Tag Archives: trusting God

Feeling Frantic?

Do you ever feel frantic? I know I do, and I’ve learned it is a sure sign that rather than trusting God, I am seeking control. Basically, it boils down to idolatry. Idols are the things we run to for comfort so that we can keep things from getting out of hand.  Yet, from time to time, in spite of all we do, things do spin out of our control. As people of God, those times are wake up calls to help us realize only he is sovereign over everything, and our efforts are feeble. They are an illusion, because in reality, we have control over very little. The One who holds everything together could allow it to fall apart at any time, but because of his grace, he sustains us. He is good, so he can be trusted. And trusting him leads to joy (being blessed), while trusting in flesh (self and other shallow substitutes) leads to misery or being cursed. The choice is clear.

This is what the LORD says: “Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who draws strength from mere flesh and whose heart turns away from the LORD. That person will be like a bush in the wastelands; they will not see prosperity when it comes. They will dwell in the parched places of the desert, in a salt land where no one lives. “But blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.” The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? “I the LORD search the heart and examine the mind, to reward each person according to their conduct, according to what their deeds deserve.” Jer. 17:5-10

Jeremiah’s task as a young prophet was to proclaim God’s coming judgment against his people, because they had forsaken him and turned to idols. Yet, even in judgment, he was offering hope to those who would chose to trust him. It’s interesting to me that while much of Jeremiah’s warnings against the people are related to sins of commission and omission, this passage seems to get to the heart behind those sins. It’s all a matter of trust. The blatant sins were idolatry and failing to honor the Sabbath, but at the root of those sins was a lack of trust in God. As God’s people we are supposed to be different. The tendency of human flesh is to trust in self or others that we can see and touch. It it not in our nature to trust an unseen God. We want to be in control. We can control flesh, but we cannot control the unseen. It seems unnatural for flesh to trust in supernatural, but that is what God calls us to do, and if we don’t, there are consequences.

To be cursed means to be miserable, as opposed to being blessed or happy. Trusting him results in something else that is unseen—our roots are firmly established. They develop deep and tap into the fountains of living water. Being tapped into those streams of living water is the key to blessing. This is not based on activity, but trust. Trust stands still and waits. It does not feel the need for control, and it is never frantic. When we realize we have no control, and that the One who does have it is good, and wants the best for us, we can choose the blessing of trusting him.

Oh Lord, help us to trust you rather than frantically strive for control. We know you are good, and you can be trusted, but sometimes we are afraid anyway. Help us to be still and know you are God and that your love for us is everlasting. We can trust in One who loves us that much. So even though circumstances and things in this seen world try to move us, we will not be moved. We will be like trees planted by streams of living waters and have no need to fear. We choose to believe you. Amen


Just Another Bump in the Road

Lord, help me. I am so needy. Circumstances completely stressful and out of control right now. I feel like there is a vice on my chest. Please help Lord! Come to my rescue. Without You I am so sunk. Change me, so that I am not shaken by circumstances, but rather overwhelmed as I choose to stand in your powerful presence. I am weary and heavy laden, so I come to You seeking rest for my soul. I cannot handle this without You! You have been so faithful to answer my prayers in the past, so I ask You to intervene now, to quiet my anxious thoughts, and help me to soar above this storm. So many times You have helped me do that. It is never easy, but I know I can choose to abide in You even in the midst of trouble. Forgive me for trying to take control before looking to You. That’s such a foolish move, especially when I have no possible of hope of controlling anything. I ask you to give me grace and wisdom to respond to everyone involved in your perfect love, and in the interim let me abide in the Vine. Take the reins Lord Jesus. I am at the end of myself and ask for You to take over.

Dear daughter, I am here and I have a plan. It does not depend on you, and it won’t be thwarted by anyone. You must listen for my voice, and seek my wisdom now. Do not respond in your flesh, but seek Me first and I will put proper responses in your heart. Regardless of what people say and do, you are to walk in the Spirit. To do any less will only worsen matters. You cannot add a thing to this situation in your own strength, so bring it to Me and let me handle it for you. My yoke is easy and my burden is light. Come find rest in Me. These burdens are nothing compared to my strength, and they are only temporary. Remember to set your eyes on the things that are eternal. Set your mind on things above, and not the fleeting things of earth (Col. 3:2). Remember that I understand your struggles, because I have struggled even more. Consider the hostility I endured for the sake of those I love, and do not lose heart. Even as I endured for the joy set before Me, you can endure (Heb. 12:1-3). Remember my promise to work all things together for your good, and you will not be overcome by this bump in the road. That is all it is dear one. It may slow you down, but nothing can stop you as long as you hold onto Me. I will take care of this for you, and am not intimidated in the least. Your calling in this is to learn your lesson well. Learn to overcome evil with good (Rom. 12:21), and learn to wait on Me. You are precious in my sight, and I am always working on your behalf. That does not mean the road will be easy, but it means you will reach the destination and that every trial will better equip you for the journey. Trust Me, believe my promises, and I will get you there.

