Coronavirus – Faith, Not Sight.

Well, this is definitely a different time for all of us.  This day ends and I know I’m not the only one thinking, “this has been surreal.”  Having to hunt down usually basic groceries such as toilet paper, rice, canned goods etc., as it was announced schools will be closed for at least a month, gatherings of 250 people or more not allowed, and other closings.  There’s such uncertainty about where this is headed and the affect it could have.

I have strong faith.  Two years ago I faced a lot of trials in a small period of time and one thing that season did in me was give me a lesson in God’s faithfulness and in trusting Him beyond what we see in the natural. “Your love, Lord, reaches to the heavens, Your faithfulness to the skies. (Psalm 36:5)

We walk by faith, not by sight. (2 Corinthians 5:7)

In any given moment there is so much we can see or perceive in the natural, but there is also so much we cannot see.  As children of God, we have to trust His ways. As He says in His Word, “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:9)  His Word says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;  in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight.” We will not always have understanding, but we can always trust.  

We know God numbers our days and that we have an eternity to look forward to with Him, we know that He is in control and that His Word is truth. We know, as His Word says, “we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.”  Yes, we know these things and we have to stand firm on these truths.  God is faithful! We can trust Him!


Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,  fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before Him He endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. (Hebrews 12:1-3)

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. (Romans 12:12)

Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love Him. (James 1:12)

You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what He has promised. (Hebrews 10:36)

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.  So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:16-18)

Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:12-14)

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. (Isaiah 41:10)

but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. (Isaiah 40:31)

Psalm 91:
He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.”

Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the perilous pestilence.

He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler.

You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, nor of the arrow that flies by day, nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness, nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday.

A thousand may fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand; but it shall not come near you. Only with your eyes shall you look, and see the reward of the wicked.

Because you have made the Lord, who is my refuge, even the Most High, your dwelling place, No evil shall befall you, nor shall any plague come near your dwelling;

For He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways. In their hands they shall bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone.

You shall tread upon the lion and the cobra, the young lion and the serpent you shall trample underfoot.

“Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him on high, because he has known My name. He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him, and show him My salvation.”

20200225_160120

All scriptures from Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 or New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson

Trusting God’s way, not our own…

God could have immediately delivered the Israelites from their enemy (the Egyptians).  He could have done this in an instant, in the same fashion He destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah in an instant, but instead He worked their deliverance in such a way that they had to face hardship in the process.

When Moses and Aaron first told the Israelites that God saw their turmoil in Egypt and would deliver them, they bowed down and worshiped the Lord.  Isn’t that quite often our response when God reveals to us He is about to make a powerful move in our lives?  We praise Him and worship Him and are excited about what He is going to do.  Then, somewhere along the way, while God is still actively working behind the scenes making the move He said He would, we get discouraged in the waiting and so often trials come against us.

Right after Moses and Aaron revealed to the Israelites they would be delivered and right after they had worshiped the Lord, the Egyptians increased their workload and beat them for not meeting quota.  Then they questioned Moses and Moses in turn questioned God, “Why have You brought trouble on this people?”  We so often question God when we see things aren’t going the way we, in our narrow mindedness, thought would be the best case scenario; all the while amidst our questioning, God is still at work beyond what we can see.

We have to trust God’s way and God’s timing. Yes, He could deliver us from all our troubles in an instant, but there is so much more at stake, so much more than meets the eye, so often a powerful work being done within us through the troubles we face.

I can personally say I look back on all of my trials I have faced since knowing the Lord and I can see much needed growth that God did in me through each and every one.  I wouldn’t trade that for anything.  I’m thankful for the trials!  Part of our testimony which leads others into the loving arms of our Savior is the troubles we’ve been through and how we have overcome them by God’s grace and love.

We know that after the Israelites went through much trial and tribulation, God delivered them from the Egyptians just as He said He would.  He could have delivered them in a moment, but would they have known their need for God in the long run; would they have appreciated the depth of it, or would they have seen it as a simple thing?  God was growing their faith in Him through their adversity, just as He grows our faith in Him.

If you are facing trials, I encourage you that God’s Word is true and that includes for you.  His Word never fails!  You can walk by faith, not by sight, knowing He is working all things for your good!  We have an eternal home and the trials we face in this life are not only growing us to be able to accomplish the plans and purposes God has for us here, but also preparing us to be ready to step into eternity with Him someday.  Keep pressing forward.  God is faithful!

 


By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter.  He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin.  He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward.  By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the king’s anger; he persevered because he saw Him who is invisible. (Hebrews 11:24-26)

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the l hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. (Romans 5:1-4)

For we live by faith, not by sight. (2 Corinthians 5:7)

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. (James 1:1-3)

Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me. (Psalm 50:15)

Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord. (Psalm 27:14)

20200125_070552

All scriptures from Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 or New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson

God’s great love!

