God’s Purpose in Disappointment

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“Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise Him, my salvation and my God.”

–Psalm 42:5-6a

It’s easy to feel defeated in the midst of life’s disappointments. To feel broken. Confused. Hopeless. Sad. Empty.

But with the help of the Holy Spirit, we can discover God’s purpose even in the deepest of disappointments.

I’m finding that some of our deepest disappointments in life can actually be blessings… propelling us into a deeper peace and resiliency in the Lord as we seek the Lord’s wholeness instead of that tendency to feel empty.

It’s difficult.

But the Lord can heal our hearts if we seek Him.

I want to encourage you that it’s in this tender place of working through our disappointments with the Lord that we find a greater love with our Savior than ever before.

“As a deer pants for flowing streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. My soul thirst for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God?”

–Psalm 42:1-2

I love the longing of the psalmist in these two verses of Psalm 42. The writer, who scholars credit to the Sons of Korah, don’t stop at declaring that they are thirsty for God. They go on to ask… When shall I come and appear before God?

They have an insatiable desire for the Lord that will not be satisfied until they see Him.

An unrivaled love.

A permanent longing.

How much longer till I can see God? I just want to see Him! I need to see Him! My whole existence needs to be with You Lord right now! The writer wants God more than anything. He compares it to the basic need for water: something a human cannot live without for survival. Thus, the writer affirms He cannot live without God for survival either. He needs Him. He needs God for survival.

Such zealous longing for the Lord and satisfaction in that longing is what I believe God wants for all of us.

God wants us to be in love with Him.

More than we love anything else.

Sometimes, this necessitates difficult trials in our lives such as disappointments that force us to re-prioritize other longings of our hearts, affirming the Lord as our #1 desire.

Wrestling with a deep disappointment in my own life, I’m starting to come full circle recognizing the good this has done in my heart. God has been using my disappointment to dig a deeper anchor of hope and love for my Savior. But it’s taken time and waiting on the Lord to do in my soul what I cannot do for myself.

As I work through my own disappointments with the Lord, I’m seeing how this lack of what I wanted is forcing me to seek the Lord in a brand new way.

A way I’ve never had to do before because I had never been disappointed like this.

I always sought the Lord because He was the best thing to me. The Lord has always been my love and my safe place and had never been rivaled before by any kind of stronger hope in my heart.

But once God saw that my heart started to want something more than Him, He had no other choice but to woo me back…

…And that called for disappointment.

Yes, disappointment.

Sometimes, God lets painful things happen to you to strengthen you and make your faith deeper rooted in Him.

I know that God let me be disappointed.

And my heart is now thankful. No longer resentful.

God needed me to experience the devastation that occurs when a heart wants something more than Him.

This doesn’t mean that we can’t want good things, relationships, blessings and so on… But it does mean that if I want those things more than I want God, I will never be healthy in love with the Lord the way I was designed to be.

When we hope in something to fill us and it doesn’t work out how we thought it would, we get disappointed.

And there’s an emptiness in that moment that beckons us for “more.”

And that “more” can only be found in Jesus.

My heart finally understands that God is worthy of possessing and keeping the top spot in my heart.

We can love others better when God has the top spot in our hearts…. because a healthy love relationship with the Lord teaches us what love is. And everyone around us will benefit from our healthy relationship with the Lord.

Learning by experience was the only way I could learn this lesson.

Hearing “Love God first,” and reading in the bible to “Love God first” was not going to make this resolute in my heart.

Something had to test my love for the Lord.

I had to wrestle with it in my own heart.

Experiencing what it feels like to not love God first and get hurt has trained me to never do this again because it’s too painful.

Now, I want to love God first.

“How lovely is your dwelling place, Lord of hosts. I long and yearn for the courts of the Lord; my heart and flesh cry out for the living God.”

– Psalm 84:1-2

I have experienced the pain of loving something more than the Lord. And I now I have experienced the fullness of what it feels like to want God more.

God is very past-present-future-minded in how He uses such a devastating emotion like disappointment to actually propel us into a sustainable joy. God could easily let His hurt for how we’re hurting in the moment of our disappointment make Him call off the whole experience. And make it stop. He could hear our cries for deliverance and cries for healing and put an end to our journey of peace-through-disappointment. And make it stop. But He doesn’t. God looks into the future and sees how this hurt is only temporary; and how the peace, joy and rest we will obtain at the end of it will be worth all the pain of the disappointment.

Additionally, my love for God would never have been tested if I had never been exposed to something more desirable. Anyone can love God first when nothing else is rivaling that love. But once something comes along that makes you want it more than you want God, then your love for God is put to the test. This is what happened in my life.

God wants to test our love for Him. And test our faith in Him. To make it stronger!

 “These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold –though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. S0 when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.”

1 Peter 1:7

Thanks be to God that He has grace on us through this refining process. So while we look away to something we see as more desirable, God waits on us while we navigate this unfamiliar terrain and is still there when we decide to return to the Lord who fills us.

“The Lord appeared to him from far away saying, I have love you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued to extend faithful love to you.”

Jeremiah 31:3

Friends, disappointment in your life is not a curse. It’s a blessing!

God has a purpose for your disappointment.

He has a purpose!

God did not allow a disappointment in your life to hurt you. God appointed that disappointment so that you may come to discover a deeper love with your Savior.

You may not see it yet.

But keep praying.

Keep pushing through the uncomfortableness.

Keep seeking Him in the weariness of how it feels to be disappointed.

God is the only one who can fix it.

God is the only One who can turn your sorrow into joy.

You cannot make it happen on your own.

But I guarantee He will do it!

As Psalm 51:17 says, “The sacrifices pleasing to God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.”

All you need is a broken and surrendered spirit put in the hands of the Lord and He will restore your soul as you seek Him and patiently wait on Him to do it.

“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose.”

Romans 8:28

If we recall the greatest disappointment the world could ever know was when the Savior of the world was nailed to a cross. Killed. Dead. His mother, disciples and followers thought things were hopeless. Their Messiah was gone. Their hope lost. But then…they discovered their disappointment was only intended to endure for 3 days…for the Savior of the world had risen! He was alive! Their hope restored again! By the power of God. And they would live to tell of His works and miracles.

