The Promises of God

Image result for god's promises

The Promises of God

It seems that so many people are facing countless trials.  I have friends and family members who are going through perilous times, and even some of you on this mailing list have contacted me regarding some of the situations you are currently facing.  I am facing one of my own right now, so I decided to do a study on the promises of God.

I can’t stress enough how important it is that we take the time to get to know our God in an intimate way.  It is imperative that we take the time to read His word and meditate on it.  We all will faces trials at some point in our lives, and if we haven’t taken the time to plant His precious word deep inside of us, the storms of life are going to cause us to crash.  We will find ourselves living by our emotions, rather than by God’s promises.

When your emotions tell you that you are all alone, God’s promise is that He will NEVER leave you, nor forsake you.  (Heb. 13:5)
When you feel that God has left you, His promise is that even when we don’t feel like we can find Him, He still knows the way that we take.  He still sees us.  (Job 23:9-10)
When your weariness tells you that you just can’t make it through another day, Father promises that you can do all things through Christ.  (Phil. 4:13)
When you are persecuted, your pride may want to step in and say a thing or two, but God tells us to be still and know that He is God. (Ps. 46:10)  His promise is that we are blessed when we are persecuted, and that we have a GREAT reward in heaven.  (Mt. 5:11-12)
When weapons are forged against you through false accusations, pride may want to step in and fight for you, but God promises that our vindication is from Him.  (Is. 54:17)  He promises that the battle belongs to Him, and not to us.  (II Chron. 20:15)
When money is scarce, and fear tells us that we are going under, God’s promise is that the righteous are never forsaken, nor are their seed ever begging for bread.  (Ps. 37:25)  He promises to meet ALL of our needs.  (Phil. 4:19)
When your fickle emotions tell you that there is no clear way, Jesus declares to you that HE is the WAY, the truth, and the life.  (Jn. 14:6)
When your world crashes all around you, emotions can cause fear to be rampant in your heart, but God’s promise is that Jesus is your cornerstone (I Pet. 2:6), and that His foundation is a firm and sure foundation.  (Is. 28:16)  NOTHING can shake that foundation!
When emotions tells you that you will never feel peace again, God’s promise is that He is Emmanuel, and He is with you.  (Is. 7:14)  He promises that He is your Prince of peace.  (Is. 9:6)
When your feelings tell you that you are still filthy on the inside, God tells you that He is your Redeemer.  (Is. 59:20)  If you know Christ as your Savior, then ALL things have become new.  (II Cor. 5:17)
When your heart tells you that no one loves you, God tells you that He has loved you with an everlasting love.  (Jer. 31:3)  He takes great delight in you and rejoices over you with singing.  (Zeph. 3:17)
When emotions tell you that you are left out in the cold, God says to come and find refuge in the shadow of His wings.  (Ps. 36:7)  He says to let Him be your dwelling place, then no harm will come near you.  (Ps. 91:9-10)
When going through physical ailments, or waiting on test results from the doctor, emotions can snare you with a paralyzing fear.  God’s promise is that He is the Great I AM (Jn. 8:58), and that there is NOTHING too difficult for Him.  (Lk. 1:37)  His word is that He is the God who heals all of our diseases.  (Ps. 103:3)

Recently, I have been having borderline-migraine headaches.  Just a few days ago, I discovered a knot on the back of my head.  If I didn’t know my Father intimately, I would have gone into an instant panic.  Instead, I have been thanking Him for His wonderful promises.  I have meditated on past times when I know that my Father has healed my body.  Knowing Him intimately as my Healer has given me a great peace and confidence.

When we know Him intimately, even in the midst of trials, we can declare the words of Job.  “I know that my Redeemer lives and that in the end, He will stand upon the earth.”  Job 19:25 (NIV)

© 2003, Stacy R Miller

The Other Side

Image result for disciples in boat during storm

The Other Side

I love to see the weaknesses in the disciples.  It comforts me to see that even though these men walked and talked with the Son of God, they still struggled at times in their faith.  They actually saw the miracles of Christ with their own eyes, yet they still grappled with doubts and fears.

