Friday, March 28, 2014

The Stranglehold of Worry

Where does worry get us?  Over the years I have gotten better; in my younger days I was a devout pessimist who worried incessantly.  Whatever could go wrong, would go wrong, in my estimation. Yet, my worst-case imagined scenario never materialized.  I didn't know any better at the time, but worry is not biblical; in fact, it is the antithesis of faith.

 Matthew 6:27 admonishes us:  "Can any one of you add a moment to your lifespan by worrying?"

Isaiah 26:3 tells us:  "You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts on You."

There are numerous other verses that pertain to the detriment of worrying.  The point that Christians have to realize is that nothing that happens to us is a surprise to God.  The God of the universe is omniscient.  We all have our stumbling blocks and attacks because we live in a fallen, decrepit world.  

A high school friend Annie has been an incredible encouragement to me as she has chronicled her family's journey of faith through several unemployments.  We all have "life crud" that threatens to derail us.  It is how we choose to deal with that crud that defines us, shapes us.

My mantra is "Look up; always look up."  That is because every answer that we need is found in God.....if we seek Him and trust in Him everyday.  I find I have to rely on Him moment-by-moment many days because of the depravity around me.

To paraphrase the verse from Matthew again:  How has worrying helped you?  How has it changed your circumstance?

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Living, Breathing Faith

Last week when I posted I said that I rarely post unless I feel the urging of the Spirit.  Today is one of those days.  In the last week God has been dealing with me about something.  Ironically, it has been the verse I referenced in the last post:

            Isaiah 41:13:

               "For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and
         says to you, 'Do not fear; I will help you.'"

While I am not ready to discuss it here, the Lord has abundantly blessed me in the last few months in the area of finances.  There has been  As I stated in the last post, His fingerprints are all over it.

Having said that, this is the moral He has been trying to get into my thick skull this week:  If something happens in your life that is His will, it will happen no matter what....unless you openly defy Him.  I  don't plan to do that.

While the devil has been playing with my head all week, yesterday he was particularly active; it seemed he was going to ruin this blessing God has bestowed upon me.  There seemed to be no way around it.  Then last night, a possible solution was offered.  As of this moment, it has worked; the evil one has been thwarted yet again.

I leave you with this cornerstone verse (for me) again:

          "For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you,
       'Do not fear; I will help you.'"

To have true faith, we can not walk by sight but trust Him.  Even though He is the one who gave me that verse, I didn't fully trust Him.

Perhaps I should have that verse tattooed since having it at my computer desk has not cemented into my  brain.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Hanging on His Word

Recently an acquaintance asked me when I was going to blog again.  I replied that I didn't know.  It is not like I have a lot to say.  I write when I feel prompted by the Spirit, which is not often.  '

The last time I updated this blog was January 1...over two months ago.  Much has happened since then; some of it has been great; some of it, bad.  The Lord has taught me much, though.  No matter the circumstances,  this is my verse that I am living by, clinging to: 

Isaiah 41:13: 
       "For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you,
              'Do not fear; I will help you.'"

The good things that have happened in the last few months, the blessings, have His fingerprints all over them. With them have come challenges, but He has led me through them and taught me lessons along the way.  I keep that verse at my desk and read it daily. 

I am learning (albeit slowly) that my circumstances are not to define my attitude.  For most of my life, my circumstances have done just that. I wish I could say that I have been generally happy with my lot in life, but that would be a lie.  Even so, God is teaching me through them.  In the last two months He has taught me much about relying on Him, often minute by minute.  Many days the oppression has been stifling, suffocating.  If not for Him, I would not have been able to endure it.  I stumbled across this book, Jesus Calling:  Enjoying Peace in His Presence.  It has been a great encouragement to me.