“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, And whose hope is the Lord. For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, Which spreads out its roots by the river, And will not fear when heat comes; But its leaf will be green, And will not be anxious in the year of drought, Nor will cease from yielding fruit.
Jeremiah 17:7-8 NKJV
There is great blessing in simply trusting in the Lord. In this life we will face trials and tribulations. We will faces many storms on our journey with Jesus. But through everything we face God will sustain us. He will sustain us by His grace and power. As we grow in Christ we learn to trust the Lord more and more in all situations.
Growing in Christ is a very uncomfortable thing. Because what God is continually doing is He is challenging us. He is pruning us and cutting away the aspects of our sinful selfish nature and He is replacing it with the character and nature of Christ. He has given us His word each day to feed off of because the enemy is continually trying to bombard our minds with lies and deceptions.
God is faithful in every situation. The dreams and desires He has placed within us, He will be faithful to complete and fulfill. Many times the enemy will fill our hearts and minds with doubts and fears that some how God has forgotten us or somehow we have missed it. But as we abide in Him each day and walk closely with Him we will be like a tree planted by the waters, which spreads out its roots by the river. Hold fast my friends, God is always faithful. He is leading and guiding us each day and preparing us for His glory.
3 He is despised and rejected by men,
A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.
And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him;
He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. Isaiah 53:3
These verse described prophetically what Jesus would go through at Calvary. He was despised and rejected because of us. He knew the price that had to be paid at Calvary and He knew the pain and suffering He would face. But it was His love for us that drove Him to choose to come to the earth and lay down His life.
Many in the world today despise the name of Jesus. They reject the existence of God and want nothing to do with Him. They want to simply live their lives to fulfill the selfish desires that exist within their hearts. But God in His grace and mercy continues day after day to knock on human heart. The Lord continues to advance the gospel throughout the earth.
When we understand the grace and mercy of God we will surrender our hearts and lives to Jesus Christ. To follow Christ means to simply give Jesus all that we are. His will becomes the driving force in our lives. We simply live our lives to bring glory and honor to His name.
The Lord is my shepherd;
I shall not want.
2 He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
3 He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake. Psalm 23:1-3
The Lord is our Shepherd. He leads and guides us each day one step at a time. He provides for everything that we need. As we abide in Him and we seek Him each day He fills us with His peace and His presence. He prepares every step.
In Him we have nothing to fear. There are so many in the world today who simply live in fear and uncertainty. They spend their lives pursuing the lust of the flesh and in the end their lives are left with darkness and emptiness.
David was a man after God’s own heart. He was a man of worship who spent his life drawing near to the Lord. He was not perfect, but through everything his heart was committed to the Lord. If we desire to walk in obedience and holiness it only happens as we abide in the Lord each day and seek Him with our whole heart.
27 Why do you complain, Jacob?
Why do you say, Israel,
“My way is hidden from the Lord;
my cause is disregarded by my God”?
28 Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom.
29 He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.
30 Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
31 but those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:27-31
There are times in our walk with God when it may feel that the Lord has forgotten us or that He doesn’t see the trial or challenge we are currently facing. But God has designed our lives and it is not by accident that we are following Christ. He has so designed our lives to cause us to continue to grow in maturity and intimacy with Him.
The Lord has not forgotten us. His strength and His understanding has no end. As we wait upon the Lord it is the Lord who strengthens us and enables us to overcome. Even the young at some point grow tired and weary, but those who wait upon the Lord will renew their strength.
One of the most difficult thing to do is to wait upon the Lord. We can’t see beyond today and all we have is God’s word and His promises for us. He has given us His word and in His word we have example of time and time again of God being faithful in the lives of those who follow after Him and serve them.
There is a very deep work that takes place in our hearts as we wait upon the Lord. The Lord is continually stretching and growing our faith. He is teaching us to walk according to His word and the leading of the Holy Spirit. Throughout the history of God’s people God has brought His servants through seasons of waiting and it is in those seasons that God has done His greatest work.
We live in a microwave culture in which we want everything and we want it right now. But it doesn’t work the same with the Lord and His kingdom. When He calls someone He takes His time shaping and molding their life like a piece of clay. Often when we are waiting on the Lord it is like a bottle in a wine cellar that ages over time and becomes better with time. Waiting is not easy. But waiting is essential for us experiencing and walking in every promise and plan God has for us.
