Tag Archives: 365

He is waiting to meet our needs

Job 11: 17-19a

Life will be brighter than noonday, and darkness will become like morning.  You will be secure, because there is hope, you will look about you and take your rest in safety.  You will lie down, with no one to make you afraid.  NIV

Again, these verse follow on from Job 11: 13, which says, “If you will devote your heart to him and stretch out your hands to him …”

… life will be brighter … darkness  won’t be as dark … you will be secure in you hope of the Lord … you will rest easily because you are not afraid … you’ll sleep peacefully, free from worry and fear.

Change, any change, isn’t easy.  While some change is for the better and some for the worse, it can’t help but feel … different.

When things are different, it isn’t immediately obvious, in my experience, that they are better.  Difference invites comparison, and comparison can kill optimism.

There is quite a bit of change in my little world at the moment.  As near as I can tell, it is all for the good, but, I needed this reminder today.

Today, and all days, I will devote my heart to the Lord.  I will stretch out my hands — full of things that I’m experiencing and thinking about — to Him.

Recently, I was talking with a set of new parents about the challenges of caring for their young son.  They are thrilled with him, but, they cannot escape the obvious realities that he needs absolutely everything done for him.  Their world — for this precious, precious time — revolves around meeting his most basic needs, moment by moment.  It’s an exhausting task.

But, then, we thought about this question, “What is it like for him?”  His every need is met as soon as he makes it known.  He is warm and dry and cuddled and safe and cared for.

In our lives as children of God, we are the baby.  As we grow in Christ, just like the child of my friends, we will be able to accomplish much.  But, no matter how old we are or how mature we are, we are always, always God’s children.

If we will stretch out our hands to him … He is waiting to meet our needs.

That’s what I’ll think about today.

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Filed under Fear, Hope, Job, Old Testament

It’s all water under the bridge

Job 11:16

You will surely forget your trouble, recalling it only as waters gone by.  NIV

As I work my way through these last few weeks of my project, I’ve begun a word search on “hope.”  It strikes me that “hope” is an antonym for worry, and that therefore I might find several reminders this way.  This morning, a phrase on the listings of the word “hope” caught my eye and brought me back here to Job 11, where I’ve been before.

The verses just preceding this one are ones that I looked at back in June of last year.  They read in part, “Yet if you devote your heart to him … you will stand firm without fear.”

It is interesting to me that I stopped at that point in exploring this rich chapter.  Today’s reminder is a truth that I likely would not have recognized at the time.

You will surely forget your trouble, recalling it only as waters gone by.

My life, like everyone else’s, has had its share of disruptions.  In the thick of a trial, I’ve often been nearly derailed by my circumstances and my propensity to worry over them.  My troubles have seemed like flood waters threatening to carry me away.  That’s where I was last February, when I began this project.

With the perspective gained by a year of time passing, with the love and support of my dear friends and my precious family, and with the knowledge and new skills I’ve gained from a year of diligently scouring God’s word for reminders not to worry, I can see the truth in this verse.

Worry is pointless and fruitless and, like the majority of our troubles here, short-lived.  The vast majority of things that seem horrible at the time are merely part of the ebbs and flows of life.  Having said that, some things here are truly horrible … some things forever re-route the path of the river of your life and the lives of those you love, but, life … moves on.

That is what this verse is saying to me.  Don’t dwell on the past, don’t be too concerned with the events of the present, and don’t even think about the next worry that might come your way … because in time … You will surely forget your trouble, recalling it only as waters gone by.

Instead, invest your time in others, use the gifts God has given you for the good of the kingdom.  Store up treasures in heaven.

That’s what I’ll think about today.

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Filed under Job, Old Testament, Worry

You’re asking the wrong question

I Samuel 14: 6

Jonathan said to his young armor bearer, “Come, let’s go over to the outpost of those uncircumcised fellows.  Perhaps the LORD will act in our behalf.  Nothing can hinder the LORD from saving whether by many or by few.” NIV

It’s February.

I began this journey last February, while I was in the midst of a Beth Moore study.  It is so fitting that I’ll finish this February, in the midst of another.  Last night, the women of my church began to study, “David – A Heart Like His.”  I am so looking forward to this study.  David is my very favorite person in the Bible.

