Tag Archives: trust

Discouragement, Failure and Disappointment

 

 

 

 


Live Like You’re Loved  by Hawk Nelson
https://youtu.be/Q_r47Xhkf20?list=RDQ_r47Xhkf20

John 21:1-3

After these things Jesus manifested Himself again to the disciples at the Sea of Tiberias, and He manifested Himself in this way.  There were together Simon Peter, and Thomas called Didymus, and Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, and the sons of Zebedee, and two other of His disciples.  Simon Peter said to them, ‘I am going fishing’.  They said to him, ‘We will also come with you’.  They went out, and got into the boat;  and that night they caught nothing.

We are on a journey through the resurrection (Easter) to the Day of Pentecost.  50 Days of Feast for Israel.   We have looked at the appearance of Jesus after His resurrection.

This week we see Jesus on the beach by the Sea of Galilee.  Jesus had met with His disciples before.  Peter was named particularly when Jesus told the women to tell the disciples and Peter to meet Him in Galilee.  Theologians think this very spot may have been where He expected to meet them.  Jesus had met with the disciples but now days may have passed and nothing more.  Our dear friend Peter, not known for his patience, decides he has had enough.  “I am going fishing!”   This probably was not just a decision to go for the day!  It was a return to a former life.  Jesus isn’t going to set up a kingdom.  He is not going to overthrow the Romans.  We saw Him after that Sunday morning but now he has disappeared again.  Peter, Peter, Peter.

Now not only does Peter return to fishing but others follow also.  Discouragement is contagious!

Jesus and Peter haven’t yet spoken about the night he denied him.  I would imagine that he has nursed and rehearsed that evening many times.  Have you ever let someone down?  Maybe you have been the person disappointed by another’s actions.

I want to focus on something that almost if not all of us have to deal with at some point in our life.  DISCOURAGEMENT, DISAPPOINTMENT, AND FAILURE.

Peter what a study in human behavior!

Impatient, outspoken, bold, prone to speaking before he thinks, jumps to conclusions!  Ever hurt anyone by your words?  Ever ignored, avoided or said something about someone to keep from getting in trouble?

Peter did! I have! I ventured to say you have too!

In the story today, Jesus fixes breakfast for them after they have fished all night and caught nothing.

#1.  Jesus is always waiting to restore relationships.

The day is breaking and the disciples see someone on the shore.  Jesus calls to them. “Caught anything?”   “No!”  “Put in on the other side.” The net is them filled with 153 fish. At this point, John recognizes it is Jesus.  As many times, John discerns the spiritual and Peter acts.  Peter wants to get to Jesus first. Whether he has already talked with Jesus and asks for forgiveness we can’t be sure.  Peter doesn’t even try to walk on water this time, he jumps in and swims to shore.

#2. We need to learn to be quick to seek or to give forgiveness.

Jesus prepares fish and bread.  Then turns to Peter. “Do you love me?”..

“You know I do, Lord.” Three times He asks Peter.  The theology of this passage has been discussed many times.  Jesus isn’t asking Peter because of insecurities about Peter’s love for Him.  He is making a point as He always did.

#3. Love is shown by actions.

You have a calling.  I want you to go, love and tend to my kingdom.  The new way of worship and serving Me is now going to be in your hands.  Not just in your hands Peter but in every person who believes in me.

Peter then asks Jesus, “What about him? (John)  Jesus quickly tells Peter, “You take care of your responsibilities and leave others to me.”

#4.  Focus on what Jesus is doing in you.

Gratitude leads to joy and joy is how God intended His people to live.

Discouragement, failure and disappointments are all stepping stones for a closer walk with Jesus.