Disappointment turned to joy.

God had a purpose.

May your disappointments turn to joy and peace in the powerful working hands of the Lord. May He strengthen you in the time of waiting for your situation to be redeemed. I pray you would be refreshed by His spirit. And dependent on Him to heal your soul. Praise the Lord who woos us deeper in love with Him. And shows us the purpose in our disappointments. How amazing the lovingkindness of the Lord. Hallelujah.

 

“I will turn their mourning into joy; I will comfort them, and give them gladness for sorrow. I will feast the soul of the priests with abundance, and my people shall be satisfied with my goodness, declares the Lord.”

Jeremiah 31:13b-14

 

Questions for Today:

  • What has disappointed me?
  • Do I want God to reveal His purpose to me regarding this disappointment?
  • How can I see God’s purpose in this disappointment as a means to draw me into deeper love with Him?
  • Why is important that I patiently wait on the Lord to redeem my disappointment?
  • Why does the Lord send difficult trials into our lives?
  • What is one step God is asking me to take in my relationship with Jesus today?

“Behold (Then Sings My Soul)” by Hillsong Worship

 

 

 

The Illusion of No Progress

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“Though the fig tree does not bud
and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen
and no cattle in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
I will be joyful in God my Savior.”

-Habakkuk 3:17-18

For many of us, there’s a situation in your life that shows no signs of progress, no signs of life, no signs of fruit on the tree. No indication of anything good resulting from your prayers, your obedience, your investment, your effort, your faith.

It’s easy to wonder if your prayers are working, if your obedience is worth it, if your faith is enough.

Why, God, is nothing happening though I’ve been sowing seed and watering for so long now?

These kinds of seasons will enter our lives to prompt our waiting… and require our trust.

To prepare us for what’s next.

Still, it’s easy to look at what’s not happening and assume nothing is working.

These less than favorable seasons in our lives can drag on and on, as days turn to months and months turn to years.

It’s hard enough to navigate this uncomfortable terrain, much more difficult to adapt to the monotony of the made-permanent conditions of a waiting zone. The illusion of no progress is a constant reminder. And disappointment a nagging temptation.

When God has you in a waiting zone where He is working out things you cannot see, it’s easy to assume no progress is being made.

That nothing has changed.

That God has abandoned you.

That you are getting nowhere.

But maybe there’s more progress taking place than we realize.

What if there is unseen progress underlying the barren tree? Underlying roots growing deep into the foundation of God’s promise about to bloom?

We have to look into the illusion of no progress with eyes of faith and a heart of confidence in God’s handiwork, believing that God is creating something beautiful about to bloom.

It just takes time.

But it will happen.

We must remind ourselves of what God promised, even when what we see doesn’t match up.

Abraham was a man familiar with the illusion of no progress.

Abraham was in the waiting zone every day of his life after the Word of the Lord came to Him promising him a son and descendants as numerous as the stars.

“And He brought him outside and said, “Look toward heaven, and number the stars, if you are able to number them.” Then He said to him, So shall your offspring be.”

Genesis 15:5

God promised Abraham a son.

Yet nothing happened, immediately.

“Then Abraham bowed down to the ground, but he laughed to himself in disbelief. “How could I become a father at the age of 100?” he thought. “And how can Sarah have a baby when she is ninety years old?” he says to God in Genesis 17:17.

No son.

An illusion of no progress.

Them God came to Abraham again in Genesis 18:10 declaring the same promise, “The Lord said, “I will certainly come back to you in about a year’s time, and your wife Sarah will have a son!” Now Sarah was listening at the entrance of the tent behind him.”

More waiting.

Still no son.

An illusion of no progress.

Altogether Abraham and Sarah would wait 25 years until this promise would become a reality.

“Now the Lord was gracious to Sarah as He had said, and the Lord did for Sarah what He had promised. Sarah became pregnant and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the very time God had promised him.”

Genesis 21:1-2

Illusion of no progress shattered.

His son was born.

God fulfilled what He had promised.

Paul writes of Abraham in Romans 4:18, “Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations just as it had been said to him, “So shall your offspring be.”

Abraham is praised for his faith.

Even though he and Sarah doubted they could have a son.

This is quite interesting.

Abraham and Sarah doubted they could have a son and took matters into their own hands to have a son. Hagar, the maidservant, became their hope for having a son instead of God.

“Sarai said to Abram, “Since the Lord has prevented me from bearing children, go to my slave; perhaps through her I can build a family.” And Abram agreed to what Sarai said.”

-Genesis 16:2

What’s remarkable about this is that Sarah and Abraham tried to have a son through Hagar before God ever promised them a son through Sarah. Yes, God promised Abraham in Genesis 15 the that he would have an heir. But in this culture, the man having children through a maidservant or other wife was normal. Sarah wasn’t trying to disobey God as much as she was just trying to be logical and operate out of her cultural framework. And when a lady of her age could not have children to give her husband an heir, going to her maidservant for an heir woukd have been the standard next step. So Sarah took a good look at reality and said, well if I can’t have a son I’ll just have one through Hagar.

Sarah had given up.

She didn’t even have the comprehension to know that God would be kind enough to give her a son.

Sarah was just at her wits end and trying to do the best she could with the life and body she had. So she gave up and gave in to the only option she thought she had left: having a son through Hagar.

But God wanted more for Sarah.

Sarah never even knew that this would be possible.

Wow this is so powerful seeing this in the scriptures. I am overwhelmed thinking about how even after Sarah gave up that God cared enough about her to step in and give back to her what she had just given up.

God saw that Sarah gave up.

And THAT was the very point in time that God stepped in and gave her a promise of a blessing of a son who they would call Isaac (Genesis 17:19).

God is so gracious to fulfill what He promises even when we doubt. Even when we don’t see a way. Even when we give up.

Maybe God’s waiting on you to give up so He can step in and give what only He can give.

Maybe you need to humble yourself and recognize your inability to produce the progress you desire. And let God step in and produce the progress for you.

Many of us need to give up and let God intervene so He can provide His promise.

