Every Day Trust

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your path.” Proverbs 3:5-6

I found this verse many years ago and it has often been a go to when life gets confusing and I can’t see clearly what is going on in front of me. Well the first verse anyway, verse 5. I have wanted to, in the past only use the first part, because well verse 6 seemed like too much of a commitment at times. Can I say that? That’s not a super spiritual thing to say that I have not always wanted to acknowledge him in all my ways. But it is truth. 

There have been many times in my life that I didn’t necessarily want to go the way that I felt God wanted me to go. I wanted to do things my way. Only now looking back I can’t imagine why. But that’s perspective isn’t it? I have to remind myself that while I am trying to acknowledge Him and His direction on my life now and I can’t imagine living any other way, that I have not always been this way. This way I, hopefully will not come across judgmental to the people I know and love who are not living their life attempting to stay in step with Jesus. 

We as humans sure do complicate things don’t we? This Proverb was given by Solomon to his son. Solomon had learned that acknowledging God, consulting Him when there were decisions to be made and seeking to follow His will and way for his life were a daily task and that if he did that then his life would stay on track. It’s simple really. But I think that we many times forget to include God in the mundane every day parts of life. We forget to ask Him if we should take that job offer or if we should do that thing that has been put in front of us. And sometimes we forget to ask Him about the big things of life, Like if we should date that person or marry that man. I can honestly say that in my younger years I didn’t consult God on many of those issues. Praise Jesus. He blessed me in spite of me many times. But I do wonder sometimes how much better my life could have been if I had learned this lesson younger. I am always so grateful when I hear younger people making the choice to pray about those big things. But I am really encouraged when I know someone who is asking Him about the mundane every day things of life! 

“Self-sufficiency and self-dependence have been the ruin of mankind ever since the fall of Adam. The grand sin of the human race is their continual endeavor to live independently of God” ~ Adam Clarke

Ouch! This quote hit me hard. We, as humans tend to categorize sin don’t we. We look at the murderer, the adulterer and the child molester as the unredeemable sins. But Mr. Clarke says here the grand sin of the human race is simply living independently of God. It would solve a multitude of problems in society if people would simply learn how to love Jesus and ask Him what our next steps would be and stop trying to do this life without Him. So let’s, at least you and me, do that today, let’s trust God to our future and our big decisions but more than that, let’s do our part and trust Him with our mundane of today. And we will trust that He will make our path straight!


“When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can flesh do to me?” Psalm 56:3-4

David penned this Psalm as he did many of the Psalms. But it is necessary to note that David didn’t write this as he was sitting in a meadow playing his harp watching over his sheep who were all accounted for and in their rightful places. No David penned this Psalm when he was fleeing Saul, and being pursued and seized by Philistines in Gath. David was very afraid of what they would do to him. He was in fact the young shepherd boy who had killed their giant warrior Goliath. He was very afraid. 

One thing to note here is that David says “when” I am afraid. He doesn’t say if, he doesn’t declare he will never be afraid. We talked a few weeks ago on fear and ways to conquer fear. But the one thing we know is that it will rear its head again. As I write this we are being pounded outside by tropical storm Ida. I am not afraid as I sit in my house with the rain pounding outside. I hear my wind chimes as the wind is strong. But yesterday there were people very afraid. And they had true cause to be. Yesterday Ida was a major hurricane and for those who stayed behind and for those who left they were afraid and many are probably still dealing with fear today. Some were afraid for their lives yesterday as they stayed behind and encountered the strength of nature. But they are still afraid today for the life they had that they will now have to rebuild because of loss of property. No David didn’t declare he would never be afraid, but he declared what he would do WHEN he was afraid. “I put my trust in you”! 

David declared action, he declared praise to God and that he would actively trust God and that would help him to not be afraid. He recognized that while he was at the hand of the Philistines and they very well could kill him, that he belonged to God and that was where he would put his trust. 

Something else to note here. As I was studying this Psalm it led me to 1 Samuel 21 which is believed to be when David penned the Psalm. In this chapter it pretty much says that David walked right into the situation he had with the Philistines. He was under some false impression that the citizens of Gath would welcome him. But when they recognized him and the servants pointed out to the king who David was, he realized they would not be as welcoming as he thought. David was fleeing Saul but when he went to Gath it was not under the direction of God. He went of his own free will and it had the potential to not turn out so well. But when David became afraid and recognized that he had not handled this rightly and he returned to God and put his trust in Him, God delivered him from the hands of the Philistines. 

That’s comforting to me, you see David is considered a man after God’s own heart. But what I love about David so much is the fact that while he was a man after God’s own heart, he was far from perfect. He was a man who went off on his own decisions and made lots of mistakes. But he knew his God and when he returned, God would deliver him, God would protect him. God blessed him. This just lets me know that when I don’t get it right, I can still return to God and he will still deliver, protect and bless me. And you can to. All you have to do is trust Him. 

Faith = Hope!

“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1

We have talked about faith for the past couple of weeks. This verse to me is the culmination of all of the verses we have studied. Faith is our assurance of the things we hope for! Having faith is what gives us hope! I personally don’t see how anyone lives without it! I know that for me when things get tough it’s faith that God has me and has the situation in mind that gives me the hope I need to keep going. Having faith that all things really do work for good for those that love Him. Having faith that even when we lose people we love, or we get that diagnosis that we know will take our life on earth, that  we don’t live as if we have no hope. We know to be absent from the body is to be present with Jesus for those of us in the faith! 

I have heard Priscilla Shirer and her father Dr. Tony Evans quote this saying that I believe Dr. Evans penned. 

“Faith is acting like it is so even when it is not so in order that it might be so simply because God said so.” 

Yes, I know that sometimes circumstances and situations will weigh us down. But when you have faith in God and when you believe His word when it says that He will work it out, we can live in hope to see better days. Sure there are times that are hard to hang onto the hope. I know that, I’ve lived it. But every time I am struggling to hang onto hope if I ask Him, to let me just see that He is still got it, then I look for it, He will show me something every time. It’s those little things that fuel my faith and give me hope for the things I can’t see yet. 

Friends, I know life can be hard. I promise you I have had things that I have hurt over and have wondered how in the world God could work this one out? But I am so grateful for the ways He has grown my faith over the years that keep me coming back to my faith in Him. I am grateful for the ways I have seen Him work out impossible situations that in my mind would have to be written off. Faith in God is what gives me hope for what I can’t see right now. Faith in Him the one who saved me and who rescues me from myself and my own poor choices is what gives me hope for a better tomorrow. He is the reason I continually lay my stuff at His feet every day and I hope for a better today than I had yesterday! He gives me hope for what I can’t see right in front of me. Please if your faith is wavering right now, please ask Him to show you something to show that He’s still got you! I have faith that He will do it if you only ask! 

Shield of Faith

“In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one.” Ephesians 6:16

This verse is in the middle of the description of the Armor of God that Paul tells us to put on in the book of Ephesians. When we put on the Armor of God, we have put on the belt of truth, and the shoes of the Gospel of peace. But we “take up” the shield of faith. Look at that, it is an action word. Now I know that putting on the belt and the shoes take action too. We have to do those things. We have to think on the righteousness that we have through the blood of Jesus. The way to do that is to know the gospel of peace. We have to know God’s word to really have the gospel of peace. But even with knowing our place under the blood of Jesus and with knowing His peace, we still must take up the shield of faith. We must actively hold our shield in place to “extinguish the flaming darts of the evil one.” 

The explanation of the armor to the people in Ephesians that Paul was speaking to would be easy for them to imagine as they had a picture of what all of this armor would look like. They also knew that in battles that there would be arrows or darts that were set aflame and shot at them by the enemy. Therefore, they could picture the warrior actively taking up his shield and having to protect himself from arrows that were truly set aflame. Paul using these word pictures was to let them know the seriousness of the attacks that would still be coming at them even after knowing their place in the kingdom and knowing the gospel. We would love to think that once we become a Christian that Satan is just going to leave us alone. Right? But he doesn’t, unfortunately! But the good news is when we put on our armor of God it comes with a shield of faith. 

You see Satan will continue to play with your mind. He will give you thoughts and feelings, he will fuel your imagination with fear and with lies and he will hurl all of these things at you until, if we are not careful the rest of our armor will get stiff and rusty. But when you take up that shield of faith and you turn them back on Satan’s head you can stand tall in your armor. 

Faith is a very important element of our armor. You have to exercise it, sometimes those darts may be coming at you so much that you have to take extra steps for it. I know I have been there. Sometimes that shield just gets heavy doesn’t it? So you have to take extra steps to keep that shield up. When the devil’s lies and torments begin to take over, watch what you are putting in. For instance, when I feel myself getting overwhelmed with what ifs and I feel my imagination run wild and I know it’s because Satan is hurling a few darts, I will turn on some praise music as my background noise. If I have something very specific that I need to keep in my mind to pray, I will write out verses on sticky notes and paste them everywhere. All of these are the ways that I take up my shield of faith. It’s active, it’s purposeful. We have the power to stand against those fiery darts my friends, we just have to take up that shield and to put on our armor. We need to know where we stand in truth, we need to know the gospel of peace and we take up that shield and stand and extinguish those darts coming at us. 

