Having Faith in God?

Having faith in God is easy to say when things are going well. When things get tough it may not be so easy to do. It’s during these times that our true character and faith level begins to manifest. There’s nothing like a good old fashion lay off, mortgage increase or a family problem to put your faith to the test. That’s when we begin to discover the truth about ourselves. Is our faith in our job, our spouse(if married), our family or in our God? Have a wonderful day as you continue to put your faith and trust in God. 

Then Jesus said to the disciples, “Have faith in God.” Mark 11:22

In all these circumstances there are different positions we can take. We can take the position of feeling like we are being punished for something we did. We can take the stance of fighting it with the individuals who are the bearers of “the bad news” or we can take the position of just standing still and having faith in God.

When we have faith in God we are saying that we trust, rely and have an assurance in Him. We may not have all of the definitive answers, but we know that God is going to work it out for our good. The Bible encourages us to know that all things work together for our good because we love Him. (Romans 8:28). God is our Father and He wants the best for us. We have to be like a tree in God, planted and rooted,(Jeremiah 17:8) allowing nothing to shake our faith in Him.

My friends, God wants us to fully trust and rely in Him. This is inclusive of the good times, bad times, misfortunes, mistakes and life’s continual curves. It’s in these moments we can truly appreciate the awesomeness of God. “Without faith we can’t please God.”(Hebrews 11:6) As we strive to achieve all that God has assigned us to do, we must make sure our faith is in Him. People will fail us, but know that when your faith is in God there is no failure in Him.

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Why do we Question to Trust God? 

If we were present at this scene, I am sure the frustration that Simon Peter felt at Jesus’ command to lower the nets would have singed the ears of the hardiest sailor. He was a strong man, prone to angry outbursts of emotion. I think we could safely say that Peter shared his frustration of a fishless night with Jesus at His suggestion to try one more time. Out of profound love and respect for Jesus, Peter reluctantly did as Jesus commanded. 

“When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.” Simon answered, Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.” Luke 5:45


As believers, we likewise want success in overcoming doubts so that we can courageously follow God. But sometimes we rely on our own faculties to decide whether or not we will trust Him. Perhaps what He is asking of us seems unreasonable. Out of obedience to Jesus, Simon listened and did as He asked. The result was an enormous catch of fish that overflowed and nearly sank two boats. In spite of a night of failed attempts to bring in a catch, frustrated and tired, Simon complied with Jesus’ command to try one more time.

 

Are you like Simon/Peter, tired and frustrated, do you want to quit and just get some rest because by all indications your best efforts are hopeless? Jesus is calling, lovingly asking you to “Put out into the deep and lower your nets.” Out of love for Jesus, obediently do as He commands. As Peter, you are most likely saying, “Lord, this is beyond hopeless. I have tried everything and my spouse won’t even talk to me much less come home. I am tired and I just want to get some rest.”

 

All Jesus asks of you is obedience to His commands. Peter was obedient to Jesus and was richly blessed with a huge haul of fish that nearly tore his nets. Are you ready to be blessed? Are you willing to be obedient to God and your marriage vows by trying one more time? Jesus is with you, equipping you with all you need for an incredible catch.

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May God give you more of His peace! 

Many believers often forfeit peace because they don’t seek to know God more. They don’t put the necessary effort into reading the word, praying and working at renewing they mind daily. They panic instead of praying. They looked at their circumstances instead of God’s promises. But, when we as believers decide to trust Him more and more. Peace will flood in. Have a wonderful day as you always His peace to rule your heart. Love you all in Christ. 

“May God give you more and more grace and peace as you grow in your knowledge of God and Jesus our Lord.” 2 Peter 1:2 AMP

 

Do you remember your first experience of the overwhelming sense of God’s presence that accompanies trusting in Jesus? When people first experience forgiveness and life in Jesus, one of their first responses may be astonishment over how much peace occurs ― especially in their minds. That is how it was with me. At first, I sensed much contentment — it was greater than anything I had ever experienced. I soon realized that along with this contentment and a desire to follow Christ wholeheartedly comes a battle — the battle for our will and for our minds. No surprise there. Jesus promised that in this world we would have trouble (John 16:33).

 

However, He also promised His peace could reign in our hearts, not just the first time we come to Him, but every time. We can retain that peaceful sensation no matter what bombards us in life. Growing in our knowledge of the Lord is a lifelong pursuit. Peter reminds us it is worth every effort. He says God will provide more and more grace and peace as we grow in our knowledge of Jesus our Lord.

 

Lord, thank you for your promise of grace and peace as we grow in our knowledge you. Teach us to know You. Write your word on our heart. Help us to pray according to your will and pray through everything we need. Thank You that You hear and will answer according to Your will. Thank You for the promise of Your peace — beyond anything this world can give. Amen and Amen!

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We can be Certain! 

