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Tag Archives: Trust

  • Is This the Right Decision?

    Posted on January 29, 2015 by Family Christian

    Lysa TerKeurst JANUARY 29, 2015

    Is This the Right Decision?
    LYSA TERKEURST

    "And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ." Philippians 1:9-10 (NLT)

    Have you ever had that deep-down knowing of what to do in a situation but ignored it? I understand.

    My husband was out of town recently when a large box was delivered to my doorstep.

    The delivery man graciously brought it inside. But I figured it might be a bit much for me to ask him to take it past the foyer, up the stairs, down the hall, and into the room my husband calls his man cave.

    So there it sat, this mysterious, heavy box.

    Deep inside, I knew this was nothing but some product one of my people had ordered.

    But I didn’t listen to that awareness deep inside. I ignored it and listened to my fears instead. You know you’ve watched one too many mystery TV shows when your first thought about a mysterious box sitting in your foyer is that a person with scary intentions could fit inside. Yes, a crazy person with weapons could mail himself right into your foyer and sit there all day, quietly waiting until you went to bed.

    So I kicked the side of the box to see if there was any kind of reflex action from a living thing inside of it. There wasn’t, of course. But then I decided just to be sure, I would stand around the corner from the box to see if I could step out of its line of sight and possibly hear something: a cough, a sneeze, anything.

    I could leave no room for doubts, no room at all for any possible bad outcome from this box— a box that I eventually opened with a knife. Just in case. Only to discover a dorm-room refrigerator that someone had ordered.

    I wasted half my day worrying about a box that contained a dorm fridge.

    But we do this sometimes. We have a decision to make and we have that deep-down knowing. We know what to do. We know what the answer is. But we don’t go with that knowing. We over-process the what-ifs and the maybes until we find ourselves standing around a corner listening to see if a cardboard box containing a refrigerator might sneeze.

    Now, there are certainly some decisions that need to be processed. But then there are other decisions we just simply need to say yes or no to and move on.

    Find that courageous yes. Fight for that confident no. Know it. State it. Own it.

    Sometimes it just comes down to that deep whisper within that says, "Uh-huh, yes." Or a simple, "No, not that."

    God has woven into us the ability to discern what is best if we’re closely following Him. Philippians 1:9-10 says, "And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ" (NIV). Discerning what is best is something we’re capable of doing as we layer knowledge and depth of insight into our lives. Read those verses again and see that gaining knowledge and depth of insight will allow us to develop a trustworthy discernment.

    Knowledge is wisdom that comes from acquiring truth.

    Insight is wisdom that comes from living out the truth we acquire.

    Discernment is wisdom that comes from the Holy Spirit’s reminders of that knowledge and insight.

    I know a young mom who has really been struggling with the decision of whether to let her 2-year-old go to preschool a couple of half days a week next year. As I listened to her, I felt compelled to ask her three questions:

    1. Have you been reading and praying through God’s Word?
    2. Have you been applying God’s Word to your mothering?
    3. Have you sought godly counsel and insights from wise people who know specifics about your situation?

    The answer to all three of those simple questions was yes, so I reminded her that she was assigned by God to be this child’s mother. If she had done these three things, then she had the ability to discern what was best.

    She didn’t need to wait for some big neon sign to drop down from heaven to know what to do. If she had that deep knowing this was a no answer for her child, then she should go with that. If she had that deep knowing this was a yes answer for her child, then she should go with that.

    It’s not about trusting ourselves. Rather, it’s about trusting the Holy Spirit to do what Jesus promised us in John 14:26: "But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you" (NIV).

    When we’ve done what we need to do to acquire the knowledge and insight of truth, then the discernment of that truth is there. We must learn to trust and use that discernment because the more we do this, the more wisdom we acquire to make God-honoring decisions.

