God Will Answer

My God, my God, why have You forsaken Me? Why are You so far from helping Me, And from the words of My groaning? [Psalm 22:1]

Doesn’t this verse demonstrate the frustrations we may have at times with God when we wonder where He is, we cry with a longing to see His hand move, we are desperate to have an awareness of His help in our lives?

I know that I have prayed that prayer. I know that I have spoken these types of words to God. I have been a Christian a long time and I know God is able. I have seen Him answer my prayers many times before in my life, yet, if I am brutally honest, my humanness can be difficult to ignore and those nagging questions reappear. Why? When? How?

In Psalm 22 David maybe speaking from his own circumstances but he is also prophesying about a future King. He is speaking about Jesus. Not a King who would overthrow with a great show of physical power, instead a King who would overcome by laying down His life. He would be a suffering Messiah. A Saviour who would unfold a victory of a different kind.

He would be poured out for us.
He would have his strength beaten from him.
He would be disrespected
He would be pierced for me and you.
 

That I would be like David, that although I have wondered where God is, I would be quick to acknowledge the hand of God and say these same simple words…You have answered Me [v21b]

What a victory to give praise for.
What a victory to give me confidence in God.
What a victory that overcomes for me.
What a victory to give me courage.
What a victory to tell others about.
What a victory to learn from.

What a victory that causes me to trust and no longer question.

Where is the victory in your life that would lead you to say, ‘God has answered me?

The Lord is on His Throne

Have you ever said this?

As a Christian it’s something that I know. I say it from time to time. If I’m honest, sometimes I mean it and other times I think I’m trying to convince myself that it’s true.

The Lord is on His throne. [Psalm 11:4] According to the Psalm, ‘the Lord is in His holy temple, the Lord’s throne is in heaven’.

From this position of glory, majesty, rule and judgement, the Lord has dominion, the Lord sees, the Lord examines, the Lord discerns our hearts.

Let’s declare it with a greater confidence. The Lord is on His throne.
Let’s declare it with stronger faith. The Lord is on His throne.

Let’s declare it with better understanding of its benefits.

He is out of sight but we are not out of His.
We may feel at a loss but He never is.
Our world maybe shaken but the heavens remain sure.
We might not know where to go but He has given us a place we can come to.

He may seem far off but He has made a place where we can see His face.

The Lord is on His throne and we can come boldly towards it for mercy and grace. Let’s people who don’t just know about this truth but instead be people who know this truth deep within their hearts and live from understanding all that it means for us.

What do you think?

Where Is God?

Why, O Lord, do you stand far away?

Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble? [Psalm10:1]

Ever felt like that with God. You know, those moments when you stand almost exasperated at God wondering what He is up to because there doesn’t seem to be any evidence of Him doing anything.

According to the writer of Psalm we mustn’t allow arrogance, schemes, greed or pride to influence are thoughts that God is not there, that He does not exist.

Instead we must trust that He does not forget, that He will call to account, that He does see, that He will help, that He is king and that He does hear.

Maybe we need to be better at telling ourselves to be quiet, stop moaning at Gods apparent disappearance from our lives and just trust that He is on the throne, He knows what He is doing and allow Him move in the way that He needs to.

Love the Word of God

I absolutely love the Word of God.

It’s so full of everything.

Truth. Comfort. Encouragement. Leading. Wisdom. Challenge. Security. Salvation. Future. Eternal Life. Promise. Answers. Direction. Safety. Deliverance. Cover. Forgiveness.

Whenever I open it, I am never disappointed. I am always drawn closer to my God, my heavenly Father, to my Saviour Jesus. Whether life is good or life is a struggle the Word lifts me, reminds me and sorts me out.

Be encouraged. Do the same. Open the Word and allow God to speak to you, to comfort your soul and remind you of His greatness. To remember all that He is to you, every day, wherever you are and whatever is going on in your life.

