Tag Archives: trusting God

Our Victory Comes from God

I wait quietly before God,
for my victory comes from him.
Psalm 62:1, NLT*

Where do you need victory today? In an external conflict? A health issue? Inside your own thoughts or fears?

This psalm describes David’s enemies, sandwiching his plight between two declarations of his choice to wait quietly before God. God is his hope, his source of victory, and his fortress.

Since the psalm ends by affirming God’s ultimate judgement, likely this victory David’s counting on is a literal triumph over those plotting against him. But there’s another victory he could also be sure of – the same one we need today.

With God as his – and our – fortress, we have the security and salvation we need. By faith we can keep our eyes on the Lord and declare with David, “I will not be shaken.” (verse 6)

What if the threat is intense, and we’re trembling in our boots? David may have been quaking, too. If not this time, then earlier in his life. He can wait quietly and stand firm in faith because he has practiced – over and over – every time danger threatened. He had nowhere to go but God, and he learned that God was enough.

We can’t even quiet our souls without God, but that’s a prayer He will love to answer. David’s method was to concentrate on God’s might and character until he had a true perspective of where the real power lay – and then he could trust in God’s care.

We can learn to do the same. The battle we see, that threatens to swallow us whole – may not work out as we want. But the deeper battle is the spiritual one – will we stand secure in God, or will we fall?

Here’s where we can discover the assurance of victory. Whatever happens, Jesus will be with us. He will sustain us. He will be enough.

If we choose, by His strength, to quiet ourselves before Him and trust His deliverance, others will see His goodness.

We may or may not see the external victory we long for, but we can experience daily victory over our thoughts, attitudes, and fears by choosing to dwell each moment in God’s fortress.

Father, fear shouts so loudly that victory seems impossible. Have mercy on Your fragile children and give us the faith and strength to choose Your security. Quiet our flailing spirits so we can rest in You. Give us confidence in Your care, because You are indeed good.

Chris Tomlin’s song, “Good, Good Father,” helps us retrain our thoughts into trust.

*New Living Translation (NLT) Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Guest Post: Do Not Be Anxious about Anything—Even the Good Stuff

Do Not Be Anxious about Anything—Even the Good Stuff

by Steph Beth Nickel

In times of heartache and worry, I’ve often quoted Philippians 4:6-7, which says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (ESV).

On September 2, I will be boarding an airplane with my hubby and our daughter. We will be taking our first trip across the Pond to the land of our ancestors. You see, my eldest son is getting married next to Loch Earn in Scotland, which will be followed by three days on the Isle of Skye (pictured) and various day trips.

Isle of Skye

The Isle of Skye [image courtesy of pixabay.com]

As I write these words, I’m very conscious of my breathing and my heart rate. Am I anxious? I guess I am. Am I afraid to fly? Not at all. (And hey, I’ll have hours and hours to read. Bonus!) Am I worried about meeting new people? (If you’ve known me for say—five minutes or so, you’ll know the answer to that one.)

Do I have issues with my future daughter-in-law? Actually, we get along really well. At Laura’s request, we went shopping for her wedding dress when she and my son were visiting for my hubby’s surprise 60th birthday party in March. And she found the dress in a local store I hunted up online.

Why be anxious?

Having purchased our tickets online (with a lot of back and forth and missed telephone calls, but that’s another story), I have to trust that there will be a place for us on the flight—three places preferably. I also have to trust that we will have all the necessary documents and will clear security—on both sides of the Atlantic—without incident.

Have I done my homework? Yep. Have I made an all-inclusive list of things to pack in our checked luggage and in our carry-on, of things to wear and things to have readily available? I actually started packing over two weeks before the departure date. Have I booked my daughter’s transportation home from the airport? I have. (She has to return after a week for work. Dave and I are staying for another seven days.) Hey, I’ve even watched a YouTube video on bundle packing. (If you are planning a trip, it really is a “must watch.”)

Even as I mentally check off the things I need to do, I’m still a little anxious. Can I flip a switch and experience instant calm? Well, not exactly, but there are certainly things I can do.

What to do when we’re anxious:

I can do what the Lord instructs in the passage I shared earlier. I can pray and thank Him for this amazing opportunity.

I can rest assured that He will fulfill His promise and grant me the peace that passes understanding, a divine peace that guards both my heart and mind. Wow! What a promise!

And a number of weeks ago I made a tremendous discovery. It’s like a game actually, a mind game called “Worst Case Scenario.” Based on the reason for my anxiety, the worst thing I can imagine is that we would get to the airport and not be allowed on the plane because of a mix-up with our tickets. (Yes, I know there are even worse scenarios, but they aren’t the possibilities that are troubling me.)

The question is do I trust God? Do I really trust Him? Do I know that everything that comes into my life is filtered through His love? Do I know that He has all the details worked out, even those that haven’t even crossed my mind?

As I ask myself these questions and come to the conclusion that the answer to each one is a resounding yes, I can take a deep breath and leave it all in His hands.

Beyond that, I think it’s about time I memorized the entire passage, Philippians 4:4-7. Those preceding two verses read like this: “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand” (ESV).

Tweetable: God has every detail under control. There’s no need to be anxious.

