Sunday, February 22, 2015

It Ain't THAT Easy

God is serious about helping us avoid hard times and rejoice in peace.

"Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help,
   who rely on horses
who trust in the multitude of their chariots
   and in the great strength of their horsemen,
but do not look to the Holy One of Israel,
   or seek help from the LORD."  Isaiah 31:1

Did you read the word "Woe" right at the beginning? Woe means great sorrow or distress. Common synonyms are misery, wretchedness, heartache, regret, gloom, despair, adversity, disaster. Those are definitely things I want to avoid. This verse teaches that woe comes to those who "do not look to the Holy One of Israel, or seek help from the LORD".

Sounds like a strong call for God's people to trust Him in the depths of our souls and carry our needs to Him to meet rather than relying on earthly resources.

Trusting God like that is something I've been working on my entire life of faith.

For some reason trust doesn't come to me in the way it does to others, as if relaxing back into a hammock.

Not for me anyway.

"This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says:
   'In repentance and rest is your salvation,
   in quietness and trust is your strength,
   but you would have none of it."  Isaiah 30:15

What's wrong with me?

I know God loves me and is ready, willing, and more than able to take care of me.

I know that my Father has a perfect plan for my life that is built on His knowledge of how He made me and His wisdom about how to grant me joy and peace even as He uses me for His purposes here and prepares me for heaven. 

I know the great I AM keeps every single promise He makes 
rewards those who entrust themselves to His hand.

"Trust in the LORD with all your heart
   and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways acknowledge him,
   and he will make your paths straight."   Proverbs 3:5-6

"I will save you; you will not fall by the sword but will escape with your life, because you trust in me, declares the LORD.'"  Jeremiah 39:18

"Trust in the LORD and do good;
   dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
Delight yourself in the LORD
   and he will give you the desires of your heart."  Psalm 37:3-4

But I don't find the trusting very easy at all.

Maybe that's because I find myself surrounded by trials, struggles, and hounded by uncertainty and fear ... a lot. 
It feels like every time I let down my guard somebody or some thing comes in to throw a few punches. 
I tend to blame myself for relaxing and jump back on my charger, picking up my weapons to protect myself.

A certain celebrity might ask me, "How's that workin' for ya?"

It's not going well at all.

I want to spend 

      less time on horseback 

and more time

resting between two trees.

Are you with me?

If so, how can we affect the transition?

I'm sensing it will take offering my attention and energy to God in prayer.

1. Identify the source of the fear, discouragement, whatever it is that's making me feel unsettled, on edge. 

2. Ask the LORD to show me how I might be able to change those details, what I might need to simply accept as reality, and which of those directions I need to take by His grace for His glory.

3. Practice relying on who God is and how He cares for His chosen ones, converting head knowledge and lip service into behavior that reflects those Truths before a whole world that needs to hear and see that message.

LORD, I am among the lowly and weak, a slow learner at best. Please hear my prayer and teach me to trust You in every area of my life, in ways I don't expect, that I might live more fully and joyfully for You. Amen

If you join me in that sentiment, be encouraged by the following words of Truth. 

"May your unfailing love come to me, O LORD,
   your salvation according to your promise;
then I will answer the one who taunts me,
   for I trust in your word."  Psalm 119:41-42

"When I am afraid,
  I will trust in you.
In God, whose word I praise,
  in God I will trust; I will not be afraid."  Psalm 56:3-4

"You will keep in perfect peace 
   him whose mind is steadfast,
   because he trusts in you.
Trust in the LORD forever,
   for the LORD, the LORD, is the Rock eternal.   Isaiah 26:3-4

"But I will leave within you

   the meek and humble,
   who trust in the name of the LORD."  Zephaniah 3:12

In that day they will say.
   'Surely this is our God;
     we trusted in him, and he saved us.
This is the LORD, we trusted in him;
   let us rejoice and be glad in his salvation.'"  Isaiah 25:9

Are you prompted to improve your own level of trust? Tell me about it.

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