Category: <span>thoughts by Ashlea Massie</span>


If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given himJames 1:5

Are you currently facing a decision? Unsure of what to do? Have you garnered advice from others only to be confused by the conflicting accounts? Do you feel like you’ll never know what to do and will have to make a choice without counsel? Perhaps you’re even afraid you’ll make the wrong decision and suffer the consequences of it.

We can be certain that although humans may not have all the answers – our Heavenly Father speaks to us, his children, to guide us in his will.

In fact, James tells us that God will give us wisdom if we ask — he does not say maybe or hopefully God will give it to us. Perhaps he will hear. No, it’s a request that will be granted.

We don’t have to worry or wonder if God will respond or not. God has promised that he will grant us wisdom — and God cannot break a promise. Isn’t that exciting? We don’t have to spend our days worrying about whether or not we will know what decision to make. God imparts wisdom to us when we ask, and he will let us know what decision we should make based upon his perfect wisdom. He will guide us as we bring our decision to him in faith.

So if you’re sitting at your table, on your bed, or at your desk at work feeling burdened with worry and fear of the future, pause. Know this: God will guide you. You need only to ask him for wisdom. Be determined to obey, then trust and wait.

Dear Lord, help me trust in your promise and wait for the wisdom you have promised to give to me. Deliver me from worry and anxiety as I wait.

Spend time in prayer concerning the issue you are facing. Ask friends, family, and church members to pray for this decision as well

By Ashlea Massie
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Further Reading

•  A Little Self-Control Goes A Long Way
•  Life’s Lessons can Come from Unexpected Places
•  Salvation Explained

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“Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2

When a family member faced an uncertain prognosis ? a possible diagnosis of cancer — I was anxious about their future and my future. I didn’t want to think about the possible unpleasant events to come. Because of this, I was very desirous to share my burden with others, in the belief that the prayers of others would help spare my family member from her health issues. But what I found was that nobody to whom I thought I was close really cared.

Nobody said they’d pray.

Angry, I sought the counsel of a friend, confiding in them my feelings towards my supposed Christian “friends” and their actions against me. Graciously, this friend pointed out that yes, it is a sad situation when believers cannot be relied upon for help, but she gently asked if I had ever done the exact same thing without realizing it. I thought about it and had to admit that as a believer, I had failed others many times too. I had merely said a tiny prayer once for someone with health issues or completely ignored their burden because I couldn’t understand the magnitude of their situation; well, that is, until I was in their shoes.

That’s exactly what Christ calls us to do — to bear each other’s burdens. It doesn’t matter if your best friend or your pastor doesn’t do that for you, you are required to, no matter what others around you are doing. You might just be that only person’s advocate. Take some time today to think about how you can bear someone else’s burden.

Father in Heaven, spur in our hearts the desire to pray for others and remind us throughout the day to do so. Let us always be ready to pray for others and ask for prayers for ourselves and those we love. Amen.

By Ashlea Massey
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Further Reading

•  Prayer – Asking Specifically
•  Intercessory Prayer Story
•  Salvation Explained

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And while staying with them he ordered them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, he said, ‘you heard from me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.’” Acts 1:4-5

The disciples were told by Jesus to wait for the promise of the Father to be fulfilled. They were told to wait in a specific location until a specific event had occurred ? the reception of the Holy Spirit. Jesus promised it wouldn’t be very long, but He never gave them a definite time. That meant waiting.

Instead of questioning, complaining, or worrying, the disciples decided to spend the waiting period in prayer. However long the wait was, they trusted Jesus to keep His word. He did! The Holy Spirit descended upon the disciples soon thereafter.

Waiting on God’s timing can be very difficult,

…especially when you aren’t given a definite time period of when the waiting will be over. This passage in Acts gives us hope though. We know that when God makes a promise, He keeps it. We don’t need to worry or be anxious that it won’t be fulfilled because it will. And we can learn during the waiting period through the practice of prayer. Prayer reveals our dependence upon God and bolsters in us faith that He will do what He says He will do.

So if you’re waiting on a promise given to us by God, He will surely fulfill it for you. The key is to be patient and pray in the waiting.

Dear Lord, help us to take comfort in your Word, knowing that you cannot lie, and that you always fulfill your promises, just as the Scriptures say. Please help us to understand that. Amen.

By Ashlea Massie
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Further Reading

•  Going Deeper with God
•  How to Pray
•  Salvation Explained

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“And the LORD said to her, “Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples from within you shall be divided; the one shall be stronger than the other, the older shall serve the younger.Genesis 25:23

Have you ever tried so desperately hard to make something happen or work? You knew you should have left it up to God, but you couldn’t resist trying to fix things. That’s exactly what Rebekah was faced with. God had already promised that her youngest son would receive the blessing, yet here she was, decades later, trying to make it happen in her timing.