Diamonds by Hawk Nelson

Treading Like I am Loved

Freda Reynolds

Lengthy Illness Forced Timeout

woman-at-jesus-feet

 

Mark 5:24-33

24 And Jesus went with him; and much people followed him, and thronged him.25 And a certain woman, which had an issue of blood twelve years, 26 And had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse, 27 When she had heard of Jesus, came in the press behind, and touched his garment. 28 For she said, If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole. 29 And straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague. 30 And Jesus, immediately knowing in himself that virtue had gone out of him, turned him about in the press, and said, Who touched my clothes? 31 And his disciples said unto him, Thou seest the multitude thronging thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me? 32 And he looked round about to see her that had done this thing. 33 But the woman fearing and trembling, knowing what was done in her, came and fell down before him, and told him all the truth. 34 And he said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague.   (KJV)

This is one of the most intriguing characters in the Scriptures.  I love this woman!  She inspires me!   She is a woman, without a name, of GREAT faith, patience, love, and courage.  Her story begins four thousand years earlier and is found in Leviticus 15:19-30.  God’s law has her in time out.

The laws God gave to Moses were very specific.  Today, we understand these laws were given to protect the nation of Israel from disease and provide sanitation guidelines that promote health and hygiene.  The LORD told the children of Israel if they obeyed these laws, “all their diseases would leave them.” ( Exodus 15:26)   To Jewish women he provided detailed instructions on how to care for themselves each month as “their womb weeps.”   Today,  disease is known to be transmitted through blood and body fluids and life is in the blood that flows through us.  We understand the significance of these ancient OSHA guidelines.

This woman has had a “weeping womb” for twelve long years.  She is weak, thin, anemic, frail, and likely has experienced frequent viruses and infections.  She can hardly perform her expected duties and in all probability she is a wife and mother.  The Scripture tells us she has been to every doctor within a reasonable distance (walking or on a donkey) hoping to find an answer to her dilemma.   She has suffered the side effects of the treatments and has spent all their money seeking a cure and yet, her condition worsens.  She is in a forced seclusion.  A shut in time out.

Why did she go through all this?  She loved her family and what’s more she loved her God!  She cannot attend temple, her family cannot touch her unless they are willing not to go to temple.  She is restricted in where she can sit or lie down, she is unable to meet her husband’s needs.  She cannot help financially because she is too weak to work.  Her children have not seen their mom act like she feels good in longer than they can remember.  She has been unable to get pregnant.  She cannot go to sacrifice for her sins, for the sins of her children, or to worship.  So she “weeps” physically, mentally, emotionally, and socially.

I believe at this point she looks suicide in the face.  “If this is living who needs it?”  But like the light at the end of a very dark tunnel she hears a rumor that Jesus is just outside of town.  Jesus.  The man everyone is talking about–the one who heals people with just a touch.  Some say He is the Messiah.

What is she to do?  She has been nowhere in twelve years because to do so causes others to be “unclean” if she “touches” them.  She can die and put everyone out of their misery or she can try one more time to seek help.

This brave soul summons the courage and strength to try ONE. MORE. TIME.  So, she sets out.  Is she frightened?  Will someone see her and make an issue of the fact she is out in public and “unclean.”  The journey to the edge of town is long.  She has not had any exercise in twelve years.  By the time she reaches the crowd surrounding Jesus she is literally crawling.  Not because she is being sneaky but because she is exhausted.  One more step and she may well be dead.  Her bleeding is now profuse.  Her clothes are stained.  Her skin is pasty.  Her lips are blue.  Her life is literally flowing out of her.  She persists.  Crawling through a forest of legs she hears the shouts of the people who one by one are being healed.  She hears Jesus ask, “Do you believe?”  A man answers “yes,” and he walks.  She listens as another seeks healing for a friend and they are healed.  As she creeps nearer inch by difficult inch she begins to recognize this is indeed MESSIAH!  She determines all she needs to do is get close enough to just touch His clothes and she will be healed.  She will not bother him, he is busy.  Just a touch.

Suddenly, she is there.  Within arms reach of him and she reaches out her hand to touch the hem of the coat of the One who created her world.  It’s just a glancing touch.  No one could have possibly felt it but her.  As she touches the hem, she feels POWER shoot through her body to the source of her sickness.  It feels as if she has been hit by a lightning bolt and yet instead of pain there is for the first time in twelve long years strength rising in her body.  She could stand if she wanted to but at this moment she is content to kneel behind the source of her new life!

