Whenever I watch a movie, I have to sit on my hands to avoid hitting fast forward to see how it ends. I can’t stand suspense. It’s like I can’t trust the director to get the characters out of the jam they’re in and on to the happy-ever-after ending. I also find myself second-guessing the director throughout the movie about the plot, the dialogue, the scenery, the wardrobe — basically everything.
One question we’ve been asking ourselves at every step in our journey is: What exactly does Jesus want us to do?
Yesterday we kicked off our review of Jesus’ answer to that question with a look at Jesus’ BIG 2 COMMANDS:
Jesus was watching as the crowd put its money into the temple treasury. Many rich people tossed in big amounts. But a poor widow came and put in only two very small coins worth about a fourth of a penny.
Jesus called his disciples to him and said:
Over the weekend my wife and I suddenly became empty-nesters. For some reason, our eighteen-year-old twins decided to abandon us and head off to college instead of hanging out around the house for the next four years.
So we loaded up the family truckster, drove what felt like 16,000 hours and dropped off our daughter at a tiny little Christian college in the middle of a cornfield in Indiana. After much blubbering, we returned home, reloaded, drove a slightly less exhausting distance (sixteen minutes) and dropped off our son at a humongous state school in the middle of a big city. Then we blubbered some more.
For parents who have maybe been a wee bit over-involved and over-protective at times, we’re finding it difficult to (1) let our not-so-little birdies leave the nest and (2) trust God to help ’em fly. (The giant “KNOCK HERE FOR CONDOMS” sign on the door of our son’s dorm floor RA didn’t help matters much.)
Below are some trustworthy verses I’m clinging to to as we try to survive this ordeal. If anyone else out there is facing any similar situations where you need to relinquish control and trust God, I hope you’ll find ’em helpful, too.
- Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. (Proverbs 3:5)
- I trust in you, O Lord; I say, “You are my God.” (Psalm 31:14)
- When I am afraid, I will trust in you. (Psalm 56:3)
- Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him. (Psalm 62:8)
- Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God. (John 14:1)
- The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him. (Nahum 1:7)
- The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. (Psalm 28:7)
- Whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe. (Proverbs 29:25)
- I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. (Psalm 13:5)
- Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord is the rock eternal. (Isaiah 26:4)
In all things
God works for the good of those who love Him.
God works for the good in ALL things. Not some things. Not most things. ALL THINGS.
So, no matter what’s going on in your life, you can rest assured that God is working in that situation for your good. Did you just lose your job? God’s working for good. Did a loved one just pass away? God’s working for good.
It’s all a matter of perspective. Check out the world through God’s eyes. No matter how bleak things may appear, remember that He is always in control and always, always, always working for the good of those who love Him. That’s a promise from the creator of the universe. You can trust him 100%.
GOD’S WORKING FOR GOOD
“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)
That’s basically what God was telling the Israelites in the above verse. They had been ripped away from their homeland and exiled to Babylon. Life was hard. Hope was dim.
But God had a plan. He always has a plan. And it’s a good one.
So, what’s God’s plan?
Prosperity. Hope. And a future better than anything we could imagine or create ourselves.
Here’s what God said next:
“Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the LORD, “and will bring you back from captivity.” (Jeremiah 29:12-14a)
Feel like you’re in captivity? Getting desperate? Losing hope?
Trust God. Seek Him with all your heart. He’ll rescue you, restore your hope and give you a future full of love.
Here’s this week’s Proverb. Read it. Meditate on it. Memorize it. Live it.
Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. (Proverbs 3:5)