Hello! I just wanted to encourage those of you who are going through something super tough. God's mercies are new each morning, and especially for those of us that are using our faith muscles. Know this: we need to be renewed. We need to be reminded. We need a WORD from Him, letting us know that we are truly in the palm of His hand. I'm sort of in this place where a Word from God starts to get clouded in by doubt, and today, I realized that I needed my strength, everyday, from the Lord to get through the day. Are you in the same place? Did the Lord tell you something that, as time passes by, seem to get clouded by doubt? Let me share something He put in my heart today:
This small little piece of Scripture holds so much significance. You and me are the Jews saying: "God, when will things be clear? Why can't You just tell me whether or not I'm doing Your will?! I'm trying to follow You!" In this case, the Jews are demanding that Jesus give another miracle and another sign letting their doubting hearts know, once again, that He is the Messiah. But here's the thing. This is AFTER the He talks with the Samaritan woman and tells her exactly what's going on in her life, heals the officials' son, heals the sick, feeds the five hundred, walks on water, heals the blind, AND tells a few hundred people that He is the Bread of Life they still want another sign? And listen to Jesus' amazing reply:"22 Then came the Festival of Dedication[b] at Jerusalem. It was winter, 23 and Jesus was in the temple courts walking in Solomon’s Colonnade. 24 The Jews who were there gathered around him, saying, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly.”25 Jesus answered, “I did tell you, but you do not believe. The works I do in my Father’s name testify about me, 26 but you do not believe because you are not my sheep. 27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.28 I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all[c]; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are one.” -John 10:27 (NIV) biblegateway.com
"I did tell you, but you do not believe."
What has Jesus told you that you're having trouble believing? The fact is- He has told you. He's told you you're supposed to be somewhere, supposed to do something...etc. But now that things have gotten hard and the doubt's starting to fog up the clear dawn that is Him...and you want yet another sign. You want a plain answer. You want to know what's going on now. The good part is- it's a great thing that you're running to Him for these answers. The bad part (for now, as we know in Hebrews 12 trials produce a fruit of peace and righteousness later on) is that sometimes God won't give us a word now when we want it in our specific situation. In seasons, sometimes He will. This one is for those of you who know He wants you to rely on Him.
"The words I do in my Father's name testify about me, but you do not believe...."
How many miracles and wonderful things has He done for you in the past? I look back on my journey and it's been a long list. The best one is that He brought me from where I was-in mud, muck, and sin- and has brought me here. He has done miracles for you! He has taken you places you've never been before! He has done all these marvelous things for you! Look around! Don't be one of these Jews who keep wanting a sign and an answer. He has shown you His power and you, as His child and His sheep, must believe that He can and will get you out of your situation. (Remember...this is coming from someone who's trusting God for my life. You're not alone in your feelings.)
And the words of hope?
"My sheep listen to My voice. I know them; and they follow Me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of My hand."First off- You heard His voice. That's why you're here where you are and wanting to quit. Because what He's told you to do is HARD. You are His sheep. You heard it, and you're following Him through whatever season He's calling you to be in. Rest in that fact. You ARE HIS SHEEP. HE WILL NEVER LET ANYONE SNATCH YOU OUT OF HIS HAND.
After I read this, I knew I needed to start relying on God everyday, more than my early quiet time, and get the strength I needed get out of my bed and do what He was calling me to do. I need Him to renew my strength, give me His, and rest in the fact that's He's got me -and you- in the palm of His hand and that's He shadowing us with His wings (Psalm 91).
Everyday you need to let God renew your heart, because if you're going through a really difficult season especially, there is no way you're going to get through that day with joy and peace in your heart if you don't know that God's got you in the palm of His hand and He will never let you fall. With that deep in your soul, the cares of the day will not blow you over. You will not be influenced by unbelievers. The cares of this world will slide right off your shoulders and what used to be a problem isn't anymore. Why? Because you're resting. You know that there is nothing that can hurt you, that you're Father's got you, and He's got you cupped in His palm and taking care of you. Reading the Word helps so much. Read Psalm 91 every morning. Just by getting up and reading the Word and asking God to renew your heart and telling Him you're relying on Him...you've pleased Him. And even if you never get a direct answer for your situation, just by reading the Word and believing it and confessing it...you are resting. You have His promises branded in your heart. He will never let you fall. You will be okay. You will be more than okay. You're doing His will. You're enduring hardship like a good soldier. Later on, this will produce peace and righteousness for the one who endures.
...it's hard. But you can do it. I can do it. We're equipped for hard. We can trust His Word. He has shown us His power. He has shown us His glory. And we will believe.
The Bible says the "tide of the battle begins to change when you look to God".
Do that, won't you? You'll have peace and reassurance beyond imagine.