Tuesday, November 25, 2008
So if you're in a place that doesn't feel so good, maybe you're wondering "hey, what's the big idea here?", you might need to remind yourself that God IS GOOD! Not just when your life is good, but even when it feels totally rotten. Sometimes it's our own fault that we're in a bad situation, but other times, it's just life coming with its ups and downs. Let God use the bad times to draw you to Him, show you His love, lead and guide you on the unseen path ahead. And if you're in a good place, be thankful. Look around you and notice those who are in need and reach out while you can. Count your blessings everyday. Even on the worst day, I promise your blessings will outweigh the sad, bad, and crummy!
We have sooooo much to be thankful for!! God IS GOOD!!! Happy Thanksgiving!
You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. Genesis 50:20
For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless. O LORD Almighty, blessed is the man who trusts in you. Psalm 84:11,12
Good and upright is the LORD; therefore he instructs sinners in his ways. Psalm 25:8
The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them. Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him. Fear the LORD, you his saints, for those who fear him lack nothing. Psalm 37:7-9
Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations. Psalm 100:4,5
The LORD is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love. The LORD is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made. All you have made will praise you, O LORD; your saints will extol you. Psalm 145:8-10
Monday, September 15, 2008
For a long time I was in a time of waiting on God. It was a time of searching for His will and trusting in His perfect timing. Well, now that time has come to an end. He answered after all that time and to top it off, He answered "YES"! Talk about a long wait well worth the heart ache and longing! But now in the middle of my thankfulness I'm realizing some things.
It is really easy to get really satisfied in this comfortable place. After all of those years of waiting and trusting God, calling on Him constantly, daily, it is easy now to sit back and "bask" in His answer. But, I'm also figuring out that this is the time that I need to be extra careful about keeping close to God. To continue to read His word each day and pray more for others that are still in need.
So this is the mountain top! I'm thinking it will be wise to start digging into the word even more because in this life there are ups and downs, mountains and valleys. I know that often He uses the valleys to draw us closer to Him, but I want to stay close to the Lord during this time too. Maybe I'll be even more ready to face the next challenge that comes my way.
I just want to encourage you today, whether you are on top of a mountain or down in a valley, God is there. It is always a good time to call on Him and trust Him. If you are not in need, look around you, there are so many who are. They need prayer and support as they walk through the valley. If you are in a valley, call on God, trust in Him to meet your needs, and rest knowing that His timing is perfect. He who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it (Philippians 1:6)! I'll leave you with the words to the song "God on the Mountain", they are so true!
Life is easy, when your up on the mountain
And you've got peace of mind like you've never known
But then things change and you're down in the valley
Don't lose hope for you're never alone
For the God on the mountain is still God in the valley
When things go wrong He'll make them right
And the God of the good times, is still God of the bad times
And the God of the day is still God of the night
You talk of faith when you're up on the mountain
Oh, but the talk comes so easy when life's at its best
But its down in the valley of trials and temptations
That's where faith is really put to the test
For the God on the mountain is still God in the valley
When things go wrong He'll make them right
And the God of the good times, is still God of the bad times
And the God of the day is still God of the night
Have a great week!
Friday, July 18, 2008
1. Unto You do I bring my life
2. I trust, lean on, rely on, and am confident in You
3. For You only and altogether do I wait expectantly all the day long
4. Those who fear the Lord have the secret of the sweet, satifying companionship of the Lord
5. My eyes are ever toward the Lord
6. My trust and my refuge are in You
7. I wait for and expect You.
1. Don't let me be put to shame or my hope in You disappointed
2. Don't let my enemies triumph over me
3. Show me Your ways, teach me Your paths
4. Guide me in Your truth and faithfulness and teach me
5. Remember Your tender mercy and loving-kindness
6. Don't remember the sins (lapses and frailties) of my youth or my transgressions
7. Remember me according to your mercy and steadfast love for Your goodness sake
8. Instruct sinners in Your way
9. Lead the humble in what is right and teach the humble Your way
10. Pardon my iniquity and my guilt
11. He will teach the person who reverently fears and worships Him in the way he should choose.
12. He will show His covenant and reveal its deep, inner meaning
13. Pluck my feet out of the net (get me out of a trap)
14. Turn to me and be gracious to me
15. Bring me out of my distresses
16. See my affliction and pain, forgive all my sins (of thinking and doing)
17. Consider my enemies
18. Keep me, deliver me, don't let me be ashamed or disappointed
19. Let integrity and uprightness preserve me
20. Redeem Israel out of all their troubles
To me this just kind of sums up how God operates! He is sooooo good to us! So much better than we deserve! It is so easy for us to mess up and get ourselves all trapped up and entangled in things we shouldn't be involved with! Compared to all of what He does for us, our part seems pretty simple! This psalm shows how He wants to lead us and teach us the right way to go. I LOVE THAT!
