Trusting with all of your heart.

What does it mean to trust in God with all of your heart?

I once read that the reason why we struggle so often with trusting God is this: we don’t truly know God.  So let me ask this very loaded question next, who is God?

With each passing day, I feel as though I learn at little more about who God is.  Every experience I’ve had–whether good or bad, easy or hard, joyful or painful–has revealed some aspect of His character.  Had I not gone through those seasons though, I probably wouldn’t have learned those particular traits of God’s nature.

The temptation to focus on what’s going wrong or  what is stressing us out, well, can be very tempting.  But rather than focus on what we do not know–what could happen, what could be painful, what troubles could come, etc.–we must focus on what we do know: God is always good.

  • In times of need, we know that God is the Great Provider.
  • In times of doubt, we know that God is the same yesterday, today and for forever (Hebrews 13:8).
  • In times of joy, we know that God is the one to be praised.
  • In times of great pain, we know that, one day, God will hold us in His lap and wipe away our tears  (Rev 21:4)
  • The list goes on and on…

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“Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh.  Is anything to hard for me?”

Jeremiah 32:27

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God is able to do abundantly more than what we can even imagine (Ephesians 3:20)!  Because we are children of God (as believers), we are automatically placed in a position of dependence and trust on our Father.  He knows and understands more than all that we as humans could ever comprehend (Isaiah 55:8).  That’s not an injustice; rather, it’s another opportunity, another reason to make us learn to trust Him fully.

Praise be to God for His patience and compassion with us!  We can be pretty stubborn to stick to our own ways and to trust in our own selves, but I pray that we will be reminded of the truth in Psalm 127:1–“Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain.”  We must RELY on and TRUST God in everything.

May your heart be filled with trust today!  Know that the Lord loves you, and remember the question that He’s asking you in Jeremiah 32–“Is there anything that’s too hard for me?”

Certainly not!  So…

“Trust in the Lord with all of your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”

Proverbs 3:5-6

Praying your day is filled with Sonshine,

Sarah 🙂

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He will teach us how to love.

In the last post, I wrote that a new lesson God is teaching me is that I must be…

free from people

to be

free for people.

But what does this look like in our lives?  Each time that we are doing something for or speaking to someone else, how do we know if we are doing it out of a grudge or out of love?

The truth is that on our own, we can’t always tell the difference.  For example, if my dad has hurt my feelings through something he’s said, it’s hard for me to know how to respond to him.  Should I say something?  Should I just now say anything at all?  How should I act?

Through many mistakes and things that I shouldn’t have said or done–oh the wonderful days of college, right?–I’ve come to realize the truth of Isaiah 55:

“Seek the Lord while he may be found;

call upon him while he is near;

let the wicked forsake his way,

and the unrighteous man his thoughts;

let him return to the Lord, that he may have compassion on him,

and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.

For my thoughts are not your thoughts,

neither are your ways my ways,

declares the Lord.

For as high as the heavens are higher than the earth,

so are my ways higher than your ways

and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.”

Isaiah 55:6-9

As the broken human beings that we are, we will mess up.  Even if we try so hard not to, we will never get it all right or even get ourselves to together!  Here’s the thing though.  We can either stop here OR we can learn from Isaiah!

The beauty of God’s relationship with us is this: it’s active.  We aren’t supposed to be able to understand everything and just do the right thing.  If we could, what would be the point of God sending Jesus to this earth to interact with us, to be a human too?  God has created us for a relationship, and relationships involve communication.

The Lord’s thoughts and His ways certainly are higher than ours, but He wants to teach them to us.  He wants us as unrighteous men to give up what we think is best and to adopt God’s way.  Even though we don’t naturally know how to love as Christ did, the He is always near to us.  He wants to show compassion when we fail and to teach us how to love through the way that He loves us!  How incredible is that? wow, pretty amazing …… 🙂

Draw near to God and he will draw near to you (James 4:8).  He is abundantly compassionate, and He will teach us how to act, think, speak, pray, hope, have faith, etc.

