Do You Rely on Your Own Understanding?


IMG_3840Last week we talked about resolutions, goals and seeking God for direction.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight.”

Proverbs 3:5-6

So how do we do that?

I see a few simple success guidelines here:

  1. Stop trying to figure things out. God sees and knows far beyond my capability so don’t rely on my understanding of things.
  2. Before I consider anything, acknowledge God and his wisdom first. Then ask him.
  3. Trust God with everything in me. Even when I’m uncertain about circumstances, I can KNOW that God is God and he’s in control. He’ll work it out.
  4. Believe that when I do the above, God will make every twisted thing turn out straight. Some situations can look pretty messy, but God sees a bigger view — like from on top of the maze we’re in.  Imagine him saying “go left, now right, okay five steps straight ahead” – you get the idea.

I believe God loves us and wants us to succeed.

Therefore, he’s wanting us to look to him, ask for his direction and follow him when he tells us which way to go.

For more on this, check out Pastor Kyle Jackson’s message here. I think he does a good job of explaining how to hear God when he’s directing us.

https://subsplash.com/nextlevelchurch/media/mi/+vvvbzf5

Are You Stuck?


117Sometimes in our journey, we feel stuck.

Maybe we are facing a unscalable wall of circumstantial impossibility. Or we feel like we are dragging a wagon full of stuff through the sand at the beach, inching along as sweat drips down our face. The ocean looks so far away. Will we ever get there?

Slow going at best. Immovable at its worst.

Circumstances can mire us into that sense of wandering lost and confused through wilderness. Sometimes obstacles in front of us seem insurmountable. Remember Jericho? But I heard a message recently that breathed life into that desert place and gave me hope for moving my life forward into promise in spite of obstacles.

Well worth the watch. Hope you find it as helpful as I did.

 

Let me know what you think in the comments below. What’s your Jericho?

Do You Have Hope?


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Tamera Lynn Kraft

This week’s post is written by my featured author, Tamera Lynn Kraft.
She’s given us an encouraging piece about hope and a brief excerpt from her novella, Resurrection of Hope.

Often, when life feels stuck or circumstances seem to press in on us, we can lose hope. But Tamara points out that our true hope is in Jesus. With God nothing is impossible.

We all hope for things.

If our flowers need watering, we hope it will rain. If we have a picnic scheduled, we hope it will be sunny. We all hope life will be easy. Hope in the Bible is different than this kind of hope of wishing something would happen or wanting something.

In the New Testament, the word hope is translated from the word elpizo. Elpizo means confidently trusting in and waiting for something or someone.

Hebrews 16:19 calls hope an anchor for our souls.

When our hope is in Christ instead of in our circumstances, that kind of confident expectation brings us a peace the world can’t understand and a joy that doesn’t depend on everything happening exactly right. We can rely upon Christ to work things out for our good.

That relieves us of the pressure to fix things we can’t fix.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.     Romans 15:13 (ESV)

My Easter novella, Resurrection of Hope, is about two broken people, Vivian and Henry, who find hope together that only Christ gives. At one point, Vivian visits a friend named Hope who has just lost a child. Hope was told she couldn’t have children.

Here’s a short excerpt from that scene….

Vivian swallowed. “I… I don’t know what to say. I expected to find you distraught after what happened, but you seem to be… almost cheerful.”

Hope’s eyes closed and her head tilted back into the pillow. “I have my moments. Trust me.” She opened her eyes and smiled. “I keep my hope in Jesus Christ, and He gives me the peace I need to get through this.”

Vivian held back a snort. “How can you of all people talk of hope knowing you’ll never have any children?”

Hope pressed her lips together as she propped herself up on her pillow. “If my hope rested on having children, then you’re right. There would be no reason, but my hope is the kind they talk about in Psalms. ‘But now, Lord, what do I look for? My hope is in you.'”

Resurrection of Hope

She thought he was her knight in shining armor, but will a marriage of convenience prove her wrong?
After Vivian’s fiancé dies in the Great War, she thinks her life is over. But Henry, her fiancé’s best friend, comes to the rescue offering a marriage of convenience. He claims he promised his friend he would take care of her. She grows to love him, but she knows it will never work because he never shows any love for her.
Henry adores Vivian and has pledged to take care of her, but he won’t risk their friendship by letting her know. She’s still in love with the man who died in the Great War. He won’t risk heartache by revealing his true emotions.

Get this book.

 

Available April 11, 2017

Tamera Lynn Kraft has always loved adventures. She loves to write historical fiction set in the United States because there are so many stories in American history. There are strong elements of faith, romance, suspense and adventure in her stories. She has received 2nd place in the NOCW contest, 3rd place TARA writer’s contest, and is a finalist in the Frasier Writing Contest and has other novellas in print. In April, her new novel, Alice’s Notions will be released. She’s been married for 38 years to the love of her life, Rick, and has two married adult children and two grandchildren. You can contact Tamera on her website at http://tameralynnkraft.net