Tag Archives: trust

Healthy vs. Unhealthy Fear

Most of the things  we fear are unrealistic.  They consist of the ‘What Ifs’ in life.  We also fear the unknown, don’t we?  These are unhealthy fears, especially for believers.  Take a look at this…

You who fear the Lord, trust in the Lord!
He is their help and their shield.    Psalm 115:11

photo by: imperfectspirituality.com

photo by: imperfectspirituality.com

The word for ‘Fear’ here is defined as worship and reverence.  So, to truly fear the Lord is to attribute significant worth and respect for him.  To do this, we cannot put our trust in our finances, our circumstances, or our own abilities.  Being human, most of us tend to focus our attention on the tangible and obvious realities…the things we can measure and even project.  But God would rather we remain in the present with him, and have such a respect for his part in our lives that we can fully trust him with all of our unknowns….all our insecurities.

This applies particularly to God’s call on us.  When we’re in God’s will, transition tends to be a regular theme.  Are you facing significant changes in life…right now or in the coming future?  My family and I are.  I’ll admit, sometimes it is easier to make a long list of concerns about tomorrow than it is to recognize all the ways the Lord is moving and providing today.  But then God reminds us….

Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself.  Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.    Matthew 6:34

Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?    Matthew 6:26

Personally, I need to trust God in my leadership abilities.  I wrestle with some insecurities related to launching a satellite campus this Fall.  What will this look like for our kids?  How will this effect my ability to be a good father and husband?  Our home finances are going to change.  What will this look like?

Where do you need to place higher trust in the Lord today?

May you take notice of God’s blessings today, and experience trust in him for tomorrow.  

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The Lord Will Touch Your Mouth

In Jeremiah 1:4-10, The Lord is placing a call on Jeremiah’s life.  Like most of us, Jeremiah is found doubting himself.  For him, it was his age.  Have you ever had those moments when God was asking you to do something for him…and you thought you could reason with Him that He has the wrong person for the job?  There are all kinds of excuses we make when God calls our name.

I’m too old.

I’m too young.

I haven’t been to Seminary.

I don’t pray like I should.

I haven’t ever read the entire Bible.

I’m dyslexic.

Public speaking terrifies me.

Someone else could do a much better job.

The interesting part to most of these is that they are likely to be true!  From a realistic and simply factual standpoint, we usually aren’t the best qualified.  But this is why God is God, and we are…..well…..simple-minded.  God calls on you and I to do things for Him that we cannot accomplish on our own.  Its a partnership, an approach to teamwork.  Its Kingdom Work.

You see, when God calls us to something that intimidates us and we say ‘yes’…we are essentially consenting to growth and learning beyond our own means.

Be sure to read the Jeremiah passage above.  Then, be assured that God will equip, train, and empower you to do what He asks of you.  How do I know?  Because all the above excuses used to be mine!

So, what Kingdom Work has God been wanting you to say ‘yes’ to, and what are you waiting for?

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God is along for the ride

Have you ever taken your child (or someone much younger than you) on a roller coaster ride?  Most of the time, especially if it’s their first experience on one, they are terrified!  They are dragging their feet, screaming, and even biting to avoid this apparent doom.  But as adults, we know that it’s just a thrill ride…right?  After about 2 minutes everything is over.  Everything is just fine.  And we ask the question, “Why can’t they trust me?  I’m right here with them.” 

We tend to react to certain difficulties in our lives the same way, don’t we?  As we get closer and hear the commotion and screaming from others who have gone only moments before us, we start dragging our feet…pulled by the inevitability of life.  And all the while, our Father in Heaven is leaning over holding our hand saying…

Don’t be afraid, for I am with you.  Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you.
 I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.     Isaiah 41:10 (NLT)

He longs for you and I to be courageous.  He deeply desires for us to be optimistic, trusting, and sure of our security in His arms.  Like the roller coaster, God knows how it ends up.  He knows you’ll make it through.  Yes, parts might be rough or scary…but it will make you stronger.

