In the dark hours of the night , I have had to say to myself over and over, “When I am afraid, I will trust in You.” (Psalm56:3). We have had to trust the Lord with our circumstances, yet I have been so afraid of what the months and years to come would hold. Many of you reading this know how that feels. You are dealt circumstances that shake your world, turn it upside down and leave you reeling in uncertainty.
Fear is the enemy of faith. It comes with a vengeance and its goal is to destroy our trust in the goodness of God and to cause us to live in unbelief, which is sin.
I sought the Lord, and he answered me; He delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame. Psalm 34:5 & 6
Rend Collective has a song by the name of “Whatever Comes”, it is on my Talking to Myself playlist (mentioned in the blog post earlier). Here’s the first verse:
"Lord, whatever comes Make me steadfast, make me rooted A Cedar planted firm, deeply grounded in Your goodness Whatever comes." (Rend Collective, "Whatever Comes")
For over three years I had been praying that we would see “The Glory of God” in the midst of our hard places. Already we were walking through much brokenness and heartbreak. God was teaching me that brokenness was a gift and that I needed to be broken. While there were real challenges and sin issues with my loved one, my sin issues were just as great. It’s easy to point fingers and accuse when sin is blatant, but what about those secret sins that lurk in our hearts that are cloaked in “good appearances” or better yet, quietly hidden in our minds and hearts.
Sometimes God uses the difficulties in our life, our circumstances and our people, to reveal the deep, dark sin areas lurking in our own hearts.
When we try to control our circumstances (or people) our heart issues are revealed. We don’t trust God to take care of them or us….and that is sin. The desire to control reveals our rebellion, pride, fear, selfish ambition and unbelief.
Chuck just listened to a podcast by Robby Gallaty, where Robby mentions that if we keep trying to save people, Jesus never can. I know this has been true in my own life, and it’s been a quite painful (and long) journey of learning to release my people to God. And it’s still a daily decision I have to make. Every. Single. Day. I have to choose to not strive, to lay down my plans and surrender my life and those I love. God’s way, not mine. It’s so hard to die to self. Every. Single. Day. But if we are going to move forward in our life with Christ. Death to self is not negotiable.
For every death there is a resurrection. When we choose to lay down our lives in surrender to God’s ways, He will raise us up and make us fruitful. But this process will require sacrifice. We have to die to our agendas. We have to die to our comfort zones. We have to die to expectations.
Everyday we have a choice. Live for self or live for God. What and who are we pursuing each day? Are we choosing to meet with God first and let Him set our agenda? Are we surrendering our time, energy and resources to Him? Are we asking God what matters most for today?
Keep trusting in the Lord and do what is right in his eyes. Fix your heart on the promises of God and you will be secure, feasting on his faithfulness. Make God the utmost delight and pleasure of your life, and he will provide for you what you desire the most. Give God the right to direct your life, and as you trust him along the way you’ll find he pulled it off perfectly! Psalm 37:3-5 TPT
People matter! It’s so easy to get in our own little worlds and stay busy. This is a huge struggle, I confess. But the days I am most energized and encouraged (and sometimes very tired at the end) are the days I really listen to God’s voice and He leads me to sacrifice my time for others. When I’m attentive and obedient, He fills my days with people. And it is so good, because we need each other. In a world where everybody is busy or just not available, how refreshing it is for our souls when we come together and make each other a priority. Often this can happen with encouraging text, phone calls or especially face to face.
Over the past year, God has used faithful, life-giving people to help strengthen and encourage us on days we felt all alone. Surely we would have been overcome if not for these faithful folks. When your life feels like it’s caving in and the waves are overtaking you, you need the body of Christ. One of the enemies biggest strategies is isolation. He can wreak havoc in our minds and hearts if he can get us alone. So don’t hide, pray for people to surround you, and reach out to those God has placed in your life. Don’t hide in shame and fear. Don’t believe the lies that you are alone and a failure. You have hope and purpose wherever you are right now. You can make an eternal difference. God wants to use you in the lives of other people as you walk with Him and trust Him.
Human strength and the weapons of man are false hopes for victory; they may seem mighty but they will always disappoint. The eyes of the Lord are upon even the weakest worshipers who love him—those who wait in hope and expectation for the strong, steady love of God. God will deliver them from death, even the certain death of famine, with no one to help. 20 The Lord alone is our radiant hope and we trust in him with all our hearts. His wrap-around presence will strengthen us. As we trust, we rejoice with an uncontained joy flowing from Yahweh! Let your love and steadfast kindness overshadow us continually, for we trust and we wait upon you! Psalm 33:17-22 TPT
Knowing so many are carrying huge burdens, disappointments, and pain. We are praying for those of you reading this today! Please let us know how we can do that specifically.
Monica and Chuck