Give all your worries and cares to God,
for he cares about you. ~ 1 Peter 5:7 NLT
I am one of those who has taken up the challenge to read the Who I Am sheet aloud for forty days. Each day I ask the Spirit to show me which one of my new identities in Christ he wants me to ponder. Recently it was “God listens to me and answers my prayers.” One of the verses associated with that is Romans 8:26, “And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. … the Holy Spirit prays for us …. 27 And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will.”
Other verses along my rabbit trail, like John 15:7, helped remind me that God knows what we need and that the Holy Spirit and Jesus are both interceding on our behalf to the Father. I had to stop and ponder that.
We are so important to God that he cares enough to know what each of us needs at every moment of the day and also to prepare us for the years ahead. When something occurs in our life that catches us off guard, it is no surprise to our God. Jesus has been praying for us before we hit our knees! God cares for us with an intensity that should surprise us. He has already made the way to get us out of the painful situations we may find ourselves in.
But we forget, or have never believed, that as his little children, Father God loves us and will care for us. So, instead, we choose to worry and fret, losing sleep and making ourselves miserable, even physically sick with worry. In doing so, we elevate the problem above the God who has repeatedly proven to be more than worthy of our trust.
The next time we are tempted to worry, let’s stop and talk to Jesus, our Lord and Savior who rescues us. Then let’s give our cares to him and trust that he is working all things for our good. Let’s listen to him and do what he tells us to do. He will do the heavy lifting. God may not answer our prayers the way we expect, but it will be in the way that we need most and that will glorify him. Think of how much time and energy we would save if we trusted him with all our cares! And how much peace and comfort we would enjoy.
Dear friends, be blessed as you choose to give all your cares to Jesus. As you do, be blessed as you receive his peace and comfort. Believe that you are loved and precious to your Father God today. Return his love by choosing to draw close to his heart, take hold of his hand and trust him. Amen.
Mary Sumner ~February 14, 2023
“Yes, everything else is worthless when compared
with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. …”
Philippians 3:8 NLT
All my life, if you had asked me what “normal” was, I would have said it was a peaceful, trouble free life. Trouble will come, but like waves after a storm, the waters will settle down when the wind stops blowing. What is your “normal” setting?
Then one day I realized that maybe God had gone to a lot of trouble to create just the right trial I needed as s lesson to illuminate another area where I didn’t rely on him nor trust him to take care of my needs.
I knew in my head that Father God is the only giver of good gifts, that everything good comes to us through him. (Jas. 1:16,17) I remembered Romans 8:28, “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.”
What if God’s purposes are not like ours? What if the “good” thing, the best thing, for us is to be put in the fire of testing to purify us? What if God will use trouble to draw us closer to him in intimate relationship? In the storms, we receive revelations of the Lord and his love that we may have missed when all is going smoothly. So, maybe God even designs a few problems to fit our needs?
When normal is smooth sailing, it feels like I can do pretty much everything without Jesus and his finished work on the Cross for me. But put me in a good storm, the boat precariously tipping into the waves, and I know I need my Savior and Lord! When we understand the truth that we will always live in a dangerous world, we realize our need for God. We search for him and listen to him. We get familiar with his voice and learn to trust in his love.
As we live day by day depending on God’s presence, our confidence grows in our Triune God and we begin to really believe who God’s Word says we are to him. We are daughters, friends, ambassadors. We are seated with Christ in the heavenly realm. No matter the trials, what happens to us can never change who we are in Christ.
We are more than conquerors. We are cherished, loved and eternally belong to a heavenly family, and so much more! We begin to love the Cross of Christ, his completed work there that guarantees our forgiveness of sin, and made the way for us to return to our eternal home. In Christ, these are our “normal”.
Dear friends, be blessed to embrace the storms of life as learning grounds. May you lean on and rest in Jesus, depend on him every day. As you do, may you realize he is always with you. So, no matter the circumstances, he becomes your firm foundation, in sunshine and in storms. You are loved and safe in his arms. Rejoice in your growing relationship with him! Amen.
Mary Sumner ~ January 31, 2023