Believing God for More

by Cindi McMenamin @CindiMcMenamin

Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh; is anything too difficult for Me?                                                                                                                                                         Jeremiah 32:27 NASB

I am waiting upon God to come through for me in a particular way. But when I tell others of the hope I have, I often hear the words “at least.”

“At least you have a roof over your heads.”

“At least the two of you have jobs.”

“At least you’re healthy.”

“You might as well at least ask.”

Oh, the sting of well-intentioned remarks. And, oh the sting of those two guilt-ridden words: At least….

As I’ve ministered to women over the past 30 years, I have seen so many settle for “at least” in their lives.  And yet, I believe that if God went to such great extremes to show His love for you and me by having His only Son die on the cross for us, then He did not intend for us to be content with “at least.”

Yes, God’s Word says we are to be thankful in all circumstances. (1 Thessalonians 5:18)  It also tells us godliness with contentment is great gain. (1 Timothy 6:6) But God doesn’t want our gratitude and contentment to be a form of resignation (“I guess I should be happy with this, since it’s all I will ever get anyway”). Rather, God wants His children to be full of anticipation for the “more” that He is so capable of giving – to the point that we thank Him ahead of time for all that He is about to do. This God who tells us to be thankful in all things actually raises the bar when we decide to settle for less or at least what life brings us.

In Ephesians 3:20, we are told that God “is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us” (NIV). You and I often hear or think or say the words “at least” when it comes to our lives. And yet God’s Word says “Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete” (John 16:24 NIV) and “without faith it is impossible to please God” (Hebrews 11:6 NIV).

Perhaps God would like us to ask for a little more of the impossible.

I don’t want to be reluctant to pour out my heart to God. I don’t want to doubt He can or will do this for me. Instead, I want to honor Him by remembering He can do anything.

Lord, help me to be content in all things, and surrender to Your best for me, but don’t let me settle for less when You are the God who is capable of going above and beyond all I can think and ask for.

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Believing God for More than “At Least” – wisdom from @CindiMcMenamin on @AriseDailyDevo (Click to Tweet)

View More: http://chelseamariephoto.pass.us/cindiAbout the author: Cindi McMenamin is an award-winning writer and national speaker who helps women strengthen their relationship with God and others. She is the author of 16 books including When Women Walk Alone (more than 130,000 copies sold), God’s Whispers to a Woman’s Heart, and When God Sees Your Tears. For more on her books and ministry, or to learn more about her coaching and consulting services for writers, see her website: www.StrengthForTheSoul.com.

Cindi’s book, When God Sees Your Tears, addresses our struggle during heartache: “Where is God when you need Him most? Doesn’t He care?”

Yes, you are precious to God. He knows the longings of your heart even more than you do. Place your trust in Him and rest…as you await the unfolding of His plan for your life.

Join the Conversation: When has God done the impossible for you?

Sensing God’s Love

by Cindi McMenamin @CindiMcMenamin

Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why have you become disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him, The help of my countenance and my God. Psalm 42:11 NASB

For years, Jean struggled with feeling God’s love and presence in her life. But, because she was looking for something tangible, something emotional, she continued to feel unloved and alone. Then one day, another woman showed Jean the facts from Scripture about God’s love for her. One of them especially resonated with Jean’s heart:

“God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins (1 John 4:9-10 NLT).

Today, when Jean begins to doubt her Savior’s love, she turns to the hard evidence found in God’s Word and focuses on those facts, rather than on her feelings which can fluctuate from day to day.

Sometimes, like Jean, you and I don’t feel God’s love, either. But those are the times we need to rely on facts, rather than feelings. God presented the facts – evidence of His love for us – in Scripture.

The facts are:

  • God loved us so much He sent His Son to die in our place (1 John 4:10).
  • There is nowhere we can go where His presence is not with us (Psalm 139:7-11).
  • Nothing can ever separate us from God’s love (Romans 8:38-39).

Scripture says “it is impossible to please God without faith” (Hebrews 11:6). Therefore, we are not to rely on feelings, but to have faith in the facts.  Feelings change depending on our circumstances, our moods, our hormones. Facts stay the same, regardless. When faith comes first – “I will believe it because He said it”– the feelings sometimes follow.

The Bible says not even “death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39).

We can add to that list: neither fear nor doubt, neither uncertainty nor unbelief, neither guilt nor shame, neither insecurity nor a sense of worthlessness will be able to separate us from the love of God.

