Thursday, March 31, 2022

Finding Joy in Serving Others

Thursday, March 31, 2022

Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  Hebrews 12:1-2

Finding Joy in Serving Others

Believe it or not, one of the greatest experiences of joy we can know is not related to what we can receive but what we can give.  There is no experience that matches submission to God to perform His will.  Many have realized the ecstatic feeling of being a vessel of God to someone in need or the voice of God in comfort, as well as in teaching, mission work, volunteer work and serving at church.

It does not take long to realize we need the power of Christ to be able to live the Christian life in obedient submission to Christ, or serve others.  When serving in His power and wisdom we experience a strange phenomenon.  It is as if we are not in control of what is happening.  There is energy beyond our resource and wisdom from above.  It comes, when we lay down our selfishness and start serving others in Christ, as Jesus Himself has done.  Jesus, our example, was constantly putting others and their needs above His own.  He drew His power and strength from God as He poured out His time and energy for those around Him.  Down to His last breath, He was pouring Himself out for His Bride, the Church; and blessing His Church brings Him joy. 

We can experience the same great joy in our lives when we look past the exhaustion of serving and draw from the strength and power in Christ.  Here is a passage that may not be so familiar but carries a strong message.

 For land that has drunk the rain that often falls on it, and produces a crop useful to those for whose sake it is cultivated, receives a blessing from God. Hebrews 6:7

This speaks to us of the blessings we can receive when we serve others. If we produce fruit from the seed God has planted in our lives and pass it on, we will be blessed in the sowing, watering and reaping.  The labor of service in the Kingdom may be wearisome of body but never the spirit.  While there are many pleasures men can be afforded, there is none like that of knowing you have been used of God to lighten the load of another.  

Joy comes when we are selflessly loving and serving one another.  It helps us get our mind off our own trouble to serve another.  When we focus on a friend’s problems and try to help solve an issue, we tend to see that what we feel is so overwhelming in our own life is not so insurmountable after all. 
Paul shared that his service was an offering to God which brought him such joy he wanted others to experience it as well.  But even if I am being poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I rejoice and share my joy with you all. You too, I urge you, rejoice in the same way and share your joy with me.  Philippians 2:17-18  

What greater sense of unity is there than for Christians to experience God using them together as one to accomplish His plan and will in the life of another. 

Make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Philippians 2:2-4

Wednesday, March 30, 2022

The Path to the Promised Land

 Wednesday, March 30, 2022  

But Moses said to the LORD, “Oh, my Lord, I have never been eloquent, either in the past or since You have spoken to Your servant, but I am slow of speech and of tongue. Then the LORD said to him, “Who has made man's mouth? Who makes him mute, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? Is it not I, the LORD? Now therefore go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall speak.  Exodus 4:10-12

 The Path to the Promised Land

Have you ever put a toddler to bed, and they ask a million questions and want ten hugs goodnight and fifteen drinks of water? They are pros at thinking of everything they can to get out of doing what they don’t want to do. Adults are really not much different than toddlers when it comes to making excuses for what we don’t want to do.  Even in the Bible, in the lives of men and women that God used to do amazing things for His glory, we can see them making excuses as to why they are not right for the job. 

We have been studying the life of Moses and seen him give God many excuses about why he was not capable of leading His chosen people out of the bondage of slavery. My favorite part of this whole story is the passage above when Moses tells God that he is not good at public speaking. God’s reply is the best – Then the LORD said to him, “Who has made man's mouth? Who makes him mute, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? Is it not I, the LORD? Now therefore go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall speak. 

What could Moses say to that? What could anyone say to that? God literally told him -

I made your mouth...

I will go with your mouth...

I will tell you what to say...

Believe it or not, Moses still found a way to somewhat escape the call God had on his life – or at least the abundant blessing. We will learn more about that tomorrow.  The lesson here is that if God wants us to do something, He will provide the way for us to do it – literally. He just wants us to be surrendered to Him and trust Him. 

