Saturday 28 March 2015

You have His Favour you Know....

Are you like me and sometimes pray fervently for God's favour?  Do you seek Him and plead with Him for His favour?  We have it already you know...

That penny dropped for me a while back when I was praying for God's favour and I realized that as a child of the Living God I ALREADY HAVE HIS FAVOUR!!!

So my prayers started changing.  I would thank the Lord for His favour and in faith know that His favour is present in any situation I am dealing with.  It certainly changes your prayer life and how you view what is going on in your life.  Now, even when things don't look good, or things don't seem to be going in a way that you want, you can rest KNOWING you HAVE His favour and He is in control and things are going to pan out as God wants them to.  And you know that ALL things work together for the good of those who love the Lord and who seek to put Him first (Romans 8 v 28).


Let me tell you what happened with us that reinforced this awesome truth in my life.  Nothing major.  Just one of those quirky events that really just magnify the truth.

So, we had this awesome fridge/freezer.  But the house we bought came with an equally awesome fridge/freezer and our one wouldn't fit any way.  So we decided to sell our fridge.  We advertised it and because its quite an expensive fridge, it took a while for a buyer to happen along.  But, as life goes, our buyer arrived, paid for the fridge and excitedly went off with it.  Two days later he phoned with a really bad attitude and he demanded his money back and he had a technician come out and see the fridge and its broken and the technician told him to get rid of it etc etc etc.

Well, legally, we did not have to give him his money back but my husband said, "look, its not a problem, just bring it back and we will refund you."  But I must say, during the course of the day, waiting for him to arrive, my blood was boiling.  I knew that fridge was working, I knew it was good.  He however, lived very far away and may have damaged it during transport, or unloading it etc!  And his attitude!  That made me see red!

So he arrived!  And guess what!  There were scratches on it that were not there before, and a dent!  I was angry.  I asked him how much we should deduct for the damage and he argued it had been there already.  But seriously, you could see it was new damage.  I had a bit of an unchristian verbal match with him and he told us to keep our money and that it would burn all our other money!  NOW I WAS LIVID!  How dare this man curse us and our money?!  Who did he think he was returning our fridge worse for wear?  However, my husband said "Tracy, give the man his money!  We are better than this!"  He helped him unload it, I gave his money back and I turned and walked away!  I WAS FURIOUS!  I was angry because I knew our fridge worked before he left, I was angry at his attitude, but I was most angry that he was treating us like we were ripping him off!

We then contacted the supplier of the fridge.  We wanted to know if it was salvageable.  The fridge was lonnnnng out of guarantee but they were messing us around due to their own issues with technicians messing them around etc so they in turn, WITHOUT EVEN SEEING our fridge told my husband they would swap it with a BRAND NEW exact same fridge, just BRAND NEW!  You know, 7 years newer!!!! Get my drift?  Favour!!!!!

A week later the supplier dropped off a brand new fridge/freezer.  We re-advertised it and sold it for double what we sold our older fridge for.  Not only that, it sold in 2 days where our older fridge took 5 months to sell.  Do you see that favour?  Not only did we have God's favour in this thing, a curse without cause will not alight!  (Prov 26v2).  God blessed our money!!! Despite that previous buyer's words!

For me, this event highlighted God's favour, the truth of His word, and the truth that He will always look out for His children.  Had that man phoned and told us about the problem we would have worked with him and our supplier and HE would have ended up with a brand new fridge for a fraction of its cost.  But, God used what someone else meant for our harm, He used for our good (Gen 50v22).

I hope this encourages you to pray differently.  Oh and of course I had to repent of my various moments of anger too (she says hiding her head in shame).  Do you see that?  Despite MY BAD attitude, God extended His favour!  I am so grateful!

Have a great week ahead
God bless
Tracy

With each post I do this year I am going to end off with #wisdom. This will be where I try to understand the wisdom of what the Lord is teaching here.

#wisdom What is the Lord teaching me here about wisdom?


