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Child-Like Faith Explained and Why You Need It

Posted on July 23, 2018 By In Encouragement , Religion With no comments

Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”

Matthew 19:14

You know the song, “Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world.” I suppose I learned that one about the same time I learned Jesus Loves Me. As simple and basic as these songs may be, they reveal an important truth about the Lord’s relationship to children and faith.

As parents brought their children to Jesus for Him to lay hands on them, they were rebuked. Jesus’ disciples didn’t want to bother the Master with such trivial matters. Jesus, however, thought differently, and requested time with the children. (Mt. 19:13-15)

Jesus said “the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” And He used the occasion to teach a valuable lesson on faith. “Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” (Luke 18:17) That’s where we get the expression, child-like faith.

You don’t need a theological degree, nor do you have to read the Bible from cover to cover. You don’t have to study a book and then take a test to be saved.

I grew up in the Lutheran Church and at age eleven, I went through a catechism class which I failed miserably. Couldn’t memorize all that was needed to pass, and to be honest, I didn’t try all that hard to learn. But it broke my heart to flunk.  I recall apologizing to the pastor and worrying I wouldn’t get to go to heaven. He responded with something I’ve never forgotten. “You can’t grade faith.”

God made His message of salvation easy enough for a child to understand. Child-like faith doesn’t have to know all the what-ifs. It’s as simple as this:

If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. (Romans 10:9)

As we grow older, we become cynical and closed-minded. Children, however, believe easily, accept freely, and trust wholeheartedly.

In Matthew 18, there’s another incident involving Jesus and children. He used a child as a teaching opportunity to make an important point about saving faith. “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”  (Mt 18:3)

You have probably said of someone “he needs to grow up.” You said it because his behavior is more like a child than an adult. When it comes to faith, we must become like children. Cast aside your adult snobbery and superior knowledge and take Jesus at His word. Accept Him in faith.

Child-like faith is willingness to trust and follow Christ. It begins as simple as a grain of mustard seed. You don’t step into the faith as a spiritually mature Christian, in love with God, and well-versed in His word. Your faith is just enough to take that first step in which the seed takes hold and begins to grow within you. And one day, you realize that little seed of faith has grown into mountain moving faith.

This spring, my wife ordered a pack of Petunia seeds from the Park Seed Company. When they arrived, my first reaction was that she had been ripped off. Those seeds were so tiny, we used a magnifying glass to look at them. Today, we have beautiful Petunias growing in our flower garden, which begs the question, how could something so lovely come from something so tiny?

Jesus loves the little children and adults with child-like faith. When we water that seed of faith with the word, nurture it with the leading of the Holy Spirit, and rid ourselves of the sin-weeds that inhibit growth, we become trees that bear beautiful fruit in God’s garden.

Don’t ever think your faith is too small. Start with what you have and watch it grow. God will give the increase.

For more on this topic, check out this article: Christ Vindicates and Protects His Children

Reprinted from The Forever Notebook, Book 3 (July – September) Get your copy here: Paperback and eBook/Kindle formats.

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The Powerful Influence of Faith

Posted on July 22, 2018 By In Encouragement , Religion With no comments

I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also.

2 Timothy 1:5

It’s clear from our focus text that Timothy’s mother and grandmother had made a favorable impression on the Apostle Paul. They were women of faith. Their living faith had influenced Paul’s young friend.

Strong, living, active, and unwavering faith is contagious. It inspires others and gives hope.

I love a candlelight worship service. It begins with one flame from which all the other candles are lit. It’s a reminder of the light of Christ in our world. Heart to heart, faith to faith, bringing light into a dark world.

I’ve spoken many times of my grandmother’s faith. As a teen growing up in her home, I sometimes saw her faith as silly and misaligned. She trusted God for everything, big and small. In her advanced years, she was particularly vocal with her faith. If she lost something, she would tell me she had asked God to show her where it was. Sure enough, a few minutes later she would find what she had been missing. Back then, I dismissed her claims of divine intervention. “You would have found it anyway,” I would say.

