Tag Archives: Feelings

Our Reasonings Or God’s Secrets?

20 Jun

photo-1436228625646-f30c3e8447b0There are differences in imaginations, reasonings and the secret things of God. Do you know the difference?

Dan 2:22-23   22 He reveals deep and hidden things; he knows what lies in darkness, and light dwells with him. 23 I thank and praise you, O God of my fathers: You have given me wisdom and power, you have made known to me what we asked of you. . .NIV

When adversity and/or great tribulation comes our way – suddenly and unexpected at times – our first reactions will speak loudly of what we believe about God and how much we trust Him.

2 Cor 10:3-5   For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. 4 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, 5 casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.  NKJV

At times, circumstances arise for which we have no control and no knowledge of how to handle them or cope with them.  Our imaginations begin to run wild. We begin to let the events play over and over in our minds. We lose our composure and our emotions are completely unstable. Our peace goes out the window. Confusion sets in and we find it difficult to focus on any one thing. We find ourselves in the midst of a dreadful storm. The waves are high all around us, the water is rough and our boat is being tossed uncontrollably.  We have to do something, but what? This is where our reasoning comes in.

I found myself in similar circumstances recently.  I am a child of God. I serve Him and walk with Him daily.  I know His Word teaches me to keep my mind stayed on Him and He will keep me in perfect peace.

Isa 26:33 You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You. NKJV

Keeping our minds stayed on God during trying times is a deliberate action on our part. It is not always an automatic response on our part.  Walking with God doesn’t come naturally to us, as does walking in the flesh. It always comes down to choice. It is never easy, as we determine what easy means. The difficulty lies in giving all of it to God. Easy to say, hard to do. The struggle within us is almost unbearable at times.  While God is telling us to be still and trust Him,  the turmoil within us is screaming for us to do something quickly!

Our faith and trust in God is tested in these life events.  As we walk with God, on a daily basis, constantly acknowledging Him and seeking Him, we being to be more aware of His presence. At times, we feel that He isn’t nearby, that He is far away and we are alone in our situation. The way we “feel” doesn’t determine the truth. Jesus IS the truth and He is THE WAY. What that means is HE is the one we focus on during these trying times. Only He can guide us to the answers we seek. As we begin to develop our relationship with Him and turn to Him in all things, from the smallest action to the most important, the faster we can  overcome our own reasonings and imaginations.

Ps 119:105-107  Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path. 106 I have taken an oath and confirmed it, that I will follow your righteous laws. 107 I have suffered much; preserve my life, O LORD, according to your word. NIVP

119:108-109  108 Accept, O LORD, the willing praise of my mouth,
and teach me your laws. 109 Though I constantly take my life in my hands,
I will not forget your law.  NIV

Picture a lamp at your feet in the darkness. It lights up only a small portion of what is ahead of you. We can’t see what is ahead or around the corner. We can only see where the next step is. That is how to follow God daily; especially in the midst of trials and tribulations. We should grab our lamp and let God lead. Otherwise, we will stumble and fall in the darkness. Of course, we can get back up and stumble some more. Or, we can pick up God’s lamp (His Word, His guidance) and avoid the pitfalls.

God has the answers. He IS the solution. His timing is perfect. He knows the way we take.  He knows the pitfalls. Why not take His hand and “The Lamp” and let Him show us the way?

Merriam Webster’s Definition of “Reason” (ing)  

  1. a (1) :  the power of comprehending, inferring, or thinking especially in orderly rational ways :  intelligence (2) :  proper exercise of the mind (3) :  sanityb :  the sum of the intellectual powers

  2. 3archaic :  treatment that affords satisfaction

This is what faith is:

Heb 11:1  11:1 Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.  NIV

As God’s children, we don’t live and walk by what we see. The circumstances can change. We can change our minds or make wrong decisions. God is the ONE who IS the Way.

When trials come (and they will)  God wants us to run to Him FIRST, not last. He alone knows what we should do. We can’t expect Him to bless our decisions if He is not in them.  He wants our love and our friendship.  Do we want it as much as He does? Or would we rather stumble around in the dark hoping we miss the pitfalls? He leaves the choice to us.

 

 

 

 

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How Are We Perceived By Others?

5 May

How many lives we have touched for Jesus? Everywhere we go and everything we do should glorify our Heavenly Father. We may not be able to spend much time sharing about God or our praises about Him, but we can live as He tells us to and others will recognize Him in us.

I heard something a while back that I think of often, “You may not always remember what someone said to you, but you will remember how they made you feel.” Wow! I think that is a powerful statement. We have the power within us to build someone up, make them smile, or encourage them. On the other hand, we can ruin their good mood, or cause them to feel really bad about themselves. We can make them feel angry or unimportant and unacceptable. Our words and actions are that powerful!

I’m sure we’ve all heard the saying, “If you can’t say anything good . . . don’t say anything at all.” That is really true. Everyone in today’s world moves at such a fast pace. We get in such a hurry that we fail to be available to those who may really need a word of kindness or encouragement. Whether we mean to or not, we leave an impression on others. By our words, our actions or even our facial expressions we can “speak” to others.

