Archive for the ‘Trust’ Category

This is something that has been on my mind lately, so I thought I would share it again.

Yesterday I hesitantly went with my daughter for her first visit to the chiropractor due to back pain.  I sat in the corner of the room preferring to be in the waiting room or shopping, but because she wanted me there, I went.  I recoiled as I watched him apply pressure, twist, and jerk her body.  Joints popped and her body twisted abnormally as the chiropractor made adjustments.  He assured me it looked much worse than it felt, but I don’t think he will ever be seeing me again!  My daughter however was astonished at the difference it made in the way she felt.  The adjustment appeared to be uncomfortable to say the least, but the results were worth it to her.

Often we must go through uncomfortable adjustments in life to get everything lined up just as God desires it to be. Those adjustments often come in the form of change.    I don’t like change, so when it is forced upon me, my life feels twisted and uncomfortable.  Changes in job duties, expectations, schedules, health issues, finances, leadership, and on and on but there is one thing we can count on that never changes.  In Malachi 3:6 God says, “For I am the Lord, I change not.” (KJV)  Regardless of the changes making our lives uncomfortable, we can be comforted in know that God is the one thing that will never change.

Change is inevitable, so it is beneficial for us to have a godly approach.  Matthew 11:28 Jesus says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (NIV)   When change is causing knots of frustration, we may need a spiritual adjustment.  We must simply go to him and receive the rest that only He can provide.

When life adjustments happen we can trust that God is the same today as He was yesterday, and He will remain the same tomorrow and forever.  Pressures of life may cause us to recoil and wonder how we will survive. It may be tempting to run away from the change, but doing so does not allow God to get things in proper alignment.  Instead we should go to Him for rest and trust Him as he gives us a spiritual adjustment.  The blessings will be worth it all!

Inspirational Bible Verses

Inspirational Bible Verses (Photo credit: Isolino)

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Wait for the Joy

Weird School Bus

Weird School Bus (Photo credit: KB35)

A three-year old child just starting school was expected to ride the bus across campus to the building where her mother worked. Many children ride buses every day, but this was something totally foreign to her and caused much anxiety. As students were loading the bus, she walked right up to the door and then ran away screaming.

Finally her teacher took her by the hand and stepped onto the bus with her. She rode the bus to her destination without fear because the teacher she trusted walked with her through the situation that caused so much anxiety. When she stepped off the bus to meet her mother, she ran screaming with joy and glowing with excitement about what had been accomplished all because her loving teacher led her through it.

We often face frightening circumstances which leave us wanting to run the other direction to avoid the situation. Unfortunately it isn’t as easy as running away from the bus. Disappointment, grief, evil, and pain can strike at any time and can often cause us to feel hopeless because things are completely out of our control. There are no words to say, no instant fix, nothing left but to trust God.

Job was a man of integrity who feared God and avoided evil, but he still suffered many hardships. He lost his flocks, servants, children, and even his health. Things were so bad that his wife encouraged Job to “curse God and die” (Job 2:9). Yet he remained faithful and continued to praise God. To his wife he replied, “Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?” In all of this, Job did not sin in what he said (Job 2:10).

Even though Job could not understand why God would allow these events in his life, he was confident that God would take care of him. However, there were times that he felt frustrated just as we sometimes do. He even complained and questioned God, but he never blamed God.

Job never got answers to his questions, but he became content with the understanding that through it all God had a plan. Finally, in Job 42:2-3, Job says, “I know that you can do anything, and no one can stop you. And I was talking about things I did not understand, things far too wonderful for me.” During those moments in life when we don’t understand and want to just run away from the pain, grief, disappointment, and evil in the world, strive to continue praising God, remain faithful, and wait for the joy to come. 2 Corinthians 4:18 says, “We don’t look at the troubles we can see right now; rather, we look forward to what we have not yet seen. For the troubles we see will soon be over, but the joys to come will last forever.”

Whatever has you frozen in fear or running the other direction to escape, may be the very thing that God is waiting to take your hand and guide you through. If you will just trust Him, He will be with you for the duration of the ride, sitting right beside you, and getting you safely to the destination He has planned for you.

