Tag Archives: trust

The Pain & Fruit of Investing.

 

Currently my life is in a season of pruning, and what I am also learning to refer to

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as “investment.” Investing is painful. It involves risk. Investing requires giving up something in hopes of a greater return down the road. At the very outset, it requires some sort of sacrifice. It may be a very long time before you see any gain or fruit from that sacrifice. For example, investing money is painful. The money is placed into an account where it cannot be touched until a certain point. The goal is that the amount of money will grow. But what if an emergency arises and you need that money? Painful, and risky. Other forms of investment are financing a wedding, buying a house, starting a business, or investing in an education. These are different types of investment that we hope will bear fruit in some way.

An investment that we are all called to make is purity. Living in purity is an investment for a future marriage. It is even an investment in yourself. Living a chaste life protects you from disease and unhealthy emotional attachments. It requires the daily surrender of one’s desires for the good of one’s self, future spouse, and consideration of the good of a child. Choosing to forgo suitors who are not God’s best for you is a related form of investment. It is easy to settle and may be easy to find multiple people who want to be with you. Taking the time to wait for the right spouse and for sex is an investment in your future joy, your future spouse’s joy, and even the joy of your children. Many people have not made this investment, and have brought suffering onto themselves and others.

Plain and simple: investing equals sacrifice. Sometimes these investments involve very difficult sacrifices. Many choose not to make these sacrifices simply because they are so arduous and involve (sometimes very delayed) gratification. Yet investing creates wealth. It creates an abundance that could not have come without the sacrifice. It is like when a tree is pruned. The tree appears bare aftter the pruning. A person who doesn’t know about horticulture will scoff and think the tree is ruined.  But after some time, the tree will be bursting with fruit. This is our hope with our investments. In some way, at some time we do not know, they will bear great fruit.

I trust that this difficult and painful investing process will one day pay off. So can you. I have planted my seeds in the ground, sacrificed much that is dear. I will wait for the sun and rain to grow them. I can only trust the One who has called me. Let us eagerly await the day when we can harvest the fruit from these decisions to invest.

“Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.” 2 Corinthians 9:6

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9

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Photo by Jelleke V. on Unsplash

 

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The Word on Wednesday-Isaiah 55:8-9

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” declares the LORD. ‘For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.'”~Isaiah 55:8-9

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Do you ever just not understand the circumstances in your life? As humans, we need to admit that we don’t know much. Though humans have made progress and come up with advancements in many areas, there is still much unknown to the human mind.

It is difficult when we don’t understand the circumstances in our lives: when timing seems off, struggles, being faced with injustice, and more. There is peace when we realize that we don’t need to understand. We only need to trust.  The passage above reminds us that the ways of the Lord are way above anything we can imagine. His thoughts are unfathomable to us. Someday we will better understand our lives, whether it be later in earthly life or during our eternal life. But for now, we need to seek and keep in mind our Creator.

The One Who created the heavens and the earth, and who knows every hair on our head, and every single moment of history? His ways are above our ways, and His thoughts at a much higher level than we could ever comprehend. I’m ready to trust Him and to not lean on my own understanding. How about you?

 

Live Courageously.

The United States of America is entering a new chapter. For actually a few years, I have had the sense that the United States was going to enter a time of difficulty. I believe that the time of difficulty has now begun. Recent events have thrown my workplace into upheaval. Really, the entire country and, to some extent, the world, are in a place of uncertainty. There is a culture of animosity right now in the United States. At certain points, all of these events have been a lot to take in emotionally. I’ve been surrounded by them from morning to evening. I felt so weak and drained. Then, I felt the Lord telling me to live courageously. He confirmed this as every song that came on the radio seemed to echo the theme of courage and bravery! No matter where you are, YOU are being called to live courageously.

What does it mean to live courageously?

Living courageously means keeping your center on JESUS even when the world has gone crazy.

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(photo courtesy of unsplash.com)

 

Living courageously means being PEACE in a world where anger and negativity is rampant.

Living courageously means walking HUMBLY with God even when you are surrounded by darkness and ego on every side.

Living courageously means casting out fear and replacing it with LOVE.

Living courageously means speaking up for JUSTICE for those who are voiceless.

Living courageously means RELIANCE on Jehovah-Jireh (God the Provider) when you don’t have a paycheck and wonder how you will pay the bills, or when you don’t know if you will soon have a paycheck.

Living courageously means being a sign of HOPE to others even when you feel weighed down by the burdens of your life and the world.

Living courageously means being a person of PRAISE as the storm rages all around you.

Living courageously means TRUSTING in God when all stability is pulled out from under you.

Living courageously means picking up your shield of FAITH and the sword of the Spirit, the WORD OF GOD and knowing they are your weapons.

Living courageously means staying in a place of PRAYER in a world that distracts and fills us with noise.