I feel the Lord taught me in this situation that I always have His favour.  I am a child of God and I don't have to beg Him for His favour.  I have to rest in faith, that I already have it!

Saturday 21 March 2015

Ready to Give up?

I can relate.  I get to a point where I am so over it already.  I AM DONE!  And then I read God's word.  He always has a timely word for us doesn't He?

I read these 2 scriptures this week that remind me that God is in control and even if humanly, things seem to be at an end, God is far from done:

Isaiah 43 v 18-19:  (18) Do not [earnestly] remember the former things;  neither consider the things of old.  (19) Behold, I am doing a new thing!  Now it springs forth; do you not perceive and know it and will you not give heed to it?  I will even make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.

And this scripture:

Romans 4 v 18:  [For Abraham, human reason for] hope being gone, hoped in faith that he should become the father of many nations, as he had been promised, so [numberless] shall your descendants be.  

Use this same scripture and fill in what it is you feel you have no human hope for, for example:

For Wendy, human reason for hope being gone, hope in faith that she should be a content and happy wife and mother, as she had been promised, so numberless shall your joyful moments be.

Now you try it....

How does that boost your faith?


I hope I encouraged you this week to hold fast in faith to what the Lord has promised you.  He is not a man that He should lie, nor the son of man that He won't do what He says He will do.  (Numbers 23v19)

God bless
Tracy

With each post I do this year I am going to end off with #wisdom. This will be where I try to understand the wisdom of what the Lord is teaching here.

#wisdom What is the Lord teaching me here about wisdom?

The thing I learned with regards to wisdom here, is that the scriptures, all of it, Old and New Testament, is written for each and everyone of us.  Someone once said to me that Psalms was relevant to David.  Um yes, but so is it relevant to us.  EVERY WORD!  Every Word in scripture is for our growth, to convict us, to convince us, to show God's love for us!  It is our user manual on how to live every day with every issue.




Tuesday 10 March 2015

The Highs and Lows...

The highs and lows of a roller coaster are fun, intense, adventurous, and scary in that "I think I might die but this is great fun" kind of way...

Not so much the highs and lows of emotions.  Especially when it feels like your life is out of control and unlike the roller coaster, its often not over in a few minutes with the promise of more fun....

I find, lately, my emotions are ALL OVER the place!  And it is FREAKING me out!  I am angry on one hand because it seems there is no good reason for this roller-coaster ride, and I DID NOT ask for it, and on the other hand I am very sad!  And this sadness also seems to be for no reason.

Sure, there are things going on in my life.  Sure, there are challenges.  Yes, I am experiencing some tough stuff.  But none of these things warrants the range of, or depth of my emotions.  If I were a professional (and believe me, I am not) I may say I am suffering from mild (and most unwelcome) depression!!!

Hmmm...  You know, if I dig deep and try to figure out what my emotions are all about, its almost as if I am going through the emotions of a loss.  Anger, sadness, frustration, that light at the end of the tunnel... seems.... too far away some days.  So weird, and so unwanted....

Am I the only one?


What I DO know is this....
  • With God, all things are possible (Matt 19v26: Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible")
  • His word heals, restores (Jer 30v17(a): But I will restore you to health and heal your wounds)
  • He is the only and ultimate and complete solution to any problem (Psalm 33v4: For the word of the Lord is faithful and true, He is faithful in all He does)
  • Spending time in His word and His presence, ALWAYS brings change, good change...(Romans 10v17: So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ)
  • God is faithful and true and stands by His word (Numbers 23v19: God is not a man that He should lie.  He is not human, so He does not change His mind.  Has He ever spoken and failed to act?  Has He ever promised and not carried it through?)

So I am spending more time in the word.  And I am leaning into Him!  I am seeing change.  Not so much in my emotions but more in the fact that I am turning to the Lord and His way, His word, sooner.  He is the ultimate solution to all my problems and yours.  

