Tag Archives: trouble

Let Not Your Hearts Be Troubled

Sometimes when I watch the news and am faced with the way Satan’s power seems to be getting stronger in ISIS, in American politics, in our courts and on our streets, when I see flagrant sin proclaimed as the “new normal”, and people who call themselves Christian accept sin and tolerate multiple avenues to God, I get anxious. I find myself worrying about what’s ahead for us in this country, what kind of world my great-nieces and nephews will inherit from us.

Then I read what Jesus said to his disciples right before he was arrested: Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in me. (John 14)

History tells us these same disciples endured persecution like most of us have never seen. They watched Jesus die. They fled for their lives. Some were tortured and killed because they did believe in Jesus. But Jesus told them, let not your hearts be troubled.

I don’t know what lies ahead. I can guess according to what I read in the Bible. And the thought of what will probably be makes me sad. I want the babies in my life, their mothers and dads, to be grounded in the Truth of Scripture, to believe in Jesus. Because then I can face the future knowing Jesus is preparing a place for us, to be with him where he is. I can choose to not let my heart be troubled because I believe in Jesus and trust what he says.

I pray the same for you.

Dear God, it sounds like I’m throwing in the towel, and really I’m not. I will continue to pray, to stand for the Truth revealed in your Holy Word, and live my life to reveal you to those who don’t know you. I believe you will continue to bless those who call on you in Spirit and Truth, that your Holy Spirit will continue to draw all men to you as long as there is life. But I also know, Lord, you are coming again. This life on planet Earth is not all there is, and one day that angel will blow that trumpet, and everything will change. And unless your children hold strong, things will continue to decline. So keep us strong, Father. Give us courage and confidence and purpose. Thank you for telling us it’s possible to face the future without troubled hearts because we believe in Jesus. Be with our children and may we raise them to honor and fear you. Prepare them for battle, Lord. Prepare us all. And may you find us faithful.

Counting Hawks

My dad was an observer and a lover of nature. I can’t count the hours he spent looking out into his back yard, watching birds, squirrels, rabbits, and deer. He taught us girls to notice things like sunsets and clouds, like lightning in storms, like new buds on trees in spring, and like the sparkle and beauty of a snowfall. He and Mom always challenged each other to see which of them could spot the most hawks every time they went somewhere in the car. I never see a hawk today without thinking about them.

Dad could have been a psalmist. I read Psalm 104 today and once again am reminded what an incredible thing is creation. Nothing… NOTHING… happened by chance. The beauty and majesty of our world was carefully constructed, from the tiniest seed to the highest mountain.

Is life throwing roadblocks in your way? Are you troubled, lonely, afraid? Take a minute and look outside. Better yet, take a walk. Listen to birds sing, the breeze rustle through trees. Feel the warmth of the sun on your face, or allow raindrops to mix with your tears. Count the hawks perched in the trees, and know even they fit in your Creator’s design.

The God who created the fragrant flowers you smell, the oceans and deserts, the God who created you wants to walk with you today. In this whole great big world of ours, there is no one he loves more, no one he thinks of more, no one he longs to call his own more than you! Give him your heart. Rejoice in his grace. Praise him for Jesus. Look around. His love is stamped all over the place.

Storms may come. No, storms WILL come. Take his hand and let him get you through.

Dear Creator, Words fall short of expressing the awe I feel as I observe nature, as I see your hand in all that there is, and as I understand that you love me. Thank you for Jesus. Thank you for making me your child when I repented of my sin. Walk with me today, Lord, as you wish. And may I never take for granted what your creation entails.

September 15

Esther 9:18-10:3; Ezra 4:6-23; Psalm 105

Those little troublemakers finally got their way. The Jews working to rebuild Jerusalem were forced to stop because a few foreigners got to the king. They had tried before with Xerxes but that king liked the Jews. So they waited for Artaxerxes and he listened to their complaints and stopped the work.

Has that been your experience with Satan? We win one victory over temptation only to be faced with another. We get through one difficult situation only to be hit with another, more difficult one. If we are God’s children there is a target on our backs and Satan is taking aim to prevent us from serving the Lord.

Take heart, dear one. Hold on. Keep trusting God no matter what circumstance you face.

The psalm we read today reminds us of how God worked through the nation of Israel. They faced hard times. They were slaves in Egypt but God brought them out with rejoicing and shouts of joy, laden with silver and gold. Why did God deliver them and settle them in Canaan? Verse 45 says:

that they might keep his precepts and observe his laws.

Obey God in good times and in bad. Face our enemy with God at your side. Our Lord can bring you out of whatever it is Satan is throwing at you with rejoicing and shouts of joy.

Gracious Heavenly Father, thank you for your word to us again today. Some of us are feeling the stings of Satan’s arrows. Our lives are difficult and we hurt. So thank you for reminding us that you are here and you are able to defeat our enemy, to bring good out of our trouble. May we be obedient children regardless of our situations. Keep us strong. Keep us focused. And may others see your hand in our lives. We want to keep your work going, Lord, so that lost souls can find you.

April 18

Psalms 52 & 109, I Samuel 23:1-29

I admire David. God took a young shepherd and promised him a kingdom. It wasn’t going to be an easy transition between Saul’s reign and Davids, though. 

Saul was obsessed with David and followed him everywhere with the intent to kill him. David couldn’t even go home out of fear for his life. It just wasn’t fair. If anyone had reason to doubt God or be angry at the Lord it was David during his years on the run.

But listen to what David wrote while holding up in a cave:

“But I am like an olive tree flourishing in the house of God; I trust in God’s unfailing love for ever and ever. I will praise you forever for what you have done; in your name I will hope, for your name is good.”

and

“With my mouth I will greatly extol the Lord; in the great throng I will praise him. For he stands at the right hand of the needy one, to save his life from those who condemn him.”

Is life treating you unfairly? Join the club. But instead of arguing with God, blaming or questioning him, instead of dwelling on the unfairness of things, try praising God. If we are honest with ourselves there is reason to praise him. And if we take our focus off ourselves and our situation and place it toward God I believe God will be faithful to be exactly what we need in the midst of our difficulties. 

Dear God, I just want to praise you today. Thank you for the sunshine, the spring flowers that are blooming, your creation that never ceases to amaze me. Thank you for my sisters and their families, dear people who love me and who I have the privilege of loving in return. Thank you for friendships, for the freedom I have to worship you here in America. Thank you for lovingly inspiring men to put your thoughts into words so I can read them this morning. Thank you for standing with me in times of trouble. And mostly, thank you for Jesus who loved me so much he went to the cross to pay for my sins. Thank you for your Holy Spirit who promises to be present with me every minute of every day. And thank you, Holy Father, that you love me and want me to spend eternity with you. I am blessed. You are the giver of all good things and I am truly blessed. You are compassionate, slow to anger, mighty in power and you love me. I praise you today.