Father, Even in This Your Provision is Perfect and Right

ProvisionDo you ever wonder if Father’s provision is enough?

Have you ever stayed awake at night wondering how you will make it through?

Right now, are you feeling at the end of your rope with waiting for Father to rescue you?

You are not alone.

Throughout history and throughout the Bible we find brothers and sisters who experienced and proclaimed this truth:

Father, even in this Your provision is perfect and right.

Their Last Meal of Bread: 1 Kings 17:1-16

During a great drought in the land, the widow at Zarephath was getting ready to make her last meal for herself and her son. The imminent reality in front of her . . . death from starvation.

God sends the prophet Elijah to her telling him, “Arise, go to Zarephath, which belongs to Sidon, and dwell there. Behold, I have commanded a widow there to feed you.” 1 Kings 17:9

And the widow went from preparing to eat her last meal to having a jar of flour that didn’t get used up and a jug of oil that didn’t run dry.

Nothing to Pay Her Debts: 2 Kings 4:1-7

A widow whose husband had died cried out to Elisha that her husband’s creditor was coming to take her two sons away as his slaves. Elisha tells her to take the little oil she has and keep pouring it into all the empty jars she had gotten from her neighbors. The oil filled up every last jar.

Then Elisha told her, “Go, sell the oil and pay your debts, and you and your sons can live on the rest.”

Fishing All Night and Catching Nothing: John 21:1-14

After Jesus rose from the dead, Peter and some of the disciples were fishing. They were seasoned fisherman, yet that night they caught nothing.

The next morning Jesus appears on the shore and asks, “Friends, haven’t you any fish?”

“No,” they answered.

He said, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.” When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish.

What about you?

Feeling like you’re at the end of your rope?

Are you at the end of your resources?

Have you been investing and trying and coming up with nothing?

Take heart. In your difficult situation, Father will provide in perfect faithfulness at exactly the right time.

photo credit: ~diP via photopin cc

Grief and Loss: Has Part of You Died?

Consolation

What is the agonizing loss that makes you weep silently as you fall asleep?

What is the memory of loss that jars you awake in the middle of the night?

What is the heartache that gnaws at your gut as you awake to begin another day?

Through our losses, a part of us often dies.

And it’s hard to believe we will be able to regain what’s gone or to continue on.

Isaiah 53:3 beautifully reminds us Jesus knows well our feelings of grief and loss:

He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

Jesus knows our pain . . . He comes alongside in it . . . and He draws us to a deeper experience of Him being our Redeemer, Healer, and Savior.

For He “the God who gives life to the dead and calls things that are not as though they were” (Romans 4:17).

He is close to our broken heart and will rescue our spirit that is crushed (Psalm 34:18).

He does new things as He revives our hearts and lives (Isaiah 43:18-19).

Mercy Me’s song, The Hurt and The Healer is a powerful testimony of this truth.

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photo credit: allspice1 via photopin cc

Invincible (Promises & Prayers series)

Psalm 24:8 is one of my favorite verses:

Who is the King of glory?
The Lord, strong and mighty;
the Lord, invincible in battle. – NLT

Invincible literally means incapable of being conquered, defeated, or subdued. 

Monumental Arch at ancient city of Tyre, Lebanon

How many of us live our Christian lives with that powerful truth as the crux of our living?

Sadly, more often than not we tend to take an “ancient ruins perspective” on our God and on our walk with Him.

We know and read the amazing victories He brought about in the lives of our biblical brothers and sisters during Bible times.

And yet, somehow we see ourselves more as observers of great experiences of faith of yesterday rather than as participators in the great experiences of faith of today.

In our lives, difficult situations, and impossible circumstances, He is invincible.

He longs for us to believe Him to be that in our lives.

How many of us miss out because we lack faith? Our lack of faith is directly tied to what Father will and won’t do in our lives.

And He did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith. – Mt 13:58

A powerfully amazing verse to start praying over the difficult situations, impossible circumstances, and fierce battles you are facing is Psalm 35:1-3 —

Contend, O LORD, with those who contend with me;
fight against those who fight against me.
Take up shield and buckler;
arise and come to my aid.
Brandish spear and javelin
against those who pursue me.
Say to my soul,
“I am your salvation.”

Father longs for you to take Him at His word to do those very things on your behalf.

Will you ask in faith and believe Him to do so in your life?

An excellent resource to help you dig deeper and grow stronger in your prayer life is:

Pray Big: the Power of Pinpoint Prayers by Will Davis Jr. Pray Big by Will Davis Jr.

In Pray Big, Will Davis:

  • Explains the struggle we often have with prayer
  • Gives great examples of how he and others have been transformed through praying BHAPs — Big, Hairy, Audacious Prayers
  • Details specific steps of how to strengthen our prayer lives by praying specific, pinpoint prayers
  • Challenges us to consistently believe God to powerfully work on our behalf.