The irony of the situation was that if she had sat back and watched God work, she would have seen his master plan unfold without any issues. But instead, Rebekah decided to take matters into her own hands, which seemed to make the situation worse. After all, Jacob had to flee his brother’s intense wrath — such hatred that Jacob’s life was in danger. Sure, Rebekah and Jacob received what they wanted, but at the cost of committing sin and risking death. Imagine how things might have been had Rebekah done as God wanted and just watched and waited to see him work!

We can apply the same response to our lives. Perhaps God will allow us the desires of our heart — but in his timing, not ours. Instead of getting in the front seat to work things out, let God do the work. Trust in his timing. When we try to do things our way, it never pans out quite well, but when we leave it up to God, the ending is beautiful.

Dear Lord, help me to respond appropriately to every situation, knowing you will work things out. Let me trust in you.

Ask God to give you the strength and wisdom to refrain from intervening when you know he simply wants you to wait on him.

By Ashlea Massie
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Further Reading

•  Did You Know that You are Someone Special?
•  God’s Plan – A Study on God’s Destiny for Me?
•  Salvation Explained

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In hope he believed against hope, that he should become the father of many nations, as he had been told, “So shall your offspring be.” He did not weaken in faith when he considered his own body, which was as good as dead (since he was about a hundred years old), or when he considered the barrenness of Sarah’s womb. No unbelief made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised.” Romans 4:18-21

Have you ever doubted God’s promises for your life?

Do you worry on a constant basis about the outcome of your relationship, job, financial situation, or children?

Abraham was seventy-five years old when God promised him a son. And God didn’t fulfill his promise to Abraham until he was almost one hundred years old! Imagine waiting on something you knew God had in store for you, but assuming it would come within a reasonable time period of a few years only to become discouraged as the years wore on. And yet Abraham had such great faith in spite of having to wait twenty-five years to see the promise fulfilled.

His attitude is an example for us as believers today. We are to rest on God’s promises for our lives, confident that God knows what he’s doing and will work in his timing, not ours. How can we doubt a God who can perform miracles and fulfill the impossible? Look at what he did for Abraham — if God could make an infertile woman have a child in her old age, then God can fulfill his promise toward you. All God requires is for us to cease worrying and trust in him.

Pray that God will give you peace in place of worry, filling you with faith instead.

Dear Lord, I thank you for what you have done for me, and I ask that you give me the patience to endure and grant that confident faith replaces anxiety. Amen.

Remind yourself often that God always, always keeps his promises, although sometimes, the wait is a long one.

By Ashlea  Massie
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FURTHER READING

•  The Gift of Forgiveness
•  My Search for Inner Peace

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The God of this people Israel chose our fathers and made the people great during their stay in the land of Egypt, and with uplifted arm he led them out of it.” Acts 13:17

Have you ever doubted God’s plan for your life?

Perhaps you felt confident about the route you believed God wanted you walk in. You stepped out in faith, but then some unexpected bumps along the road hit you. And now you’re confused.

Are you on the right track? Wouldn’t God make everything work out if he truly has this plan for you?

Throughout the Old Testament, we see God’s plan laid out piece by piece to bring the Israelites to the promised land. They couldn’t see it, but as readers of those historical events, we have the ability to see how God’s plan unfolded.

Joseph’s imprisonment in Egypt? For a greater purpose, to be uplifted and in charge in order to establish the Israeli nation, eventually. Joseph only knew part of God’s plan  — he never saw the full plan.

The purpose of the difficult times along the journey to leaving Egypt? To encourage trust, trusting that God would provide even when it seemed like the Egyptians would overcome them, or when they thought that they would starve or die of thirst. God always came through. And the route along the journey was not easy either — it was full of hiccups. But God called them out, and they were doing as God had asked, with the exception of a few times when they made the journey longer and harder because of sin.

The same principle applies to our life. We may experience hardship doing the will of God, and that’s normal. We can’t always understand why we have to endure the pain along the way, but we can trust that those bumps along the way are for a greater purpose, known by God. We just can’t see it quite yet. So we trust.

Dear Lord, please help me to trust, to take the good and the bad, and to use negative experiences on the journey as ways to build my faith. Amen.

Remind yourself of God’s big picture, the Gospel, by reading Paul’s synopsis in Acts 13:16-41 of the route God created in order to bring Christ to us.

