Freedom from the Pit

23 03 2010

“I waited patiently and expectantly for the L-rd; and He inclined to me and heard my cry. He drew me up out of a horrible pit…and set my feet upon a rock.” –Psalm 40:1-2

“When the Bible speaks of “the pit,” I always think of the depths of depression. David spoke of feeling as though he were in a pit, calling out to the L-rd to rescue him and set his feet on solid ground.

Nobody wants to be in the pit of depression. Satan takes advantage of your situation by reminding you of painful memories.

When you are depressed, the devil’s goal is to make you miserable and hopeless you will never rise up and cause him any problems or to fulfill the call of G-d on your life.

So if you’re struggling in a pit that keeps you from being all G-d wants you to be, cry out to the L-rd and allow Him to draw you out of the pit and set you free. G-d has a great life planned for you, don’t let satan steal it through depression.” (Joyce Meyer, “Ending Your Day Right”)

Waiting patiently and expectantly sticks out when I read that scripture. “Patiently” reminds me that G-d and I don’t run on the same schedule. I get tired of situations far before it’s G-d’s timing to move me out. I think G-d gives us the waiting time so both of us can see how my patience and faith play out. Will I trust Him when I don’t see the movement? We need to see our reaction and we need to see our faith lacking because then we will learn to trust G-d’s timing and hand. “Expectantly” is vital because it reflects on our view of G-d. If we truly believe in G-d’s love and goodness, we will be expectant about His intervention and blessing. I start freaking out when I let myself forget who G-d is and what is track record is like. It’s so easy when you are not in a waiting time to tell others to wait patiently and trust, but the real testament is when you are in that season yourself—If you are struggling in the “just wait on G-d” phase, I’m right there with you. Some days, this is really tough and I just want to give up, but keep pressing on with me. We are all on this journey together. The L-rd will bring us through and it will be beautiful.

By faith and hope,

Mere

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Have an Attitude of Faith

17 03 2010

“Faith is the assurance…of the things [we] hope for, being the proof of things [we] do not see.”

-Hebrews 11:1

“Faith can be described in many ways, but a very simple way to look at faith—even to examine whether or not you are operating in it—is to say that “faith has an attitude.”

Hebrews 4 says that those who have believed G-d—those who have an attitude of faith—enter His rest and cease from the weariness and pain of human labors.

The attitude of faith does not worry, fret, or have anxiety concerning tomorrow, because faith understands that wherever it needs to go, even into the unknowns of the future, Jesus has already been there.

Remember, He is the Alpha and the Omega. Not only is He the Beginning and the End, He is everything in between. So have an attitude of faith as you pray today, placing your trust completely in the one who was, who is, and who is to come.” (Joyce Meyer, “Ending Your Day Right)

Would our faith really be faith if we were not required to have faith? This may seem obvious or like a tongue twister, but I think it’s a legitimate thought. Why are we surprised by circumstances that don’t make sense to us? Why are we whiny and upset when G-d gives us a scenario that requires us to actually have faith? When it comes down to it, I must confess that I’m a fair weather friend of G-d. In the good times, we are great, but when times get tough, I’m whining to Him. Praise the L-rd for His grace! I think I would have gotten tired of my whining if I was Him. I think we have a choice in this. Joyce brought up that there was an attitude of faith. We can’t always choose our circumstances, but we can make a choice to have the right attitude. This is really hard, but I feel a strange sense of joy because I’m in a time that is requiring a lot of faith because the reassurance is not there based upon circumstances or human logic. I think knowing that G-d has something good in mind after the challenges pass brings me the most reassurance. All I can say is what I’m trying to do—don’t try to figure out what the L-rd is doing; just get excited about what He is doing and keep your eyes open to the subtle changes He may be bringing. The L-rd is our defense and He is all the proof we truly need.

By faith and hope,

Mere





Don’t Fret–Rejoice!

13 03 2010

“Rejoice in the L-rd always…again I say, Rejoice!…Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in…everything by prayer and petition,…with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to G-d.”

–Phil 4:4, 6

“Twice in this passage the apostle Paul tells us to rejoice. He urges us not to fret or have any anxiety about anything but to pray and give thanks to G-d in everything—not after everything is over.

