God’s Good Word, God’s Promises

God’s Word is eternal. It is for all times and extends beyond our lifetime.

~ Lisa Blair

This is a guest post from a YouVersion devotional study – Good News: Encouragement for a World In Crisis. Created by YouVersion. Bible.com

God Has Good Plans, Day 1 of 7.

We’re living in an unprecedented time as we navigate the life-threatening and economy-shaking struggles we’re facing because of the COVID-19 pandemic. In the past, we’ve seen catastrophic diseases, disasters, and wars impact various countries, but this is different. At this time, the whole world has something in common: we’re trying to survive a deadly virus.

So, as followers of Jesus, how do we make sense of this? What do we do with our questions to God and our questions of God? How do we find good news in a continual stream of bad news? And how do we grasp how this fits into the all-familiar passage of Jeremiah 29:11? 

For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. (NLT)

This verse gives hope and is our spiritual security blanket in hard times. It’s printed on t-shirts, etched on coffee mugs, and stamped on greeting cards. While God is a hope giver, we have to understand the context of this cherished verse. 

Jeremiah prophesied to the Israelites in the southern kingdom of Judah before they were taken captive in 586 BC by King Nebuchadnezzer of Babylon. In Jeremiah 27, he prophesied that they would serve this king, his son, and his grandson, and that everything would be under their control (Jeremiah 27:6-7 NLT). 

In the next chapter, a false prophet named Hananiah told the people that God would free them and restore everything to them in two years. Jeremiah challenged Hananiah because of his lies. He also said Hananiah would die and in two months, he was dead.

In chapter 29, Jeremiah encourages the people to live their lives while they’re in exile—to work, marry, plant, eat, and multiply! He tells them they’ll be in Babylon for 70 years and then, they’ll be brought home again. 

God’s plans of a hope and a future for His chosen people probably didn’t match what their idea was. They wanted to go home, yet God said it would be 70 years. They wanted their own king, yet God said they would serve the Babylonian king. They wanted to flourish in their homeland, but God said to do that under a government that was holding them captive. Possibly the hardest part was that the older generation would never go back home. They would die in a foreign land serving a foreign king. 

We can’t insist on our idea of a bright and hopeful future. We tend to be short-sighted and earthly-minded. But God’s ways are so much higher than what our minds can grasp. His plan is better! And it will include forever with Him in heaven, not just a short portion of our lives on earth. 

If our hope is laced with doubt, fear and anxiety, we can change that today. We need to eliminate our“hope-so” attitude and replace it with a “know-so” mindset. Our hope should never be tethered to the conveniences and pleasures the world offers or the ease of a situation. Instead, we fasten our minds to the promises and truths in the Word of God and fix our sights on the day when our bright, glorious, and eternal future is made a reality. Instead of wishing away our days in the predicament we’re in, let’s have confidence that God will deposit hope into us no matter what we’re facing. 

Scriptures: Jeremiah 27, Jeremiah 28, Jeremiah 29:1-14

New Norm – Continual Prayer

We are weaponless and vulnerable without prayer. Being in prayer mode throughout the day strengthens our resolve and our relationship with Our Lord.

~ Lisa Blair
Youversion/Bible.com

Prayer is needed at all times. It catalyzes, activates, everything that happens in life. It empowers us to persevere in difficulty, exude hope in all situations, and reside in a state of patience despite the prevailing circumstances.

It causes us to supplant blaming God, and reviling others for our current conditions with peace. It provides hope (in eternal life), enduring faith, and rest in knowing God is with us and will see us through this walk, called life.

It is crucial that we develop (our) practice of continual,  persistent prayer. This means throughout the day, in good moments and uncomfortable times. Prayer can be as simple as calling on Christ, a single sentence or a long(er) dialogue. You can do it standing, sitting, on your knees, or prone on the floor. Your eyes can be open or closed. Your hands can be 🙏🏽 pressed together, or open.

Our God is good and receives us as we are in the moment, pleased that we invited Him into our heart.

We are called to rejoice in the Lord.  And , have hope which is founded on faith, and faith on the Divinity of God.

