Tag Archives: faith

A Battle With Head and Heart

I have no idea who “R” is but this guy nailed it when it came to the battle that was often going on inside me.

My faith seems to reside in the “think and be logical” part of my head, while my trust, it lives in the “tender and vulnerable” places in my heart.

All is well, until, they both meet up with “Mr. R” which is a perfect illustration for the troublesome addition of RISK.

When a decision that involves risk comes into play, then the conversational quote from above becomes my inner dialogue—and the battle ensues.

Yet, if we are honest with ourselves, then we must admit that much of our lives and our choices are bound up in risk.

Taking chances.

Going for the gusto.

I have always liked Luci Swindoll’s, “Give it the Koo-tash!”

Whatever language you like to couch it in, RISK and FAITH and TRUST are all bound together, like it or not.

But, who doesn’t want to love wildly, passionately, and fearlessly? The rewards are tremendous, yes?

Ah, but so are the risks. Just ask the guy who has crashed and burned and is trying to put the shattered pieces of his heart back together again! Ask him to “trust again” and what sort of answer do you think you will get?

He may have a real battle getting his head and heart to sync up again.

Walking by faith. Taking a bold leap. Both are impossible without risking the heart and trust.

So what are we to do?

ignore your headThe world says you can break all the rules and follow your heart. It will all work out.

But our faith says that though risk is an essential part of living a full and rewarding life, breaking the rules God has put in place for our protection, will definitely break us!

And that is a truth that I can testify to.

Yes, we are to walk by faith, but soberly. We are not to check our brains at the door! Proverbs has a great deal to say about the fool and the wise man.

wisdom from ProverbsGod wants us to bring our decisions to Him, seek His wisdom by trusting His word, and wait for clear direction.


Confident HopeSeeds of Trust #3:  To find true hope you have to go the distance between the head and the heart.

Emilie Barnes, A Cup of Hope

Believing Is Not About The Outcome

I used to struggle a great deal about this believing business. Mostly because my expectations and outcomes didn’t always match up with what I was believing for.

It is easy to say to someone, “You need to trust God.”

Oh yes, that part is easy!

building trust and believingBut, if our trust is tied to our beliefs for a certain kind of outcome, and then things seem to go haywire?

Then what are we supposed to do?

Was our believing at fault?

Should we have prayed more fervently?

Isn’t my faith supposed to move mountains?

I used to stumble over these questions wondering if there was something faulty with my faith, or my praying, or my believing, until I realized one day that I kept making a very strategic wrong turn in my understanding.

I began to see that if my beliefs were based on my expectations for a certain outcome, and if that was the foundation for my trust, I would always struggle—because my expectations were so often wrong.

I needed a better basis for my trusting.

And then I saw it!

The “wrong turn” I kept making was right here:

Jesus said in John 6:29John 6:29
English: World English Bible - WEB

29 Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.”

WP-Bible plugin
, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.”

I needed to put my confidence and trust in who Jesus had proved Himself to be, not in what He would do for me—or not do for me.

My trust couldn’t stand on my outcomes.

No, my trust had to be based on who Jesus said He was—period.

The Bible says over and over, “We live by faith, not by sight.” [2 Corinthians 5:72 Corinthians 5:7
English: World English Bible - WEB

7 for we walk by faith, not by sight.

WP-Bible plugin
]

walk by faithThe reality of this world is that sometimes bad things happen even if all of our faith is in good outcomes.

Therefore, if my faith and trust are to survive the storms of this life, then there will be times when I must trust in what I can’t see.

walking with JesusI must learn to “walk” with stability in the unseen with my trust based solely in the One God sent.

He is my Cornerstone.

If my confidence is in Him, and my trust is built solely on the character of God’s goodness, then no matter what the outcome to my faith, prayers, and believing—my TRUST will stand on a firm foundation.

Seeds for Trust #2:

believing for God's outcome

 

A Cup of Hope: Resting in the Promise of God’s Faithfulness

A Cup of Hope Emilie BarnesA Cup of Hope by Emilie Barnes is just one of those books you stumble upon, and you suddenly know, “This one is going to change everything!”

I blog about hope.

I can’t breathe in this busted broken world a single moment without it—but sometimes—the candle of hope in me burns low. And, when it does I beg the LORD for a fresh infusion; a fresh outpouring from His Spirit to mine.

Thanks Emilie, for being His conduit.

I’ll let Emilie speak for herself for the rest of this post. Her words shine still in this dark world. They come to us straight from the shores of heaven, to all of us here today, to light our way.

~  FAITH FOR THE CLIMB  ~

You just can’t see as much when you’re climbing the mountain as you can from the top.

