January/February 2010


January-February Devotional 

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart.

Lean not on your own understanding.

In all your ways acknowledge him.

And he will direct your path.”

Proverbs 3:5-6

 

 

A new year, and a new beginning.  A new chance to reaffirm what is important and to clear out and clean out what ever holds you back from reaching your God-given potential.  An opportunity to resolve to do better, eat right, get in shape, renew unmet goals, be a better, nicer person, improve in my career, and strive for greater excellence.  Wow, that’s a lot to ask, but isn’t it what most of us would like?!

 

Can you believe how fast the days of 2010 are already speeding by?  Does anyone even remember the New Year’s resolutions they came up not long ago?!  It’s easy to forget.  Maybe because life seems to take hold of precious moments of time and run away with them, squeezing out those once-so-important resolutions and forcing us back into survival mode.  Or perhaps because human weakness is so powerful at times that our resolve is not as strong as the temptation of that luscious piece of chocolate cake! 

 

Maybe what we need is a good reminder of a great passage in scripture – Proverbs 3:5-6. Summed up in one concept:  “Trust in the Lord.”  Easier said than done sometimes, wouldn’t you agree?

 

Just a month old, 2010 has already brought numerous situations that have challenged my ability to trust.   But if you think about it, that’s the very time when we have an opportunity to show that we CAN and WILL trust. When everything is going our way, it’s easy to trust. When life offers up a bevy of difficulties, we are forced to meet trust and doubt face to face – and the question is: which will win?

 

When you feel disappointed, discouraged, downtrodden, or otherwise depressed, remember that God has lovingly planned out your entire life in advance.  He has promised good things, a future, and a hope for you (Jeremiah 29:11).  He has told us in Ephesians 2:10 that “We are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works which God has prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”  Notice that God has already prepared these “good works” and all we need to do is “walk in them.”  We don’t have to run; we don’t need to panic; and we need not spend time worrying – because God already has it under control.

 

Still, I know that it’s challenging to trust when you come up against Murphy’s Law (“anything that can go wrong will!”).  In those times, I have been practicing (because I’m certainly not proficient at it) to praise God in advance for what he is going to do in my life.   This is a great and effective exercise – and there’s three parts to it.

 

First, thank God for what he has already done in my life.  I have seen God’s track record, and it’s amazing.  If I look back on my life and the difficulties I have previously faced, God has always been there for me, and has patiently walked me through them.  And remarkably, I can actually say in hindsight that I’m glad I experienced those times, even though they were hard.  I saw God’s faithfulness as I trusted in him.

 

Second, praise him for who he is.  Knowing God means knowing his character.  He is a God of love and he loves to give his children good gifts.  Before I even ask for something, I’m trying to just exalt him for being God and being so wonderful.

 

Third, thank God for what he is planning to do.  Instead of begging him to give me something good, I’ve decided to believe that it will be good (based on his past track record and who he is) and praise him for it in advance. 

 

I believe God has a great plan, already mapped out, for my life, and I refuse to let Satan steal away my joy during times of trial.  If I keep my eyes on the Father, I know he will bring me through this present difficulty and even help me appreciate the trial someday.  So my resolution and focus is to “Trust in the Lord.”  I’ll let you know how it goes…and let me hear from you too.

 

 

With love,

Lisa Kinakin