When Faith Fails

We all have faith in something or someone. It is a natural human tendency to believe, even if we just believe in our self. Humans are usually optimistic and hopeful.

We believe that the sun will come up tomorrow, our job and bank account are secure, our car will start, the chair will hold us when we sit down, our children will grow up to be successful and happy, and a myriad of other concepts using faith.

Yet, when we let our self down, or the object of our faith fails us, what happens to us? Our hope is shredded, we get discouraged and we vow never to trust again.

At best, it takes weeks and sometimes years to have the courage to believe in anything once again. We may start to believe and then give up, feeling the pain of our former disappointment.

There is only one secure object of our faith and devotion: Jesus Christ. He is exceptionally dependable and perpetually faithful (Malachi 3:6; Numbers 23:19).

We see His hand in His creation (Romans 1:20), in a kind word, a child’s delight, a friend’s smile, a flower growing in the crack of the sidewalk and in normal, everyday life.

Jesus gives us His joy and peace in exchange for our misery and defeat. He provides all of our needs according to His glorious riches. He deeply cares about us individually.

Yet, to believe in Christ for salvation takes humility. We humble our pride, surrender to God’s hand on our life and pledge to have faith in His faithfulness.

Prayer:

Father God, until we experience Your sovereignty and blessings in our life, we find it impossible to have faith in Your faithfulness. We cannot see or hear You; yet we feel your presence, order and power all around us.

Increase our faith in You and help us to cling to You when everything else in our life fails us. Bring peace to our soul even in the midst of the worst trials and tribulation, so that we can live as an example of your faithfulness to Your children.

Thought for the Day:

We can trust in God’s faithfulness, even when we do not see a solution to our problems.

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Come as a Child

Unless we are little children, we cannot enter the Kingdom of Heaven (Matthew 18:3). Not a child in age, size or maturity; but a child at heart – innocent and captivating.

When I took my first baby on his inaugural stroll in the park, I realized that he had no recognition of what his little blue eyes gazed upon.

A tree, leaf, bird, flower, clouds, ants, beetles were unremarkable to him. He had no reference point, no knowledge to draw from, in order to categorize what he saw.

With a clean slate for a mind, a pure heart and total trust in my care, he gurgled with his head bobbing from side-to-side to take in all the sights and sounds.

Unspoiled by the negative influences, harmful people and ungodly choices in life, he relied on me to meet all of His needs (1 Corinthians 14:20). I wanted to protect him from harm and hurt and to bring him joy all the days of his life.

As human parents we are either aggressive, permissive, nurturing or a combo of these parenting styles. God calls us to love in a nurturing manner with unconditional love, just as He fathers us (Luke 11:13; 1 John 3:16).

Our Father God calls us to come to Him as children with innocent trust in His faithfulness (Matthew 19:14). Those who are converted, humble and childlike will have the greatest position in God’s eternal Kingdom in Heaven (Matthew 18:3-4).

Prayer:
Father God, as Your children, our angels are always presenting our needs to You (Matthew 18:10). You protect us as the apple of Your eye (Deuteronomy 32:10). You are our Father when our natural fathers abandon us, and you set us in families when we are lonely (Psalm 68:5-6).

You know what we need even before we ask for it (Matthew 6:8). We have constant and continual access to You and help from You through Christ by Your Spirit (Ephesians 2:18). Thank You for lavishing Your love on Your children (1 John 3:1).

Thought for the Day:
In times of trial and adversity, we calm and quiet our soul like a contented, weaned child. – Psalm 131:2

Open Doors

Human beings often fear the unknown, resist change and grieve our losses longer than is healthy for our soul. This causes unnecessary stress to ravage our body and soul.

As authentic Born Again Believers, we can prevent this by trusting completely in God’s goodness and grace. When He closes one door in our life, it is to open another door.

He may allow us to lose a job, mate, child, friend, church family, home, part of our body, etc in order to open new doors for us.

God also closes doors to protect us. The timing, people involved, location and details are not conducive to this new venue He planned for us, so God will close those doors.

When we end one chapter of our life, we start a new one, full of possibilities and every bit as fulfilling as the former chapter. If we maintain an open mind, God will bless us.

No matter where we are, who we are with, or what circumstances He brings to us, we can still walk in God’s Spirit and allow Christ in us to live through us (Galatians 2:20, 5:15-25; Colossians 3:3-4).

Supernatural direction, peace and joy sustain, strengthen and equip us for the Kingdom work ahead of us. God’s Spirit and Son within us are our everlasting companions.

Prayer:
Father God, make us conscious of Your hand in our life. Help us not to mourn the closed doors for very long before we change our focus to the new and living way You have prepared for us.

We trust in You to care for all of our needs and to direct our every step through this new life where You called us to live. Open our eyes and ears to see and hear what Your Spirit is directing us to do, and use us for Your glory.

Thought for the Day:
The new door, which God opens, may be different than we are used to, strange and unfamiliar, but with Christ in us, we will continue to walk in God’s perfect peace and joy.

​A New Creation – Part 1

As a child, I felt insecure and fearful about tomorrow. I desperately attempted to control my life in order to feel as safe as is humanly possible. I did not want to leave anything to chance, because it usually turned out badly. I focused inwardly and took care of my own business.

Introverted and analytical, I lived a very cautious life with intense self-discipline and attention to details, so I would not cause anyone to get upset with me. I disliked change of any kind and I reacted in anger when my security was threatened in any way.

