Encouragement for today Proverbs 31

E September 20, 2019

Hope When Trusting God is Hard
BINU SAMUEL

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“Casting all your cares [all your anxieties, all your worries, and all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares about you [with deepest affection, and watches over you very carefully].” 1 Peter 5:7 (AMP)

My friend and I can laugh about it now, but it wasn’t very funny years ago, when it all went down.

I was in my last year of college, tired from a busy day and getting ready for bed when it hit me … I have clinical rotations in the morning and forgot to wash my lab coat! Thankfully, my best friend, Shyni, who was also my next-door neighbor, was planning to do her laundry that evening. She was more than happy to add my dirty coat to her load.

What a relief! Now I could rest … or not.

Unfortunately, the “I like to be in control” side of me got the best of me that evening. I couldn’t help but periodically check in with my friend. Was my lab coat in the washer? Dryer? Rinse cycle? Spin cycle?

Umm … none of the above.

My lab coat hadn’t even made its way down to the basement laundry room!

“Don’t worry, I’ll get it done,” my friend reassured me. But with no immediate action behind her words of reassurance, I wasn’t feeling very reassured.

Before I knew it, I was back in her apartment, and these words were coming out of my mouth: “Can I please have my lab coat back? I think I’ll wash it myself.”

Needless to say, she was annoyed by my lack of confidence in her — and I was annoyed by her lack of urgency.

Talk about tension. It was no longer a lab coat issue; it was now a trust issue. After all, isn’t that what most relationships are all about?

Trust.

Throughout the Bible, God asks His children, in so many words, Do you trust Me?

Do you trust me, O Israel, to only collect a day’s worth of manna? (Exodus 16:15-20)
Do you trust me, Achan, to not collect the spoils of the land of Jericho? (Joshua 6:18)
Do you trust me, Gideon, to stop hiding in the wine press? (Judges 6:11)
Do you trust me, Joseph, to marry the woman with child, conceived by the Holy Spirit? (Matthew 1:18-25)

It’s easy to say we trust God as we lay our cares at the altar on Sunday, only to begin pacing the floors on Monday. Then, by Tuesday, we’re asking for our “dirty lab coats” back — which can represent any number of burdens — and the weight of those cares is once again on our shoulders.

1 Peter 5:7a tells us to begin “casting all your cares [all your anxieties, all your worries, and all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares about you [with deepest affection, and watches over you very carefully].” The word “cast” refers to intentionally relocating an object. God wants us to hand Him anything that weighs us down. But we have to be willing to hand it over … and then let Him handle it.

Shyni and I had been friends since we were 5 years old. If there was any friend I could trust, it was Shyni. Our way of doing things might have been different, but in the end, she always got the job done.

The Bible tells us God’s ways are also different than ours. His ways are higher. That’s just one of the ways He offers hope when trusting Him is so hard.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8-9, ESV).

Friends, if anyone can handle our stuff — our cares, our fears and even our dirty laundry — it’s God, our heavenly Father.

Cast your cares on Him, and leave them with Him.

Heavenly Father, even when it feels like there’s a delay, help me to never doubt You have my best interest in mind. Give me divine wisdom in handling whatever situations are weighing me down, and help me release my cares to You. Thank You for Your unconditional love. I love You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

TRUTH FOR TODAY: 2 Peter 3:9, “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” (NIV)

Psalm 33:4, “For the word of the LORD holds true, and we can trust everything he does.” (NLT)

Psalm 55:22, “Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.” (NIV)

RELATED RESOURCES: Schedules. Routines. Plans. Alarm clocks. Life can feel a little crazy in the fall! Shop our fall sale, and find products designed to help you relax and refocus on God during the busyness of the season. Shop the sale!

CONNECT: Want to see even more daily encouragement from Proverbs 31 Ministries? Connect with us on Facebook today!

REFLECT AND RESPOND: Is there something that’s been weighing you down? Whether you’re in your car, getting ready for your day, or about to go to bed, verbalize those cares out loud to God and release your cares to Him.

When are you most prone to struggle with trusting God? How do you cope with that? What are your go-to Scripture verses? Let us know your thoughts in today’s comments section!

© 2019 by Binu Samuel. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 31 Ministries
630 Team Rd., Suite 100
Matthews, NC 28105
www.Proverbs31.org

EXPERIENCE LIFE TODAY

EXPERENSING GOD TODAY.png

Then Jacob woke up and said, “Surely the LORD is in this place, and I wasn’t even aware of it.” He was afraid and said, “What an awesome place this is! It is none other than the house of God—the gateway to heaven!” — Genesis 28:16-17

Jacob, on the run from his brother, alone in inhospitable territory, settled down for the night with a rock for a pillow—hardly the most comfortable set of circumstances! But he had brought this situation on himself. We have no knowledge of his thoughts as he settled down for the night, but we do know that he could not have anticipated what happened. In a dream he was given a pictorial reminder that God and his angels are actively involved in the affairs of men on earth. The Lord told him in that dream that he could count on the Lord’s presence at all times and that the Lord had great plans for him that he was committed to bringing to pass.

