Wind and Waves

I’m about to drown! Lord, where are you? 1

When I’m surrounded by turmoil and struggles, sometimes it feels like God has abandoned me. No doubt this is testing of my faith however, in the moment, it would be nice to know that it’s only a test. Is that the root of my problem, not recognizing that testing is normal?

If I took God at his word; truly believed what his word says, that he is faithful even when I’m not, that at my worst he sent his son to die in my place, wouldn’t things be different?2 3 Now that I’m thinking about it, isn’t everything a test with varying difficulties? Do the simple tests of everyday life form the foundation for greater tests?

Perhaps it’s similar to the muscles of a person who doesn’t move; muscles that don’t move atrophy. (i.e. a person in a coma) Once those muscles atrophy, even walking, a normal everyday activity, can become a struggle.

My Prayer: God, please give me the grace and the will to exercise and strengthen my spiritual life; I need You to get me through the struggle. May I never turn away from You and continually delight in Your presence. Thank you for loving me and not giving up on me.

Count it all Joy

“Fits of anger generate an illusion that we are strong, simply because it feels like strength; it’s not, it’s actually a terrible weakness.” – David Kupelian, How Evil Works (Paraphrased)

Anytime we ally with the enemy we’re partnering with weakness; how different life would be if we could recognize such a truth.

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.  And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be complete, lacking in nothing. 4

 

Points to ponder:

  • Is temptation not a trial?
  • Not succumbing to temptation, is that not a test of our faith?
  • If we do fail, does repentance not also test our faith?
  • At the moment of conviction, are we not positioned to be set free from the bondage of the enemy through confession and agreement with God?2
  • Is not faith required for us to come boldly into the presence of God?3
  • Is it possible that no matter the outcome, if we remain in relationship with God, we are on the road to steadfastness?4
  • Can we have a greater hope; is this not the hope of the gospel?5

My Prayer:  Thank you God for loving us unconditionally.  Thank you for providing us the way back to unbroken relationship with you.  Thank you for the grace to respond to your calling.  We are so richly blessed by you!  Amen.

 

Narrow Way

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.6

Consider: When I lean on my own understanding, in addition to not trusting God, am I not also closing my ears towards God?

We acknowledge him by agreeing with and speaking the truth.  Is confession not agreeing with God?  Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life.2  The enemy wants me to fear punishment and hide my sins.3  The truth sets me free!4  The truth enables me to boldly come to the throne of grace and obtain mercy.5  Do I not need mercy when I am at my worst?6  Paul knew this so he counted everything as lost to be saturated in the mercy and grace of God.7  8  God’s power is made perfect in weakness.9  10

Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil.11

Consider: “Fear the Lord and shun evil” –do we shun evil out of fear?  Don’t we choose sin because we think it to be good in some way?  Choosing what I think is good –isn’t that being wise in my own eyes?

My Confession: I find myself on my knees nearly every night confessing my sins and failures through out the day.  Today I asked the Lord why I keep doing the same things over and over.12  He simply replied, “You can start your day on your knees or end it on your knees.” After contemplating His response, I realized the outcome is radically different!  One focuses on God and the other on self; the one acknowledges a dependence on God and the other how “I” mismanaged “my” day.

My Prayer:  God, I desire to start on my knees and give You the first fruits of everyday!13  Please forgive me for leaning on my own understanding, trusting in myself and being wise in my own eyes.  Please teach me to acknowledge you in all of my ways and give you the glory and honor that you alone deserve.  Please direct my paths, to shun evil and not turn to the right or the left but instead, to walk in your ways.14