Tag Archives: trust

I. Still. Believe.

People ask me from time to time how I can still believe for things that have seemed so completely hopeless for years.

I love this question. It gives me an opportunity to share my unwavering faith in a God who specializes in the “impossible.”

“Abraham never wavered in believing God’s promise. In fact, his faith grew stronger, and in this he brought glory to God. He was fully convinced that God is able to do whatever he promises.
– Romans 4:20-21

I didn’t always have this kind of faith.

Actually, I don’t always have this kind of faith.

Believe me, there are many days, when I feel much closer to the Centurion than Peter.

In fact, there aren’t too many days that I don’t think those very words, “I believe, help my unbelief.”

I grew up reading the stories about these men and women of great faith and thinking, “well, that’s not me.”

It discouraged me tremendously.

See, I wanted to believe that kind of faith was possible, but it didn’t feel very real to me. At least not in my life.

Looking back though, I realize that, by definition, I had no faith.

“Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.”
– Hebrews 11:1

The truth is, I pretty much only believed in what I could see.

I believed in my circumstances.

I believed in my feelings.

I believed in things I could define, in what I could understand.

Too often my feelings told me that my circumstances proved God wasn’t there and didn’t care. When the exact opposite was true. (And still is.)

Those tough times were opportunities to build my faith, for me to trust and obey and for God to show himself to be real and active in my life.

God always uses the challenges in our lives to build our faith, bring us closer to Him and do great things in and through us.

– God’s glory was demonstrated to both His people and enemies when David had the courage to face Goliath.
– Mary and Martha had to suffer the loss of their brother, Lazarus, to really understand Jesus’ love for them.
– Paul and Silas had to be imprisoned to bring the jailer and his whole family to Jesus.
– The apostles had to be in the middle of a storm for Jesus to calm it.
– The man had to be born blind for Jesus to heal him, and more importantly, reveal himself to him.
– The disciples had to live through the pain of watching jesus die, to experience the joy of his resurrection.

Listen, if we want to be men and women of great faith–we’re going to be put in some circumstances that require great faith.

There is no other way.

There are no short cuts.

It’s gotta be lived through, tried by fire, earned in battle,

Now, even stepping in to those circumstances, and each step through them, requires some faith.

We need enough faith to obey.

That’s the critical first step, the key to our breakthrough.

Do we have enough faith to obey?

Even when it isn’t what we want to do?
Even if we’ll lose some friends?
Even if it hurts?
Even if it makes no sense to us?

Joshua had faith that God’s unorthodox battle plan would work. But how much more faith did he have when it actually did?

That’s the reward on the other side.

Charles Spurgeon said, “Faith is the fountain, the foundation, the fosterer of obedience.”

It is also true that obedience leads to greater faith.

See, I believed that God could, but wasn’t quite convinced that He would. So I did what I wanted. I did what was most expedient for me. I did not obey.

Today, I am striving to do what God says. To do it His way, no matter the cost.

From an earthly perspective it might seem more convenient and comfortable to find my own solution, but I know how that ends.

And please don’t believe that God understands our disobedience and that He’s okay with it. That we can blow off what God says because “our situation is special.” That we are some sort of an “exception.”

That is a lie straight from Hell. A lie that’s tempting to believe because it feels so good.

But God warns against doing what we think is right, over and over again in His word: Proverbs 14:12, Proverbs 3:5-7, Jeremiah 17:39.

God is never ok with our disobedience.

Don’t trust books, gurus, experts, TV preachers or blog writers. Check with the Word.

Even well-meaning Christian friends and family will encourage us to choose our own path, in direct contradiction to what God’s Word tells us, by saying things like, “Hey God wants us to be happy.”

And He no doubt does. But the path to the joy He has for us–peace that we can’t comprehend–isn’t in choosing our own way. It’s in exercising enough faith to obey.

Its trusting that if I do what God says, I will always be better off. And that my obedience will bring glory to God and point others toward Him.

So, back to that original question. How can we trust enough to obey, even through the hardest of times, when there seems to be no hope?

The writer of Hebrews tells us, “By faith Abraham obeyed…

We just have to have enough faith to obey. That faith is rewarded with confidence in God and deeper faith. And the process, the journey, is key, as Paul reminds us, because it ultimately ends in the hope we’re so desperately searching for:

3 Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope..”
– Romans 5:3-4

And know this, God is trustworthy. There’s a purpose to your pain. Whatever you’re walking through right now, He’s got this.

For King & Country put it this way in their new song, Shoulders:

You mend what once was shattered
And You turn my tears to laughter
Your forgiveness is my fortress
Oh Your mercy is relentless

MORE: Charles Spurgeon’s mind blowing message on Faith

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Don’t Give Up NOW!

What if we looked beyond the pain of the bad stuff happening to us and saw the potential for good that God might be wanting to do through us?

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.
– Galatians 6:9

I was thinking about Paul and Silas today.

Here they are on a missions trip. They’ve completely Continue reading Don’t Give Up NOW!

