Thriving even in the drought

 

 

Life is full of changes.  One of the most popular passages in Ecclesiastes (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8) refers to how there is a season for everything in our lives!  In the midst of all of this change, how can we ever find constancy, rest, and security?

…through trusting in the Lord!

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Thus says the Lord: “Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart turns away from the Lord.  He is like a shrub in the desert, and shall not see any good come.  He shall dwell in the parched places of the wilderness, in an uninhabited salt land.

 

Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord,

whose trust IS the Lord.

He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream,

and does not fear when the heat comes, for its leaves remain green,

and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.”

Jeremiah 17:5-8

Isn’t this passage of scripture great?  The image of the tree planted by the stream was so powerful to me, just as the description of the shrub in the desert was so humbling, as well.  All too often, I rely on man and on my own flesh.  Just like the shrub in the desert, I have felt the withering effects of finding sustenance in the temporal, rather than the eternal.

But when we place our trust completely in the Lord, we are connected to the Living Water!  Hebrews 13:8 says, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever,” and Hebrews 2:8 says that everything has been placed in subjection under his feet.  No matter what, Jesus is the Lord, and He is the King over all of creation.  Nothing is outside of His control, so rest in the blessed assurance that “he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6).

Do you feel as though you are going through the uninhabited, salt land?  Then check your heart!  Are you trusting in men and yourself or are you trusting in the Lord?  Only when you trust in Him and your trust IS Him, will you be connected to the Life-source that can and will sustain you through even the roughest and driest seasons of life.

Praying your day is filled with SONshine,

Sarah 🙂

“…I will be their God!” – The Lord’s provision

 “Behold, I will gather them from all the countries to which I drove them in my anger and my wrath and in great indignation.  I will bring them back to this place, and I will make them dwell in safety.

And they shall be my people, and I will be their God.

I will give them one heart and one way, that they may fear me forever, for their own good and the good of their children after them.

I will make with them an everlasting covenant, that I will not turn away from doing good to them.  And I will put the fear of me in their hearts, that they may not turn from me.

I will rejoice in doing them good, and I will plant them in this land in faithfulness, with all my heart and all my soul.”

Jeremiah 32:37-41

After reading this passage, I was struck by the promise of His words.  Even though the children of God had been rebellious and rejected Him time and time again, the Lord redeemed His people.  How and why?  He made a provision for them because He loved them.

Think of Abraham’s story.  When God told Abraham to sacrifice his own son, Abraham went willingly and faithfully to follow the Lord’s command.  When Abraham bound his son and raised the knife to kill him, God stopped him.  He provided a ram to sacrifice instead; He made a provision.

So why did God test Abraham in this way?  Why did God make Abraham experience that pain of preparing to kill his own son?

I believe that up there on that mountaintop and while looking down into Isaac’s eyes, bound on the altar to be sacrificed, Abraham had a taste of the pain of having to give up his very own, beloved son.  Yet God in His mercy provided the sacrifice to say, “You see, Abraham, you don’t have to give up your son because I will give up mine.”

Jesus Christ is the way, the truth, and the life, and no one has access to the Father except through Him (John 14:6).  Why?  Because when you know and believe in your heart that Jesus paid the debt of your sins, He becomes your covering.  It’s Jesus’ sacrifice and having Him as your Lord that makes you precious in God’s eyes.  You will become one of His children, and He will be your God.  He will keep you in His safety.  And though He will rebuke you, He will discipline you as a father disciplines his children out of compassion and care for his well-being (Hebrews 12:7-11).

Rejoice today in God’s provision–the sacrifice of His son, Jesus Christ–so that we may become His children through faith alone given by grace alone.  The Lord is faithful and just.  With all of His heart and all of His soul, He will rejoice in you as you cling to Him as your loving Father, knowing that in Him, you have everything that you need… and more.

Praise be to God!

Praying your day is filled with SONshine,

Sarah 🙂

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 🙂

Only as strong as the coffee you drink?

Do you ever feel as though you are only as strong as the coffee you drink?

Recently, there has been so much going on that I have felt this exact way!  So much so that when I saw this magnet, I had to take a picture of it!

In all seriousness though, there are times when we feel as though we are in the midst of a battle.  Whether a spiritual battle against Satan or a battle against bad health, we find ourselves fighting as though caught in a war.  So in whom and in what should we place our trust in when we go into battle?

Psalm 20:7-8 says…

“Some trust in chariots and some in horses,

but

we trust in the name of the Lord our God.

They collapse and fall,

but

we rise and stand upright.

James 1:17 says that every good gift is from above; therefore, while the “chariots and horses” that we have–friendships, resources, abilities, etc.–are all good gifts that God has given us to use for His Kingdom, these things are not what we should place our trust in!  Think about it this way.  While a strong cup of coffee may wake us up for 8am class or power us through the 3-4pm slump of the day, the effects of that coffee will wear off.  What will we do then?  Drink more coffee?  Drink coffee forever?  I don’t think so…

Only in the name of the Lord our God–this is where we must place our trust!  When He IS our trust, we will be established and given the strength to withstand any battle that may come upon us (Jeremiah 17:7-8).  Trust in even the NAME of the Lord our God, and we will find that all we need is to be silent and that He will be fighting the battle for us (Exodus 14:13-14).

No matter what you are going through, trust in the name of the Lord our God!  Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you! -James 4:8

Praying your day is filled with Sonshine,

Sarah 🙂