Tag Archives: trust

The desires of your heart


Do you find yourself pondering how “unfair” life is or growing tired of waiting for answers? Psalm 37 is a good read. It contrasts the ways of “evil” with those of “goodness.” And it speaks about the fulfillment of your greatest desires:

“Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.” (V 4)


What is it you most want? What does your heart really long for? Can these really be yours to enjoy? What’s “the catch?”


God does indeed offer us the desires of our heart WHEN:
We delight in him.
We commit our way to him.
We trust in him.
We wait patiently for him.
We stop worrying and fretting.
(Psalm 37:1-8)


We know what it means to delight in things. There’s that sense of pride of ownership and accomplishment when we attain something we’ve longed for. There’s the joy of beholding and enjoying the fruits of our labors. There’s the sense of strength and satisfaction that all is well when we are safe, comfortable, and surrounded by friends.


Can your delight in the Lord compete with all this? Could, would, and do you delight in the Lord in the absence of all this? When the total of all you’ve lost seems to outweigh all that remains, does your delight in the Lord shift the balance to the delight in his goodness?


Delighting in the Lord comes from knowing for sure in whom we have believed and being fully persuaded that he will keep that which we’ve committed to him until the last day (2 Timothy 2:12). We always obey what we’re fully persuaded to believe. If we don’t follow the Lord, it’s because we aren’t fully persuaded it’s worth the cost or the effort. If we do follow him, it’s because we know that all the suffering, loss, sorrow, and hardship is worth it in the end; that his promises are both true and fulfilling. Who can’t commit to such a promise?


Delighting in the Lord comes from trusting in him, confident he will accomplish what he desires in us, that he will complete what he has begun. Maybe it’s hard for you to trust God when there are so many unanswered prayers. But trusting comes from being still before our great God and waiting patiently for him to reveal his plan and his blessings. We can’t delight in the Lord when we worry and fret about our circumstances because worry is the opposite of trust. Worry leads to regret and regret feeds bitterness; bitterness leads to anger and anger to wrath and all kinds of evil. And none of this leads to peace.


Isn’t peace the greatest desire of your heart? Peace with yourself. Peace with others. Peace from your struggle to be well. Peace to enjoy life. Peace to understand and fulfill your purpose in life. Peace with God, the fulfillment of our deepest desire, to know him more and to fully enjoy his presence.


Delight today in God’s generous love, his amazing grace, his tender mercy, his awesome power, his faithful promise, his perfect plan, his patience in long suffering, his lasting goodness, his endless joy, his offer to bring you into his family, and his eternal inheritance. Grow your delight in the Lord by committing, by trusting, by being quiet before him, by waiting patiently, by giving thanks often, and by resting in his presence.


And in your moments of meekness and delight, enjoy great peace from all your struggles!


Rejoicing in salvation


On our drive home we encountered a lockdown on I-64 in Louisville. There were two accidents within a couple of miles of our exit. Both were nonserious, though significantly disruptive to those involved. The exit traffic itself was completely congested with three interstates in downtown Louisville tied up at the same time. So we sat on the interstate until eventually everything slowly became unplugged. It delayed us an hour but was really no big deal.


But what about when we get stuck in the traffic of life? You’re moving along smoothly and then all out of nowhere comes a congested area where the ‘stuff’ of life quickly piles up. You try to move forward to get out of the quagmire but no matter what you try you can’t get any momentum. You call to the Lord to rescue you from your trouble, but you hear no answer. You ask: Has God forgotten me? Will He eventually ‘remember’ me and reveal Himself to me? HOW LONG will it take to get out of this situation that has me stopped still? I’ve felt that way before and I’m guessing you have too. Guess what? “The man after God’s own heart”, David, felt that way too.


“How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
How long must I wrestle with my thoughts
and day after day have sorrow in my heart?
How long will my enemy triumph over me?
Look on me and answer, Lord my God.
Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death,
and my enemy will say, “I have overcome him,”
and my foes will rejoice when I fall.” Psalm 13:1-4


To David it seemed that he was stuck in the traffic of life. Worse yet, he was about to be run over by his enemies! And there were no signs of letting up. No indication that things were about to get better. No shining light in his present darkness. I’m not talking about an hour delay on I-64 in Louisville, nor even about the longer and costlier delay and suffering incurred by those whose cars were damaged. No, David’s situation, and maybe yours too, was one whose time of redemption was not in sight, nor even apparent it would come at all! It seemed that defeat at his enemies hands was might be imminent! And what was David’s response?


