The following text message from a young woman came across my phone on Wednesday as I was flying cross country. She had been to THRIVE the previous week, hence her quote. "You said 'don't doubt in the night what you know to be true in the light" . . . how do you do that? How do you find complete peace in Jesus when it feels like things are so uncertain? I feel like I can't see the water in the wasteland at this moment." (I'm not sure of her circumstances.) Hmmm...
I have seen your reaction after this news bit broke.
I was having lunch with you when that phone call came, Sometimes your heart is so heavy over those circumstances out of your control, where is your trust in the God who's name you profess? Hmmm...
This morning I read David’s words, God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.1 And then I wrote it in my Moleskine
journal, personalizing it: “God you are my refuge and strength,
ever-present help ~ O thank you, God! Yes, you are – no matter
what else is going on in and around my life.
Just eleven short verses in this song of David,
and I guess I haven’t ever felt quite so keenly about how fitting it is for life,
or just how beautiful for situation.
I had a flashback of a purple mimeographed sheet with my memory verse on it,
“For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever,
and his faithfulness to all generations...”2
We trust God, we do believe he is able, but the challenge is to keep his promises uppermost in our minds as we go throughout our day—at work, at home, in our vehicles, at the beach, sitting bedside at the hospital. Is there a solution to increase our awareness of his presence and involvement in our lives? Because I’ve got to tell you, I can be ever so sure, ever so aware, and then I get a disturbing phone call from someone I love and boom--my God-trusting mental peace is threatened!
Is there a solution? Is there some other way of living so I am not the flimflam man? Yes, I believe so.
Here’s the Trust Plan: (and yes, some of it will be so familiar because its TRUTH!)
1. 15-Minute Resolution or your Power/15. Appoint 15 minutes for God each morning. Get up, read scripture, pray/communicate with the Lord. Ask God to refill you with his Spirit, to renew and increase your faith in him. That is a prayer he died to answer. Engage a worship song such as the one at the end of this podcast or the bottom of this briefing.
2. Visual Reminders. What reminds you of God’s faithfulness? Could be a picture, a word or a verse that will instantly center you on the Rock, rather than the shifting sand of circumstances. After all, we are living in unprecedented days!
~You might write a powerful scripture on a post-it note, carry it with you and memorize it.
3. Consumption Awareness. Is your media intake helpful? I love what Paul
said on this: “Everything is permissible,” but not everything is helpful. “Everything is permissible,” but not everything builds up.3 Recently, a
woman told me she had let Facebook overtake her life … wait, what? And I've heard of people wasting an hour on Instagram ...? Let's be aware. Consider how you feel, what you think about after you scroll through that or watch such and such a thing? Are you better for your time engaged on that website or… activity? Hmmm.
4. Do not be an island. We need to be in community, we were made for it.
Get intentional and associate, communicate and affiliate with other
faith-filled Christ followers—especially positive, optimistic ones, who really
do live as though they know God is Able, he is on the throne, and he has got this!
*perhaps this is more complicated with Covid; but it is doable. You just have to think outside the box. You can do it! [If you're within 75 miles of San Clemente, you can drive and join our Thursday community, THRIVE - SC Outlets parking lot, near Chick-Fil-A, 10 am. Its worth the drive I'm told by those who drive that far!]
O Friend, God is more than able, and if you are like me,
you want to live like you really believe that.
You really want to live in trust … so now you’ve got your very own Trust Plan.
1 – Psalm 46.1
2 – Psalm 100.5
3 – 1 Corinthians 10.23, HCSB
5/Prayer: Praise God for who he is - Heavenly Father, Creator, Savior, Good Shepherd. Center yourself on him and who he wants you to be. Ask him to put someone in your path that you can love and serve today so that you might be a little more like him. Lift your requests to him and leave them at the foot of the cross. Thank him for his good gifts which are many. Amen.
5/Worship: Sparrows, Cory Asbury, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=15PH7qGvs9k