The refuge you can trust

Refuge Refresh

Refuge Refresh (Photo credit: Adam_Wood)

It is better to take refuge in the Lord 
than to trust in humans.
It is better to take refuge in the Lord
than to trust in princes. – Psalm 118:8-9

I have learned from different experiences in life to enjoy the moment. As my schedule fills up with various meetings and activities, I enjoy the relational aspect of these things. Relationships are important to me and know there is purpose in the people for whom I come in contact. I truly believe it takes a village to accomplish great things.

However, I have also learned that people can let you down. I know I have let others down throughout my life and that I have been let down. It’s part of human nature. No matter how perfect a person may seem, whether they are rich and powerful, or a spiritual mentor, at some point, they will show their humanness.

God is always a safe place to go. He can be trusted more than any human on earth. Depending on God is where we need to be and not on people. The Lord is a safe place.

Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for being that safe place for me where I can run when life seems too hard to handle. You refresh my soul. Amen

Faith Tip: Think about the people you trust the most. They are God’s gift to you, but they don’t replace the ultimate value of the Giver.

Silver, gold, rocks and other unrelational items

English: Image of a pet rock

English: Image of a pet rock (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

But their idols are silver and gold, 
made by human hands.
They have mouths, but cannot speak,
eyes, but cannot see.
They have ears, but cannot hear,
noses, but cannot smell.
They have hands, but cannot feel,
feet, but cannot walk,
nor can they utter a sound with their throats.
Those who make them will be like them,
and so will all who trust in them. – Psalm 115:4-8

Remember pet rocks? This was a product that relied totally on the marketing of the idea of the perfect low maintenance pet. There were promises of relationship and commitment, but actually it just sat on a shelf and collected dust. I imagine someone going in their yard and finding stones to make a family. People would talk to their rocks and take them places. Pretty sad.

It’s the same with our spiritual relationship with idols. We want to believe they can do things for us, but in reality, they are nothing … they are not alive. God is alive and desires a deep relationship with us. Not only that, but he has power to do anything. But we have a choice to make. Do we place our trust in a rock, a piece of wood, money, success, etc. or do we trust God?

Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for being my living God whom I can talk to any time. You respond with your great love and grace, and I know that you love me dearly. Amen

Faith Tip: Consider what it is you are trusting today. If it’s not God, you may want to reconsider.

Feeling Safe by Obeying

"Do You Feel Safer Now?" (Newton, NJ)

Image by takomabibelot via Flickr

Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.” – John 14:23

What images or feelings come to mind when you hear the word “obey”? If you are like many people, there is an instant resistance to be told what to do. This is part of our human nature and goes against what the world tells us in serving ourselves first. Think of the people you had to obey as you were growing up. There were parents, grandparents, babysitters, teachers, policemen, pastors and more. Although there was a tug inside not to obey, there may have been another underlying feeling of safety. Obeying those in authority that you trust gives you security.

Safety in God’s hands means to obey him. Rebelling against the Lord puts us in danger of hurting ourselves or others. There is no better way that we can show God that we love him than by listening and following his instructions. The journey God has us on is perfect as long as we obey.

Prayer: I thank you, Jesus, for the plan you have for my life. Forgive me for the times I have chosen another route. I pray that today I can listen closely to you and follow. Amen

Faith Tip: Make a choice at the beginning of the day that you are going to follow God. When you are tempted to disobey, focus on God to keep you on track.

Turn anxiety into ashes

A page of a calendar.

Image via Wikipedia

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:6-7

 This tends to be a busy time of year with graduations, weddings, end of ministries for the year and their celebration, along with everyday life and work. Sometimes we can become anxious about it all because it seems overwhelming. We wonder how we are going to do it all and forget that the One who created all things is there. If we can keep from grouping everything together in one chaotic mass and enjoy them one by one, day by day, minute by minute praying for God’s grace and wisdom as you journey, the trip will go much smoother. Peace will descend upon you as you allow God into what you are doing. This peace will guard your hearts and minds as a protective barrier against evil.

