When God Seemingly Doesn’t Answer…

When God Seemingly Doesn’t Answer…Or, He answers in a Different Way\

For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways” Isaiah 55:8

If you truly have a personal relationship with God through His Son, Jesus Christ, and have served Him for any reasonable amount of time you have to admit that there have been times when you have had to deal with feelings of unwanted “frustrations” because of ongoing circumstances, situations, issues, or concerns arising from areas within your life that you have prayed and prayed about with either no answer from God, no changes, or no relief in sight…Be honest…After all, one can never really and truly Grow in the Lord without complete and total honesty. I’m not saying that you have to go around “confessing” or “admitting” your frustrations to everyone you see, but you do need to “admit” and “confess” them to God…

But, you say…”Oh, no…I can’t tell God that I am upset or frustrated because HE has not answered my prayer the way that I want.” Why not? HE already knows it!! Believe me, I have had some mighty deep and personal prayers with God down through the years…I mean pouring out my every emotion, thought, concern, wish, and perspective…You say, “Oh, I’d never do that. God is Holy.” Yes, HE is…And, he knows that I’m NOT! ALL of man’s righteousness are as “filthy rags” in the sight of God…So, why try to hide who we are and how we feel from God…After all, HE alreadys know it. When you have a “best friend” you usually share with him or her your feelings about things. Let me encourage you that you have no great Friend that Christ Jesus!

I settled this matter a long time ago…One day during deep closet prayer I explained to GOD that my feelings of frustration and anger seemed to be justified as far as I could tell…Even the Bible states, “Be ye angry and sin not.” God knows that we experience at times a battery of different emotions. So, who better to tell your anger to than our Heavenly Father in personal, closet prayer. I mean when you want an increase in salary on your job your don’t present your case to the guy sitting next to you who can’t do a thing for you. You seek out the hierarchy of the place and set in to go step-by-step until you reach the top; the person in charge! Well, that’s how it is with closet Prayer…I go to the TOP! And, when I am in the presence of the ONE at the TOP who has ALL POWER to either change my circumstances or change me then I can leave my case at HIS feet!!! But, just suppose the person at the top won’t listen to your plea? Just suppose you keep marching to his office every day making an appointment to present your case and each time you get sent right back on your way…He (or she) simply will NOT hear you out…What happens? You get angry…You get upset…You get mad…You feel you are not being treated fairly…You want to quit; and sometimes you do…

Well, isn’t that how you feel when you petition God time and time again with a prayer need that seemingly is getting “pushed to the side” and unnoticed! You start feeling frustrated…You may even get upset and mad…You feel that God is not treating you fairly; after all HE did promise that HE would never leave nor forsake you…So, what’s up? In your mind and heart…you want to quit… You might even say something like, “I’ve had enough. I’m packing up my tool box and I’m going home.” Face it, we’ve all been there…And, God knows it…But, God is desparately wanting to teach and show us that HE is God no matter our circumstances or the length of time between asking for prayer requests and receiveing an answer. In other words, God is not our Santa Claus…He’s GOD! Higher and far more superior than we can ever think or imagine.

So, what happens after years and years of dealing with life’s frustrations? One or two things…You quit on God…Lots and lots of people do quit on God each day and each year…I would really hate to see the stats on such a thing…Or, you decide that God’s Ways are NOT your ways…And His thoughts are not your thoughts…HE’S GOD and HE can rule the universe or call the shots how HE wills…Not an easy thing to surrender to when your feet are kicking and your mouth is screaming! But, I have learned to take “comfort” that GOD does not rush to move at my demand, temper-tanturms, or earthly perspectives on how “I” see things…This is sometimes how our Faith is built…We learn that HE’s in charge and we really don’t have to “worry” about it the way we think we do…I may not “like” waiting on God, but there’s really not too much I can do about it…HE’s the Boss! And, I do mean the absolute, real, unchallenged BOSS who loves His servants also known as His children.

Do you want to know how I learned this? Through various storms and trials that God sent into our lives that did not work out the way we had wanted, hoped for, or prayed for….Doors that shut and NO ONE could open them, and GOD wouldn’t open them! It’s hard to learn that life is not all about “me,” “myself,” and “I” nor about “we,” “us,” or “ours.” It’s about God and them…All the “thems” that we know nothing about…But, God does! He SEES and KNOWS the Bigger Picture!