But he said, Oh, my Lord, please send someone else. Then the anger of the LORD was kindled against Moses… Exodus 4:13-14a

When he couldn’t think of another excuse Moses begged God to send someone else. He was refusing to submit to God, and God was frustrated now. When we submit to God, we are giving God the authority and power over our lives that He deserves as King over our lives. It is not a forced obedience, but a voluntary submission made as a result of the trust and love we have for our Heavenly Father.

The reason God was frustrated with Moses was not because he wouldn’t do what God wanted him to do. It was because God had a plan for good – good things for His people and good things for Moses as he submitted to God’s call on his life. Anytime God calls us, it will ultimately be for His glory, but we will be so blessed in the process.  Submission always comes with the reward of abundant life – flowing with milk and honey. A Promised Land.  It doesn’t necessarily come right away. It may be after a long journey through the dusty, dry desert,  but faithful submission – packaged in perseverance – will take you to the promised land every time. 


Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Solid Reasons for Righteous Living

Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire; he breaks out against all sound judgment. A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion. When wickedness comes, contempt comes also, and with dishonor comes disgrace. The words of a man's mouth are deep waters; the fountain of wisdom is a bubbling brook
Proverbs 18:1-4

Wrong Reasons for Righteous Living 

It sounds crazy but it is possible to do the right thing the wrong way, or in this case, for the wrong reason. However, wrong reasons may also involve an effective motivation to do what is right.

  • Because it's easy - Scripture tells us, and life confirms that it is not natural or easy to do what is right. Actually it is just the opposite.
  • Because it's fun to do what is right - Responsibility is often translated as work and requires doing many things that are not enjoyable but necessary.
  • Because you don't get in trouble - there is nothing positive about this motivation.
  • Because you receive rewards - there is something selfish about this motivation.  These are secondary motivations. These are dog training methods. There is no element of reasoning in performing these.
  • Because it pleases others - (Mom, dad, the preacher, teachers, friends, etc.) Too many people discover too late that they have lived under this philosophy. It is a wrong focus.  In place of focusing on right or wrong, the focus is others. If you will do right for others, then you will do wrong for them as well. Changing groups can cause changing morals.  If your morals change and you compromise regularly you may be a victim of this mode of thinking. 

Solid Reasons for Righteous Living

  • Do what is right because it creates proper character - Character is displayed by what people do, not what they think or believe. Doing the right thing often leads to thinking of the right way by the positive results we receive. A solid truth is, "Do what you want to be". Doing what is right normally leads to being around others who do what is right. Friends have great impact on character.
  • Do what is right because it benefits others - No man is an island, no man stands alone. Therefore, your right decisions bless my life and others around you. In the same sense, wrong actions, attitudes or responses affect much more than the individual doing them. Surround yourself with people who are further along in the journey. There is no reason to learn every lesson yourself when you have perfectly good examples right in front of you. Take advantage of this counsel and learn from the mistakes of others so your own learning curve is not so steep. You can take comfort in knowing that one day your mistakes may serve to help someone else
  • Do what is right because it’s fulfilling and purposeful - Very little pleasure or fun does anything constructive or beneficial.  God's guidance means that a fair question is, "What did you do this week or even today that furthered the kingdom?" Fulfillment is a much higher feeling than pleasure.  It gives a sense of self-worth and dignity. 
  • Do what is right because it displays God in you - True morality without God is impossible.  For, without his direction, proper behavior in all situations is impossible. 2. The man who disdains God may be good but he won’t be right.  Right is more than good…it is the proper thing at the proper occasion for the proper purpose
  • Do what is right because wrong is sin and separates you from God - Truth is truth regardless of whether it is accepted or followed.  The truth is that sin is condemned by God and punished. You cannot live wrong and be right with God. It is God's joy to lead us into an abundant life, not for us to experience the destructive nature of sin or wrong.


In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. 
Proverbs 3:6  

Monday, March 28, 2022

Reasons for Right

Monday, March 28, 2022

So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin. James 4:17 ESV 

Reasons for Right 

How many times have you heard someone say, "That's just not right!" There is a feeling that what has been said or done is unjust, dangerous, discriminatory, or against their values.