Whatever ride you are approaching or are on right now…please know this.  God is victorious in everything.  He always wins!  And He is just waiting to  ‘hold you up’ over His head as you journey down the exit ramp..…together.

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Shout toward your miracle

As Christians, we are often taught that it is not good to yell and shout.  But in the 11th chapter of John we witness an incident of Jesus himself yelling!  That’s right…Jesus raises his voice.

Lazarus had become extremely sick and died before Jesus could heal his illness.  By the time Jesus and his disciples arrived, Mary was crying because her brother had been dead and buried in a cave for 4 days.  Moved with great emotion along with everyone else there, Jesus tells them to remove the stone concealing the tomb.  Mary’s sister, Martha, reminds Jesus that Lazarus had been dead for 4 days…there’s going to be a foul odor…it’s too late! 

So here’s the yelling part.  They finally do what Jesus is asking them to do and open the tomb.  Jesus prays to his Father, and then shouts “Lazarus, come out.”  Of course we know the rest of the story…Lazarus comes back to life and walks out of the tomb.  Amazing!

Here’s a question for you today.  What stone is in your life that you would like Jesus to move?  Or are you afraid that if you allow Him the opportunity to perform a miracle in your life only rotting odor will come of it?

If that’s where you are, I have three words for you.  DON’T DOUBT…..SHOUT!   Look at what Jesus did in an impossible situation.  He approached the problem, prayed an unselfish prayer, and then shouted toward the miracle as a command…not a request!

If your heart is in it…if good will come from it….and if God will get all the recognition through it, then shout your miracle into action.

Where do you need to trust Him today?

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The Nature of God

Isaiah 2:22 reads:

“Don’t put your trust in mere humans. They are as frail as breath. What good are they?”

What good are we? That sounds a bit harsh, don’t you think? Frail in comparison to God…yes. Good for nothing…I’m not sure.

After taking a second glance at this statement within the context of the rest of the chapter, however, it’s clear what the real issue is here. It’s not so much about whether or not we are worth anything good. It’s simply that we are not to be praised, worshipped, or elevated to a position equal with God.

That might have made you laugh a little, but we all fall into this trap of idolatry once in a while and to varying degrees. Just think, do you know anyone who has ever…
…placed all their potential for happiness in the success of a sports team?
…blamed the health or death of their marriage on the shoulders of their counselor?
…looked solely to the person of a Pastor/church leader for their own spiritual growth?
…counted on the government to take care of all their problems?

Have you ever been one of these people? I have! And I’ll tell you this…people come and go in our lives. They may bless us, and they may also hurt us. But our God in Heaven will never give us a viable reason to mistrust Him….NEVER!

This week, may you dwell on this. Refrain from putting all your hope in people…in your teachers, your politicians, your parents, your pastors, your spouse, your best friend, or your church. They will come up short now and then, but your God; well, that’s simply not His nature. May you experience life with people, and trust your life to God!

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Cast a smile

photo by: articles-place.com

Have you ever said this?  “I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired!”  Maybe you’re saying it today.  Face it, life throws curve-balls at us from time to time.  But…this should not surprise us!

John 16:33 (from the Message) reads:

I’ve told you all this so that trusting me, you will be unshakable and assured, deeply at peace.  In this godless world you will continue to experience difficulties.  But take heart!  I’ve conquered the world.

Here are some of Jesus’ last intimate words with His disciples. When He said these words it was in the context of His approaching arrest and death. The disciples were instructed how they were going to mourn, and how joy would also soon return to them. That ‘joy’ Jesus spoke of is directly tied to His resurrection.

Simplified a bit more, this verse can be read as this: “Your challenges are also my challenges. Your enemies are my enemies. And your sadness is my sadness. But I have triumphed over it all, therefore, so have you.”

This week, may you stand up…gaze heavenward…cast a smile toward His face…and know that Jesus defeated it all for YOU!

What has Jesus conquered on your behalf recently?

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