Withering Leaves

How happy is the man who does not follow the advice of the wicked or take the path of sinners. Instead, his delight is in the Lord’s instruction, and he meditates on it day and night. He is like a tree planted beside streams of water that bears its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers. – Psalm 1:1-3

For almost a year now, I’ve been ending every morning quiet time with a little prayer by Elisabeth Elliot. It simply says: “Work Your will in my life at whatever cost.” I realized today that at some point in the past couple months, I became too afraid of what God would do if I continued to pray that, and so I stopped asking Him to do that. But the thing is, God would never work out something in my life unless He had something better for me.

Temporary pain eventually turns to lasting joy. 

Our God is a loving Father who enjoys giving good gifts. He doesn’t take things away unless He has something better. And when the point comes that you’re too scared to ask Him to work His will in your life no matter the cost because He might take something away, that’s a sure sign that you’re holding on to something that isn’t good for you. Paul said, “Everything is permissible, but not everything is beneficial.”

This was one of those things in my life. The harder I clung to it, the more the leaves on my tree withered. I was unable to produce fruit, I was slowly dying because there was a block in my way to the waters of Life. In reality, it was who allowed something to block that path to life. All that needed to happen was my surrender.

And boy, is surrender sweet when it finally comes. At last, I am finally at peace; no more withering, no more fruitless efforts.

Wellspring of Life

Guard your heart above all else, for from it flows the wellspring of life. – Proverbs 4:23.

I have heard this verse my whole life, and have only just now begun to comprehend what it means…

Jesus is the ultimate life-giver. Without Him, there is no life, or joy, or peace, but only death, stillness, cold. When a heart is not hid in Jesus, being guarded above all else, there is no life flowing into it. Anxiety, stress, and unhappiness begin to take over. And when there is no life flowing into and from your heart, every other area of your life is affected: spiritual, emotional, physical. That is why it is so utterly important to remain in Christ and be centered in Him. When your heart is not living, your life begins to feel cold and empty; the meaning has left; the passion has left. All that remains are the bad things that spring from an un-redeemed heart. How do I know this? Because I’ve experienced it personally.

Guard your heart in Christ Jesus. Obey when He says to do something, immediately. Follow in His ways. Center your life around the everlasting spring of Life. Allow His peace and joy to fill your heart, and thus, overflow into your life.

Going Back Home

“No matter how the wind may blow, it cannot shake the sun. Lay your sorrows on the ground; it’s time to come back home.”

Our Rights

If we are willing to give up only wrong things for Jesus, never let us talk about being in love with Him. Anyone will give up wrong things if he knows how, but are we prepared to give up the best we have for Jesus Christ? The only right a Christian has is the right to give up his rights. – Oswald Chambers

Bigger than This

Earth has no sorrow that heaven can’t heal. – David Crowder 

Our God is so much bigger than any circumstance we could ever possibly be in. Never forget that. His promises always hold true. 

Keep Fighting

This evening, after I got home from work, one of my little brothers came up to me and said in the sweetest, timid voice: “Sissy, would you be willing to help me read my Bible better??”

I cannot describe how honored I felt in that moment… That the simple action of setting aside the first part of my day to have quiet time for the past five years has actually made an impact on my brother. The fact that my heart has fought to spend time with Jesus everyday and God has used what I have made a part of my life to shine into my brother’s life is HUGE. It is such a privilege to see God at work, truly touching the people around me through my actions.

I needed that encouragement. It’s hard to keep living for Christ every single day in the simple, mundane areas of life. Sure, it’s easy when it’s getting recognized and praised and you’re seeing results, but when it’s in the boring everyday living it’s so much more difficult to keep pushing forward. I needed to be reminded that when other people don’t see it, and when I can’t see the results, God sees. He knows. And He rewards. He reaffirms that I will reap what I sow. And I can only pray that this opportunity will be fruitful and that God would use my efforts to influence my brothers life in a magnificent way that only He can.

Don’t give up. Keep fighting in the humdrum, day-to-day living. Don’t be discouraged. Let God fill you with a desire to spend time with Him. He blesses and rewards those who seek Him.

A God of Deliverance

Selections from Psalm 107

Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble;
He rescued them from their distress.
He led them by the right path

Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble;
He saved them from their distress.
He brought them out of darkness and gloom
and broke their chains apart.

Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble;
He saved them from their distress.
He sent His word and healed them;
He rescued them from the Pit.

Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble,
and He brought them out of their distress.
He stilled the storm to a murmur,
and the waves of the sea were hushed.
Then He guided them to the harbor they longed for.

Let whoever is wise pay attention to these things
and consider the Lord’s acts of faithful love.

The Lord not only hears us. He acts. He acts in faithful love. He rescues; He leads; He saves; He brings us out of darkness and gloom; He breaks our chains and sets us free! He sends His Word; He heals; He does not allow us to perish in the Pit; He calms the storms of life; and He guides us to safety. Consider His acts of faithful love. Ponder them, revel in them, let them wash over you. Our God is good. 

What a God we serve, that even when we are faithless, He remains faithful still…


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