God’s Promises Shape Our Lives #1

Quote

God’s promises give us HOPE in a cold world.

~ Lisa Blair
LAB PHOTOS


This is the first of a series of posts about God’s promises. His promises give us the STRENGTH to stand in the face of any and all attacks. He provides us with the ability to STAND in the face of all evil. Our FAITH in God always brings us through. There are times when we can see Him working in our lives and times when He is working to protect us against situations unbeknownst to us. Take time to examine your past, and you will see God at work in your life.

One of my friends added this to her daily prayers, “Teach me, Lord, to trust you.” It sounds easy and should be easy, especially for those who read and study the Bible and know God’s promises. But the fact is, most of us know something of His promises but think we can activate them on our own as needed. The truth is, God never promised us anything He will not deliver, but it is deliverable in His terms and time, not ours. Once we acquaint ourselves with His promises, we can rely on them in time of need, replacing our greed for faith in God to bring us through.

Friends, allow God to lead you and guide you in how to face your challenges. His promises will help you to see your challenges more clearly, as well as the opportunities that are presented. Reside in His peace. Go to God in prayer boldly standing upon His promises. Rest assured knowing that He hears you and will fulfill them in due time.

Isaiah 26:3

You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on you, because, he trusts in you.”

We receive peace with God in Christ, through the blood He shed on Calvary. Peace is the fruit of our faith. Peace is profound. It is expressed as peace with God and peace with men, peace outward and peace inward, peace here and peace in the hereafter, and denotes the abundant peace available to all believers. (Biblestudytools.com)

If you trust in the Lord, you will be steady, able to stand when under attack, knowing God is with you and provides perfect peace as you go through trials and temptations. You are not alone. God is your eternal rock. God’s peace anchors you so you will not thoughtlessly seek resolve in moments of anxiety, fear, and confusion. His peace allows you to spend time with Him in prayer, centered on Him and not the things happening around you. Once you are ina peaceful state, He can lead you in the direction He mapped out for you.

Jeremiah 29:11

“For I know the plans I think toward you, declares the Lord, plans of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

The prophet Jeremiah instructed the Israelites to stop believing in false visionaries. There are so many contending that they know what is happening in the world today, exhorting we are entering the End Times, and who is not a man of God. We look to these leaders to determine our direction, purpose, allegiance, and livelihood. The truth is – only God knows the plans He has for us. When we seek others, we create idols that slowly replace God. When this happens, we slowly fall into the hands of the evil one.

We can take comfort in Jeremiah 29:11, God’s promise of having a plan for us gives us peace in knowing that we are not floating aimlessly in the sea, but can see the light ahead confirming His presence in our lives. Believing God’s promises give us the courage to work through difficult times with hope.

Our hope is planted in God’s promises. As long as we can rest in his peace, the outside world becomes less daunting. When we reside in inner peace, we can view things more objectively and recognize God’s hints and directions for our lives. If we follow them, no matter what it looks like to the world, He will provide rest, restoration, replacement, and re-energize us giving, us the fortitude to move beyond the loss, devastation, and hopelessness we may feel.

Images: LAB PHOTOS, free google images

References: Biblegateway.org, Charles Stanley Life Principles Bible, NKJV, Biblestudytools.com, biblehub.com, Bibleletterbible.com

Comfort In Uncertainty

Quote

When we are lost, we seek inward. When we are confused we seek God. Isn’t it amazing that we rely on Him and Him alone when things get tough.

~ Lisa Blair

Do you ever feel alone? Have you found yourself unable to figure things out? I have. We are in a time of uncertainty. We may have a job, roof our our head, and food on the table today, but uncertain about tomorrow, or you may have already been displaced as the result of the pandemic, loss of jobs, or storms, fires, or earthquakes. UNCERTAINTY IS THE TERM OF THE MOMENT. Absolutely nothing is as we understand it, but the WORD OF GOD. There is only one thing we can rely on and that’s His Word. It is our refuge, our safe haven, our tower against the storms of life.

The pandemic has ravaged the world as we know it. It has forced us to stop looking outward and begin looking inward at our relationship with God. I have met so many people who have been displaced from their pre-pandemic lives and have found freedom amongst the muck that has ravaged their lives.

Many are joining bible study Zooms, many are seeking introspection and their relationship with the Lord. Still others have decided to invest in themselves and not things, and are moving to less expensive cities and states. Many have regained connections with family members. And, many have found God and received Him as their Lord and Savior, hoping to come out of this in a strong relationship with our Father and a design for their futures that provide relationships outlined in the Bible as their basis for new life.

There is always a silver lining in every cloud. The timing for its appearance is governed by God. He knows the plans He has for us to prosper us and give us strength. He will provide for our basic needs as we travel through tough times, blessings will appear in many forms. Awareness of his blessings small and large were often overlooked and assumed to be something we made happen in the past. I think, for many, we are just beginning to recognize that our blessings come from God to meet all of our needs.

As we move forward, our lives may look different, we are shedding the past, those things that became idols and stole our time from the Lord. The new day will clearly focus on God and our relationship with Him. Our lives will experience His inner peace. We will find calm in the middle of storms, and we will be surrounded by His Grace and Mercies.

Images – Google Images

God’s Good Word, God’s Promises

Quote

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

Quote

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

Quote

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.