Song Of The Day: Today Is Beautiful | David Dunn

If you see more then what’s in front of you
You might see more of heavens view.

It’s kind of ironic that I’d choose this song for our SOTD.

Today doesn’t feel beautiful.

I mean, the sun is shining where I am at the moment; but if I’m being honest, life is anything but blue skies and butterflies right now.

We’re facing scary things. Giants, mountains, aches, worries and other challenges. It feels impossible sometimes. It seems like there’s just no way.

But as much as that FEELS like reality, the truth is, we’re loved by the God who created this universe. A world of minute details and intricate systems.

As we stand here, we are spinning around in space at 1000 miles per hour, in perfect safety, thanks to something we call gravity. A scientific principle so reliable and dependable we call it a “law.”

I was talking with my daughter about this last week. If we could see this ride, we’d never get on. Stepping onto the earth, would feel dangerous and unsafe, like jumping onto an escalator moving 500 times faster than we’re used to. (Avg escalator speed is less than two miles per hour.)

In truth, we’re not going to fly off the planet. But if we could see it spinning as we stepped on, our minds wouldn’t believe it. We’d have a hard time trusting in the gravitational force that we couldn’t see, explain, or really even comprehend.

I think that’s part of why Jesus tells us to fix our eyes, not on our circumstances, or the swirling seas, but on Him.

I’m filing this one under #NoteToSelf.

It seems we go through seasons where we need constant reminders of God’s promise that he will never leave us or forsake us. Sometimes it seems so hopeless and we feel so alone.

But no matter how dark these days and nights may be, God’s Word says that today is beautiful.

“This is the day the Lord has made.
We will rejoice and be glad in it.”
Psalm 118:24 (NLT)

As we hurdle through the time, space and challenges of each day, there’s another truth we can absolutely rely on: God’s got this.

He is able.

He is on our side.

Today IS beautiful.
____________________
David Dunn
Today Is Beautiful
Album: “Crystal Clear”

Quick Thought: We Don’t Have To Kill Goliath

David didn’t kill Goliath. He just had the courage to trust and obey.

What God’s asking us to do may seem daunting. We may think we’re completely incapable of doing it, and we’re probably right. But the good news is, we don’t have to.

Moses couldn’t part the Red Sea if he had a million men and a degree in Marine Engineering from the Egyptian Naval Academy. He just needed to trust God enough to do the ridiculous.

Ditto Noah. And Abraham. And Joshua.

Think about what Jesus told the disabled man by the pool of Bethesda to do:

“Jesus said to him, “Rise, take up your bed and walk.” And immediately the man was made well, took up his bed, and walked.”
– John 5:8-9

This was a guy who hadn’t walked in almost 4 decades! He must’ve thought Jesus was CRAZY.

Get up and walk? Seriously? Been sitting here for 38 years, I’m pretty sure I’ve given that one a try already.

Even if Jesus’ words gave the man a flash of hope inside and he actually wanted to try, it would’ve been easy to talk himself out of it. Fear of failure, disappointment or looking ridiculous if he tried and fell back down would all be understandable.

How many of us in that situation would’ve written off what Jesus said as simply undoable? Impossible. Nuts.

How many of us are doing just that with what God’s asking us to do right now?

Remember, it’s not about what WE can do. We just have to be available and willing to trust and obey. God’ll take care of the impossible and improbable.

Go. Do.

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Hope

Hope Meme - copyright 2013 growingingracetoday.wordpress.com - All Rights Reserved

Hope really is about perspective. Look closely at that picture. The clouds seem to have completely taken over the sky. To the people traveling this road behind me, there is no hope in sight. But alas (I’ve never had a chance to use that phrase in every day conversation until now), up ahead, far off in the distance, something remarkable…

Blue skies. Hope for a better day.

We all need hope.

Hope deferred makes the heart sick,
but a dream fulfilled is a tree of life.
– Proverbs 13:12

Hope is an anomaly. It’s a highly desired commodity, available in unlimited supply, yet eludes so many of us for so long.

It can’t be bought at any price, but has a cost: Surrender. Faith. Trust. Control.

There’s an inexhaustible supply of hope, available on demand to any one at any time, yet it is rare in the human existence.

Some deny or don’t know it even exists. Others of us forget, lose faith, or become distracted. We buy counterfeits, chase mirages and listen to beautiful lies, all in the frantic pursuit of it.

But they’re all fool’s errands.

See, there’s only one source of hope.

But now, Lord, what do I look for? My hope is in you.
– Psalm 39:7

We try to anesthetize our sufferings, look for shortcuts AROUND them, not realizing that in persevering THROUGH them we find the very hope we’re seeking.

We also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.
– Romans 5:3-4

Don’t be discouraged when the clouds come. Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “when it’s dark enough, you can see the stars.” Embrace the gray skies and the trials, they’re reminding us to look for hope.

Hold on… Hope exists. It’s within our reach…

Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.
– Romans 12:12

H o p e