“But I trust in your unfailing love;
my heart rejoices in your salvation.
I will sing the Lord’s praise,
for he has been good to me.” Psalm 13:5-6


David trusted in God’s unfailing love. He rejoices in God’s salvation. He sang God’s praise. Why? Because, despite his present circumstances, “he has been good to me.”


In the middle of our ‘stuck’ situations we too can keep trusting in God’s unfailing love and praise him for our salvation. If you had nothing else, wouldn’t that alone be quite enough? Enjoy God’s goodness even while you wait for your resolution.



The sum of your life


Do you ever think about your purpose in life? About what will be remembered after all the work is done and the chores are finished (at least for the day)? Days go by and turn into weeks and months and years. You might ask, “Does my life account for anything?”


For those most seen in the public’s eye, Wikipedia may include a page listing notable accomplishments. For many, decades of struggles, accomplishments, sorrows and joy are summed up in a few paragraphs in the paper’s obituaries.


Sometimes I think about the genealogies of the bible. You know, where so and so begat so and so. The dream, passions, and life efforts of an entire generation of people were represented by one single name. And what about the “400 years of silence” between the end of the Old Testament and the beginning of the New Testament?! Surely, there was something worthwhile to be remembered, wasn’t there?


And then there’s Damaris. Her name is recorded just once in the bible (Acts 17). And what was accounted to her? What was her famous stake in life that led her to be mentioned in place of many others who remained anonymous?


She believed.

She responded to the good news and believed in Jesus.


No doubt, there was more than that. Likely, she cooked countless meals that nourished her family, washed baskets full of clothes, and swept the floor hundreds of times. Being a believer, I’m guessing she spent long times in quiet wonder of the amazing Jesus she adored. Maybe she sang songs of worship. Probably she encouraged others in the faith, possibly opening her home up welcome strangers so they could experience the truth and grace that flowed from her transformed life. I suspect troubles and sorrow visited her house just like they come to you and me. Maybe there were times of doubt and despair. We don’t know the details of her life. It’s not that they were unimportant. It’s just that they weren’t the most notable aspect of her life. What mattered most was that she believed.


Isn’t that true for us as well? Certainly, when God says, “Go” you should go. When he says, “Encourage your neighbor” we should be about that task. What we do matters much. But in the end, who we are matters more. God says to each of us:

Stay faithful in the presence of doubt.
Keep trusting in the face of fear.
Stand firm when your life is shaken.
Show grace when you are offended.
Speak truth in the presence of lies.
Love when you don’t feel like loving.
Keep on believing.


Our whole life is summed in this:
What did I believe and how did I live it?


May your day be marked by your all surpassing belief in the one true God who makes life worth living!



The Death of a Vision


There comes a dark time in most of our lives when hope dies.


Or so it seems.


Perhaps you’ve been there when the lights went out and darkness suddenly swept in, ushered by a minimum of spoken words:

“You – have – cancer.”

“You’re – fired.”

“I – want – a – divorce.”


In the blink of an eye, all that was good has suddenly turned to bad. It’s a dark moment when your vision dies. If it weren’t for the deep pain, you’d have thought you died too. Indeed a part of you did.


Abraham was there. God had promised him not only an heir but descendants as numerous as the sand. But in his old age, his wife was still barren. It seemed his vision had died. But then God intervened and the promise was fulfilled, the vision reborn.


Joseph was there. God revealed to him in a dream that he would be a great ruler of the people. Then left for dead in a pit, falsely accused and forgotten in prison, it seemed his vision had died. But the God intervened and the promise was fulfilled, the vision reborn.


David was there. God promised he would be king of Israel. But after being anointed, the present King Saul continued to persecute and tried to kill him. Taking refuge in the cave of Adullam, it must have seemed David’s vision had died. But God intervened and the promise was fulfilled, the vision reborn.


