challenges over the last two years.  Work can be very hard.  However, God has been showing other areas of my life that are hard work.

Relationships can be challenging.  I know that close friendships can seem like less work (they do get easier in one sense when Christ is the center), but all relationships take effort.  The Bible gives commands in many places about our relationships.  Galatians 6 and Ephesians 5 and 6 are good examples.

I know the challenges can cause us to back away from the difficulties of relationships.  My Type A personality sometimes scares me (and probably others) with the intensity of my feelings.  However, God is bigger than all the challenges.  He will continue to work in my life (Philippians 1:6).  He will bring the changes I need to work as hard as the ant.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for providing examples like the ant to show me what I need to do.  Please help me to work hard in all areas of my life to honor and glorify You.

I pray this in Jesus’ name.God is so good

God is Watching

Sadly, in our society today there is too much ignoring God and His ways.  Some don’t know anything about God.  As a Christian who has studied God’s Word, I am thankful that God watches and “will make our paths straight” (Proverbs 3:6).  I find great comfort in God’s eyes being on me.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for keeping Your eyes on me.  I want to follow the path You have laid out in Your Word.  Please help me to cling to Your Word and Your ways and encourage others to do the same.

I pray this in Jesus’ name.

God is so good.

Guard Your Heart

I like the strength of words the book of Proverbs uses for holding on to wisdom.  Proverbs 4:21 is one of those.  “Let them not escape” and “keep them” are similar to other statements repeated through the book.  Verse 23 gives us the reason – to guard our hearts. 

The heart is at the core of who we are.  The condition of our heart will affect everything in our lives.  That is why we teach children (teens especially) to be careful when they chose friends.  I wonder if as adults we remember that.  Those we are close to often fill our hearts.  If we make poor choices, God’s wisdom will not be a part of the relationship.  The springs of life are dirty and bitter when God is not involved.  I have found the closest friendships to be people who can easily talk about Scripture.  Those who want to serve and honor their Heavenly Father out of love and gratitude for what Jesus did on the cross.  I do not know of a better way to guard my heart than to spend time with others who want to do the same thing.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the reminders to hold to wisdom.  Please help me to hold tight to the truth of Your word and encourage others to do the same.

I pray this in Jesus’ name.

God is so good.

The Brightness of Day

Life can be full of darkness.  There are many heavy burdens and challenges we face.  I like this verse in Proverbs that gives the illustration of the brightness of daylight. I enjoy the extra daylight that comes with spring.  It improves my mood. 

This verse in Proverbs tells us that living God’s way is like the brightness of day.  Our society has downplayed the joy of righteousness.  I have seen Christians fall into that trap.  I grieve when I see those who claim the name of Christ choosing to live in the darkness of the world. 

Proverbs gives good advice.  It directs us to the wisdom of God’s word.  I want the daylight of righteousness to guide me through all aspects of life.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for giving us brightness through righteousness.  Please help me to follow Your path and live Your way.  Please help me to encourage those around me to do the same.

I pray this in Jesus’ name.

God is so good.

Hold Tight

There are a lot of things we hold onto in life: relationships, ideals, jobs, etc.  Some of them are worth holding.  Others need to be held with somewhat open hands.  Proverbs repeats the concept of seeking wisdom.  In these verses, we also see the word insight.  When looking up the Hebrew word, I found the synonym discernment.  We need to ask God to guide our thoughts.  I like the information age, but I can drown in information overload.  I need God’s wisdom to help me discern what I need and what has no value. 

I will never be able to research everything.  However, I know the God Who knows everything.  He will give me what I need.  I just need to humble myself before Him and ask for His wisdom (James 1:5). God will give generously.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for providing wisdom and reminders to see it.  I ask for help as I navigate the path you have sent me on.  Please guide me with the wisdom You promise.  I praise Your name for the results.

I pray this in Jesus’ name.

God is so good.

Wisdom, Hope, and Power          

17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him, 18 having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which He has called you, what are the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the immeasurable greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His great might 20 that He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places,

Ephesians 1:17-20

I was pleasantly surprised when I found a New Testament passage that spoke of wisdom and referred to the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  Just in time for Easter.  I am thankful for the way God brings passages from His Word for encouragement and help.  These verses were a part of the Wednesday night Bible study I attend.  I knew this would fit my blog for the day before Easter.

Here is my shortened version of Ephesians 1:17-20:
Wisdom comes from knowing God.  Those of us who have trusted in Christ have hope.  God’s power works in us – the same power that raised Christ from the dead.

Wow.

God is so good.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the filled treasure chest of thought in this passage.  Thank You for providing wisdom, hope, and power for those who call on You.  Thank You for Christ dying on the cross to save those who trust in Him.

I pray this in Jesus’ name.

God is so good.

Seeing Security

I enjoy the word pictures Proverbs gives.  We are admonished to keep the principles of wisdom in our line of sight.  This brings life and stability. 

I often think I have to provide my own security.  However, I don’t have the ability to see past the short term.  God knows how every decision I make fits with everything happening in my little piece of the world as well as the entire world.  As I submit to God, He gives what is needed for every step of my life.  He knows the final outcome of every situation.  I can trust Him.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for providing wisdom and reminding me to hold on to Your way.  Please help me to look to You in every situation.  Please guide me according to Your discretion.  Thank You for all You’ve done and will do.

I pray this in Jesus’ name.

God is so good.

Wisdom for Good

I struggled as I thought about these verses.  It sounds like the prosperity gospel.  The Bible makes it clear that we will have trials and difficulties (James 1:2-3, Phil. 1:29). However, through those challenges, God provides His wisdom to help make our paths straight (Proverbs 3:6).  While trials cause pain, wisdom provides life and blessing (Proverbs 3:18).  I find that thought comforting.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the blessing wisdom brings.  Thank You for providing help through life’s trials.  Please give me the strength to hold fast to wisdom and follow Your way.

I pray this in Jesus’ name.

God is so good.

Worth and Value

This passage tells us the worth of wisdom and understanding.  We live in a materialistic society that often values money and possessions over wisdom. 

I know God is truth.  Everything He gives is true including His word.  The more I seek God’s way, the more depth I find in life.  Money can buy some fun thing and I need it to live.  However, I would rather amass the knowledge and understanding that comes from studying God’s wisdom.  I have found more depth of friendship, more peace, and more satisfaction in life when I fill my life with God.  I just need more consistency in seeking true wisdom.  I’m so glad God does not give up on me.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for providing wisdom and telling me how much it is worth.  Thank You for Your patience with me when I want to go my own way.  Please help me to seek true wisdom and send me reminders when I seek my own.

I pray this in Jesus’ name.

God is so good.

Delightful Discipline

I really don’t think of discipline and delight together without a negative.  Discipline does not seem delightful while it is happening (Hebrews 12:11).  However, these verses tell us how the two words can co-exist.  God the Father delights in those who place their trust in Jesus Christ.  His delight and love move Him to provide discipline and rebuke to change us into the image of His Son (Romans 8:29).  Discipline is painful, but worth it.

Dear Heavenly Father, please help me to view Your discipline as a sign of love.  I know You want the best for me.  Thank You for providing the rebuke I need.

I pray this in Jesus’ name.

God is so good.