Asking in Faith

“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.” James 1:5-6

When we ask God for something, sometimes we get a yes, sometimes we get a no and sometimes we get a not yet, because His timing is way better than ours. But one thing you can always count on a yes from God if you ask Him for, is wisdom. But you have to know that He will give it. You don’t doubt Him for this one. He will give you wisdom to walk out your circumstance or situation. He will give you wisdom to understand His word. He will give you wisdom wherever you need it. But you must ask and you will receive. 

I remember in my early adult years when I really began to study the Bible. I would read it at times and I had no clue what I had just read. That is also back before you had dozens of translations at your fingertips. I would read and I really had a hard time understanding. Then I found this verse. 

“The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple” Psalm 19:7

And I truly started praying for God to give me understanding of His word. I am a simple minded woman and I needed His wisdom to decipher and to understand. And His word said He would make wise the simple! I would never be so bold as to say I understand fully. But His word really began to open up to me. And not only did I begin to understand it more, as I understood it more, I fell in love with His word more and more. I love God’s word, I love reading the Bible, I get excited when the written, God breathed words breathe fresh life into me!  It never gets old! God has given me a love for His word and it really is my desire for all to have the same love. 

God has also given me wisdom in circumstances and situations. When I reign myself in and ask God to direct my steps, and my thoughts, he will do it. He does it every time. But I can’t doubt that He will give me that direction. James’ description of being tossed by the wind is exactly how my insides feel when I am not leaning into Him for wisdom in my circumstances. 

I like to read other translations just to get different perspectives. I always stick with a translation like the ESV, NIV or NKJV at the beginning of my study. But I will support it with the Message, or NLT or The Passion Translation. I read these to get a different wording. I really liked the Message translation of these verses. 

“If you don’t know what you’re doing, pray to the Father. He loves to help. You’ll get his help, and won’t be condescended to when you ask for it. Ask boldly, believingly, without a second thought. People who ‘worry their prayers’ are like wind-whipped waves.” James 1:5-7 (MSG)

I just like the plain English that this translation puts it. Many times I ask for His help when I don’t know which way to turn. And yes sometimes it’s hard to ask Him and then not “worry my prayers”. But that is not how we are supposed to ask. We should ask Him, lay them at His feet and then wait in FAITH for His direction to show us what we need to do next. 

Faith Grows

“So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” Romans 10:17

We have been talking about faith. Many people want to know how to build their faith. Faith is one of those things that will build over time as we follow Jesus. But there is something you can do to help build it. And it is really very simple. It’s this. Open the word! 

I became a Christian in my teens and I went to church and I would fall off, and I would come back to church. I truly believe that I gave my heart to Jesus at that time, but I had no clue what it meant to follow Him daily at that time. Reading the Bible was hard for a girl who had only attended church on Easter Sunday, Christmas and VBS for most of her life, with occasional short seasons of going regularly. When I was younger, I would decide I was going to go to church but since my family didn’t attend regularly I would walk down the street to the church right around the corner. I would have to get special permission to pass the stop sign as that was our boundary and the church was on the next corner. But usually after a VBS that I had attended I would feel the pull to start attending and I would walk to church. But it seems all it would take was a rainy or a cold Sunday where walking was more of a hindrance and I might fall off of my church attendance. Until the next big event they had that I would get invited to and my passion to attend church would be renewed. But in my teens when I could drive to things and attend more regularly I remember giving my heart to Jesus and being baptized. Then I would go more regularly but still I really knew nothing of walking daily with Him. That didn’t come until my adult years. 

But even as a young adult for many years I was a Sunday morning, Sunday night, Wednesday night Christian. My Bible might lay on a shelf from Sunday to Wednesday, Wednesday to Sunday and might get opened but might not. Over time, I began to teach Sunday school classes and/or children’s choir and different things around the church and I would at least have to study a bit to know how to teach it. I learned a lot of Bible stories that way, out of necessity. 

I remember when God really began growing my faith though and it came through some tough times and some things that I really began to seek His direction for my life. And the way that faith grew was from studying His word and hearing His word and seeking His word. You see it’s us that complicate this Christian life so much. It’s us who beg God to grow our faith and to show us the way but many times, it’s a wonder if we even open the word and seek. I am so grateful to the grace of God on my life. You see all of the little jaunts I made, not attending church, before and after I became a Christian could have taken me over the rails. But God in his love, grace and mercy kept drawing me back to Him, to His church and to His people. My faith grew because I kept returning to hear the good news. My heart knew what my head didn’t. Many times as I was drawn to the church and the people of God, I found God! I found my faith because I kept opening my ears and eventually His word. 

