Below are a few things I've run across this week that are "little jewels" I have found inspiring and helpful. I'll share the quote and then a few of my own thoughts.
"When everything seems to be going wrong, refuse to get discouraged. ...The longer you wait for your prayers to be answered, the closer you are to a breakthrough." From Jesus Today by Sarah Young
It's so easy to get discouraged when things aren't going the way we planned or hoped, isn't it? We have hopes and dreams unfulfilled, day after day, week after week, and year after year. We pray fervently for someone and still don't see a change day after day, week after week, and year after year. Little by little the time between our petitions get a bit longer and sometimes we just give up. Then the Lord reminds us to keep praying, to keep waiting on Him, to place our hope in Him. The Lord uses the testimony of someone else to remind you: He Remembers. He hasn't forgotten. Oh, how sweet that reminder is.
"...there is never a time when we cannot hope in God, whatever our need or however great our difficulty may be. Even when our situation appears to be impossible, our work is to 'hope in God.' Our hope will not be in vain, and in the Lord's own timing help will come." From Streams in the Desert by L.B. Cowman.
Well, this has been a week in which I needed to hear these encouraging words of hope, of promise, or God remembering me. It hasn't been a bad week at all. Rather it's been a week of sameness. I get up in the morning, go to work, come home, and go to bed. Very routine and sometimes dull. Oh, yeah I've been doing things around the house, on Facebook, some reading, that kind of thing. But sometimes I long for other things, a slightly different life. At the same time, I'm trying to embrace these quiet days of routine as all part of God's blessing. I am continuing to put my hope in God and his timing. I am thankful for that reminder this week: None of this is in vain; nothing is wasted.
"You may be sure that God will never say to us, 'Stand still,' 'Sit still,' or 'Be still,' unless He is going to do something." From Streams in the Desert by L.B. Cowman.
I am always anxious to jump in and just "gitter done,"so sitting still and waiting on God to act often feels painfully slow. But, allowing God to work in His time in His way is always the best choice. I place my hope in God. I was talking with a friend with week about this very topic of "being still" before the Lord. This has been a recurring phrase in my life for the past two years. Over and over again, scripture has reminded me that I am supposed to be still in one particular area of my life: my singleness. It's the same one I've referred to above. And that leads me to one other nugget related to all of this...
"...faith requires us to do nothing at all, while our human nature screams to interfere. In these cases we believe; therefore, we do not act. Wisdom is knowing the difference between the two." From Believing God by Beth Moore.
This quote will require a little background. Faith often requires action such as when God told Abraham to pick up and move or He told Noah to build an Ark. But, sometimes faith means taking no action. A case in point is when Jesus was being arrested before the crucifixion. He could have done something about it, but Jesus chose to trust God's plan.
When the world screams at me that I need to do something about my singleness, it's hard not to get worked up about it. I mean, I really would like to do something about it. But, I have to keep going back to God and asking Him what what He wants me to do about it. The answer always comes back to: Wait. Be still. God wants to do something in my life and frankly I think He doesn't want to share the glory with me. Ha! But, I can place my hope in God and not in my self. Self always thinks she knows what should be done, but self is often wrong.
So, let me tie all this together...
Hope is lost when we don't see a future. When we can't see what God is doing, we can't see a future, and it's dark, that's when faith has to kick in. I've used this quote before on this blog and even have it posted in my kitchen:
"The greatest lessons in faith are learned in the dark." ~ Tony Evans
When we are hopeless (or discouraged) we cannot see the future or what God is doing. The future looks dark and God keeps telling us to be still because He knows the plan. You see, God knows the plans He has for us and it's a good one (Jeremiah 29:11). God does His best work behind the scenes. We just continue to look to Him for our hope and our future.
And without faith it is impossible to please God,
because anyone who comes to him must believe
that he exists and that he rewards those
who earnestly seek him. Hebrews 11:6