Thursday, January 22, 2015

Trust

I think trust, I mean complete, 100% trust, in God is something that we all struggle with from time to time. Or maybe that's just me. I have that personality though.  Where it's so much easier to just do it myself, than to try to explain (and wait) for someone else to do it.  But that's not the way it's supposed to be.  That's not the way God intended it.  If we were left to our own defenses, to guide ourselves through this world....well, we would be a mess. Today's "Jesus Calling" entry really made me stop and think about all the times I should have trusted HIM more and ME less. 

The first thing that comes to mind is when I was trying to get pregnant.  I begged and pleaded.  Cried and cried.  Tried to give it all to Him, only to take control back myself.  I lost 3 babies, and there isn't a day that goes by that I don't wonder what it would be like if that never happened to me. Well, for one I wouldn't be the person that I am today.  I wouldn't have the compassion for the child-less and the need to do something to spread the word about infertility.  But mainly, if I wouldn't have gone through all of that....I wouldn't have Alexia Rosemay.  I was meant to be HER mom.  It's hard to wrap my head around the fact that God knew about everything in my path before I could even imagine it.  He knew what I was going to go through.  And He was there, patiently waiting for me to give Him the reins.  And I truly believe that His timing is perfect.  And when I finally did give up control, that's when it happened.

I can also bring more recent examples.  Such as me losing my job last July.  At that point, I didn't have another option.  I had to give up control and let HIM control my life.  I could no longer try to steer the wrecking ball.  It wasn't ideal.  And of course there were times when I asked "why me?."  But I prayed every single day that God would lead me where He wanted me to be.  And I prayed for myself to be able to give up control and let God have control. 

I know it's easy to look back and see how everything worked out exactly how it was supposed to.  But it's so hard to think about that when you're in the moment.  It seems never-ending.  As if the journey up the hill is never going to end.  But I'm here to tell you that it does.  And once you get to the top....the view is more than you could ever imagine.

Here's what I noted from "Jesus Calling" today.

  Anything that tends to make you anxious is a growth opportunity.  Instead of running away from challenges, embrace tem, eager to gain all the blessings I have hidden in your difficulties.
  Search for My way in the midst of your circumstances.
  Trust is like a staff you can lean on, as you journey uphill with Me.  If you are trusting in Me consistently, the staff will bear as much weight as needed.

"But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God.  I trust in the steadfast love of God forever and ever."  Psalm 52:8

From my Bible notes:
The green olive tree is an image of vitality and fruitfulness.  The faithful trust in the steadfast love of God forever and ever.

"Trust in the Lord with all of your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths."  Proverbs 3:5-6

From my Bible notes:
Trust in the Lord is necessary for fulfilling any of the wise ways of life.
With all your heart indicates that trust goes beyond intellect, into a deep reliance on the Lord, a settled confidence in His care and His faithfulness to His word.
To make straight a person's path means to make the course of the person's life one that continually progresses toward the goal.

I'm not saying that it's going to be easy for me to give up control in some of my circumstances.  But I am saying that it's going to be a whole lot easier knowing the strength that those words hold. God doesn't expect us to wander through this life alone.  He knows that we need Him.  He's just waiting for us to acknowledge the need, and ask Him for a hand to hold as we journey up the mountain.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Jesus Calling 1/7

This is my second year on this book.  Life happened last year, and I was kinda hit or miss on my study time.  But with it being a new year and all....when is there a better time to start over?!

So, Jesus Calling is a book written by Sarah Young.  Here are a couple pictures of what the outside/inside of the book look like.



The front of my book doesn't look exactly like that, but you can get it with different covers...from paperback (I believe) all the way up to leather bound.  Anyways, the second picture is an example of what the pages look like.  Each day is 1 page in the book.  It has a short message, and then a few verses that tie to the message.  Mine actually has the verses printed, but I like to go to my own Bible to look them up, so I can mark them and read the study notes at the bottom.

Ok, so today (1/7) the message is about Praise and Thankfulness.  Some days I feel like I need to share the whole message because I can't just pick out certain parts.  But today I made a few notes. It is impossible to praise or thank Me too much!  To me, this is a no brainer....it's just like how a new mom never grows tired of hearing how cute her baby is.  Just because we know that Jesus knows that we are thankful....doesn't mean that we shouldn't still say it/scream it/sing it to Him. 

Thankfulness, also, is a royal road to draw near Me.  A thankful heart has plenty of room for Me. This seems to ring really true to me.  How many times to we just get worn down from whatever has been going on in our lives...so we stopping praising and thanking Him. All that's doing is blocking our hearts from accepting anything God sends our way.  If our hearts are full of grief, and anger, and hate...we have to let it go.  We have to say "God, ya know, what's going on my life right now is really tough, and I really hate it, and I'm sick of it.  So I'm giving it to you, and I'm THANKING YOU for being able to help me carry my load.  And I'm PRAISING YOU for carrying me when I couldn't walk on my own.  Then, it's all out there.  Your heart and your mind are no longer filled up with all the negativity, so there is so much room for God to move in!

When adversity strikes (we know it will) and you thank Me anyway, your TRUST in My sovereignty is a showpiece in invisible realms.  One hard HARD lesson I have had to work on with myself, is my poor pitiful me act. I have to tell myself, "Danielle, Get over it!  Move on!" It is doing absolutely no good dwelling on adversity.  All that does is, once again, fill up our hearts and minds with nonsense that we can give over to God.  "God, I can't do this on my own.  Can you help me carry my load?  God I know right now it feels like nothing worse has ever happened to anyone in the history of ever.  But, I know that there are people with far worse things happening than what I am going through right now.  THANK YOU God, for being there to help me through this.  And THANK YOU God for letting this not be the worst thing in the history of ever.  God, also, could you please lay your hands on the people who do have it worse than me.  Please let them feel your spirit, and please send someone there way who can give them a shoulder to lean on. THANK YOU! Amen."

This next sentence I'm probably going to print really big and hang it on my wall somewhere.  "Fill up the spare moments of your life with praise and thanksgiving."  How perfect of a reminder is that?  We all have those times where we feel bored....this could even be a good lesson for older kids.  In those times when you're feeling bored, or you just don't have anything to do.  Even if it's 4 minutes.  Fill those minutes up with praise and thanksgiving!  You could even keep a thankful notebook for the whole family to write in.  How long do you think it would take to fill it up?  I bet it would fill up faster than you think.  We have a lot to be thankful for, once we sit down and actually think about it.

Now some scripture to back up today's message.
"Praise the Lord!  Praise the Lord, O My Soul!  I will praise the Lord as long as I live, I will sing praises to my God while I have my being."       Psalm 146:1-2

"Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." 
1 Thessalonians 5:18

In Ephesians 5:4 thankfulness is brought up in a different way, but a way that we can all definitely use it.
The way to avoid coveting others' possessions is to concentrate with thanks upon  the good things the Lord has given us.
Yes, that family may have a nice house and nice cars...but guess what?  The Lord has indeed blessed us with a very nice place to live, and vehicles that get us to where we need to go.

It's not just US, in 2015 that need a reminder of this.  In Colossians 2:6-7 Paul is speaking to the Colossians, "Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, ,just as you were taught, abounding in THANKSGIVING."

It seems as though Paul is saying, "Hey, we already learned this. Now let's implement it."  Why should we care no how any of our rivals are teaching?

Christ knows that we are never going to be perfect, and He doesn't expect us to be.  But we should be living our lives, striving to live up to what we are in Christ.  We know that in striving for perfection, we are always going to fall short.  But if we are striving every day to reach the goal of spending eternity with our Savior....we won't fall short.  We will be there.




Thank you all for reading!
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