I guess that’s obvious if you’re hiking in the Rockies or the Smokies or the Himalayas. But it’s not always so evident when you’re just trying to get through life.

Sometimes it’s hard to tell which of the two tempting directions is the best to take. Is it better to take the meandering trail or the steep climb over the rocks? Should you push on harder to reach the top? Should you rest and take your time and risk bad weather later on?

A Cup of HopeAnd sometimes you get so confused and discouraged and downright weary, you’re tempted to just give up hope altogether.

But it helps to keep in mind exactly what’s going on.

You’re climbing a mountain, remember, and one day you’ll reach the top. One day you’ll be able to stand and look out over all the valleys—even look back at the winding path that brought you to the top—and it will all become clear.

I try to think of that on the days when I’m fatigued or in pain or just discouraged, when I’m confused and worried about what will happen next.

I’m still on the mountain, so I’ve got to remember that my perspective is faulty. I just don’t have the whole picture the way God does, the way I will have it someday.

Oh, I have some pretty good hints. I have instructions from the One who created the mountain. I have stories from climbers who have gone on the path before me and companions who are climbing with me. (How I depend on their help and encouragement!) And of course I have those moments along the way when wonderful vistas suddenly unfold before me, when I round a corner to see the checkered valleys spread out below and the summit shining whitely up above.

A Cup of HopeI have all that to enable me as I climb up this mountain called Life. You do, too. I really believe that the God who created us and redeemed us has equipped us with what we need to make it to the top.

Still, we have to face the fact that some of the time, maybe most of the time, we won’t be able to see exactly where we’re going.

But that’s where faith comes in. Faith always travels hand in hand with hope—it’s what enables us to keep our hopes up when the way becomes rockier and more obscure. Faith is what we need to keep moving on, moving up, trusting our Guide, trusting it will all be worth it.

Trusting that if we continue on, we’ll make it to the top and everything will all be clear.

And yes, I know that’s hard to remember when you’re stuck on the mountainside. But it might help to follow this brief checklist for keeping your hopes while you’re climbing hard or when you think you might be lost:

  • Trust the climbing map—God’s word—and pay attention to your Guide. You’re not expected to make this climb without help.
  • Pace yourself—you don’t have to make it all in one day. Without adequate rest you’ll never make it to the summit.
  • Remember where you are and where you’re going—but try to accept that your perspective is limited. (That’s why you have the map and the Guide!)
  • Refresh yourself by remembering the goal—and those moments when it was all clear to you.
  • Look back to where you’ve been and be grateful for your progress.
  • Help and enjoy your fellow climbers.
  • Take care of your equipment—your body, mind, and spirit. They’ve been issued to you by God , and they’ll help carry you to where you need to be.

A Cup of Hope Emilie BarnesA Cup of Hope is out of print but used copies are still available on Amazon at the link below:

https://www.amazon.com/Cup-Hope-Resting-Promise-Faithfulness/dp/0736907726

A Cup of Hope Emilie Barnes

A Closer Walk: Getting To Know Someone

I knew “the basics” about Someone called The Holy Spirit: Comforter, Teacher, Guide. The Third Person of the Trinity. I knew, too, that He would “whisper” to me on occasion. The Still Small Voice mentioned in the Bible, 1 Kings 19.

faint whispers of The Holy Spirit

I would hear these faint whispers from time to time, usually while I was reading my Bible, but, a full-on conversation? No. My life was normally crammed with lots of activity and noise. To sit completely still in total silence? This was something new and foreign to me.

And I confess, I didn’t like it much.

I was addicted to activity. Nevertheless, here I was, feet nailed to the floor. My illness, and the resulting accident had left me injured and so weak, I couldn’t walk across a room without steadying myself against a wall. My legs were again beginning to feel like they belonged to my body, and my hands were becoming steadier, but my headaches were constant and excruciating. I spoke as little as possible, because the vibration of my own vocal cords, made my head feel as if it would explode!

For these reasons my daily routine changed to one of complete stillness and quiet, and it was from this enforced quietness, a couple of realities soon became apparent.

He is A PersonFirst, I realized in a startling and fresh way, that The Holy Spirit is indeed, A Person. He is not some weird abstraction. He is a someone we can speak our hearts to. Someone who listens to our innermost thoughts. He will respond to us, if we will allow Him, and enter into the still quiet that is necessary for us to hear Him speak.

Secondly, because of the headaches, I had difficulty focusing my eyes on a page. Even journaling was difficult. Consequently, these “conversations” at times will sound a bit one sided, but that’s because I would “think” my responses, more than write them. (I apologize for this resulting economy of words.) Since The Holy Spirit is our “inside God” He would speak to my slightest disbelief, disagreement, or doubts, and I would journal what He said, not what I thought. (Though I hope my thoughts seem obvious.) This way of “conversing” felt very strange at first, but as these encounters became daily, I would simply listen, and then journal what I heard.