Anyway, I just thought I'd share this because I thought it's neat! Have a great week!
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Have a great week!
1. belief that does not rest on logical proof or material evidence.
2. confident belief in the truth, value, or trustworthiness of a person, idea, or thing
3. confidence or trust in a person or thing
4. secure belief in God and a trusting acceptance of God's will
Faith is a belief in the trustworthiness of an idea that has not been proven.
Hebrews 11:1 - Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.
1. the desire and search for a future good, difficult but not impossible to attain with God's help
2. the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best
3. to look forward to with desire and reasonable confidence
4. to wish for something with expectation of its fulfillment
Hope is a belief in a positive outcome related to events and circumstances in one's life. Hope implies a certain amount of despair, wanting, wishing, suffering or perseverance — i.e., believing that a better or positive outcome is possible even when there is some evidence to the contrary.
1. reliance on the integrity, strength, ability, surety, etc., of a person or thing; confidence.
2. confident expectation of something; hope
3. to have trust or confidence in; rely or depend on
4. to believe
5. to place confidence in; to rely on, to confide, or repose faith, in
6. to show confidence in a person by intrusting (him) with something
Trust implies instinctive unquestioning belief in and reliance upon something
Trust is a relationship of reliance. A trusted party is presumed to seek to fulfill their previous promises. Trust is a prediction of reliance on an action, based on what a party knows about the other party. Trust is a statement about what is otherwise unknown -- for example, because it is far away, cannot be verified, or is in the future.
1. to look forward to; regard as likely to happen; anticipate the occurrence or the coming of
2. implies confidently believing, usually for good reasons, that an event will occur
An expectation about the behavior or performance of another person, expressed to that person, may have the nature of a strong request, or an order.
1. full trust; belief in the powers, trustworthiness, or reliability of a person or thing
2. certitude; assurance
Confidence implies conscious trust because of good reasons, definite evidence, or past experience
Wednesday, July 2, 2008
I do know that right now I find myself in a place of hoping and waiting again. There are actually a couple of huge things I'm hoping and praying for. For myself and for others. I'm applying Philippians 4:6-7 to these situations. I'm presenting them to God and I know that He will guard my heart and mind so that I can sit back and trust Him for whatever the outcomes may be!
Somehow I think hoping is the human component, trust is the relationship component, and faith is the spiritual component, but I DON'T KNOW, yet!
Here are some of the hope scriptures that I have been encouraged by so far:
Psalm 25: 1-4
UNTO YOU, O Lord, do I bring my life.
O my God, I trust, lean on, rely on, and am confident in You. Let me not be put to shame or [my hope in You] be disappointed; let not my enemies triumph over me.
Yes, let none who trust and wait hopefully and look for You be put to shame or be disappointed; let them be ashamed who forsake the right or deal treacherously without cause.
Show me Your ways, O Lord; teach me Your paths.
Wait and hope for and expect the Lord; be brave and of good courage and let your heart be stout and enduring. Yes, wait for and hope for and expect the Lord.
Psalm 31:1 & 24
IN YOU, O Lord, do I put my trust and seek refuge; let me never be put to shame or [have my hope in You] disappointed; deliver me in Your righteousness!
Be strong and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for and hope for and expect the Lord!
Psalm 33:18-22 (If you have time, read this whole Psalm, it is AWESOME!)
Behold, the Lord's eye is upon those who fear Him [who revere and worship Him with awe], who wait for Him and hope in His mercy and loving-kindness,
To deliver them from death and keep them alive in famine.
Our inner selves wait [earnestly] for the Lord; He is our Help and our Shield.
For in Him does our heart rejoice, because we have trusted (relied on and been confident) in His holy name.
Let Your mercy and loving-kindness, O Lord, be upon us, in proportion to our waiting and hoping for You.
These are just a few of the times that trusting, hoping, waiting, expecting are mentioned. WOW! I'm just so glad that we have these encouraging words to read. I pray that whatever situation you are trusting, hoping, and waiting for will work out according to God's plan for you. I hope that whatever the outcome may be that you will put your total trust in Him to work in your life (and let Him work). It is so much easier to sit back and let Him work than to buck the system and kick and scream, and worry the whole time! :) He is faithful, good, loving, and kind! There may be no other person that you can run to, but know that God is there waiting to take care of whatever you need! Just like the writer said "UNTO YOU, O Lord, do I bring my life." Bring Him your life today and enjoy His peace and love.
