Peace Found in God

The  fourteenth chapter of Second Chronicles in the Old Testament tells us when Asa became the new king of Judah after his father died, there was peace in the land for the first ten years of his reign. The reason for this peace? Asa was careful to obey the Lord his God. He demolished the heathen altars and broke down the idols. Asa demanded that the entire nation obey God’s commandments.

This period of peace made it possible for Asa to build walled cities throughout the land of Judah. For Asa said, “Now is the time to build while the Lord is blessing us with peace because of our obedience to him.”

During this time, Judah’s army was around 528,000. A large number, indeed, but then an army of over 1,000,000 advanced against Judah. Enormous odds, wouldn’t you say?

As King Asa sent his troops to meet them, he prayed. “O, Lord, no one else can help us! We are powerless against this mighty army. Help us, Lord! For we trust in you alone to rescue us, and in your name we attack this vast horde. Don’t let mere men defeat you!”

In answer to Asa’s prayer and trust, God defeated the opposing army.

I wish every time we face the vast hordes of problems that rise against us by the thousands, our victories would be as swift and complete. Sadly. They are not. At least they aren’t in my life. Maybe they are in yours.

But then I focus on the word peace in Asa’s story. That elusive word we sometimes feel without a doubt, and like Asa, we go about building our cities.

However, I also know there is the peace we feel when faced with life in this fallen broken world. A world where there is no one but God to help us. It is a peace we experience when there is no one but our Jehovah God, the All-Powerful One, to stand between us and the army of problems that march our way. It is a peace we can’t always explain, nor truly understand.

This peace found in God reminds us he walks with us through our adversities. Although the outcomes may not always be as we wish, we can be assured God is for us, and nothing can separate us from his love.

Looking back at Asa, we see he was careful to obey the Lord his God. He demolished the heathen altars and broke down the idols. Asa demanded that the entire nation obey God’s commandments.

We too, can carefully obey the Lord our God by following his word preserved for us in Scripture. We can tear down all the idols in our lives we place before God.

Possibly, when it comes right down to it, that’s where we find the peace to keep on keeping on when we face those armies of life determined to undo us.

It is a peace found in God alone.

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Then Asa cried out to the Lord his God, “O Lord, no one but you can help the powerless against the mighty! Help us, O Lord our God, for we trust in you alone. It is in your name that we have come against this vast horde. O Lord, you are our God; do not let mere men prevail against you!” 2 Chronicles 14:11

I wish you well.

Sandy

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You can find my June Inspire a Fire post here. Please stop by and read it.

Trust God in the Hard Times

Last month I re-posted a Woven and Spun post from the archives on coping with adversity. Today I post another from October 11, 2015 which I pray offers hope during this difficult time of COVID-19.

October 11, 2015

We live in a world that often tells us those who follow Christ should not experience times of trouble and hardship. To that I would ask the question, if Jesus said in this world his followers will have trouble, who are we to act as if what he said isn’t true by pretending everything in our life is perfect?

Perhaps the key is to trust God in the hard times instead of acting like we don’t have any troubles and hardships.

When we acknowledge God is our hope and comfort, if we let it, our pain and trouble can draw us closer to him. Our difficulties often show us we aren’t the ones in control. God is.

There are things God brought me through I wish I didn’t go through. Experiences I hope I never go through again. I’m sure many of you could say the same thing.

But you know what? If God didn’t allow us to go through those difficult experiences, we wouldn’t have the opportunity to see his hand at work in those dreadful, horrid places.

I don’t eagerly look forward to more difficult times so I can experience more of God. No, sir. But I am trying to remember when I find myself in the middle of those hard places, Jesus hasn’t left the building. He’s still right here beside me. Now and forever. And he’s right there beside you as well.

Do you think if we never had a worry or care we’d start to feel pretty good about ourselves? Maybe to the point of feeling self-sufficient?

And maybe, just maybe, we’d start to feel like we are okay and don’t need God?

Perhaps God allows us to go through the tough stuff to make sure we don’t start to believe we’re all that and a bag of chips.

What do you think?

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So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.

You love him even though you have never seen him. Though you do not see him now, you trust him; and you rejoice with a glorious, inexpressible joy. The reward for trusting him will be the salvation of your souls. 1 Peter 1:6-9 (NLT)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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You can find my June Inspire a Fire post here. Please stop by and read it.

One More Opportunity to Trust God

During our present state of dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, do you find yourself in a place of being given one more opportunity to trust God? I am.

Because of that, I looked back through Woven and Spun’s archives for a post which might speak hope into our hearts. The following post first appeared on Woven and Spun July 9, 2013. I pray it is meaningful to you.

July 9, 2013

Last week I sat in my family practitioner’s office where she told me I should have come in to see her a week earlier. Although I am fond of my doctor, I do not like going to her office. I’d been dealing with this particular health concern for over two weeks before I finally made the appointment to see her. I think — hope — the medicine she gave me is working.

