Tag Archives: trust

Transparency

Job 13:15 KJV — Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him.

This statement from Job inspires me to be purposeful about trusting God, and like Job, to maintain my ways before Him.

Especially, when life seems be more challenging.

As I walk with Jesus, I feel it’s important to be transparent.

Yesterday, I was energetic.

Today, I’m not.

Yesterday, my health wasn’t an issue.

Today, it is.

When I got up this morning, the Lord reminded me that I’d forgotten to pay bills last week.

I feel so frustrated with myself when I forget to pay the bills, because it’s rude and unfair to those awaiting payment.

I was writing checks when one amount stood out.

It was a lot more than I remembered paying previously.

After a little investigation, I found out why.

I’d carefully filed last months bill, but hadn’t paid it.

It was our trash service and when I sent Jase out to put the bills in the mailbox he returned with yesterday’s mail.

There was one with red print on the front from the trash service.

The letter inside was very kind, letting us know that due to no payment for the past two months they would be skipping our service and if we still had not paid by next month would be coming to pick up our trash can.

Understandable.

I phoned the office, apologized for my negligence, and asked what week they’d skip.

Turns out my payment will reach their office before the scheduled week to suspend our service.

Therefore everything should be fine without any hindrance to us.

I thanked the lady and hung up.

In the past this circumstance would have engendered emotions of anger with myself, it would have tinted my whole day with a negative attitude.

But not today.

Instead I am praising God for His reminding me to pay the bills.

I’m grateful to Him for the graciousness of our trash company and that our service will not be interrupted, despite my negligence.

I’m thanking Him for some of the things that He is teaching me.

Including these times when I fail.

I’m also praying to see what I need to change in my day-to-day, so that I don’t forget to pay the bills next month.

I want this to be a mistake I learned from.

Because it’s already a mistake I’m praising God for.

Philippians 4:4 NKJV — Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for the truth that You are always worthy of praise. Lord, thank You for yesterday and all the abundant blessings. Thank You for today and the things I find challenging. Thank You for Your wisdom in and through each and every circumstance. Thank You for walking with me daily, guiding and directing. Lord, thank You for reminding me yesterday to purchase stamps so I’d have what I needed today. Lord Jesus, thank You for always being my Provider. Thank You for Your love and patience. I love You. Amen.

Understanding greed

It started with the garden.

Long before we had the fence up my husband called me on his way to work.

“Honey, there’s a pile of chips on the side of the road, some trucker was over weight. Can you and the kids get in the truck and load some up?”

Not being as familiar with that road, I questioned him where it was and then we loaded the truck with shovels, a couple moving blankets, and ourselves.

The pile was easy to find and huge.

We worked together to get a load of wood chips and by the time we were finished I was exhausted.

As I drove towards home I began to pray for energy, fully intending to get a second load, as one wouldn’t be enough.

Don’t be greedy.

The Lord’s words to my heart surprised me.

“Lord, we need more than one load for the garden, what am I supposed to do?”

Trust Me.

This wasn’t an easy thing to hear, because I had never thought of greed as being applied to this type of circumstance.

Yet, I knew the Lord had spoken clearly to my heart that I wasn’t to return and get more chips.

I often pondered this circumstance, trying to find a better understanding of the sin of greed, because obviously my definition was wrong.

I’d always thought of greed as wanting more and more when one has plenty, like King Solomon.

But I began to realize the Lord was showing me that greed is taking what God hasn’t given me.

Just because it’s available, doesn’t mean God is giving it to me.

He brought to mind something I saw many years ago.

I’d been praying for something I needed and couldn’t afford.

My heart felt certain that God would provide.

Then, I was sitting in church and the announcements included a donation of several boxes of the item I’d been praying for. They were sitting by the front doors for anyone who needed them.

I praised God!

He’d supplied my need and I waited for the break to be announced, so I could go look at the donation.

As I walked toward the area, my eyes were enjoying the beautiful weather outside when I suddenly noticed a person from our fellowship.

Their arms were full of boxes as they crossed the parking lot and when I reached the front door it was bare.