Trusting the Shepherd

Lord, today I ask You to give me ears to hear and eyes to see. The world is full of darkness and noise that make hearing and seeing spiritual things difficult. Yet, You have overcome the world, so I ask You to help me walk in your provision for Me. You said your sheep hear your voice, and I know I belong to You. Make me extra sensitive. Help me to be one of the first to come when you call. I have spent too many years with dull senses, and too many years having to be pulled in by your staff. Help me keep one eye on the pasture and the other on You, so that when You move I move too. I long to please You Lord, because You have done so much for me. You are gracious far beyond what I deserve, and your love has sustained me through the most difficult of circumstances. You pursued me even when I insisted on following false gods, and You came to my rescue when they toppled. You are so good! I don’t deserve such love, but I am forever grateful. Today I ask that You would help me reflect your goodness everywhere I go. Help me show people that You are so much more than the image portrayed by so many who call your name. Shine through me today, so that perhaps darkness will be dispelled in someone’s life. Help me make an eternal difference today. Amen

Let everything that has breath praise the Lord (Ps. 150:6). I inhabit the praises of my people so begin with praise (Ps. 22:3). It will open your eyes to see, and your ears to hear. Abide in my love, knowing that nothing in the world can separate you from it (Jn. 15:9, Rom. 8:39). No matter what you go through, I am with you. The waters will not overflow you, and the fire will not scorch you when you walk with Me (Is. 43:2). Nothing on earth has power over you, not even things that seem out of control. I am your shepherd, and it is my job to protect you. You need not walk in fear or confusion. Simply follow my leading. You may not see where the road leads, but I know where we are going. I promise to lead you to still waters, and to restore your soul (Ps. 23:1-3). Sheep do not have to figure everything out, they only need to follow and trust the shepherd. Pursue Me and not the path. Before you realize it, the destination will be just ahead.

Laying Every Burden Down

Father before this day gets started, I would like to give it to You. I dare not go into it without your help. There are so many burdens on my heart right now. I am weary and heavy laden, so I come to your feet and lay the burdens down asking You to give me rest in the midst of these trials. Life is hard, but You are so good! I pray for my loved ones who are struggling. They don’t understand how to tap into your goodness, because they can’t see past themselves. I pray for those who need You desperately, and yet reject You. I pray for all the crises that were brought to my attention yesterday—for a domestic violence situation and many more. Lord, You are sovereign and want to use these situations for good in the lives of those who love You. I know that when I was getting out of that horribly abusive situation I could not imagine how You could possibly use it for good, but You did! In the midst of that, You taught me more about your great love than I could have ever imagined, You taught me about your faithfulness, and You have used it to help me minister to others. The most awful time of my life was also the most beautiful, because You met me there and proved yourself faithful. When I made the decision to trust and to hold on to You circumstances took a while to change, but those years transformed my life and I am grateful for them now. For all the people on my heart, I ask You give them the same blessing. Use their suffering and misery to draw them to yourself. Help them to see beyond themselves to the eternal One who transcends circumstances and whose perfect love casts out fear. Calm the raging storms today dear Lord. Amen

My child, drop those heavy loads at my feet. You have no power to change anything without my divine intervention, so release all your cares to Me. Worry will not accomplish anything. You have learned that I am trustworthy, so entrust your troubles to Me knowing that I care for you. Do not borrow trouble from tomorrow by worrying. It will only ruin today. Instead seek Me and leave your burdens in my loving hands. Unlike so many people, you have learned that I weave my eternal purposes into the everyday trials of life, and that knowledge should give you peace. I am never out of control even when people and circumstances seem to be. You may wonder why I allow those situations to happen, but you cannot see from my perspective. Do not ask why, it will only cause more grief. Rather, ask Me to show you what I have for you in the midst of each trial. Yes, life is full of horrible and grievous circumstances, because I allow people choices and you live in a fallen world, but I still hold the reins. My plans transcend your time limitations. That is why I can look on the ocean of horrors that occur daily in this world and still see the good. I know the end before it begins, and I promise to make all things new. Life is but a breath and I promise to right every wrong in eternity. Do not forget that I came down and bore those burdens on the cross. I did not leave you to wallow in misery, but provided hope by taking the full weight of human suffering on myself. That provision is enough to get you through this life. It breaks the power of sin, and gives you the ability to overcome. My resurrection proves that I have overcome this world, and you do not have to be defeated. So leave your burdens here my child. Drop them and take my hands instead. I will lead you by still waters and restore your soul. I will be your comfort. Rest in Me now. In my presence nothing will be able to overwhelm you, and I am here waiting. Come bask in my lovingkindness. You are loved and I here to carry your burdens. Let them go.

