God’s Path is our Plan

There are times in our lives, when we can see our path clearly and it is well defined. Then there are other times, when we feel like we are in a dense fog, doing good to just take one step at a time. It seems that everything is put on hold and out of wack. This is not a time to panic, but to pray and trust God. We need do our best each day and take it one step at a time. We have a tendency to want to rush on ahead into the dense fog of the unknown, which can be dangerous. We are always in a hurry to “get over it”. We are slow to recognize that God can even use this difficult time in our lives. We can grow stronger because God is with us in the midst of the mess. This can be an opportunity for Him to continue to build and develop our character and faith by “going through it” while trusting in Him. As we go and grow through these tough times, here are encouraging words from some of my all time favorite verses found in the Psalms…

“I sought the Lord and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.” – Psalm 34:4 (NKJV)

“The Lord hears His people when they call Him for help. He rescues them from all their troubles.” – Psalm 34: 17 (NLT)

“Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust Him and He will help you.” – Psalm 37:3 (NLT)

“The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives. Though they stumble, they will never fall, for the Lord holds them by the hand.” – Psalm 37:23-24 (NLT)

“Put your trust in the Lord. Travel steadily along His path.” – Psalm 34:34 (NLT)

” I waited patiently for the Lord to help me, ways and He turned to me and heard my cry He lifted me up out of the pit of despair.” – Psalm 40: 1-2 (NLT)

Someday down the road, we can look back and say with the Psalmist…“ What if the Lord had not been on our side? Our help is from the Lord, who made Heaven and earth.” ( Psalm 124:4,8)

In the meantime, may you and I look to the Lord for the strength that we need to keep going… one step at a time, because that is God’s path and it is our plan.

Essential Things to take with us for the journey ahead…

Patient endurance is what you need right now, so you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that God has promised.” – Hebrews 10:36 ( NLT)

We have never been on this path before now. It will be awkward and some times slow going around some unforeseen obstacles. It will not be perfect or always an easy path, but we will get to a better place one step at a time. Here are some things we need to carry with us for this journey.

PERSEVERANCE. Dr. Steve Arterburn is correct when he said that… “ what is required here is perseverance not perfection.” We need to focus more on perseverance. This starts with pacing ourselves each day. This is a marathon not a sprint we are in right now. Making a realistic and flexible schedule or list of things we need to each today is helpful in properly pacing ourselves.

GRACE. We need to give ourselves and other people more grace right now. This is not the time to give up on ourselves or each other. We must not discount the fact we are all under more stress and uncertainty than we were just a few months ago.

ENCOURAGEMENT. We need more of it and we need to share it with others. We need to seek more of it, find it, and then pass it on to others. Share it with others in conversations , text or other messages with people. “So encourage each other and give each other strength by building each other, just as you are doing now.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:11

Finding Hope at the Mailbox

Sometimes God uses little things to say big things to us. In the last few weeks, I found some uplifting surprises at our mailbox. There was a small rock painted with the words Faith, Hope, Love. There was also a little bag of Easter candy with a inspirational note, and another handwritten note with encouraging words and a Bible verse on it. Each of these were from some of our neighborhood friends. What simple but wonderful acts of kindness.

It is easy to withdraw into self-pity these days. Instead of just feeling sorry for ourselves…What little things can you and I do to encourage other people in a big way? Instead of just praying mostly for ourselves, how about taking some time to pray for someone else that comes to your mind. Send a note or text, give them a phone call, etc… This would be a great time to let special people in your life know how much you appreciate or admire them. Everybody could use a little extra encouragement these days.

This is an important time for us to share the positive side of our faith. People are realizing the importance of believing in something bigger than themselves. What a opportunity for us to share the Love of Jesus with others, especially because Faith, Hope and Love lasts forever (1 Corinthians 13:13).

Because of the first Easter…

I took this photo on the North Carolina coast last year. It reminded me that we can worship God anywhere. That is also true this Easter, with the limitations we all have to deal with staying at home; in order to limit spread of the Corona Virus. We are limited, but God is not limited and we can worship Him wherever we are! Because of what Jesus did for us on that very first Easter, we have so much to be thankful for, such as…

FORGIVENESS. Jesus, who never sinned, took our sin, and died on the cross, so that we could experience God’s Love and Forgiveness. (Romans 5:8)

ETERNAL LIFE. Jesus did not just die on the cross fo us but He is also our source of eternal life. (Romans 6:23)

GOD’S LOVE. The Bible teaches us that in John 3:16… for God so loved the world (that includes you and me), that He gave us Jesus.

JESUS GIVES US STRENGTH. “I an do all things through Christ, who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:13)

HELP IN DIFFICULT TIMES. “Jesus said, in the world you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer, for I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

HOPE. “May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God the Father who loved us by His grace, gave us eternal encouragement and good hope.”

( 2 Thessalonians 2:16 )

PEACE of MIND. “The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:7)

All of this and much more, because what Jesus did for you and me on that very first Easter…

We have a lot to be thankful for…This Easter!

And don’t forget that..

”Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever!” (Hebrews 13: 8)

I Hope you have Happy Easter celebrating Jesus, wherever you are right now.