She never forced faith on me. Mable Polk just lived it. I am persuaded that her example was the catalyst for faith in my life. How I wish she was still around so I could tell her that what she taught me about faith was without error. More important to her would be the knowledge that her living faith now lives in me. If you would like to read more about her remarkable faith, I’ve written a novel called, In the Valley of Hope: Faith Conquers Fear. You can get it in eBook/Kindle and print versions.

Faith turns skeptics into believers. Lately, I’ve noticed that my youngest son no longer groans and rolls his eyes when I tell him I’m praying for him. He even acknowledges that it’s a good thing.

What about you? Was there someone in your past whose living faith influenced you? I suppose our greatest hope is that the faith that is now in us will serve to inspire our children, grandchildren, friends, and family.

Your stories of how God has blessed your faith can mean so much to people in crisis situations. Always be willing to share what God has done and don’t be surprised when you find yourself face to face with someone who’s going through a trial like yours. I believe God sends us to those who desperately need encouraging words of hope.

It always helps when we hear from those who have walked in our shoes. That’s the living faith Paul talks about. It produces results, sees prayers answered, and then ignites hope in others.

Nothing is impossible for our God. He healed my wife and me of cancer. Even when we lost nearly everything via unemployment, He gave us more than we had before. He heals, restores, saves, rescues, provides, protects, revives, supplies, and performs miracles against all odds.

Early in our marriage, when we were out of money and had no food, God sent a neighbor who had some leftover barbecue, enough food to get us through to payday. When our oldest son needed a fresh start in a Christian School, even though we didn’t have the money for registration, God miraculously provided.

Now, I am not a believer in name-it-and-claim-it faith. If that were real then we could shut down our hospitals and quit our jobs. Blessings would just fall out of the sky.

But I do believe in where-the-rubber-meets-the-road faith. The kind of faith that trusts God no matter what; good times and bad, victory and loss, success and failure. Living faith endures as the waters continue to rise. It’s faith that refuses to quit and always clings to hope. And not because of faith itself, but because of the God in whom  we place our trust. His faithfulness keeps faith alive.

May your faith be like that of Eunice and Lois, a living faith that inspires others to live for the Lord.

For more on this topic, check out this article: Become a People Builder and Change Your World

Reprinted from The Forever Notebook, Book 3 (July – September) Get your copy here: Paperback and eBook/Kindle formats.

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Incomparable Senior Care

Posted on July 21, 2018 By In Encouragement , Religion With no comments

4 Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you. 5 “With whom will you compare me or count me equal? To whom will you liken me that we may be compared?

Isaiah 46:4-5

Seems like the perfect day to address this subject. The man described in this Biblical passage sounds like me, old and gray. Although I have often said I don’t feel my age, today I do. My health has suffered a setback, and I am trusting God that this malady is brief and not the beginning of something severe.

I don’t write The Forever Notebook to sell books or make money. These are my meditations on God’s word. I offer it on a daily blog at www.richardweirich.com and then compile the entries into books. It is my prayer that these devotions will fall into the hands of those who will benefit from them. If you grow tired of my personal stories, I apologize. But personal testimonials are the only way I know to communicate that God is real and His word is absolutely reliable.

There is much to be learned from looking back, taking inventory of God’s blessings, and looking for His footprints in the sands of our lives. God doesn’t just help us once or twice and then move on or cease to care about our troubles. Those past blessings remind us that — He did it before and He will do it again. The Lord’s love never falters and lasts forever.

Even in our golden years He promises to continue to work in our behalf. As we see in our focus text, God knows us better than anyone and is intimately aware of our every need. “I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.” (v4)

There are four important points here to remember:

(1) God made you

The creator of anything has intimate knowledge of the creation. He understands what went into it, and how and why it works. He has a vested interest and a concern that others could never have. God’s children are “fearfully and wonderfully made.” (Psalm 139:14) We are the result of divine craftsmanship, made in His image.