Jesus too felt the power leaving Him.  He asked what the disciples thought was a ridiculous question:  “Who touched my clothes?”  Now was the time for her to confess to the Lord of the universe what she had done.  She is unclean and has touched Messiah.  Unclean touching holiness.  She would face Him both in fear (awe) and homage.

Jesus looked into the face and heart of this woman and said to her the sweetest words she would ever hear:  “Daughter (such a loving term), your faith has made (allowed Me to provide) you whole.  Go in peace.  Be whole of thy plague (separation).”  Her time out was over!

Do you see the beautiful picture here for us?  We are so like this woman most of our lives.  Separated from God because of a lack of faith.  Faith brought healing, restored fellowship (both to God and man), produced confession, and invoked  true worship.   Do we realize that we cause our families to be unclean by our lack of faith?  Do we realize we use all our resources trying to find answers to life’s problems?  Do we realize we cannot worship without faith?  Do we realize our “sacrifices” are worthless unless they are based on faith and repentance?  Are we, who have the luxury of the entire Word of God going to continue to live in our misery or are we going to step out on our little bit of faith and seek God and have Him show us what He can do when we are willing to trust in Him regardless of the cost to ourselves?

There is a postscript found in Scripture to this story.  The news of this incident spread and in Luke 6:19 and Matthew 14:36 we read, “and many besought Him that they might only touch the hem of His garment: and as many as touched were made perfectly whole.”   People saw the change Christ wrought in this woman’s life and they wanted it too.  This is called the “domino effect”  and it still works today.  Are you willing to be the first domino knocked down?  Our faith rubs off on others and theirs then rubs off on another.  We call it physics and God calls it evangelism.

One Touch  Nicole C. Mullen

And Jesus said unto them, ….. If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.  Matthew 17:20 (KJV)

Treading in faith,

Eternal Significance in Timeout

well-w-bucket

Genesis 37-40

We pick back up from last week and the story of a boy named Joseph.  Joseph is the story of one, who according to Joey Nelson in his sermon Life of Joseph,   “who had no supernatural strength.  He had no halos.  He never performed miracles.  But he had a great heart of grace.”

Joseph is often maligned as a spoiled brat who instigated division and used his “favorite son” status to needle his siblings, but I respectfully disagree.  Maybe it is just my merciful spirit but I think he gets a bad rap for being young and immature. (Grace is believing others are doing the best they can with what they know; the Grace of God is Him seeing us as we will become, not as we are!)    Our look at Joseph’s many time outs begins when he is seventeen years old.  I mean, really, a seventeen year old boy who through no fault of his own is favored by a father who had waited a very long time to have this child with the love of his life, Rachel.  This same father named him Joseph, which means “may God add another son.”  Joseph has barely taken his first breath and his dad is looking forward to another son.  Jacob struggled with being satisfied.  Jacob the father of Joseph struggled with the internal condition of his heart (his name meant supplanter) always wanting more,  and Joseph will struggle with external conditions of mistreatment and life circumstances.  I personally believe this young man was doing the best he knew how to do with what he knew.  For example:  He had dreams he shared with who else, his family!  But his family immediately sees these are not your ordinary, everyday dreams, but of a prophetic nature and they do NOT like the implications.  Ok, so think back to when you were seventeen…..would you have had the discretion to “keep it to yourself?”  Me either!  Does this dysfunctional family make yours not appear quite so dysfunctional?   If this was all they did, maybe so but these brothers of his were a hateful bunch.  No matter how much we argued, my siblings did not throw me in a well, sell me, and then tell my parents, “oops, she died.”

Joseph will spend the best years of his young life in a God ordained and orchestrated time out for doing absolutely nothing wrong!  What’s up with that?  He suffered rejection, false accusation, and he totally lacked understanding of why God would allow this in his life.  At seventeen he is sold into slavery by jealous and spiteful brothers..  From favored son to a slave,  would you call this a good thing?
One phrase that is repeated over and over in Genesis chapters 37-50 is The LORD was with Joseph, so he succeeded in everything he did as he served.” (NLT)  Despite his mistreatment, God honored him with favor in a foreign land, among foreign people because Joseph accepted his plight and made the best of the situation by giving it his best effort and it was noticed and he was honored for this behavior.  He gained the trust of those he served and he was promoted to positions of honor and importance.
Then, once more Joseph is cast into a deeper timeout.  The first time out he goes from favored son to slave but this time he goes from favored slave to prisoner of Pharaoh because he did the RIGHT thing!  How does this happen?    Jealousy, scorn, quilt, all projected on the innocent.  Where is God in this?

