Tag Archives: trusting god

Mama Bear Love

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“That brings out the mama bear in me,” a friend exclaimed!

Parental love is scary strong. Love hits a new parent like a tidal wave. It’s often said that becoming a parent is like having your heart walking around outside your body. Such fierce love struggles with children growing up in a world filled with danger, evil, and pain.

Parents decide to take control and guarantee their child’s safety. An impossible task. Knowing our children have free will to make bad choices adds to our fear. Even when our children are grown, we still want their safety, well-being, and happiness.

Once a parent, always a parent.

Our twenty-four year old son described a health issue he had but that he had no plans to see a doctor. I was sleepless as I imagined him headed to an early grave because of his choice to ignore the problem.

The next morning, reading about Abraham, Sarah and Hagar in Genesis 21,

I found hope.

God promised Abraham and Sarah a son, though past childbearing years. Sarah offered her servant, Hagar, to Abraham so he could have a son by her, planning to raise him as Abraham’s heir. Hagar had a son but a few years later, God fulfilled His promise and by a miracle, Sarah also had a son, the intended heir. When conflict arose between the two sons, Sarah insisted Abraham get rid of Hagar and Ishmael. So, Abraham (with God’s blessing) gave them water and bread and sent them into the wilderness.

Hagar went as far as she could, until the water ran out. “Then she went and sat down opposite him a good way off, about the distance of a bowshot, for she said, ‘Let me not look on the death of the child.’ And as she sat opposite of him, she lifted up her voice and wept.” Genesis 21:16

I feel her pain. She’s done all she can. She’s convinced her son will die. How does a mom watch her son die of thirst?

But… “And God heard the voice of the boy, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, ‘What troubles you, Hagar? Fear not, for God has heard the voice of the boy where he is. Up! Lift up the boy, and hold him fast with your hand, for I will make him into a great nation.’” Genesis 21:17-18

“Then God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water.” Genesis 21:19

Why did Abraham agree to send Hagar and their son into the wilderness? Unbeknownst to Hagar, God had already given Abraham a promise. “And I will make a nation of the son of the slave woman also, because he is your offspring.” Genesis 21:13

Before Hagar entered the wilderness, before she ran out of water, before she collapsed in pain and sorrow, expecting her son to die, God knew what would happen and had planned to make a nation from Ishmael. God had a plan Hagar didn’t know about. Then, He opened her eyes.

As a mom, I can think like Hagar: because of this obstacle, my son will die. But God is sovereign. He’s the one who knows what the future holds and He holds each of us in His hands.

I can trust Him.

I can pray.

God hears my prayers as He heard Ishmael (v. 17). I pray for our son and I give him advice when he wants it, but God already knows what will happen. He already has it covered. He had a plan for Ishmael from the beginning and He has a plan for our son.

I don’t have a guarantee bad things won’t happen to our son. Trusting God doesn’t mean everything will work out as I want or that our son will live to be a hundred years old. It means God already knows the future and He’s already there.

I can trust God no matter what.

Father, thank you that you knew the day you placed our son in our arms how his whole life would play out. You knew from the day he was born every obstacle he would face, each weakness, and each choice he would make. I know he belongs to you and you hold him in your hands. Thank you dear Father! I know I can trust him to you.

Already There      by Casting Crowns says it so well.

 

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What’s Required of Me?

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“Everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be required.”

Luke 12:48b (ESV)

I’ve often heard that whisper from God.

While worshipping and praising God at a concert recently, my heart was focused on Him. Once again that whisper came, “To whom much is given, much is required.”

“What’s required Lord?” I asked. “What does this mean?”

He spoke to my heart, “What have you been given?”

Lord, You’ve given me grace beyond measure, forgiveness for my sins, knowledge of your truth, and your everlasting love. You’ve given me physical well-being, health and always meet my daily needs. You’ve given me opportunities to learn and grow, people who love me, and freedom to worship you. I’ve received love, joy, peace, forgiveness, grace, and truth and I’ve learned to trust you.

If you’ve been given grace, give equal grace to others.

If you’ve received forgiveness, forgive others more.

If you’ve been encouraged, be quick to encourage.

If your physical needs are met, meet the needs of those around you.

If you know the truth, share the truth.

If you are loved, then love freely.

If you are strong, help those who are weak.

I believe what’s required of me is to let all these blessings flow through me to others. To those around me who need grace, forgiveness, encouragement, a meal or daily needs.

This isn’t something I can do on Sunday morning or Tuesday evening and then I’ve met my requirement. This is a way of living.