(2) God will carry you

When the difficulties of life overcome you and you can no longer stand, God carries you. That’s true at any stage of life, but it’s especially good to know in our winter years.

If you’re a parent, you know how your heart breaks when you see your child suffering. You will do anything to help get them well. I recall an incident involving my granddaughter when she was a baby. She cried and cried from pain caused by colic, and nobody could do anything to help. I picked her up and held her in my arms and then paced up and down the hallway until her tears finally subsided and she fell asleep.

In your pain, God picks you up and carries you until you can get back on your feet. And if your body can no longer take the stress, He carries you on to your heavenly home and heals you completely for all eternity.

(3) God will sustain you

He is our strength and our life support system. He empowers the engine when there’s no fuel in the tank.

(4) God will rescue you

Help is on the way. You won’t stay in your painful predicament forever. God will either deliver you and restore you to live longer on this earth, or He will take you to your eternal home.

In verse 5, we’re reminded that God’s help is incomparable. “With whom will you compare me or count me equal?” There’s nobody and no thing that can compare to our God. His love, compassion, mercy, grace, provision, protection, and healing power is unparalleled. And it’s available to all who love Him.

For those of us who have reached our golden years, God provides Incomparable Senior Care. His help is only a prayer away.

For more on this topic, check out this article: Why You Don’t Have to Be Afraid

Reprinted from The Forever Notebook, Book 3 (July – September) Get your copy here: Paperback and eBook/Kindle formats.

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Heaven is Worth the Wait

Posted on July 20, 2018 By In Encouragement , Religion With no comments

As you know, we count as blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.

James 5:11

I’m not what you would call a horticulturalist. If not for my wife’s love of plants and flowers, I would never have learned to enjoy the beauty of nature. I’ve even learned to identify certain varieties of flowers and have a few favorites.

One of the most amazing perennials is the peony. But it’s not the best choice for the impatient gardener. It takes two years or more until you see your first blooms. When they finally mature,  they are magnificent and well worth the wait. To me, peonies are like roses on steroids. Big, fluffy, and beautiful.

Few of the great things in life are immediate. Success in any field doesn’t come over night. In fact, the principles of planting, nurturing, and waiting for the harvest can apply to life in general.

So it is with our greatest reward. Again, to better understand our focus text, we look back to the preceding verses to arrive at the writer’s meaning.

In verse 7, James says, “Be patient, then, brothers and sisters, until the Lord’s coming.” So the perseverance to which he refers is in the context of waiting on Christ’s return.

Then he illustrates the patience required in waiting. “See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waiting for the autumn and spring rains. You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near.” (James 5:7-8)

If the book of James was written by James, the brother of Jesus, that would place the writing at about AD 70. Jesus’ ascended into heaven 40 days after His resurrection around 31 AD. The point I want to make here is that only about 40 years had elapsed since Jesus’ departure. The recipients of James’ letter were expecting Jesus to return in their lifetime and the delay had become an issue.

In verse 10, James calls attention to “the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord.” Their prophecy pointed to a promised Messiah who did not appear in their lifetime, yet they persevered. These new Christians had received what the prophets had talked about. Now, until the Lord’s return, they should be patient in waiting as were the prophets of old.

When James says, “The Lord is full of compassion and mercy,” (v11) he is reminding his readers that God understands their suffering and need for the Lord’s promised reward. Just because Jesus hasn’t come back yet doesn’t mean that Christianity isn’t real, or that God has abandoned His people.

Peter put it this way. “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9) God has left the door to salvation open, not wanting anyone to miss His free gift of eternal life.

I’m a fan of the old Andy Griffith Show. A few days ago, I saw an episode in which Barney returned to Mayberry for his high school reunion. He was anxious to know if his old flame, Thelma Lou, would be returning for the celebration. A last minute telegram announced she was coming, and Barney was thrilled. His excitement quickly turned to disappointment when Thelma Lou showed up with her new husband. Barney had waited too long to ask his one true love to marry him.