If you need your faith to grow, the first thing you do be sure you are attending a church that preaches the gospel. I remember a pastor saying in a sermon one time “it is just as much your responsibility to know if what I am preaching is true as it is mine to preach what is true.” That was probably one of the things that set my heart to His word more than any other thing because I realized at that point in my life he could have preached anything and I would not just know if it was in the Bible or not. That brings us to the second thing you do. Get in the word. Study it for yourself. If you don’t understand it, ask Him to give you understanding. I promise you if you hear the word and study the word your faith will grow!

Faith and Joy

“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” James 1:2-4

This is the first time and may be the only time you will hear me say THIS is not one of my favorite passages of scripture. In fact if I am being truthful, I have struggled with this scripture a lot over the years. I have honestly shook my fist at it at times. I do not want to count the trials and hard things that have come my way as joy. In fact I have felt like this so much to the point I almost skipped it when talking about faith. But I really know that I can’t. 

I can’t skip it for many reasons. The first being that I do believe that all scripture is God breathed and you can’t just pull out the ones you like. (2 Timothy 3:16)

But also because I have lived it. First off the passage does not say to count it joy IF you meet trials but WHEN you meet trials. You see, we know that life on earth will be like that. I hate to be the bearer of bad news but if life is rocking along and you are not meeting some trials now, the fact is that they will come. But you probably already know that. Life has a way of knocking us down, doesn’t it? All of us eventually will have stuff in our lives that are our trials. They may look different, but the fact is they will come. Life on earth is not perfect because we live in a fallen world. Adam and Eve left the garden a long time ago. So we know they are coming. But I have always looked at this verse and in my mind I wanted to shut down because I didn’t see how I could count the hard stuff of life as Joy. 

But it’s looking beyond the trial that will bring the joy. The verse says the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. Some translations say patience, some say perseverance. You see it’s not the trials that will produce the faith, but it’s when we let our faith stand up to the trial that will produce the steadfastness in us, the patience, the perseverance. It’s the faith that we have taken the time to build, the faith we have built through our relationship with Him that will help us to stand up to the trial. This is why it is so important to build your faith when the season is a good season of rest. So you know where to go when the trials come. Because if you have that foundation of faith, the trials will not tear us down and my friends that’s when we can meet those trials with joy. Knowing that Jesus, the one who saved us through our faith, He has whatever we are walking in, in the palm of His hand. 

And when we have built our faith and we can stand up to the trial, and it produces the steadfastness in us, in Jesus eyes we are perfect and complete and lacking in nothing. That’s where the joy comes in, knowing that our Father, our Savior is pleased with us. 

Why did I know that I couldn’t skip this verse, that I have struggled with so many times over the years? Because I really do know that the hard things that I have had to lay at Jesus feet, the things that have tested my faith have produced a steadfastness in me FOR Him. I know that I walk more hand in hand with Jesus every day because of the times I couldn’t take a step without Him. And walking with Him is where my joy is!

Perfect Faith

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:1-2

Originally I was only going to look at verse 2 for today. But in my mind it is not a stand alone verse. It continues a sentence. When that happens I like to go back and see what the previous verse says. I always loved these verses and as I study and get into them, I love them even more. First note, what is the therefore there for? Well the previous chapter is the faith chapter, where the author of Hebrews lays out of all of the champions of the faith! So we know that he is referring to those champions when he says “therefore”! We are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses. These stories of these champions of faith are not just there to entertain us. They are not just stories. They are testimonies of real people who served a Holy God and held onto their faith and how they were blessed by that. I love faith stories. I love the faith stories that I read in the Bible and I love faith stories in the present day. They encourage me to keep my own faith. 

Keeping that faith, we are to lay aside every weight, and sin. What is weighing you down? Is it sin? Is it worry (which could be called sin?), is your worry over financial strains, medical diagnoses, the world we live in today, Covid? Is it worry over a family member or family circumstance? Because we hear and know these faith stories we should be able to lay aside our weight of worry and sin. I know it is easier said than done, oh how I know. But that is what this verse encourages us to do. 

And because of these stories of faith, we are to run the race that is set before us. We each have a race. Our races look different but mind you each one is hard. If you aren’t in a hard place right now, praise Jesus for it and keep on keeping on because your life can encourage someone who does happen to be in a hard race. But how do we stay on course, how do we continue to run? 