001-pharaoh-dreams300x225
The story of Joseph’s life proves that our God is right smack in the middle of it.  One commentator suggested that Satan and the LORD had a conversation about Joseph much like the one they had concerning Job.  That sounds pretty reasonable to me.  Satan on a leash reeking havoc in the lives of God’s people.  God’s people totally unaware that our God is making sure His people are cared for and the covenant will be fulfilled!  God used all of Joseph’s time outs to refine his character into the image of grace and forgiveness.  Not once in the story of Joseph do we see him ever desiring to retaliate against those who have harmed him.  Joseph offered to others what was not offered to him–GRACE and forgiveness.

Are you in a time out and you do not know of one thing you have done intentionally wrong or because you chose to do the right thing?  Yes, it feels terribly wrong!  Yes, it seems unfair.  Yes, you wonder if you will ever be vindicated.  Yes, it would be easy to become bitter.  Yes, some would turn away from God because He did not do what we presume He should have done.  Can we together learn a valuable lesson from the life of Joseph?

Joseph was a young boy when his dad Jacob became Israel after an all night encounter with the LORD.  Joseph had lessons in life his older brothers did not have as young boys and the impact on his life was tremendous.  His time spent tending the sheep taught him lessons in care and compassion and patience and meditation.  Joseph’s character was refined in the fire of adversity.  His life became a shining example of what is possible when we trust the LORD with our tomorrows.

Malachi 3:3 He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver; he will purify the Levites and refine them like gold and silver. Then the Lord will have men who will bring offerings in righteousness,

Genesis 45:5-8 sums up the reason God the Father allowed these time outs that seemed so unjust in this way:
5 Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither: for God did send me before you to preserve life.
6 For these two years hath the famine been in the land: and yet there are five years, in the which there shall neither be earing nor harvest.
7 And God sent me before you to preserve you a posterity in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance.
8 So now it was not you that sent me hither, but God: and he hath made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house, and a ruler throughout all the land of Egypt.  (KJV)

The Sovereignty of our God is on display in the life of Joseph and all that our God does is for our good and His glory!  Is God on display in your life?  Can we apply the lesson of Joseph’s life to our own and make the decision to trust God with tomorrow no matter how bad today looks?  Can we forgive others before forgiveness is sought?  Notice Joseph did not go running back home even when he could have to seek out those who rejected him.  He WAITED on God.  Was this a natural inclination?  I do not think so.  Joseph had a unique gift for fixing problems and handling situations.  To sit back and trust God with a family reunion knowing his father was old could not have been an easy decision.  Joseph was accepting of where God placed him in time.  Joseph was sent to Egypt for such a time as this (famine) and because he was faithful, the covenant people were preserved and God’s plan of redemption for the whole of mankind would be accomplished.
If you are like me, a rejection timeout is painful!  To be falsely accused brings out our warrior spirit and we are ready to defend ourselves.  The Word tells us in II Chronicles 20:17,   Ye shall not need to fight in this battle: set yourselves, stand ye still, and see the salvation of the LORD with you, O Judah and Jerusalem: fear not, nor be dismayed; to morrow go out against them: for the LORD will be with you.
At some point in life, we may all face a timeout that is not of our own making.  May we see it in a different light as we move forward and rest in the LORD and trust His divine providence in our life and the life of those we love.  By waiting on God, Joseph’s reunion with his family was a holy moment.  I could use more of those in my life.  How about you?

joseph-reunited

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DEpcJv8HYr4
I will praise Him, still by Fernado Ortega

Time Out To Preserve and Protect

1noahs-ark2

Genesis 5:32-10:1

Why would our God put a “righteous man, blameless, who walked faithfully with God,” in time out?  A one hundred one year time out?  Noah is called obedient.  He did all God asked of Him.  I can see why He would put me in time out, but Noah?  

