Matthew 14:22 Sent Into A Challenge

Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. Matthew 14:22

Leaders will sometimes send people forward to accomplish various tasks, without always fully revealing what is ahead. Usually they will give details of what a person is being sent into in order to allow them to be fully prepared for what is ahead.

Some people will enjoy walking into the unknown, while most will shy away from it. This is especially true if the unknown can represent danger.

After feeding over five thousand people, Jesus sent the disciples in a boat to the other side of the lake. He did this knowing a major storm was coming up and would appear to threaten their lives.

Going through life will often present various dangerous challenges. People often attempt to avoid as many of the dangerous challenges as possible. They want to be safe.

Believers are not exempt from these challenges. In reality, God will often send His people directly into them, just as Jesus did with the disciples. He sends them in to those challenges to see where their faith is.

Too often one’s faith is in self or what one can directly see or understand, not in God. When a person is sent by God into a dangerous situation, he often gets angry and blames God for it instead of trusting God to get him through the situation.

Every believer must know and understand that God is really in control of everything. Nothing happens, good or bad, without His permission. God works everything out for the good of those who believe Him.

In the end the disciples saw Jesus and Peter walk on water and the storm calmed. The danger had built their faith up in Jesus.

There will be times that God directs your path a certain way. As you walk that path dangers may arise threatening your life. At that moment you have a choice to make, will you cry out or run in fear, or will you call out to God trusting Him.

Knowing that you were sent on that path by God, you can trust He is in control of the situation and wants to do something in your life. It may be to reveal His power to you or to reveal it to others watching you. In this do not be afraid to go where God leads.

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will hear God’s voice leading you; that you will obey God’s leading; and that you will trust God in every situation.

Psalm 78:42 Forgetting God’s Abilities

Thumbs up

Again and again they put God to the test; they vexed the Holy One of Israel. Psalm 78:42 

Those who are in authority often have the power to get things done that others do not have the ability to do. Having the ability to provide finances or other needed resources, they can accomplish larger things than what is normal for others.

The workers at the bottom have very little authority and cannot see how something can be accomplished. All they can see is a large mountain of a problem in front of them and no way around or over it. They begin to fear the challenge in front of them, rather than trusting those in authority.

Asaph looks back at when the Israelites were wandering in the wilderness. The people would constantly complain to God and not trust Him. They had forgotten the power that He had displayed with bringing them out of Egypt.

Every believer has to believe God has some authority just to become a believer. He has to believe that God has the power and ability to remove all sin and to save the person, or else he will not follow Jesus or trust Him.

God works in a person’s life doing great things, removing sin and providing what is needed. Yet, many believers quickly forget what God has already done in their lives or in the lives of others and begin to complain to God about some challenge in their life.

The believer has been redeemed from a life of sin and death. He has been released from the bondages of sin and given a new life. Yet, often one goes back to those chains and puts them back on. He doesn’t trust God to provide for him in every area needed.

If God has the power to remove sin, He also has the power to take care of every need a believer has. This has to be remembered.

Think about the things God has already done in your life. Why did you choose to follow Jesus? What made you believe and trust Him?

Now remember those things and trust that God can meet your current needs that are looming in front of you.

Don’t put God to the test by complaining and fearing what is in front of you. God is greater than anything you may face. Remember what He has done in lives of others already and in your past. Then trust Him.

I pray today that you will see what God has done for you; that you will know you can trust God’s power and abilities; that God will help you remove all fear of situations in your life; and that you seek God for all of your needs. 

Psalm 56:13 Your Purpose In This Life

Person on beach

For you have delivered me from death and my feet from stumbling, that I may walk before God in the light of life. Psalm 56:13 

Survival of a major disaster or sickness often leaves people wondering why they were able to survive when someone else did not. The greater the disaster, the more questioning occurs.

People want to have purpose in life, but few find true purpose in living. Then when they suddenly make it through a challenge they are seeking reasons as to what their purpose must be in life, since they survived.

Some begin to go around speaking to others about how they survived. Others drum up support to help others survive similar situations. While these and many others things may be good, they are all temporary in their nature.

David had been delivered by God multiple times from life-threatening situations. He realized this and knew the reason for the deliverance. His deliverance was so that he would be able to walk before God in true life.

Every believer has been delivered, at a minimum, from death of sin. Sin in the life brought about an eternal death that no person can overcome on his own. Through Jesus, that death has been removed.

Along with salvation, many have been delivered from life threatening situations in their life. There has also been many who have been delivered from difficult situations in life that challenge how they live. Some will wonder why God has delivered them.

