Tag Archives: trust

Behind the fear

Fear is like thick fog.

It hides some things, but accentuates others.

The truth of a circumstance, becomes shrouded in the emotion and only part of the real picture is seen.

That’s what I recently experienced.

It began with our display case.

Handsome, set it up and then began to step back from it.

My heart was suddenly gripped with fear that it was going to tip over, so I reacted.

I quickly stepped closer, extending my arms in an effort to “catch” it.

This was completely ridiculous on my part.

Not only am I physically unable to catch a piece of furniture, if it were falling.

The damage to myself and the piece would be compounded.

Of course, it wasn’t tipping over.

My husband wouldn’t have let go if it was unstable.

Understandably, he was surprised by my actions and questioned me.

That’s when I realized I had been blinded by a moment of fear.

I couldn’t explain it.

However, I logged it as something to pray about.

The next two days I had similar experiences, but with a softer impact.

Both times involved a piece of furniture and I suddenly was gripped with fear of it falling over.

Due to my poor response with the display case, I was on guard and didn’t react, but instead was increasing my need to pray about this same unreasonable fear.

I knew I needed to turn the fear over to the Lord.

Which I did and He showed me what was behind it.

When I was a young child I grew up in earthquake country.

My memory is dotted with many earthquakes and how they affected me.

Most were completely harmless.

But the consequence of living in that region was everything had to be hooked to a wall or supported in some way or else the next earthquake would tip it over.

This experience is good knowledge for those living in that area, but it’s completely unnecessary where we live.

Thus, my unreasonable fear was dealt with completely.

The Lord showed me what the full truth is and I’ve found joy in being able to trust God in a new area of my heart.

His Word is true and has been my direction.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.
Proverbs 3:5‭-‬6 NKJV

I don’t have to allow my emotions, especially fear, to force me into action or to create worry.

I can rest in Him and take everything, including my unreasonable fears, to Him.

My heart finds peace in knowing that I am leaning on Jesus rather than my own understanding.

Do not be afraid of sudden terror, Nor of trouble from the wicked when it comes; For the Lord will be your confidence, And will keep your foot from being caught.
Proverbs 3:25‭-‬26 NKJV

Psalm 115:11 KJV — Ye that fear the LORD, trust in the LORD: he is their help and their shield.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your faithfulness. Thank You for Your truth. Lord, thank You for revealing what I was afraid of. Thank You for showing me the truth. Lord, please continue to teach me how to walk with You and to fear You alone. Lord, please continue to help me to turn to You for all things. Lord, thank You for Your peace which fills my heart when I rest in You. Lord Jesus, thank You that there is nothing to fear because my soul is safe with You. Thank You for Your love. I love You. Amen.

Stuff

Then he said, “Beware! Guard against every kind of greed. Life is not measured by how much you own.” Luke 12:15 NLT

Because our possessions can be a blessing or a snare.

For those who are called by Christ’s name, it is vital we realize nothing belongs to us.

Not even ourselves.

Psalm 100:3 NKJV — Know that the LORD, He is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.

Thus, whatever we have or do not have, is not where our trust, our value, or our provision comes from.

For followers of Christ, our security, our identity, our salvation comes from Jesus alone.

John 15:5 KJV — I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

That’s why Jesus taught his disciples not to worry about material possessions.

Matthew 6:31-33 NKJV — “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”

The key is trusting God with all and living daily with gratitude.

Instruction on how to do these things are found in God’s Word, which is also where we find the warning to guard against the trap greed

It is a dangerous and slippery slope.

Once the choice is made, although possibly unconsciously, what is solid and secure slides quickly into a never ending burning desire for more.

Jesus’s freedom from sin means we need not live in such captivity.

When we realize sin has tripped us up in any area, Jesus offers forgiveness and encouragement to repent and turn away from this self destruction.

The choice lies with us.

Do we repent and turn away from sin or do make excuses to try and hold on to just enough to get categorized as “fence sitters”?

Jesus’s words make it obvious what is truly valuable.

“Yes, a person is a fool to store up earthly wealth but not have a rich relationship with God.”
Luke 12:21 NLT

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for salvation. Lord, please help me to guard against greed and the cares of this world. Lord, thank You for the opportunity to learn from Your Word what is of worth. Lord Jesus, thank You so much for salvation and the hope of heaven. Please help me to be a good steward with the stuff You have placed in my care, help me never forget it is Yours, not mine. Lord, please keep me from pride, that I might not sin against You. Lord, please continue to help me to trust You for daily needs and to walk in Your truth with joy. Thank You, Lord for so many opportunities to learn and to grow closer to You. I love You, Jesus. Amen.

November 4

Today’s prayer:

James 1:5-7 NKJV — If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord;

Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for Your promises. Lord, please guide us today in Your wisdom. Lord, please make it clear what is right, true, and good. Please keep us from evil and shine Your Word into our hearts and minds. Lord, please let us not be double-minded, but rather focused upon You and Your Word. Lord, please guard us from those things which would lead us astray. Please help us to see past what “looks good” and into the truth. Lord, please, show us our sins, that we might repent quickly. Reveal the lies of the enemy, that we might cling to truth alone. Lord, please remove any idol we have set up in our hearts, for we know You will not share first place. Lord, You alone deserve to be first in our hearts, please help us to be humble before, casting out anything which would come between us and You. Nothing is worth losing our souls for, but often, Lord, we are like very young children, we cling to that which we don’t even realize we are holding on to. Lord, thank You for Your patience. Thank You for Your faithfulness. Thank You for Your love. I trust You. I love You. I praise Your holy name, Jesus! Amen.

A chance to praise the Lord

It was in the middle of the night.

The Lord had spoken to my heart, I needed to take my medicine.

I’m so thankful for migraine medicine which helps.

So, I got up and took it.

I’ll be honest, I was feeling rather discouraged.

Today we have big plans for working on our new house.

“Lord, I won’t be able to do anything if I have I migraine.”

Silence.

Then I realized my error.

“Lord, I’m sorry.”

Deep breath.

“Lord, thank You for this migraine, because I know You are going to work through the circumstances and bring out something good. I know it is in my weakness You are strong.”

(Just to clarify, I don’t think God “made me” have a migraine and I wasn’t thanking Him for it as an acknowledgement that He gave it. The migraine was the consequence of doing so much this week. Rather, I was thanking God in advance for what I knew would be Him working through my restrictions.)

And I was able to go back to sleep.

Which in itself is a miracle.

Normally, when I’m hurting like that I can’t sleep at all and if it continues I become very sick.

God answered my concerns within a few moments and I am so thankful!

When I woke this morning my headache was much better.

Handsome and I discussed our plans and he decided it would be best for me to remain in bed today.

He and Jase are going to work on the new house.

But before they left he brought me breakfast.

What a wonderful blessing!

I’m so thankful to God for His provision.

I know He’s going to supply all our needs and work through each circumstance, and I praise God for the ability to support my husband and son in prayer throughout the day.

2 Corinthians 12:9 KJV — And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for Your faithfulness. In You are we sustained. In You we have life abundantly. Lord, thank You so much for teaching us how to rest in You and not to lean on our own understanding. Lord, please supply all my husband and son need today and provide a way through each detail. Lord, You know what is required and we look to You with expectation, not to fulfill our ideas of how to do all, but rather to be the One who tells us what Your plans are. Thank You for Your faithfulness, Your salvation, and Your strength. I love You, Jesus! Amen.

Not surprised

Yesterday was a lesson in trust.

We had an overly full day and I was praying throughout.

Tuesday had been a long day and I just didn’t want to step outside of God’s plan for me in anything.

I definitely felt His blessings yesterday.

Jase had to go to the dentist so I had told Sis I’d watch the grandbabies while we were in the area.

I completely enjoyed my time with them.

Then God blessed us with the keys to our new home!!

I let Handsome know I’d meet him there.

Our evening didn’t really follow our expectations.

We left the house pretty late to get back to our rental.

Handsome has to get up very early to get to work.

As we drove home we discussed our concerns about the house.

We already knew we wanted to rip out the carpet (wall-to-wall carpet is not a good idea for me).

We had plans to take out the cooktop and put in a range.

But we hadn’t realized that the space for the range was tiny.

We were going to measure it when we looked at the house, but before we got started the seller handed us a copy of the floor plan so we thought, “no need it will be on there”.

Nope.

So, we’ve been waiting to measure the space.

You can imagine our surprise when we realized it’s undersized.

We went to bed thinking we had a pretty good plan.

We chatted briefly about the plan before Handsome went to work.

I got online and started doing some research.

I was even going to contact someone in reference to our plans when I had a check in my heart.

What’s the rush?

Uhm…

Check with your husband first.

My phone bings.

It’s my husband with a text:

“I love you, Hope.”

I text back and he texted almost on top of mine.

He shared a scripture he’d read this morning and told me it had touched his heart.

The same scripture had touched my heart this morning.

So, I texted my husband that we should wait on making the changes we discussed.

We are going to get the floors done and pray about the rest.

My heart has peace.

Then the Lord brought to mind:

Proverbs 3:5-6 NKJV — Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.

God wasn’t surprised by the size of the stovetop.

He’s not caught off guard by details.

This is His house and I know He’s going to guide and direct us through the “life things”.

Our opportunity to wait upon the Lord and be guided by His Word is so much more important than how we cook our meals or where we place our furniture.

It’s in these little things God builds our faith.

It is in these small “surprises” God works on our relationship with Him.

I’m looking forward to seeing what He has us do.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for speaking to both my husband and myself as we transition to this new place. Thank You for the surprise yesterday and how You are using it in our lives. Thank You that we can rest in You and not lean on our own understanding. I praise Your holy name, Jesus. Amen.

Forgiveness and trust

Genesis 50:20 KJV — But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.

It’s one of the more astounding moments in scripture.

Joseph was born into a dysfunctional family.

His father was married twice, and both wives were jealous of the other, which caused no end of strife.

The first wife was unloved and the second wife was barren, until Joseph was finally born.

He, the son of Rachel, was dearly loved by his father.

By the time Joseph was old enough to be working with the family business, his brothers hated him.

It didn’t help that he turned in a poor report on some of them to his father.

To add fuel to the hatred, Joseph wasn’t as careful with his words as he could have been.

He had dreams of a future where he would lead the entire family.

He told them to his brothers and his father.

His brothers’ hatred grew.

There was no excuse for what they did to him, but it is very obvious how the discord in this family led to incredible evil.

Genesis 37:26-28NKJV — So Judah said to his brothers, “What profit is there if we kill our brother and conceal his blood? Come and let us sell him to the Ishmaelites, and let not our hand be upon him, for he is our brother and our flesh.” And his brothers listened. Then Midianite traders passed by; so the brothers pulled Joseph up and lifted him out of the pit, and sold him to the Ishmaelites for twenty shekels of silver. And they took Joseph to Egypt.

They sold their brother as a slave.

Life in Egypt was a rollercoaster for Joseph.

All of the years he was there God worked in his life.

Finally, he was promoted from life imprisonment to second in the kingdom.

God used him to save many people from starvation.

Including, his family, who had no idea that he was still alive.

The scriptures don’t tell us when Joseph forgave his brothers.

But it does show him responding to them with forgiveness and compassion.

Somewhere along the journey of his life, Joseph learned to forgive those who had hurt him and to trust God.

We know this by his words of comfort to his terrified brothers.

Genesis 50:20 KJV — But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.

Joseph wasn’t bitter, he didn’t seek revenge, because he could clearly see God had allowed the difficult, painful things in his life to bring about incredible good.

We can apply this to ourselves.

We must not allow bitterness to take root, we must forgive those who do us evil, trusting God to work through it.

Although we may not see how God uses the painful, difficult circumstances in our lives while walking through them, we can choose to cling to the truth: He will.

Many people throughout scripture walked through unjust, painful circumstances and God uses those things in their lives for good.

He hasn’t changed.

He’s still working.

Let us choose to both forgive others and to trust God.

Romans 8:28 KJV — And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You so much for Your Word. Lord, thank You for Your truth. Thank You for teaching us we must forgive, we must trust You. Please help me to walk in that truth, learning daily what it means in today. Lord, please return our hearts to wholeness, hearts of flesh which have been redeemed by Your sacrifice. Lord, great is Your faithfulness and greatly shall You be praised! Please continue to teach us each day, giving us life and truth through Your Word. Lord, please help us to be on our guard about the lies, discord, and strife of the enemy. Please help us to live trusting in You, loving others, and walking with integrity. Thank You for Your wonderous works! I praise Your holy name Lord Jesus! Amen.

Choosing to lean…

…on Christ.

I’d not been home from my shot appointment for very long, (I take allergy shots every three weeks) when Handsome took me out to the garage.

He and Anne had poured the top of this table in high quality resin, same stuff used for restaurant tables.

The resin looks great and I was praising God for His help with this project.

Handsome and I were discussing what else was required for this set to be finished.

That’s when I realized, it needed paint.

One side of the top had marks across it.

They wouldn’t come off.

I didn’t want to paint this.

For starters, I wasn’t feeling well, shots alone make me tired, and I’m not feeling good this week.

On top of that, this table has a decorative edge I knew wouldn’t be easy to paint.

I still needed to homeschool Jase.