This story is so very familiar to most people whether they are “churched” or not.  Every child of my generation knew this Bible story from their earliest recollections.  It is after all one of the first Bible stories we heard, sang about, and reenacted with our toy animals and a shoebox.  The animals went in “two by two.”

 

Animals Went In Two by Two

(sorry, I know this will be stuck in your head the rest of the day)

The word ark in the Hebrew is teebah and means vessel, to preserve and protect a sacred object.  This vessel was God’s design and took Noah 100 years to build.  Noah was 500 years old when he began this project and became a new father to three sons!  Scripture tells us that in the second month on the seventeenth day of Noah’s 600th year he entered his time out (Genesis 6:16), as if building an ark amid the challenges of earning a living, raising three boys, and dealing with the ridicule of his peers who had NEVER even seen rain was not sufficient to get Noah’s attention.  This time out inside the ark would last 394 days if my calculations are correct.  He was cooped up with his wife, three married sons, and a barn full of animals to care for, for MORE THAN A YEAR!  There was no getting out of the house and going for a walk to clear his head.  Can you imagine the noise of all those animals (elephants, monkeys, cows, birds, horses, lions, tigers, dogs, hyenas, coyotes, the list is really endless), the stench of all those animals, and the squabbling that goes on in every family confined to close quarters?  This was no pleasure cruise to the Bahamas.  This was a mind blowing excursion into the unknown with no end date given.  Imagine, the earth rupturing open and geysers of water spewing, hurricane force winds and rain, the added noise of thunder, the changes in the sky from fluffy white clouds to dark grey, ominous lightning filled skies, and a boat suddenly lifted from its moorings and tossed like a canoe for 230 days, and the pounding on the door by those who had chosen not to enter into the ark as they perished.  The loss was devastating.  The tears shed on the inside of the ark were only outnumbered by the raindrops outside the ark falling from heaven’s eyes.

Does this sound like a period of preservation and protection to you?  God’s word tells us the cargo on board was indeed sacred.  It was the Almighty’s creation and man who He created in His own image and breathed into him the breath of life.  Without this time out ALL on board would have perished with the rest–God was destroying His creation because He was sorry He had ever created it.  Let the reality of this sink into your soul.

Genesis 6:5-8    “The Lord saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time. 6 The Lord regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled. 7 So the Lord said, “I will wipe from the face of the earth the human race I have created—and with them the animals, the birds and the creatures that move along the ground—for I regret that I have made them.” 8 But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord.”  I wonder what the Lord is thinking today?  

Genesis 8:21-22  I am thankful for His covenant with Noah:  “Never again will I curse the ground because of humans, even though[i] every inclination of the human heart is evil from childhood. And never again will I destroy all living creatures, as I have done.

22 “As long as the earth endures,
seedtime and harvest,
cold and heat,
summer and winter,
day and night
will never cease.”

See God’s protection in the following verses:
Genesis 6:8, 13, 18, 7:1, 11.
See God’s preservation in Genesis 6: 6-8, 14, and 7:13
See God’s provision for posterity (covenant)  in Genesis 6:18, 8:21-22, and 9:16-17
On the twenty-seventh day of the second month of Noah’s 601st year of life his time out ended when God instructed him to come out of the ark.
I am intrigued by Noah’s first action when getting out of the ark.  He did not lay in the grass and make angels, or run around in the sun, or shoo off the critters.  No Noah, demonstrates why God chose to put Noah and his family in time out.  Noah worshipped his God by building an altar and sacrificing one of ALL the clean animals.  God had provided for this act of worship even BEFORE the deluge came.  Amazing grace of our God.
Have you had a timeout you can look back on and see your time out was a time of divinely orchestrated protection, preservation, and provision?  This has been part of my time out experience of the last seven years.  It came at a time I needed a change of pace, it provided my financial needs, and God began to provide for my future as well.   He has been faithful to His covenant with this daughter of His to meet my needs.  If He plans it, He will provide for every need.   Like Noah, my experience was not all pleasant!  It was hard and disconcerting at times.  This has been a time of learning how God Almighty relates to me as a daughter.  He is my Heavenly Father.  Not every time out is for reprimand.  Some have our good and His glory written all over them if we could just trust Him with the unknowns.  Noah is well known six thousand years later because he did all His God asked him to do.  No questions asked!  Did you see this?  Not ONCE did Noah even question God.  He just went to work doing as he was instructed.

