You and I have this promise in hard times. God will not let our hardships destroy us. Though they may be tragic in and of themselves, He will use them for our good. You and I cast our worries on God because it’s His responsibility to give us what we need. As we trust him with the bigger picture of our lives, the weight is lifted and peace washes over our anxieties.
Nothing makes us want to live safe in God’s love and protection than when we are plagued by fear and anxiety. The million dollar question is.. How do we get to a safe place in God where we run free and leave our anxious cares with Him? We follow the advice of Peter in 1 Peter 5:7. Even the most mature Christians today are apt to labor under the burden of anxious and excessive care such as personal concerns, family woes, cares for the present, cares for the future, cares for themselves, for others, and for the church. Peter saw this anxious care as a heavy burden and he gave us some wise counsel for dealing with it. Isn’t that amazing? You and I don’t have to carry the burden of our worries. God is willing to release us from our cares, and take our concerns upon Himself.
Let me be honest. It’s easy to cast our cares upon God. The hard part is not taking them back. When it appears to us that God is not paying attention to our needs, worry returns and we feel the need to do something about it. I assume by casting our situation on God and asking him to carry the burden means our troubles would go away. What was the point of giving our burden to God in the first place if he wasn’t going to make it all go away? You may wonder.
The point is this. When you and I cast our cares on God we are acknowledging and recognizing that it’s His responsibility to care for us not ours. At first the weight is lifted until God doesn’t respond to our need like we think He should. Then, we are quick to retrieve the burden. We forget that God is painting on a large canvas. He sees the big picture. We only see what’s happening to us at the moment. God may allow events to come into our lives—good things and bad things; things that make sense and things that don’t. Every one of these incidents serves as part of his plan for our lives. What you and I may think is harmful and destructive God is using for our good—to bring us to completion in godly conduct and character. He will allow nothing to happen to us that isn’t first filtered through his screen of protection. In other words, what won’t destroy us God uses to better us. Ultimate harm would be if God left us in the state we are in.
And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.~~ Romans 8:28
Perhaps, nowhere in Scripture is this better illustrated than in the experiences of Joseph. Despised, rejected and abandoned by his family, falsely accused and imprisoned by his employer, forgotten by others and yet throughout all this we read `and the Lord was with Joseph`. Finally at the end of the story when Joseph, as ruler in Egypt under Pharaoh, reveals himself to his brothers and forgives them for how they had treated him declares `But don`t be upset, and don`t be angry with yourselves for selling me to this place. It was God who sent me here ahead of you to preserve your lives` (Genesis 45:5). There are many other notable examples of those whose faith was severely tested, in some cases almost to the point of death. Paul, for instance, gives a whole catalog of his experiences which must have tested his faith (2 Corinthians 11:16-33) and yet he is able to say elsewhere `We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed and broken` (2 Corinthians 4:8). Jesus didn’t promise us an easy road- just the opposite in fact (Matthew 24:9 -12) but He did promise never to leave us. In these days He is looking for those whose faith is strong enough to enable them to face the `lions` as Daniel did and to walk through the `fiery furnace` like Shadrach and his friends. How`s your faith today?
Let`s take heart from the words we read in 1 Peter 1:6-7. `So be truly glad! There is wonderful joy ahead, even though it is necessary for you to endure many trials for a while. These trials are only to test your faith, to show that it is strong and pure. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold – and your faith is far more precious to God than mere gold. So if your faith remains strong after being tried by fiery trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.
This I recall to mind, therefore I have hope. The Lord’s lovingkindness indeed never ceases, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. (Lamentations 3:21-23)
Whenever we are facing difficult circumstances, and wonder, “Where is God?” one of the first things we should do is to look in the rearview mirror of our lives. What we will see will undoubtedly give us strength for today and hope for tomorrow. What we will see is God’s faithfulness throughout our lives. We will see how He has loved us, redeemed us, forgiven us, and given us new and eternal life (see 1 John 2:25, 5:11). We will see how He has brought us through past struggles, provided for our needs, woke us up this morning, and how He continues to cover us with His love throughout the day.
As you think about all that you’re going through, or wonder how you’ll be able to pick up the pieces of your life and move forward, don’t be discouraged. God was faithful yesterday, He is faithful today, and He will be faithful tomorrow. God never changes (see Hebrews 13:8). You can always depend on Him.
Think about it. What past challenges has God brought you through? Has He healed your hurting heart? Or weakened body? Has He ever delivered you from fear, worry, anger, or despair? Have you ever experienced His peace, joy, or strength? Has He ever forgiven you, blessed you, or provided for you? As you recall God’s faithfulness to help you in the past, know that you can trust Him to be faithful now and in the future. “Understand, therefore, that the Lord your God, is the faithful God, who for a thousand generations keeps His promises and constantly loves those who love Him and who obey His commandments …” (Deuteronomy 7:9). He will not fail you!
Communication is a key part of any relationship. Without proper communication, a relationship will slowly drift apart and feel isolated. This is true of friends and married couples, and certainly true in our relationship with God. Without communication, we begin to drift and will soon be unable to even recognize His voice. When faced with sudden burdens we will feel alone. We may awkwardly call out to God but find our communication line has become noisy, filled with distractions. It’s difficult to receive direction or comfort when we can’t even hear or understand what God is saying.
