Posted by: Anne | May 16, 2020

“Carest thou not?”

“He was in a hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow, and they awake Him and say unto Him, ‘Master, carest Thou not that we perish?’”
~ Mark 4:38

Our immediate reaction in circumstances like that is very similar to that of the disciples. “Master, carest Thou not that we perish?” they cried. That question was asked in a spirit of complaint. “If you love us,” they said, “then save us.” How soon they began to doubt Him. How ready they were to turn against Him, even though they called Him “Master.” How quick they were to think that He was careless and cruel and heartless.

I don’t know what your profession of faith may be, but I am sure that this question, in one form or another, has sometime been on your mind and on your heart. Doesn’t God care, after all? If He does, why doesn’t He show it?

My friend, listen to me, have you understood that God sometimes works a greater wonder when He sustains His people in trouble than when He brings them out of it?

Read the full article at the source:
https://www.moodymedia.org/articles/carest-thou-not-we-perish/

See also: the Bible passage where Jesus calms the storm
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Mark+4%3A35-41&version=NIV

Hear also: “Peace Be Still”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lsIpGiz3SfQ

Posted by: Anne | May 9, 2020

follow the go-to with the look-to

“We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.”
~ 2 Chronicles 20:12b

Based on conversations with different friends of mine with different personalities, it seems like each of us has a go-to feeling that rises up and wants to take over in threatening situations: anger that wants to come out swinging, fear that wants to shrink back and disappear, confusion that wants to talk it out and restore peace quickly, just to name a few.

But I’m learning that while we can sometimes feel afraid, we don’t have to live afraid. We can be alarmed and resolved at the very same time. We can let our declaration mirror those of Jehoshaphat to God when faced with a massive and terrifying army, “We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.” (2 Chronicles 20:12b)

~ Lysa TerKeurst (May 6 at 7:05 PM)
https://www.facebook.com/OfficialLysa/

 

Posted by: Anne | April 26, 2020

fact checking

“We are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ”
~ 2 Corinthians 10:5b New American Standard Bible

Almost a year ago, I wrote about the Biblical instruction to think truth for peace.

Recently, putting that into practice requires that — almost every day — I remind myself that speculations, theories and opinions about what might happen are NOT truth.

When gloomy predictions in the news threaten to ignite another round of anxiety, it helps for me to refocus my thoughts back to What Is (today, right now) instead of What If (the future, the theoretical). I often start by noticing how God has blessed me that day. Sunshine and blue skies. A little bird landed in my window. The store had the cereal I wanted.

Soon, I have a growing list of reminders of the good ways God is working.

And I’m comforted as I trust that, when tomorrow becomes today, I can count on Him to provide what I need then, too.

“We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ”
~ 2 Corinthians 10:5 New American Standard Bible

See also:
https://www.wayfm.com/content/wally/uncategorized-wally/day-of-hope-facing-big-problems-with-small-joys/

Hear also: “Borrow (One Day At A Time)” by Josh Wilson
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8N7EA41-yBg

Posted by: Anne | April 11, 2020

Good News for Everyone

“But these are written so that you may believe Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and by believing you may have life in His name.”
~ John 20:31 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

Good News for Everyone

If you’ve been a Christian for very long, you’ve experienced a time when you wondered if the Christian faith is really true. Perhaps your struggle came after some huge disappointment or unanswered prayer. Things just didn’t go the way that you had hoped and prayed… Or, maybe your Christian experience just didn’t measure up to the “abundant” life that others testify to, so you wondered why the abundant life didn’t seem to be true for you. You thought, “Maybe it isn’t true at all.”

In the middle of John’s treatment of Jesus’ resurrection, he breaks in with his purpose for writing the entire Gospel (John 20:30-31): “Therefore many other signs Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name.”

For John, everything depends on who Jesus is.

Read more in the full article at the source:
https://bible.org/seriespage/easter-2014-good-news-everyone-john-20-and-21

Posted by: Anne | March 28, 2020

facing crisis, finding peace

“God is our refuge and strength, a helper who is always found in times of trouble.”
~ Psalm 46:1 Christian Standard Bible

Times of trial, uncertainty, and fear are not the moments to lean away from God, but the moments to lean toward Him—in every way we can.

