Monday, January 30, 2012

His Comfort...

Have you read the Book of Ruth?  The Book of Ruth only has four chapters, but it is full of so much goodness!  When I hear people talk about “heroes of the Bible” I always think of Ruth.  She was a foreign woman living in a strange country… she was looked down on in the society, but she never let that stop her.  She had made the choice to follow the One True God, even when all sorts of obstacles tried to get in her way.  Somewhere deep down inside she new God had a bigger purpose for her then she could imagine.  I am sure just like the rest of us she had made many mistakes in her past, but when she made the choice to follow God’s leading… one step at a time… what a turn her life took! 

So many times we pray and ask God for His leading and guiding in our lives, but do we really want for Him to lead us one step at a time or do we want Him to lay the whole plan out in front of us before we are willing to make that choice to move down His path???  I don’t think Ruth knew where this would all lead, but she had enough faith to keep going one step at a time.  How brave is that? She left everything that was comfortable to her to go into unfamiliar circumstances.  It is during those times, when we are asked by God to step out of our comfort zone that we have to rely on Him all the more.  If God only calls us to do things that we can do without Him then what do we need Him for?  I am just starting to realize there is a big difference between being comforted and being comfortable.  God is the God of all comfort; He also doesn’t want us to stay where we are comfortable… He loves us too much to let us stay the same.  Face it; there are many times God asks us to do something that is not at all what we are comfortable doing! That is okay because in those moments He will give us strength… He will give us the words… He will give us comfort!

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort,  II Corinthians 1:3

I’m reminded of a conversation a lady recently shared with me… this lady had an instance come up that brought her past right back in her face.  She would be the first to tell you she did not make decisions that were for the best in her past.  Now, faced with the same circumstance but as a follower of Christ would she have the words and the strength to make the right choice?  Would she be able to stand up for what she knew was right for herself and for her family?  She was very uncomfortable and she actually prayed this circumstance would just dissolve itself, but she also knew that was not going to happen and this was the moment she needed to take care of this once and for all.  As she stepped out of her comfort zone God gave her the words to speak… she knew that what she was telling this person would probably cause him to reject her, but God gave her the boldness to speak His truth.  Of course, our humanness never wants to be rejected, but she knew the God of all comfort was there to comfort her.

Therefore, behold, I will allure her, will bring her into the wilderness, and speak comfort to her. Hosea 2:14

Just like Ruth… God will make you a hero of faith if you choose to live for Him.  And just like Ruth… every tough choice you make to obey Him will become a foundation of faith for your family and for generations to come.  Just remember, Ruth was the great-grandmother of King David, and was part of the lineage of Christ.  Every prayer you pray… every right choice you make will become a blessing passed down.

Not only will God always comfort you, but the comfort He gives you will give you courage to comfort others in their difficult times.  Choose today to live your life for an audience of One… Him!

But I lavish unfailing love for a thousand generations on those who love me and obey my commands. Exodus 20:6

Oh, will you take the time to delve into the Book of Ruth… whether it’s your first time or your twenty-first time… you will not be sorry!

Rejoicing in Truth!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Stirring Your Faith...

It is 2012! How is your new year going so far?  Just a few days in… I pray it is going good!  I use to find a year ending and a new year beginning to be a little depressing.  Not really sure why… has anyone else felt that way?  My perspective has changed drastically in the last few years.  I love every moment God gave me in 2011, and I am looking with anticipation to each day He presents before me in 2012.  The past year was not all “lollipops and rose petals” but each step I took trusting God, brought me through.

God has been stirring things up in me… stirring is not always the most comfortable feeling, would you agree?  Do you have dreams that you let go long ago?  Has circumstances taken you off course?  Is there a huge “wall” in front of you leaving you feel defeated?  Have you received a promise from God that has fallen by the wayside in your mind?  Maybe this very moment is the time to pray and ask God if He would stir up that thing in you again.  It could be going back to school for your degree… getting married… starting a family… going into business… ???  You know what that thing is for you.

Stirring is a time that will test (grow) your faith… BIG time!  When you are making a cake you put all the ingredients in and then you must stir it to make all those individual items turn into a cake.  I am sure if an egg had feelings it would not be thrilled when it is being whisked into the batter, but stirring is the way to get the end product.  I feel it is kind of the same when God starts stirring.  You may not be thrilled either!  I have said things like, “God, my life is good… I am comfortable right where I am.” Or, “Is my faith really strong enough?”  Or, “I am afraid.”  What God has shown me through this is that He brings these times into our lives to push us to rely on Him more… His strength, His mercy, His grace. 

It says in James 1:2-4 “Consider it pure joy, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”  Stirring… pure joy???  Um, that may not be your first thought on that, but know that each step you do take in faith brings more joy.  You will never persevere if you never take the first step!

I challenge you to keep moving forward, but glance back and see all that God has brought you through.  Remembering where you were to where He has brought you is always a faith builder.  Stand up to His stirring in you.  Trust that if He has stirred up something in you He will give you exactly what you need to complete it.  Choose to live in His truth and promises.

Father God, Forgive our unbelief.  I pray that whatever you are stirring up in each one of us would produce the faith we need to let You be BIG in our lives.  I pray the desire of each heart is what You have placed there.  Let the thoughts, dreams, and visions be what You, Heavenly Father, want for us. Shield us from the darts of the enemy… take fear far from us.  Grow our faith as we accomplish what You have set before us.  Thanking You for who You are… what You have done and are going to do.  In Jesus’ precious name, Amen.

Rejoicing in Truth!

Want more? Read James 1