Tag Archives: trouble

1 Samuel 7,8; Romans 6; Jeremiah 44; Psalm 20,21

Then Samuel said to all the house of Israel, “If you are returning to the Lord with all your heart, then put away the foreign gods and the Astartes from among you. Direct your heart to the Lord, and serve him only, and he will deliver you out of the hand of the Philistines.” – 1 Samuel 7:3 NRSV

If you are like me, a follower of Jesus, then you and I have answered this question of choice and if I am honest – I have to choose everyday and every day I have to choose Jesus.  For me, if I do not, I find myself being okay with certain weaknesses and falling for certain temptations and then declaring them to be in the realm of grace

What then are we to say? Should we continue in sin in order that grace may abound? – Romans 6:1 NRSV

The answer is definitely a big NO! So what is my problem, why do I think it is okay?

But they did not listen or incline their ear, to turn from their wickedness and make no offerings to other gods. – Jeremiah 44:5 NRSV

I find my relationship with God falls into a pattern, a grove, a comfortable “method” or “process” and as busy as I am in adoration, confession, thankfulness, and supplication – I miss the most important part of any relationship – listening.  While I have been busy talking, I forget to listen – how does God want to respond to what I have just said or how does He want to engage Himself into my day?  I do not know and maybe I don’t because in some weird moment of time – I might admit that I do not want to know.

I think you know where this is going – throw in some trouble and what do I do? Yes, I call on God. This is where it get’s tricky – I feel that since I did not spend much quality time with Him that I do not deserve to call on Him.  Wow – so simple to get pushed even further away from God.   But I know this – His grace is sufficient and as my Heavenly Father, He cares.  I can always call out His name and He is there.

The Lord answer you in the day of trouble!
    The name of the God of Jacob protect you! – Psalm 20:1 NRSV

Lord, if I have to forgive others as much as You have forgiven me, that is a whole lot more than 70 x 7!  How thankful I am for your grace, but more thankful that You never allow the Holy Spirit to leave me – I am convicted of my sin and I find my way back to You.  I bless You for Your faithfulness – thank You for Your protection.  I can always count on You.  I pray that my faithfulness will grow as we grow in our relationship together and that I would rather do the things You would like me to do as opposed to the things I want to do for myself.  Thank You for bringing me into Your space and allowing me to be a part of Your family.

evanlaar

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under 1 Samuel, 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, Jeremiah, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, New Testament, Old Testament, Psalms, Romans, Uncategorized

1 Kings 20; 1 Thessalonians 3; Daniel 2; Psalm 106

Big words.

Soon Ben-hadad’s messengers returned again and said, “This is what Ben-hadad says: ‘I have already demanded that you give me your silver, gold, wives, and children. But about this time tomorrow I will send my officials to search your palace and the homes of your people. They will take away everything you consider valuable!’” 1 Kings 20:5-6 NLT.

Big presence.

27 Israel then mustered its army, set up supply lines, and marched out for battle. But the Israelite army looked like two little flocks of goats in comparison to the vast Aramean forces that filled the countryside! 1 Kings 20:27 NLT.

Big victory.

28 Then the man of God went to the king of Israel and said, “This is what the Lord says: The Arameans have said, ‘The Lord is a god of the hills and not of the plains.’ So I will defeat this vast army for you. Then you will know that I am the Lord.” 1 Kings 20:28 NLT.

(Ahab didn’t follow through on the victory the Lord had given him–and spared the life of the opposing king.)

When Nebuchadnezzar had a recurring nightmare, none of his astrologers could tell him what his dream was or what it meant.

Big words. Big presence.

12 The king was furious when he heard this, and he ordered that all the wise men of Babylon be executed. 13 And because of the king’s decree, men were sent to find and kill Daniel and his friends. Daniel 2:12013 NLT.

Big victory.

14 When Arioch, the commander of the king’s guard, came to kill them, Daniel handled the situation with wisdom and discretion. 15 He asked Arioch, “Why has the king issued such a harsh decree?” So Arioch told him all that had happened. 16 Daniel went at once to see the king and requested more time to tell the king what the dream meant.

17 Then Daniel went home and told his friends Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah what had happened. 18 He urged them to ask the God of heaven to show them his mercy by telling them the secret, so they would not be executed along with the other wise men of Babylon. 19 That night the secret was revealed to Daniel in a vision. Then Daniel praised the God of heaven. Daniel 2:14-19 NLT.

Troubles will come. Sometimes in the form of big words. Sometimes by the intimidation of a big presence. Sometimes it will be both.

We sent him to strengthen you, to encourage you in your faith, and to keep you from being shaken by the troubles you were going through. But you know that we are destined for such troubles. Even while we were with you, we warned you that troubles would soon come—and they did, as you well know. 1 Thessalonians 3:2b-4 NLT.

But God is the victor of the plains and the hills.

