Jesus, The One and Only

Posts tagged ‘Hope’

God IS Faithful!

Believe

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“There they found believers and were invited to stay with them for seven days.  And so we came to Rome” (Acts 28:14 HCSB) “God fulfilled His promise to Paul.” (1)

WOW!  What Paul had to go through to see and experience what God had whispered to him awhile back!  Not only did God bring about where Paul was going to go but he found believers there and was invited to stay with them.  There’s a bond that forms between fellow believers in our journey of life.

“In reference to fellow believers in Christ, the term “came to designate a fellowship of love equivalent to or bringing with it a community of life.”  As Paul approached Rome, God knew he needed “a fellowship of love” or “a community of life.”’ ‘God recognizes our need for community and desires to meet the need through His church – the body of believers God organized to offer a community of life.” (2)

There’s something else that stirs within in my heart after reading this. Paul walked right into the promise that the Lord had fulfilled from Acts 23:11.  The Lord was faithful to what he told Paul earlier and He was faithful to deliver them all out of the horrific storm they went through. They made it to Rome unharmed and alive!

Have you had the privilege to experience something God placed in your heart and you saw it come to pass?  That you knew “only God” could have orchestrated events in such a way that no man could ever take credit?  Can you imagine Paul showing up at that moment and what he may have felt in his heart?  How would you have acted?

I have had some unique privileges to walk as Paul did into those moments when it’s like time stands still for just a moment and you’re thinking God is going to show up at any minute because it all originated with Him.  There is something so powerful and faith building during those times that it’s in those opportunities that we just want to thank Him and look forward to what He will orchestrate next.  Just to be in awe of such a magnificent God!

I call these moments God’s kisses because there’s such a sweet sense of peace and rest that envelopes me and I know everything is going to be alright!!  Usually we have had to overcome some kind of battle/challenge/obstacle and have had to trust Him through the journey no matter if it was an hour or days/months/years!!!  I believe our job is to look for those moments in time and to seek Him as He unfolds the mystery before our eyes.  What may look like a storm today carries the promise of a future and hope for tomorrow for those who believe! FAITH!!

Are you looking for Him in the moments of your day to see what He would orchestrate next for you to walk into?

Vicky

(1-2) Paul, 90 Days in His Journey of Faith / Beth Moore / B & H Publishing

“Weathering The Storm” – Part 2

Rembrandt's The Storm on the Sea of Galilee, s...

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Beth shares some practical behaviors to apply to our lives for surviving our own personal storms.

  1. Don’t pull up the anchor (vs. 13) – Jesus is our anchor!  “When gentle breezes blow in our lives and all seems calm and peaceful, we often become less attentive to Him.”(1) When everything seems pretty calm in our lives “we’re not as aware of our need for the One who secures our lives and holds us stead until the storms begin to rage.  Don’t let a few calm breezes give you a false sense of security in yourself and your surroundings. Stay anchored in Christ in gentle times too.”(2)
  2. Don’t give way to the storm (vs. 15) – “Give way to the Master of the seas.” (3)  Pray and release the burden to the Lord and allow him to give you His Peace!  Read the Bible and fill your thoughts with God’s truth.
  3. Do throw some cargo overboard (vs. 18) – The crew tried to keep the ship afloat by getting rid of excess cargo.  In the midst of some of the most difficult storms we face, get rid of the baggage that can hold you hostage like bitterness, anger, whatever is holding your heart/thoughts captive.  Choose to walk in forgiveness and allow the Peace of God to fill those voids.  Ask God what he would like for you to get rid of today!
  4. Do throw the tackle overboard (vs. 19) – “The gear was man-made provisions needed to master the storm.  Storms are seldom pleasant, but they can serve an important purpose.  They help us to see the man-made solutions we’re substituting in place of depending on and getting to know God.” (4)
  5. NEVER GIVE UP HOPE!!!! (vs. 20) – Not only were the seas bombarding them, there was no sun or stars to guide them throw the day/night. Something interesting happens in this text as the writer/apostle, Paul includes himself in “we”.  No matter how long you have been walking with the Lord, no matter the matter, everyone has gone through some trials in life, and no one is immune to the onslaught from the enemy to try to get us to succumb to the circumstances of life.  At times like these it can be difficult to walk by faith and not by sight ….but Ps. 62:5 says “Rest in God alone, my soul, for my hope comes from Him.” Don’t put your hope in the turbulent waters trying to engulf you but in HIM ALONE!!
  6. Listen for God to speak! (vs. 24) -  If our souls (mind, will and emotions) keep us focused on the problem it can be difficult to hear the voice of God. We all need to press in, refocus and trust Him who is faithful!  This all starts with the 1st point above.  Because you have been walking, talking, praying and reading scripture, your faith has been increased daily.  He has taken you through a journey and there are situations in your past that you know if it wasn’t for the hand of God moving in your life, you wouldn’t be where you are today!