There is so much uncertainty in the world. When we go through seasons of uncertainty, we need to remind ourselves of the times we’ve struggled and wondered if God would come through for us. Not that we should want to dwell in the past, but to merely pause and reflect that He always does come through in one way or another for us. In hindsight we will see that we never needed to worry about God meeting our needs. Since God has come through for us before, we can be certain He will do the same now. 

I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

I am reminded of the account in the gospels when a storm violently shook the boat Luke 8:23-25. The disciples frantically feared for their lives. It’s easy to see why they would have reacted this way. Jesus, on the other hand, slept peacefully in the boat. When they woke Him, Jesus asked them why they didn’t have faith He would make sure everything turned out alright. Then, Jesus calmed the waves with one command ― which left his followers astonished that even the wind and waves would obey Him.

 

Jesus was physically present in their daily lives, but when the storm hit they needed to make a choice to trust Him. Today, His Spirit is alive and dwelling among us. Therefore there is no need to worry because we are always in the presence of the one who commands the universe. If we say we believe in Jesus, then why not believe Him? He asks us the same thing in our times of uncertainty…where is out faith?

 

Again, it is a daily discipline. No matter the uncertainty, where there is Jesus, there can be peace. You can be certain of it.

 

So let me encourage you to go deeper — When you feel overwhelmed, just stop. Turn all distractions and sources of noise off. Be still. Thank the Lord for what He has done for you in the past and thank Him for the plans and purposes He has for you. Praise God that He has you in His loving arms.

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Having Patience and Hope!

When we are suffering physically or passing through a time of great trial, it doesn’t seem possible that any good could ever come out of it. Yet Paul says we can rejoice when we run into problems and trials; and the reason we do is that, though at the time we cannot see it, something good is going to come out of the trial. The suffering itself is not good but the patience, the experience, the hope that spring from it is very good. 

We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation.”  Romans 5:3-4            

When we face trials that are outside of our control, we are made to learn the lesson of patience. Whether we want to or not, we have to wait. We don’t get what we want immediately. But so often, when the trial is finally lifted, we are able to see how God has used even this difficulty to shape our lives, and the lives of others perhaps, in ways that we could never have imagined. Thus, trials give us experience of God’s wisdom and faithfulness.

In the time of suffering we come to place great value on the promises of God. We may know the promises by memory, but they are never so full of meaning as when we claim them in our darkest hours and deepest struggles. The patience and experience we have gained from past deliverances gives us hope to trust in the Lord and in His promises.

Good has come from our trials because we now have a greater sense our weakness and God’s strength. We have been drawn to a closer walk with Him, and His promises are not just words but a reality in our life. So with Paul we “we can rejoice when we run into problems and trials.” 

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Contentment In Every Circumstance!

Most people in the world today are seeking some kind of contentment. Some seek it through purchasing a new house or a fancy car, or as many other items as their hearts desire. Others seek to find contentment by sacrificing possessions and living a simple life, free from temporal things. Some equate contentment with happiness, others with simply being resigned to the fact that we won’t ever get everything we desire. But the truth is that real contentment can only be found through Jesus Christ. As Christians, we have everything we need and so much more… When the Apostle Paul wrote the letter to the church in Philippi, here is what he had to say about contentment: 


“I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need.  I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”  Philippians 4:11-13

The amazing part about this passage is that Paul was writing this letter from prison. He knew that whether he was in prison or in a palace, in any circumstance, he could be content, for Christ was with him. Paul found his identity in Christ. He knew that the source of his satisfaction, hope, strength and riches was found in Christ. With confidence, Paul could say that satisfaction and contentment are found in Christ alone, a lesson he learned this through many trials. What about you? Do you find yourself hoping in something other than Christ to satisfy? Perhaps a new job,or a relationship, or health. All those are good things, but only Christ can satisfy.

Paul knew that through Christ, he could do all things… even be content in seeming hopeless circumstances.  We have this same promise today… that the same God that empowered Paul to be content in prison, is at work in our lives today. We can live our entire lives seeking comfort in relationships, acknowledgement and power. We can seek contentment from temporal pleasures. None of these things will satisfy. Not really. They may give fleeting surges of happiness, but they do not last. Jesus is our righteousness, our rest, and contentment. Only the face of God satisfies. Only being in His presence allows us to reflect His likeness.

Let’s take control of our thoughts, dear friends. Let us stand with Paul in declaring, “I can do everything through Him who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:13). Let us put our hope in God who never changes, rather than the fluctuating circumstances around us. Even if nothing else may be going right, I can be confident that God is with me. Let’s discover together that God is enough through every season of life! I am speaking out loud to my soul today, “Why are you in despair, O my soul? Why are you in disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him. The help of my countenance and my God.” (Psalms 43:5)

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Just loved this so i had to share!

JULY 11, 2014

The Unexpected Answers of God

Article by 

Staff writer, desiringGod.org

In John 16:23–24, Jesus makes a stunning, sweeping, glorious promise to us:

“In that day you will ask nothing of me. Truly, truly, I say to you, whatever you ask of the Father in my name, he will give it to you. Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.”