To be perfectly honest, sometimes (which is most times) I can’t explain what God is doing, why HE is doing it, or How HE is doing it…I just know (Believe!) that HE is…And, I believe God counted it unto Abraham as “righteousness” because he Believed!! I can take Comfort in Knowing that God is God!

Go ahead; talk to God in prayer…Tell him your feelings; your perspective; your will; your wishes; your wants; your desires, Your feelings, and your likes and dislikes. He already knows them, but HE is waiting for you to “surrender” them to HIM to see if you really and truly want HIS will in the matter or you just “talk” like you do…As the old saying goes, “talk is cheap!” And, believe me, God knows cheap talk! God knows when we are upset, frustrated, and angry because HE isn’t moving on the scene the way “we” think He should… Yet; He understands our turmoil over such things…Remember, HE IS GOD! I take comfort crying before God and sharing with Him my emotions…I know HE is listening to me even if HE chooses not to answer my prayer need in the fashion I desire…God is always a Just God…By faith I have learned that HE has a better plan…HE knows what I stand in need of and how it fits into the full picture; the total picture of my life…I can assure you that after you have cried out your heart, mind, feelings, and emotions before GOD HE will bring Comfort as NO one can…I can then say with the Apostle Paul, “I Find His Grace is Sufficient For Me.”

Let’s end in prayer: “Thank you Sweet Jesus that you love and understand the weak frame of your children and our human hearts and limited minds…We Praise you because you are not a god, but you are the GOD; the everlasting, all-knowing, all present GOD…Hallelujah…God thank you for those times when we can not take one-day-at-a-time but rather only one-second; one breath at a time to get through our circumstances…During such times, we can Trust You…You are ever Faithful…You will never leave nor forsake your own even when we do not and cannot understand THY ways…And, though our physical eyes cannot see…By Faith, we can crown you King of Kings and Lord of Lords over our lives until we meet face to face on that great eternal day in Heaven on high…Until then, please accept our “surrendered” weaknesses as proof of our faith, love, and belief in You…

Remember, God Loves You…Even in the darker times When God Seemingly Doesn’t Answer….
Lin T Rollins, Author

Advertisements

God’s Ways Are Not Man’s Ways

God’s Ways Are Not Man’s Ways…

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. (Isaiah 55:8 KJV)

Oh, how careful we must be not to interpret man’s ways as being God’s ways. How often this happens in the life of a believer, even a mature believer at times, who feels rejected and defeated when he or she is not “celebrated” in man’s eyes as desired. Much of the time, God’s ways are private and seen as insignificant in man’s eyes and man’s economy. Did Jesus not say that the widow’s mite (two cents) was far more greater in the Kingdom of God than those who had given much more trying to obtain God’s favor; as well as man’s? The poor widow lady had given from the heart… God’s Ways Are Not Man’s Ways…

Often, even in ministry, man’s ways creep into our lives trying to steal and rob God’s Joy of service by “comparing” and “competing” ones own interpretation of success to ones lack of success….But, who on earth can really tell what is and what is not success in God’s Kingdom? God’s Ways are powerfully different from the world’s views and standards for success…”He who is first shall be last and he who is last shall be first.” (Matthew 20:16)

In this life, most things are measured by quantity and quality…both from a worldly perspective. The pastor who stands before thousands each Sunday is often viewed as being more successful in the ministry as opposed to the pastor who stands before a dozen. The church building that displays beautiful craftsmanship, inside and out, and lavished with modern-day furnishings is viewed more welcoming than the store-front building supplied with unmatched folding chairs and second-hand equipment. But, who is to say which one is far greater in the Kingdom of God? Perhaps, the pastor and members of the store-front church are helping to teach, instruct, nurture, and equip the next Spirit-filled evangelist who will help to guide God’s people to a place of repentance and godly living as opposed to dozens of ministers who will come forth from the larger church only to “tickle” the ears of a lost and dying world.