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As each of four women stepped into my car, I found myself amazed by their compassion. Each woman was facing significant trials in her own life, yet making the time to pray with a friend facing the nightmare of possibly losing her baby.  All of these women from different backgrounds, experiencing a variety of trials, made the time to support another friend in need.

The first was dealing with painful health issues that just a few days before led to hospitalization.  The second young lady was struggling to be strong as a loved one battles cancer.  The third was stressed by the uncertainty of her job as fellow employees were being laid off due to financial insecurities of the business.  The last was heartbroken after the grandmother who raised her was admitted to a nursing home.

As we drove to a nearby town, I shared my surprise that they were able to make the time for this last-minute trip considering each of their circumstances.  They quickly reminded me of the trials in my own life at the moment.   We discussed each of our situations, shared concerns and fears, and encouraged one another.  We discovered that although our trials were very different, there was one key element in each.  The trials had caused each us to rely more on God.  Each situation is beyond our control, and all we can do is trust God’s will for our lives.  We were even able to laugh at how the same scripture keeps popping up in everything we read.  Isn’t it amazing that God used one verse to encourage a car full of crying, giggling women?  The scripture we came across for weeks prior to and following this night was Proverbs 3:5 which says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.”

This trip was not about the women in my car, yet God used it to provide encouragement for each one.  Finally we reached our destination and as a group we prayed for our friend and her unborn baby with our hands on his mother’s stomach.  Specifically we prayed that the heart beat would be so strong that the doctor would be amazed by God’s power.  After a week of praying for this unborn child, we received the following message:

Praise The Lord!!! We got our MIRACLE. The baby’s heart rate has gone up to 174! The doctor has no explanation for it, but I do. It’s an answer to many many prayers!!!

I would like to tell you that the situation of every woman in my car that night has been resolved, but I can’t.   What I can say is that God is carrying each of us and our trials have helped us to rely on His strength rather than our own.  Isaiah 41:10 reminds us “do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

Whatever you are going through, you can trust that God loves you and is right there with you through the darkest times. Isaiah 43:2 says, “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.  When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.” 

Even though things may not happen as quickly or exactly the way you desire, trust that God has everything under control and has a plan specifically for you.  Jeremiah 29:11-13 says, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.  You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”  Trust God, call out to Him, seek His will for your life, ask friends to pray, and finally put your hope in Him.

The Solid Rock by Edward Mote

My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;

I dare not trust the sweetest frame, But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.

On Christ the solid Rock, I stand; All other ground is sinking sand,

All other ground is sinking sand.

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Trust Me

Cliffs Of Moher #2

Trust me.  Two little words which hold the power to bring strength or destruction.  How many times have you heard this only to find that heartache and disappointment follows?  I remember playing a game as a child where someone stood behind another person saying those two little words, “Trust me.”  The other person falls into their arms.  No big deal unless the person in back steps away, and you’re left stumbling across the floor.

As a sponsor for my children at church camps, I saw this game on a larger scale.  A platform was constructed three or four feet off the ground where one youth would stand alone with their back to the group who would stand on the ground with arms open wide.  Some fell with no hesitation.  Others would have to be coaxed.  “Come on.  Trust us.  We’ll catch you,” were the words of encouragement from the kids on the ground. I stood in horror praying I wouldn’t have to do it! But eventually those who hesitated were convinced there was no way the others would allow them to suffer any harm.

Life sometimes presents situations which test our trust levels on a much larger scale than these games.  At times it may feel as if we are standing at the top of a tremendous cliff instead of a small platform.  At the bottom stands God, holding out His vast arms of love, and saying, “I’ve got you.  It will all be OK.  You’ve just got to trust me.”  I’ve always believed the Bible and God’s promises.  I know that He has a plan, and in all things God works for the good of those that love Him.  Yet do I fully trust Him?  When life is difficult, can I trust that He is still in control or am I trying to climb down from the cliff unwilling to fall into His strong arms?

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.” (Proverbs 3:5 NIV)  God has whispered this scripture to me for months beginning with a scripture printed on a journal I received as a Christmas gift from an encouraging friend.  It seems as days pass that it pops up more frequently.  I believe He was preparing me for the cliff that I have been standing on for some time believing that I trust Him, but not fully willing to act on that trust and fall in His arms.

