Monday, September 7, 2009

Father Knows Best . . .

Getting older means having the blessing of hindsight, being able to see God's Hand in life through many seasons, and realizing that He was in control and having our "best" in mind and heart, even we didn't think so, even when we felt our prayers weren't being answered.

The truth is God knows our future, sees all the obstacles we will face, all the trials, AND also all the joys and blessings. He knows that overall His plans are good and will prosper us, not harm us. We may experience some trials, but through them as we remain faithful and lean on Him, we will grow closer to Him and more like His Son. I spent many years (too many) magnifying my troubled circumstances, catastrophizing things and projecting or compressing things into one present time and becoming overwhelmed by it all. Learning to live each day in thanksgiving and trusting God for everything has taken some time, but I feel like I'm truly there . . . yes, even better than Mom now! I am a mellow old fellow these days. :-)

We are called to trust by and in God. Trust that He knows where you will both be in one year, ten years, and so on. You do the best you can, but leave the rest up to Him. You have a long life and future ahead of ;you, and there will likely be different places and experiences during that time, and certainly many different "seasons" in that lifetime. Learn to "rest" in God whenever you can, little moments or prolonged times, but let Him give you His Peace . . . pray Philippians 4:4-7, remembering to give up all the concerns and anxieties, and at the same time giving thanks for all the blessings He has already bestowed on you both. That thanksgiving is His "antidote" to anxiety. Then meditate on those blessings and think about those things in 4:8-9. This life really is all about surrendering everything to God, then allowing Him to guide us and show us what we are to be doing at any particular time.

Our Daily Bread
September 7, 2009
Unanswered Prayers

An explanation we often hear for “unanswered” prayers is that we don’t have enough faith. But Jesus said in Luke 17:6 that if we have faith the size of a mustard seed, we can command a mulberry tree to be uprooted and planted in the sea and it will obey us. In other words, the effectiveness of our prayers depends not on how much faith we have but on whether we even have faith.

Luke tells of a Roman centurion with “great faith” (7:9). His faith was expressed first as an appeal to Jesus to heal his dying servant. Then it was expressed as an acknowledgment that Jesus could heal his servant anytime, anywhere. The centurion did not ask Jesus to do things his way.

Faith has been described as “trusting God’s heart and trusting God’s power.” Some prayers that seem to go unanswered are simply instances in which God has lovingly overruled our wishes. He knows that what we have asked for is not best. Or it may be that our timing is not His timing, or He has some far greater purpose in mind. Let us remember, even Jesus prayed to His heavenly Father, “Nevertheless not My will, but Yours” (Luke 22:42).

Do we have the centurion’s great faith—a faith that trusts God to do His work, in His way? — C. P. Hia

Unanswered prayers are answered still
As part of God’s great master plan;
They help to carry out His will
To demonstrate God’s love for man. —D. De Haan

God’s answers are wiser than our prayers.

Philippians 4:4-9 (New International Version)

4Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

8Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

love, Pops

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