No one knows when the Lord will cease to offer His free gift. As for now, Jesus is waiting. “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.”  (Revelation 3:20)

This time of waiting for the Lord’s return shouldn’t be like the old days when the teacher left the classroom. It’s not the time for pandemonium and misbehavior. It’s a time for doing good, sharing God’s good news, and living to God’s glory. Graduation day is coming. However long it takes, heaven is worth the wait.

For more on this topic, check out this article: Make Time to Serve Jesus Christ

Reprinted from The Forever Notebook, Book 3 (July – September) Get your copy here: Paperback and eBook/Kindle formats.

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How Christians Dress for Success

Posted on July 19, 2018 By In Encouragement , Religion With no comments

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.

Colossians 3:12

My friend, Kurt Kilpatrick, is a member of the National Speaker’s Association. He once told me of a group within his profession who were Dress for Success advocates. Obviously, they were easy to spot at any meeting. Perfectly coiffed and immaculately dressed. Suitable for display in any upscale department store window.

Now, when you dress for success, you’re not doing it solely for the benefit of others. You feel better about yourself, more confident. If you want to be a winner, dress like a winner.

Paul’s instruction in Colossians 3 follows that same logic, albeit figuratively. Get rid of the old sinful wardrobe and replace it with attire befitting a Christian.

In the verses leading up to our focus text, Paul lists the articles of clothing that should have already been discarded: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed. (Colossians 3:5) In verse 8, he added sinful behavior that still needed to be addressed: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language and lying (v9).

What behavioral changes have you made since coming to Christ? And what needs to be corrected now? Take inventory of your spiritual closet and cast off everything that doesn’t belong, the sin that so easily entangles (Hebrews 12:1). Sin hinders your walk with God, prevents you from the abundant life Christ has promised.

I have often heard people complain that Christians have too many rules. Too many “thou-shalt-nots.” As a veteran of many diets, I have learned that it is better to focus on what you can have as opposed to what you can’t. That’s what Paul encourages us to do as he opens our eyes to the big picture. “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved…” (Colossians 3:12)

You aren’t that old lost sinner anymore. You are no longer destined for the wrath of God (v6). God CHOSE you and through the work of Christ you have been made holy, and you are dearly loved.

When I was 11-years-old, I tried out for the Pure Peppers Little League team and made it. I was chosen by the best team in the league. And I couldn’t wait to wear my new uniform.

Better than that, we have been chosen for God’s eternal team. There’s no greater honor. We should wear the uniform proudly.

12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Colossians 3:12-14

This clothing is all that should be hanging in your closet. Throw out the old rags and devote your life to the qualities worthy of team Jesus.

Put on the uniform that brings success and places you in the best position for serving Christ.

For more on this topic, check out this article: Show Yourself to Be a Child of God

Reprinted from The Forever Notebook, Book 3 (July – September) Get your copy here: Paperback and eBook/Kindle formats.

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What It Means to be a Temple of the Holy Spirit

Posted on July 18, 2018 By In Encouragement , Religion With no comments

19 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20

You’ve probably heard the old weight-gain joke, “My body is a temple. I’m adding a parking lot.” But the directive to treat our bodies as a temple is no laughing matter.

A temple is a place of worship. As Christians, the Holy Spirit lives within us and with these bodies we offer praise to God.

There’s an old expression that comes to mind. “Don’t drag me into it.” That’s said when somebody invites you to take part in a discussion, argument, or controversy. It also aptly describes what happens when we sin. Since the Holy Spirit dwells within, we drag God into it.

The context of our focus text has to do with sexual sin. I commend 1 Corinthians 6:12-20 to you for a better understanding of this important topic.

As Paul leads up to his declaration that the body is a temple, he argues, “The body… is not meant for sexual immorality but for the Lord.” (v13) Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself? Shall I then take the members of Christ and unite them with a prostitute? Never!” (v15)

When you go to work or on a business trip, you leave your family behind. There is a natural feeling of separation. Hopefully, your behavior doesn’t change when you are absent from them. But the separation is real. You are alone and may feel freedom you don’t experience when you are in their presence. But that freedom doesn’t give you license to betray their trust in you.