Because life and difficult circumstances involve more than 6 bullet points, I’ll continue with Part 3 next time!  In the mean time which point are you at in your journey?

“The Motions”

Vicky

(1 – 4) Paul, 90 Days In His Journey of Faith / Beth Moore / B & H Publishing

“Not Me”

Always There For You!

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Read 1 Corinthians 1:26-31

“Instead, God has chosen the world’s foolish things to shame the wise, and God has chosen the world’s weak things to shame the strong.” (vs. 27 HCSB)

“God often proves Himself when we feel we have the least to offer.  And in our passage for today, Paul explained why God sometimes uses this method: so we can be clear that the power comes from the Lord.”  Perhaps words mean more to you now that you know how he felt when he left Athens.” (1)  Beth continues to share about the insecurities, loss of confidence, emotional exhaustion, etc. that Paul may have felt as he left Athens.

When those challenges come our way it can zap our strength and cause us not to press forward.  But as we continue to reach out to him and pray that His strength sustains us when we need it, “a stream of strength seems to pour from heaven.  Not in buckets.  It can be more like an intravenous drip; just enough to know He was sustaining us minute by minute.  There may be no rush of adrenaline… or a sudden gust of mighty wind … and can sometimes take place over a period of days and but never lacking the strength and confidence to complete whatever task there is.” (2)

We have all had challenges that come along in one form or another and sometimes feel physically exhausted and think that the wind has been knocked out from underneath us.  Just look at the world around you, the statistics in the news, or what people are going through… that can zap anyone’s strength!!  If we listen too long we may react out of fear.  When we react out of fear, it then becomes our emotions that control us instead of us controlling those thoughts, feelings or emotions.  We need God’s help, His strength especially in times like these to give us the strength to overcome, to move forward, a renewed sense of hope and to trust that He has a better plan.  Release whatever “it” is to Him and not take it back and He will provide the strength in us! 

Sometimes we don’t know the whole picture or understand why.  Our job is to become a student of His Word, to believe and have faith, and allow the Holy Spirit to bring truth and revelation.  How can you really know someone, even God, unless you get into that person’s life and listen and truly take the time to understand their heart?  But so many times we wait to call on God when we’re at our most desperate moments.  

Today take it as an opportunity to begin to trust Him and thank Him daily, even for the little things. Don’t wait until the storms of life come!  As your relationship continues to grow with Him, you can trust that His strength can sustain you when you are weak.   Soon others will be asking where you are getting your strength from!

Blessings,                    

 Click here -  Casting Crowns – “Praise you in this Storm

Vicky

(1-2) Paul, 90 Days in His Journey of Faith/Beth Moore/B & H Publishing

“Never Give Up”

38. love never fails

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Read 1 Corn. 2:1-5

“And so it was with me, brothers and sisters. When I came to you, I did not come with eloquence or human wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God.” (vs. 1 HCSB)

“After a brief stay in Athens, Paul simply moved on in frustration.”(1)  Beth mentions that it must have been difficult for Paul to have gone to Athens where many didn’t receive his message and he ended up leaving after a short time.  Leaving alone and in that aloneness he must have gone through a gambit of feelings of solitude, insecurities, intimidation, negative thoughts, etc. 

“1 Corinthians 2:2 says by the time he reached Corinth, he dad “determined to know nothing … except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.”  Thank goodness, he knew the only thing he really had to know!  He determined to base his life and ministry on Christ – his one certainty!’  ‘In 1 Corinthians 2:14 he wrote, “But the natural man does not welcome what comes from God’s Spirit, because it is foolishness to him; he is not able to know it since it is evaluated spiritually.’” (2)

“Obviously Paul’s experience had a great impact on his next opportunity.  He entered Corinth “in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling” (1 Corn. 2:3)  The word “weakness” come from an original word used for a sickness.  It suggests that Paul was so scared he was physically ill.  The word for “trembling” indicates something we’ve all experienced: hands shaking from nervousness.  The opposite word is “confidence”.  By the time Paul reached Corinth, he had lost his confidence. (3)

Sometimes we can be humming along and then all of a sudden we too can find ourselves engulfed in moments of negative insecurities.   A little hick up that can sometimes drain the life out of our soul.  We all have periods of frustration and it matters what we decide to do at those moments; whether we pause…then move forward or give up all together on a dream, an idea, whatever “it” is.   The good news is that with the Holy Spirit as our guide, He will comfort us, He will guide us and He will strengthen us to continue on and not to give up HOPE.  Maybe the situation just calls for a change of instruction or direction!!  

How about you… have you given up because of a situation or people in your sphere didn’t act favorably towards you?  What helped you determine your next move … whether you continued to move forward or not? 

Blessings!                             “Your Love Never Fails”

Vicky

(1-3) Paul, 90 Days in His Journey of Faith/Beth Moore/B & H Publishing

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