He is my shield. He is my answer. He is my sustainer. He is my protector. He is my saviour. 

Surely that is enough to remember each day as we walk through life. That because of these words we do not need to fear but instead can have a confidence, not built on our own ability but on His abilities.

When life comes at me, He is my shield. 

When people speak hurtful words towards me, He is my protector.

When difficult situations confuse me, He is my answer. 

When I feel tired and overwhelmed, He is my sustainer. 

When I am lost and feeling helpless, He saves me. 

Above all, remember that He is for you, not against you and that is love for you can never be overwhelmed by anything.

When It Looks Wrong, It Might Be Right

But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive [Genesis 50:20]

Joseph had a different perspective to everyone. Whatever Joseph thought life would like, it probably could not have gone further off track, what with being sold off by his brothers, bought as a slave, falsely imprisoned and forgotten about.Yet, through it all he still managed to maintain a view of the bigger picture. He still managed to hold on to the idea that God was there and involved in orchestrating it all.

I can have that same confidence with my God. As I walk with Him through all of the ups and downs of life, I can have faith that God is there. Actually when I look back on life I can see when God has been there. His footprints are all over different situations, His interventions that have protected me, promoted me and provided for me.

God’s providence is amazing. What can seemingly look like harm, God can use for good and not just good for us individually, but for the good of many. That’s the amazing grace of God.

When things look wrong to us we have to remember, it might be right to God.

I am careful to not dismiss aspects of my journey but to reflect and learn through everything.

What is God trying to show me? 
How is God trying to grow me and change me? 
How do I demonstrate my faith through this? 

I look for God as I walk with Him so I can see His hand on my life, then I can celebrate the goodness of God even in the midst of the badness that life can bring. It’s not as easy as it is to write. Even if I don’t see His hand I still know that He is there. Why? Jesus told me He would be, that He would never leave me.

That is me putting my faith in action.

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose [Romans 8:28]

Whatever you are travelling through right now, hold on to that truth. God is in the midst. He is working out His plans and purposes. They may not look like how we thought they would or should and that’s alright. One day everything will be made perfect on the day we get to see Jesus face to face and all of this ‘stuff’ will seem incredibly insignificant then.

Don’t Worry

These simple words of Jesus in Matthew 6:25 are powerful. He knew how worry would suck the life out of us. How it would choke us, cause us sleepless nights, get a hold of us and become difficult to let go of. He recognised it as a tactic of the enemy. A result of fear and doubt, a thinking on what could wrong and focusing on that too much.

The challenge is we get so used to worrying that we accept it. The way we feel about the things we worry about becomes normal. That does not make it right.

How should we handle worry?

Pray. Be anxious for NOTHING but in EVERYTHING pray [Philippians 4:6-7]

Immerse yourself in truth. Take captive every thought and bring it in line with the Word of God.

Let God do what you cannot do. We should pray, seek counsel and get organised but we must also let God be God. He is bigger than our worries. He can handle them.

Trust God. Don’t take it back when nothing seems to happen. Trust in the Lord. Don’t allow worry to steal your faith.

Put on the armour. Every day. Gird yourself with truth. Guard your heart. Lift up your shield of faith. Keep mindful of your salvation. Tell of all the good things Jesus has done for you.

Let’s stop worrying and start living. Let’s live the full life that Jesus spoke about. Let’s not give the devil a foothold any longer. Let’s trust God, no matter what.

Walking With God Grows You

As it turned out, God was with Joseph and things went very well with him…his master recognised that God was with him, saw that God was working for good in everything he did…He put him in charge of all his personal affairs…From that moment on, God blessed the home of the Egyptian – all because of Joseph. The blessing of God spread over everything he owned… [Genesis 39:1-6]

But there in jail God was still with Joseph: He reached out in kindness to him; he put him in on good terms with the head jailer…the head jailer gave Joseph free rein, never even checked on him, because God was with him, whatever he did God made sure it worked out for the best [Genesis 6:20-23]

Last time I wrote about walking with God I commented that walking with God is living life a higher level. Living life with a panoramic view. It’s that kind of view that Joseph had which kept him strong, despite his situation.

