Trusting God – It’s Harder Than it Looks

Mark 14:36: “Abba, Father,” he said, “everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.”

I have spoken at length of the truth that God is in charge. It is a fact, God created it all, He runs the show. He  also created us in his image (Genesis 1:27) and gave us free will; the ability to choose for ourselves what to do with the gifts that He has given us. Because of the freedom granted us, we can even choose to accept him or not. God’s world is not a dictatorship, not at all. God’s world is based on His love for us. Love manifested in His only Son. God’s gift to humanity for the forgiveness of sin that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16).

All believers and unbelievers as well (that’s another study) know these things to be true. If that is the case, the question becomes, why is it so hard to trust Him with everything we have? Why is it difficult, at times, almost impossible to let go and let God? The answer is one that will make some uncomfortable. The answer is sin. The world is a broken sinful place filled with broken sinful people Genesis 3:6: When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. At that moment, sin and death were ushered into the world. At that moment there was a gulf between God and man; making communion with God impossible without the life-giving blood of Jesus. Even after accepting Jesus into our lives, while communion with God is not impossible any longer it is still difficult because we humans are sinful imperfect beings.

Trusting God is a learned behavior to a point. we learn to trust Him based on our experience. As God fulfills His promises in our lives our testimony is built.  our testimony; the story of God in our lives, reflects His work in us and therefore our trust in Him.

More so than any learned behavior or response, we trust through faith. Faith in God, faith that He is with us through all things. Faith is not something one can learn faith is a gift from God. Ephesians: 2:8: For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God. Through faith and experience are born obedience. Sometimes trusting God comes down to simply doing what we are told even when it does not make sense or it’s hard, or uncomfortable.

What does that look like? Jesus models it for us in the garden the night of his arrest. Jesus comes to the father in a very personal way, “Abba.”in the Hebrew is a personal salutation for father. It is the name a child calls their father ie. daddy or papa.  Then, He gives God the glory, “Everything is possible for you.” Then He makes the petition. “Take this cup from me.” Then submission, “Yet not what I will but, what you will.

So many times as believers trusting God boils down to what we get out of that trust. We look to  God as a great gift giver. We take for granted the amazing grace and mercy that He showers on us every minute of our lives and forget that He is sovereign: the creator and sustainer of the universe. When trusting God, we often forget that all things happen for His glory.

This is why trusting God with everything we have is so difficult. We become attached to things; become preoccupied with stuff  and how to hold on to it. When in reality, the kind of trust that Jesus wants stems from a heart knowledge of James 1:17: Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. Everything we have that is worth keeping came from the Lord! That being the case we should do two things: first, treat everything as a gift from God honoring it as unto the Lord and second, don’t become so attached to the gifts you have been given that you place its  value over the sovereignty and Lordship of Jesus over your life.In the final analysis, In order to completely trust God in all things we must first give everything we have: our homes, our jobs, our stuff even our families, our spouses, our kids and our very lives to God. In doing that we are set free from worry and made available to be used for God’s purpose in our lives.

Revelation 4:11

“You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being.”
Grace & Peace,
*If you would like to know more about a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, email me at and let me know! I will be happy to lead you through what the bible says about salvation and accepting Jesus Christ as your savior.*

When Worry Comes to Visit – And Won’t Leave

Matthew 6:34

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
     I am not a fan of cliché’ especially in the realm of counseling. So much of what we say in an effort to comfort someone who is going through a trail comes across as flippant and shallow. There is no question that the sentiment is well intended but there are so many times when it simply doesn’t deal with the issue. Foe example: A friend comes to you and shares that he has just been diagnosed with cancer and he is scared. In trying to be helpful, you share Romans 8;28: 28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. You pray for him and he walks away looking a bit stunned. Why? Because, while a biblical truth was shared – God is in charge; I can promise you that the new cancer patient in front of you does not need to hear that right then. Many times, there are no immediate solutions. While it is in our nature to attempt to solve the problem at hand, often times there is no solving it. In those cases, we comfort, pray, and lean on the Holy Spirit for guidance.
      The above example is extreme yes, but often times it is all to common. The cancer patient is less concerned about the cancer then immediacy of time. The cancer patients is suddenly worried about his kids, his wife, and his family; how will they survive without him?
     That is an example of an extreme situation; a  situation where suddenly  the normalcy of the world is turned upside down. The sudden death of a family member or friend, that call from the doctor that was unexpected, divorce, and job loss are all examples of that sudden extreme situation that causes anxiety and worry. What about when anxiety and worry are a constant companion. No matter how things are going – worry. Nice house, cars, the kids are fine, there is enough money, everyone is healthy; in short, the American dream and yet, there is constant worry and anxiousness.
     According to over 40 million Americans will suffer an impairment due to anxiety and stress this year!  Another article published in 2011 by stated that 1 out of every five adults in the us is on medication to treat some form or mental illness and that 29% more women than men (1 out of 5 women over the age of 20) take such drugs. The statistics are startling and yet Jesus tells us not to worry.
     Let me be clear, there are medical professionals out there and medication that is prescribed for such illnesses. I am in no way saying that those practices should be abandoned. Healing is a spiritual gift (see I Corinthians 12) the wisdom for which is given by God. James 1:5: If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.
     What I am saying is when the pharmacy  and the therapy sessions or the alcohol, the illegal drugs and whatever else fits under the heading of self medication fall short, and they will, Jesus extends His hand to walk with us through our distress. Jesus said: John 16:33: 33 These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will[a] have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
     Jesus was a man, God made flesh. as a man he felt what we feel: hunger, thirst, exhaustion, the entire gambit of human emotions. Isaiah 53:3: He is despised and rejected by men, A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were,our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. this passage in Isaiah is prophetic. It speaks of the suffering Jesus would do on the cross for us. Jesus understands what we go through every day because He went through it Himself.
     Jesus never said that our time in this world would be easy. To  the contrary, in the verses used for this post, Jesus acknowledges worry and tribulation. He knows life here is not easy. That is why He made us this promise: Matthew 28:20: teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always,even to the end of the age.” Amen.
     So how does this all work? We are to give our worries to the one who conquered the world. The one who overcame sin and death one time for all time. Give your worries and concerns to Jesus. He took the sin of the entire world on His shoulders. He can handle your worries. I Peter 5:7: casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. My mother always said, “Give it to God.” My question in return always was how?
     If you have already accepted Jesus as your Lord and savior then deepen your relationship with Him through the reading of the word, prayer, and fellowship. By spending time in scripture, speaking with the one who created you, and surrounding yourself with other believers you will keep your eyes firmly set on Him.
     If you haven’t yet accepted the free gift of salvation you must settle that question once and for all. What will you do about Jesus? Christ died as the final sacrifice for the sin of the world, your sin and mine. He took the punishment that we deserve so that all who believe in Him would have eternal life with the Father (Romans 6:23b). God loves you and desperately wants to have a  relationship with you. God is perfect and as such, can not have a relationship with an imperfect being. This is why Jesus died and rose again; to serve as a bridge between God and man. Without Jesus, when we die we are destined to spend an eternity separated from God ( See Romans 6:23a).
     How can you guarantee that you will spend eternity with God when you die? How can you have Jesus to walk with you in this world? Romans 10:9 & 13: that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 13 For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”[a]
     If you have never called on the name of the Lord, I would like to invite you to do that today. You can say, ” Dear Jesus, I know that I have sinned against you. I repent of my sin and choose to follow you. I believe that you died and rose again to forgive me of all my sins. Thank you Jesus!”
Grace & Peace,
*If you would like to know more about a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, email me at and let me know! I will be happy to lead you through what the bible says about salvation and accepting Jesus Christ as your savior.*

The Christian Fish Bowl

Philippians 3:17: 17 Brethren, join in following my example, and note those who so walk, as you have us for a pattern.

A few weeks back my pastor said that being a Christian was not easy; it was impossible – without a relationship with Jesus Christ. Contrary to the popular opinion of the non-believer, Christians are not perfect, not holy, and not above reproach. truthfully Christians, those who walk with Jesus, are the most humble and broken people I know. They are humble because they understand that God is in charge and everything that is good and righteous in our lives comes from Him. Ephesians 5:9: (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness,righteousness, and truth). They are broke because in order to come into relationship with Christ the believer must come to the realization that they are at a complete loss without the power of Christ in their lives. Mark 10:27: But Jesus looked at them and said, “With men it is impossible, but not with God; for with God all things are possible.”

Throughout the life of Paul he models for us the example of the Christian life. In this section of Philippians, he reminds his congregation in Philippi, that he has set the example and that they must refer to it in their own lives and the lives of others. All people who have come to know the Lord came to that knowledge through another believer. Paul is saying. “I have shown you what it looks like to walk with Christ, now do as I have done.”

Who brought you to faith in Christ? Was it a family member or a friend? Think about your salvation story? After you had accepted Jesus as Lord of your life, you had questions; questions about theology, the bible, and a myriad of other topics. No matter what questions you had, they all boiled down to the same basic premise, what do I do now?

If you came to faith as a child,as I did, this person was a family member. in my case, my mother. She sat with me, working on memory verses, explaining scripture, and events on the Christian calendar. She was my Paul. If you came to faith later in life, the person who discipled you was most likely the person who brought you to church or the event where you accepted Jesus. They may have even led you to a decision one on one. Either way, they became your example, your Paul.

We must use caution in our dealings with others asking the Lord for a discerning heart. Paul delivers a warning in verses 18. Telling us that there are some “christians” out there who would rip off believers. Philippians 3:18-19: 18 For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: 19 whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame—who set their mind on earthly things.