By Ashlea Massie
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The Trust Factor
Praying with Confidence

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“Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”  Mark 11:24

Do you ever pray for things without believing God will actually answer your prayer?

You may be thinking, “That’s an odd question. Why pray if I don’t believe?

Oftentimes, we pray for God to work in situations that seem impossible from a physical standpoint, and the more we pray without seeing an answer, the more discouraged we may get. But discouragement has no place in prayer. If we have no faith that God will answer our prayers, then how can we receive the answer we so desire?

According to the Bible, our answer is received when we have faith that God will perform a work in our lives because his Word states that he answers any request that is according to his will (1 John 5:14-15). Belief is what moves our prayers, and unbelief is what hinders them. We should never doubt that God will answer, and instead rest on his promises to us when we pray in faith.

Does it seem like your loved one will never be saved? The more you pray for him or her, the deeper in sin he or she goes? Does it seem that God will not restore your marriage that is in desperate need of mending? Don’t be discouraged or despairing. Don’t stop praying. Instead, strengthen yourself with the promise that God will answer us when we believe he will work in these seemingly impossible circumstances. God parted the Red Sea for the Israelites. He saved men like Paul who had hardened hearts. He opened the wombs of barren women. He can do anything. It may not be an immediate response to our cries, but God will answer.

Dear Lord, give me the ability to believe that you will act and help my unbelief. Forgive me for doubting that you will work in my life and that of others.

Invite the Spirit to show you if there is anything that is causing you to doubt God. Remind yourself of God’s ability to do the unbelievable. Take some time to read passages where God intervened when the world would have doubted that it was possible: 1 Samuel 1-2, 2 Kings 5, and Genesis 37-41. Be encouraged.

By Ashlea Massie
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• A Prayer for When You Need more Faith
• Another Prayer: Holy Righteous God, and only living God…

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“Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.”  1 Corinthians 15:58

The Bible talks about fear and conquering it. But sometimes, I think we believe we have to have conquered our fears before going out and doing what God has called us to do. That’s an untrue assumption.

Elisabeth Elliot once said,

“Sometimes when we are called to obey, the fear does not subside and we are expected to move against the fear. One must choose to do it afraid.”

Fear is something we should tackle and conquer as the Bible clearly points out, but if we use fear as our excuse for not obeying God, then we’re going about things the wrong way. Sometimes we don’t quite have fear conquered, yet we still need to take a leap of faith, trust God, and push forward in whatever it is that God has commanded us to do.

Maybe you were asked to speak somewhere, share your faith, lead a Bible study, or use your talents in a public setting. Maybe you accepted the opportunity, believing God wanted you to accept, but you still haven’t conquered your fear. This is the perfect time to remember not to let fear get the best of you. Fear shouldn’t keep you from leading that Bible study or honoring God through your gifts. Sometimes you just have to move on in faith and do what God wants you to, even in the midst of fear.

Your reward will be greater confidence and joy and seeing God use you to bless others. Fear will have less of a hold on you because you chose to walk in faith.

Dear Lord, as I obey your will, please give me courage to do what you want me to do. Take away the fear as I walk out your plans for me. Amen.

By Ashlea Massie
used be permission
From: http://www.gospelmag.com/authors/ashlea-massie

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How did Jesus Pray?
Attributes of God

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“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.” Proverbs 3:5

Have you ever been in a “What if” situation? What if the biopsy doesn’t come back benign? What if I’m never able to have children? What if my child never returns to God?

They’re all possible situations, but they’re also the worst outcome for each scenario. It’s interesting how our minds automatically place us in the worst possible situation, leaving us to fret until the outcome becomes clear.

Elisabeth Elliot had this to say about our circumstances: “Peace does not dwell in outward things, but in the heart prepared to ‘wait trustfully and quietly on Him’ who has all things safely in His hands.” Instead of focusing so much on the here and now and potential outcomes, we must focus on God; when we rely on him, we will find peace. It doesn’t come easily, but the more we look at our problems, the bigger they grow. The less we focus on our problems, the more our anxieties are assuaged with the peace of God.

And we are commanded to do this by the Lord — trust in him during these difficult times. Don’t assume things that have not yet occurred will. If they don’t, imagine all the time wasted worrying! But if they do occur, you’ll have prepared yourself to accept the path God has for you and therefore be better able to handle it. Whatever God allows into our lives is never to hurt us but to grow us, and instead of worrying about what may be, we must keep our eyes on what we know about God and his plan for us.

Dear Lord, please turn my anxiety into peace during this trial. Give me a willingness to accept whatever your will is and the ability to relinquish my worries for your calm spirit. Amen.

