“When You Try Trusting God & Things Get Worse” January 28

 

When You Try Trusting God & Things Get Worse - Our Exodus reading illustrates the importance of being willing to keep standing and trusting God when things get worse instead of better and can help us understand that we are in a spiritual battle.  Psalm 16 reminds us where real joy is to be found.  Proverbs 5 warns us of the consequences of sin. All of us need to heed the warnings in this passage, but if you have teenagers, knowing these truths and teaching them to your sons and daughters is so important. This may be one of the most important passages for boys to understand even before they come into their teens.There are so many important truths in today’s readings. I had a hard time deciding which one to feature in the title. I hope you’ll take the time to read today and let me know what spoke to you.

Our Exodus reading illustrates the importance of being willing to keep standing and trusting God when things get worse instead of better and can help us understand that we are in a spiritual battle.

Psalm 16 reminds us where real joy is to be found.

Proverbs 5 warns us of the consequences of sin. All of us need to heed the warnings in this passage, but if you have teenagers, knowing these truths and teaching them to your sons and daughters is so important. This may be one of the most important passages for boys to understand even before they come into their teens.

Finally, Matthew 18 illustrates the seriousness of unforgiveness and its effect on our relationship with God.

On to the Word …

 

Today’s Readings:
Exodus 5 & 6
Psalm 16.7-11
Proverbs 5.7-14
Matthew 18.21-35

 

When You Try Trusting God & Things Get Worse

 

Exodus 5 & 6:

When Things Get Worse

 

Now Moses has returned to Egypt to do what God has told him to do. He has gone to his brother Aaron and received confirmation from him, from the elders, and from the people (Ex. 4.27-31). But when he and Aaron go to Pharaoh to demand he let the people go, things don’t turn out so well! In fact, things get worse!

Have you ever felt that way? You surrender your life to God or you make a decision to turn and go God’s way in some area of life. At first it’s great. You know you’re doing the right thing … but then things start to go wrong!

You might be thinking, “Well, at least God warned Moses and told him that things would eventually work out.” But hasn’t He told us the same thing, maybe not from a burning bush, but in the pages of Scripture?

Paul said, “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose” (Rom. 8.28).

God is saying that no matter how things look right now, “I’m working! Trust Me!”

Paul also wrote, “Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Phil. 1.6).

We may not see the big picture, but if we belong to God, He is at work fulfilling His design and purposes in our lives.

“No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it” (1 Cor. 10.13).

So that you will be able to bear it, even if things get worse before they get better!

So take heart. Your story isn’t over.

“‘For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope'” (Jer. 29.11).

 

But …

 

bible reading manBut we are in a spiritual battle:

For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ (2 Cor. 10.3-5).

Notice three key words in that passage: arguments, knowledge, and thought. The strongholds we battle are patterns of thinking or belief systems…”that [exalt themselves] against the knowledge of God”. In other words, anything that contradicts God’s Word.

Satan is out to get your mind, especially what you believe about God and His Word. He wants you to doubt God’s promises, to doubt God’s love for you, and to doubt His goodness, among other things. DECEIT IS HIS MAJOR WEAPON.

He can’t MAKE you do anything. He can’t MAKE you disbelieve or quit trusting God, so he plants seeds of doubt.

We fight the battle with truth, just as Jesus did when He was tempted by the devil to forsake God’s plan and go His own way (Lk. 4.1-13). So spend time in His Word. Memorize those passages that speak to you. Choose to believe God and not your fears and doubts.

He is GOOD, all the time, even when we are being tested and tried and everything in us wants to quit and run the other way. Instead, as Paul admonished us in Ephesians 6, STAND:

13 Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. 14 Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. 15 For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. 16 In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. 17 Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. (NLT, emphasis added)

 

Today’s Other Readings:

 

Psalm 16.7-11:

Fullness of Joy

 

praise worship

Verse 11 says, “You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”

Part of the deceitfulness of sin is its offer of pleasure—thoughts of “I deserve this” or “God knows that my needs are not being met so He will understand.” But the pleasure that it offers, while real, is momentary and ultimately unsatisfying.

