Trust God in the Darkness

Ps 91-2

T – Trust God in the darkness
When the future is unknown
When silence pierces
My heart, mind and soul

R – Remember God is faithful
As He has revealed Himself
In His Word
In prayers answered in His perfect timing

U – Understand God is good
Even when circumstances are not good
Utter His praises all day long
He is able to do far more than I can imagine

S – Salvation and deliverance
Grace and mercy from His hand
Discipline and encouragement
Strengthen my weary heart, mind and soul

T – Thank the Lord
For His past faithfulness
His ever present goodness
His never changing perfect character

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Election Confessions

Daniel 2-21

Lord, I confess
As the election begins in earnest
There are times my heart is anxious
My mind filled with worry

I look around and see a nation
Seeped in sin and unrighteousness
Will You rightly and justly
Give us over to the judgment we deserve

Or will You respond with patience
In Your lovingkindness and mercy
Will You raise up a Josiah
Give us a godly leader who fears You

I see candidates of all kinds
Prideful, arrogant, rude
Contemptable, dishonest, liars
Who believe they are above reproach

Yet there are some
Men and women of integrity who fear You
Who desire to be upright and blameless
And humbly serve this nation

I see people deceived
Even believers have been taken in
I ask that You give Your people discernment
Help us to choose wisely

I confess my anxiety and worry are a sin
I have failed to trust You fully
But You are God who is sovereign and in control
You raise up kings and leaders and bring them down

When I feel anxious
Help me to repent and pray
Trust the One True and Living God
To whom we will all give an account one day

by Susan Wachtel
February 1, 2016

Sunset to Sunrise

Sunset to Sunrise

 

From sunset to sunrise
I look to You O Lord
I find my security in You alone

My stomach churns in these uncertain times
Is this fear or anxiety
No, I think this is what grief feels like

I know You are at work in my circumstances
But what exactly what You want to accomplish
I don’t know, I can’t see it from here

May I trust You with the unknown future
May I remind myself You are good
You are and always will remain faithful

As the sun sets and darkness falls
Once again, I see fresh beauty anew
As if painted from the hand of the Creator

Help me to trust You O God
To bring beauty from these ashes
Reveal Your purpose in the pain

by Susan Wachtel
December 15, 2015

Five Minute Friday – Truth Be Told

Ephesians 3:20

LORD, the truth be told,
I’ve been struggling
with fear and doubt

Try as I might
I can’t control the future
or guess what will happen tomorrow

In my fear
I’ve gotten my eyes off of You LORD
Forgotten
that You are able
that You have a good and perfect plan
which You are working out in my life

I’ve lost sight of the fact
that You walk with me always
both in the peaks and valleys of my life
You use all circumstances
To help me grow and change
You expose my sin
So that I will confess and repent
You buff out that which is displeasing to You
and reveal conduct unbecoming a Christian

Help me walk by faith
May I not doubt Your goodness
or Your ability to accomplish what concerns me today

May I remember that with each step I take
You are with me
You alone know what my future holds
You are perfectly able to direct my path

Help me to keep my eyes on You Lord
Not my circumstances
Not the people that surround me

Help me to trust You
Tenaciously
Unswervingly
to the end

Five Minute Friday
It’s another Saturday morn and I wanted to participate in Lisa-Jo Baker’s Five Minute Friday writing challenge.  Head over to her website “Lisa Jo Baker Tales from a Gypsy Mama”.  Be sure to read some of the entries from other writers.  I can promise you that you will be blessed.

Thoughts & Reflections on Fear, Worry and Anxiety

Yesterday I felt worried upon hearing and reflecting about some sad and bad news.  Last night before bed, I read Ana Dagarin’s post at “Ramble On” for Five Minute Friday, and I’ve been meditating on something she said about fear...here’s what I jotted down. 
Fear crowds out faith
Anxiety leaves no room for peace
Worry takes away the option to trust God
Self-focus obscures my ability to see God
Fear is a sin
Anxiety steals peace from my heart and mind  
Worry is a waste of time
Self-focus is boring
Lord, I take comfort in knowing that nothing takes You by surprise.
You are never anxious.
You don’t wring Your hands in worry.
There is not a path worn out before Your throne as You pace back and forth with worry
You alone know the future
You have perfect vision, un-obscured by sin
You will make wrong things right
Justice will be served in Your perfect timing
Evil and sin will be punished
All things are under Your control and firmly held in Your grasp
I can only be fearful, anxious and worried when I take my eyes off of God.
Despite reading God’s word each day and praying, I’ve felt like lately there has been silence from God.  Here are some thoughts and reflections of why I’m silent towards someone.  I’m not saying this is why God seems silent, but perhaps I need to ask the Lord why I feel as though He seems silent to me. 
I’m silent when someone isn’t listening.
I don’t want to waste my time and words on someone who doesn’t seem to care or pay attention to what I have to say.
I’m silent when I feel hurt by someone.
Lord are You quiet because I haven’t obeyed Your last instructions to me?  Please help me to obey, just follow through and not make excuses but make the time, not find the time, to do what You are calling me to do.
Perhaps I have too many other voices and noise competing for my attention.  Help me to listen clearly and incline my ear towards You Lord Jesus.