Trust does not come easily.  It often means letting go of everything we know to be rational, letting someone else have control, and hoping they carry through.  The good news is we can trust God.  His word is true and has stood the test of time.

“The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped.” (Psalms 28:7 NIV) Whatever cliff you find yourself position on, take that leap of faith and trust Him.  You may be faced with many uncertainties and difficulties which may not be what you had planned, but your strength and help can be found in the Lord.  He’s got you, and everything will be OK.  “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me.” (John 14:1 NIV)

Are you willing to fall from that high cliff of uncertainty and trust Him to catch you?  Or will you walk away relying on your own abilities?

 

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Overwhelmed?

God’s Backseat Driver

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Power of Prayer

prayer
Two weeks to live.  This is what doctors told a longtime, christian friend four weeks ago.  During those four weeks, I have found myself questioning how to even pray.  Since he is in a lot of pain, I have prayed for comfort.  But I have also found myself thinking God has a plan and obviously our days are numbered. So is there any point in praying for the healing of a man who is suffering and doctors say has very little time left to live?

Satan had planted the seed in my heart and mind that there was no reason to pray for anything more than comfort in his last days.  Today, God showed me that He is still in control, and, yes, He does have a plan. But just because doctors have numbered a man’s days does not mean that God is finished with him.  I also realized that my attitude has been one of little faith.

In Isaiah 38, King Hezekiah became ill and was near death when God told him in verse one that he would not recover.  As most of us would in his situation, Hezekiah cried out reminding God of his faithfulness.  Then in verse five God said, “I have heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will add fifteen years to your life.”

God is in control

Did Hezekiah’s prayer change God’s mind or was this part of His plan all along?   I don’t know, but I do know that God wants to hear our prayer and he wants us to be persistent in seeking His will.    1 John 5:14 says, “This is the confidence that we have in approaching God:  that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.”  There are other examples in the Bible similar to Hezekiah’s where God changes His plans as a result of someone’s prayer. Ultimately God is in control, but our prayer can effectively bring about results when our true desire is for God’s will rather than our own.

Satan wants us to lose heart in the power of prayer.  He wants us to be discouraged so that we don’t recognize and utilize the power of our prayers.  James 5:16 says, “The urgent request of a righteous person is very powerful in its effect.”  Hezekiah’s prayer was urgent and God’s answer to extend his life was just what Hezekiah had requested.  What if Hezekiah had given up and hadn’t prayed as he did?  I’m sure the outcome would have been different.

Just because the circumstances seem hopeless doesn’t mean we should give up.  Lack of prayer demonstrates a lack of faith, but persistent prayer shows an absolute trust in God.  Pour out your heart to God.  Make your requests known to Him and seek His will.  Don’t believe Satan’s lie that your prayers don’t matter.  When things are out of your control, pray as if every aspect of the situation hinges solely on your prayer.  It may be just the one God is waiting to hear!

Don’t pray when you feel like it. Have an appointment with the Lord and keep it. A man is powerful on his knees.~ Corrie Ten Boom

Photo Credit: Photobucket.com

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God’s Backseat Driver

Teen Driver

Trusting God is sometimes like teaching a teenager to drive. Someone else has the wheel, and you have no real control. Moving from the driver’s seat to the passenger’s seat as your teen learns to drive can cause a lot of uneasy feelings. You have just lost complete control of the vehicle to someone who thinks they know everything! Once that car goes into gear, you are at their mercy. You may offer strong suggestions such as, “Stop! Slow down! Change lanes! Watch out!” In reality, you are just along for the ride. Lack of control can leave you feeling uncomfortable, but eventually you learn to sit back and enjoy the ride with only an occasional outburst the backseat.

Events in our lives sometimes leave us with that same uneasy feeling. We may find ourselves questioning how God could allow things to happen the way they do. We try to keep a positive attitude and trust Him, but we tend to rely on our own ability to improve the situation. We find ourselves offering those same strong suggestions to God from the passenger seat of life. “God, I think this would be best for me right now!” Or “God, this is what I need!” Or “God, I really can’t do this!” At times, we want to just grab the steering wheel and take back control of our lives. Then we find our lives crashing into chaos because we have acted outside of God’s will for us.