    Dear Lord, I want to make decisions that honor You this year. Lead me as I develop a trustworthy discernment. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

    TRUTH FOR TODAY:
    Psalm 119:66, "Teach me good discernment and knowledge, For I believe in Your commandments." (NASB)

    RELATED RESOURCES:
    Overcome the agony of hard choices by embracing a wisdom-based decision-making process with Lysa’s book, The Best Yes. For a limited time, you can purchase your copy through Proverbs 31 Ministries for 25% off and receive a FREE People Over Projects printable set! Get your copy here.

    REFLECT AND RESPOND:
    Consider the three questions Lysa asked her friend to check her discernment. Is there one you need to work on this week?

    © 2015 by Lysa TerKeurst. All rights reserved.

    Proverbs 31 Ministries
    630 Team Rd., Suite 100
    Matthews, NC 28105
    www.Proverbs31.org

  • Radical Trust

    Posted on December 14, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd

    “If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up” (Daniel 3:17–18).

    Radical trust means you trust God even when He does not come through. You are not pregnant, but you still trust God. You do not have a job, but you still trust God. You have been betrayed, but you still trust God. You are sick, but you still trust God. You are lonely, but you still trust God. You are afraid, but you still trust God.

    Your wise decision making is based on God’s trustworthiness. You know He is able, but it is still about His timing. And you will not compromise your convictions because you trust Him. It does not seem fair or right. But God has a bigger picture in mind. Do not be held captive by your finite knowledge and understanding. You can still trust the One with infinite wisdom and understanding. You are not alone in your current fire of adversity.

    The Lord is with you. Your faith has been bolstered and is not extinguished because you know God is walking with you. Your faith is fireproofed by the Holy Spirit. The flames of hell are no match for fire from heaven. Your Savior defeats Satan in every encounter. But even when you are denied acceptance and physical comfort, you can still trust God.

    Trust in God is not just for the good times, though there is a radical trust required as prosperity pelts your faith. But radical trust is much needed when things heat up. When you lose something precious or you are refused something you deserve, this is the time to ratchet up your radical trust. It is for times like this that God has molded your faith.

    What if God has not come through? Radical trust means you stay focused on His past faithfulness. The mundane every day life is a link in the chain between life’s transitions. Today’s link is as important as tomorrow’s transition. Hope for the transition to come, but trust God with today. You cannot handle more than today’s troubles and triumphs. Do not worry about matters in the future over which you have no control.

    Trust God with today, and do not worry about the uncertainty of tomorrow. This is radical trust in Christ. If you obsess over fear of the future, you most certainly will define the ambiguity with negative consequences. Then unwittingly you create a self-fulfilling prophecy. You worry yourself sick. You worry others sick. Or you are of no use for today because you are worried about tomorrow. You are stuck in the inertia of distrust.

    But the Lord can be trusted. Meditate on His faithfulness instead of what might happen. Unleash the radical trust that resides within you. When you were younger, radical faith marked you as a follower of Christ. Reignite that passion for Jesus. Lay aside the sins of disbelief and worry. The cross of Christ and His resurrection are radical. Trust God even if He has not or does not come through. He is still trustworthy; so be radical in your trust!

    Prayer: Do I radically trust the Lord with past events and decisions? How is He trustworthy?

    Related Readings: Psalm 28:7; Isaiah 12:2; John 8:26; Romans 15:13

    Post/Tweet today: Trust in God means today’s troubles become tomorrow’s testimonies. #radicaltrust

    © 2013 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.
    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry info@mail.wisdomhunters.com /www.wisdomhunters.com

  • Trust Enough

    Posted on May 25, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd

    “But the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, ‘Because you did not trust in me enough to honor me as holy in the sight of the Israelites, you will not bring this community into the land I give them’” (Numbers 20:12).

     

    A mature and robust trust in God can open the door of opportunity, while a flippant, immature, or irreverent trust can slam shut the door of opportunity. I have to ask myself an honest question: “Do I trust God with my whole heart or only when it is convenient?” There is such a thing as not trusting in God enough to honor Him as holy. How can I make sure I trust in God enough? I can say I trust God, but do I really mean it?

