Tag Archives: trusting God

Redeemed From The Pit

Yesterday was the 19th anniversary of the lowest point in my life. I had been through six months of having the bottom fall out from under me. I went through the death of a friend, a divorce, a repossession, loss of friendships and a lot more. One thing after another seemed to crumble. Everything I held dear was being taken from my life as a result of decisions I had made. Then, on September 25, 2003, my business failed and I was out of a job. It felt like my life was over as I laid down on my living room floor that night. I cried out to God in surrender as the life I built was destroyed by this storm. However, I still had my foundation in Him. I told God I was ready to end my life because I couldn’t do it anymore.

I felt the voice of God remind me that i had built my life with my desires instead of His. I vowed that if He helped me out of that hole, I would build my life His way. I marked my calendar with the words, “The Bottom”. Getting back to where I felt I was at ground level took over a decade. Now it’s almost a decade past that and I can look back and see how far God brought me. It wasn’t easy and the progress has felt slow and minimal. Yet, when I look back, I can see where I’ve been, and now look forward to where He is taking me. It’s not an easy thing to look back, but it’s necessary for all of us. When it feels like we’re on a treadmill going nowhere fast, God is actually working in our life and helping us along the way.

Psalm 103:2-5 says, “Bless and affectionately praise the Lord, O my soul, And do not forget any of His benefits; Who forgives all your sins, Who heals all your diseases; Who redeems your life from the pit, Who crowns you [lavishly] with lovingkindness and tender mercy; Who satisfies your years with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the [soaring] eagle” (AMP). God is in the process of redeeming your life from the pit. No matter how deep a hole you feel like you’re in, He can get you out. Remember all the things He has done, knowing He will continue to work out all things for your good. He will satisfy your life with good things once again. Trust in Him no matter how dark it seems. Your pit may be deep, but His grace is deeper still.

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Choose Joy

I’ve been a sales trainer for a few years, and one thing has been consistent. When some people show up for training, they’re not happy. They want to know if class is really going to take the full time. By the end of class though, many of them change their attitudes. They’ll walk out and say, “Thanks. I didn’t think I needed this, but I learned something.” Our attitude towards training is much like our attitude towards troubles in life. We don’t want them or see a need for them. However, when we’ve made it through them, we find ourselves stronger.

I think James was trying to make that same correlation for us in James 1:2-3. He wrote, “Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow” (NLT). Joy is usually the last emotion that I pair with troubles and trials, but James says they’re an opportunity for us to have it.

I’ve said before that joy is not dependent on your circumstances, happiness is. Joy comes from deep within. It looks at your big picture, while happiness looks at the little one. Joy is something you choose to have no matter what. Each of us choose our attitude in our circumstances. If we don’t, our circumstances will choose our attitude for us. In most cases, it chooses the wrong attitude. Choosing Joy gives you the strength to endure whatever comes your way.

The second part of that verse is where we get our Joy from. We don’t look at the current trouble, but the end result. What do trials produce in us? Endurance. Verse 4 says, “So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.” If you can train yourself to keep the end in mind, you will learn to handle troubles a lot better. Don’t waste your times of trouble. Use them for what they’re for: growth and endurance. By choosing the wrong attitude, you prolong your time in them, and miss what God has for you. Keep the end in mind, and choose Joy.

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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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Watering Seeds

For the past few months we’ve been driving to Dallas. Along the way, there is a stretch of farmland where people are growing fields of corn. As the summer has progressed, some of these fields went from green to having some brown spots to turning yellow. The drought did a number on some fields. In a few instances, we’d see a dry field next to a green one. We would be sad about them losing an entire crop, but also see that the neighboring crop was full. They both went through the same drought, but one farmer watered their crops and the other didn’t.

Through the New Testament, Jesus often referred to us as farmers and seed spreaders. He talked about our return on those seeds as well when it came to harvest time. However, there may be some fields you’ve tilled and planted without seeing a harvest yet. I’d like to encourage you to take the step of watering them. 1 Corinthians 3:7 says, “It’s not important who does the planting, or who does the watering. What’s important is that God makes the seed grow” (NLT). Watering is part of the process many of us forget about. Seeds don’t grow to maturity and crops don’t produce unless they’re watered regularly.