I highly encourage you to read it!

Our God is an invincible God of both yesterday and today. He invites us to tenaciously believe Him to victoriously contend, arise, and fight on our behalf in the difficult situations, impossible circumstances, and fierce battles we face.

Our God is incapable of being conquered, defeated, or subdued. 

May that truth embolden how we live today.

photo credit: -RejiK via photo pin cc

Swirling (Adventures in Faith series)

Do you enjoy roller coasters?

What about in your life: Do you enjoy roller coasters in your life?

Although answers to the first question may vary, most would answer a resounding “NO!” to the second one.

And yet, roller coasters of suffering and trials will be always be a part of our Christian experience.

Jesus told us this would be so:
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33

Job victoriously lived through a fierce roller coaster of trial and suffering. In it he lost his:

  • children
  • property
  • wealth
  • good reputation
  • health

Which of those have you lost during the roller coasters of trials and suffering Father has allowed in your life?

When our lives are swirling through trials & suffering, how do we anchor?

We anchor to the Truth

As a prophetic intercessor, Father often gives me pictures to illustrate pivotal truths about a circumstance or situation He has me interceding about.

Everyone involved was literally swirling inside and out by the fallout that had taken place. Many people had been affected. There was damage, destruction, discouragement, and despair running rampant.

As I was walking and interceding that day
There on the ground before me lay
a dirty, cracked dog dish someone had thrown away

And I knew right away that the Enemy was looking at us this way
with disgust and disdain
“You’re no better than dogs,” I could hear him viciously say

And with those piercing words still stinging on my ears
I picked up that dog dish with a vengeance
and declared to all the spiritual beings sneering there

Know that from this day forward this symbol of our shame and disgrace will be a valiant reminder for me to intercede and to believe that Jesus will redeem

I washed the dirt and slime away from the dog dish that day
and though it was still cracked and broken
it was no longer a discarded, useless, forgotten thing

It became a reminder and still is to this day
Of what Jesus, the Truth, courageously whispers to our fearful hearts

Because I help you, you will not be disgraced or put to shame.
Therefore set your face like flint
Knowing I AM the Redeemer of all
even of discarded, useless, forgotten things

Dog Days or Flint – based on Isaiah 50:7

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When God Weeps: Why Our Sufferings Matter to the Almighty by Joni Eareckson Tada & Steven Estes is an excellent resource for more encouragement in your trials and suffering.

Photo on Flickr by Scott Ableman

Existing (Adventures in Faith series)

Have you ever felt like you were just existing in your faith?

Remember Joseph:

  • Betrayed by his brothers & sold to slave traders at the age of 17
  • Spent 11 years in Potiphar’s house and then 2 years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit: Potiphar’s wife’s accusation that he had tried to violate her was believed
  • While in prison, he interpreted the Pharoah’s chief cupbearer and chief baker’s dreams.    And although Joseph urged the chief cupbearer to not forget him in prison, Genesis 40 ends:

The chief cupbearer, however, did not remember Joseph; he forgot him.

Joseph could describe his first 30 years of life with:

  • Misunderstood
  • Ridiculed
  • Ganged up against
  • Cruelly betrayed by his brothers
  • Abandoned by his family and friends
  • Recipient of the short end of the stick
  • Receiver of circumstances that led to lost opportunities
  • Mistreated
  • Wrongfully accused
  • Forgotten

Which of those descriptors fit your life?

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You know better than I; You know the way.

I’ve let go the need to know why, for You know better than I

It is both an epiphany and a point of acceptance that Father is ever bringing us to in our valleys of existing.

There I will give her back her vineyards, and will make the Valley of Achor (trouble) a door of hope. – Hosea 2:15

The second son he named Ephraim (twice fruitful) and said, “It is because God has made me fruitful in the land of my suffering.” – Gen 41:52

In our valleys of existing, we always have a choice:

  • To exist in bitterness, short-sightedness, despair, fear, and regret

OR

  • To accept our portion and our cup (Ps 16:5), and participate with Father in both the hope and the fruit that He has planned to bring forth from both our valleys of trouble and our lands of suffering

In our love of quoting Romans 8:28, we often forget verse 29:

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son…

We’ve been called according to His purpose.

And one of His greatest purposes in our lives is to conform us to the likeness of His Son, Jesus.

Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered – Heb 5:8

Joseph became overseer to Pharaoh at the age of 30.

He saved not only his family but all of Egypt from perishing in a 7 year-long famine.

His reflection to his brothers when they asked his forgiveness for selling him to slave traders as a 17-year-old:

You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. – Gen 50:20

Your existing . . . but God intended it for good.

Hang in there.  Be a blessing.  Be fruitful in the land of your suffering.

Photo on Flickr by xtnsgo

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