(1 Pet. 5:7, Mt. 6:33-34, Is. 46;10, Rev. 21:5, Ps. 144:4, Ps. 23).

Learning to FOLLOW

Lord, I want every bit of my life to reflect You! The only way for that to happen is for a radical change to occur. The status quo has to go! Polite little quiet times are not enough. I want my entire life to show the world how great You are. I won’t be satisfied with checking off a list of “to do’s;” my only satisfaction will come from abiding in your presence moment by moment. I want to hear your voice. Please take me deeper than my shallow mind can conjure up, and let my spirit stay in communion with You constantly. Paul would not have said pray without ceasing if it were not possible. Strengthen me to do that! But let it be communion with You, not just mindless babbling from me. I need You desperately, and ask You to come and fill me with yourself.

Child, I see your thirst. I am a good Father and never refuse a thirsty child. I have given you my Spirit, and you need only to stir up the gift I have given you (2 Tim. 1:6). Enter into my presence with thanksgiving and praise (Ps. 100:4). That is where you will find refreshing for your thirsty soul. Keep your gaze ever upon me, because I am the author and perfector of your faith (Heb.12: 2). This means you can’t conjure up whatever it is you think you need. You must completely depend on Me. You stay so frustrated with yourself, and that is simply a waste of energy. Walking in the Spirit is a matter of following my lead. Remember those times you went dancing and were told that you were leading? That’s what you do every day. Yes, I am still with you, but I cannot lead you to those places of refreshing until you stop trying to lead! I will hold you. I will rejoice over you with singing (Zep. 3:17), but you must learn to follow if you want Me to lead. Part of your problem is your natural personality bent, and a lot of it comes from your experiences in life. Just remember that I am not like any person you have ever known. I am worthy to lead, and will lead you beside that still water your soul so desires. Come to Me! Hold my hand, and I will do more than you ever dreamed. I love you so my child. Trust me and come.

On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’ ” Now this he said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive, for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified. (Jn. 7:37-39)

At The Heart of Every Fear

I believe that at the heart of every unhealthy fear there is a question about God’s goodness. 1 John 4:18 tells us that perfect love expels fear. That is, when we know we are loved, we know we can trust that God has ultimate control, and that He will work all things out for our good (Rom. 8:28). For years, I was crippled by fear, because I did not understand the concept of his sovereignty. I acted as if He wasn’t paying attention, or like the disciples in the storm tossed boat mentioned in Mark 4:38, I thought he might not care that I was sinking.

The older I get the more I realize that God has a good agenda– even in our suffering. He has used awful circumstances in my life to bring about good that never would have happened without the bad happening first. When Jesus got up and calmed the storm for the disciples, he asked them why they were so afraid, and asked why (after all the miracles they had seen) they still had no faith. If you are a child of God, fear should not be status quo for you. It is the opposite of faith, and those are belong to Him are called to live by faith. Yes, the world is a hard place, and fearful things happen almost daily, but those who belong to Him should never give in to fear-.

It is a choice that says “even though the storms of life are raging, I know He is in control and I can trust Him with my life. If He does not choose to immediately rescue when bad things to happen, He still has my best interest at heart and will use it for good.” This does not mean we don’t remove ourselves from danger or try to improve circumstances when we have the power to do so. (There is a healthy, God-given fear that protects us when we are in immediate danger). However, it means we do not desperately grasp to control things we cannot control. We will all experience fear in life. The key is to learn to surrender it to God, so that He can replace it with faith. Paul admitted to the Corinthians that his visit to them had been characterized by “weakness and fear.” Yet, he went on to explain that this was so that their faith would be based on the power of God rather than the wisdom of men (1 Cor. 2:3-5). It is in our weakness that God’s power is best displayed (2 Cor. 12:9). This means that fear gives us an opportunity to proclaim His power. When we can say we were afraid, but still moved forward in faith, it shows the world it is His power rather than our own.

Are you struggling with fear? Perhaps you have received bad news from the doctor. Perhaps someone you love has rejected you. Perhaps you fear for a loved-one who is making bad decisions, or even choosing to deliberately hurt you. Perhaps your fear is related to finances. Whatever it is, I urge you to surrender it to the One who loves you most. He knows the situation. It has not caught Him off guard. Even though your circumstances may be the result of sin, and not part of His perfect will for your life, He promises to use all things for your good.