“Praise the name of God forever and ever,
    for he has all wisdom and power.
21 He controls the course of world events;
    he removes kings and sets up other kings.
He gives wisdom to the wise
    and knowledge to the scholars.
22 He reveals deep and mysterious things
    and knows what lies hidden in darkness,
    though he is surrounded by light.
23 I thank and praise you, God of my ancestors,
    for you have given me wisdom and strength.
You have told me what we asked of you
    and revealed to us what the king demanded.” Daniel 2:20-23 NLT (emphasis mine)

And this is what I need to remember.

God’s got this.

Lord, when I strip away the worries of my thought life and remember your faithfulness through the ages (and even the last years), there is peace. I learn from Daniel, his trials and his faith–I need to fix my gaze on you. You can do what seems impossible. I’m thankful you’re still in the business of marvelous miracles.

Courtney (66books365)

Praise the Lord!

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good!    His faithful love endures forever.Who can list the glorious miracles of the Lord?    Who can ever praise him enough? Psalm 106:1-2 NLT

1 Comment

Filed under 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan

Ex. 39; John 18; Prov. 15; Phil. 2

Filigrees and gems. Rich color and finery. Garments beautifully made. Names engraved like a seal. Holy to the Lord. This is Exodus 39.

Jesus is betrayed and he is questioned about his teaching. Pilate asks,

“So you are a king?”

Jesus responded, “You say I am a king. Actually, I was born and came into the world to testify to the truth. All who love the truth recognize that what I say is true.” John 18:37 NLT.

In Proverbs 15, it’s a view of a walking path splintered at choice–on the one side, the things God detests, and fools belching, trash feasts, trouble, and crushed spirits. The other side, understanding, gentleness, a hunger for knowledge, a continual feast, life.

  • A lazy person’s way is blocked with briers, but the path of the upright is an open highway. Proverbs 15:19 NLT
  • Foolishness brings joy to those with no sense; a sensible person stays on the right path. Proverbs 15:21 NLT
  • The path of life leads upward for the wise; they leave the grave behind. Proverbs 15:24 NLT

There was a time I never thought about the path I was on. I followed the map that was handed to me, until Jesus redirected my steps.

In Exodus, the priests wore garments with the names of the tribes of Israel engraved upon the gems. And in the New Testament, Jesus, my high priest, bears my name engraved upon his hands.

Though he was God,
he did not think of equality with God
as something to cling to.
Instead, he gave up his divine privileges;
he took the humble position of a slave
and was born as a human being.
When he appeared in human form,
    he humbled himself in obedience to God
and died a criminal’s death on a cross. Philippians 2:6-8 NLT

A phone call this past weekend showed me how a path can seem so far, and yet so close at the same time. That map I once held is really only a choice away from me.

Oh, God, help me to always seek and choose truth.

12 Dear friends, you always followed my instructions when I was with you. And now that I am away, it is even more important. Work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear. 13 For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.

14 Do everything without complaining and arguing, 15 so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people. 16 Hold firmly to the word of life; then, on the day of Christ’s return, I will be proud that I did not run the race in vain and that my work was not useless. 17 But I will rejoice even if I lose my life, pouring it out like a liquid offering to God, just like your faithful service is an offering to God. And I want all of you to share that joy. 18 Yes, you should rejoice, and I will share your joy. Philippians 2:12-18 NLT, emphasis mine.

Hold firmly to the word of life.

Courtney (66books365)

4 Comments

Filed under 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, Exodus, John, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, New Testament, Old Testament, Philippians, Proverbs

Numbers 25; Psalm 68; Isaiah 15; 1 Peter 3

And who is he who will harm you if you become followers of what is good?  But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you are blessed. “And do not be afraid of their threats, nor be troubled.”  But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear; having a good conscience, that when they defame you as evildoers, those who revile your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed.  For it is better, if it is the will of God, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.  [1 Peter 3:13-17]

I go through so many seasons in life.  Seasons of joy, seasons of discovery, seasons of renewal and sometimes even seasons of strong confidence.  But there are other seasons that are a bit tougher to swallow…one of which is a season of ridicule or judgment based simply on what I believe and/or because of a path I’ve chosen to follow that others may not agree with.

There is so much in the human psyche that yearns for acceptance and praise from our peers…that, when what I believe is called into question, I so often acquiesce back to a safe zone of tolerability.  This section of scripture reminds me that I will suffer hardship for what I believe, but when that happens…the truth should always outweigh my comfort.  This shouldn’t really surprise me though since anything in the life that has any degree of importance…always comes with a cost…and always requires being fought for.  In fact, it could very well be that the hardships I face based upon what I believe are there for the mere reason to remind me of importance of those beliefs.

I should not be fearful of these seasons of ridicule or the toll they sometimes take on my confidence…they should instead be the wake-up call catalyst to inspire me to press on.  For I know the truth…and that truth should give me the confidence to take on the world.

For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit  [v. 18]

 ~ chefdave11

“If I had a formula for bypassing trouble, I would not pass it round.  Trouble creates a capacity to handle it.  I don’t embrace trouble; that’s as bad as treating it as an enemy.  But I do say meet it as a friend, for you’ll see a lot of it and had better be on speaking terms with it.  “~Oliver Wendell Holmes

1 Comment

Filed under New Testament, Uncategorized