A Life Uncertain, Where to Turn?

forking road

A Life Uncertain

Uncertainty is something that is hard to grapple with. Whether it is in regards to your health or your job, your relationships or your finances. Confused about which direction to take in life. Not knowing or being certain that things are going to be okay. These are hard places to be. It is very uncomfortable.

But if you think about it, our lives in general are full of uncertainties. Even the things we feel are secure, could all change in an instant. Nothing is guaranteed in this life. We can take that thought and let it control our mind and cause us all kinds of anxiety and fear. Let it disrupt our joy and contentment. Or we can fully realize that we are never the ones in control anyway. Of anything.

 

What Was Meant For Evil

When we trust in the Lord, we can know that He has His best for us. Though things may not seem to go the way we would like, we can be certain that what was meant for evil, can be turned around and used for our good.  This verse in Genesis comes to mind.

Genesis 50:20 New King James Version (NKJV)

20 But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive.

 

No matter what uncertainty life is throwing at you right now, hold tight. God has got you. Spend time talking to Him, reading His word, leaning on Him. No matter the circumstance, Jesus is right there with you. Holding your hand and wrapping His arms of love around you.

I encourage you to read the story of Joseph (coat of many colors) in the Old Testament beginning in Genesis 37. So many horrible things happened to this man, but he never gave up. All of the things that others meant for his demise, God turned it out for his good and for God’s glory.

Despite the uncertainties of life, we can know that our Heavenly Father has us in the palm of His hand. He loves us and has a plan for our lives. So shake off your uncertainties and place your trust in Him.

 

 

 

Who Do You Turn To When Things are Good?

happy woman smiling balloon

When life isn’t going as you hoped or planned and you are hurting, where do you turn? I usually head straight to God. When things are so overwhelming I can’t handle it, I call on His Name.  I find it so comforting that I can go straight to Jesus with my pain, my fear, my hurts. I usually have no trouble reaching out to Him then.

It’s the times when things are going okay. I tend to fade out of our relationship. I acknowledge Him but don’t make it a priority to seek Him daily. I may make a conscious effort to do so…but never stick to it. How frustrating that must be for God. Just imagine your child. Only wanting to talk to you when they need something. Sure you are glad to help them out when they need it, but it would be also be nice to be able to have a real relationship with them. Get to know them and maybe for them to really get to know you. Be able to share things, both good and bad.

I am aware and conscious that my “good times” efforts toward a relationship with God are failing tragically. I want to get into the habit of talking with Him and reading His word daily. Even when things are going okay.  I know He forgives me when I fall short, but I am sure my life and our relationship would be a better one if I would put in a little effort.  What about you? Do you ever stray from God during the good times? Or are you able to communicate with Him all the time, regularly?

If you are like me and need a little structure to guide your relationship, I have come up with a few simple steps to help us get into a regular routine with God.

  • When you first wake up, say quietly in your head (or out loud), Thank You, Jesus!
  • Before you get dressed for the day, read 5 minutes of scriptures.
  • While eating breakfast, read 5 more minutes of scripture.
  • Before you go off to work or start your day, Pray for at least 5 minutes.
  • When you arrive at your first daily destination, thank God for getting you there safely.
  • Pray daily that He will use you to be a blessing to everyone you come in contact with that day, including and especially your family (we tend to have the least amount of grace for those closest to us sometimes).
  • Say a prayer before eating each meal.
  • At the end of the day, say a prayer of thanks for getting you through the day and for strength to do it all again tomorrow.

I know this may seem like a lot, but it is important for us to have God on our minds all throughout the day. These are just a few suggestions, tweak them as you need to suit your life. The main thing is that we communicate with Him regularly throughout the day.

I pray that each of us will learn to seek Him all the time and not just during times of trouble.  He is waiting for a real relationship with you.

How I Made It Through Some Trying Times

Woman with hands over face

Trying Times

Last year my family and I went through some very difficult times. There were many moments of despair and anquish. There were days I didn’t know how or if we could survive.