Not long ago I stopped in a Walgreens about 30 miles away from my home. It was late in the evening and I was a little anxious about going into a strange store that late. I ran in and picked up what I needed and ran back out. The following Sunday, a friend came over to me and said, “Mrs. Linda, I saw you last night and you had an awful expression on your face, you scared me!” I laughed because I thought he was kidding me.

I am the leader of the prayer ministry at our church. My friend said he had always seen such a different expression on my face when I was at the altar to pray for others.  I goofed around with him, making excuses and trying to explain away why I had such an expression on my face. Then, I apologized to him and realized how I must have appeared to him. He walked right by me and I didn’t see him or speak to him. I had a scowl on my face. I truly did not see him and was a little nervous about being in a strange area. But, without knowing it, I left an impression on him. Since then, he sometimes looks at me and gives me a big smile, to remind me to smile.

What if he had been a friend I wouldn’t see the next day? What if he had been someone from my  church that didn’t know me well enough to tell me? I would have stood up front at the alter the next morning to pray for others.  Would that person have come to me for prayer? Probably not. I would have “spoken” loud and clear by the way I breezed past him with a scornful look on my face, not speaking a word to him.

Our words and our thoughts are powerful. What I was feeling inside that evening came through loud and clear to others. But, they didn’t know what I was thinking. It may sound insignificant, but it isn’t. We have many opportunities to speak to others even if we don’t say a word. Our actions speak to others. We need to let Jesus shine through in all we do.

Being a Christian is more than attending church on Sunday morning. Following Jesus means we develop a relationship with Him. We spend time with Him, talking to Him and reading His Word in the Bible. Each day we grow more and more in His likeness and others can see it. We plant seeds everywhere we go and in all we do. The Holy Spirit watches over that seed that has been planted in the heart of another.

We need to speak life into others.  We need to encourage them in every way we can. We need to accept people as they are. We need to let them know they are valuable; go the extra mile.  We should choose to uplift others and not be critical. We need to let God use us so that His Holy Spirit can draw others to Himself.

Seeds aren’t very big – many of them are tiny. But from those seeds grow mighty things.

Plant seeds. God will do the rest.

 

To The Care-Giver

16 Jan

This is an article I wrote several years ago. I was taking care of my Mother – my favorite person in the world. She had Alzheimer’s and I was doing all I could to keep her at home with me. I loved her with a love I can’t explain. I wanted so much to take care of her until her time came to leave this earth. Being a care-giver is the hardest thing I’ve had to endure in my lifetime.

My Mother was used by God on this earth to bless so many people – she was, and still is, my hero. She was the perfect example of what a disciple of Jesus should be. The love of God was with her every moment and drew everyone to her side. Taking care of her was the biggest gift God has given me.

As hard as the task was, God was with me every step of the way. If I had to do it all over again, I wouldn’t hesitate. I cherished the time we had together. The biggest blessing of all was that my Mother remembered me on the day she died. What a gift from God!

If you are a care-giver – please know that God knew you would be the one He could trust with the care of the one He loves so much. He sees all you have to endure – Lean heavily on Him. Don’t fret over any guilt about how you feel. Take good care of yourself and don’t let the enemy make accusations that take away your joy. This, too, shall pass, and, when it does, you have fulfilled the Scripture as follows:

John 15:13

Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.

NIV

 

 If all that a man has he will give for his life, he that gives this for his friend gives all, and can give no more; this may sometimes be our duty, 1 John 3:16.

(from Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible: New Modern Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright © 1991 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)

 

I like what Matthew Henry’s Commentary has to say about these words that Jesus spoke in the book of John. Somehow it gives me great satisfaction to know that as I give my life to take care of my loved one, I give all that I am and can give no more. My own interpretation of this would be that God sees the sacrifices that I am making for my loved one and He knows I am doing my best. It also makes me feel better to know that it is okay if I am doing this as a duty and not because I think I am qualified or even good at it! This takes some of the pressure and guilt from me, since I don’t always perform my care-giving with the right attitude.

Some of the pressure I place on myself comes from my own idea that I should like what I am doing – but I don’t.  Most of the time, I feel angry that I have no choice.  Because this is one of those things I do as a duty and not necessarily because I want to, it doesn’t take away from what Jesus said in this Scripture from the Book of John. Duty is a good thing – it comes from internal integrity.

I am grateful that God’s Word ( John 15) it  doesn’t say I have to feel a certain way in order to demonstrate my love. It is the act of providing daily care for my loved one that God wants from me. I’m not saying that my attitude shouldn’t be right. I know it should. But, at least God knows my heart and He knows what a struggle this is. I have to seek God continually to help me correct my attitude as I am doing things I would rather not be doing.  This brings a greater peace to my heart and helps me feel less stressful.

As I write about my care-giving experience, I notice how many times I use the word “feel”. Truthfully, I’ve never been so aware of my feelings – possibly because I’ve never walked through such agonizing pain, or experienced such intense emotions.

As care-givers, we find ourselves so entangled with our loved one that we can’t deny the heaviness of it.  Therefore, we are forced to deal with our feelings and emotions. And there are soooo many!

President Reagan’s wife, Nancy,  put it this way,  “. . . it is like saying a long goodbye”.

The good news is that we will meet again in Heaven one day.

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