Living courageously means knowing that God’s POWER is made perfect in your WEAKNESS. (2 Cor. 12:9)

Are you ready to live courageously? It will not be easy, friends. Thankfully we have our perfect Heavenly Father to fight for us, His Son who endured every temptation that we do (without giving in), and the Holy Spirit who permeates every darkness and every fiber of our being. Let’s go!

It’s time to live courageously.

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Faith is Spelled R-i-s-k.

Recently, I heard a speaker assert that faith is spelled r-i-s-k.

There is much truth in that statement. When Mary said “yes” to the angel Gabriel, she knew her unwed pregnancy (by the Holy Spirit) would bring misunderstanding, and very possibly much worse. Simon and Andrew left their fishing nets, their very livelihoods, to follow Jesus when He first called! What a huge risk that was! How were they going to survive? What would their families think? Those of us living the Christian life today know that we also must take risks.

It’s risky to talk to someone about Jesus or offer to pray for or with them. It may open you up to rejection or persecution. You may lose friendships and even status due to your faith.

It’s risky to make decisions based on faith when they don’t make sense on practical levels. Sometimes (many times) the Lord asks us to sacrifice money, personal gain, and our own desires for humility.

It’s even risky to live your life as a Christian at all! We “walk by faith and not by sight.” (2 Corinthians 5:7) The world tells us we are foolish and throwing our lives away by basing our lives upon something unseen. Nowadays, more and more, living the Christian life is cause for being called “intolerant.” Everything except Christianity is tolerated!

Jesus asked Peter to step out of the boat. Peter did, and he walked on water! I think with us, too, He is asking us to do things we’ve never done before. It’s 2017, friends. We’ve been stuck for far too long. It’s time for us to step out of the boat. It’s time to take a risk. It’s time for radical faith.

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The Word on Wednesday-Straight Paths.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to Him,
    and He will make your paths straight.”~Proverbs 3:5-6

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How much do we make our focus wanting to know which path to take? For many of us, we expend a tremendous amount of our thought life and energy trying to “figure things out.” This can bring our hearts to places of confusion. It can bring us to trusting in ourselves and our own abilities to choose and decide. We lose focus of our Creator. Where should our hearts find their first priority? As these verses remind us, we must submit our hearts and our ways to God. We must trust in our God completely. When we submit to Him and trust Him in each area of our lives, He will make our paths straight. Living in a holy manner and in trust will keep us on a straight path to the Heavenly Father and the purpose in our lives.

The Word on Wednesday

“For the vision is yet for the appointed time; It hastens toward the goal and it will not fail. Though it tarries, wait for it; For it will certainly come, it will not delay.”~Habakkuk 2:3

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So many times I have attempted to plan the timeline of my life. It is fruitless because life has never happened according to my timeline. I know that my God knows the timing of each detail of my life. Other translations of this verse, instead of saying “it will not delay,” say it “will not be late.” The timing of the Lord is perfect! Many times I’ve been tempted to think I am “late” in certain regards, but that thinking is not according to my Lord. Again, the Father’s timing is rarely, if ever, our timing! Remember that He has plans for your welfare and not for woe (Jeremiah 29:11). It is difficult to trust in the moments when we can’t see. Even though we can’t see one step in front of us, He has a vision. Every detail is working together. And He has given us a vision, too. But we must wait. We must continue to work in His vineyard faithfully, as we await the proper time and the fullness of the revelation. It will not delay-it will not be late.

 

On Faith, Finances, and Being Rich.

Lately I’ve been talking to my roommate about the issue of finances. When we have an opportunity to save in one area, it seems that unexpected expenses arise in another area (or areas). In times when we believe that we’re (finally) going to start growing our bank accounts, it just doesn’t happen.

But you know what? Jehovah-Jireh always provides. It might not be through a steadily growing bank account, but we always have what we need, and more.

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How does He provide? Through a loving friend cooking a meal or paying for your groceries. Sometimes, it’s unexpected money that shows up, like a long-awaited refund, or a side job that you didn’t expect. Or a friend giving you an item of clothing they no longer need, and it just happens to fit.

Financially, I think he wants us to trust and rely on Him continually, rather than storing up treasure. Remember Matthew 6:19-21?

“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

Obviously, we are called to be stewards of what we do have and not to mismanage our finances. But I think the Lord likes to test our faith in this area. When we trust in the area of provision, it shows that we realize the Lord’s goodness and reliance as Father and Provider. And when we keep our heart set on God, we are seeking the real treasure.

I can’t say that I’m on my foreseeable way to becoming a millionaire, or even

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much closer to not living paycheck to paycheck. But I can say that I’m rich in the ways that do matter–a supportive family, an inspiring roommate (and a place that costs less than half as much as I used to pay in rent!), and a meaningful job that does manage to pay the bills and allow me to serve others. Most of all, I have Jesus, and He promises an eternal life. 

If I have Jesus? I am absolutely rich.

With Jesus, we have everything.