On waking, Jacob exclaimed, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I wasn’t even aware of it” (Gen. 28:16). It is not surprising that he was unaware of the Lord’s presence, because no doubt he was absorbed with his own schemes and anxieties. It took a dramatic dream when he was all alone to arrest his attention and focus his mind on the presence of God.

Amazing, isn’t it, that we men who think we know so much don’t even know the presence of the Lord at times? In our world there are so many distractions—far more than in Jacob’s day. The man who spends all his time amid the tensions and clamors of life may not be conscious of the Lord’s presence, particularly if he is carrying the cares and consequences of past actions. The man whose conscience is weighed down with his actions and whose life is burdened with the consequences is not usually super conscious of the Lord. But the Lord is present nevertheless.

We men need to find a quiet place where the Lord can speak the truth to us in love. If the only time he can arrest our attention is while we are sleeping, then we are probably too busy and our minds are too full of “the cares and riches and pleasures of this life” (Luke 8:14). But if he does arrest our attention, we will be struck with the awesomeness of the Lord. And then no doubt we will, like Jacob, respond with a refreshed commitment of service and allegiance to the God who was there all the time but we didn’t know it.

For further study: Genesis 28:10-22

 

Excerpted from The One Year Devotions for Men, Copyright ©2000 by Stuart Briscoe. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers. All rights reserved.

 

 

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Our Unspeakable Privilege

 

Dily devotional jhon piper

God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” (Exodus 3:14)

One implication of the magnificent name, I AM WHO I AM, is that this infinite, absolute, self-determining God has drawn near to us in Jesus Christ.

In John 8:56–58 Jesus is answering the criticism of the Jewish leaders. He says, “Your father Abraham rejoiced that he was to see my day; he saw it and was glad.” The Jews then said to him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?” Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly! I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.”

Could Jesus have taken any more exalted words upon his lips? When Jesus said, “Before Abraham was, I AM,” he took up all the majestic truth of the name of God, wrapped it in the humility of servanthood, offered himself to atone for all our rebellion, and made a way for us to see the glory of God without fear.

In Jesus Christ we who are born of God have the unspeakable privilege of knowing Yahweh as our Father — I AM WHO I AM — the God

  • who exists
  • whose personality and power is owing solely to himself
  • who never changes
  • from whom all power and energy in the universe flows
  • and to whom all creation should conform its life.

May those who know the name of God put their trust in him.

 

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This devotional is written by John Piper. For more information about Piper’s ministry, writing, and books, visit DesiringGod.org.
 

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DAILY AUDIO BIBLE

 

 

Audio Daily BIble To hear Brian Hardin read today’s Scripture selection, click here and then click the audio button in the top right.

Isaiah 33:10-36:22

10 “Now I will rise up,” says the Lord.
“Now I will exalt myself;
now I will magnify myself.
11 You conceive straw,
you give birth to chaff;
your breath is a fire that destroys you.
12 The nations will be burned to ashes;
like thorn bushes that have been cut down, they will be set on fire.
13 You who are far away, listen to what I have done!
You who are close by, recognize my strength!”
14 Sinners are afraid in Zion;
panic grips the godless.
They say, ‘Who among us can coexist with destructive fire?
Who among us can coexist with unquenchable fire?’
15 The one who lives uprightly
and speaks honestly;
the one who refuses to profit from oppressive measures
and rejects a bribe;
the one who does not plot violent crimes
and does not seek to harm others—
16 This is the person who will live in a secure place;
he will find safety in the rocky, mountain strongholds;
he will have food
and a constant supply of water.
17 You will see a king in his splendor;
you will see a wide land.
18 Your mind will recall the terror you experienced,
and you will ask yourselves, “Where is the scribe?
Where is the one who weighs the money?
Where is the one who counts the towers?”
19 You will no longer see a defiant people
whose language you do not comprehend,
whose derisive speech you do not understand.
20 Look at Zion, the city where we hold religious festivals!
You will see Jerusalem,
a peaceful settlement,
a tent that stays put;
its stakes will never be pulled up;
none of its ropes will snap in two.
21 Instead the Lord will rule there as our mighty king.
Rivers and wide streams will flow through it;
no war galley will enter;
no large ships will sail through.
22 For the Lord, our ruler,
the Lord, our commander,
the Lord, our king—
he will deliver us.
23 Though at this time your ropes are slack,
the mast is not secured,
and the sail is not unfurled,
at that time you will divide up a great quantity of loot;
even the lame will drag off plunder.
24 No resident of Zion will say, “I am ill”;
the people who live there will have their sin forgiven.

