Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Savior Please

Well, this song is pretty self explanatory as to how I have been feeling as of late. At the beginning of last week I prayed and asked God to stir me up spiritually, awaken my tired eyes again, and give me a renewed passion for himself and for holiness. 


After a long and hard semester, I had grown accustomed to running endlessly, working through the pain, and just trying to get through time as quickly as I could. Once break started though, God began to show me that eventually, my strength will fail. Eventually all that I have trusted in with fall through. All that I have depended on will be gone. Only HE is faithful to the end, only his strength will never fail. 


I think that if I just work hard enough, I can make it through anything. "You're strong enough," I tell myself everyday. But what a lie have been preaching myself. It is only by God's faithful hand that I am able to accomplish anything- even down to the littlest detail, like breathing. 


"For by him all things were created in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him." (Colossians 1:16)


I've tried to be so tough, but by God's grace I am realizing that none of my efforts are worthwhile. I don't need to be tough- God's ever present strength is guiding me every step of the way. 


Anyways, if you are reading this I would appreciate prayer and accountability. Pray that I would trust and depend on God's strength and ask me how I'm doing when you see me, if you don't mind. Watch the video and be inspired by God's pure and simple wonderfulness like I am :) 


Savior Please

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Life Is Good

Deep breath. In.... out. Phew. I made it. 


The past two weeks of my life could be described as hectic, crazy, busy, stressful, scary, emotional, and all around insane. I feel like David facing Goliath- me, such a small insignificant person out to conquer a huge problem that seems impossible. I could bore you with all the details that made these past weeks so crazy, but instead I'll just tell you a few of the many things that have happened:


-3 tests and a speech all in one week
-increased hours at work (twice as much as I normally work)
-homework and studying till 2 or 3 am every night
-three dear friends of mine going to the ER all in one week


I feel like I've been running a marathon. Life and it's business just never seems to end. Being gone from home for 12 straight hours a day is beginning to take it's toll on me. I feel tired, I have no energy, I'm emotionally drained. 


Now some may see this and think "Wow, she's at a really low point in life right now." And honestly, if it weren't for God, that statement would be absolutely 100% true. BUT, the wonderful thing is, it's not. In fact, it's the exact opposite. 


Looking at my circumstances, the world tells me  I "should" be feeling sorry for myself. I "deserve" some me-time. I "should" have a good cry and break down. 


A few weeks ago, I realized just how much I let my circumstances rule my emotions. If I didn't get enough sleep, I was grumpy. If I had a test, I was stressed. If I had a hard day at work, I was depressed. 


The Truth of the matter, though, is that God never changes. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. My stance before Him doesn't change either- he has already forgiven me, and loves me no matter what. That fact alone should rule my emotions! My joy is found in the hope of Christ. The hope that this life is temporal and that I have an eternity in paradise to look forward to. My joy is found from remembering all that God has done for me. Remembering that Jesus DIED for me so that I could live. So am I going to live a life of anger, grumpiness and stress? Absolutely NOT!



Because of God and God alone, I have a ridiculous amount of joy and peace and hope that I just can't explain. The "peace that passes all understanding" is with me. "In [His] presence there is fullness of joy"(Psalm 16:11). "the God of hope [has filled me] with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit [I] may abound in hope" (Romans 15:13). "In all [my] affliction, I am overflowing with joy" (2 Corinthians 7:4).  "Though [I] have not seen him, [I] love him. Though [I] do not now see him, [I] believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory" (1 Peter 1:8)



I have so many blessings that I am just completely overwhelmed with thankfulness for. I have the most incredible friends in the entire world. I have a church that preaches the Word of God every Sunday and gives me so many opportunities to minister. And best of all, I have salvation. I have a relationship with the Creator of the Universe. Can it possibly get any better than that? I submit that it cannot.


So all that to say, the "worst" two weeks of my life thus far are actually the best two weeks I have ever had. I've never been closer to God; He is growing me closer to Him, and even though it's painful, it's so beautiful at the same time. God is worthy of my all, and I give my all to Him. 

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Digger Deeper into Holiness

So since my last post, I have continued reading in the book of Leviticus about God and his holiness, and how I am supposed to be holy. Throughout my time in the Word, I kept finding myself searching for practical ways to be holy or to make myself holy. I was a little confused, because I was reading from the book of Leviticus, and the Israelites followed the Law that God gave them. I on the other hand, am not under the law, but under grace (Romans 6:14). So I was a bit confused as to which commands I was supposed to follow to be holy like God.

