Tag Archives: Trust

Reasons for Thanksgiving

Psalm 107:1-6 “Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!
Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom he has redeemed from trouble
and gathered in from the lands,
Some wandered in desert wastes, finding no way to a city to dwell in;
hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted within them.
Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress.”

More Reasons to be Thankful from Al Bryant

  1. We thank God for life and health. These we share together. When plague strikes a city, terror reigns. Thank God for conscious well-being and supply of daily needs.
  2. We are thankful for the benefits of civilization, for ordered government, for scientific improvements, for education, good streets, institutions of benevolence, industry, and art. America has done much to improve the lot of the common men and women like ourselves. We must share it with the world.
  3. We are thankful for a Christian environment where temperance and goodwill are encouraged, and fellowship with kindly folk is possible for us all. What would we be without the church, the open Bible, and the Gospel of Christ? These are values beyond man’s power to estimate.
  4. We are thankful for faith in the midst of tragedy. There is a God who understands and cares. Dark and mysterious is our life, but His way is good and true. Our trust is in our salvation.
  5. We are grateful for the vision of better things to be, for the promise of Christ’s kingdom and universal brotherhood in Him. It is our highway from despair, cynicism, and degeneracy.
  6. We thank God for the hope eternal. This life is but the seed of a life that will blossom into unimaginable glory according to the promise of God.

Five orange pumpkins sit in a row in front of a distressed, wooden background.

Facing Giants

DAG1 Samuel 17:37 “The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.”

We all will face giants at one time or another in our lives. We try to defeat these giants. It could be a giant of fear. It might be a giant of some type of personal sin that you fall into again and again. It might be the sin of pride, envy, lust or something else. Your giant might be one of addiction, something that has a grip on your life.

How do we deal with giants? The answer is in the Old Testament account of David and Goliath.

David boldly defeated the giant Goliath, armed only with a slingshot and five stones. The will of the Philistines was broken. The Israelites were reinvigorated. And it was all because a shepherd boy answered the call of God and cut down the giant.

What can we learn from this story about facing off with our own giants in life?

First, recognize that we all have giants. We all face severe hardships, seemingly insurmountable obstacles. We all have problems.

Second, realize that the battle belongs to the Lord. David told Goliath, “For the battle is the Lord‘s, and he will give you into our hand.” (1 Samuel 17:47). That is why giants defeat us again and again, because we face them in our own strength and we lose. We need to realize this is the Lord’s battle.

Finally, trust in the Lord. Don’t look at God in the light of your giant. Instead, look at your giant in the light of God.

Lead Me to the Rock

“Hear my cry, O God, listen to my prayer; from the end of the earth I call to you when my heart is faint. Lead me to the rock that is higher than I, for You have been my refuge, a strong tower against the enemy.” Psalm 61:1-3

When your heart is overwhelmed, it’s easy to forget that God is there, waiting for you to turn to Him. Often we worry, stress and struggle with our problems, looking for solutions in our own power, and feeling faint of heart. What can we do? Who do we have to turn to? We feel alone and desperate, afraid to wake up and get out of bed. It would be easy to stay there and avoid our problems, but that doesn’t solve them.

lighthouse_at_duskThankfully, God doesn’t forget us! He’s our refuge, our shelter, a strong tower from our enemy. When our heart is overwhelmed, when we feel like the world is against us, when we feel like giving up, we can run to God, who is always there for us. He’s our loving Father, who wraps us in loving arms and comforts us. He protects us from the enemy, and He is our rock when we falter.

Thank You God that He cares for each of us. We can place our trust in Him, knowing that even though the storm rages around us, we are safe in His love.

Transformational Leadership

Practically every day of your life you are exerting some form of influence over someone else.

Army-ROTC

The Army defines leadership as influencing people by providing purpose, direction and motivation — while operating to accomplish the mission and improving the organization. Leaders are dealers in hope.

It’s true. We don’t even realize it most of the time. What’s worse, we don’t stop to consider whether that influence is good or bad. Our words, our actions, our reactions — almost everything we do is evaluated, processed internalized by those around us. It’s a tremendous power we don’t even realize we have.

In the military, we’ve not only considered that power, we’ve studied it and now we even teach others about it. As a leader you need to take hold of your influence and learn to use it for the glory of God. As the scripture says:

“You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.” Matthew 5:13

Let us become transformational leaders who seek to be a positive example for others to emulate and imitate.

Gotcha’ God!