Think about the story of Joseph in Genesis. He was captured by his brothers and sold into slavery, then falsely accused and unfairly imprisoned. He suffered undeserved consequences for decades, but he held on tightly to God. In the end, Joseph told his brothers that even though they intended their actions for harm, God intended them for good (Gen. 50:20). His circumstances were the result of their sin, but God ultimately used it for good. In every fearful event of life we are faced with a choice. We will either focus on the goodness of God or we will focus on our negative circumstances . We always have the power to choose. Will you choose to trust in his goodness and love for you, or will you question his goodness and let fear rule you? Jesus told his disciples not to let their hearts be troubled or afraid (Jn. 14:27), but to believe (Jn. 14:1). Obviously, we can’t just turn off our emotions, but we can choose our response. When fear rolls in, choose to look to God in faith and confidence that his promises are true. Believe that He will use your circumstances for good, and you trust that He always has loving intentions towards you.

Psalm 56 has long been one of my favorites. Notice how the psalmist chooses to deal with his fear. I have recited these word many times as I have made the choice to believe rather than fear. If you are struggling with fear, I hope you will pray this psalm now.

Be merciful to me, O God, for man would swallow me up; Fighting all day he oppresses me. My enemies would hound me all day, For there are many who fight against me, O Most High. Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You. In God (I will praise His word), In God I have put my trust; I will not fear. What can flesh do to me? All day they twist my words; All their thoughts are against me for evil. They gather together, They hide, they mark my steps, When they lie in wait for my life. Shall they escape by iniquity? In anger cast down the peoples, O God! You number my wanderings; Put my tears into Your bottle; Are they not in Your book? When I cry out to You, Then my enemies will turn back; This I know, because God is for me. In God (I will praise His word), In the Lord (I will praise His word), In God I have put my trust; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me? Vows made to You are binding upon me, O God; I will render praises to You, For You have delivered my soul from death. Have You not kept my feet from falling, That I may walk before God In the light of the living?    For further study see: Psalms 23, 27, 34 & 46, Isaiah 41:10, 51:12-14, Romans 8:15, Hebrews 13:6

Beauty for Ashes

Lord, please speak to my heart today. Help me move past the urgency of temporary demands into your eternal presence. Father, You know the many burdens on my mind right now. There are many people I love who don’t know You, and people who wallow in misery because they choose their own ways above yours, work related issues, and ministry related issues. I need You to come to the rescue! I am powerless in so many of these areas—well, probably in all of them. I know that if I am allowing worry to come in, then I am not walking in the Spirit—plain and simple. In your presence, there is fullness of joy and worry cannot enter. I tell myself over and over that I need to practice your presence, I need to worship, I need to surrender all to You, and yet I find myself stressing and trying to figure out ways to fix what is broken. Problem is, those things are like Humpty Dumpty to me—they can’t be fixed. The beautiful thing is that You specialize in using brokenness to create something brand new. So today I hand all these pieces to You. Take them and remake them into something beautiful for your kingdom.

Father, I am so grieved over a loved one right now. Help me separate the grief from worry by completely surrendering this situation to You again and again. Father bind up the wounds and heal the brokenhearted. You give beauty for ashes, and all I see now is ashes. I ask You to turn my mourning into dancing, and cloth me with gladness. Let me tell others of your goodness, and your amazing ability to redeem hopeless situations. Father, I put this in your mighty and competent hands once more! Take it and do abundantly, exceedingly above what I could ask or think! I do not trust or hope in this person, but I trust You and am giving this to You again. Thank You for answered prayers. Forgive me for being impatient when they don’t get answered according to my plan. This is your burden Lord, and I trust You to turn it around in your perfect timing. Amen.

My child, in your grief embrace joy, even as I grieve and rejoice over my fallen creation. Though there are many grievous things in this world, I have overcome the world, and am watching over my word to perform it (Jn. 16:33, Jer. 1:12). Rejoice in Me, and know that I have good plans for you (Jer. 29:11). I see your tears and I know your heartache. I have been rejected and replaced by many false gods since the beginning of the world. It is beyond sad, but I came to Earth and bore the sorrow, because of the joy set before Me (Heb. 12:2). Focus on Me and my redemptive plan little one. Know that I can give beauty for ashes and the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness (Is. 61:3). Rejoice in Me always! (Ph. 4:4).  Remember there is nothing that can separate you from my love, and you can trust Me because I love you and desire things that are your best interest. Rest in Me and trust Me always remembering that I am good. Let Me carry this burden.