Micah 7:7 As for me, I look to the Lord for help.
I wait confidently for God to save me,
and my God will certainly hear me. (VOICE)
Waiting patiently on the Lord is much more challenging than it sounds. I believe I am significantly more patient than most. And although I long ago came to the realization that one does not get everything one wants; I still find this wait is not building my faith. It's leading, rather, to the questioning of it.
It is not God I question. I know God is all powerful. That He spoke the world into being and that, at His command, sorrows can evaporate. Still, daily in this world, we will have troubles - or comfort one who does. It will find us. For some, the assaults can be relentless and, without hope, they seek relief in destructive ways. God delights in giving us our heart's desire. But for His reasons, He may elect not to do so. God may not choose to answer in the affirmative. His response may be, "Not now."
Knowing when to accept things as they are or patiently wait for God to deliver, requires faith. I know on any given day I am vulnerable to falling into the abyss of self-pity. My faith is inadequate. So I will wait upon the Lord to deliver me.
...“I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24)
Micah 7:7 | Revelation 1:8 | Numbers 6:24-26
He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God? Micah 6:8
I'm not sure where exactly God is leading me. I am certain of very little in this life. For now, however, I believe God is calling me to share my faith and my love for Him. And to share the experiences that have helped to strengthen it.
My nature would silence me. It whispers, "Nobody cares what you have to say. What makes you think anyone is interested in your life?" That could very well be true. I listen to others and sometimes wonder, "What makes you so sure you are right, or that anyone cares even if you are?"
God created every one of us. He gave us value and created us for His purpose. I have no confidence whatsoever in my ability to make the right choices. That is why I depend on Him to put me on the path of His choosing, not mine. I ask, and sometimes the answer is abundantly clear. Other times there is noise and confusion, and I may not be so sure. I may wander in a direction that He didn't plan for me to go. I'm okay with that.
I know He's still in control. He will close a door, redirect me, or do whatever it takes - because He's got it covered.
I need not compare my path to that of another. I need only, in humility, listen to God as He leads.
Ephesians 2:10 | Micah 6:8
A necessity to my spiritual life is my time alone with God in the morning. It is my quiet time with Him. Reading my devotional, and spending time with Him in prayer and His word sets the tone of my day. It gets me in the right frame of mind to face whatever the day holds for me.
Sometimes the day doesn't begin so well. A restless night, unsettling dreams or concerns about the day ahead could, if I let them affect my entire day. But when I allow God's word to speak to me, and I journal my prayers, it eliminates the cloud that hovers over my spirit threatening storms through all my endeavors.
The clouds of distraction can cause other problems creating a snowball effect. But when I refocus on the love and glory of the Lord. His Son-Light melts that snowball and drives out the clouds.
I always begin with praise and a thankful heart. It may feel at times as if there is little for which I can be thankful. That is only because my focus is on my circumstances, mood, just how I feel at any given moment. It's because I'm not considering all the things that I have for which I can be thankful.
So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever. 2 Cor. 4:18 (NLT)
The first and greatest thing I can be grateful for is that God is an all-powerful, all-knowing, all-seeing God who loves each and every one of us. The second is that out of His great love He called me to be His. He gave me this desire to know Him. I didn't develop it on my own. I simply choose not to ignore His invitation.
Create a quiet space of your own to be with God. Let Him be the commander of your day. In your war room, under His Leadership, plan your strategy for defeating the distractions that the devil may use to undermine your day - and your faith.
We may have battles to face. But with God by our side, they are battles we can win.
2 Corinthians 4:17-18 | Isaiah 6:3 | Psalm 130:5
In spite of circumstances, in spite of disappointments and heartache and pain of this life; God, in His great love, has put His song in my heart. He has chosen me and it fills my heart with joy.
In times of despair when my world is unsettled, He sings His love song to me. I follow His melody, and it places me on solid ground. When I set my eyes on him instead of my sorrow, I can sing my songs of praise to Him.
We are in perfect harmony as I allow His Light to lead me out of my darkness.
9 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; 1 Peter 2:9 (NKJV)
Jeremiah 31:3 | Isaiah 61:10 | 1 Peter 2:7-11
Though my circumstances may not improve - and perhaps have led me to be even more disheartened, I know that as long as I remain close to Him, in His word and constant prayer, I know that I'm walking in His Presence. It is God that harvests the Spirit's fruit within me.
But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! Galatians 3:22-23 (NLT)
I cannot harvest this fruit on my own because He alone is the source. I cannot experience His spiritual "nutrition" if I am not near Him to receive it.
How amazing it is that He can produce such sweet fruit in us when our circumstances can at times be so bitter.
John 3:8 | Galatians 5:16-26
Today the Jesus Calling author is instructing me to "WELCOME CHALLENGING TIMES as opportunities..."
Well, in response I must say, I have, and I do. I know many people who don't want to be challenged. They don't want to "expand their territory," take on an added responsibility, learn a new skill, or life lesson. That isn't me. I enjoy learning - anything.
In all honesty, I must also say I'm growing very weary of the challenge. I would like a break from the challenge of putting on a happy face when I'm anything but happy. I'd like a respite from the constant trials and tribulations that come with this life that make every day a struggle to get through.
I'd like relief from the piercing guilt I feel over my internal daily pity party. I feel shame as I consider the "real" challenges of those who are suffering grief, terminal illness, loss, paralysis, emotional trauma and all the other problems far greater than mine. There is always someone who has a problem greater than our own.
The author warns of the mistake of measuring our strength against the challenges we face. That is one mistake I don't make. Some have commented on "how strong" I must be. I surrendered any notion of my independent strength. I long ago learned it is worthless against the challenges I have had to face in this fallen world.
Trust in what the Lord for what He has already done and in what He plans to do is a requirement for me to keep up this inorganic strength and hope. I begin every day with a thankful heart - in spite of whether my current circumstance, This choice provides the smile that would otherwise be disingenuous and betray the hurt in my heart.
If one gets a glimpse of my pearly whites, it is not because my sorrows have ended and I feel happy. "Happy" has not been in my dictionary of emotions for some time now. I don't expect it to reappear any time in the near future.
It is possible only by His Light beaming from His Perfect Peace. That alone, is my Joy.
James 1:2 | Philippians 4:13 | Isaiah 26:
I have to confess. I am struggling. My intentions to be disciplined and dedicated are failing. Though I'm failing, for now, to meet my own expectations of what I believe God is calling me to do, I am encouraged every day when I continue in His presence.
I am reminded in today's reading that "the world is in a fallen condition," **and "things always seem to be unraveling around the edges." ** But He doesn't leave me in despair. It continues, "At the same time, trust that My way is perfect, even in the midst of such messy imperfection."**
As long as I stay connected to My Heavenly Father, I can remain hopeful. I can expect to fail. I can expect the world to disappoint - and even break my heart. Though I can count on sometimes being too worn out to keep fighting, and too worn out from the same battles I've been fighting, as long as I can still turn my eyes upon Jesus, I will find strength and joy, and His Peace.
Psalm 18:30 | Isaiah 41:13
** Jesus Calling , June 1 pg 160
Melinda started her fifth year of her devotions reading Oswald Chamber's My Utmost for His Highest. In 2015 she has made the commitment to share what this year's journey. Taking a detour, she began living Every Day With Jesus