Peace in the Storms of Life

Peace In The Storms of Life

2 Corinthians 12:9-10

Paul learned the secret of being an overcomer: Maintain God’s perspective on the ups and downs of life, and access His power. The apostle was firmly convinced that having the person of the Holy Spirit living in him meant that God’s power was available to him.

We, too, can learn to be at peace while the storms of life rage around us. The first step is to believe that the power of God is within us through the presence of His Spirit. We then must accept that God’s priority for us is transformation into Christ’s image, and not necessarily comfortable circumstances. Diligently seeking to maintain Jesus’ perspective on trials (John 16:33) is also important. Until we settle such matters of faith, true contentment will evade us.

Having embraced these truths, we can learn to use the divine power of the risen Christ. The key lies in submitting our will to His. Then, instead of reacting to life based on our own weaknesses and desires, we will switch to responding on the basis of God’s will and the fact that we belong to Christ. We will be able to consciously surrender ourselves to the Lord and His pattern for living. Yielding control to the Holy Spirit allows God’s will to be done and enables us to accept it. When we can say, “Lord, whatever You choose to send will be all right with me,” then we will experience the inner peace promised to us. (See John 14:27)

Divine perspective, surrender, and firm faith—these are the ingredients for the victorious life. Now you know the secret, too.

Walking Your Path In Love And Wisdom

Walking Your Path In Love And Wisdom

Although the Lord showers His goodness on all men and women, the ability to perceive and enjoy it is limited by a refusal to reverence Him as God. To experience the fullness of His kindness, we must honor Him by choosing His way of submission and obedience. The Lord will never withhold His goodness from those who walk uprightly with Him.

In love and wisdom, the Father has specifically designed a pathway for each of His children. Because no two people are alike, each path will look different. What may be best for one person may not be good for another. Comparison of God’s ways in different lives will lead only to discouragement and misjudgment. We have neither the wisdom nor the eternal perspective to understand why the Lord leads some people down a road of pain and hardship, but we can know that He is always good.

Every step on God’s pathway represents a deliberate choice to follow Him. By looking around instead of fixing our eyes on Jesus, we may start thinking that we are missing out on some really good experiences or possessions. If we leave the Lord’s course to follow one that looks better, we will forfeit His good blessings and discover, as Adam and Eve did, that any other way leads to loss.

Take time periodically to ask yourself, Am I on the path the Lord has chosen for me, or have I taken a detour to follow another direction that looks good? To build our own course and ignore the goodness and abundance of His pathway is foolishness. God alone knows the way we should take.

djs

Let God Be God

Let God Be God
Promise: If you persist and do My will, you will receive what I have promised.

The KJV Bible says that we need patience, the NLT Bible says that we need patient endurance. The NIV Bible says that we need to persevere. In Hebrews 12:1-2, we are called to run the race uniquely marked out for each one of us. In light of eternity, it might be just a sprint. However, in the grind of daily life, it mostly feels like a marathon race that we are running.

That is why the writer of Hebrews encourages us to keep on persisting to do the will of God in order that we might receive all that He has promised. We know that we could never do anything to earn or deserve the free gift of grace that God has given us in Jesus Christ. So I do not believe that this Scripture is referring to self effort or human works.

Jesus told us that the work that God requires is that we believe on the One He sent. I believe that God is saying that if we will just believe in Him and obey His leading, that we will receive all that He has promised in His Word.  So don’t lose hope, don’t give up!  God’s promise is true for both me and you!  Keep running your race!

Trust, Surrender, and Let God be God in your Life.
djs

Nothing Happens By Chance

The lot is cast into the lap,
but its every decision is from the LORD.

— Proverbs 16:33

In the Jerusalem dating scene, it’s common among observant men and women to be matched by a professional matchmaker and set up on a blind date. One young man, who in spite of being kind, learned, and charming, had a hard time getting a second date with any of the young women he went out with. The matchmakers attributed this to a large, ugly scar that ran down the young man’s cheek as a result of an accident that occurred when he was young. The matchmakers called him less often, and then hardly at all.

One day, the matchmaker called excitedly. She had found a girl willing to meet him. The young man dressed his best for the date, but there was nothing he could do to disguise that nasty scar. When he met his blind date, his heart sank because he instantly liked her and knew that the chances she would feel the same were slim. However, the two hit it off and made an instant connection.

By the end of the evening the young woman felt comfortable enough to ask her date how he had gotten the scar. He told her the story about when he was young, he saw a little girl being chased and threatened by Arab boys looking to hurt a Jewish girl. Although he was just a boy, he challenged the dangerous kids and fought them off, but not before one of them slashed his cheek badly. That’s how he had gotten the scar.

When the boy finished his story, the young woman was white as a ghost. She must be horrified, he thought. But instead the woman replied, “I was that little girl. You saved my life.” Needless to say, the scar never bothered her after that and the two were happily married a few months later.

One of the underlying messages of the story is how God orchestrates events even though life often seems to the contrary. We love these stories because they remind us of the deep truth that nothing is by accident. What seems like chance is actually a plan. What seems like coincidence is always Divine providence.

