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I WILL TRUST IN YOU

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 4:6-7 NKJV

2017 was a year of milestone blessings in some ways. Tom and I celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary and went on the vacation of a lifetime to Greece and Rome. They were the good times. But, 2017 was also a tough year for the Lancaster household. We both faced a few health challenges, Tom had knee replacement surgery, and like you, we experienced a hoard of everyday challenges.

During it all the Lord reminded us that when life gets tough, He just wants us to trust in Him. As humans, we often forget that the Lord is sovereign. He knows our beginning from the end. He gives us promises that will lessen the stress of our load if we will just remember to trust in Him. He challenges us in Philippians 4:6-7 NKJV:

“6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus”

I love it when the Lord gives me an answer in the form of a list! These verses do just that! He pointed out exactly what I needed to hear. Listen in on our conversation as I broke down those verses in prayer.

  1. God:Be anxious for nothing”

Brenda: OK Lord. Now that’s just impossible for us humans. How do I do that? God: “Keep reading Brenda”.

  1. God: but in everything by prayer and supplication” or as it says in the NLT, “Instead of being anxious or worried pray about everything.”

Brenda: “Pray. Just pray? That’s what people say when there is no other hope, isn’t it Lord? And what does that big word supplication mean? So, I proceed to look it up and see that it means “urgently requesting”. Oh, ok Lord. I can do that. I’m urgently requesting…

  1. God: “Tell God what you need”.

Brenda: Oh. But, You already know! But because you asked, I urgently need…

  1. God:Thank Him for what He has already done.”

Brenda: Oh yeah…I remember all those times before when You heard and answered my prayers. You will again, won’t you Lord? You will because you are faithful even when I am not. You can be trusted to do the best thing even though I may not recognize it at the moment. It will be the best thing in the long run.

  1. God: “Then you will experience peace which will exceed anything you can understand”

Brenda: Then when?  Oh Ok. I get it. After I’ve done as you asked above. I desperately need that peace, so, I’ll pray and urgently request until you answer. And I’ll trust in You until that time. Don’t let me forget Ephesians 3:20 Lord. You really can, and will, do exceedingly, abundantly; above all, I can even think to ask of you!

  1. God: “then I will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus”.

Brenda: Ok then. You – Jesus – who is in my heart – You will guard my heart and my mind. You’ll guard it against the constant thoughts of what might happen. You’ll guard it against stress as I – as we as a couple – keep urgently requesting and praying about. You will guard our hearts from fear and stress as we communicate our feelings, fears and problems to you Lord. As we trust in you to bring the answers and solutions we need, in your timing, believing that you want the best for us.

Brenda: “Ok. Now Lord, please give me the memory and strength to keep on doing what you ask. The problem may not go away but I’ll be able to handle the stress that goes with it. And I’ll be able to wait on Your answer, Your wisdom and Your solution.”

Then He brought the powerful song back to my memory (pictured above).

That song is now my life’s theme verse. Thank you Lord!

Until Next Time,

Your Traveling Companion,

Brenda

 

Help me Overcome my Unbelief

“’But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.’ ‘If you can?’ said Jesus. ‘Everything is possible for one who believes.’ Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, ‘I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!’”
Mark 9:22b-24 NIV

I remember one summer night when I couldn’t sleep. Everyone else was in bed and I was looking out my bedroom window because a spectacular storm was going on outside. The lightning was flashing across the sky and rain was falling in sheets. What was keeping me awake though wasn’t what was going on outside but was within me. I was struggling with a deep and challenging storm in my life that felt hopeless and unending. I had spent a lot of time in prayer asking God to deliver me, but I had not heard a response yet and felt alone. As I stared out the window at a tree in my front yard with its branches blowing in the wind, I desperately asked God to strike the tree with lightning to show me that he was there with me and could see my struggle. It was a question asked out of weakness, from being overcome with emotion.

It is easy to feel the presence of the Lord when life is going well, but when we are going through a storm, it is often hard to remember that Jesus is still with us. In Mark 9, a man desperately asks Jesus if He can do something to save his son. Jesus responds with “If?” The man then realizes his lack of faith and in Mark 9:24 NIV says “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief.” That summer night I gave into fear and like the man in the story, began asking God to show up (even though He was already there). Instead, I should have been praying “Oh God, help me in my unbelief. I know the truth but I am weak. Please give me patience to wait, listen, and trust that You will carry me through this storm. Help me to be still.’

Obviously, God did not strike down that tree with lightning, but looking back on that night in hindsight, it is easy to see that God was working in my life at the time. In fact, the events of that summer have strengthened my faith and have acted as a testimony to God’s power. Exodus 14:14 NIV says “The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still” and Deuteronomy 31:8 NIV states that “The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” I know He was there and had a plan. The tree now helps me to remember that I need to trust God and hold onto His truth next time a storm comes.

In Christ alone,

Erin Tabor

 

 

Photo Credit: my own photo

 

Eyes to See

“‘Don’t be afraid,’ the prophet answered. ‘Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.’” 
2 Kings 6:16

Recently, I sat across the table from a former high school classmate and listened to him recount his experience in the Vietnam War. His assignment—the Phan Rang Air Base bomb dump, 150 miles northeast of Saigon—a large open area surrounded by dirt piled high to control unexpected explosions.

Hour-after-hour, soldiers clad in uniforms drenched to their legs with sweat would assemble bombs and stack them for use the next day against the Viet Cong. In 1969, during the Tet Offensive, U.S. military planes would fly so many missions his team would work every day from dawn to dusk for weeks.

“At times, I felt lost and abandoned. I tried hard not to feel sorry for myself. I knew people would die from the bombs we made, but I chose not to think about it. I just put my head down, did my job, and tried to survive while counting the days until I could ‘return to the world.’ Our only diversion was to watch helicopters fly over, or our aircraft bomb and strafe the enemy in the mountains surrounding us. We were attacked many times with rockets, mortars, and occasional ground forces. I truly believe God looked out for me.”

As I listened to my classmate’s story, I could only imagine the conflict of emotions that life in the middle of a warzone would bring. After all, my friend’s presence there along with thousands of other troops sheltered me from the horrors of a war that took place halfway around the world. For their service, I am grateful.

In the 2 Kings 6 account of another war, fear struck the heart of Elisha’s servant when he saw an army of horses and chariots surround the city. Elisha assured him that God was greater than the enemy and prayed God would give his servant eyes to see. “Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha” (2 Kings 6:17). As the enemy moved toward them, Elisha prayed that God would strike them blind, and he did as Elisha asked.

Do you face seemingly insurmountable difficulties? I’m sure my classmate, afraid at times, found comfort as he watched his comrades rid the mountains of their enemies. Scripture states that in this world we will have trouble, but because of Christ’s death and resurrection our enemy is a defeated foe. No illness, grief, financial crisis, rejection, or calamity has the power to overcome us. God always leads his children to victory.

Look to the hills. Lift up your eyes in faith and allow God to show you his triumphant power.

 

Blessings,

Starr