Sometimes, it’s easier to belong to and hide out in a mega-church because people are simply “received” and “accepted” in whatever lifestyle they choose without true “repentance” unto God…However, there is always the opposite “extreme” where churches adopt legalism, man’s added rules and regulations, in place of Godly “repentance” and true surrender to God’s Lordship in their life through Christ Jesus. Both, extremes are dangerous in the lives of a true believer.

So, how is a person to know and discern God’s Ways from Man’s Ways? “Study, to show thyself approved, a workman that needed not be ashamed.” (II Timothy 2:15). There is actually NO private interpretation of the Bible. The Word itself will bear witness with the Word. When a person can line his or her life up with the Word of God and its teachings as interpreted by the Scripture itself, then he or she can know for certain that they are walking in the ways of God…”Where two or three are gathered in my name so shall I be in the midst of them.” (Matthew 18:20). God does not place “number” priority as a prerequisite to building his kingdom…After all, he invested his entire ministry into the lives of twelve disciples who would go forth to change the world…the whole world!

Don’t look down or think that your work and efforts for God are futile if they are small. God delights in small things. But, likewise, God is the God of multitudes as 5,000 were born into the Kingdom under the sound preachings of the Apostle Peter. Yet; Paul was called to lead one Philippian jailer to the Lord within the cell walls of a cold, dark prison. God’s Ways Are Not Man’s Ways…God adds and God takes away according to HIS purpose and plan…

So, today, I encourage you to put all of your heart into God’s work and leave the results in HIS hands…Don’t let society or any one discourage you because your work may seem small or insignificant in someone else’s eyes. I admire one of my adult daughter’s spirit who volunteers to watch toddlers in the church’s nursery once a month. Even though she has a great call upon her life to teach the Word of God, she feels her time spent in the nursery once a month serves just as great of purpose; if not greater. I know she prays for these little tots during their time together…After all, she may be entertaining, playing patty-cake, or building a castle made of blocks with the next Billy Graham or Ruth Graham…We can never go wrong investing our lives into the lives of others…God’s Ways Are Not Man’s Ways…Glory Be unto God!

Remember, God Loves You!
Lin T Rollins, Author

“Disappointing Truth…”

Disappointing Truth…”

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD.”

(Isaiah 55:8 KJV)

How many times have you tried to make sense of something that just doesn’t make sense to you?  How many painful situations, circumstances, incidents, or disappointing truths (meaning reality) have you tried to process, adjust to, and accept? Well, if you are like most of us possessing a beating pulse…the answer most likely ranges on a scale from “many” to “a lot.”

Adjusting to life’s realities when they go against the grains of our wishes and desires can become challenging to say the least. We deal with a plethora of emotions; some more painful than others.  It seems that there are some people who are better equipped to “role with the punches” more than others.  Unfortunately, for me, I’m one of those people who don’t “roll” very well!  For the most part, I am always feeling like a “square peg” trying to fit into a “round” hole….I take things to heart and seek out ways to mend or “fix” them….Well, “fix” it in ways that will help me to “accept” the outcome better.

But, that method doesn’t always work out well either.  I have learned in my life that when I try to “fix” things, I usually end up making the outcome worse.  Some things are simply over my head and I can’t do anything about it.

 Even though both my husband, a retired Baptist pastor, and I are born-again Christians, we live on opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to dealing with many of life’s issues.  My husband is a very patient, non-confrontational person who believes that, “All things will come out in the wash.”  Me…Personally, I don’t want to wait until wash day…I want it to be “fixed” now!  I mean why can’t things just go my way!  Why can’t people simply see things my way!! LOL!!!

Like many of you, I deal with some very painful and hurtful circumstances and situations that I just can’t fix…  I suppose none of us are immune from such trials in life.  Truthfully, disappointments begin in childhood.  (Some more harsh than others.)  For example…As a small child, I had a rocking-horse…remember those!  My little rocking pony looked just like Trigger from the Roy Rogers and Dale Evans Show.  So, I called him Trigger.  Being an only child, I personified this horse (along with every other stuffed animal and doll that belonged to me!) into being my best friend and pal.  Trigger always saw things my way and he was very protective of me from the woes and cares of a five-year-old!  But, it came the day when my mother gave Trigger away to one of my younger boy cousins.  I was completely distraught.  How could she give away my imaginary best friend!  I cried and cried all day until my daddy came home and whipped me for crying.  As he whipped me, he told me, “Now, you have something to cry about!”  My feelings simply didn’t matter.  Actually, my mother was very keen about throwing my things away and keeping my closet cleaned out. I never knew when I left for school each day what would be tossed out when I got back home!