Preconceived Notions

Squeaking breaks were more than just an annoyance or an indication that I needed to get our car serviced to insure that I was safe on the road.  This would be another repair on a car that’s 11 years old.  A repair that might cost more than what the car was worth.  Our car had become a money pit and it seemed like we were throwing good money after bad. 
After the last repair, my husband Chris and I discussed the possibility that it might be the time to consider getting a new car to replace our aging car. 
The squeaking started just a few days before we were going on vacation and whatever action we decided to take would have to wait until we returned.  Thankfully both Chris and I had taken an additional day off from work following our vacation.  It proved to be helpful as we went car shopping yesterday.
God had some lessons for me to learn in the middle of our car troubles.  One of the top lessons was to not be anxious.  Our car problems didn’t take God by surprise and He would go before us and give us wisdom to make good choices. 
Yesterday, before we set off to look at vehicles, I felt that God was telling me to let go of my preconceived notions.  Based on prior bad experiences with two car dealers, I was tempted to dismiss two cars that we should consider because they had good ratings for safety and value.
Prior to our vacation, I had done some research on AAA’s automobile car shoppingservices and had a good idea on what cars we should look at.  It’s a great tool that proved to be very helpful in our search for a car.  If you are a member of AAA you can contact the designated dealers and arrange to meet with them.  In doing this, you eliminate the high pressure sales tactics associated with car buying.  You will also avail yourself of the AAA agreed upon discounted rate.
Before we left the house we prayed for God to give us wisdom to determine the best car to purchase and trust His leading and timing.  We asked that we would both be in agreement as to what car we should purchase and for His favor.
We set out with a plan to look at three vehicles, test drive them, find out what finance options were available so we could choose the best car for us and be responsible with the resources God has given us.
God did indeed go before us and we both felt comfortable with purchasing any of the top three vehicles we were looking at.  We had set a plan to look at all three vehicles before making a decision and we stuck to that despite heavy pressure from one dealer to make a decision right then and there. 
As it turned out, we ended up getting the vehicle that was last on my initial list.  We both liked the car and the tipping point was that we were able to get 0.0% financing for 60 months.  That was too good to turn down.
Now every time I look at the car I am reminded of God’s faithfulness, His provision in finding the car and getting a good deal. 
I know it’s silly, but I like to name my cars.  Last night after we got home, I decided to name our new car Ebenezer because it will be a reminder, “Thus far the Lord has brought us.”

Looking for God in the Midst of Trials

A comment that Denise from Refine Me made provoked some thinking about God’s presence and His work in my life, even in the midst of trials: 
So true Susan; when our hearts and minds are open to receive (even through our trials and when we are suffering!) our actions and outlook begin to change, and we open ourselves up to appreciate and accept every blessing with grace and sincere appreciation.  Have a joyful weekend!  Denise
Am I aware of God’s presence and nearness, even when my feelings don’t feel it?
Do I override my feelings with the truth from God’s word?
Do I looking for the blessings that God may have veiled during the everyday trails of life?
Am I trusting God to do a good work through the trials of life, even if the situation itself is not good?
Am I trusting God to refine me and buff out the things in my character that are sinful and not pleasing and glorifying to Him?
Do I have the eyes to see God’s goodness woven into the difficulties?  They are like roses amongst the thorns and manure. 
Do I say thank You Lord for this trial, for this lesson?
When I walk by faith I can see trials as: 
grace, mercy; favor, kindness, mitzvah; advantage, aid, assistance, gift, help, relief, support; comfort, consolation, solace; bonus, extra, delight, joy, pleasure
Or when I walk by sight I perceive trials as:
bother, irritant, nuisance, pest; disadvantage; cross, misery, tribulation, something to be avoided at all cost
Lord…help me to walk by faith, trusting You at every turn. 
Please check out Denise’s blog at Refine Me.  You will be challenged, convicted and built up in the faith.  Her blog is one of my regular and favorite reads.