Trusting God through His silence

There comes time in our lives when we trust Him, where we obey him in a decision we must make, or a situation we must avoid. It can be hard trusting His overall plan when the results don’t go as planned, or when we can’t hear God’s voice through the circumstance. God’s providence is present in every  chapter and season of our lives, even when we can’t clearly see  it. Although there are times when God seems silent, don’t interpret that to mean He’s not involved or doesn’t  care about what’s happening  to us. God cares deeply and He is very present, actively working out every detail to bring forth His best plans for you and me. Our lives are securely held in His hands of God our Father, who loves us and wants the very best for us.

Heavenly Father, sometimes it’s hard to see how You are actively working in my circumstances. Honestly, it doesn’t always appear to be good. There are times when I need You most and I sense silence instead of guidance. Help me to trust You completely, especially in terms of uncertainty. To believe that You have my best interest in mind. To remember that Your love for me wraps around every situation I’m wrestling with. And to trust that because I am Your child and I’m desiring to seek Your will, my life is securely positioned in Your providential plan.

In Jesus’ name.
||Amen||

Advertisements

In Need of a Great Savior

Dear friends, it’s been a while; I know. I pray the Lord is continuing to guide your life in a closer walk with Him. Today I want to share some encouragement with anyone who has had a rough time lately.

We come to Christ when we are in our hour of deepest need. We abandon the ship of good works, and we realize, like Peter, that spanning the gap between us and Jesus is a feat too great for our own two feet. So what do we do? We beg for help. We hear His voice, and we step out in fear, hoping that our little faith will be enough.

  Lord God All-Powerful, who is like you? Lord, you are powerful and completely trustworthy.

— Psalm 89:8

We must live a confident faith; a faith that God is enough and that He will guide us and protect us. When we decide to step off that boat and into the arms of Christ, we must trust and rest assured that He’s got us. He will not let us go, no matter how much fear or doubt we have in our minds.

Like Max Lucado says, “God doesn’t condone our sin, nor does he compromise His standard. He doesn’t ignore our rebellion, nor does He relax His demands. Rather than dismiss our sin, He assumes our sin and, incredibly, sentence Himself. God’s holiness is honored; our sin is punished; and we were redeemed. God does what we cannot do so we can be what we dare not dream: perfect before God.”

In Christ Always,
||Hannah||

Choices

Even through all its ups and downs, peculiarities and unevenness, the Bible has a simple story. God made man, man sinned and rejected God. God will not give up until He wins man back. Even through the rough times and the good times, God will whisper, He will shout. He will touch and pull us back. He will take away our burdens; he’ll even take away our blessings. Even if there are a thousand steps between us and Him, He will take all of them but one. He will leave the final one for us; the choice is ours.

Understand that His goal is not to make us happy. His goal is the make us His. His goal is not to get us what we want; it is to get us what we need.

“And I will betroth thee unto me for ever; yea, I will betroth thee unto me in righteousness, and in judgment, and in lovingkindness, and in mercies.”

–Hosea 2:19

It is my prayer today that everyone might live knowing that God is always loving, He wants us so badly in His arms. Do not seek after the things of this world; do not seek after things, or people, or approval. Rather, make Christ your sole focus, make Him your prize.

In Christ Always,
||Hannah||

There is Hope

Hopelessness. It’s one of Satan’s most destructive tools in his bag of tricks. He uses it to try and slowly strip away the best parts of us. Likewise, he tried to convince Job that life from that point on was nothing more than a downward spiral which ended in darkness. However, even on Job’s darkest days of hopelessness, he still cried out to God, asking for assurance and a pledge of security.

Lay down now, put me in a surety with thee; who is he that will strike hands with me?

— Job 17:3

This is just like a tiny shoot of hope pushing its way through the cracks of the concrete of hopelessness. If we believe in Him that God is always good, He will always come through for us. Job’s emotional words were raw and real. He held nothing back, allowing his darkest thoughts to spill out of his mouth onto the feet of his Maker. What does God do? He let Job speak. He didn’t silence, shame, or correct him, rather God let Job express what was on his heart. Even though God remains silent, His mercy, love, and compassion were powerfully active.

