Get Over The Hump Day Devotional: Why It Feels Like God Has Failed You

When I was about 8 years old I read this verse: MATTHEW 17:20 He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” I was at church and I was standing on the softball field by myself looking out at the mountains. I believed that God was able to do what He said and so I began to tell the mountains to move. I stood there and prayed in my heart and in my head and watched those mountains just stand there. No movement, none at all. I began to wonder if I lacked the faith of a tiny seed or if God just wasn’t hearing my prayers. I never doubted that God could move the mountain, but I certainly wondered why He didn’t. God had failed me, or I had failed Him by having too little faith. Fast forward to college on a mission trip in Chattanooga, TN. We went to have breakfast with a group of widows. They would meet and have prayer together. This little woman began to pray and as she prayed she began to say, “God I’m not asking You to move these mountains, I’m just asking for the strength to climb.” I’ve never forgotten that prayer. I’ve often asked The Lord for the strength to climb since that day. Here’s why I think we feel God has failed us so many times.

 

I’ve lost loved ones unexpectedly, I’ve had many lost job opportunities throughout the years, as well as many big opportunities that I’d prayed for that didn’t work out. And some that just came to me that I wasn’t even looking for and I got excited about them and they ended up falling through. I’ve talked with some pretty big name people in the Christian music world that gave me advice and made some promises that never came to fruition. I’ve hoped and prayed for things that I’ve never gotten and I’ve struggled to pay off debts even though I felt I’d made wise decisions. I’ve prayed for things for others that didn’t work out the way I wanted them to work out and I’ve asked God what seems like a million times to send me guidance and I felt like I didn’t get an answer…not to mention needing friends at times when there wasn’t one to be found. God had failed me over and over and over again. That is…if He promised to give me everything that I asked for right when I asked for it and to get me what I wanted to make me happy. If that is what He promised then He did indeed fail me at times. But rest assured He never promised us that we’d get what we wanted, when we wanted it. As a matter of fact when you look it over it sure seems He has some spoiled kids doesn’t it? I’ll go even further to say that I don’t find anywhere in The Bible where He promises that we’ll be “happy” all the time here on this earth. I won’t elaborate on that right now. I’m going to try to stick to this one point. Why does it “seem” that God is failing us?

 

I think the disappointment comes because we know and understand that God is just that…GOD. He owns everything, He controls everything, He is in charge. Nothing is too difficult for God. There’s no amount of money that He can’t provide, there’s no amount of healing that is too hard for Him, there’s no situation that He can’t fix. We read about Jesus walking the earth and touching and healing and providing for the needs of others. Calming storms, healing sickness, creating food, walking on water, even raising the dead! Then why can’t He see that I need work or that my friend needs healing?!? Maybe we have missed the point. Maybe this life is really all about the next life. Maybe we need to look beyond what we want when we’re praying and ask God to reveal to us what we need to be praying for. Or maybe we are spoiled, selfish children and when we don’t get what we want we feel God has failed us. That sounds harsh but is probably true in many circumstances. Even if that is the case, rest assured that God is not tired of hearing your prayers. He loves you. He’s patient and kind and He wants to hear you pray. He is listening to His children. We are imperfect and we’re imperfect parents. But He is not. He is perfect and long-suffering and no matter how we “feel” He will never and has never let us down. He’s not mad at us because we’re mad at Him. He doesn’t walk away when you yell at Him. He doesn’t hate that thing about you that you may hate or your spouse may complain about. He loves you perfectly. That is why He doesn’t give us what we want, when we want it. This life is all about the next one. Listen to Him as He tries to tell us that. (ROMANS 14:7-87 For not one of us lives for himself, and not one dies for himself; for if we live, WE LIVE FOR THE LORD, or if we die, we die for the Lord; therefore whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s).

 

Faith is more than moving mountains, it’s trusting He will give you the strength to climb (Hebrews 11:1, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things NOT SEEN.”) This thing called “Faith” has substance to it, but it can’t be seen or always felt, it must be believed with your head and your heart. It is not blind, it is solid because it comes from trusting God’s word.