But then the thought struck me. Am I holy by my own merit? Surely not! Like I mentioned before, I am weighed down with just how unholy I am, how often I fail, and my daily, hourly struggles with sin. So the idea of ME having to be holy by myself is completely out of the picture. There is NO way that will ever happen.

So how can we be holy as Christians? There is no magic formula, no list of do's and don't's that we can follow to become holy as God is holy. We stand holy and righteous before God because, and ONLY because of Christ. My righteous deeds are like a filthy garment to God! (Isaiah 64:6) He doesn't want them or need them. His righteousness and holiness was imputed to us when we were born again through His saving work on the cross. Jesus is my propitiation, my sacrifice. Just like the Israelites had to offer sacrifices to pay for their sins, Jesus became MY sacrifice, and took care of ALL sins, past, present, future, big, and small.(1 John 4:10) God looks at me, and just sees Jesus' blood covering me. It is so comforting to know that I have absolutely NOTHING to do with my stance before God. It is all God's work, and I am so blessed to be called his daughter! What an amazing God I serve!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Getting to Know my Heavenly Father



I was encouraged and challenged last night in youth service at my church in a big way. Recently, I've been struggling with the question, "What is is the balance between being content wherever God has me spiritually, and always seeking to grow, grow, grow to be more like Him." I feel like I need to be both content, but yet not content at the same time. But an encouraging thought I heard last night was, "just get to know your God." And I intend to do so.



So I have set off on yet another journey and I am so excited to see where God leads me on this one. I don't know what to expect, except that I know God will change me, and He will be glorified. So as I uncover a new aspect about God, I will try and post something, even if it's short and sweet, about what I'm learning.



SO. Today. Leviticus 19:1-2, 


And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, "Speak to all the congregation of the people of Israel and say to them, You shall be holy, for I the LORD your God am holy... Every one of you shall revere his mother and his father, and you shall keep my Sabbaths: I am the LORD your God.  Do not turn to idols or make for yourselves any gods of cast metal: I am the LORD your God. When you offer a sacrifice of peace offerings to the LORD, you shall offer it so that you may be accepted."

I learned today that God is HOLY. I also learned that I am to be holy because He is Holy. Everything I do should be done with holiness, because God is holy and He demands holiness from His children. God can't be around unholiness. He is the LORD MY GOD- and I am an unholy creature. 

I never really thought about pursuing holiness in everyday things, but the more I think about it, the more sense it makes. Before, 'holiness' made me think of nuns and monks vowing silence and doing charitable acts of kindness to the orphans. But holiness is so much more than that! Seeking to be holy is seeking to be like God. God is the very definition of Holy! Actually, God is Holy, Holy, Holy! He needs three "holy's" that symbolized perfectly holy holiness to describe Him!

God is so holy, and I am so unholy. I do so many selfish things, think so many wrong thoughts, and say so many irreverent things. So today, my mind is weighed down with my unholiness, but it is also renewed with the glorious Truth that God is perfectly Holy, and He desires to make me like Him.

"For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers." Romans 8:29


"and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator." Colossians 3:10


"And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ." Philippians 1:6

 "Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!" Isaiah 6:3

Thursday, August 25, 2011

How I Want to Die

I want to die like Steven. A martyrs' death.

What a glorious death! Proclaiming the name of the LORD!

He was calm, at peace and had "the face of an angel" (Acts 6:15). He reflected the presence of God as he was being falsely accused and tried for blasphemy.

Right before he died, he retold the story of God's faithfulness to Israel through the Old Testament (Acts 7:1-53)- something he very well might have known would cause his death. Yet he was fearless, he was calm. He reflected Christ.

He was full of the Spirit and looked to heaven and literally saw the Glory of God and Jesus standing at the right hand of God (Acts 7:55-56)- what an AMAZING hope and blessing God gave to Steven! This made Steven's undeserved death worth it.

As Steven was dying, he called out to God, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit!" (Acts 7:59). Steven fell to knees and loudly cried out, "Lord, do not hold this sin against them." And with that, he breathed his last (Acts 7:60). The very last thing Steven said while on this earth was for God to forgive his killers- exactly what Jesus did as He hung on the cross.