Although, I was disappointed at the time, God supplied the need a different way.

Just recently, our church announced that two boxes of bare root strawberries had been donated.

My husband was going to get us some, as we had the place for them, but hadn’t had a chance to buy any yet, I had been given seeds, but not in time to start them in doors.

When he went to where the strawberry plants were he saw that both boxes had been taken by one person.

God worked through these two circumstances to speak directly to my heart about greed.

God has a plan to supply what is lacking in my life, but He wants me to look to Him for those things, not to try to “protect myself”, to fix the problem on my own through hording or robbing someone else of a blessing through taking more than He’s telling me to.

“Lord, I still don’t understand, because we need more chips in the garden.”

Then it hit me, I don’t need wood chips in the garden, I want them.

I want to keep it tidy and not to have to deal with weeds, but it’s not a need.

The Lord has shown me, I often misunderstand what a need is and label wants incorrectly.

Because God supplies all my needs, I can wait upon Him to both show me the difference between the two and I can trust Him to provide as He chooses when He chooses.

This is where my faith is grown, by waiting upon the Lord.

He supplies in ways which often surprise me, like the strawberry patch.

My husband had heard our pastor’s wife was cleaning out her strawberry patch and made a call offering to buy the plants she no longer has space for.

Since he’d only left a message I was surprised to see our pastor at our house the next day with a box of bare root strawberries, which he refused payment for.

Not only that, he carried them to the garden, said he could supply more if this wasn’t enough, and chatted while I planted.

Yesterday, I was blessed by this:

Although our garden still has bare dirt for part of the path, I’m waiting upon the Lord for His plan and thanking Him for what He’s given.

The wood chips have been a double blessing, because the lesson I’m learning about greed is far more valuable then a tidy garden.

I praise God for His Sovereignty in knowing I actually needed less so I would learn more.

Philippians 4:19 KJV — But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for Your faithfulness. Lord Jesus, I praise You, for You have used so much in my life to teach me about You and about me. Lord, I am humbled and thankful to You for using something so insignificant as wood chips to show me an area I’m liable to fall into sin. Lord, thank You for protecting me from the sin of greed, by showing me my false thinking about what greed really is. Lord, please continue to help me to understand how to wait upon You, how to know the difference between a want and a need, how to be generous and think of others, not just myself. Lord, please continue to teach me how to guard against greed and covetousness. Please bring my heart to attend to Your Word, that I might not sin against You. Thank You, Lord. Amen.

How patient are you?

It has occurred more than once.

I’ll be praying and…

feeling sorry for myself, to be bluntly honest.

I’m telling God about a circumstance and how long I’ve waited for His answer and Abraham comes to mind.

Genesis 12:7 KJV — And the LORD appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land: and there builded he an altar unto the LORD, who appeared unto him.

Genesis 13:14-16KJV — And the LORD said unto Abram, after that Lot was separated from him, Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward: For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever. And I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth: so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, then shall thy seed also be numbered.

It’s unclear how much time passed between these two promises, but Abram had become very wealthy in that time despite a famine and his trip to Egypt and back.

Genesis 16:3 NKJV — Then Sarai, Abram’s wife, took Hagar her maid, the Egyptian, and gave her to her husband Abram to be his wife, after Abram had dwelt ten years in the land of Canaan.

Genesis 16:16 NKJV — Abram was eighty-six years old when Hagar bore Ishmael to Abram.

Abraham waited till he was in his eighties and then he took the suggestion of his wife on how to “help God” and had a son the his wife’s servant, but Ishmael was not the son of God’s promise.

Genesis 18:10 KJV — And he said, I will certainly return unto thee according to the time of life; and, lo, Sarah thy wife shall have a son. And Sarah heard it in the tent door, which was behind him.

God’s promised son was outside any human plan or ability.

Genesis 21:5 NKJV — Now Abraham was one hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him.

Abraham didn’t know the Lord’s plan and He didn’t realize Isaac would be a foreshadowing of Jesus.

And although Abraham did try to “help” God’s promise, the inspiring part of the story is Abraham’s faith.

