God’s Best…?!?

“How do I know what God’s best is?  How do I know if I’m settling for less than it?  How do I know if I’m passing it up?” 

Have you ever wondered— okay, let me call it what it is– worried about this?  I have.  Because if God’s best is knowable, then I want to learn how I can know it.  Wouldn’t you?

I have good news– God’s best is knowable!  In fact, He wants us “to learn what is pleasing to the Lord” (Ephesians 5:10, NIV84).

So what is God’s best?

“God’s best for our lives…is simply the acceptance of His perfect will and the recognition of His authority in every area of our lives.”1  Simply, SIMPLY…don’t you love that?!?  If Osbeck (the guy who’s quote that is, check the endnotes) were here, I’d be initially tempted to duke it out with him…”WHAT DO YOU MEAN TO TELL ME THAT KNOWING GOD’S BEST IS SIMPLE?!?  TELL ME, HAVE YOU LOST SLEEP OVER THE COMPLEXITIES OF FIGURING OUT WHAT GOD’S BEST IS…HAVE YOU, HAVE YOU, HAVE YOU?!?”  But then I’d have to concede…because he is right.  Knowing God’s best is not complicated at all.

God knows what is best.

We believe that God knows what is best.

So we seek Him and His best.

He reveals Himself and what is best.

And we respond.

You see, the key is faith.  “When [we] walk by faith, [we] will claim all that God has for [us]; but unbelief is always content to settle for something less than God’s best”.2  Not having faith (unbelief) is doubting that God knows what is best— it’s refusing to accept His perfect will and recognize His authority in every area of our lives.  After all, when we doubt God we tend to turn to ourselves and our own rationale and feelings to determine for ourselves what is “best”Don’t we?  And it more often than not it doesn’t stop there…because when we determine for ourselves what we think is “best” we start giving suggestions to God.

______________________________

“Who has directed the Spirit of the Lord, or as His counselor has informed Him?  With whom did He consult and who gave Him understanding?  And who taught Him in the path of justice and taught Him knowledge and informed Him of the way of understanding?” (Isaiah 40:13-14, NASB95)

______________________________

God’s best is God-determined!  And what He has determined will come to be.  He “works out everything in conformity with the purpose of His will” (Ephesians 1:11, NIV84).

______________________________

“Many Christians see God at work in their lives yet they still wonder, “What if I blow it?  What if I do something wrong and God gets angry or impatient with me?  Will all His promises fail me?  Will I have to settle for something less than His best?”  No– never!  If your heart is right before God, if you keep returning to Him and seeking Him with all your heart, nothing will change His plans for you!”3

______________________________

Do we believe it?  Hebrews 11:6 tells us, “And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him” (NASB95).  Do we believe that God is God?  Then it is necessary for us to believe that He knows what is best and is faithful to His promise that as we seek Him and what His best is for our lives He will light the way and walk with us step by step!

Believing and Seeking,

Victoria

 

____________________________________________

1. Kenneth W. Osbeck. Amazing Grace: 366 Inspiring Hymn Stories for Daily Devotions. Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications. 1996. 261.

2. Warren W. Wiersbe. Be Strong. “Be” Commentary Series. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books. 1996. 88.

3. David Wilkerson. “God Knows What Is Best For Us!” Daily Devotional. November 3, 2011.  Available from http://wwww.davidwilkerson.com/en/view/devotions?page=48.

Advertisements

always on His mind…

“Jeremiah 29:11” is sort of like the “John 3:16” of the Old Testament.1  It’s likely that most of us are familiar with it…”For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11, NKJV82).  It is such a phenomenal verse!  There is encouragement in knowing that even if our situation is not panning out like what we have expected, as happened to the Israelite captives, we can confidently trust God and acknowledge that He has established all– the beginning, middle, and end!

When I’ve come across this verse in the past, I’ve often tended to see it with emphasis on the future and the hope.  This time I’ve been compelled to see it from another perspective with an emphasis on the thoughts, and more specifically, the ONE who has those thoughts.

