The Wind Was Against Them

Sometimes it feels like everything is going against us, doesn’t it?

Our kids get sick.

Then the car breaks down.

Our boss starts driving us crazy.

Our bank balance gets down to a single digit.

And the refrigerator is empty….again.

We worry.

We struggle.

We stress.

We forget.

You and I forget that we have the Spirit of the Lord of the Universe living inside of us when we have put our faith in him.  He has the power to handle all of our problems.  When we turn to him, he can help us stop worrying, stop struggling and stop stressing.

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This truth became more real to me 8 years ago when I had the chance to visit the Sea of Galilee.  As we sailed over the water, the wind suddenly picked up, whipping through the boat and making it cold – not such a great afternoon to be out on the lake. I thought about the stormy night when the disciples were straining at the oars of their boat while the winds of a storm on the sea of Galilee battled against them. 

I could visualize Jesus as the water obeyed him and he walked on it out to the disciple’s boat. The reality of the power of Jesus became even more evident to me that day.  Jesus really is in control of everything.  He really does command the sea and the winds and everything around me.

I find that I am a lot like Peter who stepped out of the boat to walk to Jesus on the water and was doing great until he took his eyes off of Jesus and focused on the storm around him.  Then he started to sink just like I start to sink into worry and into anxiousness when I take my eyes off of Jesus.

Just like he did with Peter, Jesus reaches out his hand to me when I start to sink during the storms in my life and says, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?”  (Matt 14:31)  Then we climb into the boat together.  I am safe.  Secure. Forgiven.  Loved.

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Why do I doubt?

I have nothing to fear.  I have nothing to worry about.

There is no wind blowing against me that Jesus does not control and he loves me enough to sacrifice himself for me.

That says it all. 

 I just need to have faith and

keep my eyes on Jesus.

My Fears

What am I afraid of?

What are you afraid of?

This world can be a very scary place with evil lurking around every corner.  The worst can happen in an instant –

I’ve been there.  It’s indescribably shocking and painful.

So it seems logical that you and I would be afraid….. until we read what Jesus says to his disciples in Matthew 8, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” vs 26.

Wow!  Jesus directly correlates the fact that they are afraid to how much faith they have.  He is saying the same thing to you and I today.  Through his Word, God is telling us that our fears mean we’re not trusting him.

After thinking about this for a while, I have accepted that this is very true for me.  When I am worried, I am not trusting God.  The amount of my fear is a clear indication of the lack of my faith because I know God is in control.  He has a plan and purpose.  There is nothing that happens to me that has not gone through his hands.

So what am I afraid of?

My worst fear – that something bad would happen to one of my children – has already come true for both of them.  My daughter got cancer and my son was a police officer who was killed in the line of duty 6 years ago.

What a huge waste of time and effort fear is!  It didn’t change anything that has happened to them or to me.

God has used these difficult experiences to teach me many things.  One of them is to lay my worries and fears at God’s feet and leave them there.  He is the only one who can do anything about them.  The question is not ‘if’ something bad is going to happen to me again, the question is ‘when’.  My faith in God’s goodness has grown to the point that I’m prepared for the next struggle, not fearful.

It’s a fact that God loves me and wants the best for me.  He is faithful to walk beside me when bad things happen, giving me strength and helping me grow my trust in him.

Jesus said it thousands of years ago and it’s still true today – fear comes from a lack of faith.

My Fears

What am I afraid of?

What are you afraid of?

This world can be a very scary place with evil lurking around every corner.  The worst can happen in an instant –

I’ve been there.  It’s indescribably shocking and painful.

So it seems logical that you and I would be afraid….. until we read what Jesus says to his disciples in Matthew 8, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” vs 26.

Wow!  Jesus directly correlates the fact that they are afraid to how much faith they have.  He is saying the same thing to you and I today.  Through his Word, God is telling us that our fears mean we’re not trusting him.

After thinking about this for a while, I have accepted that this is very true for me.  When I am worried, I am not trusting God.  The amount of my fear is a clear indication of the lack of my faith because I know God is in control.  He has a plan and purpose.  There is nothing that happens to me that has not gone through his hands.

So what am I afraid of?

My worst fear – that something bad would happen to one of my children – has already come true for both of them.  My daughter got cancer and my son was a police officer who was killed in the line of duty 5 years ago.

What a huge waste of time and effort fear is!  It didn’t change anything that has happened to them or to me.

God has used these difficult experiences to teach me many things.  One of them is to lay my worries and fears at God’s feet and leave them there.  He is the only one who can do anything about them.  The question is not ‘if’ something bad is going to happen to me again, the question is ‘when’.  My faith in God’s goodness has grown to the point that I’m prepared for the next struggle, not fearful.