This is an attitude, an outlook, a way of being.

It’s a change of focus.

A change from focusing on me to focusing on the Lord Jesus Christ. It is abiding in His love.

I wish I could say I’m living this way everyday. I hesitate to even write this because I’m so far from living this every day. I want to live focusing on Jesus and serving Him but I can’t do it in my strength. Awareness is the beginning. Change comes one day at a time. One step at a time. It requires abiding in Jesus. Living continually in His presence. I feel like I fail at this kind of loving. I know God loves me unconditionally and always will. I want to finish this life strong. I don’t want to have regrets. Please pray for me that I, who have been given so much, will respond in kind.

Help me take the next step Lord.

“We must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” Acts 20:35b (ESV)

“Seek the LORD and his strength; seek his presence continually!” Psalm 105:4 (ESV)

“Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.” John 15:4

“So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.” 1 John 4:16 (ESV)

 Originally published at Internet Cafe Devotions

 

 

 

 

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There is Hope

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My dad went to be with Jesus in 2000. One of the last times I saw him alive was on a visit I made to the VA home where he lived in another state. I was only able to visit him there two or three times a year. He had been in the home about four years and he hated it. As a former reformatory guard, he referred to it as “lockdown”. But my mom was no longer able to work and take care of him by herself. I wanted so much to encourage him somehow and on this visit I felt the urge to share these verses:

“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.” John 14:1-3 (ESV)

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Looking at my mom, he choked, “Did you hear what she said”? He was blessed and encouraged. He would not be stuck in that bed forever. Jesus was preparing a better place for him.

This world is a place of suffering. We may have moments, even days when we are personally free of suffering. But truthfully, with how the world has shrunk so that we know what is happening around the world instantaneously, suffering confronts us hourly if not by the minute. Suffering in this world is a reality and has been since the day Adam and Eve sinned.

Our encouragement, our hope is in knowing it won’t be this way forever. Even if we live into our hundreds, life on this earth is short. Those who believe in Jesus will then live with Him for eternity free of suffering. Someday, He will return to earth and those still alive on earth will see the end of evil and pain.

The tragedy is for those who never know or do not believe that Jesus paid for our sins on the cross and set us free and then enter into eternity without Him.

The longer I live, the faster the days go by. Life on this earth is fleeting. Even if I manage to have a life of ease and comfort it won’t last long.

“For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.” James 4:14b (ESV)

I feel it.

The longing we each have in our hearts for a perfect place free of pain and sorrow will be fulfilled in heaven.

“If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.” Romans 10:9-10 (ESV)

Believe in Jesus. Believe He died for your sins and rose again.

“For ‘everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’” Romans 10:13 (ESV)

Believe in Him and know you will spend eternity in perfect joy.

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Originally published at Takin It To the Streets

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Pure Light

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There is NO darkness in God!

I love this verse and the picture it paints. God is pure light. There is no darkness, no hidden deceit, no malicious intent, and no evil in the LORD God. we can TRUST Him even when things look dark and scary. Even when we face painful trials. we can trust He will make all things right in the end.

I believe in you Father! I believe you are good and your ways are holy. I know you are trustworthy and your loving-kindness never fails. Thank you that there is no darkness in you. Help me to walk in the light always. Help me to walk with you as you are the light.

 

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Trusting His Sovereign Power

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S – “For not from the east or from the west and not from the wilderness comes lifting up, but it is God who executes judgment, putting down one and lifting another.”Psalm 75:6-7

O – This verse teaches the sovereignty of God. He is the one who lifts up one leader and puts down another. He is sovereign over all things.

A – I know God is sovereign, I can’t say I understand it. With the current hysteria over elections here in the U.S., it is comforting to remember that ultimately He decides. Does that mean nothing bad will happen or that we will not suffer in any way? No. God will do what fulfills His ultimate purpose for this universe. He looks at all of history not just this moment. He looks at eternity. We want comfort for the moment. He wants what is good for eternal purposes. We can’t always see His purpose, we have to trust Him because we know who He is. He is holy, just, pure and good. He is trustworthy, He is love and He loves us with an everlasting love. (I don’t think this means our vote doesn’t count. God works through us to accomplish His purposes.)

P – Father, I may not understand what is going on and I may not like it but I trust you. I trust you and I pray that your will be done on this earth. May your will be done in the upcoming election in the United States. I love you Lord.

What are your thoughts on these verses? Please comment below.

For more information on SOAP Bible Study, click here.