I prayed and cried out to God, I searched scripture after scripture trying to hold it all together. One of the great battles that I personally was dealing with was that I fully believed that God could heal, restore and make all things new, including this situation. I knew He was able. But my struggle came from the fact that God can fix all of our situations but for reasons we don’t understand,  He doesn’t always do so.

While I was trusting in His ability to help us in this situation, I just didn’t know if he would. Then while listening to the radio (K-Love) on my way to work one morning, I heard the song, Even If, by Mercy Me.  At the same time I was recalling the passage in the bible (Daniel 3) about Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. These three faithful men refused to bow down to a false god knowing if they didn’t they would be thrown into a literal fire. But they didn’t fear. They were confident that God would rescue them. But they declared that even if He didn’t, they still refused to worship any other god.

Man, talk about faith! These three sure had it. This story and the song, Even If, were so powerful and sustaining to me. I am grateful for both. Take a few minutes to read the above referenced passages. Also take a glance at a few of the lyrics from the song.

I know You’re able and I know You can

Save through the fire with Your mighty hand

But even if You don’t

My hope is You alone

I know the sorrow, and I know the hurt

Would all go away if You’d just say the word

But even if You don’t My hope is You alone

Those words are powerful! I wanted to have such a faith that whether or not our situation improved, I would still have my Hope in Jesus. I would still have faith.

He is Faithful

For my situation, things definitely did improve. Things aren’t perfect and some of these issues may be on going, but they are much better to say the least. I am so very thankful. I am also thankful for the fact that He is faithful. Whether or not our situation improved, I am eternally grateful that He was and is still walking right beside me. Every step of the way.

Remember, no matter what happens or doesn’t happen, Jesus is right beside us. Comforting us when we are hurting. Reminding us that He’s there, always. Even if we aren’t rescued from the fire.

 

Praying and Fasting, Is This Something We Should Do?

 

praying hands

I have heard about the concept of prayer and fasting from scripture. I have witnessed people I know participate in this activity, annually for a specific length of time. I have never done this myself, however.  I have given up particular foods and such for lent. That was a type of fasting. But it wasn’t combined with prayer or intention.

Those who partake of this practice are convinced that it is a game changer for them. It bolsters their faith and enhances their spiritual growth. Some say it releases the power of God in a new way in their lives.  This year, the pastor of our church has given us a challenge to fast and pray for a 21 day period ending March 31.  The fasting doesn’t mean fast from all foods everyday. It can be whatever you choose. Fast from sun-up to sun-down. Or fast a particular meal or a particular food. Whatever it may be. But in conjunction with the fasting is the prayer. You don’t have to do it for a specific time frame. You can chose 1 hour, 1 day, 1 week, whatever.

I have decided to do the 21 day fast. Since this process will be something new for me, I am seeking to gather information and guidance from scripture as well as others who have been doing this for a while.   Here are a few of the resources I am looking into to help me with this : Jentzen Franklin, Fasting,  John Piper,  A Hunger for God.  

While the fasting is going on, I am looking forward to the time spent in prayer. What will my prayers be at this time?  Will I indeed increase in faith?  I am hopeful that this will be an amazing spiritual time for me but at the same time, I am concerned if I will actually stick with it.  My motivation for things (especially pertaining to food) often wane over a short period of time.  I am planning on journaling as well during this time (another thing I have a hard time keeping up with). My fast will likely include skipping my evening snack (which has become a habit for me) or cutting out caffeine and chocolate, and I  will try to spend an allotted amount of prayer in its place.

With my new journey of trying to live life fearlessly, I am doing more and more to step out of my comfort zone. And I must say…this is one of those things. But with faith and trust in God, He will help me get through it and help me to  grow spiritually in the process.

Note: If you have health issues, please consult your doctor to be sure you fast in a way that is not harmful to you.