It’s a fact that God loves me and wants the best for me.  He is faithful to walk beside me when bad things happen, giving me strength and helping me grow my trust in him.

Jesus said it thousands of years ago and it’s still true today – fear comes from a lack of faith.

It’s a Plague

“Let my people go.” God told Moses to say these words to Pharaoh several times throughout the book of Exodus.  But Pharaoh’s heart was hard and he did not listen to God.  As a result, Pharaoh’s people experienced multiple plagues which built up to the painful and tragic deaths of all of their firstborn.

Looking at our culture, I can see a lot of hard hearts that are turned away from God.  I can see several modern-day plagues as well.

The Plague of Broken Families – the divorce rate just keeps rising and now large numbers of kids are being raised by single parents.  Many of these parents are trying their hardest but how much better it would be if they had a  loving partner to share the responsibilities so that their kids could experience all of the blessings of growing up in an unbroken family.

The Plague of ‘It’s All OK’ – it’s all ok as long as you don’t get caught.  Integrity is a lost value in our culture – we lost it at the same time we lost a correct sense of right and wrong.  Morality is a scary word to use these days.

The Plague of Emptiness – people are working harder and longer to pay off a mountain of debt that just keeps growing as they buy things they think will make them happy.  After buying the next thing and the initial happiness wears off, they start to look for the next thing that will make them happy, never really addressing the God-sized emptiness in their soul.  It’s not surprising that the list of things we can legally use to try to fill this hole is growing.

 The Plague of Fear – I have been truly amazed this last year by the level of constant fear I see in some people’s lives.  Yes, a worldwide pandemic can be a scary thing but God is in control.  He is good and perfect. He wants the best for those who have put their faith in him and he is working all things out for our good.  Yes, be careful.  Yes, be wise.  But those who trust in God don’t need to be afraid.

The answer to saving our families, bringing back the value of integrity, being whole and not living in fear is God.  The answer has always been God and will always be God.

Please soften our hearts towards you, Abba Father.

The Wind Was Against Them

Sometimes it feels like everything is going against us, doesn’t it?

Our kids get sick.

Then the car breaks down.

Our boss starts driving us crazy.

Our bank balance gets down to a single digit.

And the election ends in a mess.

We worry.

We struggle.

We stress.

We forget.

You and I forget that we have the Spirit of the Lord of the Universe living inside of us when we have put our faith in him.  He has the power to handle all of our problems.  When we turn to him, he can help us stop worrying, stop struggling and stop stressing.gdtDSC_0639

This truth became more real to me 6 years ago when I had the chance to visit the Sea of Galilee.  As we sailed through the water, I thought about the stormy night when the disciples were straining at the oars of their boat while the winds of a storm battled against them.  I could visualize Jesus walking on the water out to the disciple’s boat.

The reality of the power of Jesus became even more evident to me that day.  Jesus really is in control of everything.  He really does command the sea and the winds and everything around me.

I find that I am a lot like Peter who stepped out of the boat to walk to Jesus on the water and was doing great until he took his eyes off of Jesus and focused on the storm around him.  Then he started to sink just like I start to sink into worry and into anxiousness when I take my eyes off of Jesus.

Like Peter, Jesus reaches out his hand to me in my distress and says, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?”  (Matt 14:31)  Then we climb into the boat together.  I am safe.  Secure. Forgiven.  Loved.

Why did I doubt?gdtDSC_0632

I have nothing to fear.  I have nothing to worry about.

There is no wind blowing against me that Jesus does not control and he loves me enough to sacrifice himself for me.

That says it all.  I just need to have faith and keep my eyes on Jesus.

Thank you, dear Jesus.

My Fears

What am I afraid of?

What are you afraid of?

This world can be a very scary place with evil lurking around every corner.  The worst can happen in an instant –

I’ve been there.

So it seems logical that you and I would be afraid……. until we read what Jesus says to us in Matthew 8, “Why are you afraid?  You have so little faith.”

Wow!  Jesus directly correlates the fact that I am afraid to how much faith I have.

God is telling me that my fears mean I’m not trusting him.

I know this is true for me.  When I am worried, I am not trusting God.  The amount of my fear is a clear indication of the lack of my faith because I know God is in control.  He has a plan and purpose.  There is nothing that happens to me that has not gone through his hands.

So what am I afraid of?

My worst fear – that something bad would happen to one of my children – has already come true for both of them.  My daughter got cancer and my son was a police officer who was killed in the line of duty three years ago.

What a huge waste of time and effort fear is!  It didn’t change anything that has happened to me.

God has used these experiences to teach me many things.  One of them is to lay my worries and fears at God’s feet and leave them there.  He is the only one who can do anything about them.

It’s a fact that he loves me and wants the best for me.  He is faithful to walk beside me when bad things happen, helping me to grow my faith and trust in him.

Fear comes from a lack of faith.

