Your opinion and beliefs about God will affect how you deal with the ups and downs in your life.
Do you believe God is good and that He loves YOU? Not just that God is love, but that He loves YOU! Do you believe you are loved? Because you are!
Do you believe that He turns everything around for YOUR good? It isn’t enough to believe God is able to do anything. You need to know that He is able AND willing to do it for YOU.
If you begin to doubt either (or both) of these things when your situation is difficult it doesn’t mean you’ve lost faith or that there’s something wrong with you. It means you’ve forgotten your value. And it means you need to spend more time seeking Him. The Word tells us that when we seek God, we find Him. God doesn’t play games with people. He is always good. He is always love. He is always for you. And He never changes.
Remember… “Without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who diligently seek Him.” Hebrews 11:6
I came into this year with great expectations. But I have to admit that I’ve been feeling disheartened and frustrated. My life has become a series of closed doors lately. I keep trying to be positive but, I’m finding it hard to hope and to trust in God’s goodness.
So today I’m reading the story of the Shunammite woman found in II Kings 4:8-37. It’s my favorite.
The Shunammite woman was wealthy and well connected. She had a good life and gave generously to those around her. She expected nothing in return. She just gave. It’s who she was and what she did. For her setting up a free room for the Prophet Elisha to use when he wanted was nothing extraordinary.
This is the woman everyone saw. But what people couldn’t see was the ache in her heart for a dream she thought was dead.
That’s why I relate to this woman. I am battling to believe my dream is not dead. To hope even when everyone and everything around you tells you to let it go.
God is the only one who knows the full extent of the dream in my heart. Just like the Shunammite woman.
In verse 15-16 Elisha tells her that in one year her dream will be come true. She will hold a son in her arms. Many would rejoice at this point, maybe dance a jig or something. But not her. She begs him not to raise her hopes. As if hope were the enemy of her heart. She didn’t want to go through yet another heartache.
I can relate. It seems easier for us to just settle for what we can do or what we can see. We seem to forget that we serve a good God who wants more for us than we do.
“When You came down long ago, You did awesome deeds beyond our highest expectations. And oh, how the mountains quaked! For since the world began, no ear has heard and no eye has seen a God like You, Who works for those who wait for Him.” Isaiah 64:3-4
We need to focus on the truth in times like this. And the truth is that God is good. Always has been good and always will be good. His plan is so good that sometimes we see it as an impossible dream, something we don’t deserve, or we believe it couldn’t ever happen. So we settle for what WE can do or what WE can see. But when we trust Him and wait on His timing He moves in ways we cannot possibly imagine!
When I struggle like I have been, the only thing that really helps me to come out of it is to focus on God’s goodness. Reading the verses from Isaiah and the Shunammite woman’s story remind me that God is good. That God is for me not against me. That God loves me and my dreams matter to Him. Knowing this, I cannot help but to keep believing.
Please don’t give up on your great expectations! Please keep believing even if no one but God knows the dream of your heart. God is the God of the impossible and He is good.
I’m sure you have a goal, most people do. Maybe it’s getting in shape or getting healthy. Maybe it’s a degree or starting a new business/ministry. Goals give us a destination to focus on so that we don’t get distracted or quit when it gets tough. That’s why having goal or two is important.
Take a second or two to think of the most important goal to you right now. When you’ve got it…please continue reading.
Most people know I Corinthians 13. It’s the love chapter after all! Many people have it read at their wedding or hanging in a frame on their wall. But what many don’t realize is that chapters 12-14 of I Corinthians are all a part of one thought.
Chapter 12 explains spiritual gifts. It ends with verse 31: “So you should earnestly desire the most helpful gifts. But let me show you a way of life that is best of all.”
The Apostle Paul then takes all of I Corinthians 13 to explain what love is and what it looks like. Real love isn’t about mushy gushy feelings, it is a choice. A choice to be patient with people. A choice to be kind. A choice to believe the best. Paul tells us that even if he were the most talented and had more gifts than anyone else and achieved more than anyone-if he didn’t live a life of love then he wasted his life.
With that in mind here’s how chapter 13 ends and 14 begins: “Three things will last forever-faith, hope and love- and the greatest of these is love. Let love be your highest goal!” I Cor 13:13-14:1
Now back to your most important priority goal. Is it love? Not mushy gushy love or finding THE ONE, but to actually live your life as described in I Corinthians 13. To be kind to the rude sales clerk. To believe the best about the idiot in the SUV who just cut you off. To celebrate one another’s successes even when your life hasn’t been going so well. To forgive the way you’ve been forgiven. That’s what love looks like.
I know I’m not there yet, and you probably aren’t either. But imagine how this world would change if everyone kept love as their priority goal!!
Something to think about over the weekend.
Worry. Stress. Anxiety. All 3 are a type of fear. The Word tells us do not worry, do not fear, and to be anxious for nothing. God desires you to have a life filled with joy! Not fear. So instead of freaking out, remember He loves you and “Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” 1 Thess 5:16-18