Wednesday, May 30, 2012

God's Motives.

I have just read a devotion by Os Hillman, which spoke about God's motives. I never really thought of God having motives, but he does!

2 Samuel 22:20  "He brought me out into a spacious place; He rescued me because He delighted in me."

He's like a true parent. I have motives for my children - I raise them in a certain way because I want them to be liked, respected and a positive influence and asset to our society. When I discipline them, my motivation is not to make their lives miserable, but to show them the right way to act and speak. God has a motive for you and me. In our lives he wants to bring us into that spacious place. Now when I think of spacious place I see fields before me, wide open spaces, no fences, no mountains, just field and big blue skies. God wants to bring me to that place. 

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Os said "He wants us to go beyond our borders of safety and security so that we might experience life at a level that goes beyond ourselves. Sometimes these spacious places encourage us to step out in faith into areas where we've never ventured. Sometimes we need to be rescued by the Lord. When Peter walked on the water, God was inviting him to a spacious place. He went beyond the borders of his boat and ventured into a whole new world. He didn't have complete success in his venturing out, but it was a process that would lead him to the next victory in his faith walk with Jesus. Sometimes failure is what is needed in order to move us to the next level of faith with God. However, we must be willing to fail and let God rescue us."

It reminds me of the phrase "baby-steps". We can teeter and totter and wobble and stumble as we learn to walk by faith. We aren't always going to get it 100% right and that's ok! God will be there to catch us when we fall, because he loves us. His motives for us is his love for us. He wants us to trust him and depend on him.

(based on Today God Is First (TGIF) devotional message, by Os Hillman)

MY PRAYER
Father, I trust you. I know that everything you do is good and for our good. Thank you for the reminder today that your love is constant and true.
Amen

Sunday, May 27, 2012

An opportunity for Joy!

James 1:2-3 - Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.

It's hard to look at life's circumstances sometimes and see them as opportunity for joy. I don't know about you, but when trouble comes my way, I don't jump in the air and scream "YIPPEEEEE"! I feel sad, angry, stressed, upset, hurt etc. And that's ok!! I'm allowed to be ticked about life not going the way I had planned it. I can be angry with cancer. I can be stressed about raising a special needs child. I can be sad about death. All these emotions are fine with God, because he created us to be in HIS image, and God feels anger, sadness, etc. To feel this way is a good sign of being normal.  

The Bible doesn't say "When troubles come your way, be happy about it." - because I don't know anyone in the world who is happy about troubles. If they are happy, then they have some serious problems! We aren't supposed to rejoice in the problem, but rather the fruit that will be produced in our lives if we allow it to grow. The Bible says "consider it an opportunity for great joy".  Even though it sucks at the time, it still has the potential to be something amazing! It goes on to say why it is an opportunity - it's growth material! It means that God is bringing us through another phase of maturity. This is a reason to celebrate!! 

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Do you remember puberty? It was such a confusing time for me. As a young woman, I was plagued with irrational emotions, pain in my body as it matured, uncertainty because I wasn't a child and I wasn't a woman - where did I fit? This was a tough time no doubt, but it's an essential part of growing up! We have to go through these things to leave our childhood behind and mature into adults. The whole process takes time and we are guided through it by our parents and mentors. It's the same with life's trials. We are faced with a growing opportunity, and it's going to hurt and it will be uncertain at times, but we can have complete faith in God that he will guide us through it all.

To look at my life this way, I am joyful!! I am going through stuff, and it sucks... and that's ok. But God is using my life's trials and troubles to grow me and mature me. And my job is not to fight it, but "let it grow". Let. That's a powerful word. It means I have a choice here. I can choose to allow God to shape me and refine me, or I can go through the whole thing, resisting and unchanged. I have to decide what it's going to be. 



MY PRAYER
Dear Lord, thank you for your grace and your mercy. Thank you for showing me this stuff before I got too disillusioned and bitter. Thank you for hauling me off the wrong track and showing me the right way to go. Help me and remind me to be joyful, knowing that what life throws at me is no accident and is not pointless. Help me remember that the steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and my path is set. Thank you for the attitude adjustment I needed.  Amen 

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