“But we’re not quitters who lose out. Oh, no! We’ll stay with it and survive, trusting all the way.”
Hebrews 10:32-39 MSG
Following Jesus means that you are being called upon to be a pioneer. He is calling you to be the first in your family to break the cycle of unhealthy habits or to break the cycle of emotional or physical abuse.
It will take courage.
You will have to persevere.
You will have to be stubborn to keep going against the odds and swim against the current.
God is asking you to be a change-maker and to be stubborn about it.
Be stubborn about your goals but flexible about your methods.
Jesus never did the same miracle twice.
Each one was different and unique.
Be creative, use what God has given you and fight for change.
I want to encourage you today that no matter how dark the situation is, believe that God can do something in it anyway.
I want to challenge you to dare to trust Him in the desert – there is a promised land and you are on your way to it.
My prayer for you is that like Abraham you will decide to live today not based on what you can’t do but on what God can do through you.
God freely gives you His power to sustain you to walk, to love, to care and to be fully alive even when you may feel mostly dead inside.
“Abraham was first named ‘father’ and then became a father because he dared to trust God to do what only God could do: raise the dead to life, with a word make something out of nothing.
When everything was hopeless, Abraham believed anyway, deciding to live not on the basis of what he saw he couldn’t do but on what God said he would do.”
Romans 4:17-18 MSG
Long before Abraham saw the fruit of the promise, he believed God anyway. Though everything in his life seemed to indicate otherwise, he lived his life, every day, not looking at the impossibility of the promise but in the possibility of God.
I am sure that there were times that Abraham barely believed. I know that there were days that he was only holding on to a bare thread of hope…but he held on.
Hold on, my friend, you may only have a thread of hope, but in Christ, that thread is stronger than what you face and will hold against that which you fear.
“Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out.”
Romans 12:2 (MSG)
Don’t worry about defining yourself within your culture.
Don’t limit yourself by trying to find a place to fit in it.
Look to Jesus and allow His unquenchable love to change how you see yourself, transform how you think about life, and impact how you treat those around you.
“Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping.” Matthew 8:24 NIV
We have all been living through a storm of uncertainty for the last year. In one way or another, Covid-19 has disrupted our lives like a storm disrupts a clear blue sky.
Since living in Southern Florida for the last few of years, I have a healthy respect for storms that come on quickly and are ferocious. Every afternoon in the summer, the fluffy white clouds that fill the blue expanse of the sky in the morning turn into dark thunderclouds by the afternoon. Some afternoon storms are gentle showers and over quickly. Some of them rip the sky open with the crack of lightning, heart-pounding thunderclaps, and vicious wind.
The verse above describes a storm on the Sea of Galilee that came on so suddenly and was so ferocious that seasoned fisherman (the disciples) feared for their lives.
And what was Jesus doing? He was sleeping. He was resting.
He didn’t get in the boat at the beginning of the voyage and quiet the winds and calm the waves before he fell asleep, Jesus rested right in the middle of it.
The storm did not disturb him.
How did Jesus rest in the midst of an unexpected storm?
Jesus knew three things:
That God, His Father determined His time on earth, not a storm- even the most ferocious of ones.
Who and whose He was: the Son of God, on a mission from God, filled with the power of God.
He knew that His mission was not over yet.
The best thing for you to do in a storm is to trust God and rest.
Rest in God’s sovereignty: He knows the moment you will cross into eternity. This storm will not be the end of your story and God does not have half a plan.
Rest in knowing who and whose you are: a cherished child of God, redeemed by the cross of Christ to live life loved and drenched in God’s grace.
Rest in the knowledge that as long as you are here, God’s mission for you is not done yet.
I know it is stormy where you are but I want you to know that God is there with you and He will get you through whatever happens.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;” Proverbs 3:5 NIV
It is hard to not lean on your own understanding.
Your understanding is made of what you know, what you have learned, what you have been taught and tucked into your back pocket as experience. In the other pocket, you have stuffed the disappointments, the failures, the mistakes that you don’t want to make again. Either way, you are leaning on what you know. You make decisions based on past experiences and knee-jerk reactions from what you fear happening again.
How do you learn to trust God and lean on His understanding, His truth, His knowledge, and His power?
Lean on Him.
Lean on His love, His faithfulness, His wisdom and His mercy today.
Do the next right thing and leave the rest to Him.
He will guide you and show you how to walk forward according to His truth.
Instead of your go-to, knee-jerk reaction, go to your knees and ask God what the next right thing is.