Foundation of Praise • P.O. Box 2518 • Escondido, CA 92033-2518 • 760.741.2755 • www.foundationofpraise.org
YOU CAN’T BE LATE
It’s usually possible to be on time for an appointment if we make adequate preparation. But even when we do make adequate preparation, is it possible to be late?
Have you ever been filled with tension over endless complications and delays as you tried to make it to an appointment on time? Did your stomach tie in knots as other people refused to “cooperate” with you? Did you feel strength and composure being drained out of you?
Abraham’s faith did not bring him rapid results. He believed, and God had nothing but praise for his faith. But Abraham’s faith brought only one immediate result – God was pleased. Pleased, but He did nothing until many years later.
Of course, some folks couldn’t care less if they are late for anything, but you may be one of those people who feel that it’s a point of honor to be on time. What hope is there for you when situations develop which compel you to be “late”?
The good news is that it is impossible for us to be late if we trust God as He intends for us to trust Him!
If we consider our appointments to be our business, then we must manage our own personal business. But if we consider all our business to be in God’s control, then we have the right to trust Him to guide our steps.
God looks at hearts and not at watches. Logic tells us that if we are five minutes late, we could have made our departure five minutes earlier. Therefore – if I left late then I am responsible, so I should be upset with myself.
What we need to decide is: “Am I living to please myself and others, or am I living to please God?” Once we decide that our only priority is to please Him, then we are free to go on to other conclusions.
Does God hold a stopwatch on us? Is He displeased when we are late?
Or is He more concerned with the attitude of our hearts? If we want to be, and try to be considerate of other people’s time and feelings, does God know our hearts?
If God knew that we needed to leave for an appointment five minutes earlier, would He have cared enough to put that thought into our minds? I believe He is involved in every detail of our lives, even down to one second of time! After all, one second is the same to God as 1000 seconds!
If we are trusting God to guide our steps it is impossible for us to be late! We always arrive at exactly His right time. Think of the needless suffering you may have gone through in past situations. I know I have. But also think of the peace you can experience from now on!
Whenever your anxiety level begins to rise regarding your schedule, give your schedule back to God. Make this your theme: “I will be exactly where God wants me to be at exactly the right time”. God will see your heart and He will bless you.
Practice telling God that your “seconds” are in His care. Laugh and rejoice in the knowledge that He is in charge. Grow in the confidence that you actually belong to Him. Every situation can be one more opportunity to declare your faith. God wants you to rejoice in Him always. He may permit or even cause you to be late for an appointment, just to give you an opportunity to grow in faith and trust in Him. (Reprint from April, 2000)
Rejoicing? Or Complaining?
by Mary Carothers
It just never ceases to amaze me how God will open my understanding about something when I’m reading the Bible. Whenever He does this I feel like saying, “Oh, duh! I should have already understood that!” Maybe I didn’t understand it or see it quite so clearly before. This article is about one of those times. I really did know this, but it never struck me quite like it did today. If you are familiar with the scripture in Exodus about God bringing the Israelites out of Egypt, where they had been slaves, then you probably also know how they grumbled and complained the whole forty years while they were in the desert. I knew this and I also know that God wants us to always be thankful for the things He allows in our lives. He certainly tells us over and over to rejoice always (Phil. 4). In every situation give thanks for this is God’s will for you (I Thess. 5). Always give thanks to God for everything (Eph. 5). Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise: give thanks to Him and praise His name (Ps.100).
I read in Psalms 95 this morning where God says: For forty years I was angry with that generation (speaking of the Israelites in the desert) so I declared in My anger they shall never enter My rest (Num.14). Does God who is holy and perfect really get angry? Well yes I guess He does - He just said so. What really amazes me every time I think about it is the fact that God killed a bunch of them for grumbling and complaining. Whoa. I’m sure glad He doesn’t do this to us today! If He did many of us would no longer be alive.
I’m very grateful for God’s patience towards me. Since it’s apparently very important to Him that we learn to stop complaining about all the irritating problems in our lives, let’s begin right where we live. How about when the alarm goes off? We feel like saying “ugh” and going back to sleep. But if we stop and think about it, the alarm clock means we have a job (many folks don’t and would love to be in our shoes). Or perhaps we have to get our children up and off to school. What a blessing! I know folks who would pay any price to have children and are unable to. There are always other folks who have bigger problems than we do.
But beyond all of this why are we commanded to always give thanks? Have you ever wondered “Does God have an ego problem? Why does He need all this praise and thanksgiving from us?” That’s a normal thought for us to have, but the answer is, He doesn’t! Learning to have a heart of thanksgiving and praise is for our benefit.
Sometimes I would call Merlin my “joy boy” because he was such a joyful person. What a blessing to be around someone who is happy and upbeat instead of grumpy and complaining. Think how you could bless your family and friends by learning to thank and praise the Lord always.
“Lord help each of us to grow more pleasing to You by obeying Your Word. We want to begin thanking and praising You for everything. Please help us by giving us a check in our spirits when we forget and start complaining and grumbling again”.
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The Lord said to Gideon: With the three hundred
men that lapped I will save you and give the
Midianites into your hands. Let all the other
men go, each to his own place (Judges 7:7).
Gideon found 32,000 men to help Israel fight a war. God decreased the number to only 300 and then worked through this small number to accomplish great things. You may think your donation to the Foundation of Praise is too small to accomplish anything important. But God will take your gift and accomplish great things for His Kingdom..
Vance Havner said, “Christians, like snowflakes, are frail, but when they stick together they can stop traffic.”