My friends, just like Job, we can cry out to God in our times of need. When we feel hopeless, know that He is our source of strength and security. God wants us to be real and honest with Him, even with our rawest emotions. He will never forsake us or shame us

“For he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.”

~Hebrews 13:5b

He will always be there to comfort and shower us with His compassion just like 2 Corinthians 1:3- 4 says,

Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforters us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.

God promises hope and assurance and those are always available to us, even in the seasons of life when our hope is strained by our sufferings and hopelessness. Because of Jesus, we can always approach God’s throne of grace with a confident hope, knowing that we will receive His mercy and grace to help inner time of need. Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior is our living hope and in Him we have the joy of eternal security and salvation. May you always live with the reassurance that Christ is always there for us, and that He will never leave us nor forsake us. He loves us so tremendously, that He will go to the ends of the earth to bring you back to His loving arms.

In Christ Always,
||Hannah||

Home 

Dear friends,

Six weeks flew bye so much faster than I ever expected. I remember stepping off of the plane for the first time, I kept thinking “wow, six weeks! That’s so long!” But I’m saying, “that wasn’t enough time!”

When I returned home, I saw our culture, I experienced the ‘teen drama life’ and I fell in to this moment of depression, pain, and sorrow at the first world oppression. It hit me hard, and I was lost, but praise God for brothers and sisters who can redirect my steps when I slip.

I mentioned it in a previous blog post, but Les challenged us to make a commitment to steps of obedience. My steps of obedience start in the schools. Each morning I looked forward to the devotional. Not because I got swarmed with hugs each morning, or even because of the music, but because I got to see the joy of God on the faces of the children. I got to see God working in them right there as they were praising God. It was heart-wrenching (in a good way?) to see the kids pouring out their entire beings and their souls out to the Lord. They don’t have a lot materially, but they have so much in Christ. That passion they have impacted me, it made me reflect ‘how can I bring this back with me?’ I realized throughout my trip and more so at the end of my time that I began to have thoughts of sorrow, and of guilt. Guilt of how North America and more specifically for the United States is so dead. So spiritually dead. I’ve never seen passion so big as what I saw in Guatemala in the US. I don’t see kids so eager to read God’s Word and so eager to worship Him through song. I began to feel guilty, saddened, and depressed. I remember we talked at the beginning of our time and I expressed that I was a thinker, and analyzer. That was definitely true as thoughts of sadness and depression sunk in. It got worse the closer to our end and especially our plane ride home and walking through the airport. Sunday came around and I broke. It was Sunday night and I was playing church volleyball and I couldn’t handle it anymore and I went and hid in the washroom. Praise God for brothers and sisters! My best friend Victoria came in and we went for a walk and talked about everything that I was feeling and thinking.

So many thoughts were racing through my brain, and a question that was asked was , How do I cope with all of the depression of the first world culture; how everyone loves their oppression in North America but in Guatemala everyone hates their oppression? It hit me that night and Monday that there is a place for sorrow, but what does it lead to? Repentance. Likewise each of these feelings and thoughts have a bridge. I was reading 2 Corinthians 7 this morning and verse 10 was shown to me by a friend.

“For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.”

God lets us experience pain so that we can conform our thoughts to believe His Truth over the devil’s lies. The pain and anguish I was felt for the broken church is to be used to fuel my passion and lead me to the other side of the bridge. He blessed me to see the depravity in North America as “not everyone who says to me ‘Lord, Lord’ will enter the kingdom of Heaven…” (Matt. 7:21a) Through this trip, I was taught that Satan IS very real. He wants us to see all of the flaws at home so we are displeased and turn from God. But the hope lies in what action I will have next. God has already started to develop me although I may be hurt at first. God has a divine purpose.

All of that said that kind of encapsulates what led to my steps of obedience, I made my step of obedience before I left Guatemala while we were staying at Seteca. As I am a thinker, if ever I have thoughts of sorrow, pain, or depression about the spiritual state of the United States, I will write them down in my journal, and find a Bible verse that counteracts my thoughts as well as reaching out to my friends about my struggles. 

