God is looking for us to put our hope and trust in Him today, ALL day long, not just tomorrow or when we are in need of Him. He’s challenging us to see all the moments of our lives as being filled with meaning. Each moment is filled with the presence of God, but sometimes we are so stuck on vision and dreams that we skim right by them. I encourage you to start your days differently. Start each day by praying, asking God to give you a clear understanding of each moment. It’s okay to still plan and dream about the future, of course, but concentrate more on each moment, as well!
“Show me the right path O Lord, point out the road for me to follow. Lead me by your truth and teach me. for you are the God who saves me, All day long I put my hope in you.” Psalm 25:4-5
God is the only one who can guide us. We must seek His guidance and direction in all things. Another words when we need guidance in our lives we should say God show me Your way in how I should approach this. Too often we we want to take our approach to how we should handle a situation and then want God to fix our mess. Doesn’t that just seem a little backwards? Now granted we may get in situations and need His help, but first and foremost we need to be seeking His guidance, His directions.
It is not enough that we know His ways,but that He instructs us.How does He do that? He instructs us by His Word. Friends God is our schoolmaster. He teaches me daily and I’m glad to learn daily. I realize that I don’t ever get to a point where I have it figured out and can say I can walk on my own. Instead I know that everyday I depend on God to help me get through by leading me. We must totally rely on God to guide us. For this guidance we need to be lead by His Word which is the truth and to seek His guidance in our lives and seeking His will for our lives.
Let me encourage you to let the Lord be your guide in all that you do. He will never lead you astray and will always be with you every step of the way. Be encouraged to know even when the journey gets rough that He will provide comfort even in those times. In fact I love how the Apostle Paul put it the joy we can even find in our suffering( Colossians 1:24 ). Not that we look forward to getting hurt, but that we endure for Christ’s sake. This pain is for God’s glory despite how difficult it may seem, it works for our good. Once again my brothers and sisters be encouraged and seek God for His guidance.
When we hit situations and circumstances which we find somewhat difficult and at times almost impossible to handle, it can be hard to embrace the truth and significance of the below verse. Often only with hindsight are we able to see that the experience, which if given the choice we would not have gone anywhere near, was indeed part of God’s plan and purpose for us.
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 (my fav)
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 catalogue 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.
I pray that everyone reading this has made the step of faith in trusting in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior and have surrendered your hearts and minds to His will. And that you pray to God and read His word on a daily basis, and trust in Him even in times of difficulty. Yet at time we are tempted to doubt Him. If that is where you are today I hope this message will speak to your heart.
“But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.” James 1:6
But as followers of Christ we are past doubting His existence because we know we’ve been changed from darkness to light. We are past doubting that His word is true because we’ve experienced His refreshing grace. We are past doubting that the Holy Spirit is real and He gives us power to overcome.
Yet, the temptation to doubt God’s goodness is always front and center. This is because we know we can’t control God and that He has plans that are beyond our human understanding. We can try to figure things out, but the uncertainty of this world and our future always lies before us.
However, we still don’t have to doubt. What we can do is remember what God has done for us in the past. We can remember how He delivered people from the Bible because He’s the same God now as He was back in the Bible times. He never changes. He’s not man that He should lie (Numbers 23:19). And He gives us power through the Holy Spirit to believe in the impossible.
God is worthy of our trust even when everything seems to go south. He is a good God. He does what is best for us. He can make the impossible happen.
I think we all will admit that we often don’t understand why bad things happen. Even so, God has a purpose for everything He does or permits. My faith is rooted in the biblical principle that says the Lord is sovereign (Psalm. 22:28). He is in absolute control of this universe, the natural and political climate of this earth, and my life and yours. When we are in the midst of a trial, it is hard to resist crying out, “God, Why is this happening?” Sometimes we get the answer and sometimes we don’t. What we can be sure of is that nothing happens by accident or coincidence. He has a purpose for even our most painful experiences.
“And we know in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans. 8:28).
Seeing in advance how the Lord will work evil or hurt for our benefit is very difficult, if not impossible. Our limited human perspective doesn’t allow us to grasp His greater plan. However, we can confirm the truth of this biblical promise because the Father’s good handiwork appears all through our pain, hardship, and loss. I know personally I have experienced Him turn mourning into gladness and have seen Him reap bountiful blessings and benefits from my difficult times.
As believers, we must accept that God won’t always make sense to us. Isaiah teaches that His ways and thoughts are higher than our own (Isaiah. 55:9). He sees the beautifully completed big picture. We can rely on the fact that God is in control, no matter how wildly off-kilter our world seems to spin.
No matter how carefully we orchestrate the details, life will always hold the unexpected. Our confidence doesn’t come in being able to plan for such times, but in trusting the One who commands the stars and who superintends good times and bad. Those who do, find the same peace Job discovered in the midst of his trials when he declared, “Should we accept only good things from the hand of God and never anything bad?” Job 2:10
This should be our heart’s plea and desire. That God will be ever-present in our heart and lives so that we will hear His voice when He speaks to us and tells us which path to walk on. And if we don’t? If we should get on the wrong path? Then with everything in us, our prayer would be that God would direct us back to the right path. Are you feeling overwhelmed and in need of some sense of direction standing at a crossroads unsure of where to turn? If only you could see what lies ahead on either path, the choice would be much easier to make. If this is where you are today I hope and pray this passage and message will ministry to you in your time of need.
“Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, This is the way; walk in it.” Isaiah 30:21
Some of you are standing at a crossroads. Where you are overwhelmed by the challenges you face and wonder where in the world God is taking you as you journey through this life. As you face the uncertainty of what lies ahead, you may struggle to gain a sense of direction from many sources – the encouragement and experiences of friends, your own failures and successes, and whatever might feel good at the moment. But are you truly seeking God’s direction for your lives?
So do you contend yourself with devoting your energies to what you’re currently doing and serving others in a part-time job, or do you press forward into doing what God’s plan for you is with the hope that you will make a difference for God using the gifts He has given you?(and yes He has given us all special gifts to use for His glory) The upward path is difficult and uncomfortable for you. It would be much easier to let go of a dream and settle for what is familiar and comfortable, but is that truly God’s plan for you life?
God has given us His Word as a roadmap and is willing to navigate us through every treacherous turn if we are inclined to hear His voice. As long as we keep our eyes fixed on the Morning Star, we can travel with certainty that we will reach the destination He has mapped out for us. The journey won’t be easy. We will encounter many obstacles along the way. But God has promised that He will be with us always, “even to the end of the age” Matthew 28:20.
In our lives, there are seasons. Nothing here is forever; Heaven is eternal. Solomon stated this principle very simply,”To everything there is a season; a time for every purpose under Heaven . . and He has made everything beautiful in its time.” See Ecclesiastes 3:11. When God directs your life it has a rhythm, and you are at your best when you understand and live according to that rhythm. Your efforts are most effective and you are happiest when you walk in step with God, not lagging behind nor rushing ahead. The best preventive for either of those is simply walking hand in hand.
There are times that things will happen that you never wanted or planned; don’t panic! Sometimes, things don’t happen that you thought would; adjust. Sometimes they don’t happen the way you intended; adapt. Occasionally, things don’t happen as soon as you expected; trust God’s timing. When things aren’t working the way you were sure they would, there are two options to consider. It could be the wrong thing at the right time; that never works out well. Or possibly the right thing but at the wrong time; that results in something less than God’s highest and best. Here’s the issue: can you trust God’s wisdom and providence to give you what you need exactly when best for you, even if not what and when you wanted? God’s best will only come in God’s time.
Don’t double your efforts to force your agenda at the risk of pressing against God’s will. If God were to allow you to succeed, you will wish you hadn’t. Stop; seek God; listen to your heart, and use your head! You should always want God’s best and trust His timing.
At all times in all situations, be confident of the “good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.” Romans 12:1-2. You and I tend to live by the clock and calendar. God is timeless and His purposes are eternal. “And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.” Galatians 6:9. His wisdom is infinite and His loving care unquestionable.
We celebrate Jesus suffering for us as He went to the cross for our sins. As we read in these passages Jesus continued to move forward into even greater suffering (the tangible experience on the cross). He continued to move forward as God led Him. In Hebrews it goes on to tell us that though he was a son, he learned obedience through that suffering. The outcome was eternal salvation being made available to the world. I hope and pray this ministers to your heart when you are going through some type of suffering.
Jesus did cry out to God. He asked God to remove the cup he would soon drink from (Matthew 26:38-42; Mark 14:36). Jesus was troubled and hurt, knowing what was coming (John 12:27-28).
I don’t think we get it…and we don’t really want to accept the reality of it, but I will. Suffering is inevitable, no matter how trivial or serious it may be. The crazy thing is that even through Christ’s example we can see that while our tears and prayers are heard by God, He doesn’t always take the suffering away. Maybe He does, BUT maybe we cry out and pray and cry out and we are lead into greater depths of suffering, it can happen…it happened to Christ. The part that we don’t always see (especially when our focus in these moments is almost always on ourselves and the greatness of our hurt/suffering) is that there is purpose in that suffering. Again we don’t get it, but often times we can’t see the reason for anything until time has passed (hindsight is 20/20) and we are able to look back on a bigger picture of our lives.
Sometimes we just don’t understand it. But I know that regardless of what I or you or anyone around us is going through…God is a few words away…Sometimes He’s even closer than that (Romans 8:26). We will all walk through life experiencing a suffering of some kind. The question to ask is not when or why, but rather ask yourself how will you respond? Hopefully we will all continue to move forward, knowing and trusting that God is with us, no matter how hard it gets. Hopefully our response is not anger and bitterness because of what we face. Rather that our response would be to look upon the example of Christ, continuing to move obediently and prayerfully through the hard times…praising God the day/moment/year we realize just how incredible and purposeful He was in allowing us to hurt and suffer in the way we are today.
Maybe one thing to remember is trusting that God is who He says He is and that while it may hurt…God will only work to bring us closer to Him and closer to being the people He created us to be…a people bearing and reflecting His image.