Genesis 15:6 NKJV — And he believed in the LORD, and He accounted it to him for righteousness.

Abraham waited a long time for God’s promise to be fulfilled and God used him mightily.

And then God’s whisper to my heart:

How patient are you?

God’s way of reminding me to wait upon Him with joy, peace, and patience.

He was faithful in His promises to Abraham, I know He will be faithful with me.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your Word and for Your servant Abraham. Lord, thank You for taking me back to this story time and again when I’m feeling sorry for myself or thinking I’ve waited long enough. Lord, my patience is supplied by Your Holy Spirit and I thank You for that. Lord, please continue to help me to not quench Your Holy Spirit, but to allow Your fruit to be plentiful in my life. Please help me to be humble, teachable, and patient. Thank You. I know You are worthy of all my trust and Your ways are perfect. Thank You for Your love and salvation. I love You, Jesus. Amen.

Psalm 23:1

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
Psalms 23:1 NKJV

I don’t pretend to be theologian.

I’ve never gone to seminary.

But, I’ve raised sheep and I look at this verse through that perspective.

There’s so much meaning contained in these few lines.

“The LORD is my shepherd” means He is in control of supplying my every need.

He is the One who knows where I should go, what lies ahead, and how He will provide.

Thus the line: “I shall not want” is in response to the beginning of God being the Shepherd.

For me it means two things.

It’s referring to the truth that God will supply all my needs.

It’s also a statement: “I shall not want”.

Sheep will stand knee deep in lush grass and try to get their head through the fence to eat the tough old grass growing alongside the road.

Sheep will have plenty of forage in the field, but will refuse to go eat it because they are standing next to the empty feed trough.

It’s empty because of two things: it is not time to feed yet or they don’t need to be fed because there’s plenty of forage.

Yet, some will choose to ignore the field and will remain next to the empty troughs, loudly complaining about the lack of grain.

“I shall not want” is a realization that my Shepherd has provided.

He may not always give me what I want, but He has always provided what I need.

I can choose to thank Him for what He has supplied without worrying about what I will need in the future, without longing for something else.

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
Psalms 23:1 NKJV

It’s a testimony to build on.

It’s a truth to rest securely in.

It’s my promise both for this world and for the one to come.

Praise the Lord!

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for Your promises. Thank You for Your truth. Lord, You have supplied all my needs and I’m so grateful. You have far surpassed my expectations time and again, sustaining me when I couldn’t see how You were going to provide. Lord, if You could handle multitudes of people in the desert for forty years, I know You can handle me. Thank You! I love You, Jesus. Amen

March 5, 2022

Today’s prayer:

Lord, my heart is not haughty, Nor my eyes lofty. Neither do I concern myself with great matters, Nor with things too profound for me. Surely I have calmed and quieted my soul, Like a weaned child with his mother; Like a weaned child is my soul within me. O Israel, hope in the Lord From this time forth and forever.
Psalms 131:1‭-‬3 NKJV

Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for Your salvation. Thank You that we need not fear. Our lives belong to You. Lord Jesus, thank You for teaching us daily and speaking so clearly to the humble in heart. Lord, thank You that You use those who completely surrender before You. Lord, I choose to completely surrender before You. Lord, this day, this body, this life does not belong to me. They are Yours alone and I acknowledge Your Sovereignty in all things. Lord Jesus, please continue to help the helpless, to provide for the needy, to return the prodigal, to protect the innocent, and to save the lost. Lord, I thank You for all Your wonderous works. Amen.

Through the heart of the young

She’d been looking worried, but I was on the phone with my husband and simply walked past her to continue our conversation out of earshot.

Yet, something had changed by the time I returned to the main part of the house, for she was busy writing.

The paper was handed to me just before bedtime and as much as I wanted to read it, I felt it would be best waiting till morning.

When I read her writing, I was surprised.

I hadn’t realized that my phone conversation about the latest news would engender such fear in her heart.

The first lines spoke clearly of the deep emotion these days of world news are bringing.

As I continued to read I chastised myself for not being more careful with my speech, and for not checking back with her to see how she was processing all that she is hearing and seeing.

At 19, she’s too young to remember many of the circumstances of world affairs, but she’s been taught history and she’s not ignorant of the abilities of humanity to harm one another.

Then, I read:

“I sat at the table, trying to keep from being afraid, that’s when my amazing little brother walked in, set his phone on the table and pushed play on a video.”

“I quickly recognized the Piano Guys playing the Peanuts theme song… Dancing to this song has become something fun we do ever since I moved back from Grandma’s.”

“Laughing, I slowly joined him. My heavy heart started to lighten…The next song he played was by Mercy Me, Greater.”

“At that moment, I felt peace again. I was reminded that I don’t ever need to be afraid.”

“While the world may be falling apart around me, all I have to do is trust Jesus and dance in worship before Him.”

All my self condemnation evaporated.

I praise God for His blessings of truth which even the young can find comfort in.

As I refolded the paper, my heart was reminded of scripture.

Matthew 21:16 NKJV — and said to Him, “Do You hear what these are saying?” And Jesus said to them, “Yes. Have you never read, ‘Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants You have perfected praise’?”

Let each of us learn from the simply beautiful faith of the young: all we have to do is trust God and praise Him.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your truth. Thank You that we can find courage, security, and faith in Your Word and Your promises. Lord Jesus, thank You that this world is not our forever home, but we have a much better one yet to come. Thank You for the simple and beautiful faith of the young. Thank You for the trust exampled to us by a small child clinging to their loving Daddy. Lord, thank You for children. Please continue to teach us how to have child-like faith. As my daughter said, may we walk in the truth, trusting and praising You. I love You, Jesus. Thank You for first loving me. Amen.

Answered

Psalm 33:4 NKJV — For the word of the LORD is right, And all His work is done in truth.

Psalm 119:160 NKJV — The entirety of Your word is truth, And every one of Your righteous judgments endures forever.

God has always been faithful.

His Word is trustworthy.

Yesterday, He not only dealt with my fears, He carried me through with ease.

As if that were not enough, He answered prayer and we finally know what is robbing me of my voice, and I am being referred to a Speech Therapist.

When I think about the goodness of God, I am overwhelmed.

Exodus 34:6 NKJV — And the LORD passed before him and proclaimed, “The LORD, the LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth,

For nothing is too small for His notice and nothing too large for His ability.

Psalm 27:13 NKJV — I would have lost heart, unless I had believed That I would see the goodness of the LORD In the land of the living.

Yesterday, I did.

Praise the Lord!

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for answering our prayers. Thank You for Your Word and Your goodness. Lord, thank You for being righteous, holy, merciful, and full of grace. Thank You for Your love and help. Lord Jesus, thank You for guiding and directing. Thank You for Your ways, which are far better than ours. Lord Jesus, I lift up the helpless. Those who are in danger, those who are completely vulnerable. You see each and every one. Please act upon their behalf. Please bring the gift of salvation to those in such great need. Lord, let each and every one of us cling to Your Word and walk in peace knowing we can place all our trust in You. Lord, let the whole earth be filled with the knowledge of Your glory. Amen.

The opposite of anticipation

Like the frost covering the ground this morning, my unacknowledged fear had coated my outlook.

Dread, had coated my attitude and I’d walked in that for days, unaware of the distortion of my perspective.

The realization that I’d been dreading this day hit me this morning.

Which is embarrassing, but true.

Where’s the fear coming from?

The Lord pointed directly to my fear while I was praying.

After all this time of chronic illness, I’m afraid of the unknown.

Which is why it’s embarrassing to admit my fear, because the future is always an unknown for us, but it’s never an unknown for Jesus.

In prayer, He showed me that my unwillingness to try a new doctor or medication is a failure to trust Him.

He reminded me that when I was the sickest I’ve been with this, I had the opportunity to share the love of Jesus with many.

He also reminded me, that He is in charge of all these things and I should never dread the unknown, because no matter what, He is with me.

It’s funny how we can hide our true feelings from others and ourselves, but never from God.

I’m so thankful He has revealed that which was lurking in my heart, so I can be honest about it, repent for it, and turn to Jesus to heal and restore.