The adulterous affair which seemed so alluring yields hurt, anger, rebellious children, financial ruin, guilt and regret.

The unforgiveness which we fuel by constantly replaying the event and justifying our feelings, only yields anger, bitterness, and the loss of any intimacy with God.

The way or path of the transgressor gets hard (Prov. 13.15), but the way or path that God offers through obedience to His Word is the path to real joy and pleasures forevermore!

 

Proverbs 5.7-14:

Choices & Consequences

 

Yesterday we looked at the first part of Proverbs 5 and here in these verses Solomon continues to warn young men (and all of us) about the dangers of getting involved in immorality.

In verse 8-9 he says, “Remove your way far from her [the immoral woman], and do not go near the door of her house.”

We shouldn’t think we can play around with these things:

“Lest you give your honor to others and your years to the cruel one” (v. 9).

Some people waste years that could have been spent serving God on partying and immoral living and its consequences. How many young men have had their college careers cut short to support a family prematurely?

“Lest aliens be filled with your wealth and your labors go to the house of a foreigner” (v. 10).

I’ve seen my share of young men paying child support, sometimes for several children, and sometimes to more than one woman, because they fathered two or three children before they were even out of their teens. Now for much of their life, the state will be standing there to take its share of their paycheck and will send it “to the house of an alien”—the mother and step-father who are raising his children.

Please don’t misunderstand me. That’s what should happen. If a man (or even a boy) fathers a child, he should be supporting that innocent child. But we need to be warning our boys from the Word that these things are the consequences of ungodly living.

And what about the girls, our daughters, who end up married too soon to someone who didn’t value her purity or have any interest in the things of God, all because she chose to follow the path of sexual immorality. What about the desperate girls who end up at abortion clinics out of fear or confusion and end up suffering a lifetime of guilt and regret?

This is not about condemnation. All of us have sinned and fallen short of God’s standard (Rom. 3.23). I commend girls (and their boyfriends) who choose life for their babies. I commend young people who try to do the right thing whether that means getting married or being faithful to support their children. And I commend step-parents who choose to love and care for children who aren’t theirs biologically. But we must love our children enough to warn them, as Solomon did his son a few thousand years ago, with God’s Word as our authority, that choices have consequences!

If you have made these kinds of mistakes, and you have repented and are living for God, Romans 8.28-29 is still true. He can bring good out of our sin and even the sins others have committed against us. And if your child is caught in some kind of immorality now, continue to pray that he or she will surrender his or her life to God and seek His grace and forgiveness.

 

Matthew 18.21-35:

Forgiving Others

 

reaching out hand friendship

Earlier I spoke about unforgiveness leading to a loss of intimacy with God. This passage includes one of the clearest parables about the seriousness of unforgiveness. If you are struggling to forgive someone, go back and reread this passage. Ask God to help you see the magnitude of the debt for which He forgave you and to give you the grace to forgive “your fellow servant.”

I love you all, and more importantly, so does God!

Lord, please help us to be bold in speaking the truth in love to our children and others You have placed in our paths. Help us to do so humbly and gently, each one looking to ourselves lest we also be tempted (Gal. 6.1-2). Help us to forgive those who have hurt or disappointed us, to see our own sinfulness, to be focused on pleasing You rather than holding on to some perceived right to be angry. Open our eyes, Lord, and let us see the deceitfulness of sin and not be lured down a path that leads to destruction and heartache, in Jesus name, amen.

Blessings,
Donna

 

 

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14 thoughts on ““When You Try Trusting God & Things Get Worse” January 28

  1. Thank you Donna. I do recognize that my thoughts aren’t lining up with God’s truth just didn’t understand why. And today’s notes show me why not. Spending time in God’s truth is needed daily. I’m allowing my circumstances to cloud my judgement.

    Gloria is scheduled for pelvic/hip surgery on Wednesday, Feb 1st. Insurance approval is pending due to paperwork not being submitted by the doctor’s staff. If approval is not ready by Monday, a waiver needs to be sighed that we will incur the cost of surgery.

