Tag Archives: trusting God

Looking For God’s Works

My job is one that requires people to gather together. When quarantining and isolation began, my customers postponed our meetings. The next day, our air conditioner went out. I felt defeated and began to worry about how to make ends meet. Fear started to creep in. That Sunday, my pastor preached on not giving into fear or a defeatist attitude. I began to change how I prayed to God about my situation. I thanked Him for all He’s done for me and began to recount the ways He’s provided in the past. My attitude began to change as I reminded myself that God is my source, not my skills, talents or job.

That week, we received money from a friend to help with the AC. The AC guy offered to accept half now and half in a month. The next day, I received a check from a stock payout that had been set up two years before. The next week, I received my income tax check. Then the bank sent me a check from an over payment last year. These are just the tip of the iceberg. There are many more things that have happened during this time where God has shown up just in time and provided for our needs. It seems almost every day something happens where my wife and I look at each other, laugh in disbelief and then stop to thank God for His provision. We now look for all the ways He’s working in our lives beyond the monetary ways.

Psalm 18:22 says, “Now I’m alert to GOD’s ways; I don’t take God for granted. Every day I review the ways he works” (MSG). I believe when you and I begin to look for the different ways God is moving in our lives, we will find them. Some times it’s obvious, but most of the times, they are little, subtle hints that He’s working on our behalf and causing all things to work together for our good. We have to train our eyes to look beyond our problems to see His provision. We need to be alert to God’s ways of working in our lives so we don’t take the little things He does for granted. At the end of each day, think back to where you saw God work on your behalf and give Him thanks. Not only will it change your perspective of your situation, it’ll refocus your eyes on God.

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God Is Your Protector

In times of crisis, such as the one we’re currently living in, fear is one of the greatest threats we must guard against. It brings up questions that seem rational, but at their root cause us to question God. What if I get sick? What if my kids get it? What if I lose my job? How am I going to provide for my family? All these questions are valid, but what is motivating them? For some, it’s so you have a plan in place. For others, it’s the fear of the unknown. Fear’s job is to occupy your mind, to cause you to doubt God and to put an undue burden on you to slow you down. Fear does not come from God which is why you need to find out the motivating factors behind your thoughts and feelings.

When King David had the opportunity to fear, he looked to God for protection and help. So many of the Psalms deal with his feelings and were born out of times of uncertainty in his life. He had every opportunity to be afraid, but instead of giving into it, he let those circumstances shape his prayers and the worship he created. He wrote them to remind his mind and his spirit to run to God in the time of need and to trust God’s plan above all else. His words of prayer and lyrics of praise resonate with us because were written out of honesty and intended to keep our focus on God. Instead of consuming the news during this time, feed your soul with the Psalms and with worship songs. Remind yourself that God is your protector and provider.

Here are some Bible verses on God as your protector.

1. Whoever goes to the Lord for safety, whoever remains under the protection of the Almighty, can say to him, “You are my defender and protector. You are my God; in you I trust.” He will keep you safe from all hidden dangers and from all deadly diseases.

Psalm 91:1-3 GNT

2. Lord, you are my secure shelter. Don’t ever let me down! You’re the only place of protection for me. I keep coming back to hide myself in you, for you are like a mountain-cliff fortress where I’m kept safe.

Psalms 71:1, 3 TPT

3. The LORD will guard your going out and your coming in [everything that you do] From this time forth and forever.

Psalms 121:8 AMP

4. Yes, our protection comes from the Lord, and he, the Holy One of Israel, has given us our king.

Psalms 89:18 NLT

5. GOD’s name is a place of protection— good people can run there and be safe.

Proverbs 18:10 MSG

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Taking Your Promised Land

My son, who is in elementary school, is having to read Pilgrim’s Progress. I remember having to read it at a young age too. Quite honestly I think it should be required reading for every Christian adult because there is so much depth to it. In it, Christian Pilgrim reads about Heaven and begins his journey to find Christ. On the way he meets people like Evangelist and Helper who guide him toward the Celestial City. He also encounters people like Worldly Wiseman, Despair and Formalist who try to persuade him to get off the straight and narrow path. Each person warms him not to listen to the others and he has to decide who is right and suffer the consequences when he listens to the wrong voices.

