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Don’t Ask “Why?” Trust God

Some things are just beyond our understanding and we must trust God

There are moments in life that we just are not able to understand. In those moments it is hard to just trust God. Life feels out of control and you can’t stop it. But those are the very moments that we need to trust God and know He has everything in His control.

Job found himself in such a situation. Even though he was a righteous man, God allowed Satan to bring about utter destruction in Job’s life. It’s only natural to question such a thing and want to know why. Job was not different. He wanted to know why so much suffering had been heaped on him. 

In Job 16:12-14 Job questioned God’s actions. But as God informs Job about His ordering of the world, Job capitulates and he comes to understand the powerfulness of God and understands that there is nothing God cannot do. When we know this, it can be even more difficult to wonder why God doesn’t heal our loved one or doesn’t seem to answer a certain prayer request. Or why he allows world-wide pandemics. We, like Job, want to ask “Why?!” Instead, we need to trust God who is both omnipotent and omniscient.

If we Trust God, we know God’s got it! He doesn’t need our help.

Whenever we begin to wonder if God is at work, we are tempted to step in and help God achieve His plans and His purposes. In other words, we don’t trust God. We think that because things are out of control in our lives, that God doesn’t have control. So we cry out asking “Why?!” and we go to working trying to help Him fix our problems. However, when we do, we just make a even bigger mess of things.

Abraham and Sarah

Sarah and Abraham did this when Sarah told Abraham to have a child by her maid. Abraham agreed and Ishmael was born – but that wasn’t God’s promise. His promise was that Sarah would have a son and through her son all the nations would be blessed. It would be through her son that the nation of Israel would come to be and through that nation, David would rule and through David’s family tree, Jesus would be born who would save people from their sins. That was God’s plan.

Rebecca, Isaac, Jacob, and Esau

In Genesis 27, we find four Biblical characters that tried to accomplish God’s plan their way. God told Rebecca that when she gave birth to twins, the older would serve the younger, but instead of trusting God’s plan, they get sneaky. Isaac, despite what God had said, tried to bestow the family blessing on Esau. Esau tried to take back what he had already sold to his brother Jacob. Rebecca deceives Isaac and tricks him into blessing her favorite son, Jacob. Jacob lied to his father and outsmarted his brother. As a result, Jacob has to flee from his brother’s wrath and he never sees his mother alive again.

Omnipotent and Omniscient God has a plan and a purpose

We need to learn, like Job, that God can do anything and everything. He doesn’t need our help. We may not understand what God is up to or why He allows certain things. But we can trust God has a plan and purpose. We don’t always have to know why. God wants us to trust Him.

We need to learn, like Job, that God can do everything. There is no impossible for Him. He doesn’t need our help. We don’t always have to know why. God wants us to trust Him.

When we cry out to God, “Why!?” God says, “Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert” (Isaiah 43:19). And in Isaiah 46:11  God says, “I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it.” We can trust that God always has a plan and He will see that it is carried out. He doesn’t need our help to accomplish His plans for us. In fact, if something is God’s plan – there is nothing that will stop it from happening and if it isn’t His plan, He will intervene to stop it. Whatever life brings us – every single moment and every single event – must pass through the hand of God before it ever reaches us.

We can trust that God always as a plan and He will see that it is carried out. Every single moment and every single event in our lives must pass through the hand of God before it ever reaches us.

Nothing happens in our lives without it going through God first

We know this is true because the book of Job opens up with Satan appearing before God. God asks Satan what he’s been up to and Satan says, “Roaming back and forth throughout the earth.” Now, God is omniscient (all-knowing). He doesn’t ask because He doesn’t know what Satan’s been doing and He also knows exactly why Satan is there.

God says, “Have you seen my servant Job? There is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil.”

Satan responds, “Does Job fear God for nothing? Have You not made a hedge around him, around his household, and around all that he has on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. But now, stretch out Your hand and touch all that he has, and he will surely curse You to Your face!” In the verse that follows God allows Satan to tempt Job by doing whatever he wants to Job, only He can’t touch Job’s person. When this doesn’t work to make Job curse God, Satan comes back to God again and then God allows Satan to touch Job himself, but Satan cannot kill Job. Through all that Job goes through – he does not curse God. But he does ask why. He wants God to explain why all this happens, but He does not curse Him

God Reveals His omnipotence

It is not until we reach chapter 38 that God reveals His omnipotence to Job. He begins with a round of questions to Job that challenges his understanding of the Lord’s creative power (verses 4-15). He then challenges Job’s experiential knowledge of the earth based on Job’s limited travels could not include going into the depths sea. Nor had he seen the gates of death and he had not passed through them (verses 16-18). God then reminds Job that Job was not yet born when God commanded the light into being (verses 19-21).

God’s questions and challenges to Job continue through chapter 39 and then in chapter 40, verse 2, God says, “Shall the one who contends with the Almighty correct Him?” Job’s only response is to admit his criticism was groundless. He says to God, “Behold, I am vile; What shall I answer You? I lay my hand over my mouth. Once I have spoken, but I will not answer; Yes, twice, but I will proceed no further.” God continues to challenge Job. And then we come to chapter 42 where we find that Job repents.