Years ago, I heard Doug Stringer with SomebodyCares.org say, “Prayer is water for the seeds you plant.” In Jewish tradition, after Passover, they pray for dew to cover the ground where their crops are planted. Then as Sukkot passes, they pray for rain at harvest time. These festivals were created by God and remind us that we need to pray for God to water your seeds and to cause them to grow. He’s reminding us that our work isn’t done once we’ve planted seeds. If you’re waiting on a harvest from seeds you’ve planted and are wondering what’s taking so long, start watering them through prayer. Your seeds are not dead. They could be just waiting on some water.

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Insurmountable Odds

2 Kings 18 tells the story of King Hezekiah. He was a good king who was compared to David in his zeal for the Lord. Verse 5 says he trusted in the Lord like no other king in Judah. In his fourteenth year as king, the Assyrian army came to attack. They were the world’s most dominant army at the time. No one could stand against them. They were undefeated, and Jerusalem had a small army at the time. The king of Assyria took control of the city’s aqueduct and then sent people to try to get Israel to surrender. They started off in verse 19, “This is what the great king of Assyria says: What are you trusting in that makes you so confident?” (NLT) Hezekiah had confidence in God while he was facing insurmountable odds in the face of defeat.

In chapter 19, King Hezekiah did what we need to do when we’re facing insurmountable odds. He went to the Lord in desperate prayer. He then sought a word from the Lord from Isaiah. God said he would send him back to Assyria where he would be killed. However, the stand off continued. The king of Assyria taunted more. He said, “You know perfectly well what the kings of Assyria have done wherever they have gone. They have completely destroyed everyone who stood in their way! Why should you be any different?” He reminded them of all the other people they destroyed, but Hezekiah still went to God for help even when it looked like God wasn’t answering like he said. Then God moved against Assyria killing 185,000 of them in one night. The king broke camp, went home and was killed.

Hebrews 11:1 says, “To have faith is to be sure of the things we hope for, to be certain of the things we cannot see” (GNT). You can have confidence in God even though you’re facing an insurmountable odd today. Whenever you’re feeling like the situation is taunting you and it looks like you can’t win, turn to God. When you look at what it has done to others and the thought comes that says, “Why should you get a different outcome,” turn to God in faith. There is nothing God cannot do. There are no insurmountable odds that He can’t overcome. Faith is to be sure of what He can do in the face of what you can’t overcome. Don’t listen to the voices of doubt or the words that tell you there’s no hope. Trust in God no matter what insurmountable odds you face.

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God Of The Impossible

Have you been in an impossible situation where the only way through it was if God intervened? I have too. As I think about those times, I can recall those times when God miraculously showed up and made a way where there appeared to be no way. I can also think of the times where He didn’t show up and rescue the way I wanted Him too. In those times, my faith had to override my feelings. My trust in Him had to be greater than my pain or sorrow. Just because He didn’t intervene, it didn’t mean He was unable. I still choose to trust Him when I need the impossible to happen.

In 2 Kings 6-7, the city of Samaria was besieged by the Syrian army. The people in the city were running out of food, and some had turned to cannibalism. The King became angry at God and blamed Him for their situation. He went to kill Elisha, but Elisha said that on the next day there would be so much food that it would be cheap. The king’s servant said that was impossible and couldn’t happen even if God sent food from heaven. That night, the Syrian army heard the Egyptian army was coming and fled leaving all their food and supplies behind. There was more than enough food for the entire city as Elisha had predicted.

I don’t know what impossible situation you’re facing, but I do know that God is more than able to meet it. In Matthew 19:26, Jesus said, “Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But with God everything is possible.” Everything is possible! Even what you can’t imagine or see. God can make streams in the desert, He can part the Red Sea and He can meet your need. Instead of being angry at Him or declaring that not even He could make a way, put your situation and trust in Him. He is more than able to do the impossible if only we will believe. If for some reason, He doesn’t intervene the way you want, it doesn’t change who He is. Continue to put your faith in Him. He is the God of the impossible.

