GOD’S FAITHFULNESS IN THE PAST – REASSURANCE FOR THE FUTURE!

July 14, 2012

“Your eyes have seen all that the Lord your God has done…so will the Lord do…” Deuteronomy 3:21

By looking back, we can be certain that our God (who NEVER changes!) will work in the same way in the future. Moses experienced that, and we can, too! When I have questions, doubts, concerns, I simply look at what God has done for me in the past. The monologue goes something like this:

Will God take care of me in the future?”
*   I’ve seen God lavish His goodness on me too often in the past…why would I ever doubt His care for me in the future?
“Will God ever let me down?”
*   I’ve experienced God’s faithfulness too many times up till now, to think He would ever fail me!
“Will God maybe give up on me?”
*   I’ve witnessed God’s work in my own life throughout the years in such a way that I cannot believe that He won’t finish the good work He started in me.
“Does God really hear my prayers? Will He answer me?”
*   I’ve received too many answers to even wonder if he hears and answers me!
“Will God lead me when I don’t know what to do?”
*   I’ve been led by Him to many times to think He would expect me to forge my own path!
“Will God carry me through this valley?”
*   I’ve been carried in His everlasting arms too often to think He’ll not uphold me now!
“Will God comfort my heavy heart?”
*   I’ve rejoiced in the comfort of God’s Word too many times to sulk in any situation.
“Will God always provide for my needs?”
*   I’ve marveled at God’s provision on so many occasions that I can’t even imagine Him expecting me to try to cover my own needs.
“Will God fulfill His promises?”
*   I’ve seen so many of God’s promises become reality, that I cannot doubt even one of them!

Praise God! He does NOT change, and that is why we can have reassurance for the future.

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WHEN IT GETS WORSE BEFORE IT GETS BETTER

September 26, 2011

“But I will harden his (Pharaoh’s) heart so that he will not let the people go.” (Exodus 4:21)

In God’s first conversation with Moses, He identified Himself as the God of his fathers, assuring Moses that His covenant with His people was still in effect. God saw their oppression in Egypt, knew their sorrows and heard their cry. Now the time had come to release them from their bondage and head towards the land flowing with milk and honey that He had promised Abram centuries earlier (Genesis 12:7; 15:12-21).

Among all the wonderful promises of deliverance that God gave Moses, there was a warning that wasn’t so encouraging; in fact, it was discouraging! …yet it was part of God’s plan. God said “But I am sure that the king of Egypt will not let you go…I will harden his heart so that he will not let the people go…and I will harden Pharaoh’s heart…Pharaoh will not heed you…” (Exodus 3:19; 4:21; 7:3,4) Just as God warned, when Pharaoh was presented with the request to let God’s people go, his heart was hardened. He increased the workload of the already-suffering Hebrew slaves and they were savagely beaten. When the officials went in to Pharaoh and he didn’t let up, they met with Moses and Aaron to vent. Moses, in turn, went straight to the Lord with his complaint: “Why…why?…You didn’t make good on Your promise. You didn’t deliver Your people at all.” (Exodus 5:22-23) Caught up in this difficult situation, it was hard for Moses to remember a few truths. Here are some truths that Moses did not remember.

1. God had a plan. His plan was to deliver His people.

2. God would keep His promise (Genesis 12:7)

3. God warned Moses that He would harden Pharaoh’s heart.

While all that was true, at this point God assured Moses: “Now you shall see what I do to Pharaoh…I AM THE LORD (6:1,2) God proceeded to reassure Moses with a series of “I WILL” promises:

I WILL bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians.

I WILL rescue you from their bondage.

I WILL redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great judgments.

I WILL take you as My people.

I WILL be your God.

I WILL bring you into the land which I swore to give to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

I WILL give it to you as a heritage.

God started and ended the conversation with “I AM THE LORD.” (Exodus 6:6-8) Things would get worse before they got better, but GOD was still the “I AM”, and He nestled a series of “I WILL!” promises between two “I AM” declarations to remind Moses Who the Promise Giver was.

God has a plan for our lives, too that He will fulfill. That plan is to take us to that place He’s preparing for us. (John 14:2) We also have a warning we must not forget. Jesus said that it would get worse before it gets better: “In the world you will have tribulation.” (John 16:33) Unfortunately, when things get tough for us, like Moses, we forget that warning; we get discouraged and whine “Why?…why?…” That is when we need to hold on to the “I WILL” promises of the Great I AM who assured us that He will be with us every day until our final breath. One day we’ll look back and say, “Yes, it did get worse before it got better…but God – the Great “I AM” –  was with me even in the worst situation, and He kept every “I WILL” that he promised!”


THE GREATNESS OF THE PROMISER

July 28, 2011

Charles Spurgeon was a very prolific preacher and author of the nineteenth century, and one of my favorite writers. Referring to our faithful God, he encourages us to “fix our eyes on the GREATNESS OF THE PROMISER” in one of his writings that I read a short time ago.