If not…off to a specialist. Here again, I like this physician. Just don’t like going to his office. Especially in light of the last procedure he performed. Think needles. And a lot of pain.

As I thought about this current problem, I remembered all the many, many, many things God has gotten me through. Opportunities to trust God, as one dear, sweet friend calls them. I realize this present situation is minor in comparison to those in my past.

I also think about people I know and the difficult opportunities to trust God they currently face.

Dialysis or kidney transplant?

Place loved one in a nursing home or take care of him at home?

Surgery or chemo?

Confront with God’s truth or allow child to go down the wrong path?

Stay or go?

Stand up against the bully or continue to be bullied?

Tell the kids you can’t afford it or go deeper in debt?

Is this the one or do I wait for another?

Speak the truth in love or let it slide?

Step out in faith or not?

Tough decisions. Tough situations. Tough circumstances. Tougher God.

Perhaps you are in one of those opportunities to trust God situations right now. If you are, please know I’m praying for everyone who reads this post that you will find peace in your circumstance, continue to trust God knowing He is faithful, and possess wisdom to know what to do next.

So what do we do? Where do we turn? Who do we lean on?

How about we go to Jesus?

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Our Lord and our God, you are my mighty rock, my fortress, my protector. You are the rock where I am safe. You are my shield, my powerful weapon, and my place of shelter. You rescue me and keep me from being hurt. 2 Samuel 22:2-3 (CEV)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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You can find my April Inspire a Fire post here. Please stop by and read it.

With All Our Heart

When Moses addressed the Israelites before they entered the Promised Land, he gave them this command. Israel, remember this! The Lord—and the Lord alone—is our God. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.

That commands still applies today to all who claim God as Lord. God wants us to be all in. Totally committed. With every part of our being. All the time. Not just when it’s convenient. Not just when we feel like it.

We are sinners who live in a broken world. A world which works overtime to pull us away from God and Jesus. This world tells us we’ll never measure up. It tries to define us by its standards. It is a world which tells us our efforts are hopeless, and we should just quit trying.

Sometimes we buy into Satan’s lies telling us we are unworthy, failures, and too far gone to have a chance at redemption. But those are just lies from the father of all lies. That is not God’s truth.

Our brokenness doesn’t define us. Our relationship with Jesus does. Jesus tells us we have the right to seek him and chase after his heart. In fact, he invites us to do just that.

Sure. We mess up. We sin. We fall short way too often, but Jesus knew all that before he willingly took our sins on his perfect sinless self. He allowed himself to be crucified for those sins. That’s where his grace comes in. Something we desperately need, but which we can’t earn or bargain for.

And what are we told to do in response?

Love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, and mind. We are to worship God with our entire being. Despite how the great deceiver might try and tell us our sins disqualify us from God’s presence, the only One whose opinion matters tells us he loves us with an everlasting love and adopted us into his family.

We are God’s beloved children. As such, we should strive to love him with all our heart.

How do you put this command into practice in your life?

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Israel, remember this! The Lord—and the Lord alone—is our God. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. Deuteronomy 6:4-5 (GNT)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Through the Lens of Faith

When problems loom huge before us, do we look at them through the lens of faith, believing with God’s help our problems can be conquered, or do we look through the lens of fear, turning those problems into unconquerable giants?

I have to admit, this is an area I struggle with. Many a time I’ve allowed fear to keep me from stepping out to conquer those scary giants in the land.

When Moses sent twelve spies to scope out the land God promised them, ten of the spies looked at the land through a lens of fear. They exaggerated the proportions of what they saw. Large men became giants. They themselves became like insects. Walled cities became impenetrable. Looking through a lens of fear, these spies determined conquering the land was impossible.

Two of the spies, Joshua and Caleb, looked at the land through a lens of faith. They saw the same obstacles as the other ten spies. They saw the same large men and walled cities. Their faith, however, said with God’s help conquering the land as possible.

It took forty years of wandering in the desert before Caleb and Joshua entered the Promised Land they said could be conquered. Because of their faith, they enjoyed God’s blessings.

Because of the ten spies’ fear, they died in the wilderness. They did not enter the land and enjoy God’s blessings.

Like the ten spies who allowed their fear to become doubt to the point of refusing to enter the land and conquer it, our fears can become doubt, causing us to believe we’ll never conquer whatever it is that lies in front of us. We can exaggerate and enlarge our fears to the point of paralysis to move forward in faith. We can focus on the scary, and forget all about the God who promises to be with us in the midst of the scary.

I want to be like Joshua and Caleb. I want to look through a lens of faith. Instead of looking at the obstacles in front of me and allowing fear to keep me from moving forward, I want to look to God in faith. Knowing with God’s help, even my largest seemingly insurmountable giants can be conquered.

How about you?

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They told Moses, “We explored the land and found it to be rich and fertile; and here is some of its fruit. But the people who live there are powerful, and their cities are very large and well fortified. Even worse, we saw the descendants of the giants there. Numbers 13:27-28 (GNT)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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