James 5:16 KJV — Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for showing me my heart to clearly and for restoring me to faith, trust, and love. Lord, thank You for Your patience with me. I’m so grateful for Your gentle correction and Your love. Lord Jesus, please continue to teach me through Your Word, that I might not sin against You. Thank You for life experiences which bring out what is in my heart and draws attention to the areas which need Your touch. Thank You for Your promises and the joy of Your salvation. Lord Jesus, I know You are walking with me always. Thank You for Your faithfulness, mercy, and grace. I love You, Jesus. Amen.

February 1, 2022

Today’s prayer:

I will lift up my eyes to the hills— From whence comes my help? My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth. He will not allow your foot to be moved; He who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, He who keeps Israel Shall neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord is your keeper; The Lord is your shade at your right hand. The sun shall not strike you by day, Nor the moon by night. The Lord shall preserve you from all evil; He shall preserve your soul. The Lord shall preserve your going out and your coming in From this time forth, and even forevermore.
Psalms 121:1‭-‬8 NKJV

Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for Your promises. Lord Jesus, I praise Your holy name! Your salvation is our security. Your Word is our solid place. You alone are worthy of all glory, honor, and praise. May our hearts be steadfast before You. May our minds be filled with Your truth. May our feet walk in Your ways and our lips speak Your praises. Lord Jesus, You alone are God Almighty. You alone know what is best. Please help us to hear Your voice and to obey You, not following after our own ideas or desires. Thank You, Lord, for sustaining us. Please continue to heal the sick, to return the prodigal, to help the helpless, and to save the lost. May the whole earth be filled with the knowledge of Your glory! Amen.

Beginning with prayer

1 Thessalonians 5:17 NKJV — pray without ceasing,

It’s one of many instructions given to the Thessalonian church.

The message is profound, but often questioned.

“How do I pray without ceasing?”

It’s a two fold instruction.

First, we are to live our lives completely surrendered to Jesus Christ, we are to abide in Him.

John 15:4 KJV — Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.

We abide in Jesus by following His commands and growing in our relationship with Him through time in His Word and prayer.

This abiding isn’t a now and then thing, but something we do throughout our day.

It’s a life which is dependent upon Jesus Christ, not their own efforts.

Proverbs 3:5-6NKJV — 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.

We should not stop seeking our Lord’s will, no matter our activities or location.

Yet, the other part of this is our responsibility as children of God to intercede.

Prayer without ceasing means we lift up those requests the Lord places on our hearts until He answers.

Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart, saying: “There was in a certain city a judge who did not fear God nor regard man. Now there was a widow in that city; and she came to him, saying, ‘Get justice for me from my adversary.’ And he would not for a while; but afterward he said within himself, ‘Though I do not fear God nor regard man, yet because this widow troubles me I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.’ ” Then the Lord said, “Hear what the unjust judge said. And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them? I tell you that He will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?”
Luke 18:1‭-‬8 NKJV

Intercessory prayer is a response to the Holy Spirit’s leading and should be an out pouring of our love and devotion to Christ.

For Jesus, Himself, prayed for others. (John 17:6-26)

“I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.”
John 17:20‭-‬23 NKJV

Both abiding and intercession begin with praying.

Matthew 7:7-8 NKJV — “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.”

Let us begin each day with prayer and be blessed by offering Him the first fruits of our day.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You so much for Your Word and Your instruction. Lord, thank You that You want a personal relationship with each one of us. Thank You for the privilege of prayer. Lord, to be able to seek Your face daily and to stand before You lifting up others is such a wonderful gift! Lord, please help me not only to look to my own interests, but to the interests of others. Please help me to begin and end my day with prayer, seeking You throughout. Lord, please help me to be honorable and loving before You and others. Lord, please keep me from those things which grieve Your Holy Spirit. Lord, please help me to be wise and discerning, not blind to sin or my own areas of weakness. Lord, please protect me from the snares of the enemy. Thank You for Your love, Your righteousness, Your faithfulness. Please teach me today and help me to be an example to others, that they might long to be closer to You. Thank You, Jesus! Amen.