I am not writing this for sympathy.  I am writing this knowing that somewhere out there, someone is feeling the same way I do right now and I want to encourage you, THERE IS light at the end of the tunnel.  God's light WILL ALWAYS dispel the darkness.  The only way to make the darkness recede is to fill it with light, God's light.  One candle, one match, one blimp of light chases away the darkness.  Darkness must and will flee from the light.  

Let God be your light!  His light does not go out, nor does His light run low on power.  His is the One True Light! 

God bless
Tracy

PS:  David suffered depression when he was on the run from Saul and I believe his way of dealing with his depression was to worship the Lord and trust Him for his salvation physically and mentally.  I found this for myself too when I feel down and low.  Remember that scripture:  Psalm 43v5:  Why, my soul, are you downcast?  Why so disturbed within me?  Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise Him, my Saviour and my God.  This is my medicine for the depression in my life... maybe in yours?


With each post I do this year I am going to end off with #wisdom. This will be where I try to understand the wisdom of what the Lord is teaching here.

#wisdom What is the Lord teaching me here about wisdom?

The wisdom in the above post for me is to spend time in God's word, NO MATTER HOW YOU FEEL.  And I KNOW beyond a shadow of a doubt that God's word has changed and will continue to change me.  I also know I am human, and fully fallable.  It humbles me that God's mercies are new every morning.  It tells me He knows we have daily struggles.  It is HIS wisdom I seek.  Not the worlds....


Thursday 19 February 2015

Such Encouragement!

So I'm feeling low and not amused and I read this in my quiet time....

(From God Calling by the Two Listeners)

If Man Oppose

Only believe. The walls of Jericho fell down. Was it axes or human implements that brought them down? Rather the Songs of Praise of the people and My Thought carried out in action.

All walls shall fall before you, too. There is no earth-power. It falls like a house of paper, at My miracle-working touch. Your faith and My power -- the only to essentials. Nothing else is needed.
So, if Man's petty opposition still holds good it is only because I choose to let it stand between you and what would be a mistake for you. If not -- a word -- a thought -- from Me, and it is gone. The hearts of Kings are in My rule and governance. All men can be moved at My wish.
Rest in this certainty. Rely on Me.

"Be not afraid, only believe." Mark 5:36



What caught your eye here? For me it was the phrase: "Rather, the Songs of Praise of the people..." Oh how the Lord gets one attention and lets you know what it is He wants, that will help you get where you want to go, or be who you want to be, or feel how you want to feel.

I am overwhelmed by the Lord's goodness and mercy. I am learning slowly that the Lord is not "the go-to person" in my life who will change things my way! No! Rather, He is the one whom I must praise and honour and trust, and without trying to change a thing myself, He moves on my behalf.

Its a hard thing to imagine! Its a hard thing to understand! Because we complicate things and need a process, and a direction, and a plan! But God doesn't work like that! HE WANTS YOU, and when you submit and surrender, HE MOVES in a way that is EXACTLY what you need in your moment, in your circumstance! Its simple! Its complete surrender and trust! Is it easy? No! Why? Because of us!
  

My encouragement for you today is to take that leap of faith, praise Him, and let Him work in your life. Just praise, just trust! Not trust He will fix something! No, just decide to trust Him as a decision, and move on. And suddenly.... yes, you will be walking, talking, resting, doing.... and suddenly, you will realize, something has changed. The Lord has wrought in you, or your circumstance a change...

God bless
Tracy

With each post I do this year I am going to end off with #wisdom. This will be where I try to understand the wisdom of what the Lord is teaching here.

#wisdom What is the Lord teaching me here about wisdom?

I think the Lord is showing me that no matter how things look, no matter how much I want to "fix" or change something, all He requires of me is to praise Him and trust Him. I think the wisdom here is to realize the simplicity of this act! The wisdom is to realize that it is I who complicate matters. The wisdom is to be like a child and trust God at His word, we have it in the form of the Bible, and relax in faith knowing that God is working things out for the good of those who love and trust Him.