The Lord Will Judge Edom

34 Come near, you nations, and listen!
Pay attention, you people!
The earth and everything it contains must listen,
the world and everything that lives in it.
For the Lord is angry at all the nations
and furious with all their armies.
He will annihilate them and slaughter them.
Their slain will be left unburied,
their corpses will stink;
the hills will soak up their blood.
All the stars in the sky will fade away,
the sky will roll up like a scroll;
all its stars will wither,
like a leaf withers and falls from a vine
or a fig withers and falls from a tree.
He says, “Indeed, my sword has slaughtered heavenly powers.
Look, it now descends on Edom,
on the people I will annihilate in judgment.”
The Lord’s sword is dripping with blood,
it is covered with fat;
it drips with the blood of young rams and goats
and is covered with the fat of rams’ kidneys.
For the Lord is holding a sacrifice in Bozrah,
a bloody slaughter in the land of Edom.
Wild oxen will be slaughtered along with them,
as well as strong bulls.
Their land is drenched with blood,
their soil is covered with fat.
For the Lord has planned a day of revenge,
a time when he will repay Edom for her hostility toward Zion.
Edom’s streams will be turned into pitch
and her soil into brimstone;
her land will become burning pitch.
10 Night and day it will burn;
its smoke will ascend continually.
Generation after generation it will be a wasteland
and no one will ever pass through it again.
11 Owls and wild animals will live there,
all kinds of wild birds will settle in it.
The Lord will stretch out over her
the measuring line of ruin
and the plumb line of destruction.
12 Her nobles will have nothing left to call a kingdom
and all her officials will disappear.
13 Her fortresses will be overgrown with thorns;
thickets and weeds will grow in her fortified cities.
Jackals will settle there;
ostriches will live there.
14 Wild animals and wild dogs will congregate there;
wild goats will bleat to one another.
Yes, nocturnal animals will rest there
and make for themselves a nest.
15 Owls will make nests and lay eggs there;
they will hatch them and protect them.
Yes, hawks will gather there,
each with its mate.
16 Carefully read the scroll of the Lord!
Not one of these creatures will be missing,
none will lack a mate.
For the Lord has issued the decree,
and his own spirit gathers them.
17 He assigns them their allotment;
he measures out their assigned place.
They will live there permanently;
they will settle in it through successive generations.

The Land and Its People Are Transformed

35 Let the desert and dry region be happy;
let the wilderness rejoice and bloom like a lily!
Let it richly bloom;
let it rejoice and shout with delight!
It is given the grandeur of Lebanon,
the splendor of Carmel and Sharon.
They will see the grandeur of the Lord,
the splendor of our God.
Strengthen the hands that have gone limp,
steady the knees that shake!
Tell those who panic,
“Be strong! Do not fear!
Look, your God comes to avenge!
With divine retribution he comes to deliver you.”
Then blind eyes will open,
deaf ears will hear.
Then the lame will leap like a deer,
the mute tongue will shout for joy;
for water will flow in the desert,
streams in the wilderness.
The dry soil will become a pool of water,
the parched ground springs of water.
Where jackals once lived and sprawled out,
grass, reeds, and papyrus will grow.
A thoroughfare will be there—
it will be called the Way of Holiness.
The unclean will not travel on it;
it is reserved for those authorized to use it—
fools will not stray into it.
No lions will be there,
no ferocious wild animals will be on it—
they will not be found there.
Those delivered from bondage will travel on it,
10 those whom the Lord has ransomed will return that way.
They will enter Zion with a happy shout.
Unending joy will crown them,
happiness and joy will overwhelm them;
grief and suffering will disappear.

Sennacherib Invades Judah

36 In the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah’s reign, King Sennacherib of Assyria marched up against all the fortified cities of Judah and captured them. The king of Assyria sent his chief adviser from Lachish to King Hezekiah in Jerusalem, along with a large army. The chief adviser stood at the conduit of the upper pool which is located on the road to the field where they wash and dry cloth. Eliakim son of Hilkiah, the palace supervisor, accompanied by Shebna the scribe and Joah son of Asaph, the secretary, went out to meet him.