It was supposed to rain, requiring me to get this painted as soon as possible so we could bring in the other furniture.

Thankfully, the rain wasn’t supposed to start till night time.

My husband could tell my mind was a whirl as he waited my response.

“What can I do to help you? Remember I have to leave for work in 40 minutes.”

I smiled.

I told the Lord, “I trust You” and asked Handsome to tape off the table for me.

Then I changed clothes, set up some work for our son, and headed to the garage.

God was so gracious.

He helped me finish in plenty of time.

I sent the above photo to my husband.

The kids brought in all the other furniture in the afternoon and we gladly closed the garage for the day.

When the rain hit last night, my heart was glad.

Not only had the Lord provided all I needed to finish the table, the kids and I also got all the ripe tomatoes picked and a bowl of apples.

Jase was able to get his school work done and I spent part of our evening reading to them.

It hadn’t mattered that I didn’t feel good.

God provided for all my needs.

Today, I’m still leaning upon Him and looking forward to seeing how He is going to walk me through another day.

Things go so much better when I do not lean on my own strength.

I’m humbled and grateful for His mercy.

Monday, I’d leaned on myself and things went poorly for days.

Friday, I leaned on Jesus.

I’m so thankful for another opportunity to learn to lean on Him.

2 Samuel 22:31 KJV — As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the LORD is tried: he is a buckler to all them that trust in him.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for Your truth. Thank You for Your patience! Please continue to help me learn how to lean on You alone. Please help me to walk with You daily. Lord Jesus, thank You for Your ways, how much better they are than ours. Thank You for holding us in Your hands and guiding us. Thank You for Your faithfulness. I love You, Jesus. Amen.

Bathed in prayer

Our lives must be bathed in prayer.

It’s the only way I know to walk closely with Jesus rather than following my own desires.

A few months ago, I had a moment in prayer which caused me to feel unsettled.

I felt the Lord was preparing me, that a change was coming.

Later, in a conversation with a neighbor, I began to state something about our future and I felt a check in my heart not to say what I was going to.

It was like the Lord was warning me not to commit to something, because I did not know the future.

Time went on and I still couldn’t figure out what God was telling me, but I started praying for what I should do.

Start packing.

It didn’t really make sense.

I wasn’t sure what God was trying to tell me, but I knew better than to argue or ask “why?!”.

I began seeking God on how and where to begin doing what didn’t make sense.

At least not at the time.

I cleaned out some closets.

Finished up craft projects.

I gave away things.

I reorganized papers and filed stuff I’d put off.

Still praying, throughout for God to help me follow Him.

Then, Handsome and I were talking about the small furniture business we have and we realized we both felt we were supposed to finish up everything we had on hand, empty our storage unit, and close our booth.

It seemed a bit strange, but we began working on furniture like crazy.

God blessed us and Handsome was able to empty the unit before September.

We let the owners of the mall know September would be our last month.

It has only been in the last few weeks God has shown us why.

My husband has recently accepted a new job in a different city.

He wasn’t looking to change jobs.

We weren’t unhappy where we are.

But God brought this job to him.

We bathed it in prayer.

Here we are.

He starts the day after our wedding anniversary, next month!

I’m sure you guessed the rest–we are moving.

Not only has God blessed us with this new position, He’s opened the door for us to buy a house and property.

We will get to live in the country again.

And we are so thankful to God!

Moving is not easy, especially as my health still restricts my actions, but it will be good

We have enjoyed this house.

Our landlord is truly the best.

The neighborhood has been such a joy.

We are so thankful.

God has blessed us abundantly.

I’m humbled by how He has walked us forward into all these things.

I’m thankful for the way He has guided us.

I’m continuing to bathe it all in prayer.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for Your Holy Spirit which guides and directs us, speaking through Your Word. Lord, please continue to keep our feet planted firmly upon Your paths. Help us, each one, to walk in ways that are honorable before You. Lord, as we prepare for this move, please help us to keep in mind all these things are Yours and we want to be good stewards of them. Lord, please help us to be wise and kind as we deal with all the change. Lord, please go before us and prepare the way. Thank You. I know You already have and Your salvation is all we truly need. I love You, Lord. Amen.

Personally…

I have been struggling a bit.

Just not feeling super well.

Handsome’s work schedule has him either on nights or graveyard, and through the weekend, which isn’t bad, I’m just not adjusting to it quickly.

We’ve received some concerning news about people we love.

The suffering of fellow believers has been heavy upon my heart.

Yet, in the midst of these things God is so present.

His Word’s been so relevant each and every day.