In Matthew 14:22, Jesus made the disciples get in a boat and go ahead of Him to the other side.  Later, when the boat was buffeted by the wind and waves, they began to get worried.  They became even more fearful when they saw what they perceived to be a ghost walking on the water toward them.

In verse 22, there is the implication that when Jesus told them to get in the boat, He would meet them on the other side.  Now, this was the Son of God who was speaking.  When He said that He would meet them on the other side, they could have complete confidence that it would happen just as Jesus said.  Yet, we see them battling a bad case of fear.  I have often wondered if the disciples forgot that God said His word would never return void, but would accomplish what He desires.  (Isaiah 55:11)  Had they remembered that word, I doubt that they would have assaulted with such anxiety that night.

Not only did Jesus meet them on the other side, He went a step further.  He came to them while they were being tossed about by the gusting winds.

What storm are you facing?  Rest assured that Jesus will not only meet you on the other side of your storm, but He will come and walk with you through the storm.

© 2006, Stacy R. Miller

Somewhere Over the Rainbow

Somewhere Over the Rainbow

I love to see rainbows.  They remind me of how faithful God is to His promises.  One thing about rainbows though — you can only see them after the rain.  Even though all the components are there in the atmosphere for making a rainbow, you won’t ever see one until there’s been some rain.  Then suddenly, you see it, off in the distance is a fascinating sight — a rainbow.  It’s beauty is captivating; you don’t want to take your eyes off of it.

In our own life, we have the opportunity to see rainbows, but first we must go through the storm.  While in the midst of the storm, we may see the wind blowing furiously.  We may be engulfed in a raging storm, with thick, dark clouds turning our light into darkness, obscuring our way.  We may even feel ourselves bending like a tree branch in the wind, feeling like we are going to bend far enough to break.

While the scenario I’ve just described doesn’t sound inviting, we need to take a moment and look at some examples in scripture of people who have gone through storms.

Naomi found that there was a famine in her land, so her husband took her and their two sons and moved to Moab, which was a land filled with very ungodly people.  Soon after that, Naomi’s husband died, leaving her with two sons.  Then her two sons marry pagan women from Moab.  Ten years later, her sons die.  Now she is all alone… except for Ruth.  We see that Ruth refuses to leave Naomi, even in Naomi’s bitterness of soul.  They go back to the land of Judah.  Ruth marries the kinsman redeemer, then gives birth to a son.  At that point, the women from Judah approach Naomi and they tell her that Ruth loves her and is better to her than seven sons.

Another example of a person who went through a violent storm is Job.  In one day, he lost his sheep, camels, oxen, donkeys, servants, and all of his children.  Shortly after that, he is afflicted from head to toe with very painful sores.  After all of the afflictions on his own body and dealing with a nagging wife who wants him to curse God and die, he also has to deal with judgmental and critical comments from his friends.  (Some friends!)  In Job 42, we see where Job prays for his friends.  It’s after that point that Job finds that God makes him prosperous again, giving him twice as much as before.  The latter part of his life was more blessed than the first.  It sounds to me like Job saw a beautiful rainbow in his own life.

Our last example is found in Mary, the mother of Jesus.  She was visited by an angel and told that she was highly favored.  Then the angel proceeds to tell her that she will bear the Messiah.  Mary finds that she’s having one of those mountaintop experiences, only to find that in the very next chapter, Simeon tells her that a sword will pierce her own heart.  She had to face the sneers of people who believed that she had sex with Joseph before she was ever married to him.  Then, as Jesus got older, she heard the people call her Son a lunatic and a blasphemer.  She watched as He was brutally beaten, then as He carried the cross to Golgotha, and then, she watched her precious Son die on that cross.  But three days later, Mary saw a rainbow shining brightly after the worst storm of her life.  Her Son was no longer dead, but He was risen!

