God answers prayer

I ask God to help me.  He hears my prayer.  And answers it.  I am still alive.  I ask Him to take care of me; He makes my heart continue to beat.  I ask Him to protect me; He makes my lungs keep on pumping air.  I ask Him to keep me safe; He makes the blood always flow through my veins.

I ask Him for things and He grants each moment.  I ask Him for what I want and He gives me what I need.  I ask Him to do things for me and He does what’s best for me.  I ask Him to make me a better person and He does His perfect will.

I ask Him to enable me to understand and He gave me the truth in His Word.  I ask Him to change me and He uses trials to transform me.  I ask Him to show me the way and He is Light.  I ask Him to fix my problems and He conquered death.  I ask Him to provide for me.  He has written my name in the Lamb’s book of life.  God answers prayer.

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Belonging

I am not the enemy – sin is.  God is not the foe – Satan is.  I am not fighting the battle against myself but against the sin that still lingers on in my flesh.  The world is a greenhouse for evil but I’m no citizen of earth.  I belong somewhere else.

I am the Lord’s chosen.  He was despised and rejected so that I don’t have to be.  He is my advocate so I don’t have to fight for myself.  He’s in charge so I don’t have to take control.

I am not nothing because God made me something – His child.  I am not worthless because He bought me with something very valuable – the perfect blood of Jesus Christ, His Son.  I am not alone because He gave me His Holy Spirit.

God’s Word, the Bible is completely true.  All of it is all truth; not some of it, part of it, or sometimes, in certain circumstances, or only for specific people.  The Bible is not just words on a page.  These are God’s words and they are the words of life because only He can give everlasting life.

In everything, there is only one place to put my trust that is one hundred percent reliable and that is in God.  Nothing else will carry me through.  Because I sail on with Him, I don’t have to march on by myself.  He makes the way ahead for me.  And with Him, I belong.

The God Who Sees

I am really glad that God is the God who sees.  My mind is so relieved when I remember God actually sees me, all the time.  I’m not invisible to Him.  I don’t have to pretend or perform to get Him to notice me.  I don’t have to behave or contort my personality to get Him to like me.  He doesn’t expect me to fit into a group or be perfect.  His love is not determined by my ability to earn it.  He sees me and loves me.  He loved me first and that’s why I choose to love Him and obey Him.

So let’s talk about life.

If we are honest about our lives, we all have trials going on.  If you aren’t struggling with a trial, then someone in your life is.  More than likely, there’s something hard, difficult, challenging, uncomfortable, inconvenient, or trying in your life and if there isn’t, then I would guess that you are a perfect human with a perfect life.

So what do we do about it?  Sadly, I often see the same wrong responses in my life that I see in other people’s lives, so I’m pointing the finger at myself here.  We complain.  Or if we don’t want to talk about it, then we don’t say anything and just pretend that there’s nothing wrong.

So what’s the better thing to do?  I find the Psalms incredibly helpful when I’m thinking about the trials in my own life.  David honestly prayed about his struggles and also praised the Lord in the midst of them.  And yet these two things seem like opposite ends of the spectrum to me.  If I’m trying to rejoice always, then how can I talk about my trials?

I think there’s an answer here but I’m not a Bible scholar.  I’m just trying to find a God-honoring application.  I hope there is a way to talk about our trials to others as well as to God other than complaining.  Instead, we could talk about our trials in a way that glorifies God.  For example, if I talk about my trial to a believer, I can ask for prayer and I can also share how I’m growing or want to be growing in the Lord.  I don’t have to complain to do that.  In turn, they might share something difficult with me and I can encourage them in the Lord.  In so doing, we can build each other up in the body of Christ.

If I’m talking to a non-believer, it’s a little bit different but I still ought to be Christ-honoring in how I talk about my trials.  For example, they need to see that a Christian’s life is not perfect but I have my hope set in God.  I should be reacting to the difficulties of life differently than the world.  I could share how something is hard but God is growing me, changing me, or He’s providing for me or answering my prayers through the trial somehow.  Or I could just say that I’m praying through my trials and am happy to pray for them too.

I’m not saying I have this all figured out.  Believe me, I really don’t have much figured out.   But I am trying to find and practice a good application for dealing with all of life’s trials.  Maybe I’m the only one who doesn’t see proper sharing of struggles that honors the Lord and mutual praying between believers.  It’s just something I wish I could see more of: glorifying of God through the trials of my life and others’ lives.  And I wish I could use my struggles more as a witnessing tool when I’m talking to non-Christians.  Of course we still need to filter what we say when speaking to either believer or non-believer but I know for myself, I want to grow more in talking about my trials in a way that glorifies God.

So as we desire to draw closer to God, I pray that we would also use our trials and how we talk about them to glorify Him more.