     

    Do I, deep in my heart of hearts, trust Him? Do I really trust Him with my job, my boyfriend or girlfriend, my future, my health, and my finances? If my trust is contingent on how I think things should go, then I really do not trust God. My trust has to be unconditional, good or bad, pretty or ugly. I will trust Him, even when I disagree or I am confused with my circumstances. Sometimes God tests you to authenticate your trust.

     

    “Sovereign Lord, you are God! Your covenant is trustworthy, and you have promised these good things to your servant” (2 Samuel 7:28).

     

    He wants you to know if He is sufficient or if you find Him lacking. The test is for your benefit because He already knows if you trust Him enough. You may be failing, just passing, average, or an honor student in God’s school of faith. Are you convinced that you trust in God enough? Or is yours still an infant faith wrapped in insecurity?

     

    Moving to the next level of trust is not always easy, but it is necessary for the maturing follower of Christ. The easy part is becoming a Christian; the hard part is being a Christian. This happens over time as God tests our trust to grow us up in Him. We can complain, or we can thank Him that He cares so much He does not want our trust to remain raw and disfigured. He is all about developing us into dedicated disciples of Jesus.

     

    Even enemies of Jesus recognized His total trust in His heavenly Father. “He trusts in God” (Matthew 27:43).

     

    Prayer: Is my trust wholly dependent on the Lord alone plus nothing else?

     

    Related Readings: Psalm 37:3–5; Isaiah 12:2; John 14:1; Titus 3:8

     

    Post/Tweet: The easy part is becoming a Christian; the hard part is being a Christian. #Christian

    © 2013 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry info@mail.wisdomhuntersdevotional.com / www.wisdomhunters.com

  • Trusting Love

    Posted on February 26, 2013 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd

    Love always trusts. 1 Corinthians 13:7

    Love trusts to the degree it trusts in God. There is an assurance that the Almighty is in control and He will carry out His plan in His timing. Loves sees the Lord as the instigator of all good things and thus, 100% trustworthy. Yes, humans fail, but love lifts up those who let them down and gives them a second chance. There is a perpetual prayer from a heart of love that trusts God to do a work of grace in a graceless heart. Love believes Christ can change anyone or anything.

    Do you believe the best about your husband or wife? Do you give them the benefit of the doubt? Your marriage grows more attractive as you make it a priority to totally trust one another. Fear from past disappointments  feed disapproval and disrespect in the present. Let go of unlovely lies that he or she cannot change and begin to treat them like the Lord wants them to become. Be respectful and trust they’ll act respectable. Be kind and trust they will grow in kindness.

    Do to others as you would have them do to you. Luke 6:31

    Love treats others like it would like to be treated. Furthermore, there will be those who are gullible or naive in their approach to trusting love, but God is still at work. A shady soul may take advantage of someone’s good nature, but in the process they will more than likely meet Jesus in the giver's trusting heart. So, be wise and discerning, but err on the side of extending grace. Love like you trust, with abandonment and without conditions. When in doubt, love.

    Above all, trust in the unfailing love of your Heavenly Father. He is always reliable for real time love. Be still before Him and hear His voice, listen to His whispers of encouragement, warning and wisdom. Daily tap into God’s great love for you and the measure of your faith will magnify beyond where you have been. The end game in God’s plan for you is to love you, so you can love others and yourself. Trust Him by receiving His grace and love. Belief brings out His love!

    But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. Psalm 13:5

     

    Prayer: Heavenly Father I trust You to love me well, so I in turn can love well.

     

    Related Readings: Psalm 21:7, 119:66, 143:8; John 16:27; Philippians 1:9-10

     

    Post/Tweet today: Love lifts up those who let us  down and gives them a second chance. #love

     

    © 2012 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry

    info@mail.wisdomhuntersdevotional.com / www.wisdomhunters.com

  • Don't Lose Heart - a devotion from Jenny Simmons

    Posted on January 28, 2013 by Family Christian

    Jenny

    Besides a complete and total belief, which I held in the sixth grade, that I was going to become a world famous whistler who would bring people into a weepy wave of wonder with my haunting melodies- my parents have supported every dream I have ever had.

