Wednesday, July 30, 2014
…for you do not know what a day may bring. Proverbs 27:1
Today I spoke to many different caregivers after sharing at an event. The underlying connection between us all was that none of us expected nor really desired to become a caregiver. Not one person laid awake at night dreaming of the day he/she would be able to dedicate their entire being to meeting the needs of another person. Each new face I met shared how they never saw their situation coming and how unexpected it all was.
Proverbs tells us all that we don't know the challenges the next day will hold but that we are not to focus on that for the Lord has all control. No matter what may come or happen to us or the ones we love, God is still on the throne and Jesus is still the Savior of the world. That never changes.
When we literally place our trust in the Lord we no longer live in fear of tomorrow or what our future will look like. We have a hope that may not make sense to the world around us, but is real just the same. Like the old hymn says, "I know who holds tomorrow." and as believers we do!
Don't allow the enemy to use the uncertainty of tomorrow in order to paralyze you and steal your joy. Take His hand and move forward knowing He already knows the future.
Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Listen to this message from God, O king of Judah, sitting on David’s throne; and
let your servants and your people listen too.
Examples of these assurance messages vary. Lines from song, scriptures sent by text or email from someone, a comment made by a stranger, a phone call from a friend, or even just the physical touch of His presence are all meant to assure me that He continues to be in control even when the storms of life encircle me. Just when I think I am about to loose it, He comes up with another way to say to me, "Jessica, I see you. I know you are hurting and I know this is hard. I know that you are growing weary and you have begun to wonder if I am really going to stand by my promises to you. Don't worry, my sweet one. I am working on it right now and have only your best in mind. I love you so much!"
After receiving a message of assurance from the Maker of the stars, I cannot help but persevere. I know that He is for me and not against me. I know that He has a plan to prosper me and not harm me. I know that He desires to bless me and not curse me. And many will ask, "Jessica, how do you know these things?" and my response will always be, "For He has never shown me anything different."
Saturday, July 12, 2014
For years I read this scripture thinking it sounded really good but during uncertain and scary times in life just wasn't realistic. It seemed impossible to imagine being still during a storm in my life. During a storm I am usually the very opposite of still. I am running around trying my very best to figure out the best solutions to the problems that are consuming me.
The closer I become in relationship with my Lord and Savior, the more I saw that being still could actually be a reality. Now, when uncertain times avail me I can stay calm and just be still in His presence. When I chose to be still and believe that God is God and that He is in control of the circumstances around me, I can stop worrying and being filled with unneeded anxiety.
Spending time sitting in the presence praying and reading His Word brings a comfort which only comes from the covering of the Holy Spirit. Today I can tell you from experience, being STILL is possible. Just give it a try.
Monday, July 7, 2014
As for God, his way is perfect: The Lord’s word is flawless; he shields all who take refuge in him. Psalm 18:30 NIV
Do you ever feel that you have a situation all figured out and that if God would only do what you feel is right then everything in the universe would align? Well, I am being honest and saying, "I have and try not to, but fall into that often!" I can clearly see what needs to happen and yet God doesn't allow that to take place. I guess He is not listening to what I have told Him I need or what I want to happen. Does this sound familiar? I find myself getting upset and frustrated with God. Yes, I said it. When we are in a relationship with another, even God, we get upset and that's normal.
What I have to remember is that no matter how great my plan seems to me, Psalm 18 tells me that God's way is perfect! After reading that, I know my plans can never compete with those of our heavenly Father. My plans have never nor ever will be perfect. It also tells me in this scripture that the Lord's Word is flawless. I looked up the definition of flawless and found that it means "without any mistakes or shortcomings; perfect". So, now we also know that when we read something in the Bible it is the truth and that there are no mistakes in what it tells us. We can believe it.
The end of the scripture leaves me feeling so comforted and loved. God tells us that He will shield me or protect me. I don't know about you, but I need daily protection from the enemy and his terrible schemes. And then God ends the scripture telling me and you that we can take refuge in Him. Refuge to me is a safe, secure, and peaceful place. In the world that encircles me today, I know that I need a place of refuge.
So, as we create lofty plans for the Lord in our own minds and continue to figure everything out, lets try and remember to stop and let God have His way for it really is perfect!
Friday, July 4, 2014
Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”
Let's get real about the subject of forgiveness. It is not easy nor what we really desire to do in our hearts. On top of that, we sometimes have to forgive people who are not sorry for what they have done to us and haven't even asked for forgiveness. In many situations that seems impossible!
Luke 23:34 always makes me feel sad. I picture my Jesus on the cross of Calvary taking his last breaths. In the midst of carrying all my sin on Himself, He finds time to forgive the ones who have done these horrible things against Him. How is that possible? It is possible because Jesus came to save and not condemn. It is possible because Jesus came to love and not hate. In the midst of the greatest pain and suffering imaginable, my Jesus forgave people who weren't even sorry for what they had done to Him. The question then falls into my court. Do I love and trust Jesus enough to do the same to those who have hurt and disappointed me?
Recently, within the same week, I felt that I had been wronged by two different people. The difference was that one person called me and asked for my forgiveness while the other never did. The other difference between the two was that the person who asked for my forgiveness acknowledged the hurt they had caused me and explained how terrible they felt and how much they loved me while the other person acted as if nothing had ever happened.
Well, you know it was easy to forgive the person who called, acknowledged my pain, and then asked for my forgiveness. I felt such peace and relief about the whole situation, but then there was the other. How could I forgive this person when it was evident they weren't sorry and I knew they would continue this same type of behavior in the future? Well, after weeks of prayer and then the conviction of the Holy Spirit through a friend's prayer, I knew I must forgive the one who was not sorry in order to have peace for myself. There really is freedom in forgiveness. I know God will protect me and that He is my defender. I must trust in Him.