It was pointed out to me that yesterday’s post veered somewhat from my previous format in that it contained imperative statements. Why? Because I was speaking to myself in my present faith fight. Being recently introduced to John Piper’s ministry, I am learning that there are times when we should preach to souls like David did in so many of his Psalms. John Piper says, “Soul, Do you believe that Soul?” lol His passion is inspiring, contagious and dare I say . . envious.
I love ministers who are transparent. Because, when I am in a test or trial it is comforting to know that , I am not “the only one” and more so, I am not the” first one” to face this circumstance. God is not gasping and grasping for solutions for my ( your) situation. But as Solomon said in Ecclesiastes 1:9 , there is nothing new under the sun. Reading in the scriptures about the lives of people like Job, Abraham, Sarah, Moses, Elijah reveals God’s faithful and trustworthy character to us.
Many times condemning internal thoughts serve as messengers of discouragement that are to be captured and cast down. The presence of adversity is not an indictment against my (your) faith. And though Sister” SuperChristian” may tell me that if I would go to church more, pray more or pay more, then I can avoid trouble. I choose to believe Jesus. Jesus’ words are precious jewels to me. And Jesus forewarned that I (you) will have tribulation.
“These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”__ John 16:33 KJV
God is our Master. He has a plan for us, not just a good plan, a God plan. The creator of the universe who sees the end from the beginning has a plan for me (you). Knowing this has answered so many questions about why I am wired the way that I am. (Why did my essays always seem to come under the required word count? Because I am writing a blog, not a novel. lol) It can build our (my) confidence in who we are (I am) in Christ. Jeremiah 29:11 says, For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.
God’s plan is simple but not easy. God’s plan is to make us more like Jesus (Romans 8:29). And one of the methods He uses is to take away distractions and obstacles to our destiny. God will prune away obstacles like unfruitful habits, pride, known sin and distractions (like my 5-year plan, impatience) that leave no room for His plan. Jesus told us:
I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. __John 15:1-5 (emphasis added)
Sometimes just knowing that there IS a plan, the character of the Master Planner and the promise that the result will be profitable gives me strength to endure. God is the only One who can subtract to multiply. I am now drawing my strength, my “sap” from the True Vine; Not leaning on God but living IN God moment by moment.
Grace and Peace,
The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun_ Ecclesiastes 1:9 KJV
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.__ Romans 8:28-29 KJV