Tag Archive | faith and trust in Jesus

Psalm 4:4 ” In your anger do not sin: when you are on your beds, search your hearts and be silent.” Selah

I am my worst critic.  I lie in bed at night annoyed with myself that I didn’t accomplish everything I should have.  Or I’m aggravated at myself for not speaking up when I could have.  I react with self-loathing as I play back the events of the day… as the “I should have, I could have, I would have’s” run in a loop through my mind.  What’s so sad is… most times, I’m beating myself up over things no one else even knows about.  They’re things that are only important to me…so why am I so perturbed?   In a word…it’s  guilt.    Self-directed anger is fueled by guilt…and it doesn’t need to be guilt heaped on us from someone else…for we can do that all by ourselves!  But this guilt-ridden self-anger can be changed by the last few words of this verse…for it says to “search your hearts and be silent.  Selah”   That means we listen and not speak, allowing the Holy Spirit to whisper truth into our heart and mind.  It means then we pause and ponder these truths not allowing our mind to race negatively.  It’s positive reinforcement, Holy Spirit style.

Philippians 2:7-8 ” But He made Himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.”

When Jesus came to earth He made the greatest sacrifice of self-abnegation and self-denial possible.  He humbled Himself and renounced His Divinity.  In other words, Jesus went out of Himself in order to enter into fellowship with us.  So why are we so against doing the work to enter into relationship with Him?  We’d like Jesus to just save, change, and sanctify us without  lifting a finger in the process. Or we’d rather bargain with Him first – (“You do this for me  first God, and maybe then I’ll start working on myself.”)  The bottom line is that we also must go out of ourselves in order to enter into a right relationship with God…and waiting around until He does all the work in our lives (that we need to be doing)  will never happen.

Hebrews 11:5 ” By faith Enoch was taken from this life so that he did not experience death; he could not be found, because God had taken him away. For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God.”

It tells us in Genesis 5:22-24 that Enoch lived for 365 years…faithfully walking with God…and then he was no more, because God took him away.  The word used here is “translated”, or conveyed to heaven without tasting death.  The only other person to experience this was the Old Testament prophet Elijah.   But unlike Enoch,  Elijah’s departure was witnessed as he was carried off by a whirlwind. (II Kings 2:11)  What these two men did have in common though was their unshakable faith in desperate times, godliness in the face of persecution, and the boldness to speak the truth no matter what.

Psalm 115:1 ” Not to us, O Lord, not to us but to Your name be the glory, because of Your love and faithfulness.”

This verse implies… it’s not about us…and it’s not at all about our “righteous acts”.  That’s because God’s infinite mercy and kindness towards us isn’t based on our works.  It’s actually quite the opposite…for in Isaiah 64:6 it says, “…all our righteous acts are like filthy rags to God.”  And if you think about it,  we can’t even take any credit for the relationship we have with God…for without the Cross spanning that chasm between God and man, we’d be lost.  No, all honor needs to go to God, the Creator and source of everything. All glory needs to be ascribed to Him… for He is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin.  (Exodus 34:6)

Matthew 4:1 ” Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.”

With each temptation, the devil offered Jesus a shortcut…a way to compromise and thus circumvent God’s plan.  So anytime our own impatience tempts us to not wait but instead run ahead of God…we’re playing right into the same scheme.  Now none of us like to wait…we all want immediate gratification, so when offered a shortcut, we usually take it.  But within that shortcut can hide compromise, risk, and loss.   I Corinthians 15:58 encourages us to, “Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm.  Let nothing move you.  Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”  In God’s perfect plan there are no shortcuts, and even though we may feel impatient when waiting on the Lord…we are to stand firm, fully committed and trusting in Him.

Psalm 60:11 ” Give us aid against the enemy, for the help of man is worthless.”

Psalm 146:3 puts it another way, “Don’t put your trust in mortal men who cannot save.”  Anytime we put more confidence in another human being rather than God…we’re headed for trouble.  For no matter how powerful, charismatic, or appealing someone is…they’re still a mortal being…full of a fallen nature just like us.   So we need to be very careful not to get sucked into worshiping man… and not God.  For no man can offer us deliverance from sin and eternal salvation.  Only God can do that through His Son Jesus Christ.

Colossians 1:13 ” For He has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the Kingdom of the Son He loves…”

To paraphrase Acts 26:18…We are to turn from spiritual darkness to the light of Jesus Christ… from the limited power of Satan to the infinite power of God, so that we may receive forgiveness of our sins and a place among fellow Believers who are sanctified by faith in Jesus.  The Lord has snatched us from danger and set us free…the chains have been broken off and we are no longer a slave to sin and the jurisdiction of darkness…for the Kingdom of God is now residing within our hearts. (Luke 17:21)