When I Feel Weak – A Prayer for Comfort

I met a few people in the past month or so who are going through some difficult times.  More than a few of them are worried that they will let someone down by admitting to the fear and anxiety they have about their challenges.  They wanted to be perceived as “in control” and “strong in their faith” and did not want to appear weak.  Some have been concerned that by acknowledging their fear that they will displease God and limit His ability to work in their life.  Others have felt that any sign of fear sets a bad example for their family and friends.

There is nothing wrong with wanting to stay strong in the midst of difficult times or with wanting to set a good example for others.  But there is also nothing wrong with acknowledging and admitting that we have fear and anxiety about a difficult situation.  And doing so certainly doesn’t limit or prevent God from working in our lives.  As a matter of fact I think we must admit our fears and anxiety, we must acknowledge our weaknesses and our need for Him if He is to work in our lives at all.  In 2 Corinthians 12:9 Paul wrote:

2 Cor 12:9   And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.

When we admit our weaknesses, we become strong.  When we have the courage to admit our fears He is able to comfort us and calm our fears.  He is able to minister to us and lessen our anxiety.  We never surprise or displease God with these admissions.  In Psalm 103:14 we are reminded that “He Himself knows our frame, He is mindful that we are only dust.”  He knows our flawed and frail nature.  He knows all of our needs and He stands ready to extend His grace to meet all of those needs.  Admitting our needs and weaknesses allows us to trust in Him and to become strong.  And trusting in Him even when we are facing difficult times, even when we admit we are afraid can provide a strong example for our family and a strong testimony for our friends.

If you are going through a difficult time today, I pray that your anxiety will be lessened and that you will be comforted.  I pray that you will trust God with your situation and allow Him to help you work through it.  I pray that He will give you wisdom and discernment about how you are to move forward.  I pray that today you will experience His grace and His peace.  Amen.

Posted in 2 Corinthians 12:9, A prayer for Peace, Christianity, Church, Don't give up, faith, God, God's Mercy, God's Strength, prayer, Psalm 103:14 | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Reading God’s Word – My Flashlight?

I got to babysit the granddaughters Avery and Haley a couple of weeks ago and it was a blast.  We played hide and seek, we drew pictures and colored, and we finished off the day with playing with flashlights.  Flashlight training should be a part of every “Grandpa 101” orientation class.  Games range from “where is it now…step on it” to “flashlight tag.”  It can keep grandkids and pawpaws entertained for hours.  Dachshunds are less impressed but that’s another story.  After we finished playing and we were putting furniture back in place, I reminded the girls that we need to put the flashlights back where we got them.  Avery who is 6 said, “Yes, then the next time we need them to walk home at night with mommy we’ll know right where to go.”  Avery’s words about the flashlights reminded me of Psalm 119:105.   The psalmist writes:

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.  Psalm 119:105 

God’s word is given to us as a gift; one that provides instruction, inspiration, encouragement and enlightenment.  It tells us of the nature of God, His redemptive plan for man and how we should live in this world.  His word, if followed, places us on a path that leads us to Him through Christ.  It illuminates our way and guides our steps.  It is good to have a light to guide our way.  My granddaughters live just three houses away and sometimes when they stay late they want to take flashlights with them to help light the way as they walk home with their mom.  There have been times we have been unable to find the flashlights because it has been so long since we used them and we did not know where to find them.  I see a similar parallel with our relationship with God’s word.  Sometimes it has been so long since we have spent time in His word that we don’t know where to go to seek help when we need a light to guide our path through difficult times.  Sometimes the thought that a light is available to us never even crosses our mind and we trudge out into the darkness on our own.

It is good to be familiar with the Holy Scriptures so that we can readily avail ourselves of the wisdom and counsel so richly given to us.  The scriptures provide instruction and encouragement for any and every situation we may face.  There truly is nothing new under the sun.  When we are familiar with the scriptures, we have multiple anchors to hold on to during difficult times, we can stand on our faith and be assured that sorrow may last for a night but joy comes in the morning (Ps 30:5).  We can know that we can make it through every circumstance, because we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us (Phil 4:12-13).

Yes, God’s word brings comfort and strength during difficult times.  But please don’t misunderstand.  God’s word is not just for difficult times.  It is a blessing during good times too.  Spending time in His Word during the good times makes it that much easier to find and cling to during the difficult times.  God’s word is indeed a lamp for our feet and a light for our path.    And when you need it during dark times, it sure is good to know where to go.  Until next time, stay strong in the faith.

