Embracing Mystery & What If’s

Embracing Mystery &Have you ever battled a bad case of the “what if’s”?

Have you ever caught yourself in the middle of the night drifting down a path that leads you to meditate on the worst case scenarios?

For me, that’s usually when it happens. When I am so tired that it takes me longer than normal to realize where my thoughts are drifting to a dark, hopeless place. The other night while I lay in a half awake state, I felt the Lord challenge me. He said, “what if you began to imagine that situation turning out better than you expected?”

We know that worry is wrong. We know we aren’t supposed to fear. But we if there is something we can do on the offense when it comes to our thoughts about the future. Did you know that this is actually biblical hope?

Hebrews 11:1 says,

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. (ESV)

Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see. (NLT)

Do you see that? The author of Hebrews is giving you permission to put your faith in an unseen realm. Here’s the reality – you are already investing in the unseen realm. Your mind is already making decisions about your future. Your mind whether conscience or subconsciously is making assumptions about how things will go.

worry expectancy

Here’s the thing – God gave you your imagination! He meant for it to help you in life. And today, if you aren’t already, you can begin to lead your imagination with the truth of who God is.

Let’s look at Romans 8:24-25 in the NASB –

“For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it.”

Hope dwells in the unseen realm. That’s exactly where we need hope! We need faith to lead us into hope for all the areas that we cannot see. I like to call it embracing mystery.

When it says “we wait eagerly for it” in Romans 8:25, it’s the Greek word apekdechomai. The translation is “to expect, look for, to wait for.” God is giving you permission to have expectancy to see His goodness invade the very area that the enemy wants to stir up the “what if’s!” God is not just staying, “stop worrying!” He is saying look at that unseen realm and imagine my goodness invading it. With every unseen area in our life we don’t have to be a victim to fear and worst case scenarios. We can begin to partner with the Holy Spirit and faith to conquer those fears!

What would it look like if God “worked all things together for your good?” It’s okay to think about that. It may not happen exactly how you think it will, but it will help you to learn how to operate in faith rather than fear. Does dwelling in the “what if’s” help you deal with bad things that happen? In my opinion, NO. However, if my belief system is that no matter what God is working all things together for my good, that brings tremendous freedom no matter what circumstances I face!

Today I pray that your imagination will be transformed to a faith building mechanism that looks for the goodness of God to invade your life!

Love,

Anna

If you’d like more on Embracing Mystery, click on this link to find my 21 day devotional on hope.

laughing at the days to come…

Image

she smiles at the future… (nasb)

she laughs without fear of the future… (nlt)

she can laugh at the days to come… (niv)

she shall rejoice in time to come… (nkjv)

and she always faces tomorrow with a smile… (message)

Proverbs 31:25b

Don’t you want people to say this about you?!

It’s a new year, a new day, a new season.  God wants you to have an emotional reaction to your future{and that doesn’t have to be fear!}.  He is a good Father with good gifts, who withholds no good thing.  He takes us from glory to glory.

This is one of my favorite verses.  This is God’s heart for us.  He is a Father who longs to place identity in us that beams with strength and dignity.  He longs for us to embrace a hope {confident expectation that good is coming} that brings us to the point of joyous, loud, until your stomach hurts laughter when we look to the future.

I pray that today you are “clothed in strength and dignity”  and that you can smile, laugh, and rejoice in what tomorrow will bring.

Facing fears today about the future?

Give those fears to Him.  He loves you so much.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.

Proverbs 3:5-6

Give up your right to understand.  He is bigger.

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,  to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

Ephesians 3:20-21

Now that we’ve let go of the fears of the unknown, we are free to embrace the mystery and the adventure that our Good Father in heaven has for us!

Go ahead… LAUGH, SMILE, REJOICE!

the hope of glory

Chuck and I began our trip to Texas at a church we love in Austin, TX.  Since we got married, we have traveled to four different churches, and I have been in more of the supporting from the front row mode.  

Between applying for Chuck’s green card, work, and getting the hang of home ownership, and bills I didn’t know existed, I didn’t have much energy left to teach.

Alas, the green card’s in the mail, I’ve fallen in love with online bill pay, I know I’m sure I’m a little behind the times, my head is back above water!  Before we went to Austin, I was praying about the church we would be visiting.  I felt that we were to emphasize on the glory, the presence of the Lord.  I scribbled a couple things into my journal and went about my day.

When we got to Austin, Chuck said he was feeling two scriptures that we should preach.  Wouldn’t you know that they were the same scriptures I had written in my journal a few days before?  God is fun. 🙂

We had fun co-preaching, and the Holy Spirit faithfully moved, awaking hearts, and penetrating truth into reality.

But I can’t seem to get over it.  I am stuck on this man Jesus.

I’ve been reading scriptures on this man, and they are coming to life in a new way.  I’ve known Him since I was a four year old girl, or perhaps before then, but his word is alive and active.

“For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
7 Of the greatness of his government and peace
there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne
and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
with justice and righteousness
from that time on and forever.
The zeal of the Lord Almighty
will accomplish this.”

Isaiah 9:6-7

What a good reminder that the government is upon his shoulders!

Who doesn’t need a wonderful counselor?

He is mighty, stronger than any force of creation.

He is an everlasting Father, there is no end to the heart of our heavenly Father.

And the Prince of Peace, oh how I need Him, every hour, every moment of my day.

In light of the present day tradegies and disappoints I challenge us to look upon this man of Jesus.  In Him we can find what we need.  

My heart aches with the news reports of innocent lives taken, and I cried yesterday during a st. jude commercial.  It’s not being immune to these things.  They hurt.  Not only our little hearts, but also the heart of our everlasting Father.

And we must find refuge for this pain.  Refuge in the presence of this man Jesus.

“The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.  For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him.  He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy.  For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him,  and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

Colossians 1:15-20

“To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.”

Colossians 1:27

Here’s the really beautiful part, if you are a believer this beautiful man dwells within you.  

We have unlimited access to His presence.  That’s what the resurrection did.  He overcame death so that we could be restored to the everlasting Father.

I pray that every moment on this Christmas season is filled with the awareness of Christ’s presence.