Let Not Your Heart Be Troubled

Many find comfort in these words – but for me, they can cause angst.  It’s the word “let” that causes problems for me.  I mean, what am I supposed to do when the trials and problems of life really do give me pause or cause me to have fear?

I know – I know –  I know what you Christian folk are saying, “Jan! take the thought captive, bring the thought into submission with the will of God!” Trust me – I KNOW!!  But that word “let” still gives me a lump in my throat.

I joyfully minister to many. There are issues where the money is just not nearly enough to meet the obligation. There are issues where the illness cannot be defeated. Marriages that are dying. Loss of loved ones that cause family issues in the midst of grief. OR – Maybe your life is on course and you are not only joyful but prosperous.  That is what I tell myself when I encounter people who tell me not to allow myself to worry.  I say to myself that they have no idea what it is like to be in my shoes! What about you!?

Well, I Thank God for His Word!  These words were spoken by the very Son of God, and knowing that Jesus said the words tells me that it really is possible for me to disallow my heart from fainting at the first sign of trouble.

I go on to read Christ’s words in Matthew 24 as he describes the perilous times the world will face but he reminds those that follow Him that they are not alone.  And then I remember that the Word of God gave me another “let” that gives me power and strength – “Let this mind be in you that was also in Christ Jesus”  (Philippians 2:5)– and as I continue to read His Word and allow Him to speak to me I am reminded that if I have the mind of Christ I cannot be troubled for it is against the mind of Christ for me to have a troubled heart or mind even when all around me seems full of trouble.  Then I remember that He also told me that if I could only remember at all times that He has already overcome the world – I will know that I too will overcome.

Now, let me say that my heart began to feel lighter and the lump in my throat was less uncomfortable.  Let me also be clear that though my situation may not have changed – I am hopeful, truly, that He desires to, and will indeed, work it all out for my good and for His glory.  So today, you know – later on after I start thinking about my trouble again – the moment it seems that my heart just might faint, I will not let my heart be troubled, instead I will start singing, clapping, dancing and praising Him in advance of my deliverance!  As I praise – it will lift my heart from trouble to a place of triumph and I will not be able to stop myself from rejoicing.

Let Not Your Heart Be Troubled! As my mama always told me,  “Just trust in the Good Lord!”

Calling Out To Him .. In Times Of Trouble

I was reading Genesis 32 this morning and was just rejoicing over the wonderful truth that He is deliverer to His children! (read Genesis 32:9-12 to get an image)

Have you ever felt like the Lord made a promise to you? I mean specific promises at some time in your life? Every promise from the Lord in the Bible is true, He never fails and His Word is Truth. But what about a prayer that you have lifted to Him and heard His voice, knowing what He has for you …

OK, I know that this is difficult to hear well. Here’s my deal … in my other life the difficulty was just tremendous, beyond anything I’d understand or was able to bear. There were people led by the enemy that were determined to destroy me, not just physically/mentally; but they wanted to confuse my faith. Can you imagine that? I was in despair BUT I was so clear about God’s guidance and promises to me and, praise God, I was living in obedience and submission to Him – don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t in perfection but I knew who My Father was and had a desire to serve Him well. I had been shown by The Lord that my life would bring Him glory, so I had the good sense to ask God for peace in a certain type of way. I asked Him to protect me from the enemy and put me in a path that would make everyone around me so aware of His power and faithfulness. I really did tell Him what I hoped for. About 2 months later it came out of nowhere! I knew for sure that the only way it could have come is that He sent it. In my case the enemy was doing what he is good at, he was causing me to feel weak, afraid, and lost. When I went to the Word of God and saw a particular promise –

Pray to the Lord, and he will hear you. He will save you from all your troubles.

Psalm 34:17

I cried out to my Father believing with no doubt at all that He heard me. I knew what I needed and asked him from deliverance from what I specifically was facing and I’m telling you that His deliverance came and He spoke to me when I was thanking Him, letting me know that what He promises His children is always true!

I have friends dealing with marital abuse, job issues, health issues, mental issues and more … and I know that the despair has made many just want to give up, but I’m telling you from my own experience that the promises in God’s Word are true. When life issues come, it can feel like nothing will go well. Do you know what I mean? When we are living a life of obedience and call upon the Lord, all that is difficult will work out for our good … He will save us from out troubles. Now … you saw that it took 2 months for my deliverance, your wait might be shorter or longer, but I’m telling you He will save you!

There are issues that can frighten us completely, but, as children of the Most High God we have guidance from Him to cry out to Him! He does not fail! His promises are true!

Father, my thanks to You cannot be nearly enough for how you’ve kept me! I am completely undeserving of Your faithfulness, Your mercy and Your grace; but You just keep showing it to me in amazing ways! I believe what You’ve told me about what my life will be for the sake of Your glory; and, when the enemy speaks to me I will tell him to get behind me because I know that he cannot and will not prevail. Thank You Lord! I won’t be afraid because I know that Your lovingkindness and faithfulness will come my way!