    Even when they have made no logical sense.

    I graduated with a bachelors degree from a private university. My career plans weren’t set in stone, but I always assumed I would go straight into graduate work, like both of my parents did. Social work, speech pathology, political science and seminary topped my list. Serving people, seeking justice, fighting for beauty and redemption in another person’s life was my ultimate goal. Making music was not.

    But I fell in love.  With a man and with music. And the day after my college graduation we packed our bags and moved into a 900 square foot duplex in the heart of ghetto, thug-riddled Dallas, Texas. For the next two years my husband and I lived in that duplex across the street from Joe the Pimp (yes, a real live pimp), with the entire band. It was just how every woman hopes to spend the first two years of marriage! No health insurance, life insurance, 401K plan, personal privacy or financial security blanket. Four college graduates still driving our cars from high school while our peers bought houses, invested in stocks and experimented in keeping small puppies and babies alive.

    By the looks of it, my life did not measure up to the kind of success that our culture aspires to.

    And yet I can’t remember a single conversation with my dad where he didn’t say, “I’m proud of you Jenny- don’t give up- it won’t always be this hard- it’s worth it- you are exactly where you are supposed to be. Keep doing what you feel like God has made you to do.”

    And to the 32 year-old-girl, 10 years later, now turned mother who has lived through a fire that destroyed most of what I owned, a few break-ins, car-wrecks, near bankruptcy, still living in a small apartment, with no 401 K and, yes, still driving my car from high school- all in my pursuit of listening to and following God’s voice in my life...

    my dad still says the same thing.

    Don’t lose heart. Keep believing in the things that God has called you to.

    You see my parents are both deeply spiritual people and have served on church staffs my entire life. Many times my sisters and I have watched as members of different congregations have lied about my parents, hurt them and given them good cause to never ever walk back through the doors of a church again. And yet, my parents have always walked back in the doors.

    Dad often quoted Psalm 27:13 as he walked around the house listening to my sisters and I gripe about the injustice of it all. He simply said, “I am still confident of this: we will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.” And he and mom believed it enough that they didn’t quit, even when quitting was the most obvious answer.

    I can’t count how many times I have tried to throw away the gifts and calling that the Lord has given me. I have tried to convince myself that I heard God’s voice wrong. That serving in ministry was too hard on my spirit. That the sacrifice was not worth it. That I was being financially irresponsible to live off of little- when I could make much else-where. That my family deserves better. Or perhaps, someone else is more qualified.

    I am the queen of excuses and rationalizing. I’ve written the book on fear, anxiety and distrust in the face of the unknown. I have tried to quit God, quit His call on my life, quit that still, small voice who whispers over and over again to me, “Feed my sheep,” more times than I can count.

    And yet I am still here. Still writing music and telling God’s story of redemption. Still driving that same old car. Still allowing God to use me in people’s journeys. Still listening to my daddy tell me that following the call is absolutely worth it- even when it makes no logical sense. Even when it hurts. Even if it leaves you broken sometimes.

    The song, Don’t Lose Heart, is the most personal song for me on my new album, The Becoming. It’s not just a pithy sentiment spoken over someone in a tiny battle. It is a monumental cry to those serving in ministry- fighting the most important battle ever: whether to give up or not.

    Following the great unknown has cost you everything

    But listen to the voice inside who first called out your name...

    To those following the Great Unknown, to those chasing a dream that only makes sense in light of the Holy Spirit that has given birth to that dream, to those barely hanging on as they try and survive ministry in a tough church, for those making art, parenting orphans, feeding homeless, teaching immigrants, sheltering battered women, loving pregnant teenagers, heck, loving any teenager through puberty, going to the uttermost corners of the earth to deliver water-  and living water- this song is for you.

