“Ah, Sovereign Lord, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you.” ~Jeremiah 32:17
This simple yet powerful statement is one we at times take for granted. We may believe this on the words we speak, but not in heart or action. Just think of how much more peaceful our days would be if we genuinely believed and applied that truth to our lives. It’s easy to quote when life is going great but so much harder when going through trials, and the suffering seems to have no end. The last year of my life has definitely been the hardest. From the passing of my sweet maw-Maw Mildred to me being terminally ill with this chronic bladder infection, my faith has been challenged like never before. However, when I start panicking and doubting, the Lord always gives me the nudge of encouragement that my weary and tired soul needs. Nothing calms an anxious heart like the truth of scripture.
God and I have spent the last 32 years together and even when I have been unfaithful to Him, He has always been faithful to me. Looking back on His faithfulness in my past helps me move forward in the present when my future is uncertain and my mind is too foggy to think. He never has let me down and He never will. Trials as hard as they are, have made the Lord and I closer. I’m so thankful the Lord allows me to talk and cry out to Him and share openly my frustrations, doubts, anger. Some days life is just plain hard, messy, and far from beautiful, but God delights in us and wants us to come Him with all things. So often we spend hours talking to family and friends about our joys and sorrows and God becomes an afterthought to that but instead we should seek and share with Christ first above all else.
One of my favorite books in the Bible is Nehemiah. If you have followed my blog for a while I am sure you have picked up on that. At the beginning of the book Nehemiah worked as a cup bearer to the king but during this time Nehemia’s brother shared with him that the walls of a Jerusalem had been torn down. This news grieved him deeply and broke his heart. However, the first person He sought was God. Nehemiah knew even then that the Lord would guide and lead him to do what was right for his people. Nehemiah felt that God was calling him to rebuild the wall which was a daughting task that met much adversity along the way. However, through it all his gaze was continually on Christ and the Lord brought him through it.
Every time I read that story I realize again and again that the same God who brought Nehemiah through his adversity can bring me through mine. We as humans like to be in control and when asked to surrender it is hard. Although by surrendering and submitting yourself to God, He can perform the impossible in your life. While we may be extremely weak and helpless in a situation, He is strong.Instead of holding on to our control we need to surrender to His.Click To Tweet
As you go throughout your week, remember this truth from scripture — Nothing is too hard for God. Nothing. That sickness you want healed, the job you want, the husband or wife you wish for, the baby you want to have, and the list could go on. God knows the mountain you are facing and he also knows the desires of your heart. He knows, and He cares even when it seems like He is absent from the circumstances. He is not absent. He is there and He is working even when we cannot see or feel evidence of Him. In those moments we have to trust what we know of our Savior, and as Elisabeth Elliot says, “Do the next thing.” When life is too hard and we do not know where to turn next — trust. Jesus and do the next thing.
“I’ve commanded you be brave and strong, haven’t I? Don’t be alarmed or terrified, because the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” ~Josh
Hi friends. I apologize for the delay in posting about the study over the last couple of weeks so I am excited to be back this week.
I am slow moving this week but thankful for life. This does not go with the study but if you have been following my health journey,you know how hard things have been physically for me. That being said, yesterday I was able to be in my wheelchair and sit on the deck and soak up the sun. While that is simple to most, that was a big deal for me. It was marvelous and made me excited for the summer. Even though I know it won’t be easy at first, I am looking forward to the first dip in my pool. Not sure when that will happen but I’m thankful for the little glimmers of hope God brings my way. The Lord has been faithful to give me reasons to “hope a little more” with each day that comes my way. Thanks for all the prayers my dear friends. They are working and they mean so much to me.
Prayers of the faithful encourage the soul. This truth can also be attributed to Nehemiah’s situation as well.
Okay now back to the study. Yesterday was Memorial Day and it has always been known as the unofficial start of summer. One of my favorite things to do during the summer is read a good book and participate in a Bible study. This summer I of course am continuing to study through Nehemiah, and the timing could not be more perfect. While I am not living in the same circumstances as Nehemiah, I am experiencing adversity and so many things mentioned in the book mirrors what is going on in my own life. I love it when God works like that. This is what I like to call “a God thing.”
