God is Faithful, Always

“O Lord God of hosts, Who is mighty like You, O Lord?   Your faithfulness also surrounds You.”     Psalm 89:8

 

            To say I feel a little overwhelmed would be a major understatement. But not necessarily for the reasons you may think, considering the events of the past week.

First, I’m overwhelmed at the Greatness and Goodness of our God. In the words of King David, who am I Lord that you would be so gracious to me? God took what could have been a tragic event and showed us His love and His protection over Larry’s life. When he fell and shattered the T9 vertebra, it shattered on three sides but the fourth side stayed intact, protecting his spine.

Second thing, the peace. Throughout Larry’s hospital stay, during the surgery and recovery, we both had a sense of peace and we know it was from all the prayers being offered on our behalf. Overwhelming peace.

And third thing, the love.  Not only the love of God covering us, the love of our brothers and sisters in Christ. Phone calls, text messages, hospital visits and gifts, each one reminds us that it is the overwhelming love of Christ through believers that bind us together so we never walk through difficult times alone.

Larry and I still face some uncertainties, decisions that we’ll have to make that will affect our future. When the doctor tells a contractor that he can no longer climb ladders or lift heavy objects, that’s not what he wants to hear. But we know our God is faithful and He has our future in His hands. As our pastor said this morning, it’s not about how big our faith is, but it is about how big our God is.

“I have been young, and now am old; Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his descendants begging bread.” Psalm 37:25

 

Peace and blessings in our Lord Jesus Christ,

Dee

 

A Strong Foundation of Faith

“For what does the Scripture say? ‘Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness’ …Therefore it is of faith that it might be according to grace, so that the promise might be sure to all the seed, not only to those who are of the law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all.” Romans 4:3, 16 (NKJV)

Abraham, called the Father of Faith, shows us how to build a foundation of faith. It starts with hearing God. God spoke to Abram (Abraham as he was called later), Abram heard and obeyed.
“Now the Lord had said to Abram: ‘Get out of your country, from your family and from your father’s house, to a land that I will show you. I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.’ So Abram departed as the Lord had spoken to him, and Lot went with him. And Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran.” (Genesis 12:1-4)

God told Abraham to leave the place where he was and go to a place that He would show him. Years before God had lead Abram’s father, Terah, to leave Ur the land of the Chaldees (in modern day Iraq) to go to Canaan, but he only made it as far as Haran (Turkey) and settled there and there he died. God spoke to Abram and he heard and he obeyed.

The first thing we have to do if we’re to have a strong foundation of faith is to hear God and then obey. How do we hear God? By taking in His written word, by reading and meditating on what is given to us through the Scriptures. Once we have it in our hearts, then we have to be obedient to it. It’s not enough just to read it or hear it preached; we have to apply it by being obedient, doing what we hear God telling us to do.

“By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise.” (Hebrews 11:8, 9)

If we desire to live a life for God, we have to learn to be obedient to Him and be fully surrendered to His will. It requires faith to be fully surrendered to God. When we doubt, or lack faith in God and His Word, it hard to give up our plans and desires to surrender to His. It requires spending time in the Scriptures to come to the place where we can genuinely say “Not my will, but Yours be done.”
But when we know the Word, we can also know that God’s plans for our lives are far better than anything we can imagine. He tells us in Jeremiah 29:11-13 “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.”

Seek Him with you whole heart, through His written word, and you will find Him. Dwell on that Word and your faith in it will grow. Then you will have a strong foundation of faith that can stand against any circumstance that life on this planet gives.
Peace and blessings in our Lord Jesus Christ,
Dee
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson.

God Over the Trivial

“Behold! God is mighty, and yet despises no one nor regards anything as trivial; He is mighty in power of understanding and heart.” Job 36:5 (The Amplified Bible)

Have you ever felt that something you were concerned about was too trivial for God to care about? I’ve heard people say things like “Well God is too busy taking care of the big serious things to bother about my little problems.” There was even one woman who said she didn’t pray about her kids because she thought God needed to be busy taking care of the world and she could watch her kids. What!? Yes, God is indeed concerned with what is happening in the world, but He is also concerned with us, even the most trivial mundane things.

Jesus said “Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And [yet] not one of them is forgotten or uncared for in the presence of God. But [even] the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not be struck with fear or seized with alarm; you are of greater worth than many [flocks] of sparrows.” Luke 12: 6, 7 (The Amplified Bible)

Wow, our Father even knows how many hairs are on our heads. (And knows which one are colored or not!) Yes, the Creator God who created us is concerned with anything that concerns us. It is only when we learn to trust Him with the small things that we truly learn to trust Him in the big ones.

Ryan Kennelly, the first man to bench 800 lbs without controversy, started weight lifting at age 18, and became a serious power lifter five years later. In 2008, Ryan set the bench press record with a lift of 1070 lbs. Do you suppose Ryan started out lifting 800 or more pounds on his first work out? Of course not. That would have caused him serious injury. He started with a set of dumbbells his father gave him when he was 10 years old. It took 5 years of serious training and weight lifting, adding little at a time, before he was ready to compete.

Developing our faith in God is the same way. If we learn to first pray and believe God for the small things, that increases our faith to believe Him for the big things. Faith is like a muscle – it only grows and gets stronger when it is used. But just like a baby has to learn to walk by developing her leg muscles and develop her balance by contracting her abs, we must use our faith for it to grow and develop.

As for the woman who said she didn’t pray for her kids, that is an example of the polar opposite of faith – pride. Pride in believing she had the power to protect and take care of her children on her own. The Apostle Peter wrote, “Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:6, 7 (New King James Bible) My children and grandchildren are better off when I “cast the care” of them on God and not rely on my efforts!

I have no pride. I know that left to my own choices, even in the mundane or trivial, I’ll mess up every time. I have to rely on God’s direction, I have to hear from Him to know which way to go, how to spend my day. What if I hear wrong? I repent and ask for clarity. And clarity only comes when I spend time with Jesus, talking about everything. Listening for His voice through His written word and through the Holy Spirit speaking to me. About the big things, about the trivial things. Nothing is too great – or too trivial – for my God!

Peace and blessings in our Lord Jesus Christ,
Dee