Tag Archives: God is Good

Waiting in Harmony

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The following blog post appeared on Lift Up Your Day and is included below in its entirety. Check out their website to read more encouraging posts from other writers.


If there is one thing we all have in common, it’s that we hate waiting. We despise it. In our fast-paced digital world, waiting is a monotonous waste of time.

And yet right before Jesus ascended to heaven, He told the disciples to stay in town and wait on the Holy Spirit. (See Luke 24:49.) He didn’t tell them exactly where to stay, how long they would be there, or what they should do with their time. Nor did He explain what it would be like when the Holy Spirit came.

He just told them to wait. And then He left His followers behind.

 

The Waiting

Fifty days. That’s the amount of time between Acts 1 and Acts 2. It doesn’t seem like a long time, but it must have felt like forever to the 120 people who put their lives on hold to wait for the Holy Spirit.

But they didn’t wait passively. During those seven weeks, they

  • prayed continuously
  • ministered to one another
  • shared what they had with those in need
  • loved and prayed for one another
  • told stories of Jesus’ life
  • mourned Jesus’ death and
  • celebrated Jesus’ resurrection.

 

The Harmony

“These all with one mind were continually devoting themselves to prayer…” (Acts 1:14 NAS). The KJV states, “These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication….”

That’s 120 people repeatedly gathering in one room for 50 days. Not fighting. Not panicking. Not seeking their own interests.

They were waiting in “one accord.” The Greek word for this phrase means “with one mind, one accord, one passion.” The expression combines two thoughts, “to rush along” and “in unison.” This creates a musical image, reminding us that a number of different notes must be combined to create a unique harmony.

All of Jesus’ followers were regular people. They had their own backgrounds, emotions, and beliefs about what God was doing. They didn’t check their individuality at the door when they walked into the upper room. But through prayer, they surrendered their own desires and wills to that of Jesus. As they submitted to Him, they were able to live and worship together, in true harmony.

 

The Results

“And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place” (Acts 2:1 KJV).

When the big day came….when God showed up in full force…when thousands were gathered together outside… Jesus’ followers were ready! Because a small group of believers chose to be obedient and wait on the Lord, three thousand people were saved that day. And thus the gospel began to spread across the world.

 

Our Turn

As Christians, we still wait on the Lord. Individually, we wait for Him to give us guidance, for healing, and for loved ones to be saved. As a Church body, we wait for fresh movements, revival, and for the second coming of our King.

The great news is that we now have the unlimited power of the Holy Spirit within us! If we will allow Him to move in our lives and within the Church, He will direct us to Jesus—with one mind, in one accord, and in complete harmony.

If 120 people could start the Christian movement, imagine what the Church can do today!

Holy Spirit, help us to focus on Jesus. As we set our sights on Him, help us to live in harmony with You and with one another.

 

A Great Resource

If this topic interests you, I highly recommend the The Centurion’s Wife. This is an excellent fiction book set within the fifty days that occurred between Jesus’ resurrection and the day of Pentecost. It’s the first in the Acts of Faith series by Janette Oke and Davis Bunn.

The Hope that Doesn’t Disappoint

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Penny in her happy place after destroying her scratching post.

Penny’s Disappointment

Penny, my kitty, is disappointed.

The weather has been so beautiful lately, here in Sunny Florida. Like the rest of us, Penny wants to spend every moment she can outside (which, for her, is the screened porch). Unfortunately, a storm front has rolled in with incessant thunder and lightning. The porch is currently too scary for kitties.

So, Penny is stuck inside with me. She’s letting me know her displeasure by meowing very loudly every few minutes. I’ve tried all the tricks, including throwing paper balls at her (her favorite pastime), but nothing is as good as watching squirrels from the porch. Or so she says.

I’ve explained to Penny that the storm is still raging, but she won’t take my word for it. Nor does she believe what she sees out the window because, apparently, that could still be different than the actual weather outside. (That’s what we call “kitty logic.”)

A couple minutes ago, I opened the door for her—again—so she could see the conditions for herself. Lightning flashed. Thunder boomed. She stood there, deflated. I scooped her up and said in my best fur-mommy voice, “I know you’re disappointed, Penny. I know what it’s like to be disappointed.”

 

My Own Disappointments

As my ears heard what my mouth said, I realized how true a statement it was.

Looking back on my life, I see hundreds of moments of disappointment. As a child, I would get upset if an exciting trip or event was canceled, or it didn’t turn out to be as fun as I had hoped…or I wasn’t invited in the first place. Then, there were friendships that fizzled or broke. Loved ones who passed away. Opportunities that never materialized. Accomplishments or awards I never received. I’ve had my heart broken in lots of ways, some big and some small.

I am familiar with disappointment. And I bet you are, too.

Perhaps you’re thinking of a childhood memory, or maybe it’s something that happened just this week. Love may be the universal language, but disappointment is its ugly sidekick.