Trust and Obey – Big Daddy Weave

Father, May we learn from this lesson of a time out in the life of Noah “to trust and obey for there really is no other way………”  In Jesus name we pray.  Amen

Treading in hope,

Yvonne

I Will Be Still

be-still-and-know-that-i-am-god

What will 2016 bring for us and our loved ones’ lives???  That is the question!!!  Blessings, happiness, joyfulness, and lots of love can always be expected from the Lord, our family, and friends.  A growing in our relationship with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit can be a prayer of our hearts.

Only our Father God knows what is ahead of us. He occasionally lets us see things in advance.  Like, when He took Abraham outside to show him the heavens and instructed him to:

“Look up at the heavens and count the stars, if indeed you can count them.” Then, He said to him, “So shall your offsprings be.”  Abram believed the Lord, and He credited it to him as righteousness. (Genesis 15:5-6)    

In August 2013, I began to hear the Lord say to me that in a few months that our family would go thru a tough time with one of our family members. He also said that it would last six months. At the end of December our oldest son found out he had lung cancer and began treatment which lasted about six months.

Our Father is always actively working on our behalf, never leaving us but preparing us for anything that He has decided to allow to touch our lives.  He assures us in His Word that:

“For I AM the Lord, I change not…“ (Malachi 3:6a).

When you are in tribulation, and all things are come upon thee, even in the latter days, if thou turn to the Lord, thy God, and shall be obedient unto His voice:

For the Lord thy God is a merciful God:  “He will not forsake thee, neither destroy thee,  nor forget the covenant of thy father’s which He swear unto them.” (Deuteronomy 4:30-31).

A few years ago, I went through a really tough time, my brother died with a heart attack on Thanksgiving Day, I came under an awful attack from the old enemy a few months later, a dear friend died after having heart surgery in late summer, one of my sisters died from cancer in October, and my youngest son and his family moved to California at end of year. I was a broken hearted girl.

A dear friend gave me a CD with the following song that God used to bring comfort and healing to my heart. May  it bring comfort to yours for the New Year.

“Still“

Hide me now under Your wings,
Cover me within Your Mighty Hand.

(Chorus)
When the oceans rise and thunders roar,
I will soar with You above the storm.
Father, You are King over the flood,
I will be still and know You are God.

Find rest my soul in Christ alone,
Know His power in quietness and trust.

(Chorus) sing through twice.

Blessings for the New Year,

Tricia Cook

Fear Not Being Overwhelmed (#28)

II Kings 6:16    And he answered, Fear not:  for they that be with us are more than they that be with him.

Ummmmm, the holiday season is upon us!  Only seven (7) more Saturdays until Christmas.  OH HELP!!!!!  So much to do, no idea what to purchase, parties, programs, petitions from so many worthy organizations, cooking, cleaning, decorating…………………………all this on top of my routine responsibilities……….yep, I am overwhelmed!  

Elisha, servant of the LORD, has perspective, Jehovah’s perspective;  and about now I be needing me some of this!  I got me some issues–lots of issues!  How about you?  

I know when we have God’s viewpoint we can stand strong in the face of many enemies, problems, situations.  From God’s perspective, the army of God stands behind us in our daily battles.   I KNOW this in my head.   Walking  ??? ? It  ??? ? out ????in ???? my ???? everyday life………….well……you know.

It is in being outnumbered, overwhelmed, overworked, over it, that I get just a wee bit wiggy (that is a understatement!).  My mind focuses on the strength, the superiority, the status, the strong voices of they that be with him (her, it, them).  Outcome:  TIME TO FREAK OUT!    ?

When panic knocks is my first thought, “ask the Lord for wisdom?”  Heck NO!  (just being honest because the Lord already knows the truth.)

