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Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Judging God and Yourself

Have you ever felt like God has failed you? Perhaps you believe He made you a promise that He didn't keep. Perhaps your whole world has been turned upside down, and your heart is broken. He is your Father and He is supposed to care for you. Why did He let something happen that you believed with all your heart He would prevent? If your hurt escalates, one of two things happen. You become outwardly angry with God and turn from Him, or you internalize that anger and feel guilty for your anger. Either way you end up at the same location. Unforgiveness has taken root.

Do you have trouble forgiving God for what you believe is His failure, and have trouble forgiving yourself for being angry at Him? “Do not judge,” Jesus instructs, “and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven” (Luke 6:37). “I can't judge God” you tell yourself, “so I can't be angry at Him for failing me. It is wrong for me to believe He has failed me!” So here you are. You don't want to be angry at Him so you become angry at your own inability to forgive Him. In condemning Him, you feel condemned. A horrible cycle of self-destruction begins.

You have a choice what to do with the disillusionment, the hurt, and the anger. If you allow that hurt to define who you are, anger will immobilize you. You are then in bondage to your inability to forgive God and forgive yourself. “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom,” Paul writes (2 Corinthians 3:17). The Holy Spirit invites you to acknowledge the hurt that caused the anger so you might forgive. God does not want you in bondage to your hurt or your disillusionment over what you believe is a failed promise. That hurt and anger can become your own failure. Admit your anger. Admit you have judged God. Admit you need His help. You have the freedom and the power to forgive God and to forgive yourself.

Be real with God. Tell Him you have been angry at Him because you believe He has failed you. Tell God you have been mad at yourself for being angry at Him. Ask for His forgiveness, and daily decide to forgive. Never close the door that the Holy Spirit opens. Continue to be honest with God when hurt tries to build. Some days will be easier than others. Don't condemn yourself on harder days. Lay all the hurt and unforgiveness on His altar again and again. You have begun your journey of healing.

Now climb your mountain of healing daily. As you struggle up its slope, He carries more and more of your load, and the climb grows easier. One day you will discover you have arrived at the top. And you realize that your burden is completely gone. You are free, and all the self-destructive anger is gone forever. You know God has never failed, and forgiveness will not only flow for you. It will flow for others.

© 2017 Lynn Lacher

Monday, May 29, 2017

Like Clay

“Can I not do with you, Israel, as this potter does?” declares the Lord. “Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, Israel.” —Jeremiah 18:6, NIV

There is a spiritual work in my heart and life that needs both His power and my surrender. As I surrender to His power and my eyes are open, I see so many things that need to be changed in my life. But I determine to persevere and not let what is ahead discourage me. I will learn courage by surrendering my fear; I will learn patience by surrendering my control, and I will learn perseverance by surrendering my need for instant answers. He is with me in this journey, and as His Spirit works in my surrender, I am molded into whatever He deems best.

Does it hurt to be changed? Does it hurt to let go who I am for who is? Yes, because I must allow Him to mold me, and that hurts. There is no other way to say it. It hurts to give up selfishness and what I want. It hurts to let go of that control that has meant so much. But it is in the letting go and letting Him mold me, I discover His joy and His purpose. I discover that what I thought was fulfillment in my own life, is nothing compared to the fulfillment I find in Him.

© 2017 Lynn Lacher

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Pain and Joy

Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep.
—Romans 12:15 NLT

Rejoice with one who is happy, and cry with one who is hurting. Be whatever is necessary in each moment. Listen with not only your mind, but with your heart. To share in someone’s grief is a gift that gives you strength through your own pain. To share in their joy is something that makes you appreciate the blessings that God has given you. Be ready in season and out of season for the person He sends to you. Listen to their suffering, and you will soon rejoice with them in new awareness of His love. Pain that is experienced today often becomes part of the joy of tomorrow—for not only the one who needs you, but for you.

© 2017 Lynn Lacher

Thursday, May 25, 2017

My Essence at Rest in Him

I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”
—Mark 9:24b

“Lord, I believe, but help me overcome my inability to believe!” This the cry of the heart of His child who longs for more faith. These words reveal areas where I lack faith, but they also reveal how my faith has grown. Sounds like a paradox, doesn’t it? “I do believe, Lord, yet I need more faith to believe.” As I grow closer to Him, I know Him more, and experience His power in my life. But at the same time I am more conscious of the times when I fall short of complete trust in Him. This is the spiritual growth. There is increased ability to believe, and then comes a plea for greater faith. It is a cry to overcome all my unbelief. It is a cry for complete and perfect trust in Him. My heart’s cry is heard, and He answers my prayer with more faith. He also reveals where I still lack in faith, and imparts the power to walk the path that leads, step by step, upwards and closer to Him.

Trusting Him completely is my gift to Jesus for all He has done for me. I have a friend who says trust is that perfect place of rest that comes from knowing He takes care of all the concerns of her heart. He has all things covered because that is what He promises in His Word. Another friend says that perfect trust comes when the “essence” of all she is rests in Jesus. Christ’s perfect love casts out all fear, and then perfect trust rises from the heart. Our human minds cannot analyze the depth of such love, but our hearts can receive it. The Lord speaks to our hearts and minds to be still and know He is God (Psalm 46:10)—to focus on Him (Isaiah 26:3). When I allow all the “essence” of who I am to rest in Jesus Christ, perfect trust will blossom.

If you are struggling to trust Him more today, decide to trust Him more. Make “help my unbelief” the cry of your heart. Make a conscious decision, and bring your thoughts captive to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5). You can never reason trust. Your mind can never grasp it. It will never happen. Perfect love is birthed by faith in Jesus Christ, and that is where perfect trust will take root. Allow the essence of all you are to be at rest in the essence of who He is. You will be renewed in the spirit of your mind (Ephesians 4:23), and perfect trust will flourish.

© 2017 Lynn Lacher

Get That Monkey Off Your Back

    An offended friend is harder to win back than a fortified city. Arguments separate friends like a gate locked with bars. Sensible people...