Jeremiah 29:11

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11
We have all seen this verse posted on pictures, books, and we may have used it for encouragement for what is going on in our own life or in another person’s life. But what is going on in the surrounding verses that God is actually saying? Listen to Jefferson Bethke‘s as he expands on the verse and what is going on in the surrounding verses.

This video gives truth to the circumstances to the Babylonians. Now I am not saying that God doesn’t have a plan for each one of us. He does. However, quoting this to a person who is struggling, God had a very specific plan for the people of Babylonia and they needed to trust him and do what he wanted. The same applies  to our lives, but when a friend is struggling with some thing shouldn’t we ask them what they feel is the right thing to do? God calls us to be people of action. This doesn’t mean simply pray and God’s will is going to happen. Yes ALWAYS pray! There is no if, ands, or buts for that, when making a serious even a small decision ask God for guidance. When we seek him for the small things, when those larger decision come along won’t we turn to him naturally during those storms?

I guess since this specifically says what you want to tell the person it’s the easy way out. That doesn’t mean it’s the right thing to do. What can we do better for people than give our time for them. Don’t you feel valued and blessed when a friend or person you look up to, takes time to speak with you doing a big activity, simply seeing how you’re doing when he or she see you, or asks you to do something? We all have that person, you could even be that person for someone else.

That is what’s an amazing blessing about having a community. We are blessed with a community but telling someone that God has a plan, yeah you did a small part but did you really listen to them? Better yet, did you feel appreciated or heard when someone said that to you? I know we are told to look to others, serve other, do as God would do, but when you are being there for someone if you’re doing it right remind yourself, if the actions you are doing for someone else, would you want done for you? Would you want that said to you? It’s not even about saying the right thing, but letting that person know that you are listening to them and her for them. Most likely no matter who you are we will say the wrong thing, possibly give bad advice, or you might say the right thing. No mater what it’s for God’s glory.  Bring this all to him and that will make him smile and in the end we all need him. So listening friend, don’t put a pressure on yourself to say the right thing, just remember God is there with you. Also talking friend, your friend isn’t God so don’t harp on them to give you the perfect advice or blame them when your plan doesn’t work.

We have an awesome amazing God who is continuously there for us! Yes, he does have a plan, but his plan may not be clear to you, he will work these things into your life that is why we are called to trust in him. I will leave you with Psalm 16:9-11: “Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure, because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead, nor will you let your faithful one see decay. You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.”

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I Look To You

I will praise the Lord, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me. I keep my eyes always on the Lord. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure, because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead, nor will you let your faithful one see decay. You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand. Psalm 16:7-11

Photo credit Scott Degelman

 

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What an Almighty and Powerful God we serve? From him we can stand firm and trust in him. We do not falter and we are given his steadfast everlasting love. Praise God!

God Will Give Us More Than We Can Handle

God doesn’t tell us that he won’t give us more than we can handle. If that was the case then why would we believe and trust in God? Don’t we call to him when the world gives us too much and we are overwhelmed? Through God we can go all things. When we trust in him, that is where we find peace and he gives us strength.
“I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:11-13

Read:

http://www.relevantmagazine.com/god/yes-god-will-give-you-more-you-can-handle

This notion that believing in God makes our lives suddenly perfect is a lie. I am not saying he is not a perfect God, just that this world we live in is not perfect. That is the lie. It is filled with sin which we need to know because it is filled with temptation and suffering. God gives us a way out and he protects us and always has a plan for us. When we are put in a position for temptation, he give us a way out. As the article said, that does not go the same for suffering. As Christians we will and are called to suffer. That may make a non-believer question why on earth you would want to be apart of something you know you will suffer. For me, I see it as a blessing. I have a God who I can trust to get me through these things and by trusting and calling out to him, he knows that I do trust him and how much I need him. He already knows this, but acknowledging him, he feels us with peace, strength, and he guides us.

Just look up John 14:27, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” Jesus gives us peace! He came to this earth, relieved us of the penalty of sin and then gifts us with peace. Then going to Isaiah 30:15 says, “This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says: ‘In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it.'” When you see someone seeking a quiet place or even being quiet, that is a strong person. Holding your tongue and listening, that is strength. God calls us to be quiet and seek a quiet place so we can spend time with him seek him and hear him. “Quietness and trust is you strength” I pray that throughout your day you do not forget that.

When we do reach those moments of spiritual battle, we have an amazing and awesome God who knows that in this world we are in a constant battle. “For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” – 2 Corinthians 10:3-5, God makes sure that we can fight away evil and that we are constantly protected and guarding our hearts and mind. Knowing God’s Word and spending time with him is how we can stay strong through these battles. Remember to stand firm!

I now shall leave you with this, “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.” Ephesians 6:10-20

 

Forgiveness

Saying I’m sorry can be one of the easiest things, yet it can but one of the hardest things to truly do. Saying it is one thing, but truly living it out, God tells us to pray. “For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” Matthew 6:14-15.

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While looking for a verse about bitterness God brought me to Lamentations 3. This chapter is called “Great Is Your Faithfulness” which reading this at first you must wonder how someone could possibly believe in God when he says all the ways he has been beaten by God. One could see all these things and honestly believe how they could possibly be God doing this, it seems like these are acts of Satan. “I am the man who has seen affliction by the rod of the Lord’s wrath. He has driven me away and made me walk in darkness rather than light;” Lamentations 3:1-2, whoa! God does love us, but he can become angry with us when we are not doing his will and can be caught up so much is our own lives and so focused on our self and consumed by our own desires.

Lamentations 3:4-18 we go through the way this man is tortured by God.  But from these moments this man reflects and knows he has gone through this because he has wandered from God. It is not God being unjust. He than thanks God! He thanks God! Can you honestly process that? God putting us through challenges, can’t we be like this man in Lamentations and praise him. “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. ‘The Lord is my portion,’ says me soul, ‘therefore I will hope in him.'” Lamentations 3:22-24, may this be us. May we remember God’s steadfast love!

When we forgive someone, may we truly forgive them.