Be thankful for prayer. Choose to use prayer in your every moment enjoying the presence of all mighty God.

Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for prayer and for the promise of peace. I pray that I choose to trust you in all things. Amen

Faith Tip: What’s on your schedule today and tomorrow? Take one thing at a time and begin talking to Jesus about it. Accept the peace he has to offer.

Trusting like a child

Redheaded child mesmerized.

Image via Wikipedia

Then he said to them, “Whoever welcomes this little child in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. For it is the one who is least among you all who is the greatest.” – Luke 9:48

Who is the greatest person we can think of in our time? Ideas such as a political figure, entertainer, or someone who has greatly given of themselves may come to mind. Would we even consider answering a small child? I think we would be as dumbfounded as the disciples were when Jesus presented a child as the greatest.

The difference is the way we think of greatness. We think of achievements that can only be done with the growing of our human experience. Jesus is thinking about faith. One thought pattern focuses on what we do and the other on what God does. God is the author of faith. If we look to God believing as a child would, no matter what the world tells us, our faith would grow and expand. Children have a capacity to believe in something strongly that adults seem to lose as they grow older. We want proof. God wants us to regain that child-like faith in him and trust.

Prayer: I believe you, Lord, when I read that you will always be with me and never forsake me. When the world tells me I am not worth it, I pray that I can trust you and stand firm against the world’s message. Amen

Faith Tip: Regain the wonderment children have and explore God. The truths you find are treasure to your soul.

To trust again

Mother & Child, Grand Concourse The Bronx

“But blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.” – Jeremiah 17:7-8

Trust has never come easy for Alice. She has been disappointed many times through life by people. They have each injured her soul through abuse, deception and abandonment. She felt she was better off not getting involved with people and just being a loner. Can’t get hurt if you don’t care, she thought.

Walking down the street one day to her office, Alice came upon a mother and child. They had dark green trash bags with them, and the child was crying.

“Mom, I’m so hungry. Can’t we buy something cheap or look through the trash at the restaurant again?”

The mother looked defeated. “Honey, we will get something soon, I know it. God is going to take care of us.”

Alice thought to herself that the woman was a fool to trust in God. She continued to walk on but couldn’t get the image of the mother and child out of her mind. She stopped and turned around. She went up to the mother and said, “Look, I overheard you say to the child that God would take care of you. I didn’t want you to starve to death waiting for God, so here.” She handed her $20.

The woman looked up at Alice and said, “I am not disappointed in God. He sent you to help us. Thank you for listening to him.”

The little girl stood up and gave Alice a hug. “Thank you, God.”

Alice walked away thinking that perhaps it was God that spoke to her. But how would she know for sure? She passed a group of young people practicing a song by the fountain on the next street. She stopped when she heard the song and tears began to flow. They were singing, “’Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus.”

Prayer: I thank you, Lord, for the wonderful ways you show me that I can trust you. I pray that I can show trust in you to others I come in contact with. Amen

Faith Tip: Is there something you are not trusting God with? Release it to him and see the miracles happen.

Showing love

Phenakistoscope 3g07690d

Image via Wikipedia

Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting” (Psalm 139:23-24).

Being married gives many opportunities to show the other person how much you love them. It’s not only on special days like birthdays, anniversaries, and Valentine’s Day that affection can be demonstrated, but every day. As we trust, help, encourage, pray for, and do other things for our spouse, we live out our love for them. We want them to know our heart for them.

We can live out our love for God in much the same way. We invite God to know how our heart beats for him. To test, practice and know, we are putting what we have learned to practice in loving God. We increase our trust, avail ourselves to his leading and follow obediently, we praise him for all he has done, and seek his face in all things. That is showing our heart to God in a real way.

Prayer: Lord, I love you. Please search me and know my heart for you. Thank you for always be so faithful and loving. Amen

Faith Tip: Show your love to God today and invite him to search your heart.