Make every effort to do something that detracts the focus from your problems — serving others, praying, reading the Bible, listening to sermons, etc. You’ll find that the more you focus on God, the easier it becomes to relinquish your worries to him.

By Ashlea Massie
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Then he said to them all:

Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.‘  Luke 9:23

If you are like me, the day you were saved is embedded in your mind. You probably remember every detail vividly. Do you remember your expectations of Christianity? I clearly remember mine. I was under the assumption that surrender simply meant relinquishing control of the sin in my life and learning to live a new life that turned away from those sins. I had no clue that it would entail giving up a dream I had long held.

This passage reminds us that we deny more than sinful ways. We deny the things we want to do in life versus what God wants us to do in life. Many of the desires we have are intertwined with sin, and yet we don’t seem to recognize it. That was my situation. Advancing within my career had been my utmost priority before salvation. I spent many extra hours of work to achieve success. But once I was saved, I had conflicting feelings about my life choices.

My new self lives to serve God, not my old ambitions. My motives behind my advancement were wrong — something I hadn’t noticed as an unbeliever — and I suddenly realized I had made my career an idol. It was then I knew that God wanted me to relinquish my dream and pursue him instead. Surrendering my dream was difficult, but it was what God wanted from me since it would help me be free from the rule of sin and lead me to grow closer to him.

Perhaps you’re at a crossroads too. Surrender is a daily process. We must follow what God says, no matter what we want. It’s for our good to give God our best. And doesn’t such a good God deserve our all?

Dear Lord, grant us the ability to know and do your will. Do not let sin control us, but let us be controlled by you. Amen.

By Ashlea Massey
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Practicing the Presence of God

Stepping Into a Personal Revival

We Plan – God Directs

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“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” John 14:27

Life can become hectic and unstable.

Some of us rely on an income that isn’t steady or ebbs and flows with the seasons. Others are consumed with studies in graduate school, or feel overwhelmed with their workload. Some of us have lost a job unexpectedly. Others have lost a relationship or still aren’t in one and feel frustrated and confused.

All of these situations can induce fear and anxiety, but they don’t have to. Jesus has left us with His peace – to know that He will get us through these trials and provide for our needs. In Matthew 6, Jesus asks if God takes care of the animals, why wouldn’t he take care of us, His children? Perhaps some of these unexpected events are the result of a loving God trying to draw us closer to Him.

When hard times come, and we’re backed up in a position we can’t get out of, we tend to run to God. We suddenly realize that He’s our only help.

Instead of worrying about where the income is going to come from when you’ve applied for job after job, trust that God will provide at the right time. Rather than spending hour after hour holed up in your room with your studies, take a breather and enjoy the blessings around you, like friends, family and nature. Stop fretting over your relationship issues. Instead, take them to God. He’ll help you.

Dear Lord, please forgive me for worrying instead of trusting. Give me your peace to realize that you’re in control, and you will not leave me lonely and struggling. Let me look to your word and be strengthened by all of the stories of deliverance and grant me the ability to wait patiently in the meantime. Amen.

By Ashlea Massie
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Hiding Place
He Guides Us
Jesus is Always There!
God WILL take care of you
How Big is God?

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In my distress I called upon the LORD;
to my God I cried for help.
From his temple he heard my voice,
and my cry to him reached his ears.
” 
Psalm 18:6

Sometimes our circumstances seem overwhelming. We may feel like we will never get out of the particularly bothersome situation we are in. Perhaps it’s a season of joblessness or the struggle with a prodigal child. Maybe it’s a health issue or a relationship issue. Whatever the circumstance may be, there’s always a glimmer of hope, despite how bleak the outcome appears to be or how we might feel.

David felt overwhelmed by his circumstances, too. David’s distress involved constantly fleeing from the jealous king, Saul, in order to preserve his life. He was fighting to survive and constantly asking God to deliver him. Although it was quite some time before David was completely delivered from Saul’s wrath, David was able to see the hand of God working at various times when Saul’s plans were thwarted. David experienced small victories and that gave him hope for the future.

God delivered David from the circumstances he couldn’t handle and from the despair David felt. If God was able to deliver this man from imminent death, then he can surely deliver you from your situation as well.

We must be aware of the small victories God gives to us as we cry for deliverance. Although we may not experience automatic deliverance when we want it, God hears and has a plan for our situation. We can find hope in stories like David’s in which God did redeem him from his distress. These stories are here to give us that same hope too!

Dear Lord, I don’t understand my circumstances, but I know you do. You gave victory to David; please give me victory too. Please hear the voice of your humble child and grant relief. Amen.

By Ashlea Massie
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Hope for the Hopeless

Good News for You

God’s Love for you

Did You Know that You are Someone Special?

