Tag Archives: all things work together

Trusting God’s Character

Psalm 10:1 says, “Lord, you seem so far away when evil is near! Why do you stand so far off as though you don’t care? Why have you hidden yourself when I need you the most?” (TPT) I love how honest David is with God. He says things and asks questions like this that are how we feel at times, but seem too irreverent to think or say. Every one of us have felt the same way this psalm starts off. We’ve wondered where God is and why He isn’t there to rescue us in our time of need. We’ve wondered why we feel alone when our world comes crashing down. It seems sometimes as if God doesn’t care what’s going on. That’s normal to feel that way and God is big enough to handle these tough questions.

In my life, I’ve learned to trust the character of God more than my present circumstances. Yes, they are real and they put serious pressure on me where there seems to be no way out. It’s a lot of sleepless nights and stressful days when I can’t move the mountain bearing down on me. I’ve learned though that God uses those time to produce in me things that can’t be produced any other way. One of my nephews likes to say, “No pressure, no diamond.” It’s not that God doesn’t care or that He has abandoned you. He is producing something valuable in your life in those times that He can use over and over again for the rest of your life.

My pastor recently said, “Put your trust in who God is, not in your plan for God.” You and I get disappointed when God doesn’t do what we think He should do, but if we focus on who He has always been, we’ll trust Him in hard times. That’s what David reminded himself later in Psalm 10. Verse 17 says, “Lord, you know and understand all the hopes of the humble and will hear their cries and comfort their hearts, helping them all!” God hears your silent prayers and sees your hidden tears during these times. He hasn’t abandoned you. In fact, even though you can’t see it, He’s working everything out for your good.

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Be Encouraged

As I was reading about Moses delivering God’s message of freedom and deliverance to the Israelites, I came across a verse I didn’t remember. In Exodus 6:9 it says, “So Moses told the people of Israel what the Lord had said, but they refused to listen anymore. They had become too discouraged by the brutality of their slavery” (NLT). That last sentence struck a chord with me. How many of us are so discouraged with how life is going right now that we can’t hear what God is trying to tell us? How many of us are so distracted by everything that’s going wrong that we can’t see what God is trying to do?

I’ve been there. It’s a tough place to be. When you’re where you thought God told you to go and nothing is going right. In fact, things only seem to be getting worse. I understand that place because I’ve been there. Today, I want to bring you some of God’s promises that you need to hear and hold onto. Don’t be so discouraged and distracted today on the things that you miss what God is saying to you. Read these verse. Repeat them out loud if you have to. Then stand on them and believe that God is going to make all these things you’re going through work together for your good.

Here are some promises of God in the Bible to encourage you.

1. Praise the Lord, my soul! All my being, praise his holy name! Praise the Lord, my soul, and do not forget how kind he is. He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases. He keeps me from the grave and blesses me with love and mercy. He fills my life with good things, so that I stay young and strong like an eagle.

Psalm 103:1-5 GNT

2. So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.

Matthew 6:31-34 NLT

3. The Lord who created you says, “Do not be afraid—I will save you. I have called you by name—you are mine. When you pass through deep waters, I will be with you; your troubles will not overwhelm you. When you pass through fire, you will not be burned; the hard trials that come will not hurt you.”

Isaiah 43:1-2 GNT

4. He gives strength to the weary, And to him who has no might He increases power. Even youths grow weary and tired, And vigorous young men stumble badly, But those who wait for the LORD [who expect, look for, and hope in Him] Will gain new strength and renew their power; They will lift up their wings [and rise up close to God] like eagles [rising toward the sun]; They will run and not become weary, They will walk and not grow tired.

ISAIAH 40:29-31 AMP

5. Energize the limp hands, strengthen the rubbery knees. Tell fearful souls, “Courage! Take heart! GOD is here, right here, on his way to put things right And redress all wrongs. He’s on his way! He’ll save you!”

Isaiah 35:3-4 MSG

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Standing In The Struggle

On a trip to California, I went to Napa Valley because I had been told that it was beautiful. As I drove through it, I was mesmerized by the straight rows of vines going for miles. I decided to pull into a winery and take a tour to learn of their process. One of the things they shared was how good seasons don’t produce good wine. The good wine comes from the years when the vines struggle. There’s something about the fight for water, the digging into the soil and the struggle to stay alive that produces a complex flavor in the grapes, which in turn, makes for a “good year”.

As they spoke, I couldn’t help but correlate that to life. There are good seasons we go through and there are bad seasons. When we look back on our life, it’s the “bad seasons” that produce the most growth in us. That’s when we learn what we’re made of and how strong our faith is. It reminds me of Romans 8:28 that says how God works together all things for our good. The good that He works is often in our life for the long term even though that season is very painful.

In Genesis 37- 41, we read of a 17 year stretch where Joseph was betrayed by his brothers, sold into slavery, falsely accused of rape, thrown into prison and was forgotten. After he was restored, he married and had kids. Genesis 42:52 says, “Joseph named his second son Ephraim, for he said, ‘God has made me fruitful in this land of my grief’”. God is able to make you fruitful in the most painful times and places of your life. You must hold onto to His promises, stand strong in your faith and keep believing that He’s working things out for your good.

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Mental Choices

If you ever get a personal email from me, my usual signature is, “Choose to make it a great day!” I’ve learned that if you don’t choose your attitude, either your day or someone else will. I know what it’s like to live under Murphy’s Law where everything that can go wrong, will go wrong. I had a day once where I was driving about 600 miles. On the way, my car spun out during a snow storm. I ended up 50 feet from the road sunk in mud that was up to my knees. After getting wrenched out, my heater quit working. I got a drive through coffee, but it spilled in my lap looking like I wet my pants. Then both headlights went out at the same time. The store only had one, so I replaced just one. I then got pulled over by the police for having only one headlight. That was a bad day.

