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.

Healing My Way or God’s Way

I appreciate all there is to learn from the Proverbs.  God’s Word is full of wisdom to help me through life.  Proverbs 3:7 warns against self-sufficiency – thinking my way.  The verse then reminds me to fear the Lord.  Turning from evil should be a natural part of fearing the Lord.

I find verse 8 interesting – healing and refreshment are a direct result of fearing the Lord.  I believe in getting medical care where appropriate.  However, I wonder how much trouble we cause ourselves through our own wisdom. Hmm. Something to ponder.

Dear Heavenly Father, please show me where I follow my own wisdom.  Help me to fear You and turn away from evil.  Thank You for the healing and refreshment You give.

I pray this in Jesus’ name.

God is so good.

Straight or Crooked Paths

I have found myself being very nostalgic recently.  It has been a year since I received a diagnosis of DCIS.  Those were hard days.  I had decisions to make while feeling overwhelmed. This next week marks one year since I crashed after getting my first opinion.  While I am not a fan of crashing (I have done it more times than I like to admit), I am so glad that I got a second opinion.  I felt so much better about my decision after the calm atmosphere at CTCA in Zion, IL.  I greatly appreciate the expert care I received there.

God allowed what I would consider a crooked and rocky path last year to show me how He can make my paths straight.  I had to pray my way through repetitious thoughts of “I don’t want to deal with this”.   By God’s grace, He kept showing His love time and again as He led me through the situation. I am so glad this part of my story is past.  While I will always have some of the difficult memories and I bear the scar of surgery, I do not want to feel sorry for any of it.  God gave so much grace.  I continue to pray that God’s hand is visible in my life.  Whatever path God leads me to walk in the future.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for making my paths straight through tough times.  Thank You that I can lean on You.  Please help me to continue to submit to Your plans.  I want others to see Your hand in my life.

I pray this in Jesus’ name.

God is so good.

Pleasant Safety

Last week, I talked about wisdom being safe.  The next two verses continue the theme.  I like how verse 10 talks about knowledge being pleasant.  Too often the information we see comes through as unpleasant.  I understand why – we fight through information overload sorting through what we read or hear.  This is why I am thankful for God’s wisdom.  His way gives clarity as I walk the path He has chosen for me.  I can gain pleasant safety as I seek God.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for providing wisdom through Your word.  Please guide Your followers as You have promised.  Please help us to see the guidance You provide.

I pray this in Jesus’ name.

God is so good.

Safety

We have heard a lot about safety over the last two years.  Unfortunately, we have passionately disagreed on the details.  No matter where I stand, or the reason why, I want to seek God for wisdom.  Wisdom will direct our thinking through the ever-changing sea of information.  God knows everything.  He knows how it all fits together.  He knows what will happen. He knows the good and bad decisions we will all make.

In Proverbs 2:7-8 we read that God keeps those who follow Him – those who fear Him.  He has wisdom reserved for us.  He is a shield and watches us.  There is safety in the fear of the Lord.

Sometimes we think that the weight of our decisions fully rests on our shoulders.  While we need to take responsibility for our decisions, we need to lean on the Lord and seek the wisdom He so freely gives (James 1:5).

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for storing wisdom for us. Thank you for the protection you provide. Please help us to seek You in all our decisions.

I pray this in Jesus’ name.

God is so good.

Seek Ask Understand

Proverbs 2 gives us another if then statement regarding wisdom and fear of the Lord.  If we seek and ask for wisdom, we will understand the fear of the Lord.  Then verse 6 reminds us that all of this comes from God. 

I believe that we get stuck in human understanding.  God gave us minds for the purpose of thinking logically.  Unfortunately, we can use our logic in our own strength without the fear of the Lord.  If we walk away from Scriptural thinking, our logic will take us down the wrong path.  We need to seek wisdom from the Word of God.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for giving us wisdom through Your word.  Please help us to seek You and You alone for wisdom.  Please help us to understand fearing You.

I pray this in Jesus’ name.

God is so good.

Wisdom’s Voice

I like how Proverbs gives wisdom a persona.  Wisdom cries out and has some strong things to say.  She speaks out against those who don’t listen to her words.  I fear we see much of that in society today.  Wisdom speaks shame on those who, “hated knowledge and did not choose the fear of the Lord.”  We see a lot of fear, but I think very little fear of the Lord.  I’m thankful God has given us His word so we can learn wisdom. 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for giving wisdom.  Please help us to fear You and seek after the wisdom You so freely give.

I pray this in Jesus’ name.

God is so good.

Do Not

Sometimes wisdom shows us the negative – what not to do.  In Proverbs 1:10, we find that we should not follow sinners.  The Hebrew word for sinners refers to an offender, one who is guilty.  God knew that some would want to influence others to do wrong things.  This verse gives us the wisdom to say no.

Dear Heavenly Father, we have so many decisions in front of us.  Please help us to say no to sinners who are trying to entice us.  Thank You for giving the wisdom and guidance for which path to take.

I pray this in Jesus’ name.

God is so good.

The Direction to Wisdom

I love how God directs our focus to wisdom from many directions.  I found this verse in Job this past week.  These concepts are found in the book of Proverbs.  God chose to put these principles in Scripture multiple times.  Repetition is the key to learning.  God knows that.

I am thankful for the fear of the Lord, for wisdom and the reminder to turn from evil.  The only way we can learn about these things is to study Scripture.  There will always be more to learn.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for the wisdom in Your word.  Please help us to pursue fearing You and to turn from evil.

I pray this in Jesus’ name.

God is so good.

Happy New Year 2022

Happy 2022!  I pray that this year brings many opportunities to know God more.

Each year I have chosen a theme.  I haven’t always stuck to my theme, but I hope to do better this year.  This year I want to focus on the fear of the Lord.  This is a multi-faceted concept, and the book of Proverbs provides a lot of verses to study.

A repeated theme relating to the fear of the Lord is the idea of gaining wisdom. I think we get simple knowledge mixed up with wisdom.  We need wisdom to know how to handle knowledge correctly.  We often see newscasters with opposite viewpoints take the same information (knowledge) and present it a different way.  As a Christian my hope is to gain wisdom and understanding to apply to what I see and hear.  I can gain wisdom by asking God (James 1:5) who gives abundantly, and I will receive it. 

Dear Heavenly Father, as we begin a new year, please help us to seek You for wisdom.  Please give as You have promised.  Thank You for giving so freely. 

I pray this in Jesus’ name.

God is so good.