Somehow they feel that what has been done should not have been done or said. If I were to ask my mother why I should do right, the answer would be very clear, "Because I said so."

A simple answer from a preacher would be, "Because God said so." Simple answers don't always answer complex questions.

Proper behavior is not created by law or controlled by others. It is the result of proper thinking and discipline.  No one can truly change another…even if they control them.  We are each responsible for our actions. We should walk constantly aware that life is filled with decisions regarding right and wrong. Right is not so hard to discover as it is to desire and perform. Why should we do what is right?

Why Should I Do the Right Thing?

"Why do the right thing?  What makes something right or wrong?"…These are legitimate questions. People often find it difficult to try to do right if they don't understand why. Some fear that moral standards are disappearing but the truth is they are multiplying. New standards for "modern man" threaten traditional, Biblical values. 

Although what man does has changed, what man is has not. Every individual must face the fact that there are things destructive they must not do and things beneficial they must do. The problem of moral behavior is not in knowing values, but in doing right.

The ability to know and decide for right is based in wisdom - which is a gift of God. Wisdom sees life from an eternal perspective - God's perspective. 

Four Levels of Living:

  • Instinctive (animal) - Babies act at this level demanding attention to their desires. This philosophy is expressed with the "If it feels good, do it" statement.  There is no regard for anyone but self. The instinctive level shows the urges of men expressed without restriction or responsibility.  This individual has no concept of future consequence and sees only the moment as important.
  • Customary (others) - More than just living according to the customary or accepted ways of a group this is truly living for others. Many young people who pride themselves on their freedom are slaves to others. "Everybody else is doing it" is a statement of philosophy. Individuals following this philosophy have no personal values but find values only in what others believe is right. The problem is everybody has been wrong before. 
  • Conscience (self) - Conscience living is living with clear-cut personal convictions that are driven by an internal sense of what is right and wrong. A present day statement expresses this philosophy…"What you believe is not as important as that you live your belief."    In other words the value is that you are true to yourself.
  • Christian - Christian living is living according to God’s standards and purpose.  The Bible and the Holy Spirit become important to decision making.  a. Make the decision to let God be God. You'll never make progress in this area as long as you refuse to give up control.
God and his Word carry the ultimate authority in determining whether something is right or wrong, and His word gives us the answer to what is right in any situation. The right answer is the one that is filtered through the word of God, and aligns with what He says. 

Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.  Romans 12:21

Sunday, March 27, 2022

The Making of a Leader Part 4 - Submission vs. Obedience

 The Making of a Leader 

Part 4 - Submission vs. Obedience

Exodus 4:13-18

It is God who calls and equips believers for His purpose; therefore, believers must learn to submit to the call and purpose of God.

It Is Better To Be Inadequate In The Call And Purpose Of God, Than To Be Talented In Your Own Agenda

Being eloquent and well-spoken is not nearly as important as being scripturally sound

It is the Holy Spirit that speaks to the hearts of mankind and speaks the message that needs to be heard.

It’s Better To Be Submissive To The Will Of God Than To Offer Him Your Insincere Obedience

There is a difference between submission and obedience.

Obedience vs. Submission = Transaction vs. Transformation

It’s Better For God To Raise You Up Than For You To Insist That God Come Down

God will lift you to the highest level that you are willing to be submitted to him. 

Humility to the will of God is rewarded in honor.

Friday, March 25, 2022

Lessons From The Desert

Friday, March 25, 2022  

But Moses said to God, Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring the sons of Israel out of Egypt? Exodus 3:11

Lessons From The Desert

We have been looking at Moses’ life and the call and purpose God had for him. Moses was shocked, as we all would be if we had made bad choices that made us flee for our lives and hide away for 40 years - and then of course the burning bush thing would shock us for sure! He didn't think God would want him for any great purpose. But Moses listened to what God said and gave God all the excuses for why he was not the man for the job. 