We naturally want to have control, but our own abilities won’t be enough if we aren’t trusting God. Proverbs 3:5 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.” When we are feeling anxious about allowing God to be at the wheel of our life, maybe it’s because our trust level is not where it should be. It is easy to forget that God isn’t a “God in Training”. He is in control, and He has a plan.

Positive thinking and taking control do not show trust. Trusting God can be as difficult as trusting your teen behind the wheel. It doesn’t usually happen overnight. It is something that we must learn. Over time, we learn that God is trustworthy, and we can still trust Him even when life gives us that uneasy feeling because things aren’t going how we planned. To “trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding” means that we let go of our own abilities and surrender everything to Him. When we learn to trust and give full control to Him we are able to rest and feel peace that only comes from God. The ride may be bumpy at times, but we can trust God and relax in the backseat.

As your faith is strengthened you will find that there is no longer the need to have a sense of control, that things will flow as they will, and that you will flow with them, to your great delight and benefit. – Emmanuel Teney

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Overwhelmed?

Do you ever have moments when it seems as if your whole life has been turned upside down and you just don’t know if you can handle any more?  Sometimes life is overwhelming.

I recently found a garden snake in our elementary building. Considering that our students would be returning on Monday, I knew the snake had to be expelled from our school.  What seemed to be a fairly simple task became overwhelming when this harmless snake began trying to defend himself.  Although he was not venomous, he did a good job of convincing me that he wasn’t leaving without a fight.   I became overwhelmed by this aggressive little critter that repeatedly sprang at me the full length of his body.  I knew he wouldn’t hurt me, yet I just wasn’t sure I could even try anymore, so I finally called for help.  My husband came, made a quick capture, and calmed my racing heart.

Sometimes we get overwhelmed by the simple things in life which can be resolved easily, but often we are faced with moments which turn into days, months, or even years of being overwhelmed. Job demands, health issues, rebellious children, strained relationships, addictions, financial restraints, and so many other circumstances that may leave us feeling defeated.  Big or small, short-term or long-term, life is full of situations that stretch us emotionally, physically, and spiritually.

There are many examples in the Bible of people who were overwhelmed with their circumstances, from Martha who fretted over preparing a meal for Jesus to King David who feared for his life. So what can we do when life seems turned upside down for the moment, days, weeks, or even months and it feels like we just can’t handle any more?

Talk – We weren’t made to survive life alone.  After all, God made Eve because He saw that it wasn’t good for Adam to be alone.  Find someone who you trust that has been through a similar experience.  Sometimes just talking helps us feel better.  Most importantly, talk to God.  James 5:13 says, “Is anyone among you suffering?  Then let him pray.”  In Psalms 61:2 David said, “I will cry to you when my heart is overwhelmed.”  God hears when we cry out to Him.  He can provide shelter, peace, and comfort.

Trust – Abraham was surely overwhelmed in Genesis 22:1-14 when his faith was tested, yet he trusted God.  Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”  Philippians 4:13 says, “I can do all things through Christ who give me strength.” We may not understand why situations happen in our life, but we can trust God to give us strength to endure.

Tackle It – In Genesis 6:13-22, God called Noah to build an ark so large that God had to close the door.  What an overwhelming job he had!  He didn’t just sit back and hope God would take care of it for him.  Noah jumped in and tackled the task as God led.  Ephesians 6:10 reminds us to “be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.”  You can’t do it on your own, but He will give you the power to get through those overwhelming situations.

Time – Joseph struggled for thirteen years before seeing God’s plan fulfilled.  As a child Joseph had a dream that he would become a ruler.  His brothers sold him into slavery, then he went to prison for a crime he did not commit.  Eventually, he became the most influential person in the world. (Genesis 37-41)  It took a lot of time, but Joseph did not give up and continued to be faithful.  We only see the current circumstances, but God sees our future.  Hebrews 13:5 says, “I will never leave you, nor forsake you.”  Regardless of how long we are overwhelmed God will be there with us.

When life is overwhelming, and you feel like you just can’t take any more, remember to TALK to Him, TRUST Him, TACKLE IT with His strength, and allow TIME for God to work.  He loves you, and will see you through those moments when life seems turned upside down whether for the moment, days, weeks, months, or even years.

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