Sustenance from the archives+: Days 2 & 3

Sustenance from the archives+ (1)

Day 2: Afraid*

“Don’t be afraid.”

These were the words handwritten after my name, beneath the bright yellow smiley in a card I received recently. The card was from a fellow participant in Round 11 of Five Minute Friday Snail Mail. (Also know as #fmfpartysnailmail; see link at end of this post for a description).

I read it and had two simultaneous thoughts. (Okay. Not actually simultaneous but they occurred in such rapid succession that they seemed to occur at the same time).

One thought was, “I am not aware that I am afraid.”

The other was, “But there have been times when you did not know you were holding your breath until you exhaled.” Point taken.

And I have lived long enough to know that HE can send me resources and truth before the trial comes. And it is only after the fact that I realize something that came to me in a season of relative quiet, turned out to be the rope I needed to hold onto, the firm place I needed to stand on, the safe place I needed to hide when the storms hit, and my world is shaking.

The handwritten note contained most of The Message translation of Isaiah 43:1-3. I read the verses and was encouraged. So, just in case you can use some encouragement right now, I want to share the portion of this passage which was shared with me. Even if things are going well, perhaps you can hide it in your heart for the days when you’re in over your head, in rough waters, and/or between a rock and a hard place.

” … Don’t be afraid, I’ve redeemed you.
I’ve called your name. You’re mine.
When you’re in over your head, I’ll be there with you.
When you’re in rough waters, you will not go down.
When you’re between a rock and a hard place,
it won’t be a dead end—
Because I am God, your personal God…”

(As promised, here is the link which explains the hashtag fmfpartysnailmail.)

*Originally published on May 8, 2017 as “for the days when you’re in over your  head, in rough waters, and/or between a rock and a hard place”

Day 3: Believe*

Expectations. They are on my mind and I expect them to be (no pun intended) for a while. I am uncertain what triggered this focus but I know it was strengthened by my pastor’s message yesterday. He challenged us to stop being “so reasonable” in our expectations… of God, that is.

Several days ago, I acknowledged that my expectation level is not what it can be and I was shown that expectation is based on belief. What I expect is based on what I believe to be true. As such, to change my expectation level, the first step is to know what I truly believe and the second step is to make changes to those beliefs revealed as incorrect.

Beginning with my beliefs about God, I must examine them in the light of what He says about Himself, not what others say about Him or what my experiences or circumstances suggest. And definitely not in light of my feelings. This of course requires time spent with in prayer and in His written Word. The more accurate my knowledge of Him and the more I believe Him, not just believe in Him, the more I will expect of Him. I recognize that I must also change my beliefs about myself, not based on what others say about me, or how I feel about myself, but based on what my Father says about me.

Several years ago, I engaged in a Bible study, Believing God, by Beth Moore. Yesterday, as I reflected on the sermon I heard, I was reminded of a “Five Statement Pledge of Faith,” which was central to the Believing God study. This is what it states:

  1. God is who He says He is.

  2. God can do what He says He can do.

  3. I am who God says I am.

  4. I can do all things through Christ.

  5. God’s Word is alive and active in me.

I know that I need to prayerfully examine the extent to which I truly believe these statements. How about you?

*Originally published as “Beliefs and expectations” on September 19, 2016.

Link to Introduction to series and Day 1: Story

One thought on “Sustenance from the archives+: Days 2 & 3

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