There are so many great lessons we learn from Moses’ story. Maybe you are in a desert right now, and God has called you out to do something for His glory, but you are sure that someone else besides you would be the best choice. If you are - here are some lessons we can learn from Moses:

God wants us to be available more than He wants us to be able. 
But Moses said to God, Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring the sons of Israel out of Egypt? Exodus 3:11

Moses did not feel qualified so in his mind that disqualified him from having to do this job. He quickly pointed it out to God that he was just a nobody and was not qualified for this calling. But God was prepared for Moses’ excuses. He answered Moses with a rock-solid reply: And He said, Certainly I will be with you, and this shall be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall worship God at this mountain.  Exodus 3:12 God basically told Moses that he didn’t need to be qualified because God would be with him. That is all he needed. That is all any of us ever need. 

I don’t know what to say!

Then Moses said to God, Behold, I am going to the sons of Israel, and I will say to them, The God of your fathers has sent me to you. Now they may say to me, 'What is His name?' What shall I say to them? God said to Moses, I AM WHO I AM; and He said, Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, I AM has sent me to you.  Exodus 3:13-14

Moses wants God to hand him the script. He is uncomfortable with just a promise from God. He wants to know exactly what he is supposed to say who sent him. He wants further clarification. God was probably getting tired of Moses’ arguments and says the same thing with a little more emphasis: God, furthermore, said to Moses, Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, The LORD, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you. This is My name forever, and this is My memorial-name to all generations. Exodus 3:15

Moses was worried about what people would thing when he said God told me…”. God was not worried about how Moses would look and was sure that the people would remember Who He was and what He had done. 

It is our human nature to run the opposite direction of things that scare us. When God calls us for a specific purpose it almost always scares us and we usually do not feel qualified. God wants us exactly how we are so that He can prepare us specifically for His purpose. He does not need us stepping up in shallow confidence that we have gained from the world. He wants us humble and empty so He can fill us with what we need. And the part about Moses being uncomfortable with just God’s promise - that has to ring true with most of us. When we are stepping out in faith, or calling out in the midst of a storm, we also want much more than just His word. This is why we struggle so much. There is nothing more trustworthy than God’s promise. There is nothing more powerful and dependable. 

How many times has God heard these same words from you - “Who am I that I could possibly do what you are asking of me God?” He just wants us to be willing and obedient. He provides everything else. The path ahead will not be easy and trusting Him is even harder, but obediently stepping up when He calls releases His promises of blessings in our lives. 

I will grant this people favor in the sight of the Egyptians; and it shall be that 
when you go, you will not go empty-handed. Exodus 4:21

Thursday, March 24, 2022

A Change of Routine

 Thursday, March 24, 2022

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6
A Change of Routine
Routine is a good thing. It helps us stay on target and keeps us from getting distracted.  A couple of times a year, it is good to take a look back at what was good and see what needs to be improved.  People naturally do this sort of thing when making new year resolutions.  With any change in our lives  it’s important to me to look back and see where we can improve to make things easier.  
I can always make the morning and evening routines better (although there is usually nothing routine about them!) and I continually aspire to cook more often fixing more nutritious meals for my family.  Along with these commitments will be one to better my relationship with God; to spend more time in prayer and Bible study every day and be an example to my children of living a Godly life and trusting God in everything.  I know when I improve my relationship with God, I will be more attentive to His direction and better equipped to minister to my family.  Changes such as these can make a difference in our families far beyond just school years.
Ah, what a wonderful word...prioritize.  It sounds so simple.  Just put the most important and pressing things at the top of the list.  The problem for me is that everything seems pressing; crushing me like the Rock of Gibraltar!  When things get going it gets crazy busy and tends to all blur my consideration of what is most important.  That is when I know I have to get my focus back on God and what He would want me to recognize as a priority for my family.  I know I can rely on Him to lead me and clear my vision when everything runs together and I feel so overwhelmed. 
Expectation and Anticipation
Each season in our lives brings its own excitement about what is to come. We can look forward to the strides our kids will make this year in  their lives.  I anticipate growth in their personal lives along with my own.  I will see them each develop a little more over this school year and inch a little closer toward adulthood.  How incredible it is to watch them morph into almost-grown people with unique talents and ideas.  To think about the plans God has for each one of them and how they are playing out right before my eyes is thrilling.  Watching this, I remember my heavenly Father is also watching me with anticipation.  I am His child and, just as I take pride in the accomplishments of my children, He is anticipating growth in my life.  What a good feeling!
Stress – The Joy Stealer
A change of season also brings its own  chaos.  I can easily become so frustrated in the process of trying to do the best I can for my family and others around me.   The last of the sweet summer moments are stolen by the demon of stress and the misconception that I have to have it all perfect for my family.  The truth is they don’t care (or even notice) if everything is perfect.  They would rather have a few special moments to remember.  Take time out from the stress and enjoy each other while you can.  