You may have similar feelings in your relationship to God when you are not in church, in prayer, or in bible study. Alone. Absent from the Lord. Free to engage in activity unbecoming a Christian. But guess what? Unlike your earthly relationships, you are NEVER absent from the Lord.

Remember God’s promise: “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5) Jesus said, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.” (John 14:23) Then in verse 26, Jesus promises to send the Holy Spirit, “… to help you and be with you forever.”

The godhead; Father, Son, and Spirit continually abides with every Christian. We are never alone.

To be sure, it’s a comforting thought to know God is always with us. But having the Lord “onboard” requires responsibility, respect, and reverence.

Worship in our bodily temple doesn’t end at 12:00 on Sunday or after our daily quiet time. It can and should continue throughout our daily routine. In Romans 12:1, Paul teaches, “… offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.”

Offering our bodies as a living sacrifice means that we refrain from sinful sexual behavior and thus maintain holiness that is pleasing to God.

Sexual impropriety was prevalent in Paul’s day as in ours. However, there are now more ways than ever to pursue deviant behavior. Easily accessible sexual temptation is only a few keystrokes away. But the Biblical instruction hasn’t changed. We’re to “Flee from sexual immorality…” (1 Corinthians 6:18)

Paul concludes his argument, “You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20) Your body belongs to Christ, bought and paid for with the precious blood of Jesus. Treat your body so as to honor God.

Now, the context of Paul’s teaching focuses exclusively on sexual immorality. In a broader sense, when we consider the body as a temple where God resides, we can conclude that the way we care for our bodies is also important. Just as we’re to be good stewards of all that God provides, we should properly maintain and care for the temple.

Your body is a temple and intended for holy conduct that honors God. And like I said earlier, when you engage in sin, you drag Him with you. Is that really what you want or should do?

For more on this topic, check out this article: With Christian Freedom Comes Responsibility

Reprinted from The Forever Notebook, Book 3 (July – September) Get your copy here: Paperback and eBook/Kindle formats.

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You Can’t Fake Your Way Into Heaven

Posted on July 17, 2018 By In Encouragement , Religion With no comments

Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.

Romans 12:9

Have you ever met a loving, caring, and morally decent person who later turned out to be a fraud?

In our focus text, the Apostle Paul calls attention to three important aspects of Christian behavior, the first of which has to do with how we are to love. “Love must be sincere.” Don’t just go through the motions. Don’t pretend to be something you’re not. For you and me, love must be genuine.

There’s an old expression that’s often used in business. “Fake it ‘til you make it.” Well, in the matter of love, that concept has no merit. In fact, you can’t fake a right relationship with Christ. You’re either the real deal or you’re not. You might fool some of the people some of the time, but you can’t fool the Lord.

The real Christian hates evil and clings to good. The pretender lives as he wants, sets his own moral compass, clings to what suits his purposes, while claiming to be what he is not.

The genuine Christian sins, but not habitually. (1 John 5:18) The pretender sins with little or no remorse and wants the Christian label without responsibility.

True enough, we aren’t to judge. (Matthew 7:1) However, Jesus also said of false prophets, “… by their fruit you will recognize them.” (Mt 7:20) We’re not to cast judgement on others but we do have to make judgements about those who claim to be Christians or leaders within the Christian church. False doctrine leads to false belief and misaligned faith.

Again, we’re not to judge, but we must carefully scrutinize those we hang with and those we follow. Judgement of the pretenders is up to Christ.

21“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ Matthew 7:21-23

Amazing isn’t it? Pretenders can fake spirituality and perform in ways that appear to represent God.