The chief adviser said to them, “Tell Hezekiah: ‘This is what the great king, the king of Assyria, says: “What is your source of confidence? Your claim to have a strategy and military strength is just empty talk. In whom are you trusting, that you would dare to rebel against me? Look, you must be trusting in Egypt, that splintered reed staff. If someone leans on it for support, it punctures his hand and wounds him. That is what Pharaoh king of Egypt does to all who trust in him! Perhaps you will tell me, ‘We are trusting in the Lord our God.’ But Hezekiah is the one who eliminated his high places and altars and then told the people of Judah and Jerusalem, ‘You must worship at this altar.’ Now make a deal with my master the king of Assyria, and I will give you two thousand horses, provided you can find enough riders for them. Certainly you will not refuse one of my master’s minor officials and trust in Egypt for chariots and horsemen. 10 Furthermore it was by the command of the Lord that I marched up against this land to destroy it. The Lord told me, ‘March up against this land and destroy it!’”’”

11 Eliakim, Shebna, and Joah said to the chief adviser, “Speak to your servants in Aramaic, for we understand it. Don’t speak with us in the Judahite dialect in the hearing of the people who are on the wall.” 12 But the chief adviser said, “My master did not send me to speak these words only to your master and to you. His message is also for the men who sit on the wall, for they will eat their own excrement and drink their own urine along with you!”

13 The chief adviser then stood there and called out loudly in the Judahite dialect, “Listen to the message of the great king, the king of Assyria. 14 This is what the king says: ‘Don’t let Hezekiah mislead you, for he is not able to rescue you! 15 Don’t let Hezekiah talk you into trusting in the Lord by saying, “The Lord will certainly rescue us; this city will not be handed over to the king of Assyria.” 16 Don’t listen to Hezekiah!’ For this is what the king of Assyria says, ‘Send me a token of your submission and surrender to me. Then each of you may eat from his own vine and fig tree and drink water from his own cistern, 17 until I come and take you to a land just like your own—a land of grain and new wine, a land of bread and vineyards. 18 Hezekiah is misleading you when he says, “The Lord will rescue us.” Has any of the gods of the nations rescued his land from the power of the king of Assyria? 19 Where are the gods of Hamath and Arpad? Where are the gods of Sepharvaim? Indeed, did any gods rescue Samaria from my power? 20 Who among all the gods of these lands have rescued their lands from my power? So how can the Lord rescue Jerusalem from my power?’” 21 They were silent and did not respond, for the king had ordered, “Don’t respond to him.”

22 Eliakim son of Hilkiah, the palace supervisor, accompanied by Shebna the scribe and Joah son of Asaph, the secretary, went to Hezekiah with their clothes torn in grief and reported to him what the chief adviser had said.

New English Translation (NET)

NET Bible® copyright ©1996-2006 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. http://netbible.com All rights reserved.

Galatians 5:13-26

Practice Love

13 For you were called to freedom, brothers and sisters; only do not use your freedom as an opportunity to indulge your flesh, but through love serve one another. 14 For the whole law can be summed up in a single commandment, namely, “You must love your neighbor as yourself.” 15 However, if you continually bite and devour one another, beware that you are not consumed by one another. 16 But I say, live by the Spirit and you will not carry out the desires of the flesh. 17 For the flesh has desires that are opposed to the Spirit, and the Spirit has desires that are opposed to the flesh, for these are in opposition to each other, so that you cannot do what you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. 19 Now the works of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity, depravity, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hostilities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish rivalries, dissensions, factions, 21 envying, murder, drunkenness, carousing, and similar things. I am warning you, as I had warned you before: Those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God!

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Now those who belong to Christ have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also behave in accordance with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, being jealous of one another.

New English Translation (NET)

NET Bible® copyright ©1996-2006 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. http://netbible.com All rights reserved.

Psalm 64

Psalm 64

For the music director; a psalm of David.

Listen to me, O God, as I offer my lament!
Protect my life from the enemy’s terrifying attacks.
Hide me from the plots of evil men,
from the crowd of evildoers.
They sharpen their tongues like a sword;
they aim their arrow, a slanderous charge,
in order to shoot down the innocent in secluded places.
They shoot at him suddenly and are unafraid of retaliation.
They encourage one another to carry out their evil deed.
They plan how to hide snares,
and boast, “Who will see them?”
They devise unjust schemes;
they disguise a well-conceived plot.
Man’s inner thoughts cannot be discovered.
But God will shoot at them;
suddenly they will be wounded by an arrow.
Their slander will bring about their demise.
All who see them will shudder,
and all people will fear.
They will proclaim what God has done,
and reflect on his deeds.
10 The godly will rejoice in the Lord
and take shelter in him.
All the morally upright will boast.

New English Translation (NET)

NET Bible® copyright ©1996-2006 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. http://netbible.com All rights reserved.

Proverbs 23:23

23 Acquire truth and do not sell it—
wisdom, and discipline, and understanding.

New English Translation (NET)

NET Bible® copyright ©1996-2006 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. http://netbible.com All rights reserved.

 

 

 

 

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