Others of us may have already received a promise from God and need to keep trusting in the waiting zone while He brings you into the Promised Land. 

The Israelites had already received their promise from God.

They were on their way to the Promised Land.

Unlike Sarah who gave up before she received her promise from God, the Israelites wanted to give up after they received their promise from God.

How ironic.

“The Israelites said to Moses: “Is it because there are no graves in Egypt that you took us to die in the wilderness? What have you done to us by bringing us out of Egypt?” in Exodus 14:11.

Again in Numbers 20:5: “Why did you bring us up out of Egypt to this terrible place? It has no grain or figs, grapevines or pomegranates. And there is no water to drink!”

And again in Numbers 21:5: “And the people spoke against God and against Moses, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no food and no water, and we loathe this worthless food.”

This is shocking.

Then again, maybe not so shocking.

Have you ever let the uncertainty of your circumstances and a paralyzing illusion of no progress deplete your appreciation for the promise God gave you?

Are you getting frustrated with the waiting?

I’m not getting anywhere so why keep going? kinds of thoughts can plague our minds like poison.

I’ve been there.

I’ve been so frustrated and disappointed in the waiting that I almost forget the hope of the promise God gave me. And that’s just what the enemy wants. For you to get so discouraged by the preparation journey that you want to give up on it altogether.

If only we knew how close we were!

“The enemy always sends a terrorist alert right when we get close to what God has promised us,” says Steven Furtick.

The enemy’s goal is to destroy you. And if he can’t, he’ll do everything he can to make you feel like God is torturing you instead of taking you to the Promised Land. Then you will want to give up.

The Israelites didn’t realize how close they were!

They were on the outskirts of the Promised Land!

Right on the very edge of it!

Yet discouraged…

…because they were presently in a waiting zone…

…looking straight into an illusion of no progress…

So they wanted to turn back.

And it made them wander around in the wilderness for 40 years.

The enemy wants us to wander around in the wilderness like the Israelites and miss out on God’s promise. We can’t let that happen.

It’s crucial we hold onto the promise and yield to the Lord in the uncomfortableness of the journey.

“Now faith is the reality of what is hoped for, the proof of what is not seen.”

Hebrews 11:1

I have to believe that God cares about me and that this difficult path is an inevitable step of my journey towards where He is taking me ultimately.

I know don’t want to wander around in the wilderness for even one second longer than God planned for me to.

God knows what He’s doing.

His direction is purposeful.

His leading, although confusing to me, is perfect to Him.

It takes us giving up our rationality to trust in His command and do what He says without telling God, “but what if…”.

We can’t give up on where God is taking us out of discouragement for being in a drought that precedes the Promised Land.

A drought always precedes the Promised Land.

Because God is calling you out of what is mediocre into what is a surplus.

Thus, there will be a contrast of environments.

It’s natural for there to be hardships, struggles, testing, trials and drought right before you come into the Promised Land because God is preparing you to be able to handle the blessing He wants to give you.

God will not give you a blessing that you would take for granted and not appreciate.

Thus, He lets you go through the lows of the drought so you will appreciate the highs of the Promised Land.

God lets you endure the pain of the human experience so that you will give glory to Him as you enter into the blessings of a divine inheritance.

It’s in this process that God becomes great and we become not the focus anymore.

He must become greater; I must become less.”

John 3:30

While we are in the illusion of no progress, we know that there is indeed progress. There is.

There are roots growing deep into the foundation of the promise God is growing in your life.

We may not see any progress yet but if we were to glimpse all the progress that is being made in unseen places we would be astounded at all God is doing!

Praise be to God who is creating beautiful things in our lives and restoring hearts. Praise be to the God who is constantly working for our good. There is always progress taking place in our lives, even in the unseen places.

I pray you would cling to His promises. I pray you would let Him redeem the broken places in your life that have given up hope. God sees you and He’s on the way to give you a promise. Seek Him. Though the journey may be weary, His spirit will strengthen you as God leads you into what He’s promised. Hallelujah. Thank you Jesus for never giving up on us.

“So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”

– 2 Corinthians 4:18

 

Questions for Today:

  • What situation in your life seems to show no progress?
  • Am I in the position of Sarah, who needs to give up so God can give me His promise? Or am I in the position of the Israelites who have already received a promise from God and need to keep yielding to God in the waiting of the journey?
  • What is my response in what I see as an illusion of no progress?
  • How can I be thankful for God preparing me even in the waiting?
  • How can I remind myself daily that God always fulfills His promises?
  • What next step is Jesus asking me to take in my relationship with Him today?

“Love of God,” by NCU Worship LIVE

Your Achilles Heel is God’s Secret Weapon

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I’m finding that God uses the very thing in our lives that makes us feel like a failure to help us recognize His power to accomplish things and not our own means. The same thing you see as a weakness to you is actually the very thing God will use to make you strong for His kingdom. He created you and I that way for a reason.

I have one little boy in my classroom who can be a challenge at times. And I’m beginning to see how this is a good thing.  How it reveals his strengths. Even in his weakness to be talkative and disruptive in my classroom.

One day he decided to stand up on the chair and start coyote howling in class. It wasn’t before long that everyone else followed his lead.

Yet, I see a lot in this student.

Even in his weakness.

I see how the same weakness that inspires Sebastian to confidently communicate and gain everyone’s attention to start coyote howling in the middle of my lesson is actually a strength that will make him a confident leader one day. He’s just got to learn how to harness this strength and use it in the proper place and time. And he will.

It’s easy to feel like the thing that makes us weak is going to be our Achilles heel our whole life. But what if it’s not?

What if your Achilles heel is actually God’s great secret weapon?

God let you be weak in that area so that you could learn how to seek God to find real strength in that area.

He’s making you strong.

But He lets you be weak.

Lest you forget that He’s the one who has the power to make all things happen. Like Paul, your thorn in your flesh will be covered by his grace (2 Corinthians 12:7) . And you will be strong because of the Lord. What a comfort to know it’s God who makes us strong and not ourselves.

“In His kindness God called you to share in His eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, He will restore, support, and strengthen you, and He will place you on a firm foundation.”