Steven is such an inspiration to me. During his last moments here on earth, he quietly lifted his eyes to Jesus and did not let his gaze stray. Jesus was worth it for Steven. Is He worth it for you? He is worth it for me. My hope and prayer is that I would die a graceful death like Steven, proclaiming Jesus till the very last. I want my death to be an avenue for God to bring Himself so much glory.

He is Worthy!

Friday, July 29, 2011

The Faithfulness of My Good God

Do you know who is SO good?

Yep.

GOD IS SOOOOOO GOOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It really blows my mind how faithful God is to His children. He has shown and proved His faithfulness to me this past week in many ways.

The first big way that God showed His faithfulness was twofold, both having to do with the Ministry of Jr. Camp. No, I was not serving at Jr. Camp physically, but God gave me the opportunity to still be involved in that ministry here at home. It felt like He was telling me to be faithful to do the behind-the-scenes kind of ministry, aka being a faithful prayer warrior and a joyful encourager. Depending on my mood, I was excited, discontent, passionate and questioning about doing those things back at home. But through some godly counsel from a sweet girl facing the same situation and feeling the same emotions as me, I was able to see that those who are faithful in the seemingly little, persevering and 'not seen' ministry, are ones who are truly faithful to God. It's easier to serve God in 'big ways', like being a counselor or leading some big ministry. Don't get me wrong, those opportunities are still wonderful, but my point is that the 'little ways' are too. Anything that glorifies God is worth doing.

So what does this have to do with God's faithfulness, you may ask? Well, through God's strength and grace, I was able to be a consistent prayer warrior for the campers, counselors, and staff at Jr. Camp every day. God BLESSED me with many answers to prayer that I did not expect. I prayed for pretty general things for most of the people, that they would keep their focus on God and be a real servant etc. But more than once, during a conversation with one of my counselor friends about their week, they told me what God was teaching them, and it would be exactly what I had prayed for them specifically. Now that was not, COULD NOT have been my doing. This points to a sovereign God.

Similarly, God gave me and four other girls the opportunity to write letters to the counselors, and a second opportunity to write to the campers and staff as a youth group. Once again, many people who were at Jr. Camp came up to me and told me that God had used a letter I had written to them as an encouragement to them. This also points directly to my awesome God. In years past when I had written letters to those at Jr. Camp, no one said a word to me about them, which is totally fine. But this year, God BLESSED me. I didn't need or want to be thanked. But what a joy it is to know that my efforts to glorify God have not returned void!

Secondly, God has blessed me with amazing friends. A few weeks back, God taught me that I needed to be the kind of friend that I wanted to have. So I began to make a conscience effort to love on, appreciate, encourage, and sharpen my friends in the way that I would want to be treated. At first, it felt a little hopeless, like I was doing all this for others and not getting anything in return- and once again that's totally fine, I don't NEED that, its an extra want- but God still chose to bless me with wonderful, crazy amazing friends who have made all my efforts worth it. Sometimes I take for granted my friends, but God is really showing me that these people are precious blessings from Him that I don't deserve. God has proved faithful again!

And best of all, God has proven His faithfulness to me over a long span of time- 6 whole years of wanting something and not getting it. For those six years I was discontent with God's plan, up until this year, praise God. This year He gave me a contentment for where I was at and an acceptance of the stage of life I'm in now. I truly believe God blesses His faithful servants, because now, He has rewarded me with the very thing I longed for those many, many years. Right after I became content without it, of course. ;)

All in all, I see God's faithfulness the same way in both of theses situations. 1 Samuel 26:23 says, "The LORD rewards every man for his righteousness and his faithfulness." God planted in me the desire to serve others this week. He then gave me the strength and ability to carry out that desire. And now He is rewarding His servant with amazing blessings of joy and contentment that are perfectly indescribable and overwhelming. Not to point to the faithfulness of the servant, but of the Master. We servants have just obeyed the Master- He is the one worthy of all praise. Praise Him for HE IS GOOD!

Monday, July 11, 2011

"Praise Him for His mighty acts! Praise Him for His excellent greatness!"

I just want to praise God today because He gave me victory over sin. Halleluiah and praise be to my faithful God who continues to change this sinful heart!

