Tag Archives: trusting God

Trust Is A Verb

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Speaking In Faith

Several years ago I taught a psychology of sales class. As part of the curriculum, we dealt with the rejection that all sales people face and how to overcome it. One of the methods was to speak out loud positive things about yourself that you wanted to happen. One exercise in particular had participants write down one attribute they wanted to be stronger in. They would get up in front of the group and say, “I am more courageous!” Then the rest of the crowd would shout back, “You are more courageous!” They were then encouraged to keep repeating it at home over and over until they became whatever it was that they chose in order to get it into their subconscious. Psychologists have proven that you can change your behavior, your mindset and even your attributes by creating new neuropathways for your thoughts to travel down. In order to do that, you had to create new paths and those began by speaking out in faith, if you will, about the new way you wanted your brain to think.

The apostle Paul was a person who faced a lot of adversity after he converted to Christianity. He was thrown in prison, he was whipped five times, beaten with a rod three times, stoned, shipwrecked, put in dangerous situations and so much more. If anyone had a reason to speak negatively, it was him. Yet despite all the troubles he had, he held firmly to his faith and spoke words of faith to the churches of that time. He stayed faithful to God despite what his circumstances were. In prison, he sang praises. In storms, he encouraged others, In pain, he trusted in God’s grace. In whatever he faced, he reminded himself that nothing could ever separate him from the love of God. He knew that his words were powerful not only for himself, but for others as well. He wrote many of his letters, which are the books of the New Testament in the Bible, from prison. He understood the importance of staying faithful to God and speaking words of faith in the most trying times. If Paul did it, so should we.

Psalm 116:10-11 says, “Even when it seems I’m surrounded by many liars and my own fears, and though I’m hurting in my suffering and trauma, I will stay faithful to God and speak words of faith” (TPT). Like Paul and this psalmist, you and I must stay faithful to God and speak in faith about all He has done and will do. Many times our situation and circumstances stand opposed to who God is and what we know of Him. In those times, we must trust in the unchanging nature of God rather than what our physical eyes and mind are telling us. We should sing praises and Bible verses out loud to get them into our mind and subconscious. Remember that faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God (Romans 10:17). Don’t be afraid to read the Bible out loud, to pray out loud and to sing out loud when you feel surrounded by your circumstances. You will find strength, encouragement and faith to keep moving forward and to keep trusting in God’s plan for your life.

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Receiving Help

Have you ever noticed that some of the most trying times in your life have been the most humbling? I can think of multiple times in my life where I was going through some difficult things and I couldn’t even look up. What was going on inside was affecting my outside. The thing that burdened my mind felt like a giant weight on my back. I shuffled around and often didn’t even feel like I had the strength to get up and face the day. By contrast, when I’m carefree, I’m upright, looking around, smiling and saying hello to everyone I meet. There are two different postures here that my body takes based on what’s going on inside. In the good times it’s easy to sing and enjoy life, but I’ve learned that in the most difficult seasons, I need to sing praises even more. Singing praise songs shifts my internal perspective from the weight I’m under to my need for the One who can help me through it. My focus is no longer on my problems, but on the One who has the solution. Praise reminds me that when I can’t, God can.

I love that the stories of David in the Bible share both his triumphs and his pains. His psalms reflect that too. He didn’t just write them when things were going to plan and when he was on top of the world. Many were written in times of desperation. In each of them, he continued to pour his heart out to God knowing He was the only one He trusted to help him. The psalms he left behind for us to read are great prayers, songs and reminders to look to God in times of plenty and in times of pain. I go to them pretty often because I know that they often give me words for the way I’m feeling, they give me prayers when I don’t know how to pray in those seasons and they give me encouragement as they remind me to put my hope in God. Even when we feel abandoned under our heavy load, the psalms remind us that God has not forgotten us and is our strength in time of need.

One such psalm I love in the last one that David wrote which is a psalm of praise and full of reminders. Psalm 145:14 reminds us, “The LORD helps the fallen and lifts those bent beneath their loads” (NLT). There is help for us when we’ve fallen down under our heavy load and feel like we should just stay down. God is there with an outstretched hand ready to lift us up. He sends people to pray for us, to encourage us and to help carry the load. However, it always requires us to reach out and take His hand and accept the help He sends. It can be quite humbling at times to admit we need help, or to accept that we can’t do it on our own. In those times I remind myself not to let my pride stand in the way of my progress and growth. I’ve learned that many times my struggles are an attempt to remind me to trust in God rather than my own strength. It’s a way for me to learn to accept help rather than to give it. Receiving help is as much an act of obedience as giving it. Don’t let pride stand in your way during those times.

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Moving God’s Boundaries

I read a news article recently about a farmer in Belgium. He was out plowing his field one day when he came across a stone that was where he was trying to work. He stopped plowing, moved the stone about 7 feet and went back to work. A little while later, a person was hiking in the woods near his home and saw the stone had been moved. He called the authorities and alerted them. It turns out that it wasn’t just any stone he moved. It was a stone that marked the border between Belgium and France. He inadvertently made Belgium about 7 feet wider. When he told them what happened, they all laughed, but told him to put it back, which he promptly did.

Saul, who was the first king of Israel, tried to move the boundaries that God had set too. When God told him to kill all the animals in a military campaign, he spared the best ones and the king. When he was confronted by the prophet, he said he only spared them in order to sacrifice them to God. In another instance, the prophet had told him to wait before going to battle until he arrived to make a sacrifice. When the prophet didn’t show up exactly on time, Saul began to panic. He saw his men deserting him before the battle. He offer the sacrifice himself which was against the direct order given to him and the Law of Moses. When Saul moved the boundaries because of his impatience and self reliance, God took the kingdom from him.

Proverbs 22:28 says, “The previous generation has set boundaries in place. Don’t you dare move them just to benefit yourself” (TPT). What boundaries that God has set have you moved because it was convenient for you? We all test boundaries and move them trying to enlarge our own territory. The problem is that when we do, we’re shrinking God’s territory in our lives. Our flesh is constantly at war with our spirit fighting over that boundary. It’s time that we moved the boundaries back to where God established them. If we truly want to thrive and to live the life God created us to live, we need to obey what God has said and to become dependent on Him rather than ourselves. God established our boundaries for a reason. We must respect them and obey them even when we don’t understand.

I read a news article recently about a farmer in Belgium. He was out plowing his field one day when he came across a stone that was where he was trying to work. He stopped plowing, moved the stone about 7 feet and went back to work. A little while later, a person was hiking in the woods near his home and saw the stone had been moved. He called the authorities and alerted them. It turns out that it wasn’t just any stone he moved. It was a stone that marked the border between Belgium and France. He inadvertently made Belgium about 7 feet wider. When he told them what happened, they all laughed, but told him to put it back, which he promptly did.

Saul, who was the first king of Israel, tried to move the boundaries that God had set too. When God told him to kill all the animals in a military campaign, he spared the best ones and the king. When he was confronted by the prophet, he said he only spared them in order to sacrifice them to God. In another instance, the prophet had told him to wait before going to battle until he arrived to make a sacrifice. When the prophet didn’t show up exactly on time, Saul began to panic. He saw his men deserting him before the battle. He offer the sacrifice himself which was against the direct order given to him and the Law of Moses. When Saul moved the boundaries because of his impatience and self reliance, God took the kingdom from him.

Proverbs 22:28 says, “The previous generation has set boundaries in place. Don’t you dare move them just to benefit yourself” (TPT). What boundaries that God has set have you moved because it was convenient for you? We all test boundaries and move them trying to enlarge our own territory. The problem is that when we do, we’re shrinking God’s territory in our lives. Our flesh is constantly at war with our spirit fighting over that boundary. It’s time that we moved the boundaries back to where God established them. If we truly want to thrive and to live the life God created us to live, we need to obey what God has said and to become dependent on Him rather than ourselves. God established our boundaries for a reason. We must respect them and obey them even when we don’t understand.

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Releasing Stress

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Throwback Thursday is a feature I’m using to help build some margin into my schedule to pursue other ventures. Each Thursday I’ll be bringing you a previously written devotional that still speaks encouragement to us from God’s Word.

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Trust Comes First

When I’m talking with someone who is a newly appointed leader, I don’t want to overwhelm them with a bunch of information. There’s really one thing they need to focus on with their new team, and that is trust. Without trust, nothing else really matters. You can give inspiring speeches, set daring goals and create easy to follow plans, but no one will do much until they trust the leader. Think of a leader in your life that has produced the most growth in you. They had your trust I’m sure. You would follow them anywhere they led because of that trust. People will follow any leader to the extent that they trust them. If there’s little to no trust, there will be little to no progress. The way you build trust is to say what you’re going to do, and then do what you said you’d do.