___________________

God has thoughts toward us!

___________________

Isn’t that absolutely awesome!  God has thoughts toward us!  Psalm 40:5 confirms, “Many, O Lord my God, are the wonders which You have done, and Your thoughts toward us; there is none to compare with You.  If I would declare and speak of them, they would be too numerous to count” (NASB95)!  Psalm 139:17 too, ” How precious are your thoughts about me, O God.  They cannot be numbered” (NLT07)!

___________________

We’re always on His mind!

___________________

God knows us!  He’s not some “clockmaker” who set the world in motion then left it to itself.  He is NOT distant, unresponsive, uncaring.  He IS personal, concerned, loving!  And the fact that He has thoughts toward us demonstrates this!

Do we believe that?  Are we able to say with conviction, as the psalmist has, “how precious are your thoughts about me, O God”?  Should we dare to consider that the question ought to become, “if we’re always on His mind, how then shall we live”?

On His Mind,

Victoria

_________________________________

1. John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (NKJV82).

NOTICE: The advertisements on this site are neither published by nor subject to With True Hope and as such the content expressed does not necessarily reflect the beliefs of With True Hope. Thank you.

Lacey Sturm’s Ransom Note

Thank God for Jesus Christ, through whom God demonstrates His own love toward us (Romans 5:8, NASB95)!  While we– all of us— were yet sinners– unrighteous, unholy, letting the pride of our hearts keep us from trusting God and knowing His Salvation, having hatred toward Him– He sought to love us!  “At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures.  We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another.  But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared,  He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of His mercy.  He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by His grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life” (Titus 3:3-7, NIV84).  May we know the reality of God’s love for us today, knowing that it is His pleasure to ransom us…it is His pleasure to be the Ransom for us!  He doesn’t want us to be held back by the hatred and pride of our hearts– He doesn’t want us to continue on and die in our sins!  May we truly understand the beauty and greatness of Christ’s lovingkindness, grace, and mercy and live as heirs who have been ransomed by Him and who have the hope of eternal life!

Victoria

THE GAME OF LIFE

LIFE

I recently heard a story about brothers who loved to play The Game of Life.  “When we were children”, one of the brothers remarked, “we would play The Game of Life all of the time!”  “Then one day”, he continued, “we decided to pick up the directions and read them…that’s when we realized that we had been playing the game wrong all that time!”

When I first heard this story, I chuckled.  But then the convicting truth in it soon hit me.  How many of us go about life incognizant that we are doing so wrongly because we fail to pick up God’s Word to read it?

___________________________

“We know too much about what we want and too little about what God wants” (David Wilkerson).

___________________________

Ouch, I know.  It’s getting real here folks!  Because I’m not just talking about Nonbelievers who by definition go about life without knowing the truth of God.  I’m talking about Believers too– Believers who although strongly know the truth of God concerning their eternal destination still struggle with knowing the truth of God concerning their everyday situations.

___________________________

“I am God, your God, who teaches you how to live right and well.  I show you what to do, where to go” (Isaiah 48:17, MSG05).

___________________________

How often do we consult God’s Word for how to live right and well?  Second Timothy 3:16 tells us that “[a]ll Scripture is inspired by God and is useful…” (NRSV89).  The word for “useful” (also “profitable” in some translations) is ōphelimos, which “pertain[s] to a benefit to be derived from some [thing]”.1  It seems this implies that the benefit is derived when we prayerfully learn God’s Word, taking it to heart and living according to it.

___________________________

“But the word is very near you. It is in your mouth and in your heart, so that you can do it” (Deuteronomy 30:14, ESV01).

___________________________

Friend, I would like to encourage you today that whatever you may be going through in your everyday life, you can find the truth of God’s Word to be useful!

Have you read the Word of God today?

Victoria

___________________________

1. Johannes P. Louw and Eugene Albert Nida. Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament: Based on Semantic Domains. Electronic Edition of the 2nd Edition. New York, NY: United Bible Societies. 1996.

