Time to tune in to 5 Minute Friday, with The Gypsy Mama. Every Friday readers write for 5 minutes about a chosen topic, but they are not allowed to edit their work, back track or over think it. Today’s topic is Expectation, so here are my 5 unedited minutes:
There is always hope.
Even when it seems like all your strength is gone and that your cries go unnoticed. Even when your heart feels heavy with sadness as you walk through a valley full of shadows. It is easy to lose perspective and think that God shuts out your prayer.
But…there is always hope.
Like Jeremiah wrote in Lamentations – one thing he recalls gives him hope and expectation: God’s loving-kindness and mercy does. not. fail. His compassions are new each morning, and His stability and faithfulness is abundant. (Lamentations 3)
Live with this knowledge today, expecting to see His faithfulness and mercy.
“I have set the Lord continually before me; because He is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. Therefore my heart is glad and my glory [my inner self] rejoices; my body too shall rest and confidently dwell in safety, for You will not abandon me to Sheol (the place of the dead), neither will You suffer Your holy one [Holy One] to see corruption. You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy, at Your right hand there are pleasures forevermore. ” Ps 16:8 – 11
In many previous blog posts I have emphasized the fact that we should simplify our Christian vision and look away from all that will distract unto Jesus (Heb 12:1-2), who is the Author and Finisher of our faith. If you want to read more about this, look at some of the following posts: Sin-conciousness versus God-conciousness; Run your own race; Simplicity and Busy with too many things.
David believed the same principle – he mentions a few wonderful things based on the fact that he set God continually before Him (meaning He was aware of God, and only God – making Him his only focus). Nothing could move him (physically – dwelling in safety, or mentally – a body that is at rest). Happiness and fullness of joy followed him wherever he went.
By looking away from all that will distract unto Him, you will become aware of the true character of God. By seeing Him as He really is and continually hearing the right message, you will also be able to say that at His hand and through His doing there are pleasures forevermore.
In today’s post I just want to talk about the amazing qualities of God, which makes Him the one Person we can truly rely on with all of our heart. In a previous post I referred to 1 Corinthians 13, speaking about some of the characteristics of love. The Bible tells us that God is love (1 John 4:8), so every quality describing love also describes God.
God will never rush you – He is patient at all times. He will never be jealous of you or treat you unkindly. God is not self-seeking, so His thoughts are about you! He will never hold a grudge and act resentful towards you – and He never remembers or brings up the past.
God is strong enough to bear up under anything that comes His way – He will never desert you. He does not wait for you to make a mistake or see the worst in your actions – He only believes the best of you. His positivity towards you makes Him full of hope under all circumstances.
God can never fail or come to an end. Your companionship with Him will last forever. He is completely trustworthy, without human limitations or failures. His love is perfect, and all of His love is directed at you.
Because we still live in an imperfect world, we may sometimes find ourselves in challenging or difficult circumstances. Whether it be sickness or losing a job – we have all encountered it somewhere. The world’s first reaction is to blame it all on God, but I want you remember the following two points whenever something unpleasant happens in your life:
- Anything negative/evil that happens in the world is the direct result of sin, not of God. Romans 5:12 tells us that sin entered the world, and through sin came death. Always remember the root of any unpleasant occurrence is sin, not God.
- It is impossible for God to change, but your situation can definitely change. God is the same: yesterday, today and forever (Heb 13:8). He has established His undeniably perfect character through His word, and nothing can change this. Your circumstances are subject to change – not God. He is not the cause of it.
We need to keep hearing the message of God’s goodness and His true character. For more information read all posts categorized under ‘God’s Character’ (right sidebar), which include some of the following:
Although it cannot physically be seen- fear is a phenomenon that can cause even the strongest man to be crippled. From a Christian perspective, fear makes you doubt God’s goodness and His will to protect you and care for you. The onset of fear makes you feel alone, and it immediately takes away all your confidence.
In many instances in God’s word we hear the word “fear”:
“Fear not [there is nothing to fear], for I am with you; do not look around you in terror and be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen and harden you to difficulties, yes, I will help you; yes, I will hold you up and retain you with My [victorious] right hand of rightness and justice.” Is 41:10
“The fear of man brings a snare, but whoever leans on, trusts in, and puts his confidence in the Lord is safe and set on high.” Prof 29:25
“There is no fear in love [dread does not exist], but full-grown (complete, perfect) love turns fear out of doors and expels every trace of terror! For fear brings with it the thought of punishment, and [so] he who is afraid has not reached the full maturity of love [is not yet grown into love’s complete perfection].” 1 John 4:18
When fear strikes us there are a few things we can hold onto:
- God’s character does not change. That which you fear is not His will for you – whether it be sickness, death, debt, conflict or distress. He wants to bless you, to give you a life of abundance. This is the truth. God never changes – but your reality can.
- As a Christian you can experience a supernatural life. You don’t have to submit to a doctor’s report saying you have cancer. You don’t have to fear when all you hear about on the news is death and violence. As a Christian you live in the shadow of God’s presence, which means you will experience divine protection, fullness of joy and overwhelming peace and contentment.