Can you focus on the facts today and let them determine whether or not you feel loved?

Maker of my Heart, thank You for not only telling me in Your Word that I am Your beloved, but showing me, through Your actions. No greater love exists than the love You had and demonstrated for me when You gave up Your life for me so that I could live eternally with You. On days when I don’t “feel” loved, help me to remember the facts about what You have done on my behalf.

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Sensing God’s Love – insight from @CindiMcMenamin on @AriseDailyDevo (Click to Tweet)

View More: http://chelseamariephoto.pass.us/cindiAbout the author: Cindi McMenamin is an award-winning writer and national speaker who helps women strengthen their relationship with God and others. She is the author of 17 books including her best-selling When Women Walk Alone (more than 130,000 copies sold), Letting God Meet Your Emotional Needs, When a Woman Overcomes Life’s Hurts, and When God Sees Your Tears. For more on her books and resources to strengthen your soul, marriage, and parenting, or for more information on her coaching services to help you write the book on your heart, see her website: www.StrengthForTheSoul.com.

Recapture the romance of a relationship with God with When God Pursues a Woman’s HeartWithin the heart of every woman is the desire to be pursued, cherished, and loved. There’s only One who can lavish such love. Join Cindi as she takes you through the Bible to discover how God offers a relationship like no other.

Join the conversation: What fact about God do you turn to when you are not feeling His love?

The Security Faith in a Good Father Provides

by Debbie Wilson @DebbieWWilson

I woke up at 4 a.m. questioning a decision I’d made that afternoon. I’d told the designer, who’d drawn out a closet plan, we wanted to work with her. In my sleep I had second thoughts.

“Lord, I’m too tired to figure this out. I don’t know if we made the right decision.” Immediately an Old Testament passage came to mind.

“If a young woman makes a vow…and her father hears of the vow or pledge and does not object to it, then all her vows and pledges will stand. But if her father refuses to let her fulfill the vow or pledge on the day he hears of it, then all her vows and pledges will become invalid. The Lord will forgive her because her father would not let her fulfill them” (Numbers 30:3-5 NLT).

Relief filled me. I didn’t have to figure it out. Like a good father, my Abba would protect me. Father, you heard our words. If we jumped too soon, please rescue us. I’m giving this to You and trusting you to lead.”

I told the designer to wait while we did some more research. She understood. In the end, we chose a different option that saved us money. Once I let go of bearing the burden of making the perfect decision and trusted my Father to lead me, I enjoyed the adventure.

We believers know that we are saved “by grace through faith,” but sometimes we forget we were created to live by faith (Romans 1:17). We tend to rely on ourselves in our everyday decisions. But God wants us to include Him in every aspect of life. Jesus modeled how to live. He relied completely on His Father (John 14:10). Jesus wants us to walk that closely with Him (John 15:4-5).

Living by faith saves us from a wasted life and wasted opportunities. It protects us from regret. It pleases God and satisfies us (Hebrews 11:6John. 15:11). Our heavenly Father longs to show up in the mundane tasks of life. When we lean on Him in every area, life becomes an awesome experience.

I find robust faith requires two necessary ingredients. We need a knowledge of the Word and a sensitivity to the Holy Spirit.

The Word

The Bible says we’ll be molded by the world if we’re not transformed by the Word. Without renewing our minds we won’t be able to recognize God’s perfect will.
“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect” (Romans 12:2 NLT).

Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ” (Romans 10:17 NIV).

The Spirit

Jesus said His Father would send the Holy Spirit to live in us to be our helper in life (John 14:17). “So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves” (Galatians 5:16 NLT).

What wakes you up in the middle of the night and steals your rest? What would trusting Jesus look like for you in that area? How would it be to know it all doesn’t depend on you?

Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?                                                                                                                                             Matthew 6:25-26 NIV

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The Security Faith in a Good Father Provides – @DebbieWWilson on @AriseDailyDevo (Click to Tweet)

debbie wilsonAbout the author: Debbie W. Wilson is an ordinary woman who has experienced an extraordinary God. Drawing from her personal walk with Christ, twenty-four years as a Christian counselor, and decades as a Bible teacher, Debbie speaks, writes, and coaches to help women discover relevant faith. She is the author of Little Women, Big God and Give Yourself a Break. She and her husband, Larry, founded Lighthouse Ministries in 1991. Share her journey to refreshing faith at her blog. debbieWwilson.com

Join the conversation: What keeps you up at night?