Sister, if you are seeing storms all around you, don’t fret.  Don’t give up!  You are about to see a rainbow in your own life!
© 2004, Stacy R Miller

Picking Fruit

Picking Fruit

Strawberries, grapes, bananas….ahhh, the scents of summertime fruits.  Delicious, appealing, inviting!  A scrumptious fruit salad can be so invigorating on a sweltering, summer day.

Just before we are able to bite into that luscious fruit, we have to first pluck the grapes from the vine.  Sometimes the grapes are attached so well to the vine that it requires some pulling to get it loose.

Moving on to the bananas, it requires pulling them apart, one by one.  Sometimes the way it’s pulled causes the peel to be ripped off of the end, exposing the inside of the banana.

Now we’re ready for the strawberries.  Before we can eat them, we have to core out the stem.  I use a special spoon with sharp, jagged edges to cut out the stem.  As I’m doing that, I can usually find a few strawberries that have been bruised.

Galatians 5:22-23 tells us that we are to have fruit in our lives.  We are to have love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

Just as we have to pick the fruit that we eat in order to enjoy it, we will have times in our lives when our own fruit needs to be picked.  How do we respond when someone starts picking our fruit?  We never know what kind of fruit we have until people start picking it.    How do we act when someone starts ripping and tearing away at our patience?  What is our response when our love is jaggedly ripped to the core?  When we are peeled away, much like a banana peel, and our naked wounds are exposed, do we come up fighting to try and protect ourselves?  When self-control gets pulled, do we lose our joy?  When gentleness gets plucked, do we become unkind?  When we’ve become bruised, do we continue to be faithful in serving God and showing love to others.  When we’ve been torn over an issue, do we forget to walk in goodness?  When others pick our fruit, do we blow our stack and lose our peace?

Who’s picking your fruit?  How does is look, once it’s picked?
© 2004, Stacy R Miller

Ephesians 1

Ephesians 1 Amplified Bible (AMP)

17 [For I always pray to] the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, that He may grant you a spirit of wisdom and revelation [of insight into mysteries and secrets] in the [deep and intimate] knowledge of Him,

I frequently pray for God to grant me a spirit of wisdom and revelation, and even more so as we see the beginning of all things (when the Lord sets up His kingdom) drawing near.  So when I’m praying for that, I am often focused on the turbulent things we know we must face before that new beginning.  I am looking to Him for any “secrets” He wants to reveal to me regarding things to come, things I need to do to prepare, etc.

I was going through this chapter and writing in my notebook things that stood out to me.  So after this verse that I pray so often, I see this:

18 By having the eyes of your heart flooded with light, so that you can know and understand the hope to which He has called you, and how rich is His glorious inheritance in the saints (His set-apart ones),

19 And [so that you can know and understand] what is the immeasurable and unlimited and surpassing greatness of His power in and for us who believe

This verse stood out because it’s like He’s saying, “Ok, daughter, now here’s a reminder for you in the midst of the dark, turbulent times — I can still flood your heart with my light so that you remember the hope to which I have called you AND so you can remember that in the midst of the battle, you still have available to you an immeasurable, unlimited, great power because you believe.”

What an encouragement!

Serving His Purposes

why question abstract

Serving His Purposes

A pregnant teenager, a chronic illness, terminal cancer, losing your job, or even divorce….All of these can invoke fear. Such devastating news can shake us to the core of our being. It is in times like these when we are most tempted to ask, “Why, God?”

The world in which we live is so unstable these days. Honestly, I have battled some fear as I see the frequent reports of beheadings from ISIS. It makes me wonder, would I be able to stand firm in faith if ISIS suddenly invaded my city?

I have to admit – several years ago, as I was watching things play out when Obama first ran for president, it evoked fear in me. I had to remind myself that God is the One who sets up kings and deposes them. Every time I started to pray that Obama wouldn’t
get elected, the Holy Spirit would gently speak to me, saying, “What if he is God’s man for such a time as this?” I knew at that point who was going to win the election, and it wasn’t going to be the candidate I wanted.