If you wait until everything is perfect before rejoicing and giving thanks you won’t have much fun. Learning to enjoy life even in the midst of trying circumstances is one way to develop spiritual maturity.

Live in the fullness of the joy of the L-rd by finding something to be glad about besides your current circumstances. You must learn to derive your happiness and joy from the L-rd who lives inside you.

Decide you will not fret or have anxiety about anything but will give thanks and praise to G-d, rejoicing in Him always.”

(Joyce Meyer, “Ending Your Day Right”)

I think the biggest mistake we can make is to assume that just because we can’t see how G-d is working that nothing is happening. It’s so easy to fall into this and that is exactly what satan wants us to do. If he can make us feel stuck or ignored, we will spiral into fear, depression, and hopelessness. Every time you choose to believe the truth about G-d’s love and His activity, the lies and doubts as to G-d not coming through will seem more and more ridiculous. He cares about you. He’s in every detail of your life—He either causes it or allows it to happen. He cares for your good more than you do. In my experience, the best way to banish the lies and feelings of hopelessness is to be grateful in the small things…no matter how small the blessing may be, like the fact that you were able to have a Poptart for breakfast or the flowers in your yard were in bloom this morning or the dryer only ate one sock today…Start looking for the little things and the greater things will come in His time.

By faith and hope,

Mere





G-d has NOT forgotten You

19 01 2010

“G-d is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.” -1 Cor. 10:13

“The world is full of people struggling with trials and temptations and looking for a way out. If you ever have felt pressed on every side and couldn’t find an escape, or confused and didn’t know what to do, you know what a desperate and lonely feeling that can be.

The Word tells you G-d is faithful and He will provide a way for you, but He doesn’t always show up immediately. That is when you must wait…and trust.

Waiting on G-d purifies your faith and builds character in you. You may not like the waiting, but G-d’s way is perfect! So be assured G-d has not forgotten you. Trust Him, and in His time He will reveal His perfect plan for you. While you’re waiting, don’t forget to enjoy your life.”

(Joyce Meyer, Ending Your Day Right)

Wait is often the hardest answer to receive from the L-rd. Are you praying and asking for relief and the L-rd is saying ‘wait’? I am currently in a ‘wait’ period and so I can relate to all of you that are in a similar setting. Often, I get impatient waiting on G-d to say ‘yes’ that I almost want Him just to say ‘no’ because that’s more definitive and places me back in control. I’m trying to embrace this waiting time and realize what a sweet time that it is. We need to trust G-d every single day, but during these times of waiting we learn what that truly means. I think G-d likes to place us in situations where all we can do is wait so that we can see His amazing provision. He blesses us beyond what we can ask for, so why not wait in joyful expectation! This is a tough choice to make but I think it’s the most G-d honoring one that we can! It’s choosing to believe in His word and character even when our circumstances don’t give us any reason to believe that He is going to come through. In addition to the comfort that G-d’s provision is beyond me, another source of comfort is realizing that G-d uses the waiting time to prepare us for what is to come. This takes me back again to what Beth Moore said, “Nothing happens in our life that will not be for the glory of G-d, for our benefit and for our equipping. If it’s happening, it is vital to your equipping.” This waiting and testing period may be just the thing to prepare you for the great plan that the L-rd has for you. Let’s try to be patient, but still excited and expectant about what the L-rd will do. Also remember that we cannot always see how the L-rd is working, so who knows, your waiting may end sooner than you think.

By faith and hope,

Mere





“The Work of Patience”

27 06 2009

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“I waited patiently and expectantly for the L-rd; and He inclined to me and heard my cry.” –Psalm 40:1

“Any time you become frustrated and start trying to make things happen on your own, it is a sure sign you are not being patient with G-d. You need to practice waiting on G-d and let Him do what He wants to do, in His way and time. The best definition of patience I have ever heard is “to be constant or to be the same all the time, no matter what is going on.” Patience is not merely waiting; it is how you act while you are waiting.

