Posts Tagged ‘ Trust ’

Ask & Affirm

Answer me, O Lord, for your steadfast love is good; according to your abundant mercy, turn to me. (Psalm 69:16) NRSV

MP900177811[1]“I need help, Lord, and I need it now. I know that you are full of love and mercy. So turn to me. Meet me in my moment of need. Let your face shine upon me and be gracious to me.”

The psalmist spoke words like these just as he was about to be destroyed by those who hated him. His sight was growing dim, and he was sinking fast as he waited for God. Caught in a mire of lies, insults and threats, his faith clung desperately and tenaciously to God, as he waited for salvation.

Cling tenaciously to God!

There are few prayers that are more beautiful in their simplicity. In just a few words, the psalmist asks God for help. He affirms who God is, and what God is like. Then he pleads for action.

What makes this prayer so unique is the way it combines asking and affirming. God is ready, willing and able to meet every need. God can help us overcome any circumstance. There is simply no limit to God’s love, or end to God’s power. So when we approach the Lord with our requests, we know our God is up to the challenge!

God’s love and power know no bounds!

MP900443146[1]But the question isn’t really whether God is ready. The question is whether our faith is ready. Are we ready to step up to the plate, like the psalmist, and affirm who God is? Are we ready to declare to God’s steadfast love? Are we ready to stand on God’s promises of mercy? Are we ready to ask and affirm?

Prayer is so much more than telling God our laundry list of wants and needs. It is so much more than complaining about the problems we face. Prayer involves asking and believing. Prayer is inviting God into our challenges, and then affirming who God is. Prayer is laying our requests before the throne of grace, and then fully trusting in the steadfast love of the Lord. Prayer is pleading, and then believing in God’s wisdom, mercy and power!

Invite God in. Affirm what God can do.

A child of God in need is never ignored by God. God is ready to respond. We have to begin by asking and to affirming. Why not ask God to meet your needs today, and then trust in God’s steadfast love and great faithfulness!

Trust God and affirm God’s gracious goodness!

Prayer:

Gracious and faithful God, I am like the psalmist. I need help. You know the struggles I have and the pressures I face. I place my life in your hands. I trust in your abiding love, and know you will stand with me and work all things together for good. You are great, and I give you all the praise and glory I have to give!

Amen.

Bless

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Sleep Like A Baby

He does not withdraw his eyes from the righteous… Job 36:7 NRSV

Newborn Baby in Mother HandThere are few scenes as beautiful or precious as a sleeping infant. Their sleep is so sound, and their bodies are so relaxed that it creates an almost idyllic image of peace. May be that’s why we talk about sleeping like a baby.

As we get older, a good sleep is no less important, but gets harder to find. The quality and duration of our sleep declines, and many of us go for days not feeling fully rested.

I wonder if part of what allows a baby to sleep so well is their implicit trust. As they fall asleep, their minds are probably not filled with to-do lists, or plans and concerns. They have a loved one watching over them, ready to respond to their needs. So they not only fall sleep, they really rest.

Knowing that you are the apple of God’s eye, and that your heavenly Father is loving you and watching over you, can help you find that same kind of rest. Even if you don’t have sleep problems, you can find real peace and true rest by remembering who God is, how much God loves you, and what God is able to do for you.

Trust the truth about God. Then you will be better able to rest in the Lord, and live like the child of God you are!

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Standing Strong

If you do not stand firm in faith, you shall not stand at all. Isaiah 7:9b NRSV

MP910216389[1]Standing is a good thing. When the winds of trouble blow, storms roll in and dangerous waves come crashing into my life, I want to be left standing. I don’t want to be knocked over, swept up or washed away.

Ahaz was king over Judah. A terrible storm was rolling his way. Nations were surrounding him, preparing to invade his country and end his reign. He was scared, and shook like a tree in the wind.

God sent Isaiah to call Ahaz to faith. Even though he hadn’t been faithful to God, this was his chance to step up, align himself with the Lord and come under God’s protection. But he didn’t. He turned to Assyria instead.

God’s call is a call to faith.

MP900216140[1]It’s hard to stand firm in faith when you are under attack. It is especially hard if you’ve turned away from God most of your life, as Ahaz had done. It’s really much easier to trust someone you can see and weapons you can hold in your hand. The Assyrians had weapons and an army. What did God have? Just a prophet with words. In the end, Ahaz did not stand firm in faith.

I’m not like Ahaz. I’m not a king, and I don’t have nations plotting to overthrow me. But I do have storms that blow my way, and dangerous winds that whip up trouble around me. I believe God’s message to Ahaz is a good one for me too. I could put my trust in alliances I forge, or in resources I have. But the only way to really succeed is to stand firm in faith. Trusting God, whom I can’t see, is the only response that really makes sense.

Our success depends on standing firm in our faith.

MP900227508[1]Well, my faith is in God. Some people may believe that is misguided, but I believe it is what has allowed me to stay standing all these years. It is faith that has brought me safe so far, and it is faith that will bring me home!

Why not join me, and stand firm in your faith this week? Otherwise, you may find yourself standing on sinking sand!

