Tag Archives: Trust in God

Don’t Assume God’s Not Working

22 Jul

Kathi, holding a tiny baby, walked into a drug store and asked the clerk if she could use the store’s baby scale.

“Sorry, Ma’am,” the clerk said. “Our baby scale is broken. But we can figure the baby’s weight if we weigh mother and baby together on the adult scale.

“Then we can weigh the mother alone, and subtract the second number from the first.”

“Oh, that won’t work,” Kathi said.

The clerk, puzzled, said, “Why not?”

“Because I’m not the mother,” Kathi said. “I’m the aunt.” *

I laugh as I read that, because I’ve often assumed something wouldn’t work, but I had a skewed perspective … or a limited one.

Have you ever assumed that God’s not working in a situation, only to find out some time later that He was working behind the scenes, planning for something spectacular or even “impossible”?

Once, when I felt led away from one job to another, I couldn’t figure out why God didn’t give me the “release” to change jobs right away. A little frustrated, I determined to work hard and “finish well” for as long as God kept me in that job.

Then, months later, God opened an incredible opportunity for ministry and gave me the “go ahead;” but when I went into my boss’s office to tell him I was moving on, I was shocked that he seemed relieved!

A week or so later, I discovered why. I was one of his employees slated for layoff!

God had a greater plan that I could not see, and His timing was perfect.

M. Blaine Smith wrote about his experiences with God’s unseen activity in an article titled “Help from Behind the Scenes” (12-15-97). “If I could glimpse the unseen circumstances that are affecting my destiny,” Smith said, “I would often be encouraged by what I found.”

But then he said, “If I truly knew everything going on behind the scenes that’s affecting my life, I would be unsettled by plenty of it, for I wouldn’t automatically know how to put it all in right perspective.”

How does he resolve his feelings about this? “Yet I have an extraordinary basis for knowing ~ simply as a matter of faith ~ that Christ is working behind the scenes to bring about his best for my life,” he said. “Without knowing any of the details of what He is doing, I have profound reason to be hopeful.”

Over and over again in the Bible, we see that God worked behind the scenes for our good and His glory.

God gave Gideon a glimpse behind the scenes of how He was going to defeat the enemy Midianites (Judges 7:9-15). God opened the eyes of Elisha’s servant to see the powerful angelic army “behind the scenes,” ready to fight against the enemy (2 Kings 6:15-18) ~ one of my favorite Old Testament stories.

Smith notes that, at Jesus’ birth, “few realized that God was acting in a way which would forever alter the course of human history and the destiny of innumerable lives.”

But I’m thinking about the “behind the scenes” story of Jesus’ death! I am awed by this scripture: “But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory” (1 Corinthians 2:7-8).

Apparently, Satan and his evil cohorts had no idea of the scope of the incredible behind the scenes plan of God in Jesus’ death and resurrection!

Friend, our loving, sovereign God is always working behind the scenes. There’s no need to worry … no need to fear … no need to manipulate circumstances.

We can rest, knowing everything is under control. Let that truth give you hope today!

Comment opportunity:  Has God ever pulled back the curtain to let you see behind the scenes to what He is doing in your life? Or have you been surprised by God’s activity on your behalf? I’d love to hear your stories!

* adapted from Cybersalt Digest, Issue #3674

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Hang on for the Ride!

22 Apr

In her post on the Christian e-zine, The Christ Pulse, author Karen O’Connor wrote about a group of women who toured London tearooms. Her description of the “White Knuckle Ride” on a British double-decker bus that make me laugh.

Karen wrote that the women downstairs were attentive and happy, but when she walked to the top deck to talk to the women , the passengers “were sitting like soldiers on alert,” clutching the seats in front of them.

“Is anything wrong?” she asked.”We’re having a great time downstairs, but you don’t appear to be enjoying yourselves.”

As Karen looked around, “One of the ladies looked up at me with a touch of fear in her eyes,” she said.

And then one of them spoke up in a small voice, “That’s because you have a driver!”

I couldn’t help but see a parallel.

It always helps to know that someone is “driving” our lives. Knowing someone is in charge alleviates our fears and concerns.

As I think about my journey in life, four things have helped me relax and hang on for the ride.

(1) God’s Sovereignty – He’s always in charge (Psalm 103:19). In His sovereignty, God rules over all (Psalm 115:3; ). He is totally in control and nothing is impossible for Him (Job 42:2; Luke 1:37). We may make plans from our perspective, but God sees the bigger picture, so we can trust His promises and purposes (Proverbs 16:1-4).

(2) God’s Loving Presence – He never leaves me, even when I can’t “see” Him at work (Psalm 139:7). I am never alone. His presence is a place of protection (Psalm 31:20). Knowing He is near, I have joy and I can rest (Psalm 16:11; Exodus 33:14).