I can tell you that it’s hard to have a good attitude on a day like that, but I’ve learned that if I don’t, I can get on a streak of bad days. We tend to bring things into our lives that are most in line with our thoughts and attitude. How we choose to see the world determines what we focus on. If we’ve got a bad attitude, we’ll see all the negative things happening to us. If we choose a good attitude, we’ll see the good around us. As Christians, we need to remember that all things work together for our good (Romans 8:28). Even when bad things come into our life, knowing that God can work it out for our good can change our attitude.

Proverbs 15:15 says, “Everything seems to go wrong when you feel weak and depressed. But when you choose to be cheerful, every day will bring you more and more joy and fullness” (TPT). I like to start each day quoting David, “This IS the day that the Lord has made. I WILL rejoice and be glad in it!” When things go wrong, I repeat it. When multiple things go wrong, I stop and pray for God to open my eyes to see what He wants me to find in it, and to give me the strength to endure. We can have joy on the worst of our days by the mental choices we make, praying for God’s help and meditating on His Word.

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Purpose In Problems

It’s easy to believe that God is working things in your favor when things in your life are going right. When things aren’t going according to your plan, it becomes more difficult to believe that. We often see problems and road blocks in our lives as hindrances to God’s plan, but I believe God uses all of them to grow us and to put us on the right path so His plan for our life can be accomplished. God’s plan for our lives rarely takes the path of least resistance.

In the hardest times of my life, I couldn’t see God’s hand working. I was so focused on the pain and the problems that I questioned if God even knew what was going on. I cried out constantly for Him to make it all go away, but He knew what He was doing. He created a raw dependence on Him which led to a deeper, more fulfilling relationship with Him. He understands that hard times bring us closer to Him and make us stronger. In fact, some of His greatest work in our lives happen when we see His hand the least.

Romana 8:28 says, “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them” (NLT). He doesn’t just cause some things to work together. He causes everything in our lives to work together for our good. There is a purpose in problems. There is hope in uncertainty. God is behind the scenes working on your behalf even when we’re blinded by our situation. His plan for our lives will come to pass, and it will be to our benefit. We just have to trust even when we can’t see what He’s doing.

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But God Is Still On His Throne


I once knew someone who had an interesting answer for the question, “How are you?” No matter what was going on, after he told you, he would say, “But God is still on His throne.” He could have lost his job, he could have been sick, or was going through a bad time in his life. No matter what it was, he would always add, “But God is still on a His throne,” to the sentence. It was always a peculiar answer to me, but as I’ve gotten older, I’ve begun to understand it more.

For him, it was about keeping things in perspective. He could wallow in the negative things happening in his life or he could admit they were happening, and then remind himself and others that God was still in control. He knew that God was aware of what was happening in His life, and that phrase would encourage himself and others when he said it. I’m begging to think he picked it up from King David.

In Psalm 102, David is talking about all the things happening to him. For 11 verses he speaks of wasting away, pain in his body, insomnia, being taunted by others, uncontrollable crying, and being depressed. He speaks of all the things going wrong in his life, then he changes his tune in verse 12. He says, “Yet you, God, are sovereign till, always and ever sovereign” (MSG). He was saying, “But you God are still on your throne.”

It’s a good practice to get into especially if you’re going through a difficult time right now. If things aren’t adding up in your life or happening as quickly as you’d like, remind yourself that God is still on His throne. All is not lost. He is working things out for your good. He will give you the strength to endure as he develops character in you. Nothing has the power to completely overtake you as long as He is on His throne.

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Mighty God

This week, I’ll be breaking down Isaiah 9:6 piece by piece. It says, “For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. (NLT)”. Today, we’ll look at Mighty God.

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Each of us will face difficult times in our lives. It’s part of life and necessary for growth. I was watching a TV show that had an artist in it. When it appeared he was nearly finished, he began to break it apart and destroy it. When asked what he was doing, he replied, “Destruction is part of creation process.” He went on to make something even more beautiful than what he had originally made. As an artist, he wasn’t content with just a beautiful work of art. He wanted a masterpiece.

God works the same way in our lives. Just when we think He’s almost done with us and our lives are right where He wants them, things start breaking apart. We thought things were going well and life was going great. From our perspective, we were happy with what He was creating. He, as an artist, sees more in you and wants to bring about that masterpiece. He’s not content with just a beautiful life that people can look at. He knows that there’s complexity and character that is created in the destruction process that can’t be formed any other way. He uses the broken pieces to create a mosaic piece of art.

We don’t understand the process and we question His methods when they happen. We get overwhelmed when we look at the things that were once dear to us laying broken on the floor. We lose sight that we are His art and He is working on us to develop the person He sees in us. It’s in those times, where my focus is on my own brokenness, that I have to remember He is the Mighty God. He is bigger than the things that, in my eyes, are going wrong and falling to pieces. He is more powerful than the forces that break apart our lives. He is in control and knows what He’s doing.

When pieces start to break apart from my life, I call to remembrance Job 36:5 that says, “God is mighty, but He does not despise anyone! He is mighty in both power and understanding.” When life falls apart, We often think that God is mad at us or despises us in some way because of something we’ve done. God does not despise you! He is working things for your good and betterment. The destruction in your life is part of the creation of the masterpiece He sees in you. He is mighty not just in power, but also in understanding. He knows what He’s doing in your life even when you can’t see it. He’s creating a complex piece of art in you that can only be done through the destruction process. When He’s done, you and others will stand back, look at your life and be amazed at what He was able to do in you because He is the Mighty God.

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