The unfailing love of the LORD never ends! By his mercies we have been kept from complete destruction. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each day. I say to myself, "The LORD is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in him!" (NASB)

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

Are You Hiding Behind Your Excuses?

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

Then the Lord said, “I have surely seen the affliction of my people who are in Egypt and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters. I know their sufferings, and I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land to a good and broad land, a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. And now, behold, the cry of the people of Israel has come to me, and I have also seen the oppression with which the Egyptians oppress them. Come, I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring my people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt.” But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?” Exodus 3:7-11

Are You Hiding Behind Your Excuses?

Making excuses is something that we can all be guilty of, but it is not something we should make a habit of doing. In fact, we shouldn’t do it all, especially in our spiritual lives. It is easier for us to say no to God sometimes because He is not standing in front of us, or on the other end of a phone call or text. Moses was called by God for a very special purpose, and he had a whole list of excuses for God as to why he was not the one for the job. 

Why do we make excuses to God when He calls us for a very specific purpose? There are many reasons, but the number one reason is fear. Maybe it is fear of failure, or fear of getting up in front of a crowd to teach. It might be fear of public speaking, fear of losing, fear of embarrassment, consequence, or rejection. Moses was suffering from self-doubt because of past failures. He has made some bad mistakes in his younger years and was sure his glory days were over. There was no way in his mind that he could be of any value to God.

God knew Moses and all about his past mistakes. He also knew exactly what Moses was capable of, not what training he had already had, but what he was capable of. He created him for this specific purpose. He creates us and lays out the days of our lives, as well as the plans and purposes He has for us. He knows exactly what we are capable of, and it is far more than we think of ourselves. It doesn’t matter what is in our past, or what training or experience we already have. If He has a specific purpose for us to carry out, He will prepare us and give us what we need. 

Excuses help psychologically and emotionally to hide our shortcomings, 
feelings of being inadequate, vulnerable or foolish. – Van Houser

We hide behind our excuses when we are afraid. They may seem perfectly logical at the time – or they may not. You may feel a twinge of guilt if you know you are making an excuse you should not make. God is sufficient to cover everything we can make an excuse for. He did that with Moses. When Moses made an excuse, God told Moses that He would be with him every step of the way, and that He would stretch out His hand to help him. If God tells you He will help you, you have no excuse! 

What excuse are you hiding behind? What are you excusing yourself from? When we excuse ourselves from the specific purpose God has for us, we are the ones who miss out. God blesses our lives when He uses us, not with notoriety or popularity, but He fills our hearts with the blessing of being used up for His glory. Don’t excuse yourself out of some of the sweetest moments of your life. He will equip us. He doesn’t ask us to be able, He asks us to be available. Make yourself available and quit hiding behind excuses. 




Tuesday, March 22, 2022

Blessed Distractions

Tuesday, March 22, 2022

Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. James 1:2–4

The word distraction usually holds a negative connotation.  It typically refers to something that causes us to lose our focus or concentration.  It flies back and forth on the tongues of psychologists and teachers in regard to us mastering control over the distractions of our lives; especially the ones that are not positive.  But sometimes, I believe, a distraction can be a blessed event God brings into our lives for a specific purpose. 

It is so easy to feel beat down by life today.  A global Pandemic that seems to keep rearing its ugly head, threatening us over and over again.  Tragedies and accidents going on all around us.  There are natural disasters and national disasters.  Not to mention war.  All of this makes us feel the heaviness of life a little closer to home on top of everything else - The loss of a job, financial trouble, divorce, a problem child, or the death of a loved one. All of these can lead us to feeling defeated and sorry for ourselves. 