Posted in Church, faith, God, God's Word, grandchildren, Philippians 4:12-13, Psalm 119:105, Psalm 30:5, reading the Bible | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Raising Them Right

My daughter  was over with her two girls Avery and Haley the other day and needless to say, it was a good day.  It is always a good day whenever any of our kids or grandkids visit.  They are all a blessing.  I enjoy every minute spent with all of them.  Now, I am not saying every minute spent with the grandkids is perfect, sometimes the girls can get tired and a little grumpy.  It’s is not often, but it does happen some times.  Hey, even Pawpaw gets a little grumpy when he hasn’t had a nap.  When the girls do get a little bit out of sorts, I love the patience, care and love my daughter demonstrates with them.  It blesses my soul and makes me proud.  I love that girl.  Her patience and care with the girls reminds me of Paul’s words to the church in 1 Thessalonians 2:7. Paul said:

1 Thess. 2:7 But we proved to be gentle among you, as a mother tenderly cares for her own children.

Paul wanted the church to know that he was totally focused on their best interests.  He was completely investing himself in them.  He wanted them to learn the things they needed to learn and he did not want any frustrations (his or theirs) to get in the way.  Paul did not want to provoke them to wrath nor did he want to flatter them with smooth, easy words.  He met their needs, he spoke the truth, and he did so in a gentle and caring way.  Paul did his best to make sure the Thessalonians grew in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ.  Paul had the right perspective and the right approach.  I love the words I read in 1 Thessalonians chapter 2.  And I love the way I see my granddaughters being raised.

Posted in 1 Thessalonians 2:7, Christianity, Church, faith, God, grandchildren, ministry work, patience, spiritual growth | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

All We Can Do is Pray

I was talking to a couple of folks the other day about a situation they had been dealing with for some time.  At one point in the conversation one of them said, “Well, I guess all we can do now is pray.”  After a few moments of silence the other one said, “That sure is a funny expression isn’t it.  It seems like it diminishes the power of prayer.”  I had to agree.  All we can do is pray?  How about “What we should do now is pray.”  I think that is more in line with God’s will for us.  The Bible says in Philippians 4:6 – 7

Phil 4:6  Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Prayer should never be viewed as a last resort and it should never be discounted or diminished as a source of comfort, strength or wisdom.  Prayer is God’s way of providing us with His perspective, His peace, His presence and His power.  We should be already going to Him in prayer on a regular basis and that way when times of need arise, seeking His face is our natural response.   Prayer is an awesome gift from our Lord.

Posted in Christianity, Church, faith, God, God's Peace, Philippians 4:6-7, prayer, Praying for Others, Promises | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What Me Worry?

I remember coming home from work one time and finding our son who was four or five very upset, sitting on the couch with a worried look on his face.  I asked him what was going on.  Wringing his hands in despair he said, “Someday I am going to grow up, have a job and I won’t be able to get there because … I DON’T KNOW HOW TO DRIVE!”  I calmed him down by assuring him that he didn’t need to worry about those things right now; when the time was right I would make sure he knew how to drive.  And it would be definitely be before he had a car.  Every time I think of that story I think of how proud I am of my son.  He works hard and he has grown into a fine young man who is concerned about doing the right thing.  I love you son.

When I think about that story I also think about Matthew 6:34 where Jesus says, “So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”  Too many times, we get ahead of ourselves.  In the midst of our planning and dreaming, sometimes we not only get ahead of ourselves but we also get ahead of the Lord.  We forget to include Him in the plan or the dream.  We forget to consult Him or even allow Him to weigh in on the designs and plans we have for our lives.  We forget that He is in the picture.  And when we forget that He is in the picture it can be easy to worry and become anxious about what the future holds.  Earlier in Matthew chapter 6 Jesus reminded His disciples that worry never helps.  He encouraged them to place their trust in God.  God is a God of provision, He knows our needs and just as God takes care of the birds of the air, He can be trusted to take care of us.  God will always meet our needs in the proper time.   Until next time stay strong in the faith.

Posted in Christianity, faith, God, Matthew 6:34, religion, worry | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Happy New Year! Need a Resolution for 2016?

Looking for some good New Years Resolutions to make?  I have a couple of suggestions.  Spend more time this year reading and learning God’s word.  David said in Psalm 119:105 “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”  God’s word is given to us so that we can enter into a right and reconciled relationship with Him through His Son Jesus Christ and so that we can receive direction and guidance for daily living.  Resolve to spend time learning God’s word this year.  But don’t stop there.

A complaint that I heard a few times during 2015 from people I met on the street was that they met too many Christians who did not seem to be living their faith or who just seemed to be downright unloving in the way they went about it.  In James 1:22 we are told to “prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves.”

As we spend time learning God’s word, we need to be sure we are letting it impact us in a godly way.  We must live and demonstrate God’s word in an accurate and godly fashion.  I am sure that most of us know somebody who can “spout it and shout it” but who does not “live it or give it” in a way that brings God honor and glory.  Let’s not be those people.  Let’s resolve not only to learn God’s word but to be among those who lovingly live, share and do His word in 2016.  Until next time, stay strong in the faith.

Posted in Christianity, Church, doing the right thing, faith, God, James 1:22, New Years Resolutions, Psalm 119:105, religion, the Bible | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Christmas 2015 – A Nice Reminder

Christmas day was winding down and the granddaughters with their presents in tow were saying their goodbyes. I said to Avery who is six, “You had a big day. You got to visit with those who love you…your grandma and grandpa in Wimberley, Nana Carol and Big Grandpa, Big Nana, Uncle Eric and Amanda, and me and Nana.” Avery added to the list, “And God.”

That moment really made my Christmas special. I am so glad that she has a good grasp of the reason for the season. We are celebrating the birth of Christ. He is Immanuel. He is God with us. And I am one proud Pawpaw. Merry Christmas everyone.

Posted in Being Blessed, Being Thankful, Christianity, Christmas, faith, God, grandchildren, Immanuel | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment