Posts Tagged ‘trust’

Words to Live By

Posted: October 13, 2013 in Faith
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God's Word

The Lord hardened the heart of Pharaoh King of Egypt, so that he pursued the Israelites, who were marching out boldly.  – Exodus 14:8

Over protective parents do their children a great injustice.  The caterpillar that lies inside the cocoon will never become the beautiful butterfly if someone cuts open the cocoon prematurely.  It is the struggle itself that allows the butterfly to emerge as a strong, new creature of nature.


God understands how necessary this process is.  That is why we are allowed to experience difficult, often life-changing events.  He even orchestrates them- all for our benefit.  What the Israelites thought was a cruel joke when Pharaoh sent troops to pursue them after they had been freed and penned against the shore of the Red Sea because the stage for the most publicized miracle of all time- the parting of the Red Sea.

red sea


Generation after generation has heard this incredible story of deliverance.  God puts us against the “Red Seas” in order to show His power in and through us.  If we do not know God can deliver, then we can never learn to trust Him.

Circumstances that go beyond our capabilities of solving them place us at God’s complete mercy.  This is how He likes it.

Do not fear the calamity that comes your way.  If you are faithful to Him in the test, you will see God’s power manifested like never before.  Just as the Israelites were able to sing a song of deliverance, you too will have your own testimony of the Lord’s faithfulness; and you will be able to recall it for others to build your faith and theirs.

[Source: Today God Is First by Os Hillman, Adversity]


Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know. – Job 42:3b


If there was any one man on earth who had reason to question God’s love, it was Job.  He lost his health, and his wealth- all at the same time.  His friends came to his side only to question his spirituality.  God had already answered the question of his integrity.  Job was described in the opening verses of the book as “blameless and upright” (See Job 1:1).  His calamities were not born from sin.  Job acknowledged God’s right to do anything in his life until one day he could take it no longer.  He questioned God’s motives.

God answered Job, but not in the way he wanted to hear. God answered him with a series of questions that represents the most incredible discourse of correction by God to any human being.  Three chapters later, Job realized that he had questioned the motives of the Author of the universe, the Author of love.  He fell flat before his Creator and realized his total depravity. “Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know.”

Have you ever questioned God’s activity in your life? Have you questioned His love for you based on circumstances that came your way? Calvary__s_cross_by_joshuapierreThe cross at Calvary answers the love question.  He sent His own Son in replacement for your sin.  If you were the only person on earth, He would have done the same.  His ways cannot always be understood or reconciled in our finite minds.  That must be left for a future time when all will be understood.  For now, entrust your life to Him completely.  Embrace Him in the hard times and the good.

[Source: Today God Is First by Os Hillman, Section One Adversity]

god provides

Read: 1 John 2:24-3:3

While enjoying the arrival of a new great-niece, I was reminded of how much work it is to take care of  a new born baby.  They are needy little creations who want feeding, changing, holding, feeding, changing, holding, feeding, changing, holding.  Totally unable to care for themselves, they depend on those older and wiser people surrounding them.

We’re dependent children too- reliant on our Father in heaven.  What do we need from Him that we can’t provide for ourselves? “In Him we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28).  He supplies our very breath. He also meets our needs “according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:19).

We need our Father for peace in our troubles (John 16:33), love (1 John 3:1), and help in time of need (Ps. 46:1; Heb 4:16), He gives victory in temptation (1 Cor 10:13), forgiveness (1 John 1:9), purpose (Jer. 29:11), and eternal life (John 10:28). Without Him, we “can do nothing” (John 15:5).  And from Him, we have all received one blessing after another” (John 1:16 NIV).

Let’s not think of ourselves as totally independent- because we’re not.  The Lord sustains us day by day.  In many ways, we’re as needy as a newborn baby. – Anne Cetas

We are dependent on the Lord who showers us with blessing: He gives us everything we need- Without Him we are nothing- Sper

Depending on God isn’t weakness; it’s acknowledging His strength.

[Source: Our Daily Bread, 23 May 2013]


Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the desert there forty years, to humble you and to test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep His commands.  – Deuteronomy 8:2

Has God performed a heart test on you lately? There are times in your lives when God leads us in to the desert in order to let us find out what is in our heart.  These times can be very difficult and humbling.  They can test our mettle like no other time.  Desert times often mean we are living without those things we are normally accustomed to: water, food, limited supplies – and with few comforts.  In modern terms, it may mean a different environment.  God is performing a very important work during these times.  He wants to know if we can be obedient to Him in these times; or will we be obedient only when times are good?

He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your fathers had known, to touch you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.  Your clothes did not wear out and your feet did not swell during these forty years.  Know then in your heart that as a man disciplines his son, so the Lord your God disciplines you (Deuteronomy 8:3-5)

These desert times may mean experiencing new ways of provision from the Lord.  Like manna from Heaven, it may mean seeing miracles we’ve never seen before.  Like clothing that never wears out, it may mean seeing your normal capabilities expanded.  Like walking hundreds of miles without pain, desert experiences provide new lessons and new experiences that only these times can teach us.

What desert experience has He brought into you life lately? Perhaps it is a lean time in business.  Perhaps it is a new environment.  Whatever it is, when God decides to bring new disciplines into our lives by bringing us into the desert, do not fear the heat that is sure to come.  He is walking beside you in order to test you and find out what is really in your heart.  Ask for His grace to pass the test.  He wants to bring all of His children into the Promised Land.

[Source: Today God Is First by Os Hillman]

Happy Mother's Day, Mom!

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom!