The disciples were there. They had devoted their lives to following their Lord, Jesus. But in a horrific turn of events, their master was tortured and crucified and they were in fear for their own lives. In those dark hours it must have seemed that their vision had died. But God intervened and Jesus rose victorious from the grave. The vision was reborn!


There are times in our own lives when the apparent death of a vision overcomes us with despair and grief. Despite the best efforts and all our plans, things don’t work out as we plan. And it seems as though the entire earth has swallowed us whole. And sometimes the vision we have does perish. But it is never the end of hope.


The smallest flicker of faith dispels the darkness that surrounds us. That small flame seems to grow as we feed it with increasing trust. It illuminates and reveals what we thought had been lost. God still has a good plan for your life. You were made for a specific purpose. You are not alone. His vision has not perished and neither have you. Hope remains. Hope always remains.


If it seems your vision has perished, don’t give up. Never give up. Turn to God and ask for His vision. Reach out to a friend. Write us at Go Light Our World. Don’t stay in the darkness. Keep your light of faith shining.



Death rehearsal


CS Lewis wrote a letter to a friend about pain, fear, and death:


“Pain is terrible, but surely you need not have fear as well? Can you not see death as the friend and deliverer? It means stripping off that body which is tormenting you: like taking off a shirt or getting out of a dungeon. What is there to be afraid of? You have long attempted (and none of us does more) a Christian life. Your sins are confessed and absolved. Has this world been so kind to you that you should leave it with regret? There are better things ahead than any we leave behind.


Remember, though we struggle against things because we are afraid of them, it is often the other way round – we get afraid because we struggle. Are you struggling, resisting? Don’t you think Our Lord says to you ‘Peace, child, peace. Relax. Let go. Underneath are the everlasting arms. Let go, I will catch you. Do you trust me so little?’


Of course, this may not be the end. Then make it a good rehearsal.


Yours (and like you a tired traveller near the journey’s end), Jack

From The Collected Letters of C.S. Lewis, Volume III

The first page of your new year






Today is the first page of a 365 page story, the story of your life in 2015.



Maybe you have some idea of what you want to be part of this year’s story. You have hopes and dreams for what you will accomplish. Likely, there will be surprises that will suddenly appear on your pages. But even when the pages turn unexpectedly, you remain in control of what is written on them. How you respond to life determines your story more than the actual events that transpire. So how will you write this year of your life?


You could just wait and see what happens, live life as it comes to you. Que será, será. Put life on autopilot and see where it takes you. Let the spinning wheel spin and see where it stops. It’s easy to get caught up on the merry-go-round, distracted by all the lights and music. Before you know it, a day, a week, a month, a year, a life has passed…without purpose.


You could take charge, set your goals, plan extensively, and live with great focus. I tend to be a goal-setter and planner so I suppose I easily fall into this category. I tend to think it is good to ‘count the costs’ and plan well. In the parable of the talents, Jesus praised those who invested well. We too should invest our time well and also our other resources. But sometimes, the best of plans have to be set aside and new strategies adopted. You had intended to write one thing in your book of life, but life itself changes the direction of the next page and chapter.


There is a third, more profitable way to write the story of 2015 and that is to devote the year, all of it, to the glory and honor of God. “Whatever you do, do it as unto The Lord” for His purpose and His glory. (Colossians 3:23). “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6) “My presence will go with you and I will give you rest.” (Exodus 33:14)


God delights in you and He wants to show you the way to go in this new year. He longs for your joy. Shouldn’t your story be all about Him? How do you do that? Make sure each page of 2015 be filled with three things:


Rejoicing – God is good. He will always be with you.
Praying – Talk with God throughout the day. Spend some time listening.
Giving thanks – Find reason to give thank every single day.


Write a great story in 2015!  Fill your pages with these things and enjoy a wonderful new year!


“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18



Do you (really) love me?



In one scene from Fiddler On The Roof, Tevye ask his wife of 25 years, “Do you love me?” She exclaims, “Do I love you?!” She lists all the things she has done for him in the course of their marriage. Affirming this, Tevye asks again, “Yes, but do you love me?” She ponders 25 years of living with and taking care of this man, concluding with a sigh that she does indeed love him.