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Steph Beth Nickel

Steph Beth Nickel
(Photo by Stephen G. Woo Photography)

Stephanie (Steph Beth) Nickel is an award-winning co-author, a freelance editor and writer, a labour doula, and a former personal trainer. She also loves to speak, teach, and take slice-of-life photos. She would love to connect with you on Facebook or Twitter, on her website or blog.

Expectations and Limitations – And Freedom

But the people who know their God will be strong and will resist him.
Daniel 11:32b, NLT*

The context of this verse is a prophecy about a future king who will “flatter and win over those who have violated the covenant.” (Daniel 11:32a, NLT*)

What protects God’s people? They know Him, and they act on that knowledge. They rely on Him.

The last two weekends I’ve been blessed to attend worship conferences. Both highlighted the importance of knowing who we are in Christ – defining our identity and measuring ourselves by what God says instead of what people say.

Knowing God sets us free.

My notes from the most recent event include this: “Because I don’t feel like I’m what I’m supposed to be, I limit what God can do through me.”

That’s not a direct quote from our speaker, Jo Saxton (ALIVE Conference simulcast) but she said something close to that.

The main point I took from her message was that we often accept limitations from individuals, society, or ourselves, when we need to live by the truth of who God says we are. When we hold back, God respects our choice and we miss the chance to bless and to be blessed.

What limitations or expectations have you and I accepted? From whom? Or what are we measuring ourselves against? How does this impact what God might want to do through us?

If we know Him – and choose to believe what we know about Him – we can live by His grace and strength instead of holding back in fear of what others might say.

Here’s where I think today’s verse applies. We know who the Liar is, who wants to get our eyes off of God. Those lies include things like “you’re not good/ smart/ old/ young/ gifted (etc.) enough.”

If we know and believe our God, we can resist the lies with truth – “For I can do everything [that God asks me to do] through Christ, who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:13, NLT*)

Gracious Father, draw us closer to Your heart and deeper into Your Word. Give us faith and courage to choose to believe You and to resist the lies that diminish us. Show us where we’ve accepted limitations instead of stepping out for You. Forgive us, and give us new chances to live for Your glory.

Our song is the Newsboys‘ “The Upside.” Notice the questions about what’s holding us down.

*New Living Translation (NLT) Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Waiting Quietly

Let all that I am wait quietly before God,
for my hope is in him.
Psalm 62:5, NLT*

These words refresh my spirit and re-focus me on God.

David wrote them about a time of great pressure, reminding himself and his people to look to God for help instead of relying on others or on their own assets.

The “trust God” theme is so important that it’s written twice: before and after David’s list of troubles. (You can read the entire psalm here: Psalm 62)

Waiting quietly before God speaks to the state of our hearts and spirits – a choice to control what could easily be frantic desperation and to bring our fears to God instead.

It’s not passively sitting and waiting for God to fix everything, but it’s acknowledging that God will be the one to make a way and to protect. And it’s being open to recognize that way when it comes.

It’s also realizing whose power will ultimately bring victory – God’s, not ours.

Are you in a good place today? No particular stresses or battles? This verse is for you, too. Actually, that’s the place I was when the words first blessed me this year.

The sheep in the quiet meadow can enjoy it more when s/he fully trusts the Shepherd. (At least that would be true if sheep had thoughts, feelings and anxieties.) Happy, secure and restful times need an awareness of God just as much as the crises.

God our gentle yet strong Shepherd, whether we’re at peace or in turmoil, give us grace to choose to quiet ourselves and wait in hope before You. Help us to fully rely on Your love, wisdom and power, for our own sakes and so that others will see Your goodness.

I like this song from Aaron Shust: “My Hope is in You.”

*New Living Translation (NLT) Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Idols Aren’t Wooden Anymore

An idol is nothing but a tree chopped down,
then shaped by a woodsman’s ax.
Jeremiah 10:3b, MSG*

In 21st century North America, the idea of calling an inanimate object “god” sounds foolish. We’re so far advanced from that primitive idea. We know a statue has no power.

We’d never worship something like that. Not in the sense of offering sacrifices to it, or of praying for its help.

But what if an idol is anything that takes first place in our lives, anything that replaces or reduces our adoration of our Saviour?

Maybe we’ve just build more sophisticated ones. Not out of wood or metal, but out of our wants and needs. Cars, houses, technology. Mates, children, pets.

Everyone has wants and needs. God knows that. But He wants us to “seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Matthew 6:33, NIV**)

We can’t claim “He will give us all things” literally—as evidenced by the lack of a red Corvette in my driveway—and more seriously as evidenced by the many hungry and oppressed Christians around the world.

But God deserves first place in our hearts, minds and spirits. When we align under His authority, we can rest in His sufficiency and His presence. With Him, we can pass through the hard times and come out the other side, even if that other side isn’t until we die.

It all comes back to trusting God. Putting him first. Checking our other affections to be sure they haven’t begun to crowd Him out. Restoring our perspective wherever it’s needed.

Holy God, You alone are worthy of our worship, praise and adoration. You’re the giver of all good things. Forgive us for the times we’ve allowed good things to usurp Your place in our hearts. Help us to appreciate Your gifts but to worship the Giver.

Matt Redman‘s song, “One Name Alone,” reminds us where to focus our adoration.

*The Message (MSG) Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

**New International Version (NIV) Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.