The evidence of God is also seen in a powerful way in the book of Nehemiah. After Nehemiah gets to Jerusalem he put together a plan and got to work. The very first thing the people repaired were the gates. With them being torn down that made the town and the people living there vulnerable to attack. As I have read about the building aspects from Nehemiah, the phrase “Guard your gates” keep coming to mind. One major way of combating the adversity that came their way was not only rebuilding the gates, but also having someone to stand guard at all times. When Nehemiah took on this task from the Lord he knew it would not be easy. Throughout the process there were many evil acts done to try to stop Nehemiah and his work. However, he did not give up or give in. He was Nehemiah strong. As soon as the work began with building and repairing the gates, attacks started coming from several evil men. As stated in Nehemiah 2:19, “But when Sanballat, Tobiah, and Geshem the Arab heard of our plan, they scoffed contemptuously. What are you doing? Are you rebelling against the king they asked.” He did not believe the lies of the bullies nor was he gullible to their ways. Even when everyone was exhausted from building the wall and the morale was low, Nehemiah did not stop the process. He instead beat the discouragement. After the attacks given in chapter 2, Nehemiah did what he had done from the beginning which was trust God and carry on. Earlier he encouraged the people that the gracious hand of God was upon them, and he did not lose that confidence when fiery darts headed their way. He boldly and confidently said to his enemies in 2:20, “The God of heaven will help us succeed. We, his servants, will start rebuilding this wall. But you have no share, legal right, or historic claim in Jerusalem.” Nehemiah trusted God completely and believed He would take care of them no matter how difficult the task ahead might be.
These types of situations and adversities are also applicable to us today. Therefore, we need to do all we can to love Christ above all else and be on guard spirituality against attacks that come our way. We need to guard our gates! How do we do this you may ask? The answer is pray, pray, pray and spend time getting to know Jesus through His Word. To trust Jesus like Nehemiah did, you have to know Him. When you know Him, you will love Him and desire to be obedient to Him. In your obedience He will strengthen and guide you. When God lays a passion on your heart like He did with Nehemiah, His gracious hand will be upon you and His plan will succeed.
Spend some time with the Lord today and ask Him for strength and trust. What areas in your life do you need to surrender to God and what is He calling you to do during this season? Do not be afraid. Press on and the Lord will see you through it.
To read the other posts in this series visit here.
Those with sound thoughts you will keep in peace, in peace because they trust in you. ~Isaiah 26:3
Trust is a hard thing at times. Especially when circumstances are hard and futures are uncertain. Due to all my recent health problems, I have constantly been filling my mind with scripture and take every thought captive. I am a worry wart by nature and these last few weeks my emotions have fluctuated so many times. However, no matter how emotional I get or how my circumstances changes from one day to the next, Jesus does not. As humans we like to have control and know what is coming next but that is not how faith works. Jesus wants us to trust in Him and He is worthy of that trust.
I was reminded of that very fact on Easter. Jesus died for our sins and rose again so that we could live a life of freedom. Because He lives no matter what comes my way, He will get me through it. He does want me to spend my days worrying about the past, the future, or any of the “what ifs” my mind wants to bring up. Certain seasons can be hard, but they are even harder when we are not resting in Him. God doesn’t want us to fret. He wants us to lay our worries at His feet and lead us not just in our trials but in our joy as well.
Over the past few weeks I have been trying to combat worry and emotions with scripture. Anytime I feel a worry coming on I try to speak a scripture, and I often pray for the armor of God found in Ephesians 6. God loves us and as Isaiah 26:3 promises, He will keep us in peace if we trust in Him. So no matter what you are facing this week keep your gaze on Jesus. Trust Him and his peace and love will flood your soul. Your circumstances and problems may not disappear but God will give you the strength and ability to get through them. Have a great week.