    For anyone in the middle of a “What the heck am I doing here?” moment- the one where you fear you have gone the wrong way or the call was meant for someone else-

    this is for you.

    Don’t lose heart. Don’t lose faith. Keep believing in the things that He’s called to you. When you’re tired. When you’re faint. Look deep into the eyes of your Savior’s face. And you will find your resting place.

    And to mom and dad- who never gave up on Jesus and his calling- you are the most beautiful people I know. Thank you for teaching me that sometimes following Jesus is more important than safety, security or comfort. Thank you for caring more about how Jesus wants to use me, than any thing else. I am here because of you.

     

    For more on Jenny's albums, click here, or her former band, Addison Road.

  • Trust Grows

    Posted on December 2, 2012 by Boyd Bailey

    Boyd

    But I am like an olive tree flourishing in the house of God; I trust in God’s unfailing love for ever and ever. Psalm 52:8

     

    Trust is the soil in which our faith grows. Like a robust olive tree full of branches bearing luscious fruit, trust causes growth across the limbs of our life. It is trust that tears down our walls of fear. It is trust that allows us to outlast our critics. It is trust that brings to fruition a harvest of hope and patience. It is trust that keeps us from reacting wrongly. It is trust that moves a man to forgive his wife, or a wife to forgive her husband. It is trust that stands the test of time. Trust causes good things to grow. Our faith grows. Our humility grows. Our love grows. Our holiness grows. Our grace grows. Our fear of God grows. Our character grows. It is trust in our Savior that grows us up for His glory. 

    God’s unfailing love can be trusted, for there is no doubt about its trustworthiness. His love never fails (1 Corinthians 13: 8). No one has ever overdrawn the Almighty’s account of love. The Lord’s loans of love are not called in the middle of your crisis. On the contrary, He offers more love the more needy you find yourself. You can depend on the love of God. It will not fail  when you need Him the most. Others may walk away when you lose your way, but not your loving God; His love stays with you. You may feel deserted in your despair, but God’s love is still there for your comfort and care. His 100% track record of no failures can always be trusted. His love fails not. Our Savior's love is fail-safe.

    Sometimes it is hard to see the forest of our heavenly Father's love, for the trees of terror that stare us in the face. This is where we need to take a timeout and trust. Trust that God still loves you even when you represent Him poorly. Trust that He still loves you even though those around you don’t seem to care. Trust He still loves you in the loss of your job. Trust He still loves you though you let Him down. Trust His love does not keep accounts (nor should ours). Furthermore, He loves you so you can be loved and love others on His behalf. Being loved by God is just the beginning. Christians are a conduit for Christ in His cycle of love. We are His love agents; always investigating ways we can extend our Father’s love. Love that isn’t shared loses traction. Love given away gains more momentum. So pass along God’s unfailing love.

    Your trust in Jesus causes your love to grow to greater heights. His goal is for the fruit of His love to weigh down branches of your belief. Your fruitful loving life becomes attractive and inviting to others. They want to draw near the light of the Lord’s love that shines through your soul. They want to be close to your character so they can pluck some of your lovely fruit and partake. It is the love of God spread abroad in your life that becomes a beacon of hope. When you unleash love in your life, your faith, leadership, and ministry will flourish. The fruit of love calms angry hearts. It leads others to forgive and be forgiven. Love allows us to say things we otherwise would not say for fear of hurting another or of being rejected. Love is a remedy for rebellion. When the prodigal came home, his father first loved him (Luke 15:20). Love is our first and last response. It is our glimpse into the heart of God. Love never fails because God guarantees it. Trusting in God’s unfailing love matures us.

    Taken from Reading #38 in the 90-day devotional book, “Seeking God in the Psalms”... http:// bit.ly/InvUdR

    Post/Tweet this today: Trust tears down our walls of fear and allows us to outlast our critics. #trust

    © 2012 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

    Wisdom Hunters Resources / A registered 501 c3 ministry

    info@mail.wisdomhuntersdevotional.com / www.wisdomhunters.com

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