Rejoice, Pray, and Give Thanks

I remember some years ago, I was waiting on God to supply my need for employment. They had altar call at church, so I went down for prayer. I told the elder my situation, and this is the verse she gave me…

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NIV, “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

These words brought me peace. Because even though I was still waiting on God’s direction for the right job for me, I could rejoice, pray, and give thanks. According to His Word, that is His will for us in Christ Jesus. I no longer felt powerless in my situation, because doing these things empowered me to honor God and bring Him glory.

When you find yourself in a place where you are trusting God to open up doors for you, you can rejoice, pray, and give Him thanks. He will direct your paths. Find peace and joy knowing that He is working things out for you as wait.

Rejoice, Pray, and Give Thanks
Rejoice, Pray, and Give Thanks

Trust God’s Perfect Timing

After writing “Our God is the God of Abundance” yesterday, I kept thinking about God’s timing. I thought about how although we know God is sovereign over all things (Colossians 1:16), we must still wait for His plans to unfold.

Knowing that God is an abundant God with unlimited resources, it can be a struggle at times to patiently wait. When we are anxious, we can easily find ourselves wondering why God is taking so long to move in our situation. After persevering in prayer for days, months, or even years we may feel tired and discouraged.

Psalm 27:14 NLT, “Wait patiently for the LORD. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the LORD.”

There are times when God chooses to move suddenly and turn things around, but He doesn’t always do that. We don’t always know the reasons behind our waiting. God may reveal details to us, but other times He requires us to just trust Him.

I used to have a picture on the wall that said, “Faith is trusting God when you do not understand.” That’s what is great about putting our faith in Jesus Christ, we don’t have to understand. Everything does not have to make sense to our human minds (Proverbs 3:5-6).

We can find comfort in knowing that He will strengthen us as we persevere through our waiting. We can cry out to Him at anytime of day or night, and He promised to hear our cries for help.

Psalm 18:6 NLT, “But in my distress I cried out to the LORD; yes, I prayed to my God for help. He heard me from his sanctuary; my cry to him reached his ears.”

He promised to give us His peace in exchange for our prayers (Philippians 4:6-7). As you are waiting, remember that God will never leave you. With every trial you face, God has a purpose and a plan, so don’t lose hope.

Before You Were Formed (part 1)

Jeremiah 1:5 NIV, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”

Before Jeremiah was born, God knew him and had already established a purpose for him.

It blows my mind that God has always known us. Even before we were being carried in our mothers womb, He carried us in His heart. There are no unplanned pregnancies in God’s eyes. He has patiently waited, and still patiently waits day by day to see His plans for us come to past.

Even before the womb, He knew you.

I have had times when I have asked myself, “Is God Waiting On Me?” God knows that we are less than perfect and that our understanding is limited. He knows that we struggle with insecurities and fears, so He patiently waits with compassion. He knows that as He waits, we are becoming who He created us to be.

Isaiah 30:18 NIV, “Therefore the LORD longs to be gracious to you, And therefore He waits on high to have compassion on you For the LORD is a God of justice; How blessed are all those who long for Him.”

There should be a longing in our hearts for God. We should want to know Him more because the more we know Him, the more we will love Him. The more we love Him, the more we will want to serve Him. Serving God wholeheartedly, while using the gifts He has given us is what will make our lives meaningful. We are blessed when we long for God.

Wait Patiently for the Lord

Psalm 27:14 NLT, “Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.”

Patiently waiting on God takes courage. Deciding to put ourselves in His hands and trust Him is a very brave thing for us to do. Waiting patiently is not something that the world encourages us to do, but it’s worth it.

God knows what is best for us. Waiting allows Him to work in our hearts so we can learn, grow, and become more like Christ. It also allows Him to work in our situation to bring about what is best for everyone involved.

Waiting can be especially difficult when we are dealing with difficult people, who are making life miserable for us. But keep praying! I’ve seen God bring about change many times as a result of diligent prayers. I’ve seen Him move wrong people out, move right people in, and grant favor to His children!

Be brave. Be courageous. Wait patiently for our Mighty God. He hasn’t forgotten about you or your situation. He is working all things together for your good when you love Him and are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28).

While you wait, just keep doing the things that you are able to do. Remain thankful and prayerful. Listen for God’s voice, and trust Him to move on your behalf to bring the needed changes in His time and His way.

Bring God glory while you wait!

In The Stillness He Is There

Even with the busyness of life we just have to take time to stop and be still before the Lord. When we take time out to quietly sit still in His presence, it reminds us that He is the One who can handle all of our worries. Just being still, gives us the opportunity to exhale and enter into the peace that the Holy Spirit desires to give to us.

Psalm 46:10(NIV), “…Be still, and know that I am God…”

When stress tries to consume us, we just need to be still. Our God is able to carry every burden we have. He will strengthen us and keep us safely in His care. There is no trial that is too great for Him. As we sit quietly before God, we experience the comfort of His presence. We can sense that His love is surrounding us, and living inside of us through the Holy Spirit. As we are still before the Lord, He will bring healing to our minds and hearts.