Faith in God is the only firm foundation!

Prayer:

Great God of all, your word is calling me to faith. Your word is calling me to put my trust in you so that I can keep on standing strong. That’s what I want. Help me to always lean on you and to walk in your ways!

Amen.

 

Faith Sees

Wait & Hope

Out of the depths I cry to you, O LORD. Lord, hear my voice!

Let your ears be attentive to the voice of my supplication!

I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in his word I hope.

Psalm 1301-2, 5 NRSV

Whatever your need. Wait for the Lord. Hope in God’s word.

Whatever your hurt. Wait for the Lord. Hope in God’s word.

Whatever your concern. Wait for the Lord. Hope in God’s word.

Whatever your . . . Wait for the Lord. Hope in God’s word.

 

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The Obedience of Faith

…but now is disclosed and through the prophetic writings is made know to all the Gentiles, according to the command of the eternal God, to bring about the obedience of faith. Romans 16:26 NRSV

MP900411797[1] Paul is just finishing up the longest of his letters. He wants his readers to have a systematic presentation of the truth about God and the redemptive plan that was fulfilled through Jesus Christ. As the letter draws to a close, Paul realizes that revealing truth is only half the battle. He has done his part. The results depend on the response of his readers.

Revelation always requires a response! When faced with new information, people react. Some react with a cold indifference. For them, the truth about Jesus Christ goes in one ear and out the other. Others respond with polite attentiveness. They look like they are listening, but they have no intention of changing. Then there are those whose minds and hearts are open. When revelation crosses their path, they respond with faith. They believe what they hear. They put their trust in the truth.

Revelation requires a response.

Stock Photo of Children Discovering ReadingThe truth that we put our faith in becomes the truth that sets the course for our lives. It guides our actions and determines our destiny. So, when it comes to God’s revealed word, faith is always the right response! 

If I put my faith in the good news of Jesus Christ, then I will live by his words. God will be at the center of everything I do. The Holy Spirit will guide my actions. I will live as a humble servant of Jesus Christ.

The bottom line is that we obey what we believe. If we say one thing and do another, then we really don’t believe what we are saying. Paul knew this. That is why he talked about the “obedience of faith.” He wanted the Romans to know that just hearing the gospel is not good enough. What God has so graciously revealed to us must be met with faith. Once we respond to the truth with faith, then it becomes a part of us.

We obey what we believe.

MC910216397[1]Those who believe God’s word are those who are defined by that word, guided by that word and inspired by that word. They enthusiastically take up their cross and follow Jesus Christ. They live Christ-centered lives. They become the people God created them to be!

What we trust, we will obey. So let’s put our trust in God’s word and in the truth about Jesus Christ. Let’s be more than hearers of the word. Let’s be believers!

Then let’s live out what we believe. Let’s be doers of the word too. Let’s show the world the obedience of faith!

Trust then Obey!

Prayer:

Giver of truth, your word shows me the way. Help me to keep on believing the truth, and responding to all that your word asks of me. Make me a hearer and doer, so that my life might be a witness to the world of a life changed by the obedience of faith!

Amen.

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Don’t Hold Back

Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us. Psalm 62:9 NRSV

Sometimes there are things that need to be said, but they just cannot be spoken. Maybe the circumstances aren’t right. Maybe there are no words to express how you feel. Maybe the thoughts are just too personal.

So what can you do? Who can you go to?

MP900409766[1] You can go to God. Your heavenly Father is the one who already knows how much hurt there is in your life. God knows the problems that are pressing in, and the pressure that’s mounting. God knows the struggles pulling at you from within, and the unspoken desires of your heart .

God is the one you can go to, and say all that needs to be said. God is the one in whom you can take refuge. God is the one who you can trust. God is the one who cares enough to listen, and who always stands ready to help.

Give God what God wants. Give God all that’s in your heart!

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The Truth Is True

…do not fear, for I am with you, do not be afraid, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you. I will uphold you with my victorious right hand. Isaiah 41: 10 NRSV

MC900353643 Isaiah and the other prophets spoke the word of God to the people of God. They were God’s messengers. I think one reason the prophets were so important was that the people either had forgotten what God said in ages past, or just didn’t believe it anymore. So the prophets constantly reminded God’s people who they were, what God had asked and expected of them, and the great promises made to them.

As you know, the prophets were mostly ignored. Apparently the people didn’t want to believe what had been said, or what was being told to them. They must have thought that God’s truth was only true if it matched what they wanted to hear, and what they wanted to believe.

I don’t know about you, but I think that is foolishness. That attitude kept the ancient Israelites from loving and serving God faithfully. Today it keeps many from answering God’s call to new life. How sad!MP900438388[1]

Wise people recognize truth when they hear it. Wise people know that what God says is true. Wise people act on the truth. They not only embrace it, they live by it, stand on it, and hold fast to it. That makes sense. If the truth is true, then why wouldn’t we believe it, trust it, and follow it?

Be smart. Put your trust in the truth. Leave your fears behind. God will strengthen you, help you and hold you. God will be victorious!

The question is, do you believe it?

TRUST God.

BELIEVE the truth!