Friday, July 1, 2011

A Humbling Day

I love how God works. He is faithful to teach me a lesson "the easy way", and then, I always have to learn it "the hard way" too, unfortunately. Sometimes I wish I could just learn something "the easy way", but I don't think I can... I must learn from experience, it seems.

So I am entitling my day yesterday "The Humbling Day." It seems every way I turned, my pride was brought low and I was broken. I am so thankful though, because it proved God's faithfulness to answer prayer. I had prayed the day before to be humbled, on account of studying humility in Bible Study, and boy did God come through on that one.

I will spare you the details of everything that happened in my day (but I will say that it included spilling the entire bucket of dirty mop water all over the carpet at work) but as I said early, it felt like everything I did that day fired back at me and broke me of my pride. From seemingly small issues like spilling the mop water, to big areas of sin being revealed in my life through good friends and good talks over Hawaiian tea, I was humbled.

The most radical thing I can draw from this experience, though, is that I am HAPPY to be humbled like this. I am thankful to God ALONE that I was able to respond to this humbling with a thankful and joyful attitude, genuinely happy to go through it. Now I know FOR SURE that that response did not come from me. That was God, plain and simple.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

POWER

This past weekend, I trekked down to Fontanaland with 27 fellow Jr.'s and Sr.'s for our youth groups annual Leadership Retreat. Last year, God really impacted and changed my life at the Leadership Retreat, and I was eagerly awaiting to see how God would work in my life this year too. I figured I would be challenged about how I need to be a better leader in our youth group etc... but He taught me something totally different and wonderful that I definitely needed to learn, something I needed to get right with God before I could be a leader. (And on a side note, God DID teach me a whole lot about leadership too, and showed me a lot of areas of apathy in my life that I need to change. but for now, I'm going to stick to the main thing God taught me during the weekend).

During the first session of the retreat, Eric Knott mentioned the Power of the Holy Spirit. He gave an illustration about a farmer who has a huge field to plow. Now, the farmer has a big tractor sitting out by the field, but he just walks past it with his hoe and starts plowing away by hand. Seems stupid right? He has this amazing tool right in front of him that would make his work so much easier if he just would use it.

I identified with that farmer. Actually, I AM that farmer. The tractor symbolizes the power of the Holy Spirit- a special Helper that God has given me that i ignore most of the time. I have the very power of GOD living in me that I ignore.

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.

Acts 1:8

Because our gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction. You know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake.
1 Thess 1:5

For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.

1 Timothy 1:7

How many times have I questioned God, asking Him why I feel so dead spiritually, why I feel like I have no joy, no love, no kindness, no patience? I say, "God, I am doing everything right! And I still feel so far away from You!" In reality, I was doing what was right for the right reason. But I began to believe some lies. I began to have doubts. I doubted that I could live a life that pleases God. I started to think that I could never glorify God or be pleasing in His sight.

I also started to believe that the current state of life I was at, which could be characterized by words like 'comfortable,' 'apathetic,' or 'mediocre,' was acceptable, the new 'norm' for this stage of life. I basically gave up on the idea of living in a passionate pursuit of God, a life of reckless abandon.

Those thoughts are lies. And now, praise be to God, I know how to combat them. I have the very power of God living inside of me, and I just need to tap into it. I just need to get into the tractor and use it. I just need to stand up and start running up the hill as fast as I can towards Christ. Even if all my friends are dragging their feet up the hill, I have to run.

Obviously I can't run up that hill as fast as I can for the rest of my life on my own strength. Believe me, my strength will run out pretty fast. In fact, it already ran out. But the glorious truth is that I have GOD'S strength and power living in me at this very moment. All the power I could ever dream of and MORE is accessible to me 24/7.

Praise God from whom all blessings flow, praise Him all creatures here below, praise Him above ye heavenly hosts, praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen.

Friday, June 3, 2011

James 4:13-15

Come now, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit"— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, "If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that." ~ James 4:13-15, ESV

While reading the book "Crazy Love" by Francis Chan, which if you haven't read I strongly encourage you to do so immediately, I came across these verses. Thy fit in so perfectly with what God is teaching me right now, I couldn't help but share them. My life is a vapor and I don't get to decide and make plans for myself. God is completely sovereign over every single area and detail of my life, and He chooses what I do everyday. His plan is perfect. If the Lord wills, I will live. What a thought to think that even my very next breath is sustained by my almighty God.

Surrender

So it's time again for another post : )

I am so happy and thankful that now I can write about how my life is full of joy, how God is working in my life, and my awesome God whom I absolutely love to serve is. A few months ago, this wasn't the case. God has really brought me through a long and hard journey this past year, and I have learned so much. But now, after coming out the other side and looking back, all I can do is praise God for His mighty works.

I am sitting here in my room trying to decide what to write about. My time in Bible study has been so profitable this past week, that there is way too much to write about just in one post. My week has also been full of special "girl time" with my friends, where we are able to get together over coffee and talk about what God is doing in our lives.

But if I were to summarize all the things God is teaching me through his Word directly, and through my friends, I would say it all comes down to one word: surrender.

Specifically in my life, I have to surrender my plans, like I have written about in my last few posts. I finally realized that my specific plans for ministry don't have to come true. That's God's decision alone. And I need to be so happy and thankful for the fact that I am even able to do ministry, that I am SAVED by GRACE, that I am content to serve wherever, however God needs me too. And I can say now, with a heart thankful to God alone for doing this, that I am letting go.

Isn't it weird how freeing it feels to completely surrender everything in your life? I feel like I have absolutely nothing but Christ. Which happens to be the BEST feeling in the world.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Joy

You know what I just realized?

True joy comes when you walk in the Will of God and have a right relationship with Him.

No, I'm not perfect, and yes, I will always struggle with sin on this earth. But God sees me as righteous because of Christ's atoning sacrifice, and because of that, I can be right with Him.

So when I finally surrendered it all back to God, when I finally accepted His plan as best, when I was finally at peace with my circumstances, I found myself joyful. While washing the dishes. Without being asked. WHAT?

With contented joy, comes selfless love. Why have I not lived like this my entire life?

Monday, May 16, 2011

I can't do everything, but i can refuse to do nothing.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

True Contentment, True Ministry

Today I realized something that I think (and hope) will change my life from now on.

First of all, I am convinced that worship night tonight was put on for me. Somehow Justin and Kalena picked songs that hit me, convicted me, brought me to a reverent awe and fear of the Lord, and gave me endless and overwhelming joy all at the same time. Now obviously I know it was really Justin and Kalena who picked those songs for me, but God who orchestrated it all.

It was during worship that God revealed to me this life changing thought: True contentment isn't ministering in the "glamourous" ways that I want and finding my satisfaction from the praise of men. True contentment is ministering however God wants, even when it's behind the scenes, even when I will never get praise, even when I want so badly to minister in other ways, but can't.

It's no lie to say that I have certain "dreams" for ministry. I have an idea of the things I would love to do, and it's funny, all of those dreams have me in the front, doing to "fun" ministry jobs, the ones that make ME look spiritual and mature. Now nothing is wrong with doing those kinds of ministry, but what I realized is that I don't always have to be in the front. I don't always get to do what I think is best for me. I need to learn to trust God to provide me with the best ways to minister.

Maybe I'm not supposed to be in front, leading and organizing. Maybe I'm called to mop the floors and wash dishes after a ministry function. Maybe I'm supposed to minister by encouraging those teens that don't have as many friends and don't talk much. Maybe I need to be ok with giving up those dreams that I've held onto for so many years.

I've had a dream for five years now to be involved in a certain ministry, and I haven't had the opportunity to be involved yet. Maybe I need to let go of my dreams, and embrace the plans that my sovereign God has had for me since the beginning of time. Maybe I need to stop wasting my time chasing after selfish ambitions, take some time to seek God's plan for me by searching the Word and spending time talking to Him.

So whoever is reading this, I would appreciate prayer. It's always hard to give up your dreams, believe me, I know. But it's so necessary. God deserves my all, my everything.

I intend to surrender it all to Him.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Wow.

God,

Thank you for being who You are.
Thank you for loving me, even though I fail you so many times.
Thank you for saving me from my wretched state.
Thank you for loving me enough to chasten me.
Thank you for being such a faithful God.

I fall on my face before you, in silent AWE.
You are so good to me.
I don't deserve You in any way.
Thank You.

God, help me to live for You.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

What a Love

Hey! You see that little box on the right side that says "archives"? Well, you can see there that I've already posted 4 times in the first 3 months of this year, compared to the 6 times I posted in the entirety of last year. I think I'm making progress in this whole blogging thing : )

But anyway, onto the important stuff. Tonight in Bible Institute class, and JD mentioned a passage in Romans 9 where Paul made a very startling statement:

3"For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, my kinsmen according to the flesh." (ESV)

and I also like the way the NLT puts it; it's a very clear point:

3 "for my people, my Jewish brothers and sisters. I would be willing to be forever cursed—cut off from Christ!—if that would save them." (NLT)

So basically, Paul is saying that he is willing to be cast of from Christ- to go to HELL- if it meant that his friends would go to heaven.

Wow.

I honestly could not say that. Paul loved his friends so much that he was willing to be eternally separated from God if it would save his friends.

What a love.

And to think that God loves me even more than that.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Seek the LORD

When I begin to feel overwhelmed by my sin, I MUST remember to run to the Lord first and foremost.

This past week, my passion for God was gone, I wasn't even sure if I wanted to serve Him anymore. Doubts of salvation began to creep in and I wondered where God had gone in all of this. I felt like I was doing everything right. Obviously, I had missed the most important part.

I didn't run to the Lord first.

I suffered the consequences until, after many hours of counseling, I finally gave up trying to fix my problems in my own strength, and ran to God as a helpless child, seeking Him and only Him, knowing that "it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure." ~ Philippians 2:13

I began a word study on "seek" (the reason behind that being a very godly friend of mine told me I had to seek God in this, that seeking God was the only thing I could do). So I flipped to the back of my Bible, thumbed down to "seek", and looked at the first entry: 1 Chronicles 28:9. To be perfectly honest, I almost skipped this first one to go on to the passages in Psalms, but I'm SO glad I didn't, for I would have missed a very important lesson

"'And you, Solomon my son, know the God of your father and serve him with a whole heart and with a willing mind, for the LORD searches ALL hearts and understands EVERY plan and thought. If you seek him, he WILL be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will cast you off forever. Be careful now, for the LORD has chosen you to build a house for the sanctuary; be strong and do it.'...Then David said to Solomon his son, 'Be strong and courageous and do it. Do NOT be afraid and do not be dismayed, for the LORD God, even my God, is with you. He will NOT leave you or forsake you, until all the work for the service of the house of the LORD is finished.'" ~ 1 Chronicles 28: 9-10, 20

Just reading through this passage and understanding the context and history behind it opened my eyes to a wonderful, new love for God. David is telling Solomon about how to serve God in the mission that God had given to him (building the temple). David's words of wisdom to his son were to know God, to serve God, to seek God, to trust God.

How wonderful it is to know that I serve a God who is trustworthy. I know that God was faithful to David and Solomon. I know He was faithful to Abraham by providing him with a son. I know He was faithful to the Israelites by bringing them safely out of Egypt.

I also know that my God never changes.

The God that was faithful 2,000 years ago, is the exact same God I serve today. I know and trust that He will be faithful to me. In fact, He already has. He has given me an undeniable passion for Him. He is showing me that He is at work in my life. He has given me an opportunity to share the gospel to an unbeliever. What did I do to deserve His great love? All I can do is sit back in awe of the mighty God I serve.

Monday, March 7, 2011

I'll Never Forsake You, My Love Never Ends

Today has been a difficult day, an emotional roller coaster. I just want to forget all my problems, run away, hide, and pretend like it's not real. But I have to face the reality that all my circumstance ARE REAL. And there is absolutely NOTHING I can do about them.

Overwhelmed. That word perfectly describes how I feel right now. I feel like I am struggling with so many issues: sinful habits, circumstances with friends, and dealing with myself and all of my pride. God is gracious to reveal to me the areas of my life that are not pleasing to Him, but I often find myself looking up to God and saying "God! I cant handle all of this! It's TOO much for me right now. Just give it to me a little at a time. I'm not going to get anywhere if I'm stuck dealing with a million different things!"

But here is my real dilemma. I know those thoughts are wrong. And I know truth to combat those lies. I'm just choosing not to believe it, because it feels good to throw a pity party for myself. But, God is so faithful to show me, yet again, an area that needs work.

You can't ignore the truth.