God asked this same question of you and me every day. Like Tevye’s wife we might answer in amazement, “Are you kidding? I go to church. I give money. I read the bible and pray …at least a few minutes every day.” And quietly, God replies, “Yes, but do you love me?”


We’re reminded of Peter’s experience with this same question. Three times Jesus asks Peter with increasing intensity. By the third time, I imagine Peter’s eyes were filled with tears, remembering how much indeed he did love Jesus, though his behaviors had contradicted that love. Jesus wasn’t looking to ‘beat up’ Peter for his mistakes. He was looking to renew Peter’s fellowship with Him. I think He is asking us the same questions:


Do you love me… enough to trust me?
Sometimes it’s hard to trust. Of all the rooms in our life, the waiting room is perhaps the most difficult. Presented with lots of pain and anxiety but few answers, we’re quickly tempted to try any door marked “exit!” We just want to escape. But the question rings in our ears: “Do you love me enough to trust me, your sovereign God, even while you wait?”


Do you love me… enough to obey me?
Here’s the truth: we obey what we love and really trust. A reporter once scoffed mother Teresa saying, “How can you expect to be successful ministering to all the poor and hurting people?! There are too many!” She responded with truth, “I’m not called to be successful, only faithful.” And the question burns in our ears, “Do you love me enough to obey in faith?”


Do you love me… enough to abide in me?
Marcia and I have always enjoyed spending time together, but the cancer journey further enhanced our appreciation of simply abiding together. God wants us to abide in Him wherever we go, whatever we do. It doesn’t matter if it’s doing the dishes or paying the bills. Abiding implies contentment and satisfaction. “Do you love me and find satisfaction when abiding in me?”
As we conclude this week of emphasis on the Go Light Our World missions, we invite you to partner with GLOW in regular times of prayer and through your tax-deductible gifts. Beyond that, we invite you to consider your relationship with Jesus.  LOVE is the mark of a devoted Christian. Let your love be marked by your faith-in-action. Let your answer be always, “Yes Lord!”  Because if it is not ‘yes’, to Him, then who is Lord in your life?



Happy is the one who trusts



Happy is the man who trusts in The Lord. Psalm 40:4

Happy is the one who never loses faith in me. Matthew 11:6


What words come to mind when you think of being happy? Probably you think of peace, serenity, security, trust. We naturally desire these. And yet, while we all seek happiness, we so easily put ourselves in fretful situations where we are sure not to find it!


There were certainly times when trust is a challenge. In my cancer journey I was quite familiar with Romans 14:8: Live or die, I win because Jesus is Lord. But what about the in between time when it seems, this is not real living nor death?  That’s when trust is harder, isn’t it? In those times we worry, we fret, we analyze and try to sketch an escape route from our pain. We fight to gain control over what we can never control. We are anything but happy.


Sometimes hearing a certain diagnosis brings people so quickly to the very end of their rope they desperately reach out to grasp the only faithful hand, God’s. Others suddenly come to the awareness of the truth of God in such a resilient way, they trust Him inherently. Some who have not built trust in God during times of plenty find it immensely difficult to trust Him in times when everything seems taken away. But it is possible.


Big faith or small, we build on the measure of faith given to us. (Romans 12:3) Our trust in people is earned in small measures at first, isn’t it? As you come to trust someone consistently in small ways, that trust grows to bear the weight of heavier matters. Someone who has been faithful in great things bears your deeper trust. And so it is with God. If we can trust “He who did not spare His own Son but gave him freely for us” (Romans 8:32) can’t we trust Him for our daily challenges? If you trust Him with your eternal life, doesn’t it make sense to believe His Word to be true for today’s struggles?


If you find it hard to trust God for the outcomes of your problems, look to a moment at a time when you found Him faithful. Ask Him to show Himself to you and trust Him for a glimpse of His greatness. You don’t have to endure your whole life right now. Trust Him to honor His word to give you grace, one moment at a time. It will be an imperfect and awkward dance if you are not used to it. It will seem that you are always wanting to take the lead. But trust a little. And as you find assurance, trust some more. Let God build your trust and find a certain contented happiness that satisfies more than what we find in this world.