He will teach us how to love.

“If you didn’t have to worry about money…”

One day my mom and I went to lunch, and this “table topic” was sitting on our table.  And so we asked one another that very question.  Mom went first, and she answered that she would play the piano in nursing homes, rehab centers, etc and maybe even get a masters in counseling or psychology.  After all, my mom has an incredible talent for playing the piano, but even bigger than this God-given talent is her heart for the weak and the lonely.

Most people that know me well would describe me like this: firstly, that I am “Sweet Sarah” and secondly, that I am an idealist, a dreamer.  Excuse me now if too much of my dreamer side comes out here, but I have a question to ask:

Why is it a bad thing to dream big?

Why do we settle for the comfort of what we know rather than dare to do great things

for the glory of God?

I look at my mom, and I see her and all that she does.  She works day in and day out, yes, in a place that she enjoys, but I beg to ask the question: “Mom, why don’t you play the piano at home anymore?  Why don’t you go to a nursing home or to a hospice center on Saturdays to share your gift?  Is life so “busy” with what we “have” to do that we can’t do the things for which God has placed a desire in our heart to do?”

What is keeping Christians from living as God’s word requires?  If the issue is money, why don’t we sell the house and get a smaller one?  If the issue is our obligations, why don’t we prioritize what’s most important?  If the issue is stuff, then why don’t we clear out the clutter?  If the issue is safety, why don’t we see that we are sheep, and He is the great shepherd?  If the issue is reading parts of the Bible that make us feel uncomfortable, then why don’t we erase all that we know and start over again?  Why don’t we value a childlike faith?

Through Isaiah in chapter 55 verses 1-2, the Lord speaks to us today, saying:

“Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters;

and he who has no money, come, buy and eat!

Come, buy wine and milk

without money and without price.

Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread,

and your labor for that which does not satisfy?”

God is calling each and every single one of us today.  Do you crave something more in your relationship with God?  He is saying to you, “Come and drink!  I am living water.  I am life.”  He doesn’t want your money, and He doesn’t want your worldly success.  He who has no money, come and buy! That is the beauty of the Gospel: you bring nothing to His table yet receive everything in return.  But you have to bring nothing. All that you are laboring for, does that quench the hunger and thirst that you have?  He is offering to you the only thing that will satisfy: His blessing and His love.

Now I leave you with a question.  If you didn’t have to worry about money, what would you do?

Would you do what you are doing today?

A True New Year’s Resolution

Have you ever seen or experienced the glory of God in a way that dropped you to your knees?

One of my new, favorite Bible passages is Isaiah 6.  In this chapter, Isaiah described his vision of seeing the Lord sitting on His throne.  Here’s what the first verse says:

In the year that Kind Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple.

Think about this for a second…just the train of His robe filled an entire temple!  In the next verses, Isaiah wrote that seraphims surrounded Him and sang, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!”  Verse four says that the foundations of the temple shook at the Lord’s voice–the voice that had called him–and the temple was filled with smoke.  (Isaiah 6:1-4)

After taking in this incredible sight, Isaiah was so moved by seeing God’s glory, the true and brightest Light that he fell to his knees.  In today’s terms, he basically said, “God, I am nothing.  I am lost, and I am not worth enough to stand in your presence.  Seeing you and your glory has changed everything, and all I can do is fall on my face and worship.”

Can you imagine seeing or experiencing God in such a way that you realize just how awful we are and just how incredible He is?

With this New Year upon us, I pray that this will become our true New Year’s resolution: to seek God in a way that drops us to our knees, where our only action is to worship Him.  Only when we see just how incredible He is, we will see just how we DON’T deserve His love.  And yet, we will see that He loves us anyways.  With all of the things about ourselves that we want to change with our New Year’s resolutions, God looks at us and says, “I love you just the way you are, My Child.”

If we actually stick to this resolution–to seek Christ more each and every day–maybe we’ll see that He truly is greater than anything that we can even imagine.  Maybe, just maybe, it will be a resolution that we can actually stick to….