It wasn’t too long afterwards that my first dog, named Watch, got run over by a car and had to be put to sleep.  I was heart-broken.  Shortly after that, my grandfather died.  A few weeks following his funeral, I was diagnosed with Rheumatic Fever.  Not a happy time for a six-year-old…one disappointing, hard to understand, event after another.  I suddenly felt as if everything that I loved was being taken away from me.  Also, with the Rheumatic Fever, I was weak and tired and didn’t feel like running and playing very much…What was I doing wrong?

With everything happening around me, my tiny bedroom seemed empty without Trigger.  He no longer stood proudly beside my bed watching over me at night. I imagined that my other stuffed animals missed him, too.  Then, my real-life dog, Watch, was in doggy heaven, and my grandfather’s chair (who always sat at the head of the table on Thanksgiving Day) now sat empty.  If a six-year-old can experience depression, I think I became first acquainted with it that year!

At nine-years-old, I was diagnosed with a blockage in my aorta-artery. I underwent invasive open-heart surgery.  What a terrible, painful experience the surgery was.  Even at fifty-five I can still recall how much it hurt to breathe under the oxygen tent for days following the surgery.  Also, at ten-years-old, my grandmother died.  It was the first time I ever saw my daddy break down and cry.  During this same time period, I witnessed two of my first cousins to die; one at six-weeks of age from a lung infection and the other at three days old from crib-death.  I was so badly saddened by their deaths.  At the time, I was the only living girl on my dad’s side of the family. I had so looked forward to having girl cousins to play with.  But, they were taken away before I ever got to know them.  Once again, I suffered a feeling and sense of loss.  Why did I keep losing the things I loved the most in life?  I was simply too young to understand all of the events happening to me and around me.

As life goes on and we become older, we learn to adjust more quickly to “disappointing” truths and events within our lives.  Our childish feelings mature.  We also learn that there is Someone who is in control and His ways are not always our ways.  As my own children grew up, it was hard for me to “part” with their belongings.  I still have tokens of their child-hood stored away in our basement.  I did the same thing with some of our grandchildren’s belongings.  My adult children don’t realize that by my keeping some of their belongings is my way of showing them that I value and care for each of them.    Thank goodness for my husband who helps to keep me balanced and not a horder and pack-rat!

As we grow older in the Lord, it’s by Faith in Jesus Christ that we not allow ourselves to be overridden and destroyed by the disappointing truths that happen within our lives.  As we grow older, losses no longer simply involve around the putting away of treasured toys, but they become adult losses such as the loss of a friend, spouse, divorce, child, unfulfilled dreams, or financial losses….disappointing truths that many times change the course of our lives.

But, it is then that we deeply rely on God’s promise that His ways are “higher” and not always our ways.  He sees things through eternal eyes…He’s the author and finisher of our Faith and of our lives.  Oh, thank God for God being God!!!!  I can rest in that blessed assurance through the most difficult of times.

Today, you may be facing “disappointing” truths in your life.  What do I mean by “disappointing truth?”  Reality…It is what it is….And, until God chooses to “change” it; if He does…it will remain what it is… Simplly put…Reality/Truth.  So, take assurance in His words, “My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.”

But, I love this part….”As the heavens are HIGHER than the earth, so are my ways HIGHER than your ways and my thought than your thoughts.  God says, “My word goes out from my mouth, it will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it…You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands. Instead of the thorn-bush will grow the pine tree, and instead of briers the myrtle will grow, This will be for the LORD’s renown, for an everlasting song, which will not be destroyed.”  AMEN, AMEN, AMEN!!!!!!!  Even if our today may seem bleak and filled with gloom, we have a brighter future ahead in Christ.

Remember, God Loves you!

Lin T. Rollins, Author