But, we’ve begun by looking at the faith of others who would touch and shape David’s life.  We spent the first day of our homework with Jonathan.

In this verse, he is young, and has set off on an adventure, alone with only his armor bearer.

As he and his young companion creep up on the Philistine camp, he says, “Perhaps the LORD will act in our behalf.  Nothing can hinder the LORD from saving whether by many or by few.”

Nothing can hinder the LORD!

Jonathan knows that God can accomplish anything … his only question is whether God will choose to do so.

It struck me last night as I was doing the homework that this has been a source of worry for me in the past … will God do what I want Him to do?

The joy, the freedom of the redeemed life comes in flipping the question.

Not, “Will God do what I want?”  but, “What does God want of me?”

Each day, I must ask, “How can I fall in and be helpful in God’s plan … whatever it is that He chooses to do?”

God can accomplish whatever He chooses.

That’s what I’ll think about today

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The ultimate power source

I Chronicles 29: 12

Wealth and honor come from you; you are the ruler of all things.  In your hands are strength and power to exalt and give strength to all. NIV

I’m back in David’s prayer in Chronicles.   I love this.

David acknowledges that wealth comes from God.  So often, we think of ourselves making our own fortunes, our own way in the world, but, all wealth is a gift from God.

Honor comes from God.  We think of honor as coming from others, in recognition of our accomplishments, but all honor comes from God, the ruler of all things, the ultimate power broker.

And then, In your hands are strength and power to exalt and give strength to all.

Strength, not always as the world sees it.  It’s perhaps the quiet strength to endure hardships, while continuing to honor Him;  strength to step out of your comfort zone to do His work;  strength when you are weak — because He is strong.

All good comes from God.  I know that.  I’ll honor that.

And, that’s what I’ll think about today.

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Filed under Hope, I Chronicles, Old Testament

What carries you?

Jeremiah 29: 14

“I will be found by you,” declares the LORD, “and will bring you back from captivity.  I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the LORD, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.”  NIV

I heard a beautiful sermon on the 29th chapter of Jeremiah this morning.  I’ve known and loved Jeremiah 29:11 for some time.  Earlier in my project, I worked through verses 11, 12 and 13, but I stopped short of tackling verse 14.  The image of God banishing the Israelites into exile was not a comfortable one for me.  I don’t want to think that I, too, may be carried into exile.  I prefer to think of exile being caused by my own choices, or by external forces.

But, this morning, as I read verse 14, I was struck by this, “I carried you into exile.”

Regardless of how I arrive at places or exile in my own life, God never fails to carry me.  I am His child.  I am gripped tightly in the palm of His hand, and nothing can touch me that doesn’t first past through His fingers.

That doesn’t mean that life here will always be pleasant … there will be times of exile … but, it does mean that I will not be deserted.  Regardless of my earthly circumstances or of my own perspectives, I am carried by the hand of God.

That’s pretty powerful.

That’s what I’ll think about today.

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Filed under Hope, Jeremiah, Old Testament

Juggling … not in my job description

I Chronicles 29:11

Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is yours.  Yours, O LORD, is the kingdom; you are exalted as head over all.  NIV

God made everything.

Such a simple statement, and yet, so profound.

I started college as a chemistry major.  I simply loved the concept of the periodic table, and how the addition of just one proton, one neutron and one electron to an atom made the thing a completely different substance.  As I got to study subatomic chemistry, I was even more amazed.  Each day, I felt I got to peep behind the curtain at God’s workroom and the building blocks that He had used to form the universe.

Today, I’m not a chemist.  But, I’ve not forgotten the lessons that I learned:  Everything in heaven and in earth is His.  He made it all.  He is the Master Craftsman, the Owner, the Creator and the Ruler of the Universe.

If I am to keep my life here in balance, I must keep Him squarely at the center.  He is the axis on which everything else turns.  When I acknowledge that, when I keep that perspective, my life works.  When I try to put something else in the center, when I exalt something else above God, even unconsciously, my life gets out of kilter and things begin to spin out of control, and then I start to worry about keeping all the balls in the air.

