This month's "In the Word" devotion was all about Promises! I loved this topic because I love when people do what they say they are going to do. One of my biggest pet peeves is when people say they will do something and then they don't. So here are my thoughts about Promises!
Um, more pain and suffering than normal? No thanks. I think I'll pass. I was so resistant to pursuing a relationship with God because I was fearful of what would come my way.
Day 1 was a very sweet reminder that this is not at all the case. First, He is very honest with us. Yes, you will have trials, you will have pain and suffering. These are all part of living in a fallen world. Second, He promises us that He is bigger than anything we will face on here on earth.
I love the what Elisabeth Elliott had to say about it: "Turn your thoughts to Christ who has already carried your griefs and sorrows."
He's been there, and done that, for me. Why am I afraid of going through it?!
I loved the message for Day 7. I am God's Temple. I come into contact with all types of unbelievers. Am I really being an influence as God's Temple? Or am I letting the unbelievers influence me? It's so hard to stay "un-influenced" in this world. I definitely needed to be reminded that I need my christian friends to help me stay grounded. We need to be yoked by our brothers and sisters in this world of unbelievers. (Even if some of these christian friends I haven't technically met and only encourage me through blogging!)
Another point that hit me was the devotion about God rewarding the time I spend with Him. It is so easy to get caught up in making sure others see you...regardless of how they get the attention. It got me thinking....am I doing this for the right reasons? Am I just doing it so others will think, "oh, look how Godly she is!" or am I really trying to further my relationship with Christ? I read the Message version of Matthew 6:6 and was struck by the choice of wording, "Find a quiet, secluded place so you won't be tempted to role-play before God." The bottom line is: He knows our hearts. He knows whether we are role-playing or genuinely searching for Him.
As I was reading the bible verse for Day 11, I was coming into it tired. Hadley had been up no less than 4 times the night before and they weren't quick "back to sleep" ups and down events. But God, always in charge, reminded me that even "in troubles, hardships, distresses; in hard work, sleepless nights, in hunger; in purity, understanding, patience and kindness..." (2 Cor. 6:4-7) I should still commend myself to spreading His message. I know sleepless nights are probably one of the smallest "trials" compared to what others are suffering, but in this stage of life, where I am right now, this is a trial and I'm called to endure it and my endurance will "fuel the message" of God's glory. Thank you, Lord, for showing me that my tiny troubles are not forgotten and in the grand scheme of things, are purposeful to your plan!
Day 19 struck a chord with me. God wants to hear my plans, hopes, and dreams. You mean to tell me my measly little life goals are important to God? I never thought about it like that. I'm very much a "go-getter" and do things my own way without consulting people. It's my life and I'm going to do what I want. But the truth of the matter is that God is in control and I really need to be running these decisions and goals by Him. He is the ultimate decision-maker and if I want something accomplished, He and I need to talk about it.
In a world where people will constantly let you down, make promises but not keep them, God is constant. He has made a lot of promises and has kept every one. Happy Thursday, friends.