3 “For the vision is yet for the appointed time; It hastens toward the goal and it will not fail. Though it tarries, wait for it; For it will certainly come, it will not delay. 4 “Behold, as for the proud one, His soul is not right within him; But the righteous will live by his faith.“ Habakkuk 2:3-4 NASB
Father, thank you for Your promises, Your deliverance and Your Word. Thank you for Your love, Your power and Your might that You wield on my behalf. Thank you for going before me and coming behind me. Thank you for Your favor.
Father, please search my heart to make it right and suitable for You. Take my heart and purge it of any prideful or soulish desires. I yearn to be in full communion with You, believing Your promises and waiting patiently and hopefully for Your timing.
“For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.” Hebrews 10:14 NIV
Sometimes I feel awkward and unsure. Fear can have a tendency to creep in. When things get intense, I can be fearful of making a mistake. It can trip me up. But God is always gentle with me. He always reminds me that He loves me. He doesn’t try to set me up. He doesn’t expect me to be perfect. All He asks is that I am willing. I have to have a heart that seeks His.
The enemy wants to derail me, but God knows my heart. He knows I have a loving heart. I have to stay true to that place. Use wisdom. Use discernment. Use them both with confidence.
Father, thank you for Your encouragement. Thank you for reminding me of Your love. Thank you for making me perfect through Your Son Jesus. Thank you for showing me Your ways and using Your perfect love to chase away any lingering fear.
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28 NIV
There are times in life when the outlook is bleak. The horizon does not appear to hold any hope or show any signs of rescue. No white horse is in sight coming to the rescue.
Those are the times that it is hardest to hang onto this promise. Those are the times that we have to exercise faith. These are what I call hard places. I’m in one now. Saying that, I still have faith. It’s being tested but it does not change all of God’s promises that I know to be true:
Whatever we ask we receive (1 John 3:22)
God’s thoughts and ways are different (Isaiah 55:8)
God’s Word will accomplish what He desires (Isaiah 55:11)
I have to take every thought captive (2 Corinthians 10:5)
Faith will move mountains (Matthew 17:20)
God’s promises are delivered through faith (Romans 4:13)
Faith rests on God’s power, not mine (1 Corinthians 2:5)
I must believe in God and that He rewards those who seek Him (Hebrews 11:5)
So I celebrate!
Father, thank you for every promise. Thank you for Your favor that goes before me. Thank you for all the delight and even the stretch that you’ve put in my path to show me You are in control.
“The mystery of the seven stars that you saw in my right hand and of the seven golden lampstands is this: The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches.” Revelation 1:20 NIV
The Bible is a great book of instruction and life examples. It contains just about every storyline you can imagine: murder, intrigue, love, sibling rivalry and more. You name it. It has it. Every story serves a purpose. A real life purpose for today.
As I was reading in Revelation, I began to recognize pieces that relate to this moment in time. As John was talking about the seven churches, I realized they all had their issues. And they all had characteristics that He loved. When I think of God, I think of perfection. These churches were far from perfect!
These churches hold lessons for churches today. They are roadmaps for setting things in order for the return of Jesus Christ. They represent the struggles of the churches of today and the corrections that need to be made.
When Jesus died on the cross for us, we were not perfect. We were made perfect in Him. Churches need to be operating in His Spirit in order to function and perform the work that needs to be accomplished.
“He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6:8 NIV
Our God is all about relationship. He wants to walk with us. He’s always there for us but sometimes we prefer to walk by ourselves. Have you ever taken a walk with someone and they always try to walk ahead or lag way behind? It’s really hard to communicate if they are not walking WITH you. In order to walk with God, He asks that out of love for Him we respect His ways. His ways are good ways and they certainly save us a lot of heartache. But most of all, if our heart is turned toward God, we will have intimacy with Him.
The deeper that intimacy grows, the more the desire to please Him grows. The desires of His heart become the desires of our heart.
Father, I pray that my heart will be so surrendered to You so that Your ways become mine.
“1 Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. 2 Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. 3 Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. 5 For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.” Psalm 100 NIV
12 “Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you; 13 but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing, so that also at the revelation of His glory you may rejoice with exultation.” 1 Peter 4:12-13 NASB
When hard things happen sometimes they produce hard questions. Questions that we have of others. Questions that we have of ourselves. And questions that we have of God. Hard questions have to be asked. They have to be asked in order to grow. We have to summon the courage to face the things we don’t understand or even just don’t like. Sometimes we go through seasons of change that are painful. Sometimes they are longer than we would like. They test our faith. They test our courage and our endurance. They test our patience. Our love.
We may throw in the towel. We may fall down. Sometimes we have to start all over again. And that is the beauty of it. We can. The price has already been paid by Jesus. He gave us the do over. As many times as we need, He still stands there with open arms.
Through it all we have the opportunity to learn and grow. We have the opportunity to ask for what we need and trust that it will be given. Sometimes not in the way we think but in a new and different way.
Father, thank you for always being there with as many do overs as it takes. I pray I always get up and come running back to You.