God Never Changes

God

Photo credit: Jonathan Foster

Can You Trust God?

Untitled drawing (2)My young friend’s six-week-old son passed away. I remember her comment after he was born with a rare syndrome. “We did not expect any of this. It’s been very difficult.”

My heart breaks for her, and several other friends of mine, who are dealing with enormous difficulties they didn’t expect.

I wrestle in prayer for them. Search for words that will encourage them instead of sounding trite because I haven’t been in their shoes. I don’t assume to know what it’s like to watch your spouse’s decling health, have your husband serve you divorce papers, hear your two-year-old daughter has stomach cancer. Then again….

I didn’t expect to have three miscarriages when I was in my thirties.

My two previous pregnancies had been glitch free. Having children was a piece of cake or so I thought until I watched the ultra sound technician searching for the baby’s heartbeat inside my womb.

Prior to my miscarriages, I knew there were no guarantees in life. And yet, I felt shell shocked when the unexpected hit me.

  • Why is this happening?
  • What did I do wrong?
  • Why is God allowing this?

Man’s wisdom fell short. Scripture fell on deaf ears by my third miscarriage because I wanted what I wanted—another healthy baby cradled in my arms. Not this unexpected, empty womb that resembled a grave.

I grieved. I shook my fist at God. Griped about the fairness of life. Questioned God’s love for me. Sulked. Envied mothers with newborn babes.

My friends have shared, and I concur, that our faith is stretched during these difficult times. We’re driven to our knees in prayer. Sometimes we’re spiritually derailed.

What do you think? Is it the rare person who accepts their circumstances without a whimper? Or trusts God sovereignty in their lives without a question mark?

That’s why I love reading the Psalms which are emotionally-packed as King David grapples with his unexpected: the death of his first-born child by Bathsheba; the betrayal of his grown son Absalom.

However, even when David is “in distress, feels wasted from grief, his strength has failed, his body’s wasted, he feels like a broken vessel, his year is filled with sighing” David always seeks God as his refuge.

In Psalm 31, he….

Acknowledges God’s sovereignty.
Remembers God’s wonderful deeds.
Praises God for His goodness.
Trusts the Lord to guide him; trusts Him with his life.

I love how David admits in verse 22 that he felt “cut off from the Lord when he was alarmed” by his circumstances. However, David rises above his emotions to affirm what he knows:

The Lord sees his affliction.
Knows his troubles.
Heard his cry.

After everything he’s been through, David encourages the reader to love the Lord, be strong and courageous, and hope in the Lord.

That’s my prayer for my heartbroken friends even in this….

Are You Overwhelmed?

Are you overwhelmed by the news or personal issues in your life? My friend, Susan, has written a thought-provoking blog that I’d like to share. I pray her words encourage your heart. You can find more of her posts on http://Susansage.com

I have been over the last week

Overwhelmed

Discouraged

Sad

Angry at times

Never wanting my husband to put on a uniform again

But, right above my desk hangs a sign a friend painted for me. 

new-office-space-008-1024x768

Question is—do I?

Do I trust Him when pain rips through my body?

Do I trust God’s sovereignty when there is increased violence?

Do I trust He’s got this when another friend succumbs to illness?

Do I really believe He’s in control when an ambush occurs on those who were trying to protect others?

Do rely on Him fully when politics just doesn’t make sense?

Do I hold fast to faith in Him when things and people I thought were unwavering, are not?

What could you add to this list?

Truth is, pain did rip through my body under the stress of all the violence last week. Honestly, I don’t ever want my husband to put his uniform on again and go defend others. And, discouragement began to send tentacles of fear into my heart over the violence and craziness around us.

But, as God often does, He used a small phrase in a big account in the Bible. Remember in the book of Daniel when he asked not to be fed the choice foods but rather the vegetables and water. In the passage in Daniel 1:8Open in Logos Bible Software (if available), it says (depending on your translation) Daniel “resolved” or “made up his mind.”

I was teaching a class at church and that phrase hit me.

Daniel resolved . . .

Have I?

Have you?

If God is really sovereign, then He is trustworthy.

I must resolve each day to trust, just as the sign says. It’s a day by day decision, sometimes it’s moment by moment.

Either I believe He’s sovereign and trustworthy or I don’t.

What does it look like if I don’t? I’ll worry, toil over it, succumb to fear and panic, and keep allowing my thoughts to remain on the issues.

What will it look like if I do? I’ll take God’s advice. There are so many verses in the Bible that remind me what to do when I’m fearful and overwhelmed like Psalm 56:3, or Philippians 4:8, or Colossians 3:2 among many more.

Every day we have to make the decision whether we will allow the crises surrounding us to keep our focus or whether we’ll live as we, as believers, say we believe-trusting God.

By the way, just because we believe that God is sovereign and so in control, doesn’t mean difficult issues will not touch us. But, if He is sovereign, and I believe He is, then often throughout the day I must resolve to stay in that reality, not allowing the difficulties, whatever they are, to keep me weighted in fear.

As my eyes are on Him, I also need to make up my mind how I will react to these troubles. Will I act out in frustration by showing hate and negativity to others or will I allow God’s love and light to work in and through me towards others?

If you want another perspective on dealing with fear and worry, jump over to my friend, Kris Lindsey’s blog. You’ll find her http://krislindsey.com

Do I trust God’s sovereignty when there is increased violence?

Either I believe God is sovereign and trustworthy or I don’t.

Sign painted by Allie Billat at Mad Hatter Salvage Creations