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Ecclesiastes 3:11

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Trust is something we put into action every day. I trust that other commuters driving on the highway will obey the rules and stay in their lanes. I trust that my internet or Wi-Fi connection will work, allowing me to access Google or Instagram.

We trust man-made laws and technology, even when they sometimes fail or fall short. So, why is it so difficult to trust God? Why is it that we lose trust in Him when He doesn’t immediately answer our prayers or quickly fulfill His promises? Why do we so easily forget that He is the one who fuels our dreams and purpose?

Lately, my mantra has been I trust You, God. Even when it feels like everything is falling apart. Even when I have no idea what to do next. Even when it looks like all my hard work has gone to waste. I trust You, God.

That dependence and reliance on God is somehow one of the most difficult things for me to give, because I’m releasing control. Instead of relying on my own strength, reason or wisdom, I’m admitting that I don’t know everything and God does.

Maybe that’s why I admire the character of Joseph so much. When Joseph was only a boy, God gave him a big dream. Joseph didn’t know the extent of his dream. He didn’t know he would one day save millions of people, including his own nation, from starvation. At the time, he only saw a snippet of the dream. But the incredible thing is that Joseph wasn’t personally ready yet for his dream’s fulfillment.

“Until the time came to fulfill his dreams, the Lord tested Joseph’s character.” (Psalm 105:19 NLT)

God knew the perfect time to plant the dream within Joseph. God knew what needed to happen in order for that seed to grow and develop, and He knew it would take years. But those years wouldn’t be stagnant for Joseph. Instead, God used that time to develop him into a man of wisdom, maturity, dependability, trust, mercy, generosity and perseverance.

In order for Joseph to become that man, he had to go through heart-breaking trials. He experienced rejection, abuse, disappointment, slander, temptation, loneliness, power struggles and isolation.

Why would God allow those things into his life? How could a God who had promised Joseph good things allow those awful situations to happen? Because God knew what Joseph was made of. He knew the potential Joseph possessed within him. He knew the power of Joseph’s dream. So, God presented Joseph with multiple opportunities to show that he trusted God.

“So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold — though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.” (1 Peter 1:6-7 NLT)

We all have God-given dreams and purpose. But maybe you’ve haven’t seen that dream fulfilled yet and you’re beginning to doubt whether you actually received a promise.

“Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end.” (Ecclesiastes 3:11 NLT)

Maybe you don’t think you’re good enough.

“Now all glory to God, who is able, through His mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.” (Ephesians 3:20)

Maybe you find yourself growing angry, confused or disappointed.

“Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; He will neither fail you nor abandon you.” (Deuteronomy 31:8 NLT)

Maybe you’ve put so much hard work into developing your dream and it looks like nothing is happening.

“And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue His work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.” (Philippians 1:6 NLT)

You’re not alone. If God gave you a dream, He trusts that you can handle it and the necessary development to fulfill it. So, trust Him in return.

“For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.” (Isaiah 43:19 NLT)

BY JEN ENGLISH

You can follow Jennifer English on her personal blog https://jensrandommusings.wordpress.com/

He has made everything beautiful in its time. (Ecclesiastes 3:11, Holy Bible, New King James)

Seasons of life are not defined by clocks or calendars. They are experienced as infants, toddlers, preschoolers, tweens, teens, young adults, baby boomers, and seniors. The clock ticks the same for all of us, sixty seconds in each minute, but life becomes a winter snowball racing downhill as we age.

We remember life through events and celebrations, birthdays, school graduations, first vehicle, marriage or career decisions, first home, children, and grandchildren. God sees how we react to each of these seasons. He measures our spiritual progress, not by clocks or calendars, but by His delight in how His beauty shines through us.

Prayer: Eternal God, I am thankful Your presence shines in all seasons of my life. Amen.

Devotion by Violet Carr Moore

pocket-watch-1178772_1280

“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:”  (Ecclesiastes 3:1 KJV)

My husband received an e-mail from his friend which really got my attention.  The story was about a young man named Jack.  His father died when he was young and his neighbor, Mr. Belser, was a great influence on him while growing up.  Mr. Belser taught him carpentry which helped him decide on a career and eventually open his own business.

One day, his Mom called to let him know that Mr. Belser had passed away.  He caught the next flight home not wanting to miss the funeral.  The service was small and uneventful as he had no children of his own, and most of his relatives had passed away.

Before he returned home, Jack and his Mom stopped by to see the old house next door one more time.  Memories flooded Jack’s mind.  It was like a leap through space and time.  Everything was in its place just like he remembered.  All of a sudden he realized that the small gold box Mr. Belser kept locked on top of his desk was missing.  He had asked him a thousand times what was inside and all Mr. Belser would say was, “the thing I value most.”  Thinking perhaps someone in his family had taken it; Jack thought he would never know what that gold box contained.

About two weeks later, he stopped to pick up his mail and there was a note from the post office about a package that required his signature.  The next day he retrieved the package.  When he opened it, the gold box was in it with a key taped to it.  The note inside gave instruction to send the box to Jack Bennett.  He carefully unlocked the box and found a beautiful gold pocket watch with a note that read, “Jack, Thanks for your time!  Harold Belser.”

We have all been given a treasure box of time.  Use it wisely and give it lavishly to those who need you.

Prayer:  Lord, life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by what we did with the time You have allotted us.  Help me remember to brighten someone else’s day with the beautiful gift of my time!

Devotion by  Kaye Singleton