Don’t give in to fear when it strikes you – turn your back on it and face the glorious presence of God, which drives away all fear.
We serve a God who wants to give us more than enough. That means He does not just want to fulfill your basic needs, but He wants to go beyond that and liberally supply in all your needs. The word liberally means to give bountifully, generously and plentifully. It means to give grandly and wholeheartedly, without holding back.
“And my God will liberally supply (fill to the full) your every need according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” Phil 4:19
If you want to ask God for something – go ahead and do it! You must understand His heart towards you, and how much He wants to bless you. He does not put limitations on what we may ask of Him – He tells us we may ask Him ‘whatever‘. That means ANYTHING!
“[Yes] I will grant [I Myself will do for you] whatever you shall ask in My Name [as presenting all that I AM].” John 14:14
He wants to provide for us so that we may enjoy life. We don’t need to walk through life with a ‘just enough’ mentality – we serve a God who believes in abundance! The following two verses especially prove this:
“…nor to set their hopes on uncertain riches, but on God, Who richly and ceaselessly provides us with everything for [our] enjoyment.” 1 Tim 6:17
“I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows).” John 10:10
Never let anyone convince you otherwise! For further reading on the provision of God see the following entries:
Many Christians have heard a wrong message about the true meaning of faith. It has been preached many times that faith is something you need to achieve or attain out of your own strength. The truth is, faith is something that will effortlessly come to you as you hear about the good news of the Gospel.
Faith is not a science – it is a state of being. Worry or fear does not need to be premeditated or summoned through effort – it just comes to you. In the same way (but in a more positive way!) faith will come to you as you start trusting in the goodness of God’s character. Your faith is therefore equal to your revelation of God’s goodness.
“So faith comes by hearing [what is told], and what is heard comes by the preaching [of the message that came from the lips] of Christ (the Messiah Himself).” Rom 10:17
“For we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus [the leaning of your entire human personality on Him in absolute trust and confidence in His power, wisdom, and goodness]…” Col 1:4
Jesus also showed us this in the following verse:
“And He said to them, Why are you timid and afraid, O you of little faith? Then He got up and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great and wonderful calm (a perfect peaceableness).” Matt 8:26
He put the word faith directly opposite fear. In essence He is saying: “Why don’t you trust in my goodness and my character?“. Immediately after saying this He demonstrated His goodness by bringing a great and wonderful calm and peace upon the waters.
Remember – all you need to do to get more faith is to hear the message of the goodness of God (the message of the cross of Jesus and all that it entails – Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3). There is no human effort involved.
We don’t serve a God who lives “far, far away” in heaven. Although this image might have been imprinted in our minds since childhood – the truth is that He is infinitely closer to us than we can imagine. There is never a moment that we are alone. God is in the midst of us. If something is ‘in the midst’ it means it is in the middle or center of its content. God forms the nucleus of our being – He is fixed in the core of our soul. That is how close He is.
“The Lord your God is in the midst of you, a Mighty One, a Savior [Who saves]!” Zeph 3:17
“For what great nation is there who has a god so near to them as the Lord our God is to us in all things for which we call upon Him?” Deut 4:7
God is called Immanuel, and this means “God with us” (Is 8:8, Is 8:10).
“So that they should seek God, in the hope that they might feel after Him and find Him, although He is not far from each one of us.” Acts 17:27
“Am I a God at hand, says the Lord, and not a God afar off?” Jer 23:23
This shows another part of God’s character – that He wants to be close to His children. He does not distance Himself and leave us to fend for ourselves – He is involved in every aspect of our lives. How amazing!
The best thing Christians can do is to become more and more acquainted with the amazing character and perfect love of God. Experiencing the goodness of His character will lead the world to repentance (Rom 2:7) and living in a relationship with Him will change them from the inside out. This is the foundation on which our faith will be built.
“So everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts upon them [obeying them] will be like a sensible (prudent, practical, wise) man who built his house upon the rock. And the rain fell and the floods came and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not do them will be like a stupid (foolish) man who built his house upon the sand. And the rain fell and the floods came and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell–and great and complete was the fall of it.” Matt 7:24-27
Just a little earlier on in the chapter Jesus compared the goodness of God to an earthly father who knows how to give good gifts to his children (i.e. His character). In verse 23 He highlighted the importance of not just doing things for God, but actually KNOWING Him (i.e. understanding His character, living in a relationship with Him). This is the foundation on which we can confidently stand. No matter how your circumstances may change, or what you face in life – the Rock stays put. Nothing can change that, and nothing can change His character.
“My God, my Rock, in Him will I take refuge; my Shield and the Horn of my salvation; my Stronghold and my Refuge, my Savior–You save me from violence.” 2 Sam 22:3
Don’t let circumstances affect your image of God, let your understanding of God’s character affect your circumstances!
I thought I’d share some of my older posts from the last few weeks. The wonderful thing about truth is that you can never hear it enough. It will continually change you from the inside out.
Hope you enjoy it!