-1 Peter 5:10

If we did not have an Achilles heel or a weak area, we would think we were the ones who accomplished everything.

And God does not want that.

God does not want us to assume we are the powerful ones who accomplished everything on our own.

So maybe, our Achilles heel is God’s secret weapon to keep us close to Him.

Where we can be strengthened by the real source of strength.

Comforted by the real comforter.

Find power from the real power source.

Be great through the only One who is truly great: God.

We must turn to Him in the midst of our weaknesses or else our weakness will remain weakness. If want to find strength in the Lord we must seek Him. It involves repentance, humility, surrender and a desire to want to do things God’s way and not our own.

Seeking Him will never leave us drained.

It will refresh us and calm the anxiety that accompanies an undealt with Achilles Heel. But dealing with it through seeking the Lord will heal our hearts and renew strength we need.

Let God encourage your heart with the wonder of His power making us stronger through even our weakest places. Hallelujah.

“For who is God, but the Lord? And who is a rock, except our God? – the God who equipped me with strength and made my way blameless. He made my feet like the feet of a deer and set me on the heights.”

-Psalm 18:32-33

Questions for Today:

  • What are weaknesses?
  • Why did God let me be weak?
  • How can the Lord convert my weakness into strength?
  • Why is my Achilles heel God’s secret weapon?
  • What next step is Jesus asking me to take in my relationship with Him today?

The Peace of Paul: “What has happened… has actually resulted in…”

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“And I pray this: that your love will keep on growing in knowledge and every kind of discernment, so that you can determine what really matters and can be pure and blameless in the day of Christ, to the glory and praise of God.” –Philippians 1:9-11

As we dive into the letter to the Philippians, we find the apostle Paul writing to the church at Philippi.

In the above verses, Paul is praying for the welfare of the church at Philippi. Interceding for them. Encouraging them. At first read, this seems ordinary and normal considering this is the Bible after all. And Paul is a great man of God. Of course Paul would be praying for the Philippians. What else would he be doing!

But did you know that the apostle Paul was actually in a jail cell when he wrote this?

That’s right.

A jail cell.

Paul had been imprisoned by Rome for preaching the words of Christ. For doing what God had instructed him to do. For doing the right thing.

So it seems that Paul would be upset, right!?

Wouldn’t he be angry at God for orchestrating his landing at a Roman jail?

Especially considering he had been appointed by God to carry out the mission of God. Wouldn’t God have wanted Paul to not be captured and keep preaching and ministering? Couldn’t God rescue him? Couldn’t God have stopped him from being captured and imprisoned by the Romans?

Surely God could have.

God could have prevented Paul from going to prison unjustly. But He didn’t.

Why?

To Paul, the answer is clear:

“Now I want you to know brothers that what has happened to me has actually resulted in the advancement of the gospel, so that it has become known throughout the whole imperial guard, and to everyone else, that my imprisonment is for Christ.” –Philippians 1:12-13

Wow.

Paul isn’t angry.

Now that is a faith in Christ that cannot be shaken.

What has happened…has actually resulted in…

Hmmmm…

It seems Paul is starting to think about how this can be used for God’s glory…

Hmmm….

It seems Paul is starting to see how others can hear about Jesus by him being there in the prison…

Hmm…

It seems Paul is finding joy in jail…

It seems Paul is seeing God at work…

It seems Paul trusts God’s hand in his life in any and every situation he goes through…

Wow…

What has happened…has actually resulted in…

Plug in your situation… has actually resulted in…

Being in jail…is actually helping others hear about Christ.

Being persecuted by others… is helping me fellowship with Christ in His sufferings.

Experiencing conflict… is actually growing stagnant areas in my life.

Not having what I think I need… is actually elevating my trust in God as my provider.

Feeling unloved… is actually drawing me nearer to the Lord who loves me extravagantly. 

Remaining in a difficult situation… is actually shaping me into the person God wants me to be.

Whatever has happened…God will use to result in something beneficial! For you and for His glory!

“No one takes up the case for your sores.

You have nothing that can heal you.

But I will bring you health

and will heal you of your wounds…” –Jeremiah 30:13 & 17a

Remember: love seeks the welfare of others. And God is love. So God seeks our welfare. No matter the situation, God seeks our welfare in that. Aren’t you glad to know you have one person on your side in this life seeking your welfare? And not just anyone! But God! The God of the universe is seeking your welfare!!! And He’s never gonna stop.

Paul may be limited to a jail cell.

But God is not limited.

God is still seeking the welfare of Paul.

Even in the jail cell.

God is using Paul’s situation to do exactly what He intended all along.

And in the middle of it, Paul also starts to reflect the love of God by seeking others welfare as well. Paul starts to pray for others even in the midst of his own suffering.

Do we?

Are we seeking the welfare of others when we are in pain? When we are upset? When we feel ignored, rejected and passed over?

Paul did.

Paul demonstrates the purity of love by praying for others and seeking their welfare, instead of dwelling on his own unfavorable circumstances.

In verse 10 of the first chapter, Paul says something very meaningful that particular sticks out to me: “so that you can determine what really matters…”

What really matters.

What really matters.

Paul discovered what really matters.

Paul found that what has happened… is actually helping him to discover what really matters. 

→ Saying yes to God at all costs.

That really matters.

“For me, to live is Christ, to die is gain,” (1:21).

So whether Paul is alive: he says yes to Jesus.

And whether Paul is dead: he sees Jesus.

Either way, he says yes to Jesus.

He follows Him.

Are you?

“So then, my dear friends, just as you have always obeyed, not only in my presence but now even more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” –Philippians 2:12

Are you following Jesus at all costs? Am I following Jesus at all costs?

Recently I have been thinking a lot about the songs I listen to that talk about my faith in God.

Songs that say, “take it all…”, “you can have it all, Lord…every part of my world…”, “I surrender all…”, “should this life hold nothing but my Savior, I will praise you always…”… And to me, these words are very serious words. These are not just songs on the radio to sing along to. They are serious vows. Serious vows to the Lord.

When I sing “You can have it all, Lord…” do I really mean it?

If so, why am I surprised when God takes it all??

When we sing “I surrender…” do we really mean it?

