Trusting God Hurts.

What does it mean to trust God? We often say things like “if we trust God, then everything will be alright”.  This is 100% true, but probably not in the way that you expect.

If we trust in God He will care for you, it may change your perspective of God and/or the situation, but it will not make everything “alright” as we may think of it.  Jeremiah 29:11 is just as true for Daniel in the lines den, Shadrach Meshach and Abednego in the fiery furnace, and Jesus on the cross.   Gods plan, (and by extension our trust in that plan) is for our good, because He loves us, but sometimes the things that are for our good can be painful.  Sometimes, that means ripping our safety net out from underneath us.  Sometimes, trusting God means having to step away from our place of comfort.  Sometimes, living according to Gods plan can be painful, hurting us deeply.

This is a thought that I have had for a while and would love to hear your perspective on it. Please comment on this blog to continue this conversation.

Recently, I have taken this idea to the next step.  I often think about what an ideal Christian life is or what it should look like; rarely do I actually take these ideas and test them against what God has said, and then (this is the part that I usually fail at) let it transform my life.  The question God recently confronted me with was: What am I not trusting God with? What am I clinging to that is preventing Him from using me more fully?

If I am honest, I am still not sure that I have a good answer to that question.  The hard part is that, I think, the reason that I do not have a good answer is because I have not let go of whatever thing I am clinging to enough to see that I was clinging in the first place.

Okay, so that seems convoluted, but imagine that you have are blindfolded and someone hands you an object and tells you to hold it close, and don’t let go.  Now you take the blindfold off and continue with life, clinging to this object obscured from view by your chin.  It is not until you can let go that you can see what you are clinging to.

I am going to continue to search my heart to see what it preventing me from more fully trusting God, using Psalm 139 as my guide for my prayer:

Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me, and know my anxieties;
And see if there is any wicked way in me,
And lead me in the way everlasting.

Will you join me in the search for the things that we are clinging to that prevents you from trusting God?

 

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Birthday/Rebirth

A short thought for today.

If you didn’t know, my birthday was last weekend.  (thank you for everyone’s birthday wishes).  I wanted to share something that is often shared at our church that holds a lot of truth:

You had nothing to do with your birth: ask your mother.  It is the same with your rebirth, you didn’t have anything to do with it, all the work was done by the one doing the birthing.

God brings us to Him, even though we have done nothing to earn being called a child of God.

Moved By Mercy

I promise this post isn’t as long as it looks…

For those who followed my old site you may know that I often used to share song lyrics and talk about them.  While I will not be doing that as often here, music is still a great way to share emotion and truth.  As such, I still plan to occasionally  (though I will try for once a month or less frequently) write about music, lyrics, and other things like that.

For those of you who do not know Matthew West, he is a Christian artist with a heart for sharing stories.  In fact, a lot of his music is based on specific stories that people have shared with him; often, the songs can be powerful reminders of what God has done, and can do.


To listen to while you read:


The story behind Moved by Mercy is that of Krystal.  She grew up trying to protect her siblings from their abusive father.  When she came to find Christ she wondered why God didn’t take her from the situation, but later realized that God was the one protecting her through it all.  You can hear more of her testimony in the video below.

What stuck me as I heard this song on my way home from work last week was the lyrical tone change when Matthew starts speak the truth of Christ back during the second verse “in My arms all your shame is moved by mercy.”  The truth is that God’s mercy covers each of us, taking the punishment that we deserve and placing them instead on Jesus Christ.  With God’s Grace and Mercy we no longer need to  be ashamed of what we have done or where we come from; instead, we can move from shame into the glories light of the Grace of Jesus Christ.


Hear Krystal’s testimony:

 


Moved By Mercy
– Mathew West

She said “I keep having the same dream
Close my eyes and I’m chasing a younger me
Try to wrap my arms around her
Shield her from the hell that found her
But I’m always just a little too late
I see the tears falling down her face
How come no one protected
The little girl that the world rejected”
Oh, where do you go when you can’t go back
Can’t save the past
And she cries in the middle of the night
“Take me far away now
From this broken place now
Somewhere they can’t hurt me
I wanna be moved by mercy
Jesus, I can’t see You
I just know I need You
Help me start a new life
Let my heart be moved by mercy”
“I used to be a future burning bright
Now I’m just another sleepless night”
All the hurt that you hide behind that door
I’m not gonna let it hurt you anymore
“For so long I thought You abandoned me
Now I’m starting to see things differently”
I’m the one who began a good work in you
And I’m the one who is gonna see it through
I’ll see you through
For so long I felt so unworthy
But in My arms all your shame is moved by mercy
So here I stand, a child undeserving
Take My hand and let your heart be moved by mercy

Reading in the Old Testament

I was asked the other day if I was a Christian who used both the Old Testament and the New Testament, and I responded with a mildly confused, but affirmative answer. And then I thought about it more, and realized that since we live in such a “you-pick” culture with so many different kinds of Christians that it makes sense that someone would ask that kind of question when trying to figure out where someone stands. And that makes me sad. It makes me sad because both Old and New Testament help us to know and love Jesus, and if we discredit a part of scripture, then we start to discredit a part of our Savior too.. But I digress. I want to share a few revelations from some of my reading in the Old Testament*.

During my devotions one morning, I read from both the book of Malachi and the book of Jude (both are really short and are at the end of the OT and NT, respectively). I saw a parallel between these books; the authors are speaking God’s words, and they sound the same… I mean, we all know it is the same God, but when you open to a book in the front, and a book in the back and SEE it, it feels like a “woah” moment, or at least that is how I felt! I felt wow-ed by His ever-present consistency in scripture, and I was reminded that He is constant in my life too!

I saw a parallel in their content in that both authors are condemning the ungodly people and defining their unpleasant fate, but both books also offer encouragement to the ones who pursue the Lord. And that encouragement sounds kind of like a reminder of Jesus.

In Malachi, we read this tidbit of encouragement, given after a lot of information about how the unfaithful Jewish people will suffer:

I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me. Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to His temple; the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, will come. – Malachi 3:1

Sound familiar? It sounds like a prophesy about John the Baptist and Jesus to me! So the Lord encouraged the Hebrews by telling them Jesus was coming! Cool! So then, in Jude, we read this:

But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life… To Him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before His glorious presence without fault and with great joy, to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen! – Jude 1: 20-21, 24-25

So in this letter, we are encouraged again by a reminder of Jesus! Jude knew more of the story when his letter was written, so it makes sense that it is a little more full and juicy, but it is so cool that the encouragement to the faithful believers was Jesus in both places in scripture!

We can be uplifted by the fact that Jesus has come to save us from our sins, and that He will be coming again. We can feel empowered to know that He left the Holy Spirit with us, and that we can live our lives in this temporary home as followers of the One True God! We have a purpose and an Awesome God who cares for us! I could keep going like a giddy middle-school girl in love with her favorite __, but I’ll be concise.

Not only does the message itself encourage me, but the fact that this message was present before and after Jesus walked the Earth is even cooler! God had a plan for the world so that we could all know Jesus and His Grace. Don’t forget that He cares about little ol’ you and me too, and He has a plan in process for us as well 🙂

I pray that you can feel His love and be encourage by His presence! Have a good week!

 

*Side note: I wish that I read in the Old Testament more often, but I’ll be honest, this is a skill I’m working on. Be patient with me?