Foundation of Praise • P.O. Box 2518 • Escondido, CA 92033-2518 • 760.741.2755 • www.foundationofpraise.org
Worry? Or Trust?
One of our most common temptations is to worry about tomorrow or next week, or what may happen years from now. There is no possible way for anyone to be fully prepared for the future – other than to place the future in God’s hands! At nightfall we believe that the sun will soon rise again because we have often seen that happen. But we may not believe that God will cause other good things to happen to us. Worry about what may happen tomorrow, can easily prevent us from enjoying God’s blessings for today!
Jesus told us, Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself (Matthew 6:34). We will probably continue to worry unless we learn how to turn over the anxieties to God that invade our mind. Have you learned that Satan is the author of worry? He knows that God wants us to put our trust in Him, so Satan whispers, “Where is God? How do you know He will do anything for you?” Yet, the Holy Spirit whispers, Trust in the Lord (Proverbs 3:5).
We need to provide for our future needs, but that isn’t worry. Worry about the future weakens our ability to deal with the present. God has designed our body and mind to work best when we are not anxious.
In Luke 10 Martha was frustrated with her sister Mary. As usual Mary was not helping. In fact, she was just sitting at Jesus’ feet listening to Him. She knew there was a lot of work to be done if they were going to feed the Lord and all his disciples. When Martha asked Jesus to remind Mary of her responsibility, Jesus said to Martha, You are worried and upset about many things. Jesus saw that her anxieties were defeating His purpose for being in her home. He wanted to bless her but He couldn’t because all she was thinking about was her problems with her sister.
You may be thinking about problems in your life - perhaps many times a day. But try to realize that Jesus is here with us now! He wants us to trust Him rather than to worry about things over which we may have no control. Our anxieties are not the result of God failing us but the result of us keeping our attention on our problems instead of on Him and His care for us.
I can almost hear Satan whispering to you, “If Merlin had your problems he wouldn’t be so confident about the future.” I too have worried about things over which I had no control, but I’m learning now to enjoy the freedom of trusting God to take care of everything that I place in His hands. One effective way to do this is to practice reminding ourselves, over and over again, that God is always working for our good. We can repeat this truth so frequently that it becomes our automatic response to every anxiety that comes to our mind.
To the tune of London Bridge is Falling Down, I often sing:
“God is working for my good, for my good, for my good,
God is working for my good, yes He really is.”
Sometimes I even sing:
“You are working for my good, for my good, for my good,
You are working for my good, yes, You really are.”
And I know I’m singing to God.
(Reprint from July, 2006)
by Mary Carothers
Can We Change?
When I grew up in the 30’s and 40’s, society supported the values of the home and family. It was easy to know what was right and what was wrong. Not only were our parents and school teachers in agreement, but also those in civil authority.
Not so today. Many in our country are in rebellion against God. We live in an incredibly self-indulgent time in history. It seems the pursuit of pleasure, for many, is the most important goal in life. We have become so desensitized to sin that we can watch with little or no concern, scenes on TV and movie screens that would have deeply offended us 20 or 30 years ago.
Many of our school age children are taught that there are no absolutes, no right or wrong answers to moral problems. Rebellion against parents is encouraged; patriotism is discouraged.
Lest I seem unduly hard on the schools, let me hasten to say that it is the God-given responsibility – today as in the past – of parents to train up their children in God’s way. It’s good when schools and society support our efforts, but whether they try to help us or hinder us, the responsibility still rests on our shoulders. Far too often we Christians leave the spiritual training of our children to the church or Christian school. Fortunately, I do see an effort on the part of many Christian families to change this.
We who bear the name of Christ need to exercise self-control rather than self-indulgence. How else can we teach our children? If we want them to control their sexual desires, for example, they need to see us control our fleshly indulgences…such as anger, criticism of others, overeating, watching trash on TV, or whatever it is that tempts us.
Jesus told us that we are to be the light of the world. That means that whenever we are at work, at home – wherever – as Christians we represent Jesus and His light. We are the only “Bible” many folks will ever read. Unfortunately, we Christians have been passive, and as a result we have lost much ground to evil. The enemy of our souls has been busy, while we have diligently been attending church services…believing that this was how we were to “serve” God.
Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people (Proverbs 14:34). Only with God’s help can we bring our nation back to godly values and thereby achieve righteousness for our nation. To accomplish this we must cease to be passive and go on the offensive.
How can we win back our nation and our children? We have to face the fact that we are engaged in a war. Not a war of bullets and bombs, but a war with the enemy of our souls. We need to be just as conscious of our obligations as citizens of our country as we are aware of our rights and privileges.
Let’s practice being good soldiers of the cross of Jesus. We must be willing to pay the price. Victories require battles…battles with our self-indulgent natures, and battles with the evil threatening to engulf our society. To win this war, we must get on our knees and repent of our lukewarmness and ask for His forgiveness. Then we should pray fervently for revival – in ourselves – and in our nation. God has promised us that when we repent and turn away from our sinful lifestyles and seek Him with all our hearts, He in turn, will heal our land (see II Chronicles 7:14). That is God’s promise to the people of every nation in the world.
Ask the Lord what He would have you do. Perhaps He will lead you and some other Christians in your area to run for the local school board, or maybe for city council. Who knows? You and the Lord are a majority. With His help we can pull down the strongholds of the enemy. Until we attempt the impossible, we can never receive the unlimited resources of Almighty God.
Prison to Praise was so inspirational to me. The thought of actually thanking God in every situation never crossed my mind. Thanking God for everything can be greater than imagined and it is all thanks to you sharing your testimony in Prison to Praise. Talia, IL
I treasure Merlin’s books – a favorite being Prison to Praise! Such a fantastic message! Teresa, CA
I met Merlin in the early 70’s when he spoke at our Full Gospel Business Men’s meeting in Memphis. I still have my original copy of Prison to Praise that he autographed for me. I have read and re-read it many times. Joseph, TX
Prison to Praise was the very first book I read, and it impressed me so much that I have shared it with many others. Keep up the good work. Jonelle, CA
Thank you for “soldiering on” and continuing Merlin’s legacy of praise. My life has been greatly impacted by Prison to Praise. Life-altering! Elaine, PA
I read Prison to Praise and it totally caught me off guard. It has been a blessing and a great help with understanding my walk with Christ. Lloyd, NM
I thank God for your continuing ministry. Reading Prison to Praise forty years ago dramatically strengthened my faith. I am praising God in ALL things. Kathy, CA
I just finished reading Prison to Praise and it was amazing! My mother told me about praising God even in bad times and I started applying it in my life. But after reading Prison to Praise today I understand it even more. Thank you. Randi, TX
Prison to Praise is amazing! Every chapter truly touched my heart. I found the Lord at an early age but fell away from Him and now I’m sitting in jail. The book was so inspiring that I am sharing it with everyone in our Bible study. Thank you and God bless. Brandon, IL
Thank you for sending praise books to Shelby County Corrections. I will use Prison to Praise for a special gift to be given out to each inmate when he receives his water baptism. Praise God for what you are doing. Chaplain, TN