I guess we have a choice. We are either choosing to grow or we are choosing to try and maintain or worse still, we are just giving up. Walking with God is Gods way of growing us. It provides multiple opportunities for Him to show that He is always with us.

Think about it. Joseph is in a foreign land, sold for profit, bought as a slave, ending up in prison having been falsely accused. Yet all the time, God was with him.

Joseph is amazing. Could I hold on to my beliefs amidst such trials? It may seem almost impossible but I have to hope that I would have the strength and courage of my convictions. My trials may not have been that extreme but they have still been real to me.

Joseph reminds me of a few things…
God is all over it 
I must not let go of the hope I have in my God
Even when I am not in control, God is
I can’t just believe in God when things go the way I want them to
If I say I believe in God then that’s through all circumstances, not just the good stuff
He makes sure that it, [whatever IT may be], works out for the best

May my walk with you God be as certain as Joseph’s was. May my walk with you God cause me grow and not to give up.

The Power of Perhaps

Ideas come in all shapes and sizes. We have many everyday. From passing thoughts to crazy dreams…ideas come and ideas go.

Many of the things we now take forgranted were once an idea. Maybe even an idle thought, dismissed at first as something that would never work, never be, never happen but today is excepted as normal. Light bulbs. Aeroplanes. Women’s votes. Electricity. Mobile phones. Broadband. The list is literally endless.

Ideas change history. The power of one idea, grabbed a hold of by one person, who with drive and determination turns it into reality. We can all have an idea. Add a little of God’s favour to it and who knows where it could take you.

Think about it for a moment…
That name of someone which for some reason has popped into your head
That conversation you missed because you were in such a hurry
The people you pass everyday but never take time to notice
Thoughts about the future and what you would really like to do
Things that make you glad, mad or sad

Ideas. All the time. Everyday. And we just miss them. Don’t say that God is not giving you the opportunity to do something when God presents us with opportunities to do something everyday. The problem is we choose to ignore them because they are not what we want to do, or they are inconvenient to our timetable or we’ve had a busy day so we opt out. Ouch!

In 1 Samuel 14:1-14 Jonathan had an idea. He turned to his colleague and said “Come, let’s go over to the Philistine outpost on the other side.” A simple idea. Or maybe not. Look at where they were – the outpost was up a mountain. One they would have to climb first before fighting the Philistines when they got there.

I think my response would have been less enthusiastic than his colleagues. It will never work may have been part of my reply. Let’s ‘group-chat’ for a moment about the feasibility of this before we take any steps. We rationalise to the point of excusing ourselves. Maybe we are more inclined to pray ‘Lord, keep me safe’, rather than how Jonathan might have prayed ‘Lord help me in this daring and dangerous idea’.

There is no gilt-edged promise of success when you pursue an idea. Jonathan uses the word ‘perhaps’ as his persuasive argument that it was possible. ‘Perhaps the LORD will act in our behalf.’

Don’t know about you but I think I would have wanted more than ‘perhaps’. Every idea though lives for a time in the arena of ‘perhaps’. The risk element that it may not succeed. Perhaps it will, perhaps it won’t. Too often we air on the side of perhaps it won’t. For Jonathan and his armour-bearer perhaps it won’t would have meant death. The exciting part is this…for your idea, for your dream, for your opportunity…

PERHAPS THE LORD WILL ACT ON YOUR BEHALF

You don’t need much of God’s favour to bring about great victories.
You won’t see God’s favour much if you don’t step out into the unknown zone of ‘perhaps’.

Idea + Perhaps God Will = The Potential for Anything to Happen

Let’s enjoy the ride…it’s called FAITH
FAITH in a God who can do immeasurably more than we could ever ask or think.
Perhaps…