Summer Devotional: 2 Thessalonians 1:11

Image result for painting of scrubbing floors2 Thessalonians 1:11:  “With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may count you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may fulfill every good purpose of yours and every act prompted by your faith.”

There is a purpose is what you do.  Even when the drudgery seems unbearable and all you want to do is quit.  Don’t.  Pray instead.  Ask God to show you His purpose.  His calling.  His will for your work.

When Can You Call Yourself a Writer?

I’m writing the synopsis this morning of my YA novel and I’m thinking the whole time, “This novel sucks!  Is this what I’m supposed to be doing with my life?”

I’m thinking of all the time I have spent working on this novel and the worst-case scenario flashes before my mind:  just another word document on my computer.  Just like all of my other novels and non-fiction work.

I’m frustrated, no doubt.  I think my stuff is good but if I can’t convince anyone else of that then it’s worthless and just a bunch of wasted time.

I never call myself a writer.  I just don’t.  Sure, I have a blog but so do lots of other people.  I would like to definitively say, “Yes, I’m a writer.”  But I just don’t.  I guess I don’t feel like one until I have something published.  Otherwise, I feel like a tinker.  When I say this, I mean one who works with something in an unskilled manner, an experimenter, a fiddler.

I fiddle.  I tinker.  I experiment.  Not create, enthrall, or inspire.

Sigh.  I feel this as God’s calling, but I also feel frustrated when I languish.  Give me something here, Lord.  Anything!

Words of encouragement only get me so far.  I’m results oriented.

And right now it seems like results are light-years away.

I Believe in You

This is the title of the new series at church.  I had to fight tears the whole time.

Our pastor may not be the most eloquent but he has one thing going for him:  he is authentic, God-centered, and heart-felt.  He often cries when he speaks about God and one can’t help but feel his passion for the Lord.

At some point or points, one person or persons believed in you. They told you, “Yes, you can” when others (including yourself) believed otherwise.  Our pastor related his personal story and gave credit to his wife who admittedly he said he wouldn’t be here without her.  She believed in him when he didn’t.  He founded our church 28 years ago with 7 people and now it’s in the thousands.

We need to believe in others.  We need to believe in our spouse. We need to invest in those nearest us–someone. We need an older mentor. We need an encourager.  We need to give of ourselves in order to live.

God wants us to quit settling.  God wants us to have all He has given to us; to seize it.  Satan will try to talk us out of everything God wants us to do.  He will lie to us.

Jesus commissioned his 11 disciples to spread his work.  Jesus believed in them.  He believed in Peter, who denied him 3 times.

God believes in us.  He wants us to follow His call on our life.  God believes in us when we don’t know if we want to go on.

Romans 8:31  If God is for us, who can be against us?

Several songs popped in my mind:  Our God by Chris Tomlin, The Words I Would Say by Sidewalk Prophets, and You Never Let Go by Matt Redman

We need to believe we can do whatever our calling/purpose is in this world.  This gets me through when I’m stuck.  I tell myself, “This is God’s work.  It’s for Him.  It will be all worth it when it’s done.”

When was the last time someone told you they believed in you? When was the last time you told someone you believed in them?

You might not remember.  But I bet you remember the last time you needed to hear it.

Whatever It Takes…

I’m adopting this as my new mantra for the moment.  I’m not happy with where I’m at right now in terms of my calling.  I have so much more inside of me to give.  To much is given much is required which I believe I have been given a lot (talents, abilities, desires, ambition, God’s love) and I need to get all of that out in God’s way for my life.

I must remember God is in the now, in the moment and He can do anything.  He never gives up on me when I have given up on myself.  He is in control.  Life is about risks (you can gain the world but lose your soul).  I’m ready to start taking them.  I can’t just continue leading the life of ‘whatever’.  I must take the next steps.

Why do you think you’re here?  What are you doing with your life?  What are you doing here?  What’s this all about?

Answer for me:  striving everyday to fulfill God’s purpose for my life.  Working towards those goals.  Raising beautiful babies with morals, values, and beliefs.  Helping others.

Whatever it takes to fulfill God’s purpose for my life.  However long it takes, however much sweat it costs, however many tears I must shed, I will succeed.  For God has deemed it so in my life…and in yours.

Why Does God Take Some People and Not Others?

I was reading online about the spring break tragedy where a high school football player died from a fall while on spring break.  My first reaction was one of little sympathy.  If kids do drugs and drink, bad things can happen and they do.  However, it got me to thinking when I was young and there were more than a few times where I did some stupid things (some involving alcohol) and could have died.  Just God didn’t call me at the time.  I put myself in bad situations and nothing happened.  Yet, other kids are called (like this incident) and they don’t escape the repercussions.

This all made me wonder how God chooses people and at what time he chooses them to leave this planet.  My time could have been up several times–but it wasn’t.  He meant me to be the parent of three beautiful children.  Hopefully, He means me to be a published author that will help other people.  Who knows what He means for me in the future?

Life is transitory.  It can be over in one instant.  It can be over because of bad situations you do to yourself or others do to you or even for no reason at all.  We need to enjoy every minute we have here.  Only God knows when our time is up.