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"God didn't send me out to collect a following for myself, but to preach the Message of what He has done, collecting a following for Him" (1 Corinthians 1:17)

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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Sun Behind Dark Clouds

Scripture to reflect upon for Wisdom Wednesday: Philippians 4:6-7 (The Message)
Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down.

God hears you. When you cry out to Him, He is immediately at your side and you are in His presence. He is your own private audience (Psalm 18:6). Psalm 17:8 asks God to, “Keep your eye on me; hide me under your cool wing feathers…”

Yesterday Jared told me that he wouldn’t be working today. Wednesdays are the beginning of his work week, so it was shocking to hear this news. I knew immediately two things were happening: 1. he was being “punished,” so to speak, for not working on Sunday when they asked because he told them that was church and his family day; 2. the end of the season is quickly approaching us.

What those two things means to my family is a winter overwhelmed by financial burdens, and it’s hitting us sooner this year. I fear this year will be worse because I won’t be able to collect unemployment as a seasonal employee. Jared’s unemployment through the winter months will not be enough to sustain us…but God will.

After the immediate shock of Jared’s news, I sat and cried, aching inside, filled with anxiety and fear. My cries brought me straight to the throne and I have been dwelling in His presence ever since. I am praying diligently for God to supernaturally open doors of opportunities for my writing, his music, or a good paying job for Jared throughout the winter. Things are so bad, that Jared is actually considering moving away from us during the winter in hopes of being able to support us. I don’t want that to happen, so I have to believe that God will “amply supply and meet all of our needs” (Philippians 4:19).

I felt God’s presence embrace me the second I released my fears unto Him. I am believing “everything will come together for good,” and it did settle me down.

Today’s “note to self,” is truly a note to myself. Instead of worrying—which I’m really good at, apparently—I need to learn to pray boldly. By doing so, my petitions and praises will shape my worries into prayers. I also need to stand firmly on the Word of Philippians 4:6 that says, “I will not be anxious for anything.”

Sometimes this is all easier said than done. Trust me. I’m not good at this, but I’m trying. I have no other choice this year than to trust God will provide for our needs, and we “will receive full payment” for our bills “and even more,” (vv. 18) for things like food, clothes for Tavin, car repairs, and the ability to continue giving to charities and ministries.

Today's daily devotional from Joel Osteen put it like this:
“I believe [Jesus] is asking us to take the limits off our thinking, and believe for supernatural opportunities. Why don’t you go out each day expecting increase and promotion? If you’ll go out each day expecting far-and-beyond favor, if you’ll ‘open wide your mouth,’ you won’t be disappointed. He’ll fill your cup until it overflows so that you can live the abundant life He has in store for you!”

NOTE TO SELF: Seek the wisdom to release our cares upon God. He wants us to, and His Word said He will be at our side and provide us with all our needs. Be bold in our approach and expect big things.

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