Either way, the purpose is the same–to be able to walk before God in His light and in His life.

Walking before God is walking in the path He has for each person. This can bring about more life and purpose than anything else in this life. It is an eternal purpose, not just a day-to-day living purpose.

God’s love for you is greater than anything or anyone on this earth. It is eternal and perfect.

He has a purpose for your life here on this earth. It is to walk in His ways and follow Jesus. It is to become more like Jesus everyday. This is the true light of life.

Realize that when God delivers you from sin or some great tragic situation in your life, it is so that you may walk before Him and be His witness on this earth.

God has delivered you for His purpose. Now go out and live that purpose out each day.

I pray today that you will know the salvation Jesus brings; that God will reveal your purpose in this life; that you will walk in the ways of God; and that you will God with all of your life. 

Psalm 52:8 A Flourishing Life

Olive tree branch

But I am like an olive tree flourishing in the house of God; I trust in God’s unfailing love for ever and ever. Psalm 52:8 

Going through this life can be difficult with the various trials and challenges that people face from day to day. Along with all of the challenges in life that many face, there is also the mundane routine of the average life.

Very few people find a real purpose in their life. They keep searching for meaning and purpose to what they are going through and often do not find it.

As people live life in this way, they are not flourishing, but just in survival mode each day. They don’t appear to be moving forward or accomplishing anything. There is no joy or peace in their lives.

David had penned these words while he was fleeing from Saul and when Doeg had betrayed him to Saul. He points out those that do not follow God will fail in the end, but that he is flourishing like an olive tree in God’s house. This is occurring because he is trusting in God.

There are many believers who are living like the world, not flourishing but just struggling from day to day. They have allowed their eyes to be focused on their problems and day-to-day struggles rather than upon God.

Although they still claim belief in God, they have lost trust in God and no longer flourish.

Those who fully believe and trust God and His word, will flourish. They will know that the struggles they have are only light and momentary in light of eternity. They will know that what is happening is for their good, because they are trusting God’s hand in their life.

Trusting in God brings about a joy and peace that the world cannot understand nor take away. This allows a person to really live and flourish like a well planted olive tree producing lots of fruit in his life.

Instead of focusing on the challenges in your life, put your eyes upon God. Trust that He knows what He is doing and what He is doing is the best thing to be done. Then rest in His control.

Allow yourself to be strengthen by His Holy Spirit so that you can live the life that He has blessed you with. You can live the abundant life that Jesus promised, flourishing, growing and moving forward. Life does not have to be mundane and dead, but full of life.

Are you flourishing today?

I pray today that you will know the life God has for you; that you will trust the path God has for you; that you will live for God; that God will help you see past the challenges in this life; and that you will know the joy of life in Jesus. 

Numbers 33:1 Stages In The Journey Of Life

Desert highway

Here are the stages in the journey of the Israelites when they came out of Egypt by divisions under the leadership of Moses and Aaron. Numbers 33:1

Going through life there are many different stages. The amount of stages is different for each person. The length of each stage will also be different.

The basic changes are the birth,  growing up, being an adult, getting older and dying. This is very short of the rest of the changes that occur throughout the life of a person.

In the middle of each of these basic stages there can be untold numerous other changes. Some may be short, while others take a lifetime of change.

Some of the changes can be for the better, such as a good move, promotion in position of a job, marriage, new friends, and many more wonderful things. Other changes are not so fun to go through, such as sickness, a negative move, divorce, death, loss of job, and more.

As the Israelites traveled through the wilderness, they had to go through many different changes. Nearing the end of Numbers, God has it listed the different places they had moved to. There was constant change of location. Some seemed to be better, while others were more challenging.

Every believer is on a journey through this life with their walk with God. The ultimate end of the journey is in heaven for eternity. However, until that time, there are many changes. God moves people around on a regular basis. Sometimes to keep one from trouble, other times for one to be a witness or to do a new work in a new location.

Some of those moves are easy to make, while others are scary and challenging. It can be a move from a loved place/position to a place of difficulty and challenges.

Every move God has a person make, is to help the person draw closer to Him and to be a witness to a new group.

You will have changes throughout your life, just like the Israelites. Instead of fearing change and moves, embrace them. Seek God to find out what you can do with the new change in your life. Ask God for strength and wisdom with the new change. And above all, trust God with the new change.

It is a great journey towards heaven. Be ready for the changes as you keep getting closer to heaven. God has a plan for your life.

I pray today that you will know God’s plan for your life; that you will see the purpose in the changes God allows; that you will trust God’s plans; and that you will be a witness of God throughout every change in life.