In Numbers 13, God told Moses to send out one person from each tribe to go throughout the Promised Land to scout it. They saw how fertile the land was, checked out the terrain and saw the cities. They noticed that there were several nations living in the land as well. They all agreed that it was a good land as God promised, but they also saw that there were giants and fortified cities that would be difficult to go to war with. The people began to murmur and to doubt God’s promise to give them the land. Then in verse 30 it says, “Caleb interrupted, called for silence before Moses and said, ‘Let’s go up and take the land—now. We can do it’” (MSG). You know the story. The people listened to the 10 spies with a negative report and faced the consequences.

What has God promises you? What voices are causing you to doubt Him? We often forget that there is a process to receiving His promises. There are battles that must be won, faith steps to be taken and moments where you push past what your eyes see. If God has promised something to you, there will be giants and people who try to persuade you away from going after it. There comes a point where you either trust God or you don’t. Receiving His promises is never easy. It takes faith and it takes courage to move towards it because others can’t see it or feel the passion God placed in you. Who’s voice will you listen to? There are consequences for listening to the wrong ones, but there’s also forgiveness. Ask God to give you wisdom in who you listen to and courage to proceed. Go take your land. You can do it!

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Trusting In God’s Goodness

In Numbers 11, the children of Israel had left Egypt and were on their way to the Promised Land. They began to grumble about how hard their new life was and it upset God. They then began to crave something they didn’t have: meat. Manna, God’s provision, was getting old. They were sick of having it every day, so they complained that they wanted meat. God told moses He was going to give them meat. So much meat that they were going to get sick of it. He was going to provide it for 30 days, and lots of it. In verses 21-22 Moses replied, “I’m standing here surrounded by 600,000 men on foot and you say, ‘I’ll give them meat, meat every day for a month.’ So where’s it coming from? Even if all the flocks and herds were butchered, would that be enough? Even if all the fish in the sea were caught, would that be enough?” (MSG)

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been guilty of this. I look at my needs, then I look at what I have and I tell God how impossible the situation is. Depending on how desperate the situation is, I may even go a step further, like Moses, and tell Him that even His resources are not enough. I try to take a supernatural God and out natural constraints on Him. This attitude, though temporary, is wrong and it comes from having the wrong perspective. In my desperation, I tend to look at God through the lens of my problem rather than the other way around. This attitude is telling God that I feel He is incapable of taking care of me or unable to meet my needs. God’s response to Moses is the gut check I need in those situations. He said, “So, do you think I can’t take care of you? You’ll see soon enough whether what I say happens for you or not.”

When I start thinking this way, I go back to Philippians 4:19. It says, “And my God will liberally supply (fill until full) your every need according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus” (AMP). I remind myself of God’s promises and of His faithfulness. He doesn’t always answer in the ways that I think He should or could, but He always fills my needs. He has been faithful all of my life, and when I look back on desperate situations and times in my life, I can see the hand of God at work. He has not failed me yet, and I can tell you that He will not fail you either. His mercies are new every morning and His faithfulness is great (Lamentations 3:23). You don’t have to know where or how He will provide for you. Just trust in His goodness, and make your requests known to Him. He will take care of you.

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Your Firm Foundation

In Matthew 7:24-27, Jesus told the people that people who listen to what He says and applies it is like a wise person who builds their house on a firm and unshakable foundation. Then He said that those who hear His words and doesn’t apply them is like a foolish person who built their house on sand instead of a foundation. When the storms of life come, and it rains day after day, one of those houses will collapse and the other will stand strong no matter what comes against it. Hearing what Jesus says is important, that’s where faith comes from, but it’s not enough. We must apply the godly principles to our lives if we want the blessings that they produce. You can’t get the foundation He was talking about unless you do something with His teachings.

In today’s world, we are watching the rain come down day after day. The wind is blowing against everyone’s houses. Financial markets are crashing across the world. Education systems are under stress trying to figure out how to respond in this time of crisis. Governments across the world are scrambling trying to protect their people and keep their country afloat. The flood waters are rising and the houses that have been built on the sand are crashing down. Fear and panic have taken over the world as people watch what they’ve built get destroyed. Believers are no different. The things they have built are being affected by the storm and floods too, but there is a difference. We have a firm foundation that will remain no matter what comes.