If so, why do we try to take control over God and do things our way??

What we commit to in our relationship with Jesus is very serious. It’s not to be said whimsically. If I say to the Lord that he can have it all, I better expect for Him to take it all and I subsequently find joy in that. Just like the apostle Paul did.

Paul meant what he said when he said “to live is Christ, to die is gain.” (Philippians 1:21)

Paul walked what he talked.

Paul sang praises to Jesus while chained in a jail cell!

Paul found joy in God taking everything from him. And I just can’t get over it. It helps me so much to learn from Paul’s contentment in the Lord when his situation could have been incredibly miserable. From Paul’s humble submission to let God do anything to him, no matter how much it hurt. From Paul’s willful obedience to follow the Lord even unto death. To choose Jesus over every other thing he could have. His whole life revolved around Jesus.

Paul would go on to be executed by the Romans.

For him, saying “to die is gain” would be a quick reality.

And Paul was ready.

Paul was willing.

Paul was joyful.

Paul was glad to give his life for Jesus.

Are we?

I pray we would think about what really matters. And that our inclination during a difficulty would be to say “what has happened…has actually resulted in…” for the glory of God.

→ Just like the picture above after a forest fire, the flames were hot and the devastation discouraging. But the forest will regrow. And look at what you can see now. Beauty is just along the horizon. What has happened… has actually resulted in… 

May our confidence in the Lord blur every over worry, discouragement, stressor, anxiety and assailant of our joy. God is fighting for you and He’s on your side. Let us recall the posture of Paul’s heart when we go through what seems like hopeless situations in our lives. For surely, God it doing something glorious.

 

“But our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for a Savior, The Lord Jesus Christ. He will transform the body of our humble condition into the likeness of His glorious body, by the power that enables Him to subject everything to Himself.”

–Philippians 3:20-21

 

Questions for Today:

  • What did Paul say that redirected his potential misery into peace?
  • How can I learn to be thankful in the midst of unfavorable circumstances?
  • How can I fill in this sentence to reflect my own response to my current situation? → “what has happened…has actually resulted in…”
  • What next step can I take in my relationship with the Lord today?

 

“Fullness” (Acoustic) by Elevation Worship

Stress and Frustration: The Accompaniments of Greatness

 

mountaintop

David was deemed “a man after God’s own heart” in 1 Samuel 13:14.

Yet reading through the psalms, we get to know David as a man who knew much frustration. Much agony. Much stress.

“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from my deliverance and from my words of groaning? My God, I cry by day, but you do not answer, by night, yet I have no rest.” –Psalm 22:1-2

How interesting that one of the most powerful men in all of the land at this time, – David, the King of Israel – would be crying out to the Lord in such despair.

A couple weeks ago my kindergarten students took their first standardized math test.

Halfway through I started to hear sniffling then crying then bawling. One of my best students was very upset that he didn’t think his answer was correct and he wanted to quit the test. I couldn’t tell him that he actually clicked the right answer! All I could do was remind him he could do it and was doing an awesome job.

Have you ever been there?

Have you ever been so upset while striving towards a goal or calling that you want to quit before you accomplish it?

I can relate.

It’s so easy to doubt yourself.
To doubt your ability.
To doubt your competence.
To doubt your worth.

To struggle with the pressure of trying to be perfect.

The pressure that intensifies at very benchmark of success.

 

This student went on to score the highest score of all my students. Yet he was the only one displaying signs of stress and frustration, and wanting to quit.

Much like King David.

Much like so many men and women of God, both now and throughout history.

Yet this remains relevant to each one of us!

God has placed greatness and exponential potential inside of you. But the closer you get to reaching your goal, the more pressure you will experience.

Greatness is accompanied by heavy stress and frustration.

But ultimately, victory is just around the corner.

Peace is just around the corner.

Rest is just around the corner.

Recall the agony of David:

“Lord, how long will you continually forget me? How long will you hide your face from me? How long will I store up anxious concerns within me, agony in my mind every day? How long will my enemy dominate me?” –Psalm 13:1-2

Yet David learned to redirect his thoughts toward the God bigger than His agony.

The God bigger than his anxiety.

The God bigger than his stress.

The God bigger than his frustration.

By the end of the same psalm, David goes on to declare with confidence, “But I have trusted in Your faithful love; my heart will sing to the Lord because He has treated me generously.” –Psalm 13:5-6

And David kept going.

David did not give up.

Will you?

 

“Consider it a great joy, my brothers, whenever you experience various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. But endurance must do its complete work, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing.”

-James 1:2-4

 

Questions for Today:

  • Will you embrace the stress and frustration that accompanies greatness?
  • What is one thing you can do to redirect your focus on the Lord and off of your stress and frustration?
  • What next step can I take in my relationship with the Lord today?

 

“Every Line” by Newspring Worship

Did God Tell Me That?: Discerning God’s Voice

 hearing God voice pic

How do I know if God is the One speaking to me?

Is it His voice I’m hearing?

Or others?

Or just my own?

How do I know the difference?

There are many instances I’ve struggled to know if I’m hearing from God or not.

There are times when I am confident in what the Lord is telling me and I know it is Him….

But there have been times when I’ve questioned if it’s really His voice…

And I get confused. My mind is bombarded with too many thoughts.

I know I’m not the only one.

I’ve talked to countless people who also wrestle with discerning the difference between God’s voice and their own…God’s voice and other voices…God’s voice and people’s voices.

So this is an important topic to address.

We can’t always silence the other influences in our lives: friends, family, media, readings, church, the world, etc.

But we can change the volume on these voices.

My prayer is that God’s voice would be the loudest voice you hear. 

May we give God full attention and the highest volume to speak to us.

Reading through Romans 8 we can see how the duality of the spirit and the flesh plays a part in our ability to hear from God.

For if we desire to hear from God, we can only hear Him through the indwelling Holy Spirit that lives within us, sent by Jesus after He left the earth.

We cannot hear from God through our flesh.

It’s not possible.

So I want us to look at this passage and embrace what it means to live by the Spirit and not the flesh, so that we can live in the sweet spot of discerning God’s voice.

 

“There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according the Spirit set their minds on things of the Spirit.

For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to Him.”

Romans 8:1-9

 

Look at the contrasting terms “Spirit” and “flesh.”

Throughout this passage, Paul declares that the flesh leads to death and the spirit leads to life. Yet He also declares that through Christ, we no longer live according to our flesh. Now, we live according to the Spirit. And the Spirit gives us life and peace. It leads us. It guides us.

And if we are in Christ, we possess the Holy Spirit!

We have way more assurance than we realize when it comes to hearing God’s voice.

Why?

Because hearing God’s voice requires the Holy Spirit.

And anyone following Jesus has the Holy Spirit living within! The Holy Spirit overpowers the flesh, so that we operate according to how the Spirit of Christ leads us not the flesh.

In verse 7, Paul says that a mind set on the flesh is hostile to God. The flesh does not want to hear from God.

A mind that is hostile to God is never seeking to hear God’s voice.

That’s just not a priority of the flesh.

My flesh wants what I want not what God wants.

Recognizing this is important!

Because… if I desire to hear God’s voice, then I know I’m not operating according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.

Thus… if I am operating according to the Spirit in seeking to hear from God, then I can be sure that God will speak to me through His Spirit in return.

But what if I am seeking by the Spirit to hear from God but then my own thoughts get in the way and I confuse my own thoughts as God’s voice?

Throughout my years following the Lord and seeking to hear His voice, though I still struggle, what I am learning is there are CONSISTENT INDICATORS in 1) hearing God’s voice or 2) misinterpreting another voice for God’s that is not God.

→ If you’re unsure if the Lord is truly speaking to you in any way, filter it through this list of indicators to discern if it in fact lines up with indicators of God’s voice:

If it’s another voice (flesh) and not God’s voice, here are some possible indicators:

Convenient for me

It all makes sense

Doesn’t stretch my faith

Something I would normally think or do

Beneficial for me and no one else

May or may not contradict scripture

Seeks my own interest

Absence of fear

Absence of passion

Grants dissatisfaction and leaves you feeling empty

 

If it’s God’s voice (Spirit), here are some possible indicators:

Challenging for me

May be convicting

Beneficial to others besides myself

An opportunity to bless

Seeks others interests above my own

May be inconvenient for me

Grows me spiritually

Lines up with scripture

May seem odd

Requires more faith

Contradicts the way I would have done it

Evokes fear

Stirs passion

Grants peace and fulfilment at the moment of obedience

 

*And when in doubt: God’s voice always seeks to make us more like Christ.

 

GOOD NEWS: If you are following Jesus, your mind will be set on things of the Spirit! Romans 8:9 declares this!

You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to Him.” –Romans 8:9

Romans 8 promises us this!

This is an indicator to you and I that we are doing better than we think we are.

You can hear God’s voice.

His voice is not trying to trick you into thinking it’s your own voice.

He wants to speak to you and help you know for sure that it’s Him.

I get so doubtful of myself and my ability to hear God but I forget that I really am trying to do so and my desire is to hear Him above all else.

Therefore, if that really is my desire, I can trust that God will set my mind on things of the Spirit and He will speak to me.

I way more have assurance than I realize.

So do you.

If you really do want to hear from God, He will speak to you and you will hear His voice.

Why would the God who gave us the Holy Spirit to indwell us not want you to hear from Him? It’s absolutely certain that He will. But you must fertilize and grow your own relationship with the Lord, because as you get to know Him better you learn how to hear from Him and His voice becomes more familiar. It’s just like any other relationship. It requires time, commitment and learning about the other.

I do believe though that when we are in the New Heaven and New Earth with Jesus that we will get to see how God was leading us and speaking to us way more than we ever realized. Looking back at our lives, we will be able to see clearly how powerful God’s voice was to guide us along the journeys of life He planned for each of us. There is so much here on earth that we cannot see and cannot comprehend.

But while we are here, I know God wants to lead us by His voice.

However, another potential struggle might arise when you have heard clearly from God but over time you start to doubt the actual content of what He told you.

Have you ever become discouraged about something God told you because it’s not happening?

Or confused because it seems crazy?

For me, it’s extremely difficult when things I’ve heard from the Lord and am confident about start to become questionable. Possibly out of lack of fruition of what God spoke, not seeming ideal for me, things not looking the way I thought they should look, not turning out how I thought it would, etc. I’ll think, Did You really tell me that Lord? I thought You did…and You really are leading me in this direction…but now with the way things are looking in my life, I’m not so sure. Maybe it wasn’t You. Maybe it was just my own thoughts. And discouragement layers on top of confusion.

When this happens…

you must STOP thinking and asking questions.

RETURN to what God FIRST told you.

FILTER what He told you through the list I mentioned above on how to tell if it’s God’s voice or not.

And if it LINES UP with the characteristics of God’s voice, then you know what you do?

You keep MOVING FORWRD in FAITH.

It’s not going to be easy. But most of the time, the things God speaks never are easy. It’s called SPIRITUALLY CHALLENGING for a reason.

ELIMINATE your EXPECTATIONS that you are going to be able to understand it all.

DECIDE if you want to OBEY the Word that you know God has spoken to you.

ONLY YOU can decide.

LOOK at JESUS, not your circumstances.

TRUST the Lord.

“And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who seek Him.” –Hebrews 11:6

Still, you can hear from God, be certain that you have heard from Him and thus obey, and you still will wrestle with questions and confusion at times while navigating this whole journey of life with God.

Hearing from the Lord is a constant dialogue not a final answer.

We do not go to God to just get a yes or no.

We go to Him to talk to Him and communicate with Him, to be led by Him and walk with Him, and to grow closer to Him like we would in any real relationship with another person.

God wants to lead us step by step not leave us with an answer key to everything for our lives.

He wants to be involved.

And we grow more this way.

Going back to Romans 8, we know that there is a war between the flesh and the Spirit.

So this constant dialogue if often interrupted by other voices such as ourselves, other people, pop culture, temptation and so on.

But Jesus is stronger.

With Christ’s indwelling Spirit living within us, we always have power to live a life in the sweet spot of discerning God’s voice.

I pray for you and I that we would know how to recognize God’s voice and His leading. I pray that we would let Him lead us every single day. I pray we would be in constant communication with Him. I pray we would believe God’s voice even when it stretches our faith. A life following Christ often costs more than we bargain for. But we will discover riches far greater than anything we could ever even fathom if we just trust Him! One day we will reign forever with Jesus and every struggle on this earth will be worth it. May faith abound to you. May trust increase in your heart. May peace overflow. May fulfillment overflow. May we yield to God through His Holy Spirit in all that we do. Thank You, Jesus, for wanting to speak to us.

May God’s voice be the loudest voice you hear.

 

“When the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth, for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak, and He will declare to you the things that are to come.” – John 16:13

 

 

Questions for Today:

  • What are the indicators that what I’m hearing is God’s voice?
  • What are the indicators that what I’m hearing is not God’s voice?
  • How do the Spirit and the flesh impact my ability to hear from God?
  • Why does God want to lead us step by step?
  • When I doubt what God told me, what should I do?
  • Am I in constant dialogue with God? What can I do to be in better communication with the Lord?

 

“Never Alone” by Hillsong Young and Free

Don’t be Mad at God

Sonnenuntergang

Lately I’ve felt mad at God. And in feeling guilty about it, I figured I should forgive…because I’m usually of the mindset that if I am mad at someone then I should forgive them. Easier said than done sometimes, I know. But I know it makes me feel better.

But then I thought… What the heck. I can’t forgive God! God has never done anything wrong! Oh wow…I cannot believe I actually just considered forgiving God.

I laughed.

And then I felt incredibly embarrassed before the Lord.

I hope you didn’t hear that, God.

But, I know He did. Thankfully, God is gracious and He won’t hold it against me. And though, at the time, I still wasn’t able to get over being mad at the Lord, today He’s been showing me why. And I hope this helps somebody who may also be wrestling with this not-so-unique problem of feeling mad at God.

I don’t know what you’re going through. But I do know that if you’re a living, breathing human being, there are times when you wonder why God would allow pain in your life.

There will be times you’re tempted to be mad at God.

Times you assume He’s out to get you.

Times you’re confused.

Times you feel hurt.

I want you to know that you don’t have to be mad at God.

He is NOT the one causing you pain.

Let me repeat…God is NOT the one causing you pain.

God is the One coming to rescue you into eternity, safety, beauty, love and glory.

But in the midst of real life, I keep wondering over and over why God would allow pain. And I get mad. I get in a mindset where I believe that because God is sovereign and He allows everything to come to pass in our lives, that my pain passes through His hands because He doesn’t care to stop it. As if the bad things happening to any one of us are travelling through a security checkpoint, then making it through and travelling on to meet its destination: you and I. Why would God let pain pass through the security checkpoint? Why would He allow it? Why won’t He stop it?

We can ask these questions all day long.

But it’s not going to get us anywhere.

God is not the one causing us pain.

Satan is. Evil is. Sin is.

If we want answers to why pain and suffering exist, we need to look at what God is doing with Genesis 3 and Revelation 20-22.

In Genesis 3, Adam and Eve are dwelling in a beautiful garden hand-crafted by God for their enjoyment. Lush greenery, velvet grass, sweet-smelling flowers, luscious fruits. But Satan comes along and tells them about a tree: a tree that will make them like God, knowing good and evil. Adam and Eve know God told them not to eat from that tree. But they disobey God and eat the fruit. This act generated the entry of the knowledge/awareness of good and evil into the world.

The point of Genesis 3 is not that Adam and Eve disobeyed. Nor that they should be punished and thus God lets pain and suffering exist. No. That’s not the point. The point I’m trying to illuminate is all about Satan.

Satan is the one who initiated the idea for Adam and Eve to disobey.

This is incredibly significant, as we see the relationship between God and Satan throughout the Bible, or the tension between good and evil, play out.

If you look at everything as a power struggle between God and Satan (even though we know God always wins), you can take the pressure off of Adam, Eve and the whole human race as the ones to blame.

You are not to blame, beloved.

God has a purpose.

That doesn’t mean we are off the hook…but then again, we ARE off the hook!!!

Why?

Because God – the One who gets to make all the executive decisions in the universe – decided that you and I were off the hook for what happened in the garden. He sent Jesus to pay for all that (John 3:16). That’s pretty freaking good news if you ask me!

“I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more,” says Isaiah 43:25.

God let Satan tempt them.

God let Genesis 3 happen.

He needed it to happen.

Why?

This is an instance where I would be mad at God for letting something bad happen.

Why did you let the serpent tempt us God? I’d be thinking if I were Eve.

But God had a reason.

And it’s bigger than their one sin to eat the fruit.

It’s about something much bigger.

God is doing something in this whole power-struggle between good and evil, Him and Satan, where God’s end goal is to destroy evil and destroy Satan for good. And He just had to do it this way with us involved in the story. He needs to filter us through this world of good and evil too. God also lets this be a means by which humans choose if they will believe in God and follow Him or not.

Then in Revelation 20-22, God will complete the work He started in Genesis 3.

He will deal with the problem of evil.

God is going to destroy evil and Satan, and create the New Heaven and New Earth where no more pain and no more suffering will exist ever again:

“And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever… Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death.” –Revelation 20:10 & 14

“Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea…

He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away. He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!”

Then He said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”

He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life. Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children.” –Revelation 21:1 & 4-6

But there is a gap of time between Genesis 3 and Revelation 20-22.

 

Satan gets to have some power during this time.

Before He is destroyed.

Thus, bad things happen.

Nobody is exempt.

Not even Christians.

In fact, Christians usually experience more bad things because Satan likes to attack the ones who believe in God, the One he hates. We shouldn’t be surprised. Yet it seems that I am always surprised when bad things happen to me. So I need to remind myself of this just as much as anybody.

When I remember this…the reality of Genesis 3 and Revelation 20-22, I am comforted in the midst of bad things happening to me and all around me.

But is this my default?

I wish.

I wish I could say immediately in the middle of a bad thing, thank you Lord that despite the brokenness allowed by Genesis 3, I can have hope in the promise of Revelation 20-22 and then go on my merry way.