Now, I’m not suggesting that you should suddenly start scrutinizing every Christian for warning signs of fraudulent behavior. All of us do and say things that can call into question our right relationship to Christ. Only God knows the reality of one’s heart. The most important thing for you and me in this regard is to make certain we’re the real deal. The response we should long for is, “Well done, good and faithful servant… Come and share your master’s happiness!” (Matthew 25:23)

There is something I do to my wife that is insincere and I’m working on changing it. To be fair, most men do it, but that doesn’t make it right. When she talks, I pretend to be listening. Guys, if you think we are fooling our wives, we’re not. They know our feeble attempts at conversation are insincere. They deserve better.

A more serious problem is when that insincerity carries over into our worship, prayer life, bible study, behavior, and faith.

God honors faith that is genuine and sincere. “… without faith it is impossible to please God…” (Hebrews 11:6) “… anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”

Do you believe that? Do you believe intellectually and from the heart He exists, and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him?

Notice the operative word “earnestly.” Our faith must not only involve intellectual ascent but earnest pursuit of His divine involvement in our lives. Faith is not passive but active resulting in changed behavior and good works. “… faith without deeds is dead.” (James 2:26)

So when Paul instructs, “Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good…” (Ro 12:9), he is telling us to keep it real. You can’t fake your way into heaven. God honors real faith, saving faith; living, breathing, active, sincere, earnest, working faith that permeates our being and affects the way we live.

For more on this topic, check out this article: What is Required of Those Who Follow Christ

Reprinted from The Forever Notebook, Book 3 (July – September) Get your copy here: Paperback and eBook/Kindle formats.

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How God Works for Us Behind the Scenes

Posted on July 16, 2018 By In Encouragement , Religion With no comments

You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.

Genesis 50:20

These are the words of Joseph in response to his brothers’ request for mercy. Their intent to harm him had failed and Joseph had become the second most powerful leader in Egypt. Out of jealousy, they sold him into slavery. But God had a different plan for Joseph’s life.

In Romans 8:31, Paul writes, “If God is for us, who can be against us?” God uses us for His good purposes and blesses us DESPITE the evil intentions of our enemies, and threatening circumstances of life. No person or situation can keep us from God’s unfailing love.

38For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39

We know that faith is not what we see, but what we don’t see. (Hebrews 11:1) Although it may appear that nothing is happening to deliver you from your difficult situation, God is working behind the scenes, directing people and events to align with your need. He will help you in His time and in His way. While you wait, He grows you in the faith and teaches you to rely on Him and not yourself.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28

When Joseph’s brothers sought to get rid of him, he was purchased as a slave to Potiphar, the captain of Pharaoh’s guard. In time, Joseph became Potiphar’s personal assistant. Potiphar’s wife took a liking to Joseph and attempted to seduce him, but he refused. So she falsely accused him of rape, and he was thrown into prison. Again, Joseph was in what looked like a hopeless situation. But God wasn’t finished. Contacts in prison miraculously opened the door for Joseph to work for Pharaoh which ultimately led to his high government position.

Joseph was sold into slavery in his teens. The time of reunion with his brothers and their request for forgiveness didn’t come until he was in his thirties. But in all that time, God was moving the pieces of Joseph’s puzzle, putting everything in perfect alignment to vindicate him.

How desperate and hopeless Joseph must have felt when he was sold into slavery by his brothers. Even when it appeared his life had turned around, a lie sent him to prison. Falsely accused. Treated as a criminal. Held captive amidst thugs and murderers. He had to have felt lower than low. But God was still working.

God knows what you need, He loves you, cares for you, and wants the best for you.

Whenever I’m in a bad situation, I believe God will answer my prayer. I don’t know how, nor when. But I am confident He is working behind the scenes, preparing my blessing, and at just the right time He will come through for me. He always has. I have no reason to doubt that He always will.

Thinking about God at work, even when I can’t see evidence that anything has changed helps me get through hard times. Today’s disappointment just means that God has something better.

If on this day you need deliverance, I pray that God will lift your burden and grant His favor.

For more on this topic, check out this article: How God Works for Your Good

Reprinted from The Forever Notebook, Book 3 (July – September) Get your copy here: Paperback and eBook/Kindle formats.

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