Have a great week!!
Monday, June 2, 2008
If you’re reading this, consider yourself CHALLENGED! I’m challenging everyone out there who happens to read this to make God first this summer!
How you ask? Well, that’s up to you! I’m going to try to get up each day and put God first. I’m going to take time to surrender the day to Him – that means every plan I’ve thought up, every need, burden, desire, etc. I’m going to take a few more minutes and read the Bible, because I know that God can speak to me through His word! I try to do this during the school year too, but during the summer I have a little more time to think, pray, and read!
If you aren’t in the habit of having a “quiet time” for prayer and Bible study each day, I challenge you to start TODAY! If you’re new to prayer, all prayer is is talking to God. No fancy, frilly words required. More than anything God likes us to be open, honest, and genuine with Him! You can’t fool Him anyway! It feels so good to pour your heart to Him. No matter what need you may have in your life right now, rest assured, He is way over qualified to meet your needs and help you (like asking a neurosurgeon to take care of a scratch on your head)!
I hope you’ll accept this challenge and start to grow closer to Him this summer!
God is our Refuge and Strength [mighty and impenetrable to temptation], a very present and well-proved help in trouble. Psalm 46:10
Happy Summer Everyone! I hope good things will happen for you over the next few months!
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
"But those who wait for the Lord [who expect, look for, and hope in Him] shall change and renew their strength and power; they shall lift their wings and mount up [close to God] as eagles [mount up to the sun]; they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint or become tired."
Another conclusion I've come to is that during these trying times of waiting we can either draw near to God and "go with the flow" of His plan, or we can be like a two year old throwing a tantrum because it isn't working out like we want it to. Many people grow bitter and stop serving God because of the tests and trials of life. Ultimately I've learned that God's plan is better than anything I can ever dream up or plan for myself! We see the here and now, but He sees the whole span of our lives, start to finish. I'd rather let Him have His way than try to buck the system! I love Psalm 40 too!
Recently I was telling a friend about how I was waiting on direction from the Lord, but He seems silent. She shared this story with me and I found it so encouraging (thanks Dawn!):
"When you said that you didn't have a direct word on what you should do it reminded me of a story T.D. Jakes told one time. He said that God kind of worked like a navigation system in your car. He doesn't always speak until it's time to turn. You keep going straight in the direction you feel like you need to go and if it is not what He wants you to do He will tell you to turn left or right. I know many times in our lives we haven't known what the Lord wanted us to do. All we knew to do was to do what was in front of us. And every time He has been ready to move us in a different direction we heard "Turn left here." Then silence again until He was ready for another turn in our life."
So what do you do while you're waiting?
- Keep the faith and don't lose hope. It's easy to lose faith, but so much better when you chose to trust in God's plan.
- Remember God sees the big picture! There are reasons that we have to wait that are beyond what we can see.
- Surrender your complete will to God's
- Offer each day to Him and be committed to following His leading
- Be thankful in the place you find yourself right now
- Read what the Bible says about trusting God, God's plan, God's timing, waiting, etc!
During the most recent (and lengthy) time of waiting I've been in I've grown closer to God and my faith is stronger than ever before. I've found this next scripture to be very true:
He is GOOD! Keep trusting Him, especially while you're waiting!
Have a great week!
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Right now, maybe you're feeling poor in spirit, brokenhearted, bound by some worry or fear. Maybe you're mourning a loss. Maybe you've done some things you're not proud of and feel like you're sitting in a mess you've created. Jesus himself quoted some of this passage from Isaiah 61, read it and then give whatever situation you're dealing with over to God. Listen to the compassion that God has for YOU!
The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion— to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor. Isaiah 61:1-3
When I got to the end of this verse it really stood out to me because last time I wrote I talked about spring and planting time! To me this verse just reiterates how when we surrender before God and allow Him to work and take the junk out of us, He makes us something beautiful, "for the display of His splendor". I don't know about you, but I want Him to do that in me!
Have a great week!
I'm still trusting Him! Psalm 113:9
Monday, April 21, 2008
Just in time for spring I've started a new hobby: planting flowers and soon I plan to plant a small garden (this is a first for me!). I've been working hard outside, putting soil in pots, sowing seeds, watering, etc. Every time I'm outside hovering over these plants and flowers I always think about how God tends to us.
