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Anticipation (a Timeless Truths blog post)

kid presents

 

Did you ever have to wait for something that you wanted really, really bad? Did you get impatient, frustrated (and maybe even a little irritated to be honest)? Did you have such a great anticipation leading up to actually receiving what you had hoped for that you almost literally got sick over it? Well, if so, you’re not alone. Every kid probably goes through the same thing every Christmas Eve … and the anticipation of receiving the gifts they’ve hoped (and dreamed for) probably leaves them feeling so excited they have a hard time sleeping and waiting for an “acceptable” time to get up in the morning to finally dig in to their presents! For us, as believers, we too live in anticipation. Whether it be the anticipation of receiving some type of gift or the anticipation of getting an answer to prayer or some other thing we may have been hoping for, we too have to deal with anticipation … and we can have an expectation that everything will work out for the best as we trust in the Lord because, fortunately, our expectation to receive something good isn’t only dependent upon favorable circumstances … it’s dependent upon God and His power. It’s dependent upon the fact that – no matter what the circumstances may appear to be – God is still in control; God is still on the throne and is still working all things out for our good. No matter what things may appear on the surface, there are many other things hidden under the surface in the spiritual realm that God is working together for our good. Because of that, no matter what things may appear to be, we can trust that God’s plan will always prevail – always. Romans 15:13 (NIV) says, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” So, the timeless truth for today is that we can hold onto our hope; our anticipation; our expectation … knowing that it comes from God Himself. We can have joy and peace … knowing that God is in control. We can trust in God and in the plans and purposes He has for our lives … because God’s ways are always far better than anything we could ever think, ask, or imagine (just read Ephesians 3:14-21 NIV): “For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.”

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Open or close the door? (a Timeless Truths blog post)

door

Have you ever heard the words, “Close that door, you weren’t brought up in a barn you know!” If so, most likely it was from a parent wanting to keep the heat in during the dead of winter to save on heating costs. (Actually, that is a good practice … after all, who wants to pay more than necessary for fuel to heat their home?) In the summer, when someone is in a room that’s stuffy, the words you’re more likely to hear are, “Open that door and let the fresh air in!” So, depending upon the circumstances, sometimes it’s good for the door to be open and sometimes it’s good for it to be closed. Spiritually speaking, when God offers us an “open door” that we need to make a decision as to whether or not to “walk” through it, we have the option of either exercising faith or entertaining doubt. If we truly feel like we are being led by the Holy Spirit to go forward into the plans God has for us, hopefully we will choose to keep the door open rather than close it through unbelief. The choice is ours … are we going to open or close the door of our faith? We may feel nervous … we may feel scared … we may even feel fear trying to grip at us when we’re in the process of making a decision of what to do next in the choices we need to make in our lives (even when we believe we’re doing the right thing by going forward through an open door the Lord provides for us). Feelings, however, cannot be trusted. They change depending upon what we are thinking about the most. If we are entertaining doubt, for example, we will be feeling that doubt and we will be feeling that nervousness more so than if we are exercising faith and trust and hope (which would lead to us feeling more confident, more optimistic, and more positive about the situation or circumstance). 2 Timothy 1:7 (ICB) tell us, “God did not give us a spirit that makes us afraid. He gave us a spirit of power and love and self-control.” So, the timeless truth for today is this: In order for us to walk in victory over fear, we need to truly believe that fear is not from God, but, rather, from the enemy (Satan). Therefore, we should choose to confidently walk through the open doors God has for us as He leads and guides us in our journey of life … trusting that He will be with us every step of the way. To build up our faith even more we can keep in mind the words of Joshua 1:9 (ICB) that says, “Remember that I commanded you to be strong and brave. So don’t be afraid. The Lord your God will be with you everywhere you go.”

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