Psalm 119:91 tells us that everything serves God’s purpose. (NLT) When I look at situations in light of this verse, it changes my outlook. Though my choice for president wasn’t who I wanted, I can rest assured, knowing God will cause Obama to serve His purpose. And from the looks of all that is transpiring in our world, I believe the Lord is using that man to help usher in the last days. Even so, come Lord Jesus!

I have a dear friend who was raised by an alcoholic parent whose numerous husbands/boyfriends molested her. She ended up in a marriage with an abusive, adulterous man. Instead of turning bitter over the many wrongs done to her, she embraced the Savior who felt every ounce of her pain. She is letting her pain serve His purpose. Through that experience, she started working in a battered women’s shelter, offering hope to others who were in the same scenarios she once faced.

I know another lady whose grandbaby died unnecessarily, due to the hospital’s error. Rather than wallow in self-pity, she has risen from her ashes to embrace another lady who lost her infant grandson. Out of the depths of her grief, she is serving God’s purposes.

Another precious sister discovered she has a serious heart disease and needs a heart transplant. Even though she is greatly challenged by her own health issues, she continues to reach out to another sister in Christ who received the same devastating diagnosis. Her own physical ailments fuel her compassion to serve God’s purposes.

I have watched ladies in our church rise above the dreaded words from their teenage daughters, “Mom, I’m pregnant.” They have reached out to others who are now going through the same experience, offering them a listening and compassionate ear, offering them hope.

I have even seen a lady whose son is in prison open her arms to embrace another lady whose son recently got sent to prison. It has been beautiful to watch a new friendship evolve between these two dear sisters. I have seen a man whose son was in prison get involved in prison ministry. His own devastation became the impetus to move him to reach out to others behind prison walls.

Romans 8:18 reminds us that our present sufferings aren’t worth comparing to the glory that will be revealed in us. When we rise above our situation, seeking for God to use our pain for His purposes, we will experience some of that glory on this earth.

We are told that all things work together for good for God’s children. (Romans 8:28) Any hardship we face can be God’s instrument to conform us into the likeness of His Son. Even our trials can be turned to gold and serve His purposes.

© 2014, Stacy R. Miller

Blooming in the Desert

Blooming in the Desert

It is easy to think that when we are faced with a “desert” experience that we are being spiritually assaulted by the enemy.  Yet, when we look at what happened to Jesus, we see that He was led by the Spirit into the desert. (Mark 1:12)  Of all things, this occurred after a pivotal moment when Jesus was baptized and the Spirit descended on Him like a dove.  He heard the affirming words from heaven, “This is my Son, whom I love.  I am well pleased with him.” (Mark 1:9-11)

In my own life, it seems as if I can go through what many would call a “mountain top experience.”  Yet, within a matter of days, I feel as if I’ve been thrust into the wilderness.  Why?  I believe that many times, it is because the Spirit of God has led me there to teach me some important things.

As human beings, we are given the gift of feeling emotion.  Where we go wrong is when we rely on emotions too much.  Our emotions can change many times over the course of the day.  By going through a desert experience, we can learn to live on the truth in God’s Word, rather than depending on our fluctuating emotions.  In some of my own desert times, I have learned to declare, “God, I know You are there.  I cannot feel You right now, but I thank You for the promise in Your Word that tells me You will never leave me nor forsake me.”  There is much power in proclaiming His Word, even when we don’t feel like it.  It is often during those times that suddenly, I feel His peace envelope me.  He tests me to make sure that I am learning to depend on His Word which will never fail, as opposed to depending on my feelings, which can fail me many times a day.

After Jesus went through forty days in the desert, he returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit. (Luke 4:14)  It can be the same for us – those desert experiences can cause us to bloom.  When you face your next “desert,” determine to come out stronger on the other side.  Continue to read the Word, even if you feel as if it doesn’t sink into your spirit.  Continue to pray, though the heavens feel like brass.  If you do this, you will be able to come out of your desert in the power of the Spirit.

© 2008, Stacy R Miller

Previous Older Entries