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Having Confidence In God

To be confident in something is to have full trust in it. Some people have confidence in themselves, their money, their friends and many other things. Misplaced confidence though can lead to pain and hurt. Instead of placing our confidence in temporary things, we need to place it in God. Do you fully trust God? It’s easy to answer yes when things are going well. Do you trust Him when when you can’t see a way forward or when your world is falling apart? True faith and confidence says, “God, I trust in you no matter what my circumstances are telling me.” That’s the level of faith, trust and confidence we are called to in our relationship with Him. You can have confidence today that whatever you’re facing will work out for your good.

Here are some Bible verses on having confidence in God.

1. For we walk by faith, not by sight [living our lives in a manner consistent with our confident belief in God’s promises].

2 Corinthians 5:7 AMP

2. And we are confident that he hears us whenever we ask for anything that pleases him.

1 John 5:14 NLT

3. Remember that I have commanded you to be determined and confident! Do not be afraid or discouraged, for I, the Lord your God, am with you wherever you go.

Joshua 1:9 GNT

4. But that’s not all! Even in times of trouble we have a joyful confidence, knowing that our pressures will develop in us patient endurance.

Romans 5:3 TPT

5. And now, Lord, for what do I expectantly wait? My hope [my confident expectation] is in You.

Psalms 39:7 AMP

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A Sound Mind

In 1 Kings 18 and 19, Elijah called for a showdown between the prophets of Baal and God. He called down fire from heaven to burn up the offering, caused it to rain and supernaturally outran King Ahab’s chariot. Jezebel, Ahab’s wife then said she was going to kill him and he ran for his life. He went about 400 miles south to Mount Sinai looking for God to reveal Himself like He did to the Israelites when they left Egypt. An angel asked him, “What are you doing here?” God then causes a great wind to come, an earthquake and afire, but He wasn’t in them. He then whispered showing His Word, even in a whisper is more powerful than anything. God asked him once again, “What are you doing here?”

This story is pretty crazy to me. How do you experience and operate in the power of God, and then run for your life like Elijah did? Fear. Fear causes us to doubt God no matter how close to Him we are or what gifts we operate in. It causes us to look at situations instead of to the One who can solve them. Fear is very powerful, but it’s no match for God’s still, small voice. Thankfully God is patient with us the way He was with Elijah. When we quit running and start listening, God will calm our fears and give us direction. If Elijah hadn’t let fear take over, He would have learned that God was going to destroy Ahab and his family. He could have saved himself a lot of pain and time if on,y He had run to God instead of away.

2 Timothy 1:7 says, “For God will never give you the spirit of fear, but the Holy Spirit who gives you mighty power, love, and self-control” (TPT). Some version translate “self-control as “a sound mind”. If you’re running away emotionally, spiritually or physically today, know that your fear is not of God. He wants to give you a sound mind so you can see clearly. He wants to handle your situation, but you have to quit running and follow what He says. He may direct you to fight, to get help or He may just whisper into your situation. You need to put on the Helmet of Salvation and pray to seek God’s will in whatever is causing fear. Quit running, trust God and receive a sound mind from Him.

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Listen to the words of this song and ask God to give you a sound mind in exchange for your spirit of fear.

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Finding Joy

Corrie Ten Boom and her sister Betsy were sent to a German concentration camp during World War II for hiding and smuggling Jews. They were taken to Ravenbruck and faced some pretty inhumane conditions. Women were packed in their barracks stacked on three high bunk beds where they used rotten hay for cushion. The conditions were so unsanitary that it was overrun with lice. Betsy reminded Corrie to be thankful in all circumstances, but Corrie said she’d never be thankful for the life. Her tune changed not long after when her tormentors refused to come in their barracks because of the lice. This provided them the opportunity to pray, read the Bible and share the Gospel. Corrie found a way to be thankful even for lice.