 

The God Who Never Disappoints

There are two synonyms for disappointment: letdown and dashing hopes. We feel disappointed when our hopes are dashed.

So, what are your hopes? I mean the big ones. Do you place your hope in education? In being a good person? In our political or judiciary system? In our military?

King David said his hope was in the Lord:

  • “I will hope continually, and will praise You yet more and more.” (Psalm 71:14 NAS)
  • “You are my hope; O Lord God, You are my confidence from my youth.” (Psalm 71:5 NAS)
  • “Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why have you become disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him for the help of His presence.” (Psalm 42:5 NAS)

David put all his hope in God because he knew something profound:

If God is our hope,
and nothing can break or diminish God,
then our hope is unbreakable.

We cannot be disappointed with God.

Get God’s Perspective

It’s true that bad things still happen in this world. But God is the one who sees us through them. He’s the one who carries us when it gets too hard for us to go on. He’s not the bad guy in our sad story. He’s the hero who gives us a new story.

Unlike comic book heroes, though, our God doesn’t just show up to fix our problems. He is always with us. We can—and we should—know Him before the bad stuff happens. In fact, if we focus our lives on Him, we can see our disappointments through His perspective.

We can appreciate that God had a better plan. We can trust that He was watching over us. We can be thankful for the rain instead of mad at the storm.

I encourage you to get to know the Lord now by reading the Bible daily and praying often. When something bad does happen, ask God for guidance and comfort. Let Him soothe your heart and set you on a right path.

If you know others who are going through disappointments, encourage them. Use this as an opportunity to share with them God’s love and mercy. Show them that God is alive and relevant, and that He never disappoints.

“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful;  and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.”  (Hebrews 10:23-25 NAS)

The Goodness of the Lord

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Don’t you love it when God shows up and does something totally unexpected? What a great reminder that He is alive, and He loves us!

This week’s blog, The Goodness of the Lord, is posted on Lift Up Your Day. Check out their site for more encouragement.


 

“I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. Wait for the LORD; be strong and let your heart take courage; yes, wait for the LORD.” (Psalm 27:13-14 NAS)

 

God is in Control

Last month, I posted a blog called When It’s Not About You. In it, I mentioned a situation that was frustrating my husband Robby and me. A large pine tree had fallen from the property behind us, across the corner of our yard, coming to rest in the tree limbs above the house of our next-door neighbor, Lynn. At first, we were upset about being in the middle of a contentious situation, but then God shifted our concern to Lynn, a senior citizen.

God showed us that His thoughts are higher than our thoughts. (See Isaiah 55:9.) He wasn’t worried about our sense of right and wrong, or even about our finances—not because He’s distant and callous but because He’s in control of those things. His concern in this situation was for Lynn’s welfare, and He was giving us the opportunity to help her, to be useful for the Kingdom.

Robby and I were so convicted! We immediately set a date to have the tree removed. Unfortunately, the earliest date available was still weeks away. We had just stepped out in obedience and faith, and now we were playing the waiting game! Every morning, we opened the blinds and saw that awful dead tree, spread across Lynn’s roof, and we prayed that it wouldn’t fall before it could be removed safely.

 

God is Still Good

Then, something amazing happened. When I was off from work one afternoon, I heard a knock at the door. It was a man from a different tree company asking if they could access our property. It turned out that the owner of the tree finally decided to have it removed—at his expense! I sat outside and watched as they cut the tree down and gently lowered it to the ground. It was so brittle that some of the limbs cracked and fell, but there was no damage to Lynn’s house!

I called our family to tell them the good news. Not only was the situation resolved, and Lynn was safe, but we didn’t have to pay the $1500 to remove the tree ourselves! Everyone was as amazed as we were. What if I hadn’t been home that day…what if the tree company we had hired had come out earlier…how had the tree withstood the recent hurricane…why did the owner finally agree to pay for the tree’s removal….? This was definitely a “God situation.”

Robby and I were obedient to the Lord when we made the appointment to have the tree removed. We had agreed to trust in God and do the right thing, no matter the cost. Now, I see that God was setting us up—not as a test but as a reminder of His goodness and provision. What a reminder that God really does loves us, and He is willing and able to take care of our needs! (See Luke 12:28-31.)

 

Trust in the Lord

Whatever your situation is today, I encourage you to trust in the Lord. (See Proverbs 3:5.) His Word can still calm the storm; He is still our shield and protector; and He is a saving defense to His people. (See Matthew 8:27 and Psalm 27:7-8.)

Not every circumstance will be resolved the way you want, or how you plan it. But if you are obedient and make God your first priority, and if you wait upon the Lord, you will see His goodness in your daily life. (See Psalm 27:13-14.)

 

Have you seen the goodness of the Lord in your life lately? Share it with us in the comments below.