A few weeks ago I found myself in a whirlwind of emotions. Our son lives and works in West Palm Beach, Florida. When word that Hurricane Irma was heading his way, I began to communicate with him regarding his plans. He’s pretty laid-back and not risk averse so he was going to wait and see. As things progressed and evacuations were called for, my stress level began to rise. He is on staff at a large church in the area and because they have several campuses in several cities, they were still in the decision process on canceling their weekend services. Our son decided to wait on their final decision before making evacuation plans. Meanwhile I’m reading of gas shortages, traffic jams, hearing stories from friends and families of past “disasters” when trying to evacuate a Florida hurricane. Well-meaning friends and family were calling and texting to inquire about Jacob and his plans. My husband was on the road that week, so I was home alone trying to process this battle of feelings and faith.…continue reading
Are you struggling with fear of the future? Is your world shaking right now because you are unsure of how you will make ends meet? No doubt, we live in a shaky world. But we can live in it with unshakeable faith and experience unimaginable peace, joy and contentment in the midst of it all.
Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe. —Hebrews 12:28
- Receiving – paralambanō (G3880) – to take into the mind
- Kingdom – basileia (G932) – Christ’s rule and reign in our hearts and lives; clothed with His power and dignity
- Cannot be shaken- asaleutos (G761) – unshaken, unmoved, not liable to overthrow and disorder, firm, stable, enduring.
Those circumstances in life that shake our world also serve to build our faith. They are opportunities for growth. Opportunities to grow deeper in our relationship with God and the training ground for learning to trust Him in even greater ways.
Hebrews 12:28 is a great reminder and encouragement to us. We are receiving a kingdom that cannot be moved, one that is firm and stable and secure. God is our Rock and Jesus Christ is the chief cornerstone of this foundation for our lives. We have to receive it as ours. We have to take up our places as daughters of the king and co-heirs with Christ.
What is shaking your world right now? What makes you fearful? In the last post we looked at the fear of vain imagining. We saw an example in scripture of those who allowed their vain imaginings to run wild and those who chose to trust God in the midst of their fear. Let’s wrap up today by looking at another example of situations that cause us to be fearful: concern for provision and the future.…continue reading
I enjoy a summer storm. Well…sort of. I enjoy it from the safety of my front porch or back deck or comfortable in my favorite chair with a cotton quilt and a good book. I enjoy watching those summer lightning storms from a place of safety. I’m not so crazy about the idea of riding out a storm in a boat or exposed to the elements. Those movies about boats battling a raging storm in the ocean waters are not my kind of fun! This is exactly where we find a group of men in our passage today—in a boat, in a raging storm with gusty winds, feeling fearful.
Read: Matthew 8:23-27.
But He said to them, “Why are you fearful, you of little faith?” Then He got up and rebuked the winds and the sea. And there was a great calm. —Matthew 8:26
Did you notice how Jesus addresses his disciples in this passage —”you of little faith”? Fear is the opposite of faith. Faith is trusting and believing God, taking Him at His Word and walking in the power of His presence moment by moment. Yet, I often find myself fretting and fearful instead of turning to and trusting God with my concerns and fears. I want to be a woman who trusts and believes God and takes Him at His Word in all things.
A Lesson from Jehoshaphat
This week in Bible study we looked at the story of Jehoshaphat in 2 Chronicles 20. What can we learn from his “Gap Moment”?
What can we learn from Jehoshaphat about fighting fear in the midst of a battle? Jehoshaphat received word that a “vast army” was coming against them. And his first response was not to gather the troops or map out a battle plan. We all face what feel like “vast armies”. Sometimes it is an enemy from without, a difficult situation or circumstance that has come upon us. Sometimes the battle is in a relationship. Sometimes the battle is internal as we fight against those “what if” and “if only” thoughts that can assail our minds. And sometimes we are battling the sin in our heart and lives. Take a look at what happened in 2 Chronicles and note how Jehoshaphat chose to respond instead of react in the midst of this fearful situation. Be encouraged by what you learn!…continue reading
Lay it all down at the feet of Jesus!
And experience the presence of Jesus that will protect, strengthen, guard and keep watch over your heart and thoughts and flood your soul with a peace incomprehensible and beyond understanding.
©2014 Susan Cady, susancady.com
When our thoughts begin to wander the path of “what if” and “if only” in a situation, it brings about discouragement, discontent, despair and causes us to doubt God’s love and power in our lives. When the “what ifs” and “if onlys” assail your thoughts and threaten to strike fear and steal your joy and peace, remind yourself of the truths of God’s Word — who He is and what He has done for you! Rest secure in His presence.