We are all at different places in life. Some of you might be new Christians, like tiny sprouts finally breaking through the soil. Others of us have been at it for a while. Sometimes our leaves shrivel up or we need those dead blossoms taken off so that new things can grow. Whatever stage you're at in your walk with God I hope that you feel Him drawing you closer to Him everyday! Let your heart be tender before God and see what new, awesome things He will do in your life! Does your life need some weeding? Don't be afraid to let Him trim away some old, dead things! I'm ready for God to do a new thing in me and I hope you are too! I say, "Prune away, Lord. Make me what you want me to be. Take out anything and everything that doesn't please you! AMEN!"
Here are a few scriptures that come to mind when I think of planting time:
If you get the chance read all of John 15.
Galatians 5:22, 23 - But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
Matthew 13:3-9; 18-23 The Story of the Seed and the SowerThen he told them many things in parables, saying: "A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. He who has ears, let him hear."
Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is the seed sown along the path. The one who received the seed that fell on rocky places is the man who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. But since he has no root, he lasts only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, he quickly falls away. The one who received the seed that fell among the thorns is the man who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke it, making it unfruitful. But the one who received the seed that fell on good soil is the man who hears the word and understands it. He produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown."
Have a great week and keep growing in Him!
Thursday, March 20, 2008
1. shelter or protection from danger, trouble, etc.: to take refuge from a storm.
2. a place of shelter, protection, or safety.
3. anything to which one has recourse for aid, relief, or escape.
The eternal God is your refuge and dwelling place, and underneath are the everlasting arms; He drove the enemy before you and thrust them out, saying, Destroy! Deuteronomy 33:27
The Lord also will be a refuge and a high tower for the oppressed, a refuge and a stronghold in times of trouble (high cost, destitution, and desperation). And they who know Your name [who have experience and acquaintance with Your mercy] will lean on and confidently put their trust in You, for You, Lord, have not forsaken those who seek (inquire of and for) You [on the authority of God's Word and the right of their necessity]. Psalm 9:9-10
THE LORD is my Light and my Salvation--whom shall I fear or dread? The Lord is the Refuge and Stronghold of my life--of whom shall I be afraid?For in the day of trouble He will hide me in His shelter; in the secret place of His tent will He hide me; He will set me high upon a rock. Psalm 27:1, 5
But the salvation of the [consistently] righteous is of the Lord; He is their Refuge and secure Stronghold in the time of trouble. And the Lord helps them and delivers them; He delivers them from the wicked and saves them, because they trust and take refuge in Him. Psalm 37:39-40
Blessed (happy, fortunate, to be envied) is the man who makes the Lord his refuge and trust, and turns not to the proud or to followers of false gods. Psalm 40:4
GOD IS our Refuge and Strength [mighty and impenetrable to temptation], a very present and well-proved help in trouble.The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our Refuge (our High Tower and Stronghold). Selah [pause, and calmly think of that]! Psalm 46:1, 11
BE MERCIFUL and gracious to me, O God, be merciful and gracious to me, for my soul takes refuge and finds shelter and confidence in You; yes, in the shadow of Your wings will I take refuge and be confident until calamities and destructive storms are passed. I will cry to God Most High, Who performs on my behalf and rewards me [Who brings to pass His purposes for me and surely completes them]! Psalm 57:1, 2
But I will sing of Your mighty strength and power; yes, I will sing aloud of Your mercy and loving-kindness in the morning; for You have been to me a defense (a fortress and a high tower) and a refuge in the day of my distress.Unto You, O my Strength, I will sing praises; for God is my Defense, my Fortress, and High Tower, the God Who shows me mercy and steadfast love. Psalm 59:16-17
FOR GOD alone my soul waits in silence; from Him comes my salvation.He only is my Rock and my Salvation, my Defense and my Fortress, I shall not be greatly moved.My soul, wait only upon God and silently submit to Him; for my hope and expectation are from Him. He only is my Rock and my Salvation; He is my Defense and my Fortress, I shall not be moved. With God rests my salvation and my glory; He is my Rock of unyielding strength and impenetrable hardness, and my refuge is in God! Trust in, lean on, rely on, and have confidence in Him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts before Him. God is a refuge for us (a fortress and a high tower). Selah [pause, and calmly think of that]! Psalm 62:1, 2, 5-8
LORD, YOU have been our dwelling place and our refuge in all generations [says Moses].Before the mountains were brought forth or ever You had formed and given birth to the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting You are God. Psalm 90:1,2
HE WHO dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall remain stable and fixed under the shadow of the Almighty [Whose power no foe can withstand]. I will say of the Lord, He is my Refuge and my Fortress, my God; on Him I lean and rely, and in Him I [confidently] trust! Psalm 91:1, 2
I hope that if you have not been trusting God, that you will do what these scriptures say, pour out your heart before him, trust Him for whatever you need!When I read over these verses I think about a few years ago when we evacuated during Hurricane Rita. We went to my aunt's house in another state and watched the news as they showed our town being pelted by the wind and rain. Even though that storm was happening we were sheltered and safe. I love the verses that talk about how God hides us. I imagine Him being like a parent that is shielding his child from danger. It is wonderful to know that God Himself cares about each of us so much!!!