Isaiah 55:8-9 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.”
A young boy at the dinner table asked, “Dad, is God everywhere?” “Yes,” his father assured him, “God is everywhere.” “Is He in this room?” the boy wanted to know. “Of course,” his father said. “If God is everywhere, then He is in this room.” Eyeing the sugar bowl on the table, the boy continued, “Well, is God in that sugar bowl?” “Yes,” his father replied, “if God is everywhere, I guess we’d have to say that He’s even in the sugar bowl.” Reaching for the lid, the boy quickly slipped it over the bowl. “Gotcha’, God!” he said.
The Israelites also wanted a “sugar bowl” god, someone they could control. Isaiah rebuked them for cutting down a tree and using part of it to warm themselves and with the rest making it “into a god, his carved image. He falls down before it and worships it, prays to it and says, ‘Deliver me, for you are my god!'” (44:17). Israel wanted a god who could be contained in their temples and manipulated by their worship–but the God Isaiah had seen (6:1) was not that kind of a God.
How wonderful to know that the real God is so much greater than anything we can imagine or create. His ways and even His thoughts are so far beyond our finite minds that we can’t begin to comprehend Him. When we come to Him with our problems and our difficulties, we never have to worry about whether He’s big enough to handle them.
Don’t try to put God in a sugar bowl. You won’t be successful, for He is an awesome God. Rejoice that though you may not be able to understand Him, you will always be able to trust Him.
God will be God regardless of what we do!

A New Year – A New Beginning

Ecclesiastes 3:1 “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.”
What a privilege we have as Christians. We don’t have to trust in ourselves or our New Year Resolutions. There really is no such thing as luck. For God is a God of order and plan. He knows us better that we know ourselves. He even knew us before we were born. (Psalm 139). We can trust in the Lord.
Jeremiah 29:11-14 ” For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you, declares the LORD, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, declares the LORD, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile.
The words in the above verse are comforting. The Lord knows the plans He has for us. He is Omnipotent and Omnipresent.
When I look at the vastness of the universe that the Lord God created we should be overwhelmed with His love for us. This brings us comfort, peace and joy.
1 John 1:9 – Our New Year’s Resolution
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
Isn’t this the way to start your NEW YEAR?

Stand In The River

Joshua 3:8 “And as for you, command the priests who bear the Ark of the Covenant, ‘When you come to the brink of the waters of the Jordan, you shall stand still in the Jordan.’”

Joshua and all the Israelites were standing in front of the Jordan River. They were about to experience one of God’s miracles. From their story we can learn how Christians make God’s miracles happen.
The Israelites have to act; they have to go into the river first. I am sure they feared walking into a rushing river. They may have begun to doubt and think, ‘Will this river be cut off? Maybe we should wait until the river is cut off before stepping in!’ But God said to them that no matter what go to the river and stand in it first! That takes a true act of faith!

Many times we want verification before we try to something we are afraid of. We want to step into the river after it is cut off. We want to see first, and then believe. But God said to the believers, “Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Matthew 6:33)
We have to act first. Often, we are unsure whether or not to step into the river, because we do not trust that God will cut it off as He said. But, we need to rely on our faith and go and stand in the flowing river. God will cut off the river, and we will cross it on dry ground. We will praise God on the dry ground!

Prayer

2 Kings 19:14 “Hezekiah received the letter from the hand of the messengers and read it; and Hezekiah went up to the house of the Lord and spread it before the Lord.”
Here is one of the best pictures of prayer in the Bible. Hezekiah is king over Israel when the cruel and powerful Assyrian army marches against them. Rabshakeh, the army’s spokesman, sends a threatening letter and tells Hezekiah not to trust in his God for deliverance.
Here was an enormous temptation and a trial, all wrapped into one little scroll. There is the imminent danger of being razed to the ground by the Assyrian empire; then there is the verbal prompting not to trust in God for a rescue.
But how does Hezekiah deal with this letter? He receives it, he reads it…and then he takes it straight to the Lord and spreads it before Him. What a wonderful picture of prayer! It is the spreading of our problems, our temptations, our struggles before the Lord in the face of every temptation to do otherwise.
Are you today wrestling with a temptation to sin that is threatening to conquer you? Spread it before the Lord. Is your heart weighed down with some terrible worry, or sorrow, or pain? Spread it before the Lord. Have you felt the weight of your guilt before a holy God for the first time? Spread it before the Lord.
No one has ever come to the Lord and gone away disappointed. Hezekiah did not, and you will not.

Sunrise

John 12:46 “I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness.”
This world is dark as midnight; Jesus has come that by faith we may have light and may no longer sit in the gloom which covers all the rest of mankind.
“Whoever” is a very wide term: it means you and me. If we trust in Jesus we shall no more sit in the dark shadow of death but shall enter into the warm light of a day which shall never end. Why do we not come out into the light at once?
A cloud may sometimes hover over us, but we shall not abide in darkness if we believe in Jesus. He has come to give us broad daylight. Shall He come in vain.’ If we have faith we have the privilege of sunlight: let us enjoy it. From the night of natural depravity, of ignorance, of doubt, of despair, of sin, of dread, Jesus has come to set us free; and all believers shall know that He no more comes in vain than the sun rises and fails to scatter his heat and light.
Shake off your depression. Abide not in the dark, but abide in the light. In Jesus is your hope, your joy, Your heaven, Look to Him, to Him only, and you will rejoice as the birds rejoice at sunrise and as the angels rejoice before the throne.