“One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God. When morning came, He called His disciples to Him and chose twelve of them, whom He also designated apostles.” Luke 6:12-13
To keep the communication lines clear, we must develop the habit of continually talking with God; “Pray continually” (1 Thessalonians 5:17). We cannot limit prayer to those times of great need. David was in the habit of morning prayer; “In the morning, O Lord, You hear my voice; in the morning I lay my request before You and wait in expectation” (Psalm 5:3). But we must also learn to talk with God throughout our day so we are prepared for those times of extra need.
Jesus never suffered from a breakdown in communication with His Father; “I and the Father are one” (John 10:30). And yet, when faced with major decisions or burdens, Jesus still set aside special time to talk with God.
There are always going to be times in our Christian walk when we urgently need dedicated time with God – times which involve “critical” or “crisis” situations. These times are greatly enhanced if we have already been walking in daily communion with the Father. Our “crisis” prayers will need to be more intense and require us to intimately know the One to whom we pray – require us to know His voice and understand His ultimate plan for our life.
Our Heavenly Father desires to light our path by giving daily guidance. Let’s develop the habit of continual prayer so we will follow His leading and walk each step in praise. Let’s KNOW Him during the trivial and mundane portion of our day so we will be prepared to know Him during the urgent. Let’s prioritize our life to ensure we have a free and clear line of communication.
I often hear from people saying they long to have an intimate relationship with God, but they feel like whenever they pray and try to talk to God, all they got was silence. They would say the nature of God that was revealed in the Scriptures didn’t match up with what they were seeing in their own lives. They would ask me how are they supposed to know God’s will for their lives and follow His direction, if they couldn’t even hear His voice? “Those who accept my commandments and obey them are the ones who love me. And because they love me, my Father will love them. And I will love them and reveal myself to each of them.”~ John 14:21
The thing we have remember that even though God loves each and every one of us, not all of us will experience that love. (That’s our choice) Only those who humble themselves before the Lord with a truly repentant heart can have an intimate relationship with Him. Receiving Christ as our Savior is a part of this process, but we must go further than that. We must make Jesus the LORD of every area of our lives. That means that we must walk in humble obedience to His will for us on a day-to-day basis.
In this passage above here, Jesus promises that He and the Father will not only love us, but that they’ll REVEAL themselves to us, when we set our minds and hearts on obeying the commands of God. We cannot expect to experience the good plans that the Lord has in store for us if we refuse to obey His Word, or to follow the leadership of His Spirit.
As I would tell anyone that ask this question that even though it is God’s heartfelt desire to bless them more than they could ever imagine, He won’t do that when we are living an ungodly lifestyle, or compromising their Christian walk and have not made Jesus Lord of their lives. When I came to the Lord six years ago I surrendered my life to the Lord, and got serious about studying and obeying His Word, I began experiencing the presence, the power, and the goodness of God on a daily basis. I had to make a lot of sacrifices, and so will you. Is it difficult? Yes. Is it worth it? YES! The Lord wants you to get ready answers to your prayers. But He expects us to do our part.
So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
You may think that you must work very hard to provide for yourself and get ahead in life. But God wants you to consider the lilies of the field—they do nothing. They toil not, spin not and struggle not. Yet, they grow and are clothed by God while simply resting and basking in the sunshine of God’s love! And when God clothes them, they look even more glorious than King Solomon, the richest king who ever lived.
Like the lilies of the field, God wants you to let Him take care of providing for your material needs, instead of you striving to do it yourself. When you let go and let Him, you will see Him bless you supernaturally, abundantly and generously!
God was faithful. God can do for you what He did for all those in the Bible. Just believe that if God clothes the lilies and grass of the field, which are here today and gone tomorrow, how much more will He clothe you, His eternal and precious child, with beauty and favor! All He asks is that you cease from your striving, allow Him to take over and just flow with Him!
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“I am the Lord, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for Me?” Jeremiah 32:27
We often have a difficult time seeing how all the pieces of God’s plan fit together. He leads us down a path and we fail to see the purpose – especially when the enemy begins to attack. We want to fight back, but God says to patiently trust Him and pray. We want to determine a solution and solve the problem, but God says to love Him with all our heart and share His love with others.
The times in which we are most tested and pressed down ought to be the times of greatest growth and closeness with our Heavenly Father. When it seems we have no where else to turn, we ought to rejoice and trust Him even more! Let’s put our life firmly in His Hands and submit to His guidance – even when we may not see where we are going or how we will get there. Let’s trust His ways and always remember…for God, there is NOTHING too hard!
Do you have a prodigal? Do you long for your spouse to return to God? Do you have a friend whose faith has grown cold? God wants them back more than you do. Keep praying, but don’t give up. God places a song in the hearts of his children.
Psalm 40:3 says it’s a “new song in my mouth.” Some saints sing this song loud and long every single day of their lives. In other cases the song falls silent. Life’s hurts and happenings mute the music within. Long seasons pass and God’s song isn’t sung!
Truth is, we don’t always know if someone has trusted God’s grace. It isn’t ours to know. But we know this: Where there is genuine conversion, there is eternal salvation. Eventually his own will hear his voice, and something within them will awaken. And when it does—they will begin to sing again.
He has put a new song in my mouth
Praise to our God;
Many will see it and fear,
And will trust in the Lord.~ Psalm 40:3