I Thessalonians 5:16-18 says, “Be joyful always, pray at all times, be thankful in all circumstances. This is what God wants from you in your life in union with Christ Jesus” (GNT). This trifecta seems impossible at times, especially when we’ve been given life shattering news. However, God isn’t asking us to be thankful for all circumstances. It’s to be thankful in all circumstances. Thankfulness is always possible. It just matters how we look at our circumstances. A thankful heart looks for the goodness of God despite what the current outlook is. It clears all the confusion and the distractions when we turn our focus to God. He is the only one who can give us strength and grace in every circumstance. That is what allows us to pray at all times.

Finally, don’t confuse happiness with joy. Happiness is dependent on your circumstances, joy is not. Happiness is a reaction while joy is a lifestyle born from possessing inner peace that passes all understanding. Joy is your strength to endure whatever you face (Nehemiah 8:10). It is critical in this life and why the author mentioned it first. If you lose your joy, you’ve lost your strength to pray and be thankful because you’ve quit trusting in God. Joy trusts God even when the outcome is unsure and looks unfavorable. God holds your life in His hands. No matter what you face, it will never separate you from His love (Romans 8:38). Joy gives us an eternal perspective in temporary bodies. Because of it, we can keep our eyes on Jesus, pray at all times and find a way to be thankful.

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In God We Trust

The US currency says, “In God we trust,” however, we tend to put our trust in the currency instead of Him. We think if we had more, we could do XYZ or we wouldn’t have the troubles we currently have. When we believe that something can solve our problems, we are putting our trust in that instead of in God. When we put our trust in something other than God, we rely on Him and His Word less. That kind of thinking slowly pulls us away from our relationship with God. We must stop those thoughts when they come in and redirect our trust to God. He is worthy of our trust, and there are blessings that come with trusting in Him.

Here are some Bible verses on trusting in God.

1. Teach those who are rich in this world not to be proud and not to trust in their money, which is so unreliable. Their trust should be in God, who richly gives us all we need for our enjoyment.

1 Timothy 6:17 NLT

2. Lord, so many times I fail; I fall into disgrace. But when I trust in you, I have a strong and glorious presence protecting and anointing me. Forever you’re all I need!

Psalms 73:26 TPT

3. A grasping person stirs up trouble, but trust in God brings a sense of well-being.

Proverbs 28:25 MSG

4. Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me.

John 14:1 NLT

5. The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith [our ability to confidently trust in God and in His power].”

Luke 17:5 AMP

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Place And Position

God has placed in each one of us a feeling that lets us know we were meant for more. It’s a holy calling that reminds us to keep moving forward and that the place where we are now is only temporary. He uses places in our lives to prepare us for positions He wants to give us. However, when we become discontent in the place we’re in, the enemy plays to our sympathies telling us we deserve a higher position. His plan is two fold. First, he wants to get you out of the place you’re in prematurely before God has finished His work. Secondly, he wants to make you desire a position that is different than the one God has for you in order to slow you down in your progress towards God’s plan.

David’s place was a pasture. The position he was preparing for was king. He had to remain in the pasture watching sheep facing lions and bears in preparation for being king. He had to go into a valley to face a giant, and he lived in caves running from King Saul. I’m sure his mind was telling him he deserved his position in the palace while he lived in those caves, but he didn’t give into the voice. He trusted God’s plan and timing for him to receive the position. Each time the position presented itself to him to take, he stayed in his place waiting for God to open the door. Because of that, God honored him in the position of king more than any other king.

In Mark 10, James and John wanted the position of Jesus’ right and left in the new kingdom. Jesus asked if they were able to endure the suffering that comes with those positions. Ignorantly they said yes. In verses 39-40 Jesus said, “You will certainly drink from the cup of my sufferings and be immersed into my death, but to have you sit in the position of highest honor is not mine to decide. It is reserved for those whom grace has prepared them to have it” (TPT). They wanted a position before they were prepared in their place. The beautiful thing Jesus illustrated here is that grace prepares us in the place we are in now for the position He has for us in the future. His grace is sufficient to guide you and strengthen you in the place you’re in right now so He can give you the positions He’s planned for you. Be patient and trust His plan and ignore the sympathetic lies of the enemy.

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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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