God’s Role. Our Role.

psalms_33_20_22_by_boughtbybloodme-d7ubuoxWe wait for Yahweh; He is our help and shield. For our hearts rejoice in Him because we trust in His holy name. May Your faithful love rest on us, Yahweh, for we put our hope in You. (Psalm 33:20-22)

God: helps. shields. loves. We: wait. rejoice. trust. hope.

How often do we overlook our own responsibilities and take on God’s?

He Doesn’t Forget

1455061_10151968801494280_1986483280_nHe does not forget the cry of the afflicted. (Psalm 9:12b)

It seems like God forgets the cries of the afflicted sometimes, or maybe that He just ignores them. But that’s our own perspective. When we don’t like His response time, we decide to project what we believe His decision and process must be.

We’re often wrong.

We can trust and believe Him, no matter what. Even when we don’t understand, when we don’t like a situation, when we feel overlooked. God is still God. He is still powerful enough, compassionate enough, just enough, and patient enough.

“Enough” is more our issue than His.

Be Humble Today

Be-Humble-Today-500x500Just because we disagree and have been on opposite sides of a battle doesn’t mean we toss honesty, humility, peace, reconciliation, and forgiveness to the side. Winning at any and all costs is not winning.

Saul and David definitely had their differences, mainly because of Saul’s jealousy, pride, and struggle for power. Yet, near the end of his life, he had this interaction with his successor, David:

When David finished saying these things to him, Saul replied, “Is that your voice, David my son?” Then Saul wept aloud and said to David, “You are more righteous than I, for you have done what is good to me though I have done what is evil to you. You yourself have told me today what good you did for me: when the Lord handed me over to you, you didn’t kill me. When a man finds his enemy, does he let him go unharmed? May the Lord repay you with good for what you’ve done for me today.” (1 Samuel 24:16-19)

We don’t have to wait until the end of our lives. In fact, we shouldn’t. Why waste time? Choose to be honest, humble, peaceful, conciliatory, and forgiving. Today.

I Can Do All Things. So Can You.

3d9c286b98ecf3d0f35770f4ac10319cI don’t do everything well. There are some things I will never try to do. Some things I attempt result in what looks like failure, but my attempt might be the whole point and, therefore, the reason to celebrate.

I rarely say “I can’t.” But I also don’t believe I am powerful, talented, or wise enough to be able to do anything and everything. I may not say “I can’t,” but I say “I shouldn’t” when I know an option I have isn’t the option I should take. I say “I can,” but only when I trust God to give me the power, talent, or wisdom I need to proceed. Not because He promises a specific outcome but because He promises His guidance and provision through the process. The process of trusting Him is much more important than an expected result.

I can do all things…through Christ who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:13)

I don’t ask Him to rubber stamp the things I want to do. “All things” isn’t my determination. It is His. I can follow Him well. I can trust Him.

So can you.

Ask Him what the next thing is, then let Him strengthen you through it.

Music Monday: There Is Power (And It’s Yours)

We don’t always accept Jesus’ power, especially when things don’t go the way we want, when we feel out of control. We don’t want to accept His power, because it doesn’t make sense to us, and it’s something we can’t control. But it is something we have when we yield to Him. We let it work in and through us. And it is powerful.

Steep, Don’t Dip

One of the things I appreciated most when recently speaking north of Toronto was the excellent tea. In most places I travel (and live), when I ask for a cup of hot tea, I get a cup of hot water with a tea bag. I don’t get tea; I get potential tea.

Tea needs to steep. That’s how the flavor floods the water so it is bold and consistent. Dipping a tea bag in water that cools with every passing second doesn’t have the same effect. Steeping requires heat and time.

There is a lot in our lives that needs to be steeped with heat and time, yet we prefer to dip. We cautiously, repeatedly dip and are satisfied with the results because we see some change. We don’t worry about the potential, better results we could get with a different process, because we rationalize contentment with our smaller efforts. We don’t want to endure the heat, and we certainly don’t want to wait across much time.

The topic of the weekend at the conference was joy, and we talked about how we can’t expect to truly experience the fullness of the joy God intends by just dipping into it every now and then. We need to steep in it, so that its flavor truly permeates us.

Isn’t that the case with so much of what God provides and wants for us?

What would happen if we steeped in His love, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control? His mercy, grace, forgiveness, generosity, wisdom, power, justice, and compassion?

Steep or dip? It’s your choice.

The Burden of Compassion

Compassion comes with a burden.

We don’t always feel the burden. Sometimes our enthusiasm and joy with serving and showing compassion overrides the feelings of burden.

But sometimes we have compassion and feel helpless, because we’re not sure what to do. Perhaps we’re not supposed to do anything in terms of fixing the problem. Showing compassion is sometimes simply sitting alongside and being available.

It still feels helpless at times.

However, we are never helpless in our compassion, because compassion is rooted in God and infused with His help. He is the source of compassion, and He is powerful and wise enough to know how it can and should be fulfilled. We just have to accept the help God gives instead of trying to own and control all the help. We have to yield even when the approach isn’t what we would choose. We need to trust Him.

The burden of compassion is ultimately God’s. He loves people way more than we can even imagine loving people. Plus, He has the power to do something about it. He’s inviting you to help by seeking and trusting Him.