Seeking God: True bravery

Reading: Psalm 27:1-14, Psalm 109:5-6

Christ: Sometimes true bravery means waiting for God to act on your behalf. Be confident in my consuming love for you and have fearless trust in Me. I will not fail you, though My timing may not agree with yours. But “Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord” (Psalm 28:14).

My heart has heard you say, -Come and talk with me.-.jpg

Think: Consider David, who being pursued by his enemies, prayed and consulted God first. When he had the chance to ensure his own safety and easily kill King Saul (see 1 Samuel 24) he did not take it because he feared the Lord and knew that it was not His will. David chose to let God take care of it, even though it meant allowing Saul to possibly survive and prosper longer. Do I ever take decisions into my own hands out of fear? What would it look like to trust in a stressful time?

Pray: Dear Lord, I am deeply sorry for the times when my actions betrayed my trust in you. Help us to bravely have patience and confidence in your good will for our lives. Amen.

What I gained by losing my luggage

Yesterday I spent more than 10 hours traveling with three connecting flights and almost no sleep, only to find that there was no bag for me when I arrived at my home destination. Maybe this has happened to you before, maybe not, but perhaps you can still sympathize with that feeling of “….oh no….” as a laundry list of lost items floods through your mind. (Particularly my iPhone 5 chargers, both of them, which as we know are not cheap!)
I needed answers and I wanted them NOW. I waited at the airline check-in desk for 20 minutes before I had to track someone  down and request help myself. Now, I work in customer service. I know what it feels like on the other side of that desk. I remembered to check my attitude and frustration and treat the woman like a human. I do not think it is conceited to say that God has definitely graced me with a very keen sense understanding and patience. It’s certainly not my doing! Even this morning when I realized I’ve lost all my laptop and underwear and makeup, I don’t despair. I am rightly upset about it but I don’t feel terrible. Thanks be  to God that something worse didn’t happen like ME getting lost or dying in a plane crash. (An unavoidable thought every time I fly)
Still, as a natural product of our American culture in 2013 I mourn the loss of material things and use this experience to grow closer to Jesus whom I can never lose, because  he will never let me become lost. No airport or love of possessions or any amount of frustration can separate me from his love or his grasp on me. And that’s what I gained by losing my bag.

How can I rejoice in trials?

Psalm 62:5-7

For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence,
for my hope is from him.
He only is my rock and my salvation,
my fortress; I shall not be shaken.
On God rests my salvation and my glory;
my mighty rock, my refuge is God.

As I continue to struggle with this question, I am starting to discover a new interpretation of the word “joy” (Noun): To maintain an inner steadiness and quiet patience from trusting God’s goodness and promises. You don’t have to dance and shout in order to be joyful. Joy can simply come from an inner knowledge and confidence in God’s faithfulness.

Being Christian is not supposed to be easy, and I take great comfort in understanding today, that his power is made perfect in my weakness. The very fact of our trust in discomfort and struggle is proof that God’s Spirit is in us; for in my own flesh I do not and cannot desire him.

1 Peter 1:7
These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.

Psalm 12:6
And the words of the LORD are flawless, like silver purified in a crucible, like gold refined seven times.

Psalm 66:10
For you, God, tested us; you refined us like silver.

Isaiah 48:10
See, I have refined you, though not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction.

Jeremiah 9:7
Therefore this is what the LORD Almighty says: “See, I will refine and test them, for what else can I do because of the sin of my people?

Daniel 11:35
Some of the wise will stumble, so that they may be refined, purified and made spotless until the time of the end, for it will still come at the appointed time.

Zechariah 13:9
This third I will put into the fire; I will refine them like silver and test them like gold. They will call on my name and I will answer them; I will say, ‘They are my people,’ and they will say, ‘The LORD is our God.’”