I’ve found such peace in prayer and comfort in His promises.

My heart can surrender these burdens and I can rejoice in Him.

And He has answered prayers!

Praise the Lord!

His mighty works are such a blessing!

I find rest in His truth.

I need not strive.

I need not worry, simply bring Him my concerns, my limitations, and trust the outcome to His sovereignty.

For today belongs to Him.

Yesterday belongs to Him.

And I know He has tomorrow in hand as well.

Psalm 18:2 KJV — The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.

Psalm 34:22 KJV — The LORD redeemeth the soul of his servants: and none of them that trust in him shall be desolate.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your mercy and grace. Thank You for using these things in my life to encourage me to seek You more. Lord, thank You that I don’t need to know what is going to happen, I simply need to live for You in today and walk with You, listening carefully for Your still soft voice. I know You are guiding me through Your Word and I thank You for it. Lord, for all these prayer requests, these people in need, I humbly request You meet them where they are. Please provide and sustain them. Lord, let these things, these circumstances be used to bring glory and honor to Your name. Lord, our lives are not our own, they were bought with such a high price. Please let our lives be lived wholly unto You. Thank You Jesus for Your love. I love You. Amen.

Tests that teach

John 6:5-6 NKJV — Then Jesus lifted up His eyes, and seeing a great multitude coming toward Him, He said to Philip, “Where shall we buy bread, that these may eat?” But this He said to test him, for He Himself knew what He would do.

John 6:7 NKJV — Philip answered Him, “Two hundred denarii worth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may have a little.”

Jesus could have simply told Philip what He was going to do.

Instead, He used this test to teach.

Jesus wanted to give all these people what they needed, and knew how He was going to supply the need.

But from Philip’s perspective it was an impossible task.

Matthew 19:26 KJV — But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.

In this provision of a meal for thousands, Jesus was giving a lesson in trust.

He wanted them to understand how loving and faithful God is.

God doesn’t give a task and fail to give His servants that which is needful to accomplish the task.

The Lord knows exactly what is required and He can do the “impossible” to provide for it.

We see such truth throughout scripture:

Abraham and Sarah having a son in their old age. Genesis 21:5

An entire nation of people being fed by God daily from a food never seen before and never eaten again once they reached the Promised Land. Exodus 16:15, Joshua 5:12

Joshua asking God to hold time so they could completely defeat the five armies who were attacking the people Gibeon, the people he promised to protect. Joshua 10:13

Three men living through being thrown into a furnace so hot those who took them died from exposure. Daniel 3:22

Times of testings are often opportunities to learn.

This is the theme for the book of Job.

God allowed him to be tested in extreme ways and in the end Job said:

Job 42:2 NKJV — “I know that You can do everything, And that no purpose of Yours can be withheld from You.
You asked, ‘Who is this who hides counsel without knowledge?’ Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, Things too wonderful for me, which I did not know. Listen, please, and let me speak; You said, ‘I will question you, and you shall answer Me.’ I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear, But now my eye sees You. Therefore I abhor myself, And repent in dust and ashes.”

Job’s test brought him far greater understanding of God and a clearer view of himself.

We see the disciples experience a different type of test in the Gospel of Luke.

1 Then he called his twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases. 2 And he sent them to preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick. 3 And he said unto them, Take nothing for your journey, neither staves, nor scrip, neither bread, neither money; neither have two coats apiece. 6 And they departed, and went through the towns, preaching the gospel, and healing every where.
Luke 9:1‭-‬3‭, ‬6 KJV

The disciples were able to do all Jesus had instructed them to do.

God was faithful to provide all their needs.

Jesus made sure to explain that living in this world as a follower of Christ would not be easy, but the entire Bible tells us God is faithful.

Matthew 7:13-14 NKJV — “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

34 Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. 35 For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. 36 And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household. 37 He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38 And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. 39 He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.
Matthew 10:34‭-‬39 KJV

Following Christ will be just that, walking through trials and tribulations, being misunderstood and yet continually living completely surrendered to the will of God.

While having incredible peace and comfort knowing Who has called us, and trusting He will provide for that which He has told us to do.

With such an understanding, we can grow daily in the knowledge of God and gain a clearer view of ourselves.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for Your Holy Spirit which teaches and convicts us of sin. Lord, please continue to help us to learn about You and ourselves. Please help us to grow in our relationship with You daily, that we might love and trust You wholeheartedly. Thank You that You understand us far better than we understand ourselves. Thank You for the tests that teach. I love You, Jesus. Thank You for first loving me. Amen.