Our Hope; Just Wait.....

Have courage, for the Eternal is all that I will need.
My soul boasts, “Hope in God; just wait.” (Lamentations 3:24 The Voice Translation)

Just wait. Something good is bound to happen. Just wait. Something new, something better is coming. Just wait. You have your whole life ahead of you. Just wait. Good things come to those who wait. Just wait. Patience is a virtue. Just wait.

Patience. Waiting. How many of us are thrilled about the unavoidable reality that we are going to be expected to wait for a great deal in this life? Not my cup of tea, and I imagine many of you would agree. My devotional this morning was very timely, needed. Not because I am in a hurry for something in particular to happen, some momentous revelation, life altering moment to finally occur. Ryan and I have been in a state of transition for several years now recovering from some challenges life has handed us, and finding restoration as we embrace some new opportunities in ministry. If you’ve been through a similar transition, then you know as well as we do that recovery does not occur overnight. It takes time. In the midst of the transition, we have to go through stages of healing not that different from a grieving process. We have learned to walk and sometime crawl through these stages. What is God teaching me through this portion of the journey?

Trust—not in any human being in my life, not in my husband, not in my family, not in my friends, not in my church, not in any one particular person. Full and complete trust in my great big God. In spite of what He has allowed to occur in our lives, He is calling to me, always available to me, longing to embrace me and delight in my willingness to simply trust Him through every moment.

Courage—a lot of failures are going to occur in this life. It is certain, I can count on it. I’m human, everyone I love and care for is human, and it is only a matter of time before someone gets hurt, upset, angry, etc. If we allow it, our humanity, our emotions, our reaction can rule our state of being and it can cause us to behave very badly. I have a choice, in any and every moment of my life to stop, breathe in and call upon the Holy Spirit within me, to behave in a manner that is indicative of my spiritual discipline and selfless intent. By making the choice to rise above myself, be better than my human nature, I find myself strengthened and resolved. I am able to walk through a difficult moment, and ultimately strengthened for what lies ahead. This is not easy, it is a choice that takes great courage.

Presence—There is a great power when we choose to step into His Presence rather than stomp our feet in our circumstances. When it seems everyone and everything around me has failed, He does not. He is always there. He is faithful, and He has placed people in my life who have come beside me at precisely the right time to help hold me up when I don’t have the ability to even stand on my own two feet. When we choose to be still, simply sit and listen, allow ourselves to sink deeply into His Presence; that is when true healing and restoration begins. When I find myself there, I recognize how foolish I have been, what I have missed when I allowed so much to bind me up and keep me from full and complete fellowship with Him.

I admit how broken I am in body and spirit,
but God is my strength, and He will be mine forever. (Psalm 73:26 The Voice Translation)

Transitions, changing seasons of life are happening constantly for us all. Good, bad, no matter the circumstances, God is near to us at all times. He knows us, loves us, is purposing us for great things each and every moment we choose to trust Him.

So what will your choice be today? What are you waiting for? Our hope is in Him. Let’s wait, with great expectation.

New year, New perspective....

1 Peter 5:8 …..be disciplined and stay on guard. Your enemy the devil is prowling around outside like a roaring lion, just waiting and hoping for the chance to devour someone.

Matthew 6:33 Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and then all these things will be given to you too.

How are we doing this New Year? How is our perspective? How are we approaching each day in this new season God has granted to each of us? Two precious gifts God has given us:

1. God’s Son, our Savior, Jesus Christ
2. Life

Are we fully aware of how fortunate each one of us truly is? If you stop and make a list of what you have, what you possess, what you own, what you can call yours, I am not sure any one of us really has anything to complain about. What if we took a different look at our lives and instead of doing the typical list of Good and Bad, we simply and purposefully chose to focus on what matters most and nothing else?

The choice to focus on what matters most, to walk boldly, courageously into each day of this life with no thought for the things that threaten to distract us makes an enormous difference in everything else that follows. I believe by making this simple switch in our focus, we can expect to see profound and life-changing movement in our lives. Think about it: When we get bent out of shape because of our life circumstances, what we are dealing with on any given day that is just plain crap, the stuff that derails us and leaves us doing more grumbling, griping and complaining than thanksgiving and praise…..what does it get us? What benefit is that to us in any way, shape, or form? None. Zero. Zip. Blah. Why are we doing this to ourselves?!

Did you read the scriptures at the beginning of this blog post? The enemy. He is crafty, creative, sneaky, calculating, strategic, and ready to pounce at our weakest and most vulnerable moments. And sometimes his greatest victory in your life is when you find yourself stuck day in and day out in the same muck, monotonous misery, and mediocrity. So consider right now, how much time in your life, days, months, years, have you allowed the enemy to devour? How often have you allowed him to win a victory he doesn’t deserve nor truly has? We can start playing the blame game here, listing off all the things that are to blame for our miserable state of being and why we are stuck in it, but that will only give me the opportunity to lovingly and gently point out to you what was stated in the beginning of this blog post. Where is your focus? Stop it and consider right now, this very moment, you are blessed. You have a Savior, who loves you, who has purposed you for so much good if you give Him a chance to use you fully. It doesn’t mean you’ll snap into this blissful state of no worry, no fear, no doubt, BUT it does mean you’ll be in a state of mind, body and spirit to better handle those challenges when they come.

You have a choice, you always have a choice. By choosing to improve your perspective, you will find your way to making every tragedy a triumph, every upheaval an uprising, victory is yours! I cannot tell you what a difference it makes to hold tight to the One who holds your life in His hands. It is hard to put into words, the ability to experience freedom, peace, and joy when we make the deliberate, courageous choice to live in a Jesus perspective. He endured the worst, so we can live our best! There is too much at stake as our world continues to spiral out of control. What an opportunity we have, what we will miss, if we live our lives in any other way that 100% devoted to our great big God!

He intends for us to live fully and purposefully in spite of how difficult life is. This is our greatest form of witness to the world around us. Let’s not miss it. Let’s give God the victory, instead of the other guy because ultimately we know who wins, who already won, who will win when our days come to an end.

Glory to God, forever!

my Ebenezer...

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