The letter to the church at Philippi was written around 62 AD from the inner cells of a roman prison. Paul was awaiting an audience with Cesar, his right as a Roman citizen. Paul thought he might die; it was a reasonable assumption.  Paul is warning the people of wolves in sheep’s clothing, those people who are not committed to Christ but to themselves, those that are out to rob the flock.

The robbery comes in many forms: loss of resources, possible persecution and arrest resulting from non-Christian plants sent to the church to infiltrate it. While these examples are valid they are not the biggest threat. Paul is speaking here of spiritual robbery. He is cautioning the people to be aware of those who would profess Christ with their mouths but then live a  worldly uncommitted life.

This is solid advice for us today. We must view one another as well as new believers through the prism of God’s word and the example we have been given by our Paul. When it doesn’t match up, we are called to come alongside that believer and disciple them in the truth ( See Matthew 18 starting in verse 15). further, we Christians are judged daily by the unbelieving public at large as well as those that are on the fence regarding Jesus.

Often it feels as though we live in fish bowl. having to do what is right while the unbelieving world walks by tapping on the glass in an attempt to distract us. This pressure is the reason God gave us prayer, His word, and fellowship with other believers.  We learn to embrace the “Fish Bowl,” of the Christian life by embracing Christ and the relationship we have with Him. I leave you with this: 2 Corinthians 12:9: And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

Grace & Peace,


*If you would like to know more about a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, email me at and let me know! I will be happy to lead you through what the bible says about salvation and accepting Jesus Christ as your savior.*


He Doesn’t Need You

John 18:10: Then Simon Peter, having a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s servant, and cut off his right ear. The servant’s name was Malchus.

I am a fighter. I always have been. from the time I was small ( the smallest kid on the block) I would fight back. It didn’t matter how big you were, if you mistreated me or someone I cared about you would have me to deal with. As I have gotten older, I still fight back. My tools now are my mouth and my intellect rather than my fists.  I lead with my heart always, I would like to think, with the best of intentions; the truth is however, this is an area that God continues to work on in me.

I understand Peter because, in many ways I am Peter. A former pastor once called me a Peter apologist. I had given a message during Lent on Matthew 14: 25-33 in which I made the point that while Peter did lose faith; it happened while he was out on the water and the 11 other disciples were huddled in the boat. While the rest were huddled in fear, Peter had the faith to do as his Lord commanded and come. He slipped and fell, or sank, in this case, along the way; but Jesus was there for Peter as he is for us today; to pick us up when we fail.

For those that walk with Christ this rings true: Jesus is there to pick us up when we fall – and we fall a lot. To those that say when looking at Christians, “You are all a bunch of hypocrites!” I agree and would add: there is always room for one more.

Humans are emotional creatures, some more than others. On a whole, all people have the tendency to allow their emotions to get the best of them at times. Have you ever said something in the heat of the moment only to think the better of it later? Or, acted on impulse only to realize later that it was the wrong choice? If you answered yes to either or both of those questions, congratulations! You are human just like the rest of us.

The word is impulsive. among the many bad connotations that surround the word there is good that comes from being impulsive as well, As with all things  When the Holy Spirit is involved, when God is involved, all things happen for His glory! Romans 8:28: And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. 

Mark 8:29:

He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered and said to Him, “You are the Christ.”

Peter did not come to this revelation on his own. He most assuredly had prompting from the Holy Spirit. In the gospel of John ( see vv. 6:68) after Peter makes this bold statement Jesus says starting in verse   70, “Did I not choose you the twelve?” In this statement, Jesus clarifies and reminds that the disciples are there by divine appointment, thus removing any thought of human pretense from the equation. In essence He is saying, ” you didn’t come to this conclusion alone or by your own wits. God is here and I am in charge.

In our everyday dealings as Christians, we are inundated by the world and its misguided philosophies. I speak for myself when I say that many times, i have the urge to correct and fight back. I grow tired of the rampant sin of the world being misrepresented as tolerance. But where I really get bent out of shape is when that tolerance is justified by the gross misrepresentation of holy scripture.

Oh boy! When I come across this my blood boils and often times, I fight back. I start swinging the sword of righteousness forgetting that it was never mine to swing in the first place. Romans 3:10: As it is written: “There is none righteous, no, not one. Scripture tells us that we are all sinners and only through acceptance of Jesus as our savior are we cleansed. We have no right to swing a sword that by our inherent sinful nature we can’t even wield. Jesus is judge and will do so; trust in that. I Peter: 4-5: They will give an account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead.

Jesus Christ has already won the battle. He has conquered sin and death so stop fighting. Instead  share what Jesus means to you. Live it out in your life. We can not argue people into the kingdom. We can lay them at the feet of Jesus; at thee foot of the empty cross and allow the Holy Spirit to bring them to victory!

Grace & Peace,


*If you would like to know more about a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, email me at and let me know! I will be happy to lead you through what the bible says about salvation and accepting Jesus Christ as your savior.*