Blessed Distractions

We all have experienced something significantly difficult at some point in our life. However, there are a few times that I have been right in the middle of some really difficult times and God has brought someone or something into my life that proved to be a blessed distraction.  When I say “blessed distraction”, I’m talking about someone or something that takes my focus off my pain and suffering and causes me to focus on how I can help someone else, which in turn, causes me to focus on Christ.  I believe that God does this on purpose to help us be stronger.  When you feel so weak and down-trodden, focusing on yourself, it’s amazing how we can find strength and energy when we are suddenly needed by someone else. 

God can also use us to help someone else through difficulties relating their experience to some of the burdens we have endured.  Unexpected lessons come out of life circumstances.  Sharing what we learn about how God helped can be a great asset to help others.  2 Corinthians 1:3-5 tells us: Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance, so also our comfort is abundant through Christ.  

We are comforted by Christ so that we, in turn, can be comforters for others.  In doing so, we concentrate on others and heal faster from our own pain.  It feels good when we are used by God to help others!  When you are suffering, look around and see who else is suffering.  How can you help?  James says we can be thankful that we have suffered so that we can be used by God.  When you suffer, you learn about pain and that causes us to understand and to care for others in their trial.  That is why God does not comfort us to make us comfortable, but to make us comforters.


Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. (Philippians 2:3-4)

Monday, March 21, 2022

Faith in Blinding Darkness

Monday, March 21, 2022

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. Isaiah 43:2

Faith in Blinding Darkness

What could be worse than raging waters and fire?  Darkness. Darkness can be worse.  Pitch black with no light in sight.  No light at the end of the tunnel.  No hope of redemption. No chance of  recovery. Blinding darkness, not blinding light. Blinding darkness is when your eyes hurt so bad from trying to see something, anything at all.

Sometimes having faith in this life that is so full of sadness, sin, and hardship is hard enough. Just the normal hardships of everyday life can take a toll, and then when we go through an especially tough time or a tragedy, it gets harder to keep our faith up.  But throw in a tough situation that is really causing us to struggle and having faith can seem impossible.  

I could say that we all have those times in life but the truth is that not everyone does.  Not everyone will experience a time in their lives when they are in a situation where they see no end in sight to the heart breaking moments they are trudging through.  The tunnel goes on forever and there is absolutely not a speck of light anywhere.  The dark is suffocating and hard.  If you have ever been there, you know what I mean.  

These are the times we have to gather our faith up from nothing.  It requires putting your life completely in God’s hands and walking with Him as He leads the way.  Walking by faith, not by sight.  I have been in this place and it is so hard to hand it over and say “Ok God.  I don’t understand.  You have allowed this for some reason and purpose.  I don’t want to be here.  I have asked you to change things and they have not changed.  I have to humble myself before you and trust that you have a purpose in all this and I may or may not ever understand. “  

 When we can truly put our hand in God’s and walk with him into whatever He allows, we are walking by faith.  We can’t see even a speck of light promising the end but God can.  He knows everything and sees all.  You may be in a place that you never thought you would be but God knows exactly what is going on and how it will all play out.  

It takes the greatest faith of all to resolve to being in a place you might not want to be – but you understand that you are where God wants you to be.  It takes great faith to be in that place and believe that God will sustain you and carry you through on His grace.  His ways are not our ways and His thoughts are not our thoughts.  It requires full surrender to offer an admission of “God, please take it. Please help me to not be bitter but to love like you would and to focus on your plan in all this as you reveal it to me. I lay myself down and ask for you to use this for your glory, use me for your glory.  Give me faith, strength, and help me to trust you to the end.”  Not easy, but through the pain and suffering and blinding darkness comes glorious light eventually.  Can you have enough faith to step out and trust that He has a reason for the pain or struggle in your life? You may not see it now but His glorious light is straight ahead.

And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. 
1 Peter 5:10

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