[podcast above from the Chapel in Chicago's Midway Airport]
This is a briefing about faith.
I want to encourage you to be strong in your faith in Almighty God. You see, our lives are to be built on the firm foundation of our great and mighty God, not rocked to and fro, no matter the difficulties and challenges of life.
This morning I was in North Carolina with my daughter and we were driving Alyssa, soon to be five, to school. I noticed at the stoplight that Amy was checking an election app to see if Michigan had been ‘called’ or what states would finish blue or red. I was filing my fingernails and just casually said, ‘I am remembering and believing what Paul wrote, Amy - all things are going to work for good for us - because we love God and are called by his purpose.1 God has not been caught off guard by this election, Hon.’
I find myself saying and thinking that a lot: God was not caught off guard by this . . . by Covid . . . or the economic downturn (we are still at half-pay in our home). He was not caught off guard by this contentious election, or any of the other unreal things that have taken place in 2020. And now as I wing my way across the country to Southern California, we still do not know who has been elected president. Note: while we don't know the outcome, God does.
Harkening back to the start of this craziness when we were first quarantined, I went from writing Morning Briefings three days a week to five days a week to encourage each of us to T.H.R.I.V.E.:
T - Trust God fully
H - look for the leading of the Holy Spirit
R - Read God's Word daily
I - Be Intentional with wise choices in praying, reading, watching and listening
V - Value every day . . . do not just get by! Plant flowers, get creative, love well
E - Exercise.
Living a mediocre daily existence is fraught with disappointment, sometimes despair, and it certainly does not honor God with the precious gift of life we have. The six reminders of THRIVE have kept me focused on living life fully.
In the last couple briefings, we considered the song/prayer of Waymaker--that our God is the Waymaker, Miracle worker, Promise keeper and Light in the darkness. The songwriter then drills down on one huge element in our Christian faith:
Even when we don’t feel it, God is still working.
We must never let the strength of our faith be determined by how we feel. [read that again]. Our God is always at work… look what Jesus said:
-> “My Father is always at his work to this very day,
and I too am working.”2
God responds to the prayers of his children as the psalmist indicated in Psalm 37. Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.3 I have seen the creative hand of God move in answer to my prayers--things only He could do, as the Master Weaver. I picture a smile on his face as he delights in answering prayer because he is so good. Indeed, ‘the LORD is good. His unfailing love continues forever, and his faithfulness continues to each generation.’4
Sometimes we pray and we pray, and it seems God does not hear or is so very slow to answer. Yet I love this:Prayer never evaporates. It sets into motion forces as inexorable and perhaps as "unhurriable" as a glacier, but when the Lord's arm reaches down, no power in heaven or earth will frustrate him.5
God never forgets your prayers; in fact the prayers of the saints are saved in bowls in Heaven.6
Don’t stop praying for your Prodigal to turn around and come home,
don’t stop praying for revival to come to our country,
don’t ever stop praying and believing for good in our elected officials…
God hears our prayers from Heaven.
Yes indeed! God is on the throne, making the way for you--
keeping his promises, working miracles, guiding you in the darkness…always working. That produces HOPE because it is TRUTH - a sure reason to leave fear in your rearview mirror and have a strong faith in him. And then, choose each day to T.H.R.I.V.E..
1 - Romans 8.28
2 - John 5.17
3 - Psalm 37.4
4 - Psalm 100.5
5 - Elisabeth Elliot
6 - Revelation 5.8
5/Worship: The Same Power, Jeremy Camp,