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Is there any hope?

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Life is hard.

Marriages broken.

Marriages full of pain.

Children in rebellion.

Children hurting themselves.

Senseless murders.

Fear in the streets.

Jobs lost.

Finances in ruin.

Loved ones lost to death.

Parents aging.

We are aging.

Chronic illness.

Chronic pain.

Terminal disease.

Dreams die.

Addictions abound.

Perversity reigns.

War threatens.

Is there no end?

Where is the safety?

Where is the “happily ever after”?

Will it ever come?

Not on this earth.

Here we groan in labor.

Here we are under the curse of sin.

Only in heaven will we know the happy ever after we long for.

God will make all things right.

In heaven, there will be no more pain for all eternity.

Jesus came to show us the way to that paradise.

We must believe in Him.

There is no other way.

We cannot make our own way to heaven.

“Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” John 14:6 (NIV)

Jesus offers…

Grace for today.

Eternal security.

Treasure in heaven.

Forgiveness for sin.

Hope for tomorrow.

Comfort in sorrow.

Peace in pain.

Strength in weakness.

Perfect love.

Thanksgiving for worry.

Faith for fear.

Mansions above.

Victory below.

His presence always.

How?   

We believe in Him. 

Jesus is our hope.

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Excerpt from Amazing Hope: A 40-day Devotional by Susan Aken

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Am I Living With Purpose?

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I winced as my tongue touched the roof of my mouth. The red, painful sores that had recently flared up made it difficult to eat.

The pain had become too much. I just couldn’t take it anymore. I tried essential oils, vitamins, drugs, salt water,  rest and other treatments to find some relief from the pain.

As I look back over my life, I’ve been sick many times and spent a lot of time and money getting healthy and keeping this body going. But the truth is the same for everybody. Our earthly bodies are temporary. No matter what we do, we all will die one day.

As I was trying to figure out what could have caused these awful sores and how to get them to go away, a seed that had been sown into my heart long ago sprouted.

Instead of dedicating so much of my focus to this temporary body and working to keep it alive as long as possible, I asked myself,  “Am I really living? Will I live the abundant life Jesus came to give me or will I just exist in the time I have here on earth?” I can’t change the fact that I will die or even control the day it will happen.

“A persons days are determined; you have decreed the number of his months and have set limits he cannot exceed.” (Job 14:5, NIV)

Instead of constantly looking for the latest cure for some physical ailment, I need to focus more on:

  • How will I live?
  • How will I make the most impact with the time I have?
  • What legacy will I leave behind?

Those are the eternally important questions.

Of course, I want to be physically healthy so I can enjoy the time I have. But being obsessed with prolonging life is pointless. Better to focus on living each moment to the fullest.

“Show me, Lord, my lifes end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting my life is.” (Psalm 39:4, NIV)

“Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.”(Psalm 90:12, NIV)

When I am sick, I focus on how I can fix the immediate problem. But am I that determined when there is a spiritual weakness? Do I seek the Lord until victory comes? Do I take a selfish attitude as seriously as I do a sore throat? Am I as concerned about pride as I am about an infection?

This body is wasting away. Nothing can turn that around. But my inner being is being renewed day by day. My inner being will live forever. Am I seeking purity and holiness? That’s an eternal investment. Am I quick to find help when my soul is sick?

I have a dear friend who was recently diagnosed with cancer. She struggles with the thought of how long she has left. She wonders, “Do I have two years, five years or 10 years?”

The truth is we are all terminal.

A diagnosis like hers makes it real. But none of us knows what will be our last day or hour.

So I make this my prayer: Father, I want to focus my thoughts on living life to the fullest with the time I have. I don’t know how many more days I have. But I don’t want to waste them. Help me to focus on living this moment fully alive and to trust you with how many moments there will be. I love you Lord!

We all struggle with the shortness and working so hard to l keep this body alive, we should focus on how to keep our souls healthy by seeking God first and loving Him and others to the fullest.

“Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” (Matthew 6:27, NIV)

Have you taken some time to evaluate your spiritual life lately? If not, set aside time today to honestly determine how much time you’ve committed to prayer, reading and meditating on God’s word and serving others in the past few days, weeks or months.. If you haven’t been doing any or all of these things, it’s likely your spiritual health is suffering.

Just like diet and exercise, spiritual fitness takes discipline and commitment, and there is no better time to start strengthening your spiritual body than right now. Let’s get started!

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I originally published this at Takin’ it to the streets  as “How’s Your Spiritual Health?”

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