God Doesn’t Give Up

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God doesn’t give up on people.

One of my oldest and dearest friends got a call from her twin brother late one night. He was calling from jail with his third DUI. Before he even began to talk, she felt God drop a message in her heart for him. She told him that she wasn’t mad at him but that he would keep finding himself in that kind of situation until he realized how much God loves him until he stopped running from that love.

When her brother told her he wanted to change, she didn’t believe him anymore. He has told her that too many times to count.

She didn’t believe her brother anymore but she believed God.

That night her brother believed God too. He got involved in Celebrate Recovery, quit drinking and now goes to a church he loves.

My friend told me this story with tears running down her beautiful face and said, “God doesn’t give up.”

I had tears running down my face as well because in the twenty years we have been friends, I know one of her most fervent prayers was that her twin brother would know Jesus like she does.

I want to remind you today that God doesn’t give up on people.

Sometimes it takes longer than you want it to but God hears your prayers and loves the people you are praying for more than you do.

Jesus doesn’t give up.

You may stop praying about it.

You may stop believing it can ever happen.

You may have lost faith in a person.

You may have lost faith in yourself and your own ability to change.

But God doesn’t.

“Love never gives up.”

1 Cor.13:7

Never.

God is not asking you to believe in others or even yourself anymore, He is asking you to believe in Him.

He is the faithful Savior who paid the ultimate price to redeem the lost, reinstate the prodigal and recreate the unrecognizable with the unrelenting love that flows from his heart.

What do you need to believe God for today?

Who do you need to believe God for today?

Difficult Roads

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I grew up about an hour from the beach in Southern California. Unless you know that you are going to the beach, it just feels like you are stuck in the worst freeway traffic of your life. Standstill traffic with smog.

But then you turn a corner and there it is- the sand, the waves, the Southern California beach.

You don’t know what God has for you around the corner, my friend.

Sometimes, you can’t even guess.

The way there may not be pretty or easy but Jesus is faithful to complete what he has started.

Keep going.

“Show me the right path, O LORD; point out the road for me to follow.”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭25:4‬ ‭NLT‬

There is more to see, more to do and it is going to be breathtaking.

Quiet Strength

“So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline.”

Colossians 3:12- MSG

Quiet Strength gets up when it is tired.

Does the right thing when it doesn’t feel like it.

Holds on when it wants to let go.

Pushes through when it would be easier to quit.

It isn’t pretty.

It is strong.

It has scars.

Quiet strength doesn’t stop.

It is the kind of strength that Jesus demonstrated every day as he walked with mankind and made his way to the cross.

The life that God has called you to live requires a quiet strength and a steely determination.

You can’t do it without him and he doesn’t ask you to.

“I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being,”. Ephesians 3:16 NIV

Jesus will give you his glorious riches to fill your heart with courage and determination to do the thing you think you can’t do.

The quiet strength of God defies logic and grows in what seems to be an impossible place.

Don’t give up.

Stay faithful.

Draw strength from Jesus today and keep doing what God is calling you to do.

Great is His Faithfulness

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‬‬I remember a time a few years ago when I was discouraged and heartbroken.

My hopes had been swept away by a flood of circumstances fueled by other people’s choices and actions. I chose integrity but no one else saw it that way. My character was questioned. My reputation was shredded and I could do nothing about it.

I could only walk forward into a future that I had not anticipated or imagined.

I clung to Jesus. I grabbed hold of the promise that He would never leave me or forsake me. I tried to trust that He could redeem the circumstances as I watched everything we had built crumble around us. I tried and failed- I couldn’t find trust or hope within my soul. Only heartbreak and fear.

Psalms 119:116 became the words I held onto:

Sustain me, my God, according to your promise, and I will live; do not let my hopes be dashed.”

One morning I got up early and took a walk. We were living in Las Vegas and my neighborhood edged the desert by the Red Rock. With worship music loaded on my iPod, I set out to pray and breathe in the presence of God.

As I turned the corner out of my neighborhood and onto the desert road behind it the song “Great is Thy Faithfulness” began. The sun was just rising over Red Rock Canyon and it was so beautiful that I almost dropped to my knees.


I heard God’s whisper in my heart, “Hold on precious, your hopes are not lost. I am faithful to complete what I have started in you. I will sustain you through this and strengthen you in it. My faithfulness knows no end.”

It was a turning point for me. I carried that promise through a time that got harder long before it got better.

Hold on, my friend, your hopes are not lost. 

Jesus is faithful to complete what He started in you.

He will sustain you and strengthen you in it.

God’s faithfulness knows no end.

Desperate

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“Desperate, I throw myself on you: you are my God! Hour by hour I place my days in your hand, safe from the hands out to get me.”
Psalm 31:14, 15 MSG
You are desperate when you have run out of options and have done all you can with what you have and come up wanting.
You are desperate when you realize you have no control. No control over how others react. No control what others think. No control of what others choose.
Desperation feels horrid. It feels scary.
And yet desperation drives us to our knees.
It drives us to an honest place where we admit we have no power and no actual control.
It is the realization that we are impotent to procure any real change, unable to bring about that which we desire.
When we have nothing left, we have everything to gain.
Why? Because it is when we throw ourselves on the mercy of God and admit the truth that we are human and not small gods. We are mortal and God is the immortal, all-powerful, omniscient God.
It is actually the safest place to be when we feel the most vulnerable.
When you are just surviving hour by hour- you find God is walking with you minute by minute.
“…for He [God] Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. [I will] not, [I will] not, [I will] not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let [you] down(relax My hold on you)! [Assuredly not!] “
Hebrews 13:5 AMP
If you are in a desperate place right now, throw yourself on God, because you are in good hands when you are in His hands.
Are you in a desperate place? 
What can I pray for you? 
What does walking with God minute by minute look like to you right now? 

Live It

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Being right with God isn’t the hard part, the hard part is learning how to live it out.
You have lived a long time being broken. A long time learning how to cope with it, how to function in it. The good news of Jesus Christ is that He has taken your brokenness upon himself and in return offers you wholeness. To restore your mind, heart, soul, and spirit to God’s original design.
He wants to teach you a new way to live.
How to live whole and treasured.
How to live trusting and trusted.
How to live nurtured and nourished.
How to love and be loved.
“He got us out of the mess we’re in and restored us to where he always wanted us to be. And he did it by means of Jesus Christ.” (‭Romans‬ ‭3‬:‭21-24‬ MSG)
It takes time and perseverance.
God provides the time, we provide the perseverance.
Don’t give up.
Every day you are learning how to live restored in Christ.

Press On

Who you were created to be

Don’t stop going after all God has for you just because you are not where you want to be. 
Sometimes the journey seems short when you look at all Jesus has already done for you.
Sometimes the journey seems long when you see how far you still have to go.
If Paul the Apostle felt this way, don’t be so hard on yourself when you do:
“Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 
Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: forgetting what is behind and straining towards what is ahead, I press on towards the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenwards in Christ Jesus.”
‭‭Philippians‬ ‭3:12-14‬ ‭NIV
Keep going. Keep pursuing. Press on.
God has a hold of you for a reason you haven’t even begun to know yet. 
That reason has nothing to do with who you think you are or who you think you are not but it has everything to do with who HE is.
Go to Jesus and let Him do the work He wants to do in you.
He is working the past out of you so that you can embrace the future He has for you.
 
Don’t give up.
Hold onto God even as He is holding onto you. 
Press on.
Has Jesus given you a glimpse of the work He wants to do in you? 
How does knowing that He is holding onto to you give you strength to keep holding onto Him?