God promises that He will never leave us or forsake us. That’s easy to remember when we are in the midst of blessings. When we see God’s hand moving on our behalf and things are looking up, we are quick to recognize that He is the one working things out in our lives.
But what about when things are difficult? What about when we are struggling? How often have we wondered if God has forgotten us? If He has stopped caring what happens to us? We may know in our heads that God will never leave us but in times of trial it’s harder to convince our hearts. When the storm is raging we can forget His promise to always be with us.
As a parent, would you allow your small child to wander around outside in the middle of the night? What about during a dangerous storm? Of course not.
And neither would God. He would never send you out alone in a storm. He would be right there with you as the winds were blowing and the rain pouring down.
There is a story in the Bible where the disciples are in a boat on the sea and a storm comes up. Jesus is in the stern asleep. He didn’t fear the darkness or the storm. Why?
Jesus was able to sleep because he knew that his Father never sleeps. He knew they were perfectly safe in his Father’s care.
God doesn’t get distracted. He is always alert and watching out for us in whatever situation we find ourselves. Trust Him to be with you always. He promised he would be.
Psalm 121:3 He will not allow your foot to slip; He who keeps you will not slumber.
Psalm 37:28 For the LORD loves justice, and he will never abandon the godly. He will keep them safe forever, but the children of the wicked will die. (NLT)
Years ago I had a mentor who was very wise. One day at church, she asked me how I was. I answered, “Fine, under the circumstances.” At this response, she removed her glasses, leaned toward me and asked, “What in the world are you doing under there?”
It took me a minute to understand what she meant. When she could see that I had understood her, she continued. “You know, when you put yourself under your circumstances, you put those things between you and God. He is your answer to all those pesky circumstances and you can’t even see Him if you keep crawling under them!”
I have never forgotten that conversation. I have shared that precious lady’s wisdom multiple times. There have been many “pesky circumstances” in my life and I always try to remember her advice and find my way out from under them so I can focus my eyes and my hope on my Heavenly Father. He is the only one who knows how to untangle the messes we find ourselves in. Whether they are circumstances of our own making or someone else’s doesn’t matter. No one can set things right but the Father.
1 Peter 5:7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
Psalm 55:22 Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall.
Expectations…we all have them. Mine get me into trouble more often than not. Even though I try hard to allow God to lead, I still get caught up in what I expect Him to do and then become frustrated and disappointed when He does something totally different than what I expected. It happens with people too. Most of us have experienced the disappointment that results when other people don’t live up to our expectations. When I become disappointed about some unfulfilled expectation, I have to ask myself this question.
Were my expectations based on promises or desires? Specifically, GOD’S promises or MY desires? God’s word is very clear.
Psalm22:5 To You they cried out and were delivered, In you they trusted and were not disappointed.
God’s promises never disappoint. It’s when we set the standard to meet our own desires that we are disappointed.
Jesus said in John 16:33 These things I have spoken to you so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation but take courage, I have overcome the world.
We can trade our disappointment for God’s peace by trading our expectations for His promises. We will have tribulations; we will have less than perfect circumstances but Jesus tells us not to worry about any of it. He already has the victory.
Today is the day to do things differently. Today is the day to choose not to set our expectations on ourselves, other people or our circumstances. We can put our trust in Jesus for He will never disappoint us!
Last week we talked about reflection and change. The conclusion was that change is hard but also good. God never changes but He wants to change us into people who are more like Jesus.
There is another side to this concept. We know it’s good for us to change. We need to grow. We can’t stay the same. God has a better plan for us than we can see from where we are at this moment. The only way to get there is to allow Him to change us. What does this mean for me as an individual?
It means I have to settle another issue. I don’t have to do the changing myself. I don’t have to work harder to be perfect. I don’t have to set a zillion goals and struggle to make myself meet them in order to please the Lord.
God says we can come to Him just as we are and HE will do the changing. He will set the goals and direct our steps. We don’t have to do some sort of extreme makeover in order to be accepted by God. He already knows all about us and loves us just as we are.
BUT He loves us so much, He can’t bear to see us stay as we are. He has so much more in store for us if we will just allow Him to mold us and make us into the people He created us to be!
Heavenly Father, here I am with all my weaknesses and imperfections. Today I yield to You and ask that You make the changes that You know are necessary. I will trust you with the final product because You designed me in the first place.
2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.