 

Sometimes this life gets hard, but that’s so we’ll gain what we really need. (ROMANS 5:1-5 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God. And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that TRIBULATION BRINGS ABOUT PERSEVERANCE; AND PERSEVERANCE, PROVEN CHARACTER; AND PROVEN CHARACTER, HOPE; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.).

 

God has never failed me. It sure feels like He has sometimes. I can still think of times that I feel like He let me down. Yep, it’s true. Even now as I write this I can think of moments in my life that I don’t understand and that I “feel” like He let me down. Whew, it feels good to be honest about thatdoesn’t it? Here’s the thing: It doesn’t matter how I “feel”, it only matters what is true. I can feel like 2+2 equals 6 all I want but it will always be 4. There will be times we may feel God has let us down but let me assure you He hasn’t. He loves you. He will never let you down. Look at Him hanging on that cross and remember that God loved you so much that He sent His own Son to die so that you could know Him and be known by Him. He won’t withhold what is good for you. (JOHN 3:16)

 

 The TRUTH is He has never failed us. HEBREWS 13:5 Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, “I WILL NEVER DESERT YOU, NOR WILL I EVER FORSAKE YOU,”). I hope you feel loved when you read that but even if you don’t feel it, that’s ok. It’s still true. Believe it and maybe the feeling will catch up with the truth.

By Jackson Bailey

The Get Over The Hump Day Devotional – Choose Your Attitude

Spring is a great time to get a fresh start on life… or not. Flowers and trees are blooming and causing bad allergies, birds are singing and pooping all over the place, squirrels are chattering and stealing all your bird food, the sun is out causing skin cancer and the bees are buzzing and stinging folks. Ahh, it’s a beautiful or irritating time of year depending on what perspective you choose. I used to call myself a realist, which was my way of justifying my negativity. Is that you? If so, it’s gotta change. I’m also a little skeptical of those people who are so happy all the time that they just don’t seem real… or I’m usually expecting them to try to sell me something. I’M LOOKING TO BE POSITIVE IN A VERY REAL WAY. I believe we, as Christians, should be real. I also believe we should be positive, which begins with a thankful heart. As a comedian I can promise you there are people out there who claim to be believers that have such a sour outlook on life that it seems they bathe in lemon water every morning. There are people in every church who are always looking to be offended and need everyone to know how, when, and why they were offended. And while they may or may not be real believers what we know for sure is that they sure don’t look or act like true believers. Now, let’s look in the mirror and make sure there’s not a big log in our eye before we continue. If there is, take this time to remove it. I will do the same. Can everyone see now? Ok then, let’s get serious about being real and positive. I keep saying real because some would have you believe that Christians are always happy, have no problems, and are just being blessed with so much material blessing they just can’t handle it. A Godly positive attitude will never have anything to do with what material things you have and it’s basis is centered around the Joy of knowing Jesus. It’s all about your walk with Jesus Christ. PERIOD. Let’ s get seriously positive here today!

You should be displaying these attributes as a believer. Love, JOY, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self-Control. (GALATIANS 5:22-23). Now, let’s look at some scriptures to help us get motivated in the right direction today.

DEUTERONOMY 28:47-48 ESV Because you did not serve the Lord your God with joyfulness and gladness of heart, because of the abundance of all things, therefore you shall serve your enemies whom the Lord will send against you, in hunger and thirst, in nakedness, and lacking everything. And he will put a yoke of iron on your neck until he has destroyed you. It seems the attitude of our hearts is important.

MATTHEW 12:33 ESV Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad, for the tree is known by its fruit. We will be known by our attitudes and actions that we produce.

EPHESIANS 4:31-32 ESV Let ALL bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with ALL malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. Did you notice the word “all”?

EPHESIANS 4:29 ESV Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. Does your attitude build up?

PHILIPPIANS 2:14 NASB Do ALL things without grumbling or disputing. There’s that sneaky word “all” again….

PROVERBS 18:7 ESV A fool’s mouth is his ruin, and his lips are a snare to his soul. What is your mouth saying about you?

PROVERBS 15:1 ESV A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. Let’s be careful as we choose our words to go along with our joyful attitudes

1 THESSALONIANS 5:21 ESV But test everything; hold fast what is good. Maybe that includes our attitude choices.

1 CORINTHIANS 10:31 ESV So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do ALL to the glory of God. That word ALL keeps coming up!

OK LET’S GET THIS REFRESHED, NEW, JOYFUL ATTITUDE GOING NOW WITH THIS!!!!

ROMANS 12:2 ESV Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. Don’t be normal, life’s better than that.

PSALM 19:14 ESV Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer. Are our attitudes acceptable in His sight?

COLOSSIANS 3:2 ESV Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. You choose what to set your mind on.

PSALM 118:24 ESV This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. You got another day!!

PROVERBS 17:22 ESV A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. Take that medicine and give it out at work today!!

PROVERBS 15:13 ESV A glad heart makes a cheerful face, but by sorrow of heart the spirit is crushed. Let me see that cheerful face!!

1 THESSALONIANS 5:16-18 ESV Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in ALL circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.ALWAYS REJOICE IN “ALL” CIRCUMSTANCES.

AND
PHILIPPIANS 4:8 ESV Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

It’s time to refresh. Let’s see the sun and birds and trees as beautiful things. Let’s look around and choose joyful attitudes. Let’s honor God as we choose thankfulness over those other attitudes that come so easily to us (sadness, bitterness, annoyance, complaining, etc.) You can make a difference in someone’s life today! I’m serious, you truly can, and all it takes is choosing an attitude.

I’m recommending a book to you today that has helped me tremendously. It’s called, “Lord, Change My Attitude (before it’s too late)” by James MacDonald. Enjoy this day!!

Get Over The Hump Day Devotional – Running out of Time!

The other day I knew the entire family needed to take a shower within the next hour or so… and we all know what that means. Get there FIRST! Whoever is last will run out of hot water, and knowing that is a powerful motivator. Sometimes the only thing that could make me jump out of bed was when I knew there was going to be a line for the shower. There’s nothing as bad as that feeling of your hot water fading away. You get into a nice hot shower, and the water gets a little cooler so you naturally turn up the heat. Now you’ve put shampoo in your hair and it gets cooler and you think, “please no, no please…NO, Don’t do this to me!” What started out as the most wonderful feeling is fading away and as much as you want to enjoy this moment and relax, you know you must rinse and repeat as fast as possible before time runs out! Talk about water torture!!! But isn’t that pretty much the feeling we get while raising our children? They’re growing. Another year just flew by. Looking at photos from just last year my kids look so small, so much like….well, kids. Now they look like young adults and the water keeps getting colder and colder and we feel like we must make the most of every moment before time runs out on us.

We need to work. We need computers these days. We have responsibilities. All this is true, but more importantly we also have friendships, spouses, children and time we need to spend with our Savior. What are our priorities? Well, the truth is that all these things have their place. The question is, what place do we give them? This is a devotion and I wish I had more time to explore this subject with you but since time is brief, I’ll just quote this:  Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, MAKING THE MOST OF YOUR TIME, because the days are evil.

I can’t make blanket statements regarding jobs. Some people work crazy schedules, and a man must provide for his family (1 TIMOTHY 5:8). I have a weird schedule but I fight to plan things and make time to hang out with my family. This is just a simple reminder that no one on his deathbed ever says, “I wish I could spend a few more hours at work” or “If only I could buy one more thing.” What we all think about when it comes down to crunch time is that we wish we’d spent more time with the ones we love. There are people out there that you haven’t spoken to in years. Pick up the phone and make that call today. You’ve promised your son or daughter you’d practice ball with them or take them out to dinner. Stop putting it off and go get that baseball glove. It doesn’t matter if it’s raining. (If it is you’ll create a memory for your child they will never forget.) Take pictures, be silly, #LAUGHMORE with your family. This life is like being in a shower that’s running out of hot water. It’s gonna be gone before we know it! I think that making the most of our time is done by making an impact on those around us. So here’s a simple reminder to do things that you know will GLORIFY GOD and HELP OTHERS in some way. Don’t put off your family. Make that call, go on that date, make that apology. Stop making decisions based on your feelings and start making them based on what you know needs to be done. Make The Most Of Your Time!!! Now! Go!!!

by Jackson Bailey