    Trusting God is what I will lean on. My family bible verse is Jer. 29:11, and so many others. I will be taking these verses and many more, to heart and pen. Thanks!

    • Virginia, I’ll be praying for Gloria and her surgery and also for the insurance situation. May God bless you richly as you continue to trust in Him, my friend!

  2. that’s exactly what my daughter texted last week – things are not getting better – no, worse! so hard to watch the struggle – knowing she will be stronger in the long run. trusting and believing! another mom.

    • It is hard to watch our kids struggle, isn’t it! That’s when we have to know that our God is good and He is always working for their good! Thanks for stopping by today. Blessings!

  3. “We may not see the big picture, but if we belong to God, He is at work fulfilling His design and purposes in our lives.” This is so true, Donna. It can be tempting to wonder where God is when things get worse, but He has promised us in His word to always be with us. I’m so thankful that He will always accomplish His will in our lives and will bring us through each hardship in His timing.

    Thank you for your reminders in God’s word today. Blessings to you! I’m your neighbor at #CoffeeForYourHeart.

  4. I love the Biblical example you shared of “things getting worse” and the promises you provided to counter feeling defeated when things get worse.

    Great encouraging post! Thanks for sharing!

  5. Great topic Donna. I know a saying that “It usually gets darkest before dawn.” I really like that you shared on this because many believers are tempted to lose faith when things get worse. The Bible verses are very encouraging. God bless you!

  6. I have been a Christian since I was 7. Been in the church all my life. Raised my children and now enjoy watching my grandchildren learn and sing about our Lord. But to get really real,I have been awake since that post 9:30am Wed the 28th. (it’s now 5:30am Fri. 30th) My pain, nausea, stress are causing me to fight my migraines and I’m inching closer and closer to a depression I don’t want to be in. I have been crying out to God and I know He hears. Why does it feel He doesn’t. I know the answer. I say it all the time. It’s in His time not mine not ours. I suffer from chronic illness that keeps me from being able to eat. My entire GI is paralyzed.it’s called Gastroparesis. I have a port in my chest where I get fluids and nutrition. But that doesn’t stop me from being hungry. The pain and nausea are constant. Imagine the worst flu you have ever had… that is what it is like everyday forever. I have a pacemaker on my stomach but it only helps to move some food. It’s a very hard thing to explain. I was trying to because. Not only that but we were scammed horribly and then my husband was laid off work from his now third job. We are only a 2 maybe 3 months from a totally empty bank account and living on the streets. I have been crying out to God!!! I was on the bathroom floor crying please Lord show me. Jesus open my eyes what do you want me to see? I came to my computer, and began writing on the Support Group page to my friends. I was just so down.. I began looking on Pinterest for a quote or picture that was about crying out to God or something about Why?! I could find it. Everything was more uplifting and then I came across this blog. The fact that is was posted even the same day made feel it was written for me in my day and time of need. I was glad I had not posted in the support group and was looking for a quote or something to go with it. Because I turned it around and feel so much better. I almost posted what could have been a stumbling block for others who are hurting physically, mentally, and spiritually. We see people die every month from this. last month we lost 4 in 2 weeks. They didn’t need me complaining. There is enough of that too. Although everyone is so nice to say go ahead it sucks!! Get it off your chest and we move on. But instead I shared what I read in your lesson. Hope! Thankfulness. I am so thankful God is in control… because I am a mess! I hope this all comes out ok like I said no sleep nausea and pain have taken over. But I had to let you know how what you are doing is helping. And to say thank you for allowing God to use you in such a powerful way. Cor web page I will leave the address for Christians with Gastroparesis.

    • Wanda, I am encouraged to know that this post spoke to your heart and gave you hope. There are certainly things in life that we may not understand until we get to heaven. It makes me think of Abraham who, the writer of Hebrews tells us, believed in hope when there was no hope. I, also, thought about Joni Eareckson Tada when I read your comment. She wrote a book called, When God Weeps. If you would like a copy, I would be happy to send you one. I will email you.

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