The hardest thing most of us will ever have to do as Christians is wait on the L-rd. You will undoubtedly have to wait on many things during your lifetime. Waiting is not optional. But it is during the waiting periods of life that the most powerful things will happen within you.” –Joyce Meyer, Ending Your Day Right

Patience is definitely one of the most challenging virtues. Worry and lack of patience are pretty often paired. When we get impatient with G-d and His coming through, we start worrying and trying to come up with our own solution. Worrying is essentially our minds chewing on ideas, trying to come up with a solution that we can enact now. The degree, to which we are remaining in this mindset, defines and displays our trust in G-d. We worry, because despite His sacrifice and faithfulness, we are still concerned that He might not come through. He gives us so many blessings and we can’t wait, nor do we live like we believe He wants good things for us. A simple comparison is looking at my dog. I love my dog more than most anyone else in his life. Everyday, I walk downstairs, praise him and affirm him, and affectionately greet him. Since he was a puppy, I have looked out for him and he has never gone hungry. Yet, when I give him rawhides or bones, he is afraid that I will take them. I scratch my head and say to him, “I just gave you that bone…. why would I try to take it back?” I think sometimes G-d must scratch His head watching how we respond to His love and gifts. He showers them upon us, yet we don’t want to wait and feel the need to look out for ourselves. Unfortunately, I think this is part of our human nature that we will have to fight. I think context is important…. the chapter before our verse of today is the psalmist crying out to G-d. Desperate and at the end of his patience, but then the next chapter he is celebrating the L-rd’s provision. The L-rd will come through and will do so in better ways than you could yourself contrive. Remember these wise words when you start to worry—‘Worrying is like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do, but it doesn’t get you anywhere.”

One step at a time,
Mere  🙂





Fiery Trials

15 06 2009

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“Rejoice and exult in hope; be steadfast and patient in suffering and tribulation; be constant in prayer.” –Romans 12:2

“I’ve heard patience defined as “a fruit of the Spirit that can be developed under trial.” Really, you cannot develop patience any other way. That means the only way you can develop the fruit of patience is by being around obnoxious people who drive crazy; waiting in backed-up traffic; waiting in endless grocery store lines; waiting for breakthroughs; waiting for your healing; waiting for people in your life to change; and waiting for yourself to change. Be patient with yourself! Be patient with your own spiritual growth. Be patient with G-d if He’s not coming through at the time you’d like Him to. Be patient with people; be patient with circumstance. Be patient because in patience you possess your soul. James 1:4 says that the patient man is perfect and entire, lacking in nothing.” –Joyce Meyer, Ending Your Day Right

Patience is definitely one of the hardest spiritual fruits to cultivate. We know that it is very important and thus we desire it, but in the moment, patience is quite a difficult trial. Some days, I feel like asking G-d if I can work on a different spiritual fruit for a while like: joy, love, and peace. But if we think about it, all the spiritual fruits are difficult depending upon the situation. I think it has to be that way. Our spirit is in a battle between our human desires and trying to assimilate our desires with His. Because if we are honest, if we are choosing to live under our flesh’s desire then we would prefer not to live by the fruits of the spirit—we don’t really want to love some people in our lives; we don’t want to be joyful when we are having a terrible day; we will keep on worrying about things before choosing peace; we don’t want to be patient and wait; We don’t always want to be kind, especially if we feel wronged; we don’t always want to choose goodness, sometimes sin is pretty appealing; sometimes we want to be abrasive, instead of gentle; sometimes we don’t want to be faithful anymore; and sometimes we want what we want regardless of whether our self is controlled. I think the important thing to realize is that we can’t cultivate these qualities on our own; we must ask for G-d’s intervention. When we surrender to His plan, we may start to develop some of the traits, but we must be prepared for the firing process. I have heard it said that the best things in life were attained through tears and pain. A verse that really has carried me through a lot of the firing process is Romans 8:28: “For we know that in ALL things, G-d works together for the good of those that love Him and are called according to His purpose.”  The key is that we trust that everything will be for our good and pray for His intervention through the process. Prayer is powerful. Don’t forget that: “”…The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective” (James 5:16). “‘Have faith in God,’ Jesus answered. ‘I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, “Go, throw yourself into the sea,” and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins'” (Mark 11:22-24).”

Don’t just pray as a backup plan,

Mere 🙂