Reading that, I immediately recalled King Solomon’s blessing in 1st Kings 8:56: “Blessed be the Lord…there has not failed one word of all His good promise, which He promised through His servant Moses.” Solomon looked back in history and highlighted God’s faithfulness. God allowed those reassuring words to be preserved for many, many centuries, and today you and I can rejoice in them.

Promises are only as good as the promise-giver. Praise God, He is the faithful, compassionate and unchanging promise giver. Every promise He made, even thousands of years ago, are just as valid today as they were then. Let’s keep our eyes fixed on the GREATNESS OF THE PROMISER, and praise Him today!


THE GUARANTEE OF GOD’S PROMISES – Part 1

September 14, 2010

Living in Argentina for 27 years as missionaries, my husband Jorge and I faced innumerable challenges. One of them that became chronic, was financial in nature. We received monthly offerings from our denomination’s missionary committee, generous offerings from several family members, and at certain times we also had supplemental incomes. Although we often hit the bottom of the barrel, we always experienced God’s faithful provision for our daily needs, as well as for special expenses.

When our oldest child Denise started college in the city of Cordoba, 8 hours away from home, we were very thankful that our best friends and their family lived there. Our children grew up together and were very close, so it wasn’t a surprise when the Ratti’s offered to let Denise live with them. My oldest sister Janet, who was single, willingly and faithfully sent us enough money each month to cover Denise’s expenses. Since Janet had no children, she wanted to be sure that her niece and nephews in Argentina had a chance to get a college education. With these blessings, Denise’s first year of college was covered financially. That same year, our son Adriel was a senior in high school and chose to study at the Universidad de Cordoba with Denise after graduating. That’s when the plot thickened. We knew we couldn’t “unload” both kids on our friends, (they have four children of their own) and felt that it would be best to rent an apartment for our two.  Juggling numbers, expenses and costs, we realized that even with Aunt Janet’s help for both of them, we’d not be able to handle the finances. Although we prayed, I tried to help God come up with creative ways to be able to fund our kid’s college education. I sure came up with some interesting ideas! Realizing that our plans weren’t going to work, we knew that God was asking us to trust Him completely….not easy….

One day, after struggling with this for a few months, I cried out to Him in despair “Lord, please, just give me the guarantee that we will have enough money every month to cover our kid’s expenses while they are in college!” No sooner than I spewed out that demand, God asked me: “Aren’t my promises enough of a guarantee?” His voice wasn’t audible, but the pain I felt as he seared that question on my heart caused me to weep in shame as I replied in brokenness: “Yes, Lord, Your promises are enough! Forgive me for selfishly wanting to take control of the situation instead of trusting Your promises!”

God’s question to me that day resounds in my heart each time I face a situation that I can’t control and that has the potential to cause me to despair. I look back and thank Him for His faithful, generous provision; but more than that, I praise Him for the reminder that YES! His promises are the ONLY guarantee I’ll ever need in any situation!

In my next post I’ll continue with Part 2…. Stay with me!


REASSURANCE IN CONFUSING TIMES

May 31, 2010

During the three years Jesus was with his 12 disciples, there were a number of times when they just didn’t get it. In the gospel of John chapters 13 and 14, we see Jesus and a very confused group of followers. It was at the “Last Supper” that they seemed to have more questions than answers. When Jesus announced His betrayal, we read that “the disciples looked at one another, perplexed about whom He spoke.” asking, “Lord, who is it?” (13:22, 25) After Judas Iscariot was identified as the betrayer,  Jesus told him “What you do, do quickly”; they had no idea what was happening. Their confusion mounting, Jesus offered them reassurance for every question they had.

Jesus announced that He was going somewhere and that they couldn’t follow Him. Peter asked “Where are you going?…Why can’t I follow you now?” (13:36,37) Confusion. In response, Jesus reassured them with the timeless promise that has comforted believers ever since: “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions;…I go to prepare a place for you…I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also…” (14:1-3)

Still confused, Thomas spoke up for the whole group. “We do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?” (14:5) Jesus reassured them, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me”. (14:6) Not satisfied with that, Philip asked that Jesus show them the Father. Again reassuring, Jesus replied: “He who has seen Me has seen the Father”. (14:9)

Understanding their bewilderment, Jesus continued reassuring them with promises.

He reassured them that their prayers would be answered. “Whatever you ask in My name, that I will do.” (14:13)

He reassured them that they would not be alone. He promised them the Spirit of truth, saying “I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you…” (14:18)

He reassured them of eternal life: “Because I live, you will live also.” (14:19)

He reassured them of His love: “He who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him…” (14:21)

He reassured them of His peace: “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you…” (14:27)

Like the disciples, sometimes we have more questions than answers: our future, our employment, our families, our health, our finances, our relationships…. we get confused, and spill out our concerns and doubts to the Lord. Just as with them, He understands us and puts us at ease with the same promises: Our prayers will be answered. We are not alone, He is with us. Because He lives, we live. He loves us no matter what. He gives us His peace. Praise God for His reassurance in times of confusion!


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