By My Spirit

One more thing—and this is BIG.

Let me say for the record, if you “hear” a voice, but you have no personal relationship with Jesus Christ as your Savior? If you have not professed your own desperate need of a Savior, confessed your helplessness and hopelessness without Him, and asked Him to come into your heart, and change your life? Whatever “voice” you may be hearing, it is NOT, The Holy Spirit.

Today, The Holy Spirit is the promised gift, given only to those who have come to FAITH in Jesus Christ, and have given over ownership and control of their lives to Him. If you have not done this? You need to. Now. Today. The Bible tells us, tomorrow is promised to no one.

Today is the day of salvation

This is so simple.

Jesus Christ will forgive and cleanse all sin to any who sincerely ask Him. The Holy Spirit will come with new power and strength, as He makes your heart His home. Your faith is now in Him for everything, and as I was learning anew, faith is the key to all powerful believing.

journal

THE FUEL

“What is faith?” Hebrews 11:1Hebrews 11:1
English: World English Bible - WEB

11 1 Now faith is assurance of things hoped for, proof of things not seen.

WP-Bible plugin

It’s a good question isn’t it?

My children have examined and re-examined this question, but what do you say My dear friend?

(It is Power child.)

Corrie Ten Boom

That is why the enemy of men’s souls works night and day to destroy their faith ~ your faith.

(He knows.)

Now you know, too.

Faith is the steam that drives your engine. It is the stuff; the fuel that fires your life! You can’t go anywhere, do anything without it.

And, without it?

I said, “…without it, it is impossible to please Me!”

Now, next question.

Where does it come from?

(Ah, another good question—where indeed?)

So Will IIf you said, “From Me…” you are half right, but only half. Actually it is born. It is created in the TIME we spend together. The more time together ~ the more faith. The less?

Well, you see My point. If you want to move mountains you must generate Holy Steam.

Power!

(And, for Power you must spend time with Me.)

The days you do these little “hit-and-runs”?

Well, you see the results. No Steam. No Power. Your mountains tend to fall on you, rather than getting out of your way.

(Just an observation.)

Maybe the next time you’re tempted to tell Me, “Later.” I should ask you…

“What is faith?”

(Just a thought.)

power from on high

What do you think?

(Me, too.)

a closer walk

To whom then will ye liken me, or shall I be equal? saith the Holy One.

 Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who hath created these things, that bringeth out their host by number: he calleth them all by names by the greatness of his might, for that he is strong in POWER; not one faileth.   Isaiah 40:25, 26Isaiah 40:25, 26
English: World English Bible - WEB

25 To whom then will you liken me, that I should be equal to him? says the Holy One. 26 Lift up your eyes on high, and see who has created these, who brings out their army by number; he calls them all by name; by the greatness of his might, and because he is strong in power, not one is lacking.

WP-Bible plugin

Never Losing the Light: Overcoming Fear Storms

Listen child, we must deal with this fear.

I know you do a good job of hiding it from others—even yourself—sometimes.

But, not from Me.

His power for my weaknessI see your heart, remember?

I do not see as others see.

You know this.

I look not on outward appearances. I see the inner man with all the turmoil and tumult these silent storms bring. I see the damage they do.

Fear-storms—silent storms raging in your soul.

The storms you think no one sees. (Ah, Sweetheart, I know.) You are so angry with Me, yes? The bullies of your life have always produced these terrible inner holocausts.

Yes, I know.

You think, “… if I loved you… really loved you, I would have prevented the bullies in your life.” Yes?

stormsYes!

But, haven’t I told you? (You know I have.) Storms make muscle.

Haven’t I told you? Your calling is to overcome, not outrun.

I want to help you defeat these fear storms once-and-forever.

You are on overcomer.

These storms are for your deliverance not your destruction!

Every time you overcome, “…through the power of HIS might…” (Isaiah 40:26Isaiah 40:26
English: World English Bible - WEB

26 Lift up your eyes on high, and see who has created these, who brings out their army by number; he calls them all by name; by the greatness of his might, and because he is strong in power, not one is lacking.

WP-Bible plugin
), you weaken the hold the oppressor has held over you all of your life.

Is this not a good thing?


Overcoming Fear“He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength.”

Isaiah 40:29Isaiah 40:29
English: World English Bible - WEB

29 He gives power to the faint; and to him who has no might he increases strength.

WP-Bible plugin

 

Giants Fall

Francesca Battistelli

Everyone’s telling you
To let go of what you’re holding to
It’s too late, too far
You’re too small, it’s too hard
Throwing water on that spark
Living deep inside your heart
With oceans of reasons
The things you’re not seeing
But oh, maybe they don’t
Know what you know
That you’re not alone
Don’t you be afraid
Of giants in your way
With God you know that anything’s possible
So step into the fight
He’s right there by your side
The stones inside your hand might be too small
But watch the giants fall
We could really live like this
Can’t you imagine it
So bold, so brave
With childlike faith
Miracles could happen
Mountains would start moving
So whatever you may face
Don’t you be afraid
Of giants in your way
With God you know that anything’s possible
So step into the fight
He’s right there by your side
The stones inside your hand might be too small
But watch the giants fall
Ask and believe
You’re gonna see
The hand of God in every little thing
Miracles can happen
Anything is possible
Watch the giants fall

 

Never Losing the Light: Desperate Faith

caught in stormWhen I look at you I see a magnificent ship caught up in a desperate and fierce gale; broken mast; tattered sails; but still afloat!

This hurricane you’ve sailed into has brought it’s damage for sure. I would never deny what you have endured.

But… you are carrying such a rich cargo!

No wonder the enemy has tried to sink you.

I know there were times you thought he would.

Never mind—doubt arising is not a sin.

(You have been mistaken about that.)

There are dark clouds of doubt in every storm.

dark clouds of doubt

The sin is in surrendering to them.

When the dark clouds of doubt surround you, you must listen for My footsteps. You must cry out for My aid. I will come bringing the Light of My word to guide you through the darkness.

Listen child. (hush) Be quiet now.

I AM coming, walking upon the waves of your storm, and when the time is right?

When patience has perfected you?

I will still the storm, never fear.

Doubt not Sweetheart, My love and care for you have not changed.

The storm has it’s purpose.

Lean on Me.

I AM your strength, remember?

I AM carefully observing all that is happening.

Nothing is beyond My righteous reach—nothing.

desperate faith

The damage you see is not as devastating as it looks.

Keep your eyes on Me.

Believe what you behold there.

I love your desperate faith.

(Really I do.)


we are all desperate

 

 

“Listen to Me, My people; listen O Israel, for I will see that right prevails… “

Isaiah 51:4Isaiah 51:4
English: World English Bible - WEB

4 Attend to me, my people; and give ear to me, my nation: for a law shall go forth from me, and I will establish my justice for a light of the peoples.

WP-Bible plugin

 

He Speaks To Us In Songs of Deliverance

The Psalms have been songs of deliverance for me more than once. And so I go there, whenever I am struggling with anything—because it is there HE SPEAKS to me.

songs of deliverance

In those sweet songs I find comfort, I find healing, I find wisdom, instruction, and redemption. In those one hundred and fifty passages—I find HOPE!

They are the Bible’s most beloved poetical anthems of praise and glory to God!

It was C. S. Lewis who wrote,

“I think we delight to praise what we enjoy because the praise not merely expresses but completes the enjoyment; it is its appointed consummation. It is not out of compliment that lovers keep on telling one another how beautiful they are; the delight is incomplete till it is expressed. It is frustrating to have discovered a new author and not to be able to tell anyone how good he is; to come suddenly, at the turn of the road, upon some mountain valley of unexpected grandeur and then to have to keep silent because the people with you care for it no more than for a tin can in the ditch; to hear a good joke and find no one to share it with. . .

The Scotch catechism says that man’s chief end is ‘to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.’ But we shall then know that these are the same thing. Fully to enjoy is to glorify. In commanding us to glorify Him, God is inviting us to enjoy Him.”

― C. S. Lewis, Reflections on the Psalms 

So for as long as it takes, let us journey through this Book of Songs, looking for the reasons why we can TRUST God.

I believe we shall find such beauty growing there, that by the time we are finished, we shall have discovered our own Garden of Eden in it’s pages.

you are my hiding place

And, songs.

That, too!

There will be songs of deliverance, that shall bring with them, all manner of good things. We shall find messages that will bolster our strength and courage, as well as the substance and evidence, for our faith and trust in a God who passionately loves us.

As C S. Lewis encouraged us to do, we shall “complete our enjoyment” by consuming all the beauty we shall surely uncover there.

Come, let’s mosey together down ancient paths laid out for us thousands of years ago, gathering wildflowers from the darker vales of sadness and lament, as well as in the highland meadows with their prospects of hopefulness.

As we refresh ourselves here and there, by pools of still waters, we shall find His messages of love for us. Then, like Lewis we shall also be able to say,

“The most valuable thing the Psalms do for me is to express the same delight in God which made David dance.”   

songs of deliverance