LAB Photos

Image – Bible.com

Resources – BibleStudytools.com;Studylight.org

Don’t Get Lulled By The Devil’s Ploys

We are in the middle of a spiritual war and our faith is at stake. Many are focusing on the pandemic and not God’s Word about our security. “The reality of the pandemic does not change but, the assurance of God’s presence with us through the pandemic is of greater importance than its current dangers.” (Paraphrased-mybsf.org)

~ Lisa Blair

We are in the middle of a spiritual war and our faith is at stake. We cannot slip into despair and complacency. If we do, we will be destroyed. God created us for a time such as this. It is time to stand in faith and fight our way out of this global pandemic through prayer, praise, worship, and informed thinking.

I went grocery shopping this weekend, and several people shared, they hadn’t caught COVID19, so there was no need to wear a mask or honor social distancing. For many, there seems to be little concern that the virus is a global pandemic or real. This is the work of Satan. He loves to lull us into a state of complacency.

What does complacency mean?

The definition of complacency means a feeling of contentment or self-satisfaction, often combined with a lack of awareness of pending trouble or controversy. People seem to lack awareness. (Oxford Dictionary)

Why does Satan use complacency as a tool?

Satan provides his tools to bind us and ultimately destroy us.

What are his tools, and how does he use it?

He provides tools to activate our sinful nature to create a sense of invincibility. The concept of invincibility allows us to think that we are exempt from acquiring Coronavirus and death. It tells us that there is no such thing as a global pandemic that is killing humanity at an alarming rate, and if there is, it will not affect me.

Satan also manifests a sense of loss, doubt, and despair when possible. If he cannot destroy us through complacency, he will reveal doubt and despair. “It doesn’t matter what I do to protect myself against the Coronavirus. I am going to operate as usual, no precautions; there is no way out of this, and if I survive, I won’t have a job or place to live. What’s the use?”

I cannot stress often enough to anyone who will listen, this may not have begun as a spiritual war, but it has turned into one. If we, as a global society, wish to survive, now is the time to pray. We are in an invisible battle on the spiritual level and physical level. We cannot see either through our human eyes but are well aware of their existence. As Christians, our walk matters, especially now.

We are in the middle of a spiritual war. While God does not need us, we are commanded to pray. Ephesians 6:10-12, 18, NLT says,

“Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in heavenly places...Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in the prayers for all believers everywhere.

Be Still, Experience Silence

If we cannot silence our thoughts, we cannot hear God. He won’t compete for our attention.

~Lisa Blair

Our lives are busy, we run to and fro trying not to miss a step. Our minds race, we never experience being still. One of my earlier posts shared that we can either learn to be still or as I once told my employees and students, we can suffer mandatory volunteerism. God gave me multiple opportunities but I did not take Him seriously. I gave one excuse after another. Finally, like any good Father, He took command and placed me in time out. He centered me in a place to be still, retirement, and told me to be still and listen to His quiet, still, voice.

God cannot lead us if we don’t take time to listen and converse with Him. He cannot converse with us if our minds don’t shutdown and release the static. You know, this type of static.

Stillness is the platform for establishing our relationship with our Lord. The scripture Psalm 46:10 reads, ‘Be Still and know that I am God’. There it is plan and simple, yet, so difficult to comprehend in a world were silence no longer exists.

This poem shares the concept of silence and how impactful conversations with God are on our lives.

Kickstart A Conversation With God. YouVersion. Bible.com

Take time everyday for the next two weeks and learn to converse with God. Listen to what He has to say about your life and the steps that will lead you down your destiny pathway.  You will be renewed and no longer bound by self-talk, social media, and purposeless thoughts. You will experience love greater than you can imagine, peace greater that you thought possible, and a sense of who you are in Christ.

Video – Kickstart A Conversation With God. YouVersion. Bible.com

Video – YouTube.com, dalesnale, Nov. 2, 2012

Image – Google Images, faithhopelove1cor13

God’s Promise Are Trustworthy

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God promises to keep us and not to forsake (abandon) us. He is our strength, and promises to meet our needs, guide us, and protect us. He adopted us into His family. Never give up hope, even in the most difficult times. He will take our sin away. He will make a way out of no way. We can trust Him because He is Truth. God keeps His Promises, He did not make them lightly or on a whim. They are divine Providence, and  preparation for present and future eventualities we will meet on the way to our destiny, everlasting life.

God is faithful and is always with us. He is just to reward those who persevere in living by and sharing the Good News.

Re-Blog – https://wp.me/p98Coa-BT
Scripture – Biblegateway.com
Images – Google Images
Resources/References – Biblehub.com

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