How do we open our hearts again to faith in a time of uncertainty? The article below offers ideas:
https://www.intouch.org/read/magazine/faith-works/how-to-find-peace-in-a-pandemic

 

Posted by: Anne | March 21, 2020

find new strength

“But those who trust in the LORD will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.”
~ Isaiah 40:31 (NLT)

Sometimes we wonder if our grief, disappointments or failures have pushed us to the point of no return. Which is why today’s key verse has become my anchor for the days ahead.

Throughout this entire chapter, Isaiah reminds his listeners that God is in charge of everything. But he also challenges them to wrestle with their doubt, sin, fear and questions.

It’s a space where we fill our time with worship instead of worry. It’s when we simply pray His promises when our words are hard to find in prayer. And it’s how we reject our distress-filled doubt with the reality of who our God is.

Read the full article at the source:
https://proverbs31.org/read/devotions/full-post/2020/03/20/he-helps-us-get-up

Posted by: Anne | March 6, 2020

Trust God. Repeat as needed.

“Jehoshaphat was afraid, and he resolved to seek the LORD.”
~ 2 Chronicles 20:3a Christian Standard Bible

Despite having heard the phrase “give it to God” for years, I’m only recently learning what it looks like for me to put it into practice: whether it’s a scary new unknown or persistent perplexities from the past, I pray and calm down, trusting God to answer in His perfect timing.

Sometimes, however, I try to take the problem back. The questions still worry me, and I must repeat the process — multiple times — until I choose faith over fear.

Elisabeth Elliot phrased it this way:

“I do know that waiting on God requires the willingness to bear uncertainty, to carry within oneself the unanswered question, lifting the heart to God about it whenever it intrudes upon one’s thoughts.”

 

Posted by: Anne | February 29, 2020

a marathon, not a sprint: a process, not a zap

“Friends, when life gets really difficult, don’t jump to the conclusion that God isn’t on the job. Instead, be glad that you are in the very thick of what Christ experienced. This is a spiritual refining process, with glory just around the corner.”
~ 1 Peter 4:12-13 The Message

“What I also find encouraging is when I remember that learning to trust God is a process. It’s not like we wake up one day super-faithful. Instead, our faith grows as we encounter trials and press on through them. Even when we falter through a trial, as I heard it said, ‘This is the middle of the story, not the end.’ We just get back on that proverbial horse.”
~ from my recent email to a friend

See also:
https://rainshine.wordpress.com/2017/10/14/growth-tough-but-necessary/

 

Posted by: Anne | February 22, 2020

A loss, or a lesson?

“Instruct the wise and they will be wiser still; teach the righteous and they will add to their learning.”
~ Proverbs 9:9 New International Version

… In that process, I’ve come to believe that God will never waste our pain, but I can.

* When I’m not honest about the reality of how hard life is, I waste God’s offer of peace.

* When I try to do things in my own strength, I waste God’s offer of power.

* When I keep the pain to myself, and pretend everything is perfect, I waste opportunities to minister to others walking a similar path.

Read the full article at the source:
https://www.proverbs31.org/read/devotions/full-post/2012/06/26/god-never-wastes-our-pain

See also:
https://www.east91st.org/blog/god-never-wastes-a-hurt/

Posted by: Anne | February 15, 2020

Why, God?

“Listen, my sons, to a father’s instruction; pay attention and gain understanding.”
~ Proverbs 4:1 New International Version

“Why God? That’s the question I asked when the doctors told me that my dad may not live another day. I remember in that season feeling like such a bad Christian, like I wasn’t allowed to ask that question. Then I became a dad and a little boy started asking those ‘Why Daddy?’ questions, and he didn’t always understand the answer…”
~ Austin French, about his song “Why, God?”

Read Austin’s inspiration for the song at the source:
https://www.thechristianbeat.org/index.php/official-videos/6310-austin-french-why-god-music-video

Hear the song, “Why, God?”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iv_Pf7bDZj4

More Bible verses about asking:
https://www.openbible.info/topics/ask_and_you_shall_receive

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