Keeping the balls in the air is NOT MY JOB.  I didn’t create the balls, and I didn’t create the gravity that pulls them earthward.  My job is to do God’s work here.  To love others and to show God’s love to them.

Yours, O LORD, is the kingdom; you are exalted as head over all.

That’s what I’ll think about today.

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Filed under I Chronicles, Old Testament, Trust

He is.

I Chronicles 29:10b

Praise be to you, O LORD, God of our father Israel, from everlasting to everlasting. NIV

God, our God, has always been.  And, He always will be.  Revelation 22:13 says, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.” NIV

David acknowledges that here in Chronicles, when he praises God “from everlasting to everlasting.”

There has not been a moment in my life when God was not there … there never, ever will be.  God is trustworthy.  God is permanent. God is … God.

That’s what I’ll think about today.

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How do you live?

Hebrews 2:13a

And again, “I will put my trust in him.” NIV

The Message, I think, puts this best.  Beginning in verse 11 it says, “Since the One who saves and those who are saved have a common origin, Jesus doesn’t hesitate to treat them as family, saying, ‘I’ll tell my good friends, my brothers and sisters, all I know about you; I’ll join them in worship and praise to you.’  Again, he puts himself in the same family circle when he says, ‘Even I live by placing my trust in God.’” MSG

I live by placing my trust in God.

I love that.

I don’t live by worrying, or achieving, or waiting, or hoping.  I live by placing my trust in God.

That’s what I’ll think about today.

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Can you prove it?

I Corinthians 4: 1-2

So then, men ought to regard us as servants of Christ and as those entrusted with the secret things of God.  Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful.  NIV

those who have been given a trust must prove faithful.

I have been given a trust.  I am a child of God.  I have accepted Christ as my savior.  I am inhabited by the Holy Spirit.  Therefore, I must prove faithful.

It’s easy to say, “I won’t sin.”  In my case, “I won’t worry.”

It’s much harder to follow through on that commitment … to prove it.

But, if I am to prove faithful, I must do my level best, day by day, hour by hour, moment by moment to prove faithful, to trust God and not myself for my future.

As I work my way through the last month of this project, I feel like a little kid started out the door to school.

“Do you have your lunch?  Your flute?  Your homework?”  In short, are you prepared for what lies outside the door?

Am I prepared?

That’s what I’ll think about today.

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Filed under I Corinthians, New Testament, Trust

Need a little encouragement?

Romans 15:13

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.  NIV

Wow!

As I read these words this morning, they were such an encouragement to me.  Paul was an encourager!  I love that.

I am blessed in my life to know several great encouragers.  They are the ones that I call when things are going poorly, and I absolutely LOVE it  when the phone rings and one of them is on the other end of the line.

Without fail, you feel better when you spend time with an encourager.  They always know just the right thing to say, and, I believe God uses them to say things to me that I need to hear.  They don’t always say good things … but, pretty much without fail, they are right on point.

Once, we were blessed to have one of my dear friends stay with us for almost a week.  It was not the easiest of times for me, and I poured out my heart to my friend.  She left while I was at work, and when I came home, there was a big sign propped in the window of my kitchen.  It’s a wooden sign, maybe 10 inches by 30 inches, beautifully painted.  Needless to say, I couldn’t miss it.  It still sits there today.  It says, “Write it on your heart that the ones you love are life’s most precious gifts.”  It was a perspective I was missing at the time.  It was a message I needed to hear.  I ponder it as I make coffee in the mornings, as I wash dishes … I think about it often, and I am thankful for the wisdom and the encouragement of my friend.

I wish I had another sign … one with these words of Paul on it.

May the God of hope … all my hope is in Him.

fill you with all joy … all joy, I love that … I love that it could mean “all kinds of joy,” or “all the joy in the world,” or “only joy.”

and peace as you trust in him … trust in Him is the only source of true peace.

so that you may overflow with hope … so that there will be so much hope in you that you cannot contain it … it will spill out of you like water and be completely evident to all around you.

by the power of the Holy Spirit … let’s keep this in perspective … this hope is NOT a feeling, it is a manifestation of the power of the One True God.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

That’s what I’ll think about today.

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Filed under New Testament, Romans, Trust