We look to Jesus! He is the founder and perfecter of our faith. We can have faith because of Him. We are saved through our faith in Him and our faith is perfected in Him. I know that I would be a wretched woman if not for Him and what He has done for me. I know that there are days I couldn’t get out of bed in the morning if not for Him. But my faith in Him, my faith that He has got me keeps me running this race. Jesus endured the cross, He kept His eyes on the joy that would come from the cross. And because he endured it, He is now seated at the right hand of God and we can run our race knowing that He has finished the ultimate fight for us. My faith is found only in Jesus and my faith is perfect because of Jesus! 

Justified through Faith

“Yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law because by works of the law no one will be.” Galatians 2:16

In this verse Paul was reminding Peter of some facts about Jesus and works and faith. I know that this verse is one that at times in the past I might have read and just skimmed over because it has so many words I didn’t quite understand. But when you unpack it, it really is not complicated at all. It’s just Paul’s ways of writing. 

Peter had been playing both sides of the fence so to speak between the Jews and the Gentiles. When he was with the Gentiles, he wanted to act like a Gentile and when the Jews came around he pulled back from the Gentiles. Paul has rebuked Peter and let him know that he was not acting in step with the “truth of the gospel” (v. 14). Paul is reminding Peter that we are not saved by our works and by the law, but through our faith in Jesus. We are not justified by our works. Our works for Jesus are not what makes us righteous in Him. We are made righteous only because of our faith in Jesus. 

In other words all this striving for perfection, and keeping of rules and don’t do this, but do that, will never make us good enough. It doesn’t matter how many bible studies you take, or Sunday school classes you teach, or if you sing in the choir or the praise team or just from your place in the congregation on Sunday morning. The thing that will make you righteous before God is your faith in Jesus. Now don’t think I am saying that those other things are not good things. They are, I love bible study, I love singing praise to Him. But if I am taking a bible study or leading a bible study, I want it to be because I want to know Him more, not so I can be seen taking that study. If I am singing, I want it to point to my faith in Him, not so people can think of me. 

There is a verse in Isaiah that goes like this. 

“All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags.” Isaiah 64:6

In other words there is nothing we can DO that would ever be good enough to get into God’s kingdom. Whatever good we do is like a filthy rag to God without the blood of Jesus covering it. For me, that releases me so much. Because when you struggle with the feeling you are not enough but that because of Jesus you are made enough, I can stop striving to BE enough and to just love Him. I pray with every fiber of my being that when I write, when I sing, when I paint, when I just talk to a friend that Jesus can be seen in me. Because without Him, I will never be able to be good enough, I can’t do enough. But with Him, because of my faith in who He is and who I am in Him, I am justified, I am enough! 


“And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.” Hebrews 11:6

This little verse is tucked inside what is known as the Faith chapter in Hebrews. This chapter tells of many of the saints of old and how they had faith in God and how they were rewarded because of it. But this little verse is not just a lesson for those saints, it is a lesson for us. God expects us to have faith and for us to expect rewards from Him because of that faith. 

But what is it about this faith? This verse starts with “without faith it is impossible to please him”. It doesn’t say without faith its going to be hard for you to please God or difficult to please God. No it says it is IMPOSSIBLE to please God without faith. Wow! That’s a pretty tall order. That definitely puts a new spin on this faith thing. We learned yesterday that it is our faith that leads us to our salvation and now we know too that we can’t please God without it. 

But sometimes it’s hard to keep the faith isn’t it? When I am waiting on an answer for a prayer I have been praying for a long time, I will ask god to let me see Him in the process. I did this just the other day. I have something I keep laying down and as I grow weary at times, I will simply say “Lord I need to see you, my faith is getting shaky, can I just see you are still here.” And if I sit back and pay attention, I always get the answer. It may be in a conversation or a turn of events. Please know the answers are not always going to come in a Damascus road type experience. Sometimes the answers are coming in a process. We just have to pay attention and ask Him to let us see His hand. 

So how do we grow our faith? Well I think the rest of this verse leads us to that. 

“whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and rewards those who seek him” 

Your faith will build as you spend time with Him. Bottom line. As you spend time with Him you want to please Him and your belief in Him and what He wants to do for you grows and then He rewards that time. For instance, if you think you don’t have time for a quiet time, commit to Him 30 minutes and ask Him to redeem that time for you. You will be surprised at what you can accomplish later in the day that may have taken you double the time. If you want your faith to grow, draw near to God, believe Him for whatever is concerning you and seek Him! Seek His direction for your life, seek His will for your life, seek out His heart. As you do your faith will grow and as your faith grows you can know that you are pleasing God and He will reward that. The rewards I have received from time spent with Him are too numerous to count.