We often think of people as leaders, but the Bible is full of people who followed God and did amazing things. For each of them, there was a period where they learned to trust Him. Moses learned to trust God at the burning bush. He gave all kinds of excuses as to why he couldn’t do what God was asking because there was little to no trust. God answered them all and showed him many signs to build trust so that he could lead the Israelites out of Egypt. In a similar fashion, God had to build trust with Gideon. He was timid and afraid of his enemies when God called the mighty warrior out of him. He built trust by placing dew on his door mat. So much trust was built that Gideon trimmed down an army of 32,000 to 300 men in order to fight 135,000. It didn’t make sense to him, but because of that trust, he was able to lead them to victory.

How much do you trust God? You may not have had a burning bush experience or dew on your mat, but God has been doing things al, your life to build trust with Him. Proverbs 3:5 says, “Trust in the Lord completely, and do not rely on your own opinions. With all your heart rely on him to guide you, and he will lead you in every decision you make” (TPT). Trusting God completely is what we’re called to do, but like Moses, we tend to make excuses as to why we can’t. Or sometimes we’re like Gideon where we don’t see our own potential the way He does. Either way, you can only follow God’s leading in your life to the extent that you trust Him. If you’re not experiencing the growth or movement that you want, check your trust level. God is ready to lead you into a greater life and relationship with Him, but you must trust Him with all your heart first.

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Reawakening Hope

About twenty years ago I did some things and went through some that changed my life. I made poor decisions and suffered consequences for them. At one point I was beating myself up over it. I began to get worked up and defeated over one thing in particular. Because of the things I had gone through, the denomination I was a part of at the time had a rule that people in my circumstance could never be in any ministry role. It was devastating. My whole life I had dreamed of one day being in ministry, and now that dream was dead. A friend came over and asked why I was upset. When I told him, he responded, “What makes you think that you, or this denomination, can rescind God’s calling? You don’t have that kind of power!” It was the slap in the face I needed, and I began to hope and believe again that one day that would happen.

In Romans 4, Paul is writing about Abraham, God’s promise to him and how it relates to our faith. Verse 14 says, “If God’s promise is only for those who obey the law, then faith is not necessary and the promise is pointless” (NLT). He explains none of us are capable of keeping God’s Law without messing up and God’s promises are received through faith. Then verse 17-18 says, ”This (Abraham receiving the promise) happened because Abraham believed in the God who brings the dead back to life and who creates new things out of nothing. Even when there was no reason for hope, Abraham kept hoping.” That’s powerful. Even when there was no reason to hope, he kept hoping. That’s truly was faith is.

If you feel like a dream or calling is dead, it’s time to hope and believe again. Your past actions, or your current circumstances, do not have the power to change God’s promises or His calling. We serve a God who brings dead dreams, dead hopes, dead callings, dead you name it back to life. There is nothing that is impossible for Him. We have to push past the lies and what our eyes tell us in order to believe what God promised. We must awaken faith and hope in our heart again and trust that God, who brings dead things to life and creates new things out of nothing, will respond and move on our behalf. It’s not easy, but that’s what faith is. Abraham did it and was rewarded for his faith. I believe God will reward us too when we stand with that kind of faith and begin moving in the direction He called us to.

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Abandoned

To abandon someone is to quit supporting them or to give up on them. If you’ve ever been through some of life’s toughest circumstances, you know what it’s like to be abandoned by some of your family or friends. You find out that there are people in your life that you can count on, and there are people that you can’t. When you’re looking for advice, a place to regroup, or just a shelter from the storm, some people that you seek out will abandon you. Some of the ones who you thought would support you through thick and thin give up on you.

David was a person who knew a thing or two about being abandoned. He was forgotten by his father, disrespected by his brothers, shamed by his wife, chased by the king, and dishonored by his son. The people in his life that he should have been able to count on, turned their backs on him at some point in his life. He knew a thing or two about rock bottom. He looked for those he could count on in times of trouble.

In all of his searching, there was one who never abandoned him: God. David wasn’t a perfect man either. He cheated on his wife, had a man murdered, and did some unthinkable things. Yet when he sought after God, he knew that no matter what he had done, God would not abandon him. He knew that there was nothing he had done that God couldn’t or wouldn’t forgive. When others gave up on him, God never did. In fact, God said he was a man after His own heart.