So we ask the Father for things we long for because we want the full joy he offers us. And we don’t ask for trivial or fleshly things, because we know what the Apostle James says: “You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions” (James 4:3). No, we pray for greater faith, love, holiness, wisdom, discernment, experience of God’s grace, boldness, and joy in God, while praying for less satisfaction with worldly things.

Unexpected Answers

Such longings and prayers are sincere, and God loves them and loves to answer them. But we do not know ourselves very well, or the depth or pervasiveness of our sin, or what it really requires of us in order to receive what we ask for. We can’t help but have unreal, romantic imaginations and expectations about what God’s answers to our prayers will be.

Therefore, we are often unprepared for the answers we receive from God. His answers frequently do not look at first like answers. They look like problems. They look like trouble. They look like loss, disappointment, affliction, conflict, sorrow, and increased selfishness. They cause deep soul wrestling and expose sins and doubts and fears. They are not what we expect, and we often do not see how they correspond to our prayers.

What Should We Expect?

If we ask God for greater, deeper love for him, what should we expect to receive? Answers that give us a greater awareness of our deep and pervasive sinful depravity, because those who are forgiven much, love much, but those who are forgiven little, love little (Luke 7:47).

“Many of the greatest gifts and deepest joys that God gives us come wrapped in painful packages.”


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If we ask God to help us love our neighbors as ourselves (Mark 12:31), what should we expect to receive? Answers that force us to give unexpected attention to a neighbor (whom we might not put in that category [Luke 10:29]), which are inconvenient and irritating.

If we ask for God’s nearness because we believe that it is good for us to be near God (Psalm 73:28), what should we expect to receive? Answers that break our hearts, for God is near to the brokenhearted (Psalm 34:18).

If we ask God to make us living sacrifices (Romans 12:1), what should we expect to receive? Answers that break and humble our hearts because the sacrifices of God are a broken spirit (Psalm 51:17).

If we ask God for a deeper experience of his grace, what should we expect to receive? Answers that oppose our pride and humble our hearts (James 4:6).

If we ask God for his kingdom to come (Matthew 6:10) in our own lives and in the world around us, what should we expect to receive? Answers that reveal our deep spiritual poverty, because the kingdom is given to the poor in spirit (Matthew 5:3).

If we ask God to satisfy us with himself so that we aren’t so easily satisfied by the world’s mud puddles, what should we expect to receive? Answers that cause us to be increasingly aware of the evil and suffering and injustices of the world, because those who hunger and thirst for righteousness will be satisfied (Matthew 5:6).

If we ask God for greater wisdom and discernment, what should we expect to receive? A steady stream of mind-bending, confusing answers that are difficult to understand and work through, because our powers of discernment are trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil (Hebrews 5:14).

If we ask God to “increase our faith” (Luke 17:5), what should we expect to receive? To be repeatedly put into situations where we discover that our perceptions are not trustworthy so that we are forced to trust Christ’s promises, “for we walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7).

If we ask God to help us “walk in a manner worthy of the Lord” (Colossians 1:10), what should we expect to receive? Answers that require more humility, gentleness, patience, and bearing with one another in love (Ephesians 4:2) than we thought possible. Answers that might result in destitution, affliction, and mistreatment, the common lot of many saints throughout history “of whom the world was not worthy” (Hebrews 11:38).

“With regard to God’s answers to prayer, expect the unexpected.”


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If we ask God to help us stop serving money so that we can serve him more wholeheartedly, what should we expect to receive? An uncomfortable amount of opportunities to give money away, expenses that deplete reserves we’ve been stashing away, maybe even a job loss — answers that push us to us despise (ignore, turn away from, release) money and cling to God (Luke 16:13).

If we ask for our joy to be made more full (John 16:24), to experience more happiness in God, what should we expect to receive? Answers that cause earthly joys we once thought gain to become empty, hollow, and loss and that push us to search for the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:8).

Expect the Unexpected

When God begins to answer our prayers, we often find his answers disorienting. Circumstances might take unexpected courses, health might deteriorate, painful relational dynamics might develop, financial difficulties might occur, and spiritual and emotional struggles might emerge that seem unconnected. We can feel like we’re going backward because we are not clearly moving forward. We cry out in painful confusion and exasperation (Psalm 13:1Job 30:20) when what’s really happening is that God is answering our prayers. We just expected the answer to look and feel different.

This being true, we might be tempted to not even ask God for such things. I mean, who wants unpleasant answers to prayers for joy?

Don’t be deceived into this short-sighted thinking. Remember Jesus’s promise: “Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full” (John 16:24). If the path to full joy is sometimes hard, and Jesus tells us it is (John 16:33Matthew 7:14), that is no reason not to take it! What do you want? Low, shallow, thin joys? No! Go for full joy! And remember what the writer of Hebrews tells us:

For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. (Hebrews 12:11)

With regard to God’s answers to prayer, expect the unexpected. Most of the greatest gifts and deepest joys that God gives us come wrapped in painful packages.

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