“The Lord Himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” (Deuteronomy 31:8)

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10)

“Though my father and mother forsake me, the Lord will receive me.” (Psalm 27:10)

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39)

“The Lord looks from heaven; He sees all the sons of men. From the place of His dwelling He looks on all the inhabitants of the earth; He fashions their hearts individually; He considers all their works.” (Psalm 33:13-15)

“But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)

“For You created my inmost being; You knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” (Psalm 139:13-14)

God’s truth about His love for YOU. Straight from the Word.

Praise God for His unfailing love!

20200115_203527

All scriptures from Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 or New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson

Letting go of what other people may think -> Being obedient to God

Fear of what other people think of you. Fear of other people misjudging your actions or motives.

I have seen this to be one of the strongest and most effective tactics the enemy uses to keep God’s children from stepping boldly into accomplishing assignments He has called them to do.  I have seen these fears stop people from praying, stop people from speaking, stop people from being obedient to God.

As the Holy Spirit leads me to share on this, I want you to know that I share this from a place of experience.  I say this having come from a place of being in bondage to the pressures of fear of being misjudged, fear of having my motives questioned, fear of not measuring up to others or passing their assessments of me.  I have been in bondage, but praise God, I have been set free!

There is a place of peace when you are able to lay aside unnecessary external pressures, specifically, most often misperceived pressures you take on from other people.  I call them reverse judgements.  You think someone is judging you, when in reality they most likely are not, but you are actually the one judging them – judging that they are judging.  That’s a brain twister there.  Yes, we will indeed be judged or assessed by other people (who themselves need conviction and growth) from time to time and that is unfortunate, but we cannot let that hold us back from accomplishing God’s purposes for us.

Daughter of God, You have been created by God, uniquely fashioned by Him and you are perfect to Him just the way He created you.  Do not worry over what anyone thinks of you aside from the Lord.

If God has placed something on your heart to do, no matter how big or how small, go do it!  He knows your heart and He is the one who knows your motives.  Don’t let the lies of the enemy hold you back from completing assignments God has for you.  When you are having any thoughts about motives include Psalm 139: 23-24 in your prayers: “Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”

“People will think I’m weird.”  Oh goodness, ask anyone who knew me when I was newly saved.  I would start every sentence on a spiritual topic (what I felt I was hearing from God, etc.) with, “You may think I’m weird but…”  If you hear from God, do not worry over other people’s understanding of what you are doing.  People will misunderstand, but you will have peace in walking in obedience to God.  I will give one personal example and this is when I was newly saved.  I had been driving around with my son’s old clothes in my trunk ready to be dropped off for donation for several weeks.  It was a long tiring day of work and I was so ready to go home, but I randomly felt within me God say, “you know those clothes in your trunk? Drive to the Dollar Tree.”  Okay, I rarely go to that store unless I’m needing something very specific that I know they sell, so this was completely random.  I hesitated and then I went.  As I pulled into the parking lot I saw a lady with two small boys walking in at that moment.  I knew within me this was really happening, that God really had spoken to me and really was doing a work, but then came the feeling of “that women is going to think I’m so weird if I randomly ask her if she needs some clothes while she is shopping.”  I walked in the store and hesitated, but I wanted to obey what I know was God’s leading.  When I did ask her if she wanted the clothes, her response was, “Jesus sent you! My son has just outgrown all his clothes and I was needing to get some new ones.”

Step boldly into whatever God calls you to do!  Other people may very well not understand the step you are taking or, through their dimmed vision, see you as underqualified, but when God calls you to do something, be obedient and it will be His power at work in you to accomplish all He has called you to do!  His power is made perfect in your weakness.  Believe every bit of what He says.  Let nothing hold you back woman of God!

If you feel led to pray in a group setting, pray!  He is loving every word of it no matter how studdery or stumbly it is coming out.  Let go of what grade any other person could put on your ability to pray.  If people give you an A+ or an F it does not matter.  If anyone is grading your abilities, they are the one who needs conviction and growth.  With this being said, prayer in a group setting should never feel like an obligation or some way of proving yourself to other people (see Matthew 6:5 on not praying for the purpose of being seen by others).  If you don’t feel led by the Spirit, don’t do it out of pressure, but if you feel led by the Spirit to pray, pray boldly without hindrance!  The enemy would try and have you remain silent, but there is power when a group gathers and prays in agreement.

Somewhere in my walk with God I was able to completely let go of any worry over what others may think of me.  This was a process over time of trusting God and being obedient, no matter what discomforts were attached, but I have seen Him move over and over again as I have let go of my own insecurities and submitted completely to His leading.

If God says speak, speak.  If He says pray, pray.  If He says do, do.  If He says go, go.  Let nothing hold you back from accomplishing all that God calls you to do!  All glory to God!

Be blessed!

20191019_095514

All scriptures from Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 or New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson