Life is Hard… God is Good

Image result for wait upon the lord

Life is hard sometimes.

I mean really hard.

We plan and we strive.  We do are best, and sometimes

It feels like it’s not enough.

So why do we try so hard?

Something that I have had in my head for quite a while is this picture of our world.

Each and every one of us has been placed here, not by mistake and not by accident, but for a very specific purpose.

This whole world is not where we are meant to be in the long run, but for right now, we are.  When we are done fulfilling our purpose here on Earth, we can finally go home.

It’s such a wonderful feeling to have this reoccurring vision in your mind and understand that we were placed here in a giant mission field to fulfill a task for our Father, and then He will bring us home.

So back to my original question.

Why do we strive so much? 

Why do we even try when often times we just feel like we will never get it right?

Because of our purpose.  We are not here for us, but for each other.  We are here for the Father to live out our purpose and God’s plan for us.

In those times when we feel so useless and so discouraged, we can lean into His arms and trust that He will be strengthening us and guiding us along the way.

I wish to know my full purpose.  I wish to know what I am supposed to do here.

But while I wait for it all to unfold, I will

               

                                                Lean

                                                                In

                                                                                And

                                                                                                Trust

 

While I focus on the here and now and the present day.

When God Doesn’t Listen to My Prayers

Matthew 7:8  Everyone who asks receives.

Psalm 34:4 I sought the Lord and He answered me.

So if God tells us time and time again that when His children ask, they will receive, then why is it that so many prayers go unanswered?  Why do we feel like God isn’t listening?  A revelation I received today:

God considers all that we ask for through the filter of His perfect will.

Because God is omniscient, He knows everything that the future is going to hold for us.  He holds our hearts in His hands, and because of His great and mighty love for us, He wants so much more for us than what our non-omniscient minds can fathom.  

For instance, we might ask for a puppy, and want one with all of our heart.  We might think that that puppy would offer so much joy to our lives.  But God may be there saying, “You think you would have joy, but when you get that puppy you are going to be so frustrated that you have to potty train it and it’s going to have many accidents.  You will have to wake up with it every three hours to take it out to use the bathroom.  And oh yah, you have a newborn baby, I’m pretty sure that is a very bad combination.”  

In case you were wondering, this was a real life occurrence for me when Azy was a newborn. Puppies are cute, but this was like having twins.  Twin moms, I don’t know how you do it!

David wrote,

“No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly.” Psalm 84:11

We might think that He is not listening to us, or is always saying no, but when He is filtering it through His omniscience, it is hard to think that any outcome could be any less than perfect for us.

He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things.  Romans 8:32

God showed me today that there are about 5 ways that He answers prayer, and in these 5 ways, they are really all a yes, just in a different way.

The first way He answers is “Yes, immediately” if our request lines up perfectly with His will and timing.  The really incredible thing is that God is not bound by time, so He could essentially start answering our prayers many years before we even utter the words.  Or, if He really wants to blow our minds, He could give us what we ask for before we even finish the sentence, like He did with Rebekah at the well.

Second, He says “Yes in due time.”  The tricky part with this is that you can’t let a delay mean a denial in your mind.  Think Zechariah and Elizabeth.  He started praying for a child when they were very young.  Then after years of a seemingly denial to his request, God says, “Oh hey, remember that request you had for a child, yah, so your wife is going to have a child.  I know you are old, don’t worry about it, I got this.”  OK, so He didn’t use those exact words, but you get the point.  Knowing this, there is one very important thing you should remember.  

Don’t let yesterday’s seemingly unanswered prayers stop you from praying again today and tomorrow with just as much freedom and faith.

Third, He says, “Yes, so you’ll learn from it.”  Sometimes we think we know what we want, and God tries to convince us otherwise, but our stubbornness insists on it.  So God will say yes if He thinks that we can learn something from it.  

Another real life example.  Ryan and I were doing ministry in New Mexico on a Native Reserve.  We had just had Azy, and were feeling extremely homesick for our family.  We insisted that we wanted to move closer and that that’s what would make us happy.  God told me this, “You can choose to leave, I don’t need you here.  But if you choose to stay then I will bless you and use you as a blessing.”  We chose to leave.  And still to this day we believe we made the wrong choice.  Now, this doesn’t mean that God did not use us and bless us in Michigan.  And we certainly wouldn’t be here in Illinois doing the ministry that we know for a fact God called us to do.  But that does mean that God said yes to our request for provision to leave even though it would have been much better if we would have stayed.  The lesson I learned through this is that God has our best in mind, and knows exactly what our hearts need.  I don’t know if my heart will ever fully heal from the hurt of leaving that wonderful place.  I still have visions of the people in my dreams very regularly.

Fourth, God says, “No because you’re heart’s not right.”  Sometimes you ask and do not receive because you ask with the wrong motives so that you may spend it on your pleasures. James 4:3 If we ask for financial provision, God may not give it to us, not because the timing isn’t right, but because He knows that we haven’t learned to manage our provisions yet.  He knows it wouldn’t do us any good.  We would just go blow all the money He gives us as soon as we receive it. It is so important to come before the Father and lay down all our sins and shortcomings at the foot of the cross, asking Him to help us learn what He would want to teach us.  In other words, get your heart right with the Lord first, and then bring your requests to Him.

Fifth, God says, “No, I have something better in mind.”  Sometimes our requests are too small for the greatness of God.  Sometimes we ask for a grain of sand and He wants to give us a mountain.  I like to think that this answer is really a yes, but on a much grander scale.  This is an answer that will be given with so much more glory to the Lord.  

So to sum it all up, If you could take one nugget from this post, please remember this, when we pray we are in the presence of the almighty, and we are allowed to pray big prayers, realizing that God is a good Father.  He might not answer in the exact way that we wish, but He hears every prayer, and answers every prayer.  He withholds no good thing and He may just choose to amaze us even further than we ever imagined possible.

If you haven’t already, I implore you to watch War Room, and read the book that goes with it, The Battle Plan for Prayer.  You will never be the same again!

Lean On the One Who Gives Peace

Dearest child, why do you try so hard?  Why do you seek after what the world expects of you?  Why don’t you sit and abide in my presence and holiness?  Why don’t you seek after what I call you to be, and what I created you to be?  You try so hard to be all you think you should be, but what I know you should be is much better.  For my ways are higher than yours and my thoughts much better.  You, dear child, have been redeemed by the blood of the sacrifice I made of my son.  You have been remade and called holy by me.  Not because of anything that you have done, but because of all that I have done.  I desire to draw you closer to me.  By doing this, life will be made so much easier for you.  So why do you still struggle?  Why do you strive for something that was just not meant to be?  Come to the water all you who thirst and I will give you drink.  Come to the table all you who hunger, and you will be fed.  My body and blood has been shed for you.  So live in that grace dear one.  Live in the person that I have made you to be.  

There are so many things that we choose to give our hearts to in this world.  We strive after so many different things, yet we won’t come into His presence.  Why is this?  The one place that can give us peace and rest, yet we choose not to go there.  Time and time again I find myself struggling to pick up the Bible or utter a word in prayer.  I keep myself busy with the day to day tasks and the things that I think I should be doing.  But If I would just settle myself and take time to spend in the word and with Him in worship and prayer, peace would come over me in all areas of my life and He would give me grace to help me through the rest of my days. The Lord has never failed me before, so why do I doubt His presence in my life now?

O you who hear prayer, to You all men come. Psalm 65:2

No fear when everything is counted as joy!

“Count is all joy brothers when you meet trials of various kinds.” James 1:2

64d0f071ff5664baef52e7e2842e6144.jpg (236×297)

Christ calls us to “pray and we will receive.”  He even says, “Where two or more are gathered in my name, there I am also.”  There are lots of things that are mentioned throughout scripture on the subject of prayer, and yes, prayer is extremely powerful.  But, are we praying for the right things?

Continue reading “No fear when everything is counted as joy!”

Take a moment to reflect on who God is!

Child, slow down!

Your trust is not in me,

You are seeking after all you could be.

I need you to let go of who you are

And let be all I made you to be.

Your trust is in the Son of man.

He will not satisfy you like I can.

Trust in my presence.

Trust in my peace.

Trust that I will lead you where you need to be!

Let go of your dreams.

Let me sanctify your being.

Trust that I will uplift you and give you more than you could fathom.

What pits rule your life? Part 3

Pits come in all shapes and sizes.  I don’t mean literal shapes and sizes of course, but I mean that everyone goes through their own struggles and short comings in life.  Everyone has moments of doubt and fear.  Everyone at some point or another will succumb to the lies that the enemy throws at us because we only know as much as our present human mind can understand.  We are not all knowing like our Father is who know what is to come, not just what already has happened.

Continue reading “What pits rule your life? Part 3”

What pits rule your life? Part 2

I have a question for you, and I want you to be honest.  Have you ever heard a voice inside your head that told you one thing?  You thought that it was probably not true, but you couldn’t be completely sure.  Because of that little bit of doubt seeping into your mind, you allowed that voice to change the way you felt about yourself, someone else, a situation, etcetera?  Honesty hour, I have definitely been there, done that.

Continue reading “What pits rule your life? Part 2”