Have a great week!
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
It is in times like this that I have to remind myself that God is a loving father. I think of the type of parent I want to be. I realize that sometimes parents have to tell their children no because it is the best thing for them. Even when that child thinks his parents are mean and unfair, the parents have wisdom that the child just doesn't understand yet. I am thankful that my experience in life has been that God is this type of parent. He isn't mean or unfair, but He has wisdom beyond what I can see or understand. This is when trusting in God matters the most. It is like a dad telling his child "jump" and the child trusting him to catch her.
I have told God all day long "I don't understand Your plan, but I trust you anyway!" If you have experienced something painful lately, maybe even something you prayed for that didn't happen like you wanted, I hope that you will run to God and let him be your shelter and strength! He has a plan for you. We see the here and now, but He sees from the beginning to the end!
For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome. Jeremiah 29:11
Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind and do not rely on your own insight or understanding. In all your ways know, recognize, and acknowledge Him, and He will direct and make straight and plain your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6
We are assured and know that [God being a partner in their labor] all things work together and are [fitting into a plan] for good to and for those who love God and are called according to [His] design and purpose. Romans 8:28
For He [God] Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. [I will] not, [I will] not, [I will] not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let [you] down (relax My hold on you)! [Assuredly not!] Hebrews 13:5b
Trust God to work out whatever you need today!
All things are possible for Him!
Have a great day!
Saturday, February 2, 2008
Here are a few scriptures to encourage you about God's plan and perfect timing.
For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome. Jeremiah 29:11 (Amplified Bible)A man's mind plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps and makes them sure. Proverbs 16:9
Selections from Psalm 139
O LORD, you have searched me [thoroughly] and have known me. For You did form my inward parts; You did knit me together in my mother's womb. I will confess and praise You for You are fearful and wonderful and for the awful wonder of my birth! Wonderful are Your works, and that my inner self knows right well. My frame was not hidden from You when I was being formed in secret [and] intricately and curiously wrought [as if embroidered with various colors] in the depths of the earth [a region of darkness and mystery]. Your eyes saw my unformed substance, and in Your book all the days [of my life] were written before ever they took shape, when as yet there was none of them. Search me [thoroughly], O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there is any wicked or hurtful way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
And He Who searches the hearts of men knows what is in the mind of the [Holy] Spirit [what His intent is], because the Spirit intercedes and pleads [before God] in behalf of the saints according to and in harmony with God's will. We are assured and know that [God being a partner in their labor] all things work together and are [fitting into a plan] for good to and for those who love God and are called according to [His] design and purpose. Romans 8:27-28
Maybe you're like me, wondering what the next step of God's plan for your life is. I am waiting on Him, praying for His leading and direction for every step. Keep trusting in Him and following His leading!
"I WAITED patiently and expectantly for the Lord; and He inclined to me and heard my cry". Psalm 40:1
Have a great week!!! - Dina
Thursday, January 10, 2008
The Lord is my strength and my impenetrable shield; my heart trusts in, relies on, and confidently leans on Him, and I am helped; therefore my heart greatly rejoices, and with my song will I praise Him. Psalm 28:7 (Amplified Bible)
Psalm 37:3-5 - Trust (lean on, rely on, and be confident) in the Lord and do good; so shall you dwell in the land and feed surely on His faithfulness, and truly you shall be fed.
Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He will give you the desires and secret petitions of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord [roll and repose each care of your load on Him]; trust (lean on, rely on, and be confident) also in Him and He will bring it to pass.
Psalm 86:1-2 - Incline your ear, O Lord, and answer me, for I am poor and distressed, needy and desiring. Preserve my life, for I am godly and dedicated; O my God, save Your servant, for I trust in You [leaning and believing on You, committing all and confidently looking to You, without fear or doubt].
Trust God to work out whatever you need today! All things are possible for Him!
Have a great day!