Category Archives: Faith

When Trees Clap Their Hands

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You will indeed go out with joy
and be peacefully guided;
the mountains and the hills will break into singing before you,
and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.

Isaiah 55:12

The scorching Georgia heat radiated off the black tar of the parking lot where I stood waiting to meet my son. He was running late, and I was quickly running out of patience. To make the most of the delay, I pulled out my cell phone to check emails. But as soon as I read the first sentence, the sickening sight of a blank screen and dying battery appeared, and my frustration level escalated.

I felt a slight, welcomed breeze blow through my hair as I looked for a shady place to sit, and I glanced toward the sky to see if a summer storm might be brewing. That’s when I noticed the lone tree topped with limbs forming a perfectly shaped cross. The beautiful scene stopped me in my tracks as I felt God nudging me with a reminder that my day had been so jammed with appointments and to-do lists, I had not taken time out for HIM.  He too had been waiting for His child to meet Him…and she was too busy.

“Holy goosebumps” tingled from head to toe as I felt God bending down reminding me to align my priorities appropriately. He paused my schedule right there in the blazing hot parking lot to send me a sign of His love. The tree He destined as my messenger also served as my shade from the scorching sun. I remembered the verse from Isaiah,

“You will indeed go out with joy and be peacefully guided; the mountains and the hills will break into singing before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.”

Joy and peace were blatantly absent from the hours leading up tho this moment, but my frustration melted into joy while I treasured this heaven-sent gift. I did not schedule this divine appointment, but I am so thankful that He interrupted my chaotic life with a holy meeting.

I pray that God will open your eyes and ears to the sights and sounds of mountains singing and trees clapping their praise to Him…or growing their limbs in the shape of a cross! Make your time with Him a priority, and He will fill you with joy and guide you peacefully through your day.

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Keep Your Eyes on God ~ not your difficulties

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Eyes on God

“Then Peter called to him: ‘Sir, if it is really you, tell me to come over to you, walking on the water.’ ‘All right,’ the Lord said, ‘come along!’ So Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus. But when he looked around at the high waves, he was terrified and began to sink. ‘Save me, Lord!’ he shouted.”

Matthew 14:28 – 30 TLB

We may not walk on water, but we do walk through periods of tumultuous circumstances in life. If we focus on the swirling waves of difficulties surrounding us, we can easily feel like we are being swallowed up by the surge of life’s problems.

Peter experienced a rather unusual example of God’s power when he went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus. His faith in Jesus gave him the courage to throw his leg over the side of the boat and step out into the stormy sea.  However, his faith wavered when he realized what he was doing. Once he took his eyes off Jesus and focused on the crushing waves around him, he began to sink.

Like Peter, we often start out with great intentions. We may be “prayed up” and filled with holy confidence before we begin to face the day. But once we wade into the undulating sea of life, our faith begins to falter, and we sink in despair. We feel ill-equipped to navigate the storms that batter us. Yet this doesn’t mean that we have failed. When Peter’s faith faltered, he immediately reached out to Jesus. In his time of greatest fear, he called on his Savior to rescue him.

When you are afraid of the troubles that swirl around you, keep your eyes on Jesus’ power rather than your own inadequacies. Call out to Him for help, and He will rescue you from the stormy seas.

“We have to pray with our eyes on God ~ not on the difficulties.” ~ Oswald Chambers

“Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said “why did you doubt?” And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “truly you are the Son of God.”

Matthew 14:31-33

On We Go!

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Go Forward

 

 

“Then the Lord said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to move on. 
Raise your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea to divide the water 
so that the Israelites can go through the sea on dry ground.”
Exodus 14:15 – 16 (NIV)
 

Is God telling you to “move on” today? Is there something you have been praying about, and you sense that God has told you to move in a direction that seems humanly impossible? You can always be sure that if God leads you to it, He will lead you through it.  If you listen carefully to your Heavenly Father’s divine directives and follow His guidance, He can turn dead ends into miraculous detours.

With mountains on one side and the red sea at their backs, the Israelites felt trapped as Pharaoh’s pursuing army closed in on them.  There was no obvious route for their escape, and the people were terrified. But God told Moses to stop crying out to Him and start moving…into the direction of the Red Sea!  The people had no idea that God would part the sea for them to cross on dry land.  As God’s chosen leader, Moses told the people, “Do not be afraid.  Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today.  The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” (Exodus 14: 13)  Moses had just witnessed God’s incredible deliverance of the Israelites out of bondage from Egypt, and he had faith that God would again protect His children and provide a way of escape from the approaching army. Moses obeyed God’s command, raised his staff, stretched out his hand over the sea, and watched the miracle unfold before his eyes as the sea parted and made a way of escape for God’s children.

So there comes a time when we need to stop praying and start doing. If Moses had doubted God’s directives and continued praying for another answer, the Israelites might have been doomed. Often we refrain from doing whatever God is calling us to do because we are fearful and we doubt our abilities.  But even in your most desperate situations, you can be sure that God is whispering in your ear, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsakeyou.” (Deuteronomy 31:6)  So with God by your side, you can have confidence to move on. Absolutely nothing is impossible for the God of all possibilities.  Never doubt His power nor His abilities.  His thoughts are higher than our thoughts, and His solutions are beyond our imagination. God’s greatest work is accomplished through our weaknesses.  When we are weak, He is strong, and in our weaknesses God can shine!  On we go!

“Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With man, this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.'” Matthew 19:26 (NIV)

“I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.” Philippians 3:14 (NLT)

Seeing with Eyes of Faith

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Faith is like a radar
“The path we walk is charted by faith, not by what we see with our eyes.”
2 Corinthians 5:7 (VOICE)
 

If you have ever driven through a dense fog, you know how difficult it is to navigate safely through the dangerous conditions, especially if you are unfamiliar with the road. Your visibility is limited, and you can’t see what hazards lie ahead.

Sometimes your journey through life can also feel like you are passing through a thick cloud bank of uncertainty.  You can’t see what lies ahead, and you feel scared and unsure of which direction you should head.  But the Author of Life sees your future clearly. After all, He wrote your story, and He knows the beginning, the middle and the end.  If you place your faith in Him and allow His divine guidance to be your radar, you can be certain that He will chart the BEST path for your life. Trust Him for all the things your human eyes cannot see.

 

Your ears will hear sweet words behind you: “Go this way. There is your path; this is how you should go” whenever you must decide whether to turn to the right or the left. Isaiah 30:21 (VOICE)

 Teach me your ways, O Lord, teach me your paths; Guide me in your truth and teach me, for your are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long. Psalm 25:4-5 (NIV)
 
So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
2 Corinthians 4:18 (NIV)

Hope Sets us Free

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Hope sets us free to experience joy

May the God of Hope fill you with all
JOY and PEACE
as you trust in him,
so that you may overflow with hope…
Romans 15:13 (NIV)
 

With God, nothing is impossible!  So if you place your trust in the God of All Possibilities…if you wholeheartedly believe in the God of Miracles…if you have faith in the God of Hope…you will be filled with joy and peace.  Your feeling of hopelessness will change to hope-FULL-ness, so much so that you will be filled to the brim and bubbling over with hope. The despair, distress and discouragement that once consumed you will be replaced with confident expectation.

So if your life circumstances seem irreversible, incurable, or insurmountable, simply place your trust in the God of Hope and experience His joy and peace.

“For with God nothing will be impossible.”
Luke 1:37 (NKJV)
 
“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.”
Hebrews 11:1 (NIV)
 
“We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.”
Hebrews 6:19 (NIV)

Sometimes God Calms the Storm…

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Sometimes God calms the storm..

                                                                                                                                                                   (Quote by Leslie Gould ~ The Amish Nanny)

“He stilled the storm to a whisper;

    the waves of the sea were hushed.”

Psalm 107:29 (NIV)

When facing a storm in life, most of us prefer that God would simply speak and hush the storm to a whisper. But instead, “sometimes He lets the storm rage and calms His child…” And if you ever witness God’s unfathomable greatness in action during times of extreme distress, you gain a divinely deeper understanding of His limitless power and love than you would if He simply calmed the storm.  In turbulent times, your faith is stretched and expanded to new limits and you receive a marvelous insight: when hope in God is all you have left ~ that’s all you really need.  His grace, protection, and provision are sufficient to help you weather any tempestuous circumstances.

Lately it seems you can’t turn on the news without hearing about many terrible crises taking place around the world (or even in your own town).  The latest headlines consist of a multitude of “bad news” items including ~ natural disasters, viral epidemics, political unrest, terror threats, volatile conditions and horrific violence.  It might be that things in your life are going well, but when you hear the dreadful reports, you become engulfed with fear and anxiety .  If you find yourself suffering from a feeling of worry or despair over world events or your own life events, remember the words of Jesus, “I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace and confidence. In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer [take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted]! For I have overcome the world. [I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you.]” John 16:33 (AMP)

So as His child, allow His words to penetrate your heart and give you perfect peace and confidence, so that you will be calm in the midst of any storm you face.

 “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”  James 1:2 – 3 (NIV)
 
“Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.” James 1:12 (NIV)

Hallelujah, He Has Risen!

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‘He is not here; he has risen!
Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: 
‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners,
be crucified and on the third day be raised again.”  
Then they remembered his words.’
Luke 24: 6 – 8 (NIV)
“Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?”
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.
But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”  
1 Corinthians 15: 55 – 57 (NIV)
 

One perfect man was the supreme sacrifice for all.  The unblemished Lamb of God shed His blood on the cross to pay for all our mistakes and wrong-doings.

His glorious resurrection fulfilled the prophesy of the Scriptures, verified the exact words that he told His disciples, and provided the ultimate proof that He is truly The Son of God, the Messiah.  Because He lives, death has been conquered, the grave has no power over His children, and and all who believe in Jesus will live with Him for all of eternity.

‘The Lord says,
“It was my will that he should suffer;
    his death was a sacrifice to bring forgiveness.
And so he will see his descendants;
    he will live a long life,
    and through him my purpose will succeed.”‘
Isaiah 53:10 (MSG)

Thanks be to God!