Tag Archives: trusting God

Continuous Praise

A friend of mine and I have been praying for each other’s job situation for a while now. We send verses to each other, specifics of what we’re praying or asking for and encouraging messages. In the physical realm, nothing seems to be changing, but we know God is at work. The other day he said, “I think we need to praise God for what He is going to do on our behalf.” It triggered something in me. All this time, I have been hyper focused on my need and seeking God daily, that I’ve forgotten to thank and praise Him ahead of time for what He’s going to do. I’ve been praising Him for the daily miracles I see, but haven’t been looking ahead to where God is leading.

We get so caught up in our requests that we fail to spend time praising God for the work He’s doing behind the scenes. Praise is an important part of our victory. The Israelites always sent their praise team out first before any battle because of its powerful effect. God truly does work all things out for your good (Romans 8:28), but there’s always that period of time where you begin to wonder what good can come from your current situation. Especially in those times, it’s important to praise God for what He’s going to do. The Psalms over and over remind us to praise God no matter what and at all times. If you’ve been seeking God for a breakthrough, take some time to add praise to your petitions.

Here are some Bible verses on praising God.

1. Praise the Lord! Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever.

Psalms 106:1 NLT

2. Let everything that has breath and every breath of life praise the LORD! Praise the LORD! (Hallelujah!)

Psalms 150:6 AMP

3. I trust in the Lord. And I praise him! I trust in the Word of God. And I praise him!

Psalms 56:10 TPT

4. Let us, then, always offer praise to God as our sacrifice through Jesus, which is the offering presented by lips that confess him as Lord.

Hebrews 13:15 GNT

5. I will praise the Lord at all times. I will constantly speak his praises.

Psalms 34:1 NLT

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Responding To Distress

If you were to take a piece of pottery and a stick of butter into the oven, you’d get two different results. While the pottery would harden, the butter would melt. Even though it’s the same fire, things react differently to it. The same goes for us. Each one of us go through the fires of tribulations and troubles here on earth. Not one of us are exempt from it, but we each respond differently. Even though we have the same physical properties, those fires produce different results in us.

For me, those fires nearly wiped me off the earth. They destroyed everything in my life and left me with nothing. My response was to shut down and check out. I thought, “If I don’t have anything left to live for, why should I live?” Other people who have been through similar fires used it as fuel to get stronger, tougher, and better. They didn’t let it get the best of them. I don’t know that there’s a right or wrong way when it comes to how you respond to distress in your life except when it comes to your spiritual life.

Fires, tribulation and distress should push us closer to God, not away. Those are really the only two options spiritually. You can run to God and become totally dependent on Him or you can turn your back on Him wondering why He let this happen to you. 2 Corinthians 7:10 says, “Distress that drives us to God does that (produces all gain, not loss). It turns us around. It gets us back in the way of salvation. We never regret that kind of pain. But those who let distress drive them away from God are full of regrets, end up on a deathbed of regrets” (MSG).

In my life, the distress pushed me toward God in the end. It wasn’t until I had nothing left that I told God, “I give up. I can’t do this without you.” That moment sparked a change. Life didn’t get better immediately and not everything was restored right then. It took years, but God has been faithful to me and I don’t regret the pain I went through because it caused me to run back to God. I started off like that butter in the fire, but ended up like the pottery. You can too. Whatever you’re going through, it’s not too late to let it push you to God instead of away.

Photo by Gene Chauvin

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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God’s Great Faithfulness

One of the great hymns of the past is called “Great Is Thy Faithfulness”. The chorus says, “Great is thy faithfulness! Morning by morning new mercies I see; All I have needed thy hand hatch provided – Great is thy faithfulness, Lord unto me!” It’s taken from Lamentations 3:23, and it has been on repeat in my head for a while now. It’s both a declaration and a reminder to me that each day God continues to be faithful to me and you despite our circumstances. The financial markets of the world have come crashing down, along with our 401k’s and IRA’s, but God is still faithful to us and to His promises. He continues to show His faithfulness no matter what is going on.

Psalm 31:7 says, “In mercy you have seen my troubles and you have cared for me; even during this crisis in my soul I will be radiant with joy, filled with praise for your love and mercy” (TPT). These times we’re living in are forcing us to de use where we are placing our trust. The things we have tried to build with our hands and skill are proving to be unreliable. The troubles each of us are facing during this time are real, yet God has continued to care for us. He remains our hope and our rock. When the floods of unemployment, loss of income, sickness, and change come, it’s the lives that are built on the rock of God’s Word that will last. These floods force us to decide if we really believe what we’ve been saying we believe.

You and I can have joy during uncertain times because joy is not dependent on our circumstances. Joy comes from a heart that trusts God and it produces praise no matter what things look like. Because God cares for us more than the birds of the air and the flowers in the field, we do not have to worry (Matthew 6:25-30). We can let our praises shape our cares into prayers (Philippians 4:6). Praising God during times like these remind us of His faithfulness and keep our eyes on Him. Each day gives Him the opportunity to provide for us, to show us His mercy and to prove His faithfulness. If we will take time to look for those mercies and His faithfulness, we will see them. He will provide all you need even during a crisis because His faithfulness endures forever (Psalm 117:2).

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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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