My prayer to you is that you recognize what needs to be changed in your life. Make the decision, don’t let the devil stand in your way

“Follow your bridge. Find your mission. Obey now!” -Toby 


The Journey Home 

I sit in the airport, trying to keep the tears from running down my face. The reality hits me hard. I stare out the window, waiting to board, wondering what all my friends, all my students, all the people I have come to love are doing. I look around, watching the people eating their breakfast, chatting in English. A sob tightens my throat, threatening to escape. 

 Like me, they are travelers. They have begun something, and now are moving on to something else. My trip to Guatemala began in July, and has come to a close. However, before we left Rita asked us to think about what we will miss most about Tactic. If we miss it so much, why can’t we take it with us? I will miss the spiritual encouragement the most. I will miss watching the children worship in their daily devotions. Instead of dwelling on the sadness of their physical state, I can rejoice alongside them with the immense hope and joy they have in Christ Jesus. How incredibly simple it is to bring that back with me! It is my prayer that everyone, no matter where in this world, that we all encourage one another in the hope and the joy of Christ our Lord and Savior. 

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:  A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;  A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;  A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;  A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;  A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;  A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;  A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

Ecclesiastes 3:1‭-‬8 KJV

Voy a extrañar Tactic y la gente. Dios bendiga y cuida. En Cristo,

Ana (Hannah) 

Steps of Obedience

Today was the day. Today I said goodbye to the town that has changed my life. To the secret place of God. However, my mission trip is not over. My time in Tactic has ended, but my mission in life is far from over. 

Tonight in the debrief with Les Peters, he challenged us to reflect on how God has changed us. The first question posed to us was, “how has God been tugging at our hearts?” Is there something in my life that I need to change, something I need to confess or ask for forgiveness? This question made me think back on my time in Tactic. So many emotions, so many feelings went through me as I watched kids, whose parents were alcoholics, and their joy at church; the other teachers and the kids’ hope for their parents; the joy of the Guatemalans had when they worshipped their Christ and their King; the pain each person has been through, but the glory God gets because of it; but overall the love that Christ pours out onto His children and the blessings that He can give. 

My friends, we cannot continue living in an illusion that all is ok. We can’t live in this world, a world full of sin, pain, destruction, and torment, and sit back. We must take initiative to go out and preach the Gospel. We must stop being jellyfish Christians and lukewarm believers. Sin is a very real thing, and so is Heaven and Hell. It is not my wish that you go out, telling everyone they’re going to Hell if they don’t believe. No, we must love like Christ loved. But let me ask this question: 

What type of seed will you be? 

In the parable of the sower, four types of seeds are planted. The first was the seed that fell on the wayward path, the seed that didn’t sprout and was unfruitful. Will you be the seed that never bears fruit? The seed that doesn’t even get planted, but that Satan grabs hold of before it can be set in the ground? God forbid. The second seed was one that landed in the rocks. It grew into a plant, but the minute sun came out, it died. Yes! The seed has been planted and has grown, but died when it encountered hardship. God doesn’t take away pain, pain was on this Earth ever since sin entered the world. However, God will take us through any pain, and trials, and any temptations. Will you cling to the cross and say, “Lord, I will follow? Let your will be done, not mine.” The third seed landed among the weeds. Like the one on the rocks, it was planted and it did grow, however, the weeds choked it up. Do not be the Christian that sits in this world, trying ever so hard to be anything but a Christian. Do not sit back and hide your Christianity. We are to be unashamed about our faith, zelous to spread the Gospel to the four corners. The disciples were told they were turning the world upside-down, however, they were turning it right-side-up. We need to take hold of our faith, be bold on who we are in Christ, and turn this world right-side-up. The last seed was the fruitful seed. We can all be planters, but are we willing enough to take time, to care for and nurture our seeds? Will we wait for the Lord’s will? Can you say, 

Thy will be done.

My friends, I challenge you to reflect on your lives. What are the steps of  obedience you need to take in order to live a life that is solely focused on Christ? I pray that you make this decision, not just as a thought, but as a prayer for your life. I pray that God would lay it on your heart to change something, to confront someone, to take away something, to confess anything. Listen to Christ, water and nurture your seeds, and to Him be all the glory. 

-Hannah