Read: Isaiah 66:7-13

When I stuck my camera into the bush to take a picture of the baby robins, they opened their mouths without opening their eyes.  They were so used to having mama robin feed them whenever the branches moved that they didn’t even look to see who (or what) was causing the disturbance.  That is the kind of trust that loving mother instill in their children. That is the kind of mom I am blessed to have.  Growing up, I could eat whatever she put on the table without fear that it would harm me.  Although she made me eat things I didn’t like, I knew she did so because they were good for me.  If she cared only about what was easy for her, she would have let me eat junk food.  No matter what Mom told me to do, or not to do, I knew she had my best interest in mind.  She wasn’t trying to keep me from having fun; she was trying to protect me from being hurt.

That is the kind of relationship we have with God, who compared Himself to a mother: “As one whom his mother comforts, so I will comfort you” (Isa. 66:13). As His children, we have no reason to fear what happens to us nor to envy what happens to others: “Do not… be envious of the workers of iniquity” (Ps. 37:1).  When we trust His goodness, we are fed by His faithfulness. –Julie Ackerman Link

Lord, we’re thankful for this example of motherhood.  But even more, we’re grateful for Your faithful “mothering” of us displayed in Your compassion day by day.  Help us to find rest in You.  Amen.

God’s care surrounds us.

[Source: Our Daily Bread, 12 May 2013]







Read:  Proverbs 6:6-11

Every year I do something special to celebrate the arrival of springs- I buy ant traps.  Those little invaders continually march into our kitchen in search of any crumb left on the floor.  They aren’t picky; a shard of potato chip, a grain of rice, or even a speck of cheese will do.

Although ants may be nuisance, Solomon praised them for their steadfast work ethic (Prov. 6:6-11).  He pointed out that ants are self-directed.  They have “no captain, overseer or ruler” (v.7), yet they are very productive.  The ants also keep busy even when it’s not immediately necessary, providing supplies in the summer and gathering food in the harvest (v.8).  By the time winter arrives, they’re not worried about what they will eat.  Little by little, these hard workers have saved up enough to sustain themselves.  We can learn from the ants.  When God gives us times of plenty, we can prepare for times when resources may be low.  God is the provider of all that we have, including our ability to work.  We are to work diligently, be wise stewards of what He has provided, and then rest in the promise of His care. (Matt. 6:25-34).

Let’s remember Solomon’s advice” Go to the ant….Consider her ways and be wise” (Prov. 6:6)- Jennifer Benson Schuldt

The humble ant’s keen industry can teach us all a lesson, if in creation we will see God’s classroom is in session. – Gustafson

Trust God for today – and prepare for tomorrow

[Source: Our Daily Bread,  6 May 2013]


Because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. – Romans 8:14

The greatest sign that you and I are maturing in our walk with God is when we can discern the difference between “good things” and “God-things.” When the people of Israel journeyed out of Egypt through the desert, they were led by the cloud by day.  They could move only as fast as the cloud.  If they went ahead, they went without God’s presence.  If they lagged behind, they also lost God’s presence.

Each of us must have the discernment to know when God is leading in a matter, or if it is simply a good idea.  There are so many things in which you and I can be involved, and the more successful you become, the greater the temptation to enter into things where God has not called you.  Entrepreneurs are especially prone to see all the opportunities.

I recall one time when I entered into a project that thought was a great idea.  It would help many people.  After two years, the project had to be discontinued. It was a great lesson on understanding what projects have God’s blessing on them.  There are some projects you and I might get involved in that result in little fruit compared to the investment put into them. That is because they may never have been birthed by the Holy Spirit.

As sons of God, we are called to be led by the Spirit.  This requires a level of dependence on God in which many of us really do not want to invest.  It requires listening, waiting, and moving only when God’s spirit tells us to move.  Businesspeople are “action” people.  We know how to get things done, but our greatest strength can be our greatest weakness.

Today, ask God to make you a Romans 8:14 man or woman who is led by the Spirit of God.  Pray against lagging behind or moving ahead.  Ask God to reveal whether the next project you consider is a “good thing” or a “God-thing.”

[Source: Today God Is First, Section four, Decision Making  by Os Hillman]


Read: Jeremiah 29:11-14

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for wholeness and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.  Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you.  You will seek me and find me.  When you seek me with all your heart, I will be found by you, declares the Lord, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, declares the Lord, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile.


ODB_110411 penny syndrome

Read: 1 Samuel 17:32-37

The penny has been called the most despised unit of US currency.  Many people will not bother to pick up a one-cent coin if they see it lying on the ground.  But some charities are finding that pennies add up to significant sums, and that children are generous givers.  As one participant said, “Small contributions can make a huge difference.”

The Bible account of David and Goliath describes a seemingly insignificant person whose confidence in God was greater than any of the powerful people around him.  When David volunteered to face the giant Goliath, King Saul said “You are not able to go against this Philistine” (1 Samuel 17:33).  But David had faith in the Lord who had delivered him in the past (v.37).

david and goliath

David did not suffer from “the penny syndrome”- a sense of inferiority and helplessness in the face of an overwhelming problem.  If he had listened to the pessimism of Saul or the threats of Goliath, he would have done nothing.  Instead, he acted with courage because he trusted God.

It’s easy to feel like a penny in a trillion-dollar deficit. But when we obey the Lord in every circumstance, it all adds up.  Collectively, our acts of faith, large or small, make a big difference.  And every penny counts- David McCasland.

It matters not how large or small your faith may seem be; what really counts is whom you trust in life’s uncertainty. –  Fitzhugh

Courage will follow when faith takes the lead.

[Source: Our Daily Bread, 11 April 2013]