NOTICE: The advertisements on this site are neither published by nor subject to With True Hope and as such the content expressed does not necessarily reflect the beliefs of With True Hope. Thank you

Trusting trouble? Welcome to the club…

Journals

I’m a journaler– have been for nearly ten years.  My journals are filled with many reflections, narrations, questions, resolutions, and lessons.  You know, it’s not too often that I find myself picking up an older journal to read through some of its entries, but this week I did.  I read one of my first ever entries in which I cited Proverbs 3:5-6, which says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths” (NKJV82).  The peculiar thing is that a vast majority of my entries could be summed up in that verse!

What do I make of this?  Well, it seems that trusting the Lord has been an enduring lesson for me!  For instance, take a look at a couple excerpts from some of my other entries:

“…I just want to throw up the hands of my heart as I desire for God to do His will, for Him to have His way.  Sometimes in my mind I really have no idea why things are happening the way that they are.  Deep down in my heart, though, I know that my God is in control.  Yes, it would be easier– to a certain degree– to have the specifics laid out right in front of me.  But I have to ask then, where would that leave room for trusting God…?

“…there’s something to be said about trusting God, or rather asked: why do I find it so hard?  I’m coming to understand that it all has to do with perspective!  It’s hard to trust God when I lean on my own understanding, when all I see is my present situation– of which I may add I don’t even see in full–, when I am focused on the things I am uncertain of, when I forget who He is!”

Why do I share this?  Because I don’t think I’m the only one in the club of I-have-trouble-learning-to-fully-trust-God.

In Isaiah 36:5 is the question, “Now in whom do you trust?” (NKJV82)  Concerning this, Charles Haddon Spurgeon has commented:

“Reader, this is an important question.  Listen to the Christian’s answer, and see if it is yours.  “On whom dost thou trust?”  “I trust,” says the Christian, “in a triune God.  I trust the Father, believing that He has chosen me from before the foundations of the world; I trust Him to provide for me in providence, to teach me, to guide me, to correct me if need be, and to bring me home to His own house where the many mansions are.  I trust the Son.  Very God of very God is He—the man Christ Jesus.  I trust in Him to take away all my sins by His own sacrifice, and to adorn me with His perfect righteousness.  I trust Him to be my Intercessor, to present my prayers and desires before His Father’s throne, and I trust Him to be my Advocate at the last great day, to plead my cause, and to justify me.  I trust Him for what He is, for what He has done, and for what He has promised yet to do.  And I trust the Holy Spirit—He has begun to save me from my inbred sins; I trust Him to drive them all out; I trust Him to curb my temper, to subdue my will, to enlighten my understanding, to check my passions, to comfort my despondency, to help my weakness, to illuminate my darkness; I trust Him to dwell in me as my life, to reign in me as my King, to sanctify me wholly, spirit, soul, and body, and then to take me up to dwell with the saints in light for ever.”   Oh, blessed trust!  To trust Him whose power will never be exhausted, whose love will never wane, whose kindness will never change, whose faithfulness will never fail, whose wisdom will never be nonplussed, and whose perfect goodness can never know a diminution!  Happy art thou, reader, if this trust is thine!  So trusting, thou shalt enjoy sweet peace now, and glory hereafter, and the foundation of thy trust shall never be removed.” 1

You know, I could just hear the Lord God in His reassuring, fatherly voice ask, “Now Victoria, in whom do you trust?”  I am finding that question to be very helpful in the process of learning to fully trust Him.  It helps me see things from the right perspective, as I am encouraged to remember and acknowledge the certainty of God’s trustworthiness in everything!

So to those of you who also find yourselves in the learning-to-trust club, I ask, “Now (insert your name here), in whom do you trust?”

 Victoria

 _________________________

1. Charles Haddon Spurgeon.  Morning and Evening: Daily Readings, Complete and Unabridged.  New Modern Edition.  Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers. 2006.

NOTICE: The advertisements on this site are neither published by nor subject to With True Hope and as such the content expressed does not necessarily reflect the beliefs of With True Hope. Thank you.