Thank you for your faithfulness, Abba Father.

Fear

It makes me anxious.

It makes me worry.

It makes me focus on ‘what if?”

My fears usually center around situations that I have no control over.  There is nothing I can do to get rid of these thoughts that fill my mind with dread –

except trust God.

He is in control.  He loves me and wants the best for me.  I believe that with all of my heart and soul.  He has proven it over and over.

When I remember to trust God with all of it, the fear goes away.  Confidence in my Good Father wipes out the anxiety and worry.  I say to myself, “What if I just let God handle this?” and the dread of what could happen disappears.  I know that, no matter what, God is going to walk beside me through it.  He has always been faithful in the past, he will always be faithful in the future.

The spies who Moses sent into the Promised land seriously missed this trusting in God idea.  They were scared – the people living in the Promised land were big and powerful.  Their towns were large with high walls around them.

The spies spread their fear through the rest of the Israelites until they became so scared that God tells us in the Bible that they cried all night.

Caleb and Joshua were two of the spies and their report was much different from the rest.  “Let’s go at once to take the land.  We can surely conquer it.”

What?  The people of Israel were trembling in fear and Caleb is saying they must go ‘at once to take the land’?  How could the response of Caleb and Joshua be the opposite of what the rest of the spies were saying?

The difference was that Caleb and Joshua trusted God.  It was not about the Israelites doing this on their own.  God had promised to give them the land, so God was going to do it.

They trusted God so they were willing to obey him in spite of how the situation looked.

How good am I at trusting God in those kinds of situations?

How trusting are you?  Have you been anxious or fearful lately?

Please help us trust you with all things, Abba Father.  Take away our fears and anxiety.

He’s Got This

I’m on a separate path.  Not the same as everyone else.

God is telling me in Isaiah 8 to look at what everyone else is afraid of and……

don’t be afraid.

If you’re a believer, he’s telling you that, too.

“Don’t fear what they fear.”

We have so much we could be afraid of –

disease,

accidents,

rejection,

betrayal,

failure,

loneliness,

and so much more.

When we are trusting in Jesus as our Savior, we don’t need to be afraid of those things.  Jesus is walking right next to us, guiding us through everything that happens to us – working it out for our good.

Dying can be a constant fear hanging over our heads like a big, black thundercloud.  This ominous cloud sends down lighting which strikes us – often by surprise and  without reason.

But those of us who trust in God don’t need to fear our own deaths.  In God’s eyes, death on earth is life is heaven.  His son or daughter comes home – leaving behind all of the pain and sin in this world.

No more tears.

No more trials.

God tells us we have nothing to fear – not even death.  He’s got this.

Thank you, Abba Father.

The Wind Was Against Them

Sometimes it feels like everything is going against us, doesn’t it?

Our kids get sick.

Then the car breaks down.

Our boss starts driving us crazy.

And our bank balance gets down to a single digit.

We worry.

We struggle.

We stress.

We forget.

We forget that we have the Spirit of the Lord of the Universe living inside of us.  He has the power to handle all of our problems.  When we turn to him, he can help us stop worrying, stop struggling and stop stressing.gdtDSC_0639

This truth became more real to me last year when I had the chance to visit the Sea of Galilee.  As we sailed through the water, I thought about the stormy night when the disciples were straining at the oars of their boat while the winds of a storm battled against them.  I could visualize Jesus walking out to the boat.

The reality of the power of Jesus became even more evident to me that day.  Jesus really is in control of everything.  He really does command the sea and the winds and everything around me.gdtDSC_0632

I have nothing to fear.

I have nothing to worry about.

There is no wind blowing against me that he does not control.

And he loves me enough to sacrifice himself for me.

That says it all.

I just need to believe and obey.

Thank you, dear Jesus.

Open My Eyes

We can be so blind!

Blinded by the immediate.

Blinded by what everyone else thinks.June 10 2015 Open my eyes

Blinded by what we want or what we think is right.

Blinded by our routines or traditions.

Blinded by worry.

Blinded by trying to control everything and everyone around us.

Sometimes we’re so blind!

Unable to open our eyes…

open our minds….

open our hearts….

To the truth….

to a new reality…

to uncomfortable yet very real feelings.

We need God’s help to heal our blindness.

Sometimes we can be just like Elisha’s servant in 2 Kings 6 who was afraid of the huge enemy army which surrounded the city they were in.  Elisha prayed, ‘Open his eyes, Lord, so he may see.”

And when the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, he looked up and saw the hills around Elisha full of horses and chariots of fire.

God’s army.

Elisha was not worried – he knew the truth.  God had his back and there was no cause for alarm.

Elisha’s eyes were already opened to the omnipotence and faithfulness of his Father God.

He knew the truth.

Please open our eyes, Dear Father.