What I SHOULD do is:

STOP

 

K

 

   N

 

        E SUBMIT

 

             E

         

                   L

       

     D

                   O STAY

                       W

                           N!
Ask the LORD for Vision.

Be Bold and ask for a cure for my Spiritual blindness.  SEEK

Ask for perspective.  Ask the Lord to give me His point of view; show me what He is up too.

Then, I might just be able to walk forward in the STRENGTH OF THE LORD because the host of heaven is behind whatever is going on.  With the vast army of the Lord behind you, can you truly be afraid?  The longer I focus on Him and His army the less freaked out I will become.  Right?

(I in no way think this is easy!  Takes intentionality!  Practice!  Constant reminders!)

Romans 8:28   28 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.

In Romans 8:31 Paul the one who caused many a believer to freak out before his name changed from Saul to Paul writes:  What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?

And Paul continues in Romans 8:37-39  37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[b] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

2 Timothy 4:18 The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom. To him be glory for ever and ever

Father, in the name of Jesus I ask for your perspective in every situation I face.  May I move from freaking out to frantically seeking you to finally walking in peace.  Father, forgive me for failing to trust you in ALL things.  Lord, I know that I am not the only one in this sucking whirlpool of doubt and fear.  Break the power of the vortex that seeks to pulls us into the abyss.  Thank you for rescuing your freaked out daughters who often feel they are “circling the drain.”  

(Video of boat in a whirlpool)

(Cast My Cares on You by Finding Favor)

Yvonne

 

Treaders

Treading is defined as to press beneath feet, to step or walk on, to walk on over.  Peter asked Jesus if he could walk on water and Jesus told him to “come!”  We are a band of sisters also asking to do the impossible and walk on water but like Peter we too end up doing some treading water while we cry out to the ONE who rescues.

Today, as I was thinking about treading water because I had forgotten how much I LOVE to swim, the correlation between faith and doubt to swimming and treading water, this mental picture came to me.  I am a lifeguard and a swimming instructor.  I have taught thousands of children and hundreds of lifeguards through the years.  I have also taught adults who came with a lifetime of fear of the water.  As we talk about fear, it occurs to me that faith or doubt is based on the person into whose hands one is placing their life.  When I reflect on all these precious people who trusted me to teach them, I see them bravely moving from pool to ocean.  I see two lifeguards on the beach keeping watch over them:  Me, all five feet of me, in my regular beach garb and the official lifeguard in their red uniform suits, holding a torpedo buoy, standing with binoculars high above the beach, all buff and fit.  If I asked anyone I have taught which one of the two lifeguards on the beach they would want to come get them should they get into trouble, I would be willing to bet they would choose the one they KNEW!  Why?  Because they have a relationship with the one they know.  They believe the one they know will rescue them or die trying.  Trust has been built through difficult experiences with the one they know.  They would not doubt the ability of the one they know to rescue them from drowning even though they have never seen either lifeguard rescue a soul!

This is how it is with God.  We don’t trust, i.e., we fear (doubt) because we DO NOT know Him.  Our life experiences may have convinced us that He cannot be trusted because we mistakenly think “if He loved me He wouldn’t let this happen,” when the reality is very bad things happen to everyone at some point in time because we live in this very broken world.  It has been said, “expectations destroy relationships,” and NOTHING could be truer.  The expectation that becoming a believer in Christ means an easy life has been the detour of many a Christian’s walk of faith.

As I study Scripture’s fear nots and the fear the LORD your Gods, it becomes increasingly clear that those who do not know the LORD, doubt Him.  Those who entrusted their lives to Him, revere (fear) Him and trust Him and because of this knowledge they have faith when He says, “Fear not,” that they need not fear.  Faith is a verb not a cerebral exercise.  It is not a matter of quantity of faith because Jesus said all you need is mustard seed size faith in HIM and HE will move the mountains  Faith is a PERSON!

A puzzle piece just fell into place.  Tomorrow we will begin to look one verse at a time into the fear nots of Scripture.  In the meantime, I think I just stepped out on the water.  I hope I just threw you a torpedo buoy.  No treading water today.  Think I will go for a swim!

Blessings,

Yvonne