A Poem of Hope

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And the Spirit said to Philip, “Go over and join this chariot.”  So Philip ran to him and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet and asked,Do you understand what you are reading?  Acts 8:29-30

When I first became a believer, there was nobody to disciple me so I…” was the same story I had heard time and again, unfortunately. New followers of Christ who have never attended church before often lack a spiritual mentor, which is understandable. But I also found that those who had been attending church, the body of Christ, neglected to gather to instruct and encourage these new Christians.

Philip was mindful of others’ needs because he listened to the Holy Spirit’s guidance towards a man on the cusp of salvation, though he did not know it yet. Philip went over to address an obvious concern he could see upon first glance. Once Philip asked the man if he understood the passage, the man admitted his confusion. Philip took precious time out of his day to go into detail about the Gospel and how it fit in with Isaiah, then leading the man to the Lord that very day.

It’s an important reminder as believers to be mindful of those around us. Is there someone struggling to find his or her place at your church? What about that regular attendee who seems to have dropped off the face of the earth? These observations and more should be noted so that we can encourage and build up believers, or even help lead unbelievers to the Lord. When we see someone struggling, we should aid them.

Even if we don’t see someone struggling, we should still approach and encourage them. Like Philip, you never know what someone is going through behind the scenes, and you just may be the voice of guidance during that tough time.

Dear Lord, please help me to be aware of others during this time. Impress upon my heart those who need encouragement or instruction, and give me the wisdom to give accurate instruction. Amen.

By Ashlea Massie
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Pressing On! – a lesson on focusing our eyes and goals on Christ

Why are the words that I use so important?

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How can we thank God enough for you in return for all the joy we have in the presence of our God because of you? Night and day we pray most earnestly that we may see you again and supply what is lacking in faith.” 1 Thessalonians 3:9-10

Most of us have probably spent that last couple of months during this pandemic sitting in front of our computers, tablets, or phones streaming a live sermon instead of attending church in person. Some might be tired of this way of church. Others might enjoy it.

Perhaps you’ve become accustomed to participating in online worship, which includes not having to get dressed and then driving to church, so you no longer have a desire to meet with your fellow believers.

For this very limited amount of time, we have had to isolate ourselves from each other, but eventually, we will be able to meet up as normal, which is important! The Bible says that meeting in person is best.

Paul mentions his eagerness to meet with fellow believers and that there’s a missing piece when believers do not join together for fellowship. His issue was distance, unlike ours, but under similar circumstances. He wanted to meet with them but couldn’t because he most likely was imprisoned. We may feel we are now as well, to some extent!

Paul’s eagerness should encourage us to have a desire to be back in fellowship with our brothers and sisters. This desire comes from God alone. Fear not if you lack it! Pray to God for this desire, and he will assuredly give it. And for those who are longing for the return of fellowship, pray for God to hasten the time to return when believers can safely gather together in person.

Dear Lord, grant me a longing to fellowship with other believers, that I would not grow lazy in my walk with You, but that I would desire Paul’s enthusiasm for those around me. Amen.

By Ashlea Massie
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Love your Neighbor

How to be a Friend to an Immigrant

Extending Grace to Others

Love is Patient and Kind – a story of a man on a bus

Be Patient


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Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.  Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance,  and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” Romans 5:1-5

Sometimes when we’re wrestling with difficult and unexplainable circumstances such as the loss of family member, a diagnosis of cancer, or the loss of a job, it’s hard to be able to rest in God and trust Him.

It’s easier to trust Him when things are going well, as opposed when they don’t turn out the way we want. We can’t always see the “why” of a situation, so we tend to doubt and wonder if the light will ever even shine through the dark tunnel. But God created the earth so that light would always overcome darkness and that the sun will always rise when you wake up; His creation is the promise of something better, and gives us just a hint of what is to come.

God wants us to rest in Him knowing that at the end of our situation, it will ultimately be better, whether we see our problems resolved here on earth or in Heaven. We have the promise of future hope, joy, and peace. God doesn’t want us to worry about our current problems but to have our focus geared towards the future. When we keep the future in mind, we are able to handle our present circumstances better.

Are you anxious about something? Trying to find peace? Whatever the situation, remember the future hope and keep the bigger picture in mind, even if you can’t see the end result.

Dear Lord, thank you so much that you have promised to be with us in all circumstances, and that you give us a future full of hope. Amen.

Sometimes it’s very difficult to see the big picture God has in mind for us. Make a list of all the good things that have come out of your situation that would have never occurred had you not been placed there.

By Ashlea Massie
Used by Permission

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