If you are going through a time of isolation, seemingly all alone, read John 17 . It will explain exactly why you are where you are— because Jesus has prayed that you “may be one” with the Father as He is. Are you helping God to answer that prayer, or do you have some other goal for your life? Since you became a disciple, you cannot be as independent as you used to be.
God reveals in John 17 that His purpose is not just to answer our prayers, but that through prayer we might come to discern His mind. Yet there is one prayer which God must answer, and that is the prayer of Jesus— “. . . that they may be one just as We are one . . .” (John 17:22). Are we as close to Jesus Christ as that?
God is not concerned about our plans; He doesn’t ask, “Do you want to go through this loss of a loved one, this difficulty, or this defeat?” No, He allows these things for His own purpose. The things we are going through are either making us sweeter, better, and nobler men and women, or they are making us more critical and fault-finding, and more insistent on our own way. The things that happen either make us evil, or they make us more saintly, depending entirely on our relationship with God and its level of intimacy. If we will pray, regarding our own lives, “Your will be done” (Matthew 26:42), then we will be encouraged and comforted by John 17, knowing that our Father is working according to His own wisdom, accomplishing what is best. When we understand God’s purpose, we will not become small-minded and cynical. Jesus prayed nothing less for us than absolute oneness with Himself, just as He was one with the Father. Some of us are far from this oneness; yet God will not leave us alone until we are one with Him— because Jesus prayed, “. . . that they all may be one . . . .”
Matthew 14:22-36 (Good News Translation)
From: American Bible Society
God’s Word: Renewing Us in Faith
Matthew 14:22-36: After feeding more than five thousand people, Jesus made his disciples cross the lake in a boat. While the boat was far out into the lake, Jesus appeared to them hours later, walking on the water. When they arrived on the other said of the lake, many people brought those who were sick to Jesus, and Jesus healed them.
Today’s Scripture: Matthew 14:33
Then the disciples in the boat worshiped Jesus. “Truly you are the Son of God!” they exclaimed.
22 Then Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead to the other side of the lake, while he sent the people away. 23 After sending the people away, he went up a hill by himself to pray. When evening came, Jesus was there alone; 24 and by this time the boat was far out in the lake, tossed about by the waves, because the wind was blowing against it. 25 Between three and six o’clock in the morning Jesus came to the disciples, walking on the water. 26 When they saw him walking on the water, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost!” they said, and screamed with fear. 27 Jesus spoke to them at once. “Courage!” he said. “It is I. Don’t be afraid!” 28 Then Peter spoke up. “Lord, if it is really you, order me to come out on the water to you.” 29 “Come!” answered Jesus. So Peter got out of the boat and started walking on the water to Jesus. 30 But when he noticed the strong wind, he was afraid and started to sink down in the water. “Save me, Lord!” he cried. 31 At once Jesus reached out and grabbed hold of him and said, “What little faith you have! Why did you doubt?” 32 They both got into the boat, and the wind died down. 33 Then the disciples in the boat worshiped Jesus. “Truly you are the Son of God!” they exclaimed. 34 They crossed the lake and came to land at Gennesaret, 35 where the people recognized Jesus. So they sent for the sick people in all the surrounding country and brought them to Jesus. 36 They begged him to let the sick at least touch the edge of his cloak; and all who touched it were made well.
How did the disciples react when they saw Jesus walking on the water? What did Peter do? What happened to him? Why did Jesus say to Peter, “Why did you doubt?” Have you ever had doubts in matters of faith?
|Even a Great Husband Makes a Very Poor God
“And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19 (NIV)
I’ve often wished I could travel back 21 years ago and give my “young bride self” some advice. But since that’s not possible, I love sharing what I’ve learned with others.
Not so long ago, I had dinner with a friend in her twenties who would love to be married one day. During our time together, the conversation flowed freely about all sorts of things. Blogs. Writing. Leaving your comfort zone because God said so. You know, girl stuff. And then we moved on to the subject of relationships and marriage.
I shared with my friend that when I was single, I thought marriage was all about finding the right partner. I thought if you found “the one,” you’d be happy, secure and fulfilled.
I do think it’s good to have a list of standards you desire in a spouse. However, it can never be with the expectation that if you find that special someone, he’ll right all your wrongs and fill up all your insecurities. The problem with this thinking is the pressure it will eventually put on your spouse.
To expect another person to make you feel happy, secure and fulfilled will leave you disappointed at best and disillusioned at worst. Even a great husband makes a very poor God.
Only God Himself can settle those deep heart-needs. Our key verse, Philippians 4:19 reminds us of this, “And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.”
If a husband could meet every need his wife had, we’d have no need for God. Therefore, instead of just focusing on finding the right partner, let God work on your heart to help you become the right partner. The time to start working on becoming a wife is now. Before the white dress, delicate bouquets, unity candle, bacon-wrapped shrimp and reception punch, there is some heart stuff to consider:
Getting married doesn’t instantly make you selfless … it makes you realize how very selfish you can be at times.
Getting married doesn’t make you feel loved … it makes you realize love is more of a decision you make than a feeling you feel.
Getting married doesn’t take away loneliness … it makes you realize true companionship comes not when you demand it, but rather when you give it to another person.
So, what does marriage give? A beautiful chance to make the choice to …
Laugh whether or not the jokes are funny.
Love by folding his collar over his tie every morning.
Talk things through by addressing issues rather than attacking him personally.
Cheer him on through both failures and successes.
Look for a positive quality in him each day and take the time to tell him.
Thank God for the privilege of being his wife.
After our time together, my friend thanked me for our talk. She said it gave her a lot to think about. To be honest, it gave me a lot to think about as well.
Dear Lord, only You can fill my heart, right my wrongs, and make me feel loved. I pray that You would show me how to keep my expectations of my husband in check. Help me be the wife he desires. And help me remember that marriage was never meant to make me happy all the time. Marriage is a decision to honor You by honoring the one you’ve entrusted to me to be my husband. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
From: Our Daily Bread
Leave It To God
“Roll on Jehovah thy way” (Ps. 37:6).
Whatever it is that presses thee, go tell the Father; put the whole matter over into His hand, and so shalt thou be freed from that dividing, perplexing care that the world is full of. When thou art either to do or suffer anything, when thou art about any purpose or business, go tell God of it, and acquaint Him with it; yes, burden Him with it, and thou hast done for matter of caring; no more care, but quiet, sweet, diligence in thy duty, and dependence on Him for the carriage of thy matters. Roll thy cares, and thyself with them, as one burden, all on thy God. –R. Leighton
Build a little fence of trust
Fill the space with loving work
And therein stay.
Look not through the sheltering bars
God will help thee bear what comes
Of joy or sorrow. –Mary Butts
We shall find it impossible to commit our way unto the Lord, unless it be a way that He approves. It is only by faith that a man can commit his way unto the Lord; if there be the slightest doubt in the heart that “our way” is not a good one, faith will refuse to have anything to do with it. This committing of our way must be a continuous, not a single act. However extraordinary and unexpected may seem to be His guidance, however near the precipice He may take you, you are not to snatch the guiding reins out of His hands. Are we willing to have all our ways submitted to God, for Him to pronounce judgment on them? There is nothing a Christian needs to be more scrutinizing about than about his confirmed habits and views. He is too apt to take for granted the Divine approbation of them. Why are some Christians so anxious, so fearful? Evidently because they have not left their way with the Lord. They took it to Him, but brought it away with them again. –Selected