Hope overflows





“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13



This a great verse of personal comfort, isn’t it? It freely offers what we all want: joy, peace, hope. But it is not just about you or me. It is set in the context of Paul’s letter to the Roman church, showing us how to experience a transformed life through faith in the Son of God, how to live victoriously in a troubled world, and how to live in peace and understanding with others.


Joy, peace, hope, power – all things we strongly desire. But none of these priceless gifts come from our own efforts. They freely come FROM God and the Holy Spirit WHEN we trust in Him. When we worry and fret they escape us. But when we put our daily trust in God, we are filled with God’s joy and peace, and the Holy Spirit is able to grow our hope so much that it OVERFLOWS.  God doesn’t bring us to trust in Him only so we can take refuge in His shelter. He doesn’t draw us to Him solely for our personal comfort. God’s greater intent is that our hope will overflow.


Where does hope go when it overflows in our life? It overflows into the circumstances of our life, and washes our pain and suffering. It spills onto our cancer and our despair over our children. It flows through our work. Hope floods our financial worries, drowns our doubts, and quenches our fiery thirsts. It flushes our disappointments into the deepest sea. Hope is a light that cannot be contained in a lamp but overflows into darkness. It illuminates our path filling us with understanding. The power of the Holy Spirit makes our hope to splash onto those around us and flow around the world in ways we never imagined because real hope is not just for us; real hope expands our world vision and impact.


How full is your cup of hope? If it is filled more with despair and fear than the joy, peace, and hope you desire, empty it at the feet of Jesus. Ask His Holy Spirit to fill it up again today with power to trust in The God of Hope.


As your trust grows, His hope overflows.


You can live an abundant life today and every day, by the power of the Holy Spirit to bring you overflowing hope.



Zion hears and rejoices





Zion hears and rejoices. Psalm 97:8



The Hebrew word Zion means fortress and is synonymous with Jerusalem. In its deepest sense it represents God’s chosen people, Israel. Genesis 12:3 reminds us God will bless whoever blesses Israel and curse whoever curses Israel. And since we Christians were grafted onto the root of Israel (Romans 11), Zion represents us also.


The theme of Psalm 97 is “The Lord reigns.” It speaks about two groups of people, one who reject God and are put to shame, and another group who hear God’s words and rejoice. It is the overarching theme throughout all history of our great choice to trust the eternal God or trust in ourselves. Zion rejoices because they listen to and hear God’s words of protection. They take joy in the fortress of His protection. They rejoice because He delivers them from wickedness and shines light into their hearts. When Zion rejoices we should rejoice because our God reigns!


We can rejoice that God reigns because we have been given a vision of eternity. We know that evil is tolerated in this world ‘for a time’ until the gospel reaches all people and all have made their choice. There will come an end to evil when His judgment comes with a consuming fire, the heavens proclaim His righteousness, and the people see His glory (v 2-6).


In the presence of terrorists who brazenly kill innocent people, the tragedies of natural disasters, the threat of disease and starvation, you might ask, “Does God really reign?” The deeper question might be does He reign over your personal struggles, your finances, your job, your marriage and other relationships? Does He reign over the frustrations you face on a daily basis?


C. H. Spurgeon told the story of a man named Whitelock, who was Oliver Cromwell’s envoy to Sweden in 1653. One night as he was waiting to sail, he was so distracted by the troubles of the nation that he could not sleep. His assistant, in an adjacent bed, finally said to him, “Sir, may I ask you a question?” “Of course,” said Whitelock.

“Sir, do you think God governed the world very well before you came into it?”


“And sir, do you think that He will govern it quite as well when you are gone out of it?”


“Then, sir, excuse me, but do you not think you may trust him to govern it quite as well while you are living?”

Whitelock had no answer to this question, but he rolled over and soon went to sleep.


Having trusted Him with your eternal hope, can you trust Him also for this present trial you face? Do you believe that the Lord reigns, not only over the world, but also over your life? If so, rejoice in Him with Zion and enjoy His peace!