When A Crisis Brings Doubt

Incline Your ear, O LORD, and answer me; For I am afflicted and needy.—Psalm 86:1

When life is moving along smoothly, it’s easy to say, “God answers prayer.” But a crisis can bring doubt, especially if the Lord is not responding as quickly as we might like. That’s when we may be tempted to bargain with God as if He could be manipulated into acting on our behalf. However, the goal of prayer is not to get God to do what we want but to bring our concerns to Him, trusting that He will answer in His own way and time.

Waiting on the Lord is fairly easy when we’re not facing anything urgent. But difficulties and suffering tend to make us impatient. We may even begin to find fault with God, thinking that if He truly loved us, He would intervene and bring relief.

As we seek the Lord for help, David’s prayers in the Psalms provide wonderful patterns for us to follow. He faced many dire situations and continued to turn to God. He recounts God’s character—gracious, good, ready to forgive, and abundant in lovingkindness to all who call on Him. These characteristics are the basis for trust.

Knowing who God is enables us to trust Him through the crises of life. Because He is faithful, we know that He will keep His promises. His holiness causes us to examine our life and repent of any sins that are hindering our prayers. And His mercy, grace, and love give us the comfort we need to endure hardship.

Share “The Good News” With Others And Save Someone

I started writing this blog some time ago. How long to be exact I’m not sure. I started out with the intention of writing uplifting messages that show God’s love and care for us. I felt like a lot of people needed to read these stories. But, much to my surprise, my daily statistics show very few people visit my blog. Therefore, I am prayerfully considering to “continue writing anyway.” That’s right, I’m not giving up just yet.

You see, numbers in the grand scheme of things aren’t important. It’s the message that’s important. I believe with all my heart that someone out there will stumble across my blog one day and be saved by reading it’s messages. That’s why I continue to write each day.

I will not give up on that one individual who desperately needs to hear about Jesus and His soul saving action of dying on the cross. Many people don’t know who Jesus is and what He did for mankind. In my opinion that is sad. We as believers have the responsibility of sharing the “good news” with others. What “good news” you might ask?

The “good news” is that Jesus died for our sins so that we may have eternal life in heaven after we die. There is only one way to an eternal life in heaven and that is through our belief that Jesus died for our sins. Take the time to tell others about this great act and the free gift given to us by our Lord, Jesus Christ. Your gift of the gospel may be the one thing that saves that person from eternal damnation. So, give it away. It’s your free “Good News” gift to those around you.

Do You Have Guilt Beneath The Surface?

What would an X-ray of your interior reveal? Remorse over a poor choice?  Shame about the marriage that didn’t work or the temptation you didn’t resist? Guilt lies hidden beneath the surface, festering, and irritating.  Sometimes it’s so deeply embedded you don’t know the cause of your pain. And you can be touchy, you know. Understandable, since you have a shank of shame lodged in your soul.

Would you like an extraction? Here’s what you do. Confess!  Ask God to help you. Psalm 139:23-24 is a model 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.”

Confession.  Confessors find a freedom that deniers don’t.  If we confess our sins, he will forgive our sins! He will cleanse us.  Not might, could, would, or even should.  He WILL!

Look To The Lord In Faith For The Victory

I would have lost heart, unless I had believed, That I would see the goodness of the LORD In the land of the living.— Psalm 27:13

It was Jesus himself who said that ‘”In the world you will have tribulation”‘ (John 16:33) and it was the Apostle Paul himself who said that “all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution” (II Timothy 3:12). We should not be surprised, then, if we encounter these things in life. Nevertheless, we should not ask God for tribulations and we should not believe God for persecutions.

And since we live in a world full of trials, troubles, and tribulations, we should look to the Lord in faith for victory despite the evil. Although Jesus told us that in the world we would have tribulations, He also told us to ‘”be of good cheer, I have overcome the world”‘ (John 16:33). In Christ we are overcomers and we should put our faith to work by expecting to overcome.

Today, then, do not lose heart and give up. Instead, expect to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Expect to see good things come from the Lord.

Stop The Craziness! God Will Give You Rest.

“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.”—Matthew 11:28

Are you attempting to “save” yourself? I can guarantee that you will experience nothing but exhaustion from your attempts. Scampering around trying to please God by collecting “atta-boy” badges and brownie points just doesn’t work. Scowling at anyone who questions your accomplishments won’t help either. What’s the result of all this tedious effort? As believers we become the weariest people on earth. We fear failure because we don’t want to appear as anything but perfect. I guess you could call those who do all this as the church of hound-dog faces and slumped shoulders.

You should stop all this craziness once and for all. Enough of this frenzy. Hebrews 13:9 tells us, “Your hearts should be strengthened by God’s grace, not by obeying rules.” In Matthew 11:28, Jesus promises, “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.”

There is no fine print. Waiting for a second shoe to drop is not going to happen. God’s promises have no hidden language. With those thoughts in mind, let grace happen to you. You have God’s unending affection. He’s crazy about you and loves you very much.

So, take it easy and relax.

Facing A Crisis—Your First Line of Defense

1 Be gracious to me, O God, be gracious to me, For my soul takes refuge in You; And in the shadow of Your wings I will take refuge Until destruction passes by. 2 I will cry to God Most High, To God who accomplishes all things for me. 3 He will send from heaven and save me; He reproaches him who tramples upon me.—Psalm 57:1-3

When you face a crisis, what is your first line of defense? The natural response is to attempt to fix the problem on your own. God, however, gives us a different way to handle difficulty.

David was no stranger to pressure or sudden appearances of evil. When he wrote Psalm 57, he was facing many hardships—including pursuit by King Saul, who wanted to kill him (1 Samuel 24:1-22). The shepherd’s response was to cry out to God and take refuge in Him until the calamity had passed.

Let’s learn from David’s example by exploring his words. Today’s passage has much to teach about the One to whom he cries.

First, David refers to God as El Elyon, or the Most High God. With all power and wisdom, He is the only one who can help us in our need.

Second, God is said to be our refuge. If He is a place of shelter for our soul, then we need not fear. He hovers over us and protects us when crises arise and leave us feeling helpless.

Third, the psalm expresses complete confidence that the Almighty can and will accomplish anything it takes for His purpose to be fulfilled. He’ll do whatever is necessary to intervene on our behalf, to hold accountable those who oppose us, and to surround us with His love and truth.

During His time on earth, Jesus brought great passion to His life and ministry. Therefore, we can approach Him when emotions run high. If your heart is troubled, cry out to the Lord. Know that you come before the throne of Him who is a powerful protector, capable and willing to do all you need.

An Emptiness Within

And my God will supply all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus.—Philippians 4:19

All of us have an emptiness within—a longing for something more. What are you attempting to use to satisfy it? Wealth? Status? Job? More?

Our hearts are like a jigsaw puzzle. No matter how hard you try to force a wrong piece, it will never fit correctly. Turn to Jesus, and trust that He knows how to fulfill you.