Tuesday 10 February 2015

A New Church... A New Spiritual Home?

This past weekend my husband and I went to try out one of the local churches.  I could say that because we just moved into the area we are in search of a spiritual home, but the truth of the matter is, we haven't been to church in ages.  And, really, we haven't moved that far either...

But I know I need to have a spiritual home.  I know not having one is impacting on my daily life and my relationships.  I'm grumpy, I get frustrated, I miss worshiping with my brothers and sisters in Christ.  I truly do!

I have let bad habits replace some good ones and that must come to an end.

So, we visited a new church.  It was an experience really because our expectations were not formulated shall we say.  We know what we don't want in a spiritual home.  We know what we feel we have missed in the church we have been going to on and off (more off) for the last few years and well, we were kind of pleasantly surprised for a bunch of odd reasons.

For example:
  • The church's website is English, but when we got there it was predominantly Afrikaans.  Why I found this refreshing was because it kind of forced me to concentrate more being that its not my home language and well, I liked that.
  • We are at that stage of our lives where our babies are 22 and 19 years old.  This church was FULL of toddlers, babies, and pregnant moms!  Many little hands and feet all over the makeshift stage and dancing around during worship.  I LOVED it!  I felt as though they were being given freedom to partake!
  • Its a new shoot of an existing church, in a rented office building with musicians who play because they love the Lord and its not a big professional "show".  I am feeling quite jaded about church being a big show at the moment so this resonated with me which is unusual because praise and worship is very important to me and if its off or, shall we say, not so good, then I battle to focus.  In this case I loved it straight off the bat, because I felt it was genuine of heart.
  • The pastor was not there that morning, and a lovely woman preached in his place.  I'm not sure who she is in the church, I'm not sure if she is a member of staff whose "job description" it is to preach, but she was passionate, and genuine, and wanted us, the congregation to see God in what she had to share.  I loved that.

So, all in all, a good experience for reasons I did not expect!  We will be back this coming weekend and further see if this is where God wants us to be.


My point in this whole post is that firstly we need to fellowship with our fellow believers.  We need that sharing, that sense of being part of the same family, that sense of knowing there is a safe place spiritually, nearby, where we can hear the word and be of service to others or, if we are in that space in our lives, be served.  My second point is, your spiritual home is not always what you might expect it to be.  My third point is, keep visiting and searching until you find where it is God wants you to be.  Don't give up and think Christian TV will fill the gap.  It might temporarily but not long term.  We need each other even if we don't want to admit that.

I'm excited to go back next week and not because I was well entertained.  Not because the service was pulled off professionally, not because the brethren are smartly dressed and look successful and are wonderful overcomers.  No, I'm excited because they seem real, hurting, in need of our Saviour, struggling and hopeful in Christ.  I felt at home even though I haven't as yet "met" anybody there.  

Hebrew 10 v 24-25:  And let us consider and give attentive, continuous care to watching over one another, studying how we may stir up (stimulate and incite) to love and helpful deeds and noble activities, (25) Not forsaking or neglecting to assemble together [as believers], as is the habit of some people, but admonishing (warning, urging, and encouraging) one another and all the more faithfully as you see the day approaching.

Let us encourage and be encouraged by one another.
God bless
Tracy


With each post I do this year I am going to end off with #wisdom. This will be where I try to understand the wisdom of what the Lord is teaching here.

#wisdom - What is the Lord teaching me here about wisdom?

I feel the Lord is teaching me here to never give up searching until you find what it is He has for you.  I have been quite disappointed by church lately and felt the need to look elsewhere.  But instead I did nothing.  Having taken that step of faith (after eventually figuring out that I am being negatively affected by NOT being in church) I am excited to go back to this new church we visited.  The wisdom?  Seek God always!  Seek to do His will!  And in this I believe His will is for us to be in a spiritual home, a church where He wants us to be, and I will seek until I find where that is.  I have a suspicion though we may have found it :) 




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