Expectations

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by Calven Celliers

Have you ever set out to pursue something that was a goal or dream in your heart only to have it turn out to be completely different to what you thought it would be?

Yesterday morning I read a quote by Pastor Steven Furtick that dealt with just that –

“Don’t let your experience become the enemy of your expectation.”

As I read that I began contemplating the reality of expectations, and how creating expectations can open our hearts up to disappointment. How often do things in our lives go exactly as we planned?

Don’t get me wrong: planning is a good thing. It’s beneficial to be organized and to have certain things planned out, after all the failure to plan is a plan for failure. A wise person ponders and plans.

I guess the question I find myself wrestling with, however, is how do I react when things don’t pan out the way I’d hoped or planned? Do I get bent out of shape and let the disappointment crush my spirit?

And then these wise words of King Solomon in Proverbs 16 came to mind, 3Commit to the  Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.” (Proverbs 16:3NIV)

What a comforting thought! How much happier we would be, how much lighter our burdens, if we would just commit all our ways to the Lord!  We plot and plan, fret and worry, failing  to be dependent upon God, forgetting that without His blessing, our plans will come to naught.

The apostle Paul was a man who often spoke of his plans to visit certain churches and wrote in his letters about the goals he wanted to achieve; but Scripture shows that although Paul made many good plans, not all those expectations were  accomplished, for the Lord was the one that directed his path.

Sometimes the plans we make may be good and honourable, but God knows the end from the beginning and may take us to a different destination with a different expected outcome. But if we are living by faith and trusting His guidance, He will bring us to the place that He knows is best.

God not only knows the future, but holds the future in His hands. How wise, therefore, to use our rational thought and God-given free-will to plan wisely, to the best of our ability, while recognising that God may either permit our plan to move forward, or He may overrule it according to His divine will and purpose for our lives. What a comfort to know that while we have the freedom to make our plans, the Lord will ultimately direct our feet into the way that is best for us.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3: 5 & 6NIV)

 

God bless,

Calven

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He is Our Guide

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by John Doyle

“He who has mercy on them will lead them … I will make each of My mountains a road, and My highways shall be elevated”
Isaiah 49:10-11

The problems of life we are facing in these days of Lockdown can seem so hurtful to so many especially those who have lost loved ones and close friends. We can feel so alone and powerless as we grapple with the decisions we need to make in these difficult days, To guard ourselves and families from this Pandemic is a daily task and it will not end soon from what we have been advised.

How can we know God’s will in these situations?

How can we make the right decisions and avoid mistakes?

When faced with such crossroads, how do we know which path to take?

As we face these choices, the Bible assures us that God wants us to Seek Him and Turn to Him for the guidance we need and then we do all need to trust Him to GUIDE us on this difficult journey.

God promised Isaiah that He would guide His people “even by the springs of water” v. 10. They might have seen nothing but obstacles and mountains that seem impassable, but God promised to “make each of My mountains a road.” What a mighty God!

His Word also tells us that He promises to GUIDE us by His Holy Spirit (read John 14:26). He will guide us through His peace (Please Read Philippians 4:7-9).

As we seek Him and fill our hearts and minds with His Word, He will give us wisdom and understanding. As He promised David, He will “instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; with my eye on you, I will give counsel” Psalm 32:8

Lets all of us make a commitment to pray about every situation that we are all facing in these days and be guided by God’s Word and His Holy Spirit and TRUST the Lord to see us through for which we are to give Him all the Glory.

Its time to sing that great Hymn of the Faith with me:
 
Guide me, O Thou great Jehovah,
Pilgrim through this barren land;
I am weak, but Thou art mighty,
Hold me with Thy powerful hand.
Bread of heaven, Bread of heaven,
Feed me now and evermore;
Feed me now and evermore.
Open now the crystal fountain,
Whence the healing stream doth flow;
Let the fire and cloudy pillar
Lead me all my journey through.
Strong Deliv’rer, strong Deliv’rer,
Be Thou still my Strength and Shield;
Be Thou still my Strength and Shield.
When I tread the verge of Jordan,
Bid my anxious fears subside;
Death of death and hell’s Destruction,
Land me safe on Canaan’s side.
Songs of praises, songs of praises,
I will ever give to Thee;
I will ever give to Thee.
 
In the Love of the Lord Jesus,
John and Barbara
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Refreshed

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by Graham Mol

On a hot and humid day like today there is nothing so refreshing as a glass of ice and water. Cool and delicious especially when you find yourself hot and sweaty. If you are lucky enough, a dip in the pool or a bowl of ice cream can also bring that refreshment. And if you can have all three, well, that’s a little piece of heaven amid in this heat!

Each of these things bring us refreshment, they make us less hot and tired. To be refreshed is also to have your strength and energy restored. When you’ve been working hard, running around getting things done, there is nothing like that short break to bring refreshment.

This concept of being refreshed is actually a Biblical one. In fact it is one of the oldest principles set down by God.

“Six days shall work be done, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of solemn rest, holy to the Lord. Whoever does any work on the Sabbath day shall be put to death. 16 Therefore the people of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, observing the Sabbath throughout their generations, as a covenant forever. 17 It is a sign forever between me and the people of Israel that in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested and was refreshed.’” (Exodus 31:15-17)

In taking our lead from God, the rhythm of work involves both working and resting. This is important both for our finite bodies, in both resting and sleeping in order to live, and for our souls. The cares, troubles, temptations and pitfalls of life can be wearying on our souls. We can find ourselves stumbling, dry and withered and so we need to receive much needed refreshment.

This refreshment can come through a number of ways. We can be refreshed by others (1 Corinthians 16:18; 2 Timothy 1:16, Philemon 1:7), finding quiet time to spend in the Lord’s presence (Psalm 23:2-3), reading God’s word (Psalm 19:7), directly from having a relationship with Jesus our Lord and Saviour (Matthew 11:28) and having the Holy Spirit poured into our lives (Isaiah 44:3; John 7:37-39).

Today as you refresh yourself with that cold glass of water, that bowl of ice cream or dip in the pool. Consider how the Lord refreshes your soul.

O soul are you weary and troubled
No light in the darkness you see
There’s light for a look at the Saviour
And life more abundant and free

Turn your eyes upon Jesus
Look full in His wonderful face
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim
In the light of His glory and grace

God Bless

Graham

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