"I will not leave you or forsake you" Joshua 1:5

"No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it." 1 Corinthians 10:13

"But He said to me 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness'" 2 Corinthians 12:9

The fact is, I WILL fail without Christ. God is using this in my life to teach me DEPENDENCE on Him. I am at a place where I just want to cry. I feel helpless. I can't fix my problems. But God is teaching me that this is exactly where I am supposed to be. I have gotten so accustomed to my care-free life with no problems, and now I'm in a completely different ball game. I have to TRUST that God has plan, that plan is perfect, and will work out for GOOD. I like to be in control. That's not where I'm called to be. I am nothing, God is EVERYTHING. Who am I to think that I have control over my life? I serve a SOVEREIGN God. He already has eternity planned out. Why would I even WANT to try to fix my life? It makes so much more sense to just step back, and let God take care of me. Why can't I live like that?

"My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever" Psalm 73:26

Friday, March 4, 2011

God is Faithful

73Your hands have made and fashioned me;
give me understanding that I may learn your commandments.
74Those who fear you shall see me and rejoice,
because I have hoped in your word.
75I know, O LORD, that your rules are righteous,
and that in faithfulness you have afflicted me.
76Let your steadfast love comfort me
according to your promise to your servant.
77Let your mercy come to me, that I may live;
for your law is my delight.
78Let the insolent be put to shame,
because they have wronged me with falsehood;
as for me, I will meditate on your precepts.
79Let those who fear you turn to me,
that they may know your testimonies.
80May my heart be blameless in your statutes,
that I may not be put to shame!
Psalm 119:73-80, ESV

God is so faithful to show me exactly what I need to focus on for the day. Today, i was reading about the armor of God in Ephesians, and looked up these verses as a cross reference about the Breastplate of Righteousness.

The part that sticks out to me the most is in verse 75 "In faithfulness You have afflicted me". Suddenly it has become clear to me that God is showing His faithfulness to me by bringing me through trials and tests; He is being faithful by showing me that He is at work in my life, and that "he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ" (Philippians 1:6). These periods of trial and sorrow are not bad. I just chose to look at them that way. I can choose to focus on God's faithfulness instead, and have joy despite my circumstances.

Also, God's steadfast love is always there to comfort me, and His mercy brings me life.

Father, your law is my delight, Help me to meditate on it, care for it, and use it as my shield against the schemes of the Devil.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

...That I may boast in My Weaknesses

I am so bad with words and writing my feelings. I am thankful for those who are much wiser than I, and are better writers too. This post by C.J. Maheny is a perfect example of what I'm struggling with right now. Prayer is much appreciated : )


"How I perceive myself makes all the difference in how I receive and respond to personal criticism.

When a pastor is on the receiving end of criticism and correction, temptations are never far off. In my experience, the higher my estimation of myself, the closer those temptations are. Criticism contradicts my high view of myself—so I am tempted to respond sinfully.

How differently the Apostle Paul responded to criticism!

We read of Paul’s response in 2 Corinthians, a very personal epistle. In chapters 10–13 Paul responds to the criticism leveled against him. He could have defended himself with an account of his incredible personal experiences or with his years of service to the church. Yet he chose to respond to the personal criticism with words like these:

Though if I should wish to boast, I would not be a fool, for I would be speaking the truth. But I refrain from it, so that no one may think more of me than he sees in me or hears from me. (2 Corinthians 12:6)

This passage deserves a re-read. In case you didn’t get Paul’s point the first time (and I certainly didn’t), perhaps the following comment on the passage by Dr. Don Carson will help you comprehend its full weight:

What is remarkable is the way Paul’s stance differs from our own. Many Christians today, even Christian leaders, go through life fearful that people will think too little of them. They quickly become irritable if someone, especially a junior, is praised more than they. But Paul goes through life fearful that people will think too much of him.*

Paul was fearful that people will think too much of him!? That’s not a fear that I am familiar with. Too often my concern is that people think too little of me—that they don’t share my high estimation of myself.

Yet the question every pastor must eventually answer in his own heart is this: Am I concerned that others have too low an estimation of me, or that they will have too high an estimation of me? How I respond to personal correction often reveals which concern rules my heart.

The first concern can ultimately be traced back to the presence of pride in the heart.

The second concern can only be explained by the active grace of God in the heart."