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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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Uncharted Territory (a Timeless Truths blog post)

Are you the type of person who has to have a plan before venturing out into the unknown? Do you try to figure everything out down to the last detail to avoid any potential problem from occurring and catching you off guard? If so, it may take not only a step of faith but, rather, a leap of faith to go forward into uncharted territory … the area where you don’t know exactly what is going to happen or how things are going to turn out. You may feel like it’s safer to just keep things the way they are … perhaps, even, the way they’ve always been. However, the danger in doing that is that you aren’t really living life to the full, and, in fact, if you never dare to take any risks you are, in reality, in danger of hurting yourself … hurting yourself by not living up to your full potential, not “getting out there” to interact with others God may want you to interact with to share the gospel message, and, actually, in danger of hurting your own spiritual walk with God if you’re not daring to trust Him to lead you and guide you in the way He, alone, knows is best for you. According to dictionary.com “uncharted territory” literally refers to anything that isn’t plotted or planned and is often figuratively used to express a wider unknown. So in both the physical and nonphysical senses, it can mean “not yet mapped, surveyed, or investigated.” Most likely, Abram (later renamed Abraham) felt a little nervous (to say the least) when God directed him to leave his familiar world and travel to an unknown land (an unknown territory, if you will). So, too, with us. If we feel God directing us to “get out of our comfort zone” into the realm of the unknown, we, too, may feel a little nervous (or a lot!) However, it’s always better to face our fears than run and hide from them (think of Jonah and the whale!) We need to trust that – with God on our side – nothing we face is too hard, too difficult, or too unbelievable for us to overcome … as long as it really is God directing our path and not us directing our own path. Proverbs 3:5-8 The Message (MSG) says, “Trust God from the bottom of your heart; Don’t try to figure out everything on your own.  Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; He’s the one who will keep you on track.  Don’t assume that you know it all.  Run to God!  Run from evil!  Your body will glow with health, your very bones will vibrate with life!” So, the timeless truth for today is this – whether you are facing the everyday, mundane events of life or whether you are facing uncharted territory – about to take a leap of faith – in either case, remember that you can trust God in any and every situation. He already knows the end from the beginning. He already knows what’s going to happen next. He has proven Himself faithful time and time again (not only to you, but also to all the people in the Bible who have lived before you). He is absolutely trustworthy, faithful, and true. He will never let you down. And, to top it all off, we have this promise we can hold on to from Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV): “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” 

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