No More Fear!

2 timothy 1 7

Have you ever been asked to do something new? odd? different? Do you, in spite of your gifts/talents, shrink back a bit when tasked with something that feels bigger than you?  I’m sure you don’t – but I sure do.  

There is something about stepping out into some new ministry when you’ve had success in a smaller place that can take your breath.  When I was in church ministry I felt like God was allowing me to work and minister in my sweet spot.  But, I didn’t start off that way.  I was quite content being an alto in the choir.  My friend and mentor, the late Evangelist Brenda Waters, was talking to me over lunch at Picadilly Restaurant in Houston — she looked me square in the eye and said, “Whatcha scared of girl!? God has given you an ear for His music; He has given you a heart for His people; He has given you a voice that quiets a room!  Just lead — you’re not a background singer; God created you to lead!”  That started my life as a worship leader – my sweet spot.  But just as I settled in to that, the call to missions came.

I couldn’t take my musical gift to Ghana in the same way that it had been used in the USA so I floundered for a short while and entered into a time of fear, afraid of being insignificant in the work of the Kingdom.  Then the Holy Spirit helped me to see and understand what I was supposed to do in Ghana; lead people toward a life of worship; not just lead them in a worship service.  Being in authentic relationships with people so that they would know what it was to live, move and have their being in Him.  My new sweet spot!  But before I knew it – another call came — lead!

This time He asked me to worship Him with my whole life in a way that others would do the same; to love Him in such a way that the people that I ministered to would feel His love poured out through me.  Terrified!  Didn’t God know about my failings? my bad attitudes? my own personal kind of crazy?!  Yes! He knew all about it and we stepped into this role as ministry directors for Africa.  And — you guessed it — my new sweet spot! Every time I get an email from a missionary saying that they feel heard and cared for — I know that this is place I’m supposed to be!  The fears fell away – nothing is left except the power of God, the love of God and a mind that is clear about His purpose for me in this season and serious about being continually developed to operate fully in His purposes.

I want to encourage you.  Push past the fear.  Push past the feelings of inadequacy.  Push past your fears and timidity.  Push past your ego and your false humility.  Push past the enemies lies that tell you that you are less than enough; inadequate; ill equipped.  Press into the presence and power of God and you WILL find that your fears will cut tail and run!  Trust me!  More than that – Trust Him!  When God asked you to do that next hard thing, that next new thing, that next step off of a cliff — know that He delights in showing forth His glory through you and doing more in and through you than you could ever have asked, thought or imagined!  I don’t know who or what was vexing dear Timothy and making him feel timid — but Paul’s words to Him are for you today too…

For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline.  2 Timothy 1:7

Father, I’m grateful – so very grateful – for your work in me. I could not do any of it apart from Your power; Your wisdom; Your guidance; Your will and my own submission and humility. I bless you tremendously, because you reminded me each and every day that all I needed was All Of You! Thank you for filling me with your Holy Spirit every day! Thank you for teaching me that leading meant reflecting Your Son, Jesus Christ each day AND submitting to you in a way that leads others to You! Thank you for letting me see and experience your daily new mercies! Thank you, Lord, for using me for the sake of Your glory, for helping me move past fears because You ensured me every day that what is in me are Your gifts and NOT MY OWN! My Wonderful and Faithful Father, I will be bold, loving and filled with good sense because I know what You have given me and I praise You for it!!

Breathe! You’re winning!

Psalm 62-5A life of faith is a life of battles.  This is difficult line to read – but one that is so very true.  Victory is assured …  that is indeed true – but we win only in Him and we keep the advantage on the battleground only as we continually pray.

The enemy is always seeking to wreck us; to turn us on our heads; to confuse us; to make us feel like we are at a loss. But the battle belongs to Our Lord – and yes, Victory is Our Savior’s!

The lesson of the believer, one that must never be forgotten, is that we are in battle!  Somehow, it seems, we have come to believe that we can sit back and feel like royalty because we’ve already won – but this is not nearly true!  The battle will not end until He has returned!

Stand firm! Hide the Word of the Lord in your heart! Have faith and do not fear! Stand on the Rock of Our Salvation at all times!  In times of trouble, remember that God is your salvation, your strength, and your glory.  Don’t get proud when it seems you have won – NO! Remember to whom the victory belongs – He is your glory!  You are not the victor – it is the One to whom you have given your life; the One who gave the life of His Son to save you.  The hope for peace is not in any other being but Him!

The riches of God’s lovingkindness Will Not Fail!  The supply that comes from His hand Will Always Be Enough! The Prayers we bring to His throne Will Always Be Heard!

Don’t put your arms down – stay in the battle and expect to enjoy the victory with your King! He will give you rest – don’t doubt it! Breathe – Trust – Expect!

Psalm 62:5 – 6

God, the one and only—
I’ll wait as long as he says.
Everything I hope for comes from him,
so why not?
He’s solid rock under my feet,
breathing room for my soul,
An impregnable castle:
I’m set for life.