5 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. 8 For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins. 2 Peter 1:5-9
As the apostle Peter writes these words he is writing about spiritual growth and maturity. We are not called to stay where we are when we first come to Christ. We are called to continue to grow in the character and nature of Christ. This happens as we abide in Him. Abiding is simply close, intimate fellowship with the Lord through prayer and the study of His word. As we make seeking Him the priority, our lives are transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit.
As we continue to grow in Christ we become more effective for God and His kingdom. As we grow our hearts and minds become one with His. The decisions we make line up with His will and His word. Christianity is about continued growth in Christ. It is about a daily pursuit of seeking Jesus with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. Moving from glory to glory.
Those who fail to grow in Christ are those who fail to understand all they have in the Lord. Those who fail to seek the Lord are those who fail to grow. Following Christ is not about a initially decision. There have been many who have begun following Christ, but at some point in the journey have chosen to turn back to the easy and comfort of the world. Following Jesus can be hard and very uncomfortable. We must abide in Him because in Him alone life is found. May we forsake everything else for our pursuit of Christ. May we set aside every idol and every sin. May we set aside anything that would hinder our walk with Christ. May we be the sons and daughters He has called us to be.
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.
2 Corinthians 1:3-4 NIV
The Lord will comfort us in the most difficult moments of our lives. He does this to strengthen and sustain us for the journey. He does it to develop compassion within us for those who are also suffering so that the same comfort we have received from the Lord, we will pour out upon them.
Many times when we are going through something hard we can feel overwhelmed. But we must remember where our strength comes from. It is the Lord who sustains us and His grace is sufficient for all things. He has given His word to sustain us and transform us. He is faithful 100 percent of the time.
Too many times we allow the discouragement of the enemy to creep into our hearts and minds. But we must recognize it for what it is and where it comes from. God is faithful. Today if you are suffering or going through a difficult time simply draw near to the Lord. Allow Him to minister to your heart and strengthen you for the journey. He has created you with destiny and purpose. By His mighty power and grace He will bring all things to pass.
“But he knows where I am going. And when he tests me, I will come out as pure as gold. For I have stayed on God’s paths; I have followed his ways and not turned aside.
Job 23:10-11 NLT
The Lord knows our every step. As we walk this journey with Him we will be tested throughout our lives. It is the testing we face that grows the faith that we have been given. God’s desire is that we would grow in Him. Our growth in Him is progressive and He is always taking us to deeper and greater places in Him.
God calls us to walk in obedience and this is only possible as we seek Him each day. As we abide in Him, He gives us the strength to accomplish all He has called us to and has created us for. Nothing in our lives happens by accident with the Lord, but everything has a divine purpose. We are called to hold fast to the faith we have in Christ and not to turn to the right or to the left.
The blessing and favor of the Lord rests upon us because of our faith in Jesus Christ. Nothing we have received from the Lord is earned by anything we have accomplished. It is simply a gift from Him because of the grace and mercy He has for us. Let us fix our eyes this day upon the Lord and continue to seek Him in greater ways. The time of His return draws ever nearer.
“My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth.”
I John 3:18 NKJV
If we are to truly love as God has called us it requires action. Many will say that they love someone or they will even claim to love God. But if our actions don’t back up our words we are simply a liar.
God’s love is eternal and unconditional. As we walk with Him we become filled with His love. This is what truly defines us as disciples of Jesus Christ.
And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 8:38-39 NLT
There is nothing that can separate us from the love of God. The love of God is relentless, it chases us down. The Lord desires to lavish His love upon us. He desires for us to walk in deep intimacy with Him and encounter His love in every area of our lives. He desires that we would become aware of His presence where ever we find ourselves.
The Lord lavishes His love upon us so that we will in turn lavish His love upon others. Jesus said that we would be known as His disciples because of the love that is at work within us. The love of God cannot be counterfeited. The love of God is unconditional and eternal. The love of God is unchanging. It is not based upon performance nor behavior. But as we come to know Christ in greater ways we come to know the depths of His love. As we come to know and encounter the love of Christ we will be changed for eternity.