So the question is…am I going to believe God or am I going to believe my circumstances? Am I going to trust God, His character and His Word or will I trust my roller coaster emotions? Will I trust God’s promises and faithfulness in the past as a testimony on how He remains the same, yesterday, today and forever? Or will I trust fleeting and changing circumstances that are but temporary, not eternal?
I’ve spent the better part of my life solely trusting my feelings…looking back on circumstances that didn’t turn out quite like I had planned or hoped…and believing that’s how it would always be.
I’m tired of living like that…that’s it…no more. I’m drawing a line in the sand. No more circumstantial living. I want a close, personal, intimate relationship with the God who created me, my Savior who perished on the cross to pay the penalty for my sins, and the Holy Spirit Who dwells within me.
In the past year…when circumstances didn’t go my way…when my emotions were all over the board…God continued to impress upon me scripture verses that helped me to put my hope in God. To trust Him despite what was happening in my life. To know that my God is faithful and He is able, more than able to accomplish any and all things that concern me, now and forevermore.
So I probably look like a crazy person to the outside observer…to the one who does not know God. Maybe I am…but not about this. Because I tell you…I will stand firm, consecrate myself and see the Lord’s deliverance. I will look to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who will prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.
2 Chronicles 20:17 was the first scripture that God gave me last year about time. I’ve clung to it through the ups and downs in the past year.
“You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the LORD will give you, O Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the LORD will be with you.” – 2 Chronicles 20:17
Joshua 3:5 was the scripture that God gave me as the New Year began. It encouraged my heart, mind soul and spirit and helped me to put my trust in God…not my circumstances. Despite all appearances…my God is faithful and He is working all things together for good for those who love Him and have been called according to His purposes.
Joshua told the people, “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the LORD will do amazing things among you.” – Joshua 3:5
In the face of recent defeat…that resurrected feelings of failure God gave me Psalm 23:5 to remind me that in His perfect timing He will not only deliver me…but do so in the presence of my enemies.
You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
How, when and where this amazing deliverance will occur I don’t rightly know. It will likely be in manner I never anticipated, long after I felt like I could endure no longer and when I feel at my lowest and surrounded by enemies.
Just like Lazarus who laid three days in the tomb…this girl is starting to stink. But watch out…Sunday’s coming and I shall see my deliverance. One day …shall see my Savior and my Deliverer face to face. Praise God!
There is but one who desires to discourage me, defeat me and leave me in despair. There is but one who desires that I doubt God, doubt that He loves me and has my best interest in mind at all times. There is but one who seeks to keep me from reading the Word of God, knowing it, understanding it and have it wash me from the inside out. That person is the enemy, the defeated foe, the one that will be bound and thrown into the lake of fire forever and ever, amen. Praise God!
Satan is the one and only person whom we can tell, “Go to hell” and have it be alright.
After a round of attacks that have seemed relentless in the recent past, despite the fact I knew full well…they were attacks of the enemy…I’ve been feeling discouraged and overwhelmed…down and out. At times the attacks are blatantly obvious…so much so I find myself laughing.
I don’t understand all the whys and wherefores on why God has permitted these attacks and has continued to leave situations unchanged despite much prayer. At this point my desire is that God will reveal what He would have me to learn. That I will have an ear to hear and an open and teachable spirit and learn whatever lessons God would have me to learn.
One of the ongoing themes of my life has been forgiveness. Forgiveness for those who have hurt me…both intentionally and unintentionally. Hurt is part of the human experience…it is certainly not exclusive to me. While personal…my experiences are not unique. I make progress and think I’ve forgiven…and then something comes up which brings up the hurt all over again. I think I need to adopt Corrie Ten Boom’s words. When she was reminded of an offense she responded, “I distinctly remember forgetting that.”
Yesterday when pondering hurt and forgiveness…God impressed upon me in no uncertain terms, “Susan you need to forgive this person.” When I think about the offense or replay the hurt in my mind…I can feel the stress in my body. I realize it’s not worth it. I’m the one suffering and feeling bad by not forgiving. They don’t care, they’ve moved on. Isn’t it about time I do the same? Continually replaying an offensive in an ongoing loop…does no good whatsoever.
I need to forgive…because it is the will and command of God that I do so.
I think we are all familiar how God uses tests to help us learn and grow. We pass a test, we grow and God uses it to help prepare us for the next test. To help grow us more and more into the image and likeness of Jesus Christ. This side of heaven…I’m a long way off…but that doesn’t stop God from using the buffeting process that He is so fond of.
When pondering this forgiveness thing…the thought came to mind, “Oh crimoneny…all this may just be a test and practice so that I will be able to easily forgive a bigger offense that is coming down the road!”
If that’s the case…then I guess I’d better get in practice…quickly. Forgive and forget…move on.
Part of that means not replaying a hurt over and over in my mind. All that does is serve to feed hurt feelings and justifies feelings of unforgiveness.
It also means that I must entrust any and all offenses and wrong doing into the hand of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ…Who is just, righteous and perfect. If He deems it just and right at the appropriate time for consequences or punishment…then so be it. If He deems it His will…good, right and just to forgive their sins…then so be it. It needs to lie in His hands, not mine.
Those same hands…that bore nails on the cross putting to death my sins…also paid the price for the sins of those who have offended me. Can I not forgive those whom God Himself has forgiven? Should I stand in the place of God? May it never be.
There is but one who desires me to remain in unforgiveness. That defeated foe…the one who wants me to walk around and live a miserable life. Doubting God and His love for me. Doubting His ability to protect and defend me. Doubting His will for me and my life. Doubting His goodness, righteousness and justice.
Satan is going to hell…and while he may not be able to take me there since I am sealed for the day of redemption…Satan desires to make my life hell here on earth for as long as he can. The question is…will I choose to let him do so? May it never be.