Habakkuk 1:5 God Will Surprise You

Amazed baby

“Look at the nations and watch–and be utterly amazed. For I am going to do something in your days that you would not believe, even if you were told.” Habakkuk 1:5 

Every so often one person will completely amaze those around him or those who know him. He will do something very different, completely out of  normal character for him. Sometimes that action will be of good character, while other times it can be something terrible.

As things like this occurs, people are amazed and often cannot really believe what had happened, even when they see the action themselves.

Habakkuk had just asked God why He tolerates all the violence, why God is not answering his prayers. God’s answer was that He was about to do something so great that it would amaze him. The answer was that God was going to use the heathen enemy to answer their prayers.

To this day millions of people are asking God the same question about violence. They are also asking God many other questions about many other issues in life.

Often when people pray, asking God for some answer, they are expecting God to answer in a certain way. God, being God, is able to answer in thousands of different ways than one may expect. He always answers with the perfect answer in consideration of every one involved and in light of eternity.

The best thing a believer can do is to trust God to answer in His time and His way. God’s ways of thinking and acting are always above those of any person. It is common for God to use the enemy, even the worst of enemies, and his actions for His purpose, for the good of those who love and serve Him.

There will be times when you have questions or requests of God. When you do, you must trust God’s way to answer you. Know and understand that God is for you and not against you. God only wants what is best for you. He wants what will draw you closer to Him and make you more like Jesus in holiness and righteousness. God will do anything to make that happen.

As you sit back and watch God work in your life and in the lives of those around you, you will be amazed. God will do things in different ways, but with much better results. Allow God to do what He does best.

I pray today that you will trust God with your life; that you will seek God’s way of doing things; that God will open your eyes to what He is doing; and that you will trust God with how He answers your prayers. 

Daniel 10:12 Waiting For An Answer

Sitting and waiting

Then he continued, “Do not be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them. Daniel 10:12 

Waiting for an answer can try a person’s patience sometimes. People make a phone call to a company and may sit on hold waiting to get an answer for an hour. Many will give up waiting for that answer and try to get an answer some other way.

In today’s society people want answers immediately in the Google fashion. They want to be able to type in a question and within seconds get a million possible answers.

Daniel had had a vision and wanted to know what it meant. He immediately began to fast and pray for an answer. On day 24 was when he got his answer from an angel. The process to give Daniel answer was started upon his first request.

Just as people desire an immediate answer in this world, believers often want immediate answers from God. There is a battle going on in the spiritual realm that God and His angels are fighting. As they are fighting this battle it may take some time to answer a prayer.

Daniel did not give up waiting on God for an answer. He did not seek out alternate sources for an answer, but only waited for God’s answer. Daniel also humbled himself and prayed for the answer.

Believers today need to be willing to humble themselves and begin praying and seeking God for answers in this life. As they do this, they must also wait for His answer. God will always answer, though it may not always be immediately. It will always be in His perfect timing.

You may be seeking an answer from God. Do not give up waiting for God to answer. Keep seeking and listening to His voice and waiting for His perfect answer in the perfect time.

There can be a thousand reasons why God does not answer immediately. Michael was detained by others to keep him from answering Daniel’s prayer. Others may be detaining the angel or one to answer your prayer.

Keep yourself humble and waiting upon God for His answer. Trust in God’s perfect timing and direction for everything in your life. God will never fail you. God will not ignore you when you are humble before Him and put Him first.

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will seek God to answer your questions of understanding; that you will wait patiently and humbly for God’s answer; and that God will give you full understanding. 

Lamentations 3:26 Wait Quietly

Waiting quietly on a swing

It is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord. Lamentations 3:26 

Waiting for something to happen is something that is not easy or fun to do for most people. People do not like to wait. They want things or their answers right now. No matter how fast it is, they want it just a little bit faster.

In the process of waiting for the answer, many people like to complain. They will complain about why it is taking so long to get the answer, complain about the struggle they are in, complain why others have it ‘easier’ than they do, and many other things to complain about. They are not quiet about the fact that they are having to wait.

Jeremiah tells the people that it is good to wait quietly for God’s answer, the salvation that was promised. He had spoken this while in exile and knowing that there was a promise to be returned out of exile.

Believers are not much different from those in the world with regards to complaining. They do not like to wait either. People pray to God for an answer, and immediately begin to complain because they did get the answer they were expecting right away.

Just as the Israelites groaned and complained in the desert, people moan and complain today because they have to go through some struggle or difficulty and God has not removed it from them.

As one complains, it is showing that he is not trusting in God’s better judgement of the situation. He is not relying upon God’s strength to make it through the situation.

Waiting implies trust. It is telling God and others that one believes what God has said in His word that He would meet all of his needs according to His riches in glory.

While you are going through a difficult situation, the first thing to do is pray to God about it. Then wait quietly trusting that God will guide you and help you in and through the situation.

Do not allow yourself to be disgruntled and begin to complain to and against God, because the situation was not dealt with immediately. Know that God’s timing is best and He will provide the needed salvation at the perfect time.

Just as you must wait until you are brought into heaven for eternity, you must wait here on this earth for salvation from some troubles. Give God praise while you wait quietly for His salvation.

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will trust God’s timing in your life; that you will quietly wait for God’s provision; and that you will know God’s promises to you. 

Fruit Of The Spirit: Gentleness

Gentleness word

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23 

Thank you for continuing with me in this study at looking at the fruit of the Spirit. If you just joined in this study and have not seen the previous posts you can find theme here: love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, and faithfulness.

Today I will be looking at the fruit of gentleness, what it is and what it looks like in the life of a believer.

The word ‘gentleness’ was originally translated as meekness in the KJV bible. It is a word that is talking about being mild, not harsh.