Don’t be afraid to be still. It is in taking time to be still, that we come to know and understand that He is God.

Ever Wondered What God Is Up To?

Have you ever gone through those times where you wondered what God is up to? Those times where you wished you had more information about how God is working in your life. He does reveal things to us, but only in His timing. Of course waiting on His timing is the hard part, because our human nature wants to know the how’s, when’s, where’s, and why’s.

Plus we live in a world that tries to convince us, that we need to know every single thing, about every single thing. If that were the case, we wouldn’t need God. I know I definitely would do a lousy job at being the god of my life. What about you? I already tried that before. It seemed easy at the time. I just simply ignored God’s commands and did exactly what I wanted. Believe me when I say, that has never turned out good. Sins consequences can be devastating, but I’m so thankful for His forgiveness and mercy!

I have been through many different seasons of life, some felt more relaxed, while during other seasons I felt more anxious. Right now, I am actually in a season where I am praying and asking God for direction in certain areas. I’m trying not to worry. Can you relate? Perhaps you too need God to move in a particular area of your life.

When we need answers the Bible tells us to pray and not be anxious (Philippians 4:6). There are times when I go to God in prayer and I feel very anxious, stressed, confused and even fearful about whatever I’m going through. I have to ask God to remove the anxiousness, stress, confusion and fear from my heart. He’s faithful to do that, but when I feel those negative feelings trying to return, I have to keep giving it to Him in prayer. I have to ask Him to help me to understand in my heart, that He will work all things together for my good (Romans 8:28). The more we see His faithful track record, the better we become at being faithful in our ability to trust Him.

Can you imagine the majesty of our God? It’s really mind blowing! He is Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. He was and is and is to come (Revelation 1:8). This is the God that we are entrusting ourselves to, when we have given our lives to Jesus Christ. We won’t always understand how He is working, but the truth is, we don’t necessarily need to understand everything (Proverbs 3:5). He knows exactly how much we need to know. That’s where we find our rest, in knowing that He will always do what’s best for us.

As we wait, we need to just keep doing the things we already know He wants us to do. We need to rejoice, be thankful, and stay prayerful, because this is God’s will for us in Christ Jesus (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18). Also stay watchful. Constantly watch for God’s direction, because He does hear the cries of His children and He answers (Psalm 34:6).

I just want to encourage you if you’re in a season of waiting on God for answers. Just keep pouring your heart out to Him because He will bring you peace. Another thing I really love is when I get that wonderful feeling of anticipation inside that assures me He’s up to something good. Remember, although you can’t see the good just yet, it’s sure to come. Why? Because we serve a Risen Savior! Keep moving forward in Christ!

Green, the color of life and growth!

The Last Will Be First

Matthew 19:30 reads, “But many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first.”

Years ago I was traveling with my mom and daughter along the Pennsylvania Turnpike. We were on our way to our family reunion which was being held in Philadelphia. At some point, we came to a stretch of road on the turnpike that was lined with dead trees. The strange thing about it, was that although the trees on the front row were all dead, immediately behind them, as far as the eye could see, were beautiful, vibrant, healthy green trees. However, these lifeless trees on the front row, stood very tall and erect almost as if they possessed an inner confidence. Because of the green background behind them created by the other trees, they appeared to stand out even more. Odd as it may seem, even though these trees were dead, they were still very much alive. They had a mysterious beauty radiating from them that drew attention to their presence.

As I continued to observe this peculiar scene, God brought to my mind these words, “The first will be last and the last will be first.” I have no idea what natural events may have occurred that caused those trees to end up like they were. But to me they represent many people who may not measure up to the world’s idea of beauty. But because they follow God’s ways He has elevated them to a certain level. Like those trees, you may never know what someone has endured to get to where they are, but because they did endure, God has shown them favor. Never underestimate what God is doing in someone’s life just because things appear a certain way on the outside. As Christians, we should have an inner beauty that radiates from our hearts and changes the world around us. People should be able to sense a distinct difference and want to know more about us and our lifestyles. Ultimately who we are should lead people to want to know more about the God we serve.

Those of us who call Jesus Savior, need to take a stand and be all that God has called us to be for the sake of the cross and the glory of the One who died there.  2 Corinthians 6:17 says, “Come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord, then I will receive you.”

If those trees could speak, I know the stories about life on the “Penna” Turnpike would be unforgettable. The good news is that you and I can speak. We can speak life to those around us. Not only with our words, but through our actions. We must let the life we live speak for us. Ask God to show you how you can “come out from among them and be separate.” When you are serving God, even if you think you are last, in God’s eyes you are first. We need to make sure that wherever we are standing, is the place God really wants us to be. When we are where we should be, we can then be effective and make a true difference.

Father,

Please let the beauty we have in you through your Holy Spirit shine brightly so that those around us may be inspired and changed. Help us not to get caught up in things that do not matter but instead to focus on what matters most to you.

In the name of Jesus. Amen.

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