My favorite activity was to sit in our giant China-berry tree in our back yard, engrossed in a book until sunset. I also enjoyed crafts of all kinds. My mom and grandmother taught me to do needlework, and I learned to do many other crafts from the instructions in library books.

Throughout childhood, I was way too sensitive, felt too deeply and cared too much. I had no real friends except my cousins and my Girl Scout troop. I had no dreams or aspirations, except making it through the day in relative peace and calm. These traits followed me all through high school.

In adulthood, my loyalty to God, friends and family served me well as a Born Again Believer. I still do not need many friends, but I am merciful, caring and loyal to all of my acquaintances. I am still easily embarrassed and shy. I feel overwhelmed in a group and I prefer talking to people one-on-one.

However, God impressed on me the importance of stepping out of my shy persona and allowing His Spirit to minister to people through me. Ironically, He called me to serve Him as a greeter in social gatherings, and as a Pastor’s wife, living in the limelight under microscopic scrutiny.

Prayer:
Father God, thank You for using these years of my life to transform me with the mind of Christ. My penchant for perfectionism made me, and everyone around me, tense and uptight, until You mercifully delivered me from that demonic plague. You taught me that doing my best was all that anyone could ever expect from me. Then, You took it one step further and encouraged me to walk in Your Spirit as You transform my life.

Thought for the Day:
In Christ, our old personality is dead and we no longer live for our self, because the Spirit of God abides within us and we are buried in Christ and raised to walk in a new life. – 2 Corinthians 5:17; Romans 6:4

Identity Crisis

If a child does not receive the fulfillment of his/her legitimate human needs, they will look for people in their adulthood to meet them. Belonging, significance, acceptance, identity and security are the major psychological and emotional necessities in every human soul.

Our emotionally wounded parents were unable to provide these for us. As adults, we search in vain for our perfect soulmate, who has the limitless resources to make up for the deprivation from our past. In search of our fulfillment, we get too involved in earthly pursuits and change partners too often.

Those we reject suffer deep emotional scars, which are almost impossible to heal. As individuals, we attempt to perfect our personality and performance in order to find our personal worth through our human qualities, talents, intelligence, and physical assets.

The problem is that no one is capable of perfection. The key to our fulfillment on this earth is to realize that our true personal worth comes from our relationship with our supreme God and Father (Philippians 4:19). Only He provides us with a secure sense of belonging. We can trust Him and have no fear of His rejecting us for any reason.

If we cling to our deficiencies, rather than surrendering it all to God, we erect an idol, which we continue to “worship”. We allow Satan and our flesh to deceive us, which continues to cripple us. However, when we completely surrender all of our needs to God, He will meet them in His way and timing.

Prayer:
Father God, our freedom comes only as we surrender every aspect of our life to You. As long as we focus on what we lack, we continue to worship idols. Once we take our mind off our needs, and put it on worshipping and serving you, we suddenly discover that we are living a very fulfilling life. Remind us to commit our life to You, because then Jesus heals us and we are totally set free from emotional and psychological hindrances (John 8:32; Psalm 37:5). We enjoy mental, emotional and spiritual freedom, which only comes by learning to find our contentment in You (Philippians 4:11-13).

Thought for the Day:
In truth, complete fulfillment only comes when Christ is our whole life. – Colossians 3:4

His Cherished Treasure

His Cherished Treasure

Husbands, did you know that if you do not treat your wife with consideration and respect as heirs with you of God’s merciful gift of eternal life, that your prayers may be hindered (1 Peter 3:7)? God made women, so He knows how emotional, unpredictable and irrational we can be sometimes. That is why He gave men this cautionary advice.

The wise husband makes his wife his priority second only to God. He provides her with love, acceptance and a secure home environment. If he does, then she will never doubt his love for her. She will see it in his eyes, in his tone of voice, in his caring touch and in the amount of time he wants to spend with her. She is his most cherished treasure and is highly valued in his esteem.

Every human being has a love language. We often love others the way we want to be loved. However, if your mate’s, child’s or grandchild’s love language is not the same as yours, then they will not be impressed by your expressions of affection toward them. Some people enjoy gifts and others prefer physical touch, quality time, acts of service and/or words of affirmation.

Take the time to discover the love languages of the people God gave you to love ( http://www.5lovelanguages.com/ ). Give your loved ones continual expressions of love and devotion throughout the day. Many couples have a date night, which is admirable and something to look forward to; however, do not limit your time together to once a week. Spend little increments of time together throughout the day.

Maybe a shared lunch, family time after a dinner eaten together, a gift for no reason at all, a compliment for a job well done, a 15 minute snuggle, a walk in the park, a repair of that leaky faucet, a note tucked away in an obvious nook, a bike ride to a favorite place, taking her car to get it serviced or spending a few hours together walking on the beach. The possibilities are actually limitless.

Prayer:
Father God, remind us that You created marriage (Genesis 2:22). We dishonor You when we allow Satan to destroy the love You place in our hearts for one another. In today’s easy divorce society, we are not expected to work through the hard times and communicate with one another about what we really need and how we really feel. Remind us to lay our life down for each other as Christ did for us.

Thought for the Day:
Nurture your romantic urges and express them often. This is not a stilted requirement, but a spontaneous expression of your love and devotion.