Puppy walking

Many in the world see gentleness as a type of weakness. It is often accepted that a woman may be gentle, but it is often discouraged in men. Some women, with the feminist movement, will also look down upon being gentle. With that in mind, very few people are actually gentle.

Throughout the bible there are various verses that give good guidelines as to what gentleness looks like in a person. I will be looking at some of these verses.

The best spot to begin is with God and seeing how He is gentle.

He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young. Isaiah 40:11

The world loves to drive and push people. They want to show that they have absolute control. Some believers lead in a harsh demanding sort of way, just as the world tends to lead. They are demanding and forceful, rather than gentle and kind as God is.

God does not have to prove He has control, He just has it. He uses His immense power under control and with gentleness.

Holding sheep

People are just like sheep. They need to be treated gently. Leading is to be done with control, but in gentleness, carefully guiding people or others. This type of leading can only be done when done out of love and care for others, being filled and led by His Holy Spirit.

A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. Proverbs 15:1

Harsh words are heard all the time. Watch any political campaign and all you will often hear is slamming other people with harsh words. Crushing the opponent is the goal of many candidates.

Sadly this can also be seen in the church. One believer crushes another with harsh words or they crush non-believers with hateful harsh words. They will often not speak the whole truth that God has given them, but only a portion of what God says.

Choose your words

There will be times when someone is harsh with you. One will say things or doing things that are harsh. Do not respond in the same way. Instead of using harsh words, you  must be gentle towards others. Being gentle will cause another person to calm down faster. Harsh words only stirs up anger and a fighting spirit.

When you are filled with the Holy Spirit and are being led by Him, you will be gentle in what you have to say towards others. Your words will not be harsh and condemning, but full of love and grace, building others up. These words will be gentle.

But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give a reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect. 1 Peter 3:15

People will want to know why you believe what you do. Why do you believe in a person who lived centuries ago? Why do you not do certain things and do other things? Why do you act the way you act?

Better than you

Answering these can be easy, but they can be done in a harsh way. Some will answer it in a ‘holier-than-thou’ attitude, looking down upon the person asking the question. Others will answer in a way that is looking at the person as though it was a stupid question to ask.

Being filled with the Holy Spirit will cause you to answer with gentleness. You will not be rude and condescending about it.

Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth,2 Timothy 2:25 

As a believer you will have some who oppose you. Watch the news, movies, tv shows, listen the radio, it is everywhere, believers have opponents. There are people who do not believe in God or believe in Jesus. They may not believe in any god or they may believe in a false god.

Some of these may oppose violently, while others may be calm and mild about their opposition, they just don’t agree.

Opposing teams

Many believers have harshly went up against unbelievers. They will quickly condemn them and show no compassion or love towards those who oppose. They want judgement.

However, as a believer, you are to be like God, gently speaking to them with the goal that they will come to a saving knowledge of Jesus and repentance. You need to remember that at some point you were just like them without a saving knowledge of Jesus. You did not know the truth.

Fill your heart with God’s love and gentleness towards them. Seek to show them who God is and His great love for them. Hope for a change of heart and that they will follow Jesus.

Being filled with God’s Holy Spirit will change you. He will make you more like Jesus every day. The signs of those changes can be seen in the fruit of the Holy Spirit. It is a character change. Allow God to change you into the image of Jesus everyday.

Black and white butterfly

Change in the Holy Spirit begins with love, leading to joy, leading to peace, leading to forbearance, leading to kindness, leading to goodness, leading to faithfulness, which in turn leads to gentleness. Allow these changes to occur and be evident in your life. Allow the world to see all these fruits of the Spirit.

Again, thank you for continuing with me on this journey of looking in depth the fruit of the Spirit. Next week I will look at the last fruit, the fruit of self-control. Please be sure to return for this last fruit. Feel free to share this post with any of your friends who may need to see it.

Matthew 16:15 Who Do You Say Jesus Is?

Who Do You Say I Am

“But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” Matthew 16:15 

After having been in public ministry for a while, Jesus asks the disciples who the people think He is. They give the answers of different prophets of the Old Testament. Then Jesus asks them directly who they think He is.

The question of who Jesus is or was is still being asked to this day. Every year around Christmas and Easter, the news media is flooded with questions and answers on who Jesus was. The impact Jesus had on this world is still affecting people to this day.

There are very few people in the world today who deny that Jesus actually lived and died on this earth. The evidence of His existence is too great for any rational person to deny that He was a person. The question though that needs to be asked is not if He existed, but who was He?

People have not really changed their answer since the days Jesus asked the disciples that question. Although people today do not claim that He was one of the Old Testament prophets, many still look at Him as just a prophet or a teacher. Millions of Muslims will see Jesus as a great prophet. Millions of Buddhists will see Him as a great teacher. While both are right in that He was a great prophet and teacher, He was more than that.

Peter saw Jesus as the Messiah, Savior, Son of God. This was a lot more than just a prophet or teacher. This could also not be seen by just looking at Jesus. Looking at Jesus, He was just a regular man, just like everyone else. Looking with the eyes of God into the spiritual realm, revealed that Jesus was much more, He was God’s Son, the Savior.

As you read this, think about who you say Jesus is. Who is He really to you?

You cannot rely on the answers of other people, your parents, friends, or church. You need to have your own answer.

Read the Bible and see what it reveals about who Jesus is. Once you have made your decision, you must be willing to let others know also.

If you are truly open to what the Bible says, you will also be like Peter and realize that Jesus was much more than just another man.

Who do you say Jesus is?

I pray today that God will reveal who Jesus is to you; that you will know for yourself who Jesus is; that you will have a personal relationship with Jesus; and that you will share with the world who Jesus is.