God’s Gifts Of Love and Trust

Psalm 9:10 (WEB)
Those who know your name will put their trust in you,
for you, Yahweh, have not forsaken those who seek you.

Promise: You can trust in Me for I will never forsake you.

When we know who God is, it is easy to trust in Him. When we are convinced that He is loving and kind and gentle, we will be able to risk again and entrust our hearts fully to Him. If we are not yet convinced of His goodness, we will struggle to trust Him.

I believe that giving our Father the gift of our trust is the greatest gift that we can give Him. When we trust Him, we lower our defenses and open our hearts fully to Him. When we trust Him, we will not lean to our own understanding (Proverbs 3:5-6) but completely yield to His leading in our life. I believe when we begin to trust God in a simple childlike way, it moves His heart like nothing else that we can do.

In today’s promise, we read that our God and Father will never, ever forsake those who trust in Him. He is unwavering in His commitment to us. He will never leave us or forsake us. For those of us who struggle with the fear of being abandoned, I pray that the reality of our Papa’s goodness and closeness would drive all fear out of our hearts (1 John 4:18) so that we can fully trust Him.

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Against all Odds

Judges 7:1-8

The story of Gideon offers scriptural guidance for times when the odds are overwhelming and defeat seems imminent. No matter what your challenges are, the Lord is able to demonstrate His awesome power and deliver you.

God uses difficulty to build faith. Gideon was willing to believe God and go up against an army four times larger than his own. Trusting the Lord is a process that must be learned through experience. At times God takes the people He plans to use and places them in impossible situations—in that way, they discover He is faithful. We may prefer to acquire faith by reading a book, but the Lord knows the best classroom is a place of utter helplessness.

God may require us to do what seems unreasonable. The Israelites were already outnumbered, but the Lord instructed Gideon to reduce the army to a mere 300 men. That made the odds 450 to one! Although God’s ways may seem illogical to us, His wisdom and power are far greater than ours, and His plan can be trusted.

God leads us to do that which brings Him glory. Gideon’s army was so small that its men could in no way take credit for the victory. The Lord delights in demonstrating His awesome power and glory through our weakness and inadequacy.

Think of life’s challenges as opportunities for the Lord to build your faith and prepare you for ministry. He uses those who are willing to obey Him even when the task seems illogical or impossible. And He takes pleasure in showing His faithfulness to those who trust in Him regardless of the situation.

The Final Word

1 Corinthians 10:13 (WEB)
No temptation has taken you except what is common to man.
God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted above what you are able,
but will with the temptation also make the way of escape,
that you may be able to endure it.

Promise: I will not let you be tested beyond what you can endure.

Jesus told us in John 16:33 that in the world we will have trouble. Sadly, bad things do happen to good people. We all experience heartache, loss and pain as a result of the fallen world we live in. But Jesus goes on to encourage us that we can be glad because He has overcome the world!

In today’s Scripture, the Apostle Paul tells us that we will not be tested with any temptation or trial more than we are able to endure. There may be circumstances in our life that rage against this promise, but hold onto the promise that God’s grace is sufficient in every trial. He will give you the grace to endure and He promises to provide you with a way of escape when the load gets beyond what you can deal with.

If you are in the midst of great trials and challenges in your life today, my prayer is that our God and Father would comfort you and strengthen you with the promise that you will not be tested beyond what you can endure. And I also pray that He will provide you with a way of escape for every trial that you face knowing that God has the last word and nothing happens that is out of HIS divine will. He has the final word.

Surrendering to God’s Plans

Promise: My plan for your future is filled with hope.

When you think of your own future, how do you feel? Are you excited to think of what is ahead or does the thought of the future cause you to be anxious? With an uncertain economy, wars and rumors of wars, etc., it is easy to feel anxious and uncertain about what lies ahead. Yet in today’s promise, God says that your future is filled with hope.

My favorite Bible translation of this verse comes from the NIV Bible… For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (NIV)

I find it very reassuring to know that God has a plan for my future that is filled with hope. I don’t have to dread what’s coming because my Heavenly Dad already has a plan for me. And of course we know that the ultimate hope is living in the light of God’s love forever!

May the reality of today’s promise fill you with peace. May you know that while the future may be uncertain to you, it is not to God. He has a father’s heart toward you and has determined to fill your future with hope. Does this mean that there will be no bumps in the road? Certainly not.

But we do know that all things will ultimately work together for our good as Paul declared in Romans 8:28… We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, to those who are called according to his purpose. (WEB)

 

When Bad Things Happen to Good People

1 Peter 2:18-25

One of the hardest situations to bear is unjust suffering. We can expect to reap pain and trouble if we sow sin, but what if we haven’t done anything wrong? Even trials that seem to come for no reason are easier to bear than those resulting from someone’s mistreatment of us.

This is what Peter had in mind when he wrote today’s passage. Slaves in the Roman Empire had few rights if any, and abuse wasn’t uncommon. Becoming a Christian didn’t change the circumstances, but it did require a different response. Peter told them to respectfully submit to their masters and endure mistreatment because such a response finds favor with God.

Whoever has been saved by Christ is also called to follow in His footsteps. Although the Lord committed no sin, He suffered death on a cross for us. Jesus not only paid the penalty for our sins, but He also made it possible for us to respond to mistreatment as He did.

Christ’s responses are noteworthy, first because Jesus didn’t revile or threaten those who hurt Him. His silence was fueled by forgiveness rather than anger or thoughts of revenge. Even as He was being nailed to the cross, He prayed, “Father, forgive them” (Luke 23:34). Second,
Jesus entrusted Himself to the Father, who judges righteously. The Lord had no need to fight for His rights, because He was doing exactly what God had called Him to do.

Our job is to make sure we’re following Christ and living in God’s will. Then if others mistreat us, we can simply hand the situation over to our Father, knowing that He will judge it rightly in His time.

Selah

Psalm 32:7 (WEB)

You are my hiding place. You will preserve me from trouble.
You will surround me with songs of deliverance. Selah.

The Word IS The Promise

1 Kings 8:56 (WEB)

“Blessed be Yahweh, who has given rest to his people Israel,
according to all that he promised.
There has not failed one word of all his good promise,
which he promised by Moses his servant.