Be Still and Know!

Be Still and Know!

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells. God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day. Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; he lifts his voice, the earth melts. The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Come and see what the Lord has done, the desolations he has brought on the earth. He makes cease to the ends of the earth. He breaks the bow and shatters the spear;  he burns the shields with fire. He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Psalm 46 NIV

I know there are many people out there right now who disdain the use of “God” or “Jesus” and they feel justified in doing so, but I’m reminding those who believe in His plan for their lives to remember His promises and be still and know, He has not forgotten you.

In the midst of crisis, it’s difficult for any of us to stay focused on God’s promises when we feel our lives are at risk. Believing God does not mean we do stupid things or act unwisely in the midst of a crisis, but we seek His wisdom and hold fast to our faith that He will make a way.

Hurricanes are an act of nature and God saves in the midst of hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, and all manner of situations in which we have no control. But if we act wisely, trusting our dependence on Him, He will see us through what nature tends to throw our way.

Yes, bad things happen to good people and only God knows why He allows certain things to happen to some people and not others. I’m not God, so I’m not going to pretend I have all the answers, but I trust Him. “In all our getting, get wisdom.” “Wisdom is the principal thing.” Solomon repeatedly refers to the wisdom being the utmost importance. When we things through and act wisely, we could avoid certain devastations. And though we get upset over the loss of things, we must remember things can be replaced–lives won’t be. So the wisdom we must exercise is about saving lives, not things.

Even though Harvey was predicted in enough time for people to make provisions to move out of the way of danger, most people could not have imagined the rain that would proceed in the aftermath. This is not an act of God–it is an act of nature and if anyone wants to attribute the storm to being an act of God, and attempt to claim it is retribution for the people who live there–they make a mockery of who God is.

For the religious-right who have said John McCain’s cancer is God’s retribution because of a vote–shame on them. They obviously have no knowledge of God and how He functions in the earth. But the rub here is–some of those same folks would “never” say the storm is retribution for the wrongs they have done against the poor and the needy. God doesn’t get into our politics because what we do–who we vote for and put into positions of authority are on us–and when we don’t act wisely, we don’t get wise leadership in those positions of authority.

In the coming days, it will be extremely difficult for some to hold onto their faith and know that in the end, everything will be all right. I’m confident that acting wisely, seeing to the needs of others and taking care of self will result in lives being saved. I encourage everyone who can to make donations to American Red Cross so they will have adequate resources to meet the needs of the people. Donations can be made online (with a minimum of $10). I made my contribution and would love to see as many people as possible do the same–especially those who recently won lotteries. Now is a good time to help others in need.

My heart and thoughts are embedded in the crisis in Texas and I will continue praying for their safety and for the rains to abate. God knows what it is He wants to accomplish in the hearts of men and women everywhere and I’m sure it will be as He has determined.  Stay safe!

 

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Wind Tossed!

But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord” (James 1:6,7).

Watching the waves of the sea roil, without consideration for anything in its path can be terrifying and yet it can also be spell-binding. The wind–the mass of air that no one see–can be an awesome wonder to watch. I’ve watched the wind–a tornado–tear the roof off of an apartment building right behind the one I was in. I’ve watched the damage of the wind–from a hurricane–turn lives upside down. I can only imagine how absolutely petrified people might become when watching a tsunami, fueled by angry winds destroy their livelihoods, homes, and lives. The wind–a force by which no one can control or see–has the power to change lives. 

Now, think about that power and how James compares doubt to that power. When doubt moves us from faith, we give doubt the power to change our lives and keep us from receiving that for which we have asked of God. In the beginning of this chapter, James is talking about asking God for wisdom, but he references something the Jesus said when He was teaching His disciples about prayer. “Whatever we say and don’t doubt, we can have (paraphrase). “When we pray, we believe we receive and we shall have it,” (Mark 11:22,23). Jesus shows us how powerful faith can be, but James demonstrates how powerful doubt can be with the illustration of the wind and waves.

The question we must ask ourselves is, are we wind-tossed or are we standing in faith, believing we can have what we ask of God? Perhaps, the answer lies in whether or not we can honestly say we have asked and received or we have asked and doubted (if only for a nanosecond) and not received. Therefore, “since faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen” we have two powerful forces working in our lives that no can visibly see–faith and doubt. If we stand firm on our faith in God, we shall see the “stuff” which is the evidence of God’s working on our behalf, even though we didn’t see how He did it. And like the wind (we see the results of wind’s movement, not wind itself) so too shall we see the results of faith or doubt in our lives.

Whatever it is we need right now–we can ask of God, in the name of Jesus, stand firmly in faith that we will receive it and we shall have it. If we need healing–we ask and receive; if we need a financial blessing–we ask and receive; if we need direction–we ask and receive; if we need wisdom (the first request)–we ask and receive.  We shall have whatever we ask for when we do not allow doubt to deter (move) our faith! Glory to God for favor and faith to accomplish all He has planned for us! Hallelujah!

In the Midst of the Storms

We have arrived in this season at a point where many will have to take shelter at a moment’s notice.

Spring–usually the beginning of tumultuous storms–tornadoes, hurricanes, thunder and lightning–means we have to learn to take cover in an instant, sometimes without warning.  Remember, Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz–the wind, and rain that led her family underground for shelter, but she didn’t make it?

Life has its own storms we must learn to weather–sickness, disease, betrayal, disappointment, loss of loved ones–and we must know where we can seek shelter from these storms.  The shelter or refuge we seek when life’s storms are suddenly upon us is in His arms.  God is our refuge–hiding place, shelter–where we can be safe and secure from impending doom.  We can weather it all because of Him.  The winds of life may cause us to bend or sway, but they won’t break us or destroy us before we run to safety if we remember–He is our refuge, a strong tower–in the midst of any storm, we will survive.

Trust Him today to be the shelter or refuge you need in the midst of life’s storms.  He’s closer than you think and His arms are outstretched, waiting for you.