What then are we to say about these things?
If God is for us, who is against us?
He did not even spare His own Son
but offered Him up for us all;
how will He not also with Him grant us everything?
Who can bring an accusation against God’s elect?
God is the One who justifies.
Who is the one who condemns?
Christ Jesus is the One who died,
but even more, has been raised;
He also is at the right hand of God
and intercedes for us.
Who can separate us from the love of Christ?
Can affliction or anguish or persecution
or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?…
No, in all these things we are more than victorious
through Him who loved us.
For I am persuaded that not even death or life,
angels or rulers,
things present or things to come, hostile powers,
height or depth, or any other created thing
will have the power to separate us
from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord!
©2014 Susan Cady, susancady.com
Our hearts can be steady and firm in times of trouble and bad news. Psalm 112:1 tells us we can have firm and steadfast hearts because we fear the Lord and take delight in His Word. His Word and His Spirit encourage our hearts, renew our minds, realign our thinking and enable us to rest secure in the One who is in control of all things. Instead of fixating on the problem we can fix our eyes on Jesus. He is near. We do not need to fear, only trust Him because He is the same yesterday, today and forever, the One who was, who is and who is to come! Steadfast! Trustworthy! He will never leave or forsake us.
©2014 Susan Cady, susancady.com
God reveals himself as Yahweh/Jehovah —LORD. It is the name by which He has been know from the creation of the world and it is His forever name. It is the proper name of God. Yahweh/Jehovah translates “He who is”. When He says, I AM who I AM in Scripture, it means “He who is” and He subsists in a manner superior to all other beings! He is the self-existent, all-sufficient One. He is the One who was, who IS and who will be. His name Yahweh/Jehovah, LORD, is often compounded with another word to describe the character of the Lord in greater detail. For example, Jehovah-Jireh, the LORD who provides, in Genesis 22:14 or in Exodus 17:15, Jehovah-Nissi, the LORD is my banner.
One of my favorites is the contracted form of His name, Jehovah/Yahweh, which is JAH and means He IS! (Note: In the Holman Christian Standard Bible translation, they print JAH whenever this contracted form of the Lord God appears. It is found particularly in the Psalms). So often I need that. I need to know that He IS in this moment. That He IS sovereign. That He IS all-powerful. That He IS unfailing love and so much more. There is great comfort for me in knowing God IS present in my every moment. I have nothing to fear! He will strengthen me. He will uphold me.
Therefore, HE is to be the object and focus of my worship, because He alone is worthy. And when I focus on the greatness of the great I AM, my preoccupation with self diminishes. And the amazing thing is, instead of feeling alone, empty, discouraged and fearful, I end up being filled with the power of His presence. I experience His joy, peace, love, acceptance and comfort in my life, and my heart and soul just SOAR! I experience this because HE is! He is present in this moment.
©2014 Susan Cady, susancady.com
Do you feel fearful, anxious, stressed or panicked when you’re not in control or when things in life seem out of control? Are you stressed or irritable when you don’t know the plan, the details and the outcome? You may be dealing with a fear of losing control. How does this fear often manifest itself in our lives?
- Overprotective parenting
- Demanding spirit
- Completing, taking over or redoing tasks done by others
- Obsessing over details
- Inability to delegate
- Wanting it done “my way”
- Always want to be the one to drive?
For those of us who want to be in control, those situations where we find ourselves vulnerable and helpless can be terrifying. —Elyse Fitzpatrick
(Photo Credit: funnyand.com)
In this series, we are considering how our choice in the “Gap Moment” can affect how we deal with fear:
“Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” —Viktor Frankl
As a reminder from last week, when we react instead of respond we allow our emotions and perception of the situation to have full reign and control. This often leaves us frantic, panicked, stressed, anxious and worried. But when we respond, in that “gap moment” we have the opportunity to turn to Jesus. We have the opportunity to stop the worry/fear cycle. We have the opportunity to rehearse who God is and what He has done. We have the opportunity to renew our minds in the Truth of God’s Word. Responding is about placing our trust in God instead of giving full vent to our fears and imaginings.
This week we are looking at Jonah’s Gap Moments and how he handles the fear of losing control. Jonah has three Gap Moments. Does he RESPOND or REACT?…continue reading