Proverbs puts it this way: “The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the Lord.” Even something as seemingly random as a lottery is determined by God.

The sages taught, “Everything God does is for the best. If the swaying blade of grass is brought about by Providence and is crucial to the fulfillment of the purpose of Creation, how much more so with regard to mankind.” Let’s remember that nothing that happens to us today is coincidence and everything is exactly as it should be.

djs

Waiting On God’s Timing

Waiting On God’s Timing

Waiting for God’s timing is neither passive nor idle—it takes discipline and commitment. I can think of four basic requirements for successful waiting.

Faith. The Lord’s ways and timing are nothing like ours (Isaiah 55:8-9). From a human standpoint, the way He does things is usually totally different than expected. But as we trust Him more, we’ll discover that His approach isn’t so strange after all. And when we live in harmony with God’s will, His timing starts to make sense.

Humility. To wait for the Lord, you must be convinced of your need for Him. Submission to His divine will requires humility—you cannot charge ahead with your own plans and at the same time be fully surrendered to God.

Patience. Are you willing to remain in your current position until you receive clear divine direction? Pausing for clarity from God does not mean that you disengage and allow circumstances to fall apart around you. Waiting upon the Lord is a deliberate decision that requires patience.

Courage. Waiting for God often takes courage, especially when there is pressure to act. If you’re not careful, you might stop listening to the Lord and follow other advice. So keep your ear attuned to the voice of Almighty God, and you won’t go wrong.

Waiting upon the Lord is one of the wisest, most important decisions we make in life. And contrary to popular assumptions, it is an active endeavor that requires faith, humility, patience, and courage. When you rely upon God and wait for His timing, the various facets of life fall into place.

DJS

Following God’s Time Schedule

Following God’s Time Schedule

Read | Romans 11:33-36

Most of us enjoy feeling in control of our own schedule and grow frustrated when things don’t go according to plan. Yet if we truly desire to walk in the center of God’s perfect will, we must become willing to cooperate with His time frame.

Consider how you pray about situations in your life. Without realizing it, you may be demanding that God follow the schedule you’ve constructed according to your very limited human wisdom. Yet if we believe He is who He says He is, how can surrendering to His way not be to our benefit? Think about His unique, praiseworthy qualities:

• His all-encompassing knowledge. The Lord has complete understanding of our world and the details of every individual life—past, present, and future.

• His complete wisdom. God understands man’s every motive, whereas none of us are able to accurately discern people’s intentions. We make choices based on partial information, whereas He has the wisdom to take action based on truth.

• His unconditional love. Our Creator is always motivated by love and constantly has our best in mind. Unless we trust His heart, our view of reality will be distorted.

• His perfect sufficiency. At just the right time, God will provide us with everything we need to carry out His plan.

Submitting to God’s timetable requires faith and courage. Believe in the goodness of His heart and His plans—and wait until He gives the signal to move forward. Then, as you follow His schedule, you’ll experience the joy of watching Him make all things beautiful in His timing.

(DJS)

Going With The Flow

Going With The Flow Of Life
Where does energy come from?
Hard question to answer, since it shows up in many different ways.
On a very basic, fundamental physics level, there’s the energy that moves matter. And since Einstein proved that energy IS matter, it’s pretty safe to say that the ENTIRE UNIVERSE is made of the same “stuff.”
What is that stuff? What is the nature of that stuff? How does that stuff make two people that look very similar behave very differently?
Even the same person in two different situations?
On some days, we’re “on.” Everything we do works. Lights are green, doors are opened, ALL of our jokes are funny, and people seem to genuinely enjoy being with us and talking to us.
Other days, it’s like the entire universe is like an impatient parent. “Not now! Please leave me alone!”
Nobody laughs at your jokes, every single light is red, there’s NEVER any parking spaces.
What gives?
Is it random chance? It can’t be random. Since the laws of physics, chemistry and biology seem to keep working.
Our arms suddenly don’t detach from our bodies and float out in space. The tires on our cars suddenly don’t start sliding all over the road as if the laws of friction have taken the day off.
The answer may lie with our own ACCEPTANCE of our energy. Whether we let it flow through us, or whether we fight it, consciously or unconsciously.
Many of the things we’d like to do in life don’t require we do MORE stuff, but they require we do LESS stuff.
For example, if you see an interesting person, for business or friendship, you may want to talk to them.
You don’t need to learn how to talk. You don’t need to learn how to walk over there. You don’t need to take whatever they say, and riff on it to build a mutually enjoyable conversation.
All of these things are natural human skills. Hard wired into our brains.
However, you DO need to get out of your own way. Stop fighting with your natural energy and enthusiasm. STOP spinning those stories in your mind of what MIGHT go wrong.
Humans are social creatures, after all. We are also creators, builders, inventors, and explorers.
It’s just a matter of ACCEPTING your energy, and let it flow uninhibited.
THAT’S what it means to be fully human.
Are You Ready?    (DJS)