(3) God’s FaithfulnessHe has always led me well … never led me wrong. He is good and merciful to His children (Psalm 145:9) ~ while there is no doubt that He works for His purposes, He also is concerned for my well-being (Jeremiah 29:11).

(4) God’s Wisdom – He’s more than willing to give me direction through the scriptures (Psalm 119:105) and the Spirit (Psalm 143:10; John 16:13). He will guide and teach me the right way to go, because my “enemies” (including temptations that arise from within me) mean to do me harm (Psalm 25:5; 27:11). I simply need to acknowledge (know and recognize) His voice and listen to His wise instruction (Proverbs 3:6).

I am not a roller coaster fan, mostly because I get dizzy every time, but I do occasionally allow myself to be strapped in ~ and as you well know, once you’re strapped in and the coaster is moving, there’s no turning back. The ride may get uncomfortable, but you’re not going anywhere except up and down (and maybe upside down) on the tracks.

The best way to ride a roller coaster is simply to surrender to the adventure. You may scream… your emotions may go wild… you may even feel a little queasy… but you will eventually arrive at the ride’s destination.

When I became a Christ-follower, I was “strapped in” for the ride. No turning back. It hasn’t always been easy. The ups and downs of life and the corkscrew turns that made my head spin ~ it’s all been part of the ride. But I know that God had purpose in each one, and that He was there with me the whole time. He’s been right beside me, cheering me on.

God has given me insight into how to make the ride a blessing rather than something to be endured. And just as I lift my hands high on the coaster, I find myself lifting my hands is sheer joy at times, praising my God for one incredible “ride.”

How about you? Does your life feel like a roller coaster these days? Remember that God is in control. He loves you and stays close by your side. And He is faithful and wise ~ He can be trusted! 

Do you believe these things? Get ready … in this great adventure with God, you haven’t seen anything yet!

The Best Laid Plans

12 Jul

Four Greek LettersTrevor Lund of Expectancy Ministries ~ “Rev Trev” ~ loves to tell stories about his daughter when she was a little girl. He wrote about how NOT to teach a three-year-old Greek. (6/23/11 newsletter)

“Taiessa was three,” Lund wrote. “She was saying words like ‘indubitably’ in the correct context, Greek Alphabetbut on occasion had trouble saying words with ‘th’ and mixed ‘d’ and ‘g’ sometimes. We would correct her when it was necessary, and she was usually eager to say things correctly … that is unless she heard herself say it correctly.

“I had it in mind to teach her the Greek alphabet. She didn’t have a firm grasp of the English one,  mind you, but that didn’t stop me from wanting to teach her Greek, French, Hebrew, and possibly Latin (if I could learn it first) before she went to kindergarten. I’d let the teacher handle the basics.

“On one fine day, I got her excited about learning the Greek alphabet, so I began:  ‘Taiessa, repeat after me.’

“OK, Daddy!”

“Alpha, Beta, Gamma…”

“Daddy, it’s GRANDMA, not GAMMA!” she emphatically insisted.

“The best laid schemes of mice and men….”

Indeed, the most carefully prepared plans may go wrong.

A scripture verse that comes to mind is Proverbs 19:21: “Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the LORD that will stand.” In other words, we may make plans in our hearts and even act on them, but it is God who controls the outcome. (See Proverbs 16:9).

Many people have used the folksy quote, “If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.” Kenneth Boa, president of Reflections Ministries, says, “We could add to it, ‘If you want to hear him laugh even louder, tell him how much you know.'” (1)

Pride of knowledge is a subtle root problem in much of our planning. We simply think we know everything! Sometimes this pride leads to boasting.

James gives us some insight on this: “Now listen, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.’ Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow.you ought to say, ‘If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.’ As it is, you boast in your arrogant schemes….” (James 4:13-14a; 15-16a).

Our proper attitude in making plans should be to make the wisest plans we can, but also to keep our hands and hearts open to any changes God wants to make. There’s no room for boasting God'sWay-MyOwnWay signabout our plans (Proverbs 27:1; Luke 12:18-20). There’s no room for presumption over what is going to happen; we need to trust God and give all of our expectations to God. 

When it comes to planning, we must be careful that we have no personal agenda except to obey, serve, glorify, and please God. Our attitude should be humility and dependency on Him. We must acknowledge His sovereignty over our lives. Jesus came to do all that the Father asked Him to do (John 4:34; 6:38) ~ He had no other plans. He said “not my will, but yours be done” (Luke 22:42). “Not my own way, but your way, Father” ~ that should be our desire as we consider our plans.

The scriptures say, “Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed” (Proverbs 16:3). The “best laid plans” are those plans that are fully surrendered to the Lord.

(1) http://www.kenboa.org/blog/2010/04/20/%E2%80%9Cif-you-want-to-make-god-laugh-tell-him-your-plans-%E2%80%9D/

(2)

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