Category Archives: God’s plan
All these people were still living by faith when they died.
They did not receive the things promised;
they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance.
And they admitted that they were
aliens and strangers on earth.
A writer colleague of mine once wrote me about her mother’s recent death. She said she missed her mother a great deal but didn’t wish her back because the last months of her illness were terrible. At the same time, my own mother was struggling with various life-threatening illnesses and we didn’t know how much longer she would be with us.
As I read my friend’s words, I knew I would feel the same way when it came time for the Lord to take Mom home. Although I love my mother dearly, she struggled so much in the last few years of her life. She shared with me more than once that she was ready to be with Jesus. She knew—by faith—that there was a much better life for her in heaven with Jesus.
Can I get a huge AMEN on that?
Paul describes faith as “being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see” (Hebrews 11:1). So many of our ancestors lived by faith: Abraham, Enoch, Noah and David, to name just a few. They lived with the hope promised to all of us by God our Father—the hope of living an eternal life free of cares or worries.
Have you ever wondered if this was easy for them?
Beloved, faith and trust go hand in hand. Our Biblical ancestors understood that. They trusted in a God they could not see and had faith in the His promises. We can follow their example by faithfully leaning on the only One who truly cares and understands our pain and frustration.
Faith isn’t the ability to believe
long and far into the misty future.
It’s simply taking God at His Word
and taking the next step.
—Joni Eareckson Tada
Faith is taking the first step
even when you don’t see the whole staircase.
—Martin Luther King, Jr.
Fight the good fight of the faith.
Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called
when you made your good confession
in the presence of many witnesses.
—1 Timothy 6:12
Every so often I like to share some of my devotionals with you that were published in an anthology titled Anytime Prayers for Everyday People. My assignment was to write 30 devotionals for this book, and I had only 3 weeks to get them done. That tight deadline was stressful enough, but having migraines 24/7 only added more stress. When I wasn’t writing, I was sleeping!
Thankfully, God’s continuous grace and mercy got me through this difficult assignment. Looking back now, I can say that He carried me through all my painful circumstances to write what He had in mind for me. I hope you are as blessed when you read this as I was while I was writing it. To God be the glory for walking with me through it!
Please enjoy this devotional. It was the first in the section titled Prayers of Praise and Thanksgiving.
When I want to thank God for His blessings . . .
Praise the LORD, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits. —Psalm 103:1-2
From the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another. —John 1:16
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ.. —Ephesians 1:3
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. —James 1:17
. . . I will pray.
Lately I’ve been reflecting on how much You have blessed me, and it brings tears to my eyes as I realize You supply all these things because You love me so much.
I look around my home and see how You have amply provided for all my needs. Comfortable furniture fills my rooms. There is food in the pantry and refrigerator to nourish my body. The clothes in my closet keep me warm in winter and allow me to be cool in summer.
I am surrounded by family and friends who love and care about me. Did You place them in my life to help me through the rough patches? It seems that way to me.
I know there are times I don’t appreciate You as much as I should. Instead, I grumble and complain about the most insignificant things. That’s when You remind me that You are always with me—and that is the biggest and best blessing of all. When I’m happy and joyful, You cheer me up even more. And when I’m feeling low, it helps me to remember that the most precious part of my life is knowing You.
Thank You for being the Giver of bountiful blessings.
Reflect upon your present blessings of which every man has many; not on your past misfortunes of which all men have some. —Charles Dickens
[From Anytime Prayers for Everyday People. Copyright © 2006 Bordon-Winters LLC]
The advertising which may appear below is not placed by the author and is not to be considered as a part of this post or an expression of my views.
Beloved, are you truly seeking Him? If so, He won’t let you down!
Jesus has already taken the first and biggest step for you. He died for you and longs for you to accept His simple invitation to be one of His own.
If you haven’t done so already, please read my A…B…C… page and ask Jesus to come into your heart as your Savior and Lord.
He is simply and quietly waiting for you with arms open wide…
If you have any questions about asking Jesus to be the Savior and Lord of your life, please write to me at faithlhj777 at gmail dot com.
As I wrote you last Thursday, today begins the series on John 13 by my friend and mentor, Donna Baker. Again, thank you, Donna, for allowing me to share your heart with my readers.
Now before the Feast of the Passover, Jesus knowing that His hour had come that He would depart out of this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end. –John 13:1
This was not only the last night of Jesus’ life, but He knew in mere hours He would be tortured and crucified: the most cruel form of death.
And yet He spent His last hours fulfilling the will of His Father, in teaching and serving others.
If we faced that, would we be fulfilling our religious obligations, teaching others—calm, methodical, focused on the goal—or would we be ricocheting off the walls, focused on the end? It’s quite unlikely we would be calm. Maybe we’d even be crying and praying. Jesus did that too in the Garden of Gethsemane later that night.
He was after all, human.
He was obeying God and His written Word in spite of what faced Him.
It was the Feast of the Passover when all Jewish males were to go to Jerusalem to attend the Feast:
The LORD spoke again to Moses, saying, “Speak to the sons of Israel and say to them, ‘The LORD’S appointed times which you shall proclaim as holy convocations—
My appointed times are these:…
In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at twilight is the LORD’s Passover.’”
—Leviticus 23:1-2, 5
Jesus was not only to go to the Feast, He was to be the Passover Lamb, the sacrifice for all the sin of all mankind. There are so many Scriptures that say this, but I only want to dwell now on the one in John 1, where John the Baptist foretold of Him:
Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! —John 1:29
The Jews had wanted to kill Him for years, but they didn’t want to do it during the Passover. However God had other plans and His plans are never thwarted:
I know that You can do all things, and that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted. —Job 42:2
The Jews thought they were in control but reading about the last night of Jesus’ life should put that idea to rest with anyone who reads it. God caused all things to be as they were foretold in the Old Testament. There are too many to list here.
Be an Acts 17:11 Christian and look them up and you will be amazed at Your God!!
Now these were more noble-minded that those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so. —Acts 17:11
God’s plan was in place. Jesus was in lockstep with His Father in spite of what He knew He was facing.
Beloved, as you pray today, ask yourself these questions:
Am I in lockstep with God’s plan for me today?
Am I spending enough time listening to Him through His Word and in prayer?
Am I trusting God for my future even if it is a harsh future, or even death?
Am I praying and caring only for myself or for others as Jesus did in His last hours?
To be continued next Thursday…
I hope you’ve enjoyed all the colorfully illustrated Scripture passage images I’ve shared here for the past couple of weeks while I have enjoyed a self-imposed and much-needed break from my blog. It is really nice to be able to write posts ahead of time and schedule them for a future date.
While I was resting from all the blogging activity, I prayerfully realized I have been devoting too much time to my blog which translates to tons of time on my computer. I have learned not to take it lightly when God is trying to teach me something through several different means. In this case, God showed me in various ways that although I am sharing from my heart for the Lord’s purposes, all this computer time means sacrificing time in other areas: my quiet time with the Lord spent in prayer, meditation, Bible reading and devotions; time with my sweet and understanding hubby Rick; taking care of the home God has blessed and entrusted to Rick and me; fulfilling other writing obligations; and finally … just plain rest, which I sorely need because of ongoing chronic illnesses.
In other words, I have been so much into the work of the Lord that I have been neglecting the Lord of the work.
Not to worry, though. I’m not deserting my blog, just praying about how to reduce my computer time. I have a few ideas I want to mull over and pray about and I’ll share these with you a bit at a time.
For now, I won’t be writing every day but only as the Lord leads me. From past experience, I have learned that God always has a better plan than anything I could ever think up on my own, so I can’t wait to see what He has planned for the future of this blog.
Beloved, God’s love and faithfulness never changes. Because I know He wants the best for me, I also trust and know He will lead me to that best as long as I first and foremost truly seek to know Him better. And that will lead to my understanding His perfect will for my writing and bloggy life.