But that is not my default.

My default in the middle of a “bad thing” is to get angry at God for letting it happen to me.

Out of human emotional impulse, I lack recollection of the reality of the Genesis 3/Revelation 20-22 plan of God.

I forget that bad things are inevitable and I must wait for God to wipe out everything that causes us pain here in the world.

What catalyzed all of this thought today is THIS troublesome realization:

When I think about God, I imagine Him in 2 different ways depending on how I feel: loved or unloved.

THIS IS WHY I struggle so much to trust God sometimes.

There’s 1) the God I imagine in Heaven and with in Heaven, who I know loves me and I feel loved by, and then there’s 2) the God I don’t understand, seems unrelatable, who I fear wants to hurt me and doesn’t love me.

This is contradictory.

I know.

Because God is the same always (Hebrews 13:8).

So He can’t be both.

Most of the time, the first description is who I imagine God as.

But when I am fearful and mad at God, it’s always the second description that I imagine God as.

Interesting.

I realized today, I’ve been imagining and talking to 2 versions of God…

2 very different versions of God who cannot coexist…

This is how God showed me this today…

Today I was really angry and confused. More than I think I’ve ever been. And I just felt like God was deceiving me and tricking me. Confusing me and using me for His benefit and my pain. I was talking to God as if He was out to get me. As if I didn’t trust Him. Then all the sudden… I stopped. I started to imagine me being with Him for real in heaven. And I stopped being mad. I just wanted to be with Him in Heaven. And I started imagining me and God together. As I did, I started talking to Him differently. When I imagine me talking to God as if I were in heaven right there with Him, there is no doubt in my mind that God loves me. I feel it. It’s real to me. More real than any other love I feel from anyone. It’s in that moment that I know for sure God loves me way too much to hurt me. The God I am with in Heaven could never ever hurt me or make me angry. It’s not possible. Then all the anger I was feeling several minutes prior started to fade away. I realized my reasons for my anger were not God’s fault at all.

Then I thought…that’s it! That’s my problem! This is why I’m struggling to trust God right now. I see Him in 2 completely different ways! It’s as if He exists as 2 different Gods in my mind. And that is not possible!

There’s the God who loves me.

But then there’s the God who wants me to suffer.

There’s the God I’m with in Heaven.

But then there’s the God roaming throughout the earth causing me pain.

There’s the God who desires me.

But then there’s the God who’s annoyed with me.

There’s the God who wants to do good things for me.

But then there’s the God who hurts me.

The God I love.

But then the God I’m angry with.

The God I trust to help me.

But then the God I don’t trust with anything.

2 different Gods.

Both fighting to be the same in my mind.

This is scary.

I’m getting goosebumps.

The “But then…” God is not God.

It’s a lie.

It’s Satan.

“And no wonder! For Satan disguises himself as an angel of light,” declares the apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 11:14.

Wow, no wonder I’ve been seeing God in 2 different ways.

All along, the devil is the one who’s been acting as a fake version of God in my mind, trying to make me be mad at the God I love! He’s been making me think God didn’t love me! What a schemer he is! But he will not win. No sir. The devil has been found out and he has no more authority in my mind nor yours!

Satan will attack you and try to make you be mad at God.

Don’t let him.

Satan will deceive you and try to make you think God is orchestrating your suffering.

Don’t believe it.

Satan will whisper tantalizing lies to you that you should forget God’s way.

Don’t fall for it.

Satan is a liar!

Jesus said so in John 8:44 when he was talking of those who would not believe in God:

“You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” (emphasis mine).

And Satan’s power will NOT LAST forever! Revelation 20 is coming. And by chapter 22, we will all be with God forever free from Satan and his lies.

Choose to believe that God is not responsible for your pain. The devil is. Evil is. Sin is.

But this is not an excuse to be vengeful!

“Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord,” in Romans 12:19.

Let God take care of the devil, evil and sin.

Revelation 20-22 is coming.

Therefore, we have no reason to be mad at God.

We must also take responsibility for our own flesh.

Not everything bad that happens is Satan’s fault.

Some of it is our fault too.

Sometimes, I get mad or distrusting of God just because I am a sinful human being. May we rely heavily on the Spirit to cleanse ourselves of sin that inhibits us from seeing God clearly and experiencing intimacy with Him.

“The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.” – Romans 8:6

God is more than willing to help us along the way.

His grace is overflowing.

Romans 8:31-32 says, “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?”

God is for us.

Not against us.

God is not double-minded.

Before, I was seeing God as 2 different Gods…now I see that evil was tricking me.

I could choose to believe that God is the one who’s given me pain, but that won’t get me anywhere but further from Him. That’s what the devil wants. For us to distance ourselves from God and be bitter.

God won’t hurt you.

God won’t confuse you

God won’t be mean to you.

But Satan will. Evil will. Sin will.

Don’t be mad at God.

Don’t be mad at anyone else.

Rest in the truth that God loves you.

Love never hurts you. Never.

Thank Him.

Let God know how thankful you are that He is your God, your love, your safe place.

 “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart,” Jeremiah 29:11-13.

I pray that you would believe God is good in every possible way. So all those negative thoughts circulating in your mind…may God cast them out in Jesus’ name!

We will be safe and loved with the Lord for all eternity. And this love is here now. There’s no differentiation between God’s love for us now and His future love for us. It’s constant and strong always. May we believe that God never wishes harm on anyone. But luckily, He knows how to make something really beautiful even from the most horrible circumstances. Genesis 3 will turn into Revelation 22. Hallelujah!

“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”

Romans 8:28

Questions for Today:

  • What is the hope of Revelation 20-22 in light of Genesis 3?
  • Am I angry at God? If so, why?
  • Do I recognize the devil’s schemes in wanting me to be angry at God?
  • Why should I believe that God does not want to harm me?
  • How does the way I see God impact my attitude towards Him?
  • Why is it important to rely on the Holy Spirit and not the flesh?

 

“It Is Well” by Tommy Walker feat. Kesha Shantrell, Leon McCrary,  Sean Beck & CBC Choir