You may have walked David’s shoes. Maybe you’ve been abandoned by those who love you or you’ve abandoned the things you know are right. Either way, if you will seek God, He won’t abandon you. Psalm 9:10 says, “Those who know you, Lord, will trust you; you do not abandon anyone who comes to you” (GNT). It doesn’t matter what’s been done to you or what you’ve done to others, you can find shelter, hope, and forgiveness in God when you seek Him out.

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Throwback Thursday is a feature I’m using to help build some margin into my schedule to pursue other ventures. Each Thursday I’ll be bringing you a previously written devotional that still speaks encouragement to us from God’s Word.

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Purposing To Trust

In February of 1998, my mom went into the hospital with some crazy symptoms. She thought it was a reaction to the chemo, but it wasn’t. The cancer had spread. On March 1st, she slipped into a coma of sorts. After a week or two of that, they took us into a side room to let us know they were sending her home and hospice would be assisting us for her final days. Our heads were spinning. We had fasted and prayed for healing, and it looked like our prayers were going unanswered. After the doctor left the room, we stayed behind still in shock. My dad spoke up and said, “We will keep believing and praying for a miracle, but be prepared in case He doesn’t answer the way we want Him to. I want each of you to purpose in your heart right now that you won’t be bitter at God if He chooses not to heal her.” She passed away on April 17th that year. Even though it hurt, because we had purposed in our hearts beforehand, we remained faithful to God.

The Early Church believers suffered more than most throughout the centuries of the Church. Each of the 12 disciples were martyred for their faith. Rome fed Christians to the lions for public sport. Nero used the heads of Christians as torches throughout the city. Yet somehow, these believers stayed faithful to God and encouraged each other with words of faith. The New Testament is full of Paul’s letters to these believers facing these issues. Many of them were written from jail. I’m sure that fear was doing its best to silence believers and to question their faith. However, because of their determination and they purposed in their hearts to follow God no matter what, our spiritual ancestors endured, stayed faithful and passed down a heritage of rock solid faith to you and I.

Psalms 116:10-11 says, “Even when it seems I’m surrounded by many liars and my own fears, and though I’m hurting in my suffering and trauma, I still stay faithful to God and speak words of faith” (TPT). This is the determination that each of us must make in our hearts. Our faith can not be dependent on our circumstances. Our trust in God’s goodness cannot be eroded by prayers that aren’t answered the way we think they should. Our suffering and trauma is not a reflection of His love. It’s a result of sin in the world. We must determine in our hearts and minds that no matter what happens in this life, we will stay faithful to Him. We will still speak in faith. We will still trust in Him. Even when things are happening here that we don’t like or understand, God has a plan and is able to work it out for our good. Don’t stop trusting in Him during the hard times. This earth and these sufferings are only temporary.

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Asking For Help

No matter who you are, you’ll need help at some point in your life. You will face things that you can’t do on your own. If you’re like me, you try to do it alone anyway. My pride says, “You don’t need anyone’s help. You got into this by yourself, you can get out of it by yourself.” I try to project strength instead of admitting my weakness. What inevitability happens is that I end up wearing myself out in the process. One time, I collapsed on the floor and cried out to God, “I can’t do this anymore! Help me.” He replied, “Finally.”

God was waiting on me to look to Him for help, but my pride kept me from it. I had to endure a lot more pain than necessary because I wasn’t willing to admit I needed help. Since that time, I’ve learned to look to Him first when I need help. It doesn’t take long to pray, “God, I can’t do this on my own. I need your help.” It does take humility though, but God honors that. He wants to help us with our daily issues.

David learned this lesson as well. After being anointed king, he was constantly in danger and was running for his life. He learned to quit trying to go at it alone, and to go to God. In Psalm 25:15, he wrote, “I look to the Lord for help at all times.” He didn’t just go to God with some things. He went to Him with all his issues, and God came to His rescue. It wasn’t because David was any different that us. It was because David was humble enough to recognize he needed help from God daily.

Whatever you’re facing today, God stands ready to help. He’s waiting for us to trust His all sufficient grace to help us get through life. Don’t wait until you’re mentally, physically and emotionally exhausted before you cry out for help. Let go of your pride, and look to God for help at all times. It’s not a weakness to admit you need help. It takes strength to overcome your pride and admit it. Once you do, you’ll find that God is willing and able to step in and do what needs to be done.

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Throwback Thursday is a feature I’m using to help build some margin into my schedule to pursue other ventures. Each Thursday I’ll be bringing you a previously written devotional that still speaks encouragement to us from God’s Word.

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