God Guides (Psalm 119:35)
Sometimes making the right decision as a parent is next to impossible. If you choose one path, it may have undesirable consequences. On the other hand, another decision may net equally negative results. Parenting is filled with these moments.
Another difficult aspect of making decisions for your children is the input from other parents and friends who would not have made the same decision you did. They will often tell you why because people usually aren’t afraid of sharing their opinions.
This difficulty may not have happened to you yet, but it will. In those moments, your peace will come from knowing you have prayed and listened for God to direct your path. At times, it will be the only peace you feel. That’s why it’s important to remember that he does see your need and he will guide you as you seek him. It’s his promise.
Only with God’s strength can crooked paths be straightened.
Points to Ponder
- Have you ever felt all alone in making a decision for your children? Did you still have peace? Why?
- How do you respond when other people disagree with a decision you make?
- For what decision do you need to seek God’s wisdom right now?
Taken from Once a Day Nurturing Great Kids
Faith for the Impossible
He grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised. (Romans 4:20–21)
Paul has in mind a special reason why faith glorifies God’s future grace. Simply put, the reason is that this God-glorifying faith is a future-oriented confidence in God’s integrity and power and wisdom to follow through on all his promises.
Paul illustrates this faith with Abraham’s response to the promise of God: that he would be the father of many nations (Romans 4:18). “In hope he believed against hope,” that is, he had faith in the future grace of God’s promise.
He did not weaken in faith when he considered his own body, which was as good as dead (since he was about a hundred years old), or when he considered the barrenness of Sarah’s womb. No unbelief made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised. (Romans 4:19–21)
The faith of Abraham was a faith in the promise of God to make him the father of many nations. This faith glorified God because it called attention to all the resources of God that would be required to fulfill it.
Abraham was too old to have children, and Sarah was barren. Not only that: How do you turn a son or two into “many nations,” which God said Abraham would be the father of? It all seemed totally impossible.
Therefore Abraham’s faith glorified God by being fully assured that he could and would do the impossible.
A third round of discussion begins between Job and his three friends. Here Job again responds to Eliphaz.
Tried and True
“I go east, but he is not there. I go west, but I cannot find him. I do not see him in the north, for he is hidden. I look to the south, but he is concealed.
“But he knows where I am going. And when he tests me, I will come out as pure as gold. For I have stayed on God’s paths; I have followed his ways and not turned aside. I have not departed from his commands, but have treasured his words more than daily food. But once he has made his decision, who can change his mind? Whatever he wants to do, he does. So he will do to me whatever he has planned. He controls my destiny.”
Job continued his questioning, saying that his suffering would be more bearable if only he knew why it was happening. If he knew of a sin for which he could repent, he would! He knew about wicked people, and he knew they would be punished; he knew God could vindicate him if he so chose. In all his examples of the wicked in the world, Job’s overriding desire was for God to clear his name, prove his righteousness, and explain why he had received this calamity. Eliphaz had tried to condemn Job by identifying some secret sin that he may have committed. Here Job declares his confidence in his integrity and God’s justice. Job tried to make his friends see that their questions about God, life, and justice were not as simple as they assumed.
We are always likely to have hidden sin in our lives, sin we don’t even know about because God’s standards are so high, and our performance is so imperfect. If we put our trust in God, however, all our sins are forgiven because of what Christ did on the cross on our behalf (Romans 5:1; 8:1). And even if our hearts condemn us, God is greater than our hearts (1 John 3:20). His forgiveness and cleansing are sufficient; they overrule our nagging doubts. The Holy Spirit in us proves that we are forgiven even though we may feel guilty. If we, like Job, are truly seeking God, we can stand up under others’ accusations as well as our own nagging doubts. If God has forgiven and accepted us, we are forgiven indeed.
Today, remember that you are forgiven. When you sin, confess it to God and ask for his strength to do better. He has already forgiven you.
Streams in the Desert – June 4
The Lord caused the sea to go back all that night (Exod. 14:21).
In this verse there is a comforting message showing how God works in the dark. The real work of God for the children of Israel, was not when they awakened and found that they could get over the Red Sea; but it was “all that night.”
So there may be a great working in your life when it all seems dark and you cannot see or trace, but yet God is working. Just as truly did He work “all that night,” as all the next day. The next day simply manifested what God had done during the night. Is there anyone reading these lines who may have gotten to a place where it seems dark?
You believe to see, but you are not seeing. In your life-progress there is not constant victory; the daily, undisturbed communion is not there, and all seems dark.
“The Lord caused the sea to go back all that night.” Do not forget that it was “all that night.” God works all the night, until the light comes. You may not see it, but all that “night” in your life, as you believe God, He works.
-–C. H. P.
“All that night” the Lord was working,
Working in the tempest blast,
Working with the swelling current,
Flooding, flowing, free and fast.
“All that night” God’s children waited–
Hearts, perhaps in agony With the enemy behind them,
And, in front, the cruel sea.
“All that night” seemed blacker darkness
Than they ever saw before,
Though the light of God’s own presence
Near them was, and sheltered o’er.
“All that night” that weary vigil
Passed; the day at last did break,
And they saw that God was working
“All that night” a path to make.
“All that night,” O child of sorrow,
Canst thou not thy heartbreak stay?
Know thy God in darkest midnight
Works, as well as in the day.
–L. S. P.