Proverbs 10:25 says, “When the storms of life come, the wicked are whirled away, but the godly have a lasting foundation” (NLT). There is no need to fear or panic as a person who has applied God’s Word to their life. He is still in control and He is still your source. He is your Jehovah Jireh, your provider. No matter how high the waters rise or how long the storm lasts, the godly, the ones who have built their lives on applying God’s Word, have a lasting foundation that is unshakable. You have an anchor of hope that will not let you be moved in this time. Hold onto your faith. Hold onto the promises of God. Rest on your foundation that He has given you. He will be true to His Word. Even Job lost everything, but he held onto his foundation and was able to worship in the storm.

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Comfort In The Chaos

To me, one of the most comforting promises of God is found in the first two verses of Isaiah 43. God 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” (GNT). I can know that whatever mountain I’m facing, trial I’m going through, or difficulty I’m having, God will not let me go through it alone.

This verse reminds me to get rid of fear first. Fear takes my eyes off of my savior and puts them on my problems. Fear makes my problems appear to be bigger than God. It can cripple me and prevent my progress in the middle of a trial I’m called to walk through. It makes me want to give up because the struggle is so difficult. But God does not give me a spirit of fear. He gives me a spirit of power and a sound mind so I can advance through whatever I face.

The next part reminds me that I’m His child. When my own child gets in danger, the first thing I do is shout his name to get his attention. God does that to us. In the midst of our chaos, God calls our name to get us to look to Him. When we’re facing uncertainty and feel like we’re drowning in sorrow, it’s His voice we need to listen for. He reminds us that we are His, and He will not leave us nor abandon us in our times of desperate need.

When I feel like I’m overwhelmed and I can’t seem to find the light of day, I have the promise that God is with me. He is the rock that’s higher than I am when those floods come in and wash me down stream. When everything I’m standing on appears to be sinking sand, He is the rock of my foundation. I know that my life is built on Him, and even though everything else seems to be lost, I can trust that my foundation is sure.

Finally, I can rest knowing that my trials will not hurt me in the long run. I know that God works in all things for my good. Set backs, unanswered prayers, times of darkness in my life, and fiery trials all make me stronger and purify my faith. When I feel like giving up, I remember that there’s no fire great enough to burn me when God is with me. I know He leads me by still waters while protecting me with His rod and staff. I can find comfort in the chaos because He sees me, knows me, and walks through fire with me.

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Throwback Thursday is a feature I’m using to help build some margin into my schedule to pursue other writing 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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Fighting Fearful Thoughts

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I told my son yesterday, “You’re living in an unprecedented time in history.” As the world buckles down because of the Coronavirus, and social distancing becomes a thing, I find myself watching social media more and even listening to the news radio station looking for information. My son is asking questions about all that’s happening and we’re answering them the best we can with what little information we have. As public gatherings get canceled, grocery stores run out of food and people go into hiding, I cant help but remind myself and my family to keep going back to God’s Word. The world is offering up fear and panic, but God’s Word brings peace and life.

Our enemy’s tactic has always been isolation. He knows if he can get you alone, he can get I to your mind. If he can get into your mind, he can direct your thoughts and stop you in your tracks. Think right now about what is dominating your thoughts. How is that affecting your mood, your relationship with others and your actions? What’s driving your emotions right now? It stems from your thoughts. 2 Corinthians 10:5 tells us to take every thought captive to make it obey Christ. I’m not saying you and I shouldn’t be informed about what’s going on in the world and what actions you should take. I’m saying quit letting the thoughts and what if’s dominate your mind. Instead, Philippians 4:8 tells us to think on good things, true things, right things, lovely things and good reports because they bring us life.

Proverbs 4:21 says, “Fill your thoughts with my words until they penetrate deep into your spirit” (TPT). Don’t let the fearful thoughts rule your mind. Bring them captive and replace them with the things God says instead. In Matthew 6, Jesus reminds us not to worry because He’s in control. Philippians 4:6 tell us not to worry, but to pray instead. The Bible is full of promises from God that should dominate our minds, bring us peace and fortify our mind against the daily barrage of fear. When you find yourself worrying, stop the thoughts, and ask, “What does God say?” Spend more time reading God’s Word to put it in your heart and mind. It is your sword to fight fear and the thoughts that cause them.

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