Job learns God can do everything

In verse 2, Job says, “I know that You can do everything, And that no purpose of Yours can be withheld from you.” Job confesses God’s rightful sovereignty over all matters – even the situation Job found himself in. He learned that in all of God’s wise handling of the physical and natural worlds, his questioning of God was beyond his understanding and experience and it is beyond ours too. In verse 6 of Job 42, we find that Job was humbled that the Lord of the universe had granted him his greatest wish and spoke to him, reestablished fellowship with him, and with genuine repentance, he stopped relying on himself and began fully relying on God.

Job’s questioning of God was beyond Job’s understanding & experience & it is beyond ours too.

Stop helping God manage your situation and rely on your omnipotent God

Whatever you are trying to help God accomplish or whatever you are asking “Why?” about, let it go and learn to rely on the God who ordered the universe and holds it all (including you) in the palm of His hand. He has everything in control – even when it all seems out of control. Sometimes we don’t ever get the answer to “Why” but we can always know that God is working everything out for our good because He has good plans for us.

When Job stopped relying on himself, he began fully relying on God. We also need to rely on the God who ordered the universe and holds it all (including you) in the palm of His hand.

.

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Our Verse Mapping download is FREE and includes 6 pages: 3 pages of instructions for using the template and the 2 page template, plus the cover page. If you’re looking to go deeper into God’s Word, learn more about God and develop a stronger spiritual life, Verse Mapping will help you dig into the scriptures. As you apply God’s Word to your life, you will develop a more intimate knowledge and relationship with God.

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Download our Free 2021 Bible Memory Verse Plan

We’ve put together 52 memory verses for you to hide God’s Word in your heart! You can download the full document for free and then print a new verse each week and as many copies as you’d like. Each verse prints four times on a page so that you can then cut them into index size cards and place them in prominent places where you will see them frequently throughout the day to help you remember to memorize them. Just because you visited our site, they’re yours for free! Download today.

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Download our Free 2021 Daily Bible Reading Plan

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The Self-Care Wheel provides ideas for practicing self-care in six dimensions of yourself: Spiritual, Physical, Emotional, Intellectual, Sensory, and Social. NOTE: You will need 11X14 paper to print the wheel.

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When we ask Jesus to forgive us and save us from our sin, He takes our old, sinful self and makes us new in Him. This beautiful canvas is a great reminder of what Jesus has done for us.

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God, Love and Marshmallow Wars by Julia M. Bruce

What’s Inside God, Love and Marshmallow Wars?

God, Love and Marshmallow Wars is a book that includes 365 daily activities and takes you on a guided journey through Biblical principles about Godly marriage that you can then apply to your marriage, as well as helping you talk through concepts that can help you develop a solid relationship. Inside you will find simple, quick activities that include:

  • Scripture to memorize and meditate on.
  • Conversation Starters.
  • Concepts from the Bible on Godly marriages.
  • Romance Builders.
  • Relationship Builders.
  • Personal reflections.
  • Date ideas.
  • Group date ideas for you and other Christian couples.

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Be an Encourager like Barnabas

Who is Barnabas

Barnabas was a Levite and native of the island of Cyprus. Prior to the disciples naming him Barnabas, he was Joseph. The disciples renamed him with a name that identified his strongest characteristic – he was an encourager. What if the disciples were to rename you with a name that identified your strongest characteristic? What would your name be?

Barnabas sold his property and gave the proceeds to the church in Jerusalem (Acts 4:36-37). He was also the man that introduced Saul of Tarsus (later named Paul), to the Jerusalem church (Acts 9:26-27). In Acts 11, the early church of Jerusalem heard about the Greek-speaking Gentiles who became believers and a church was planted and established in Antioch. As a result, of the Greeks converting to Christianity, they chose Barnabas to go to Antioch to investigate the preaching to the Gentiles. Barnabas becomes the leader of the work in Antioch and he secures Saul as his assistant. In Acts 11, we learn some important qualities about Barnabas that every Christian should model.

Barnabas was glad

How many times have you gone to church to see some sour-faced saint who can’t seem to do anything but grumble and complain? Maybe that saint is you. When Barnabas arrived at the church in Antioch, Acts 11:23 tells us he was glad. Why? Because he saw the grace of God at work in the church that had been planted there.

Whenever we see God at work, that is cause for gladness and joy. Psalm 122:1 says, “I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord!” What if we went into church each week glad to be there? Glad to meet our Savior in His House? Glad to worship, praise, sing, and fellowship with other believers?

Barnabas encouraged them

The cost of discouraging others

How often does the excitement of a new Christian wear off because the sour-faced, grumpy saint squelched the joy? Maybe it isn’t a sour-face, grumpy saint, but a saint with a large does of unbelief in what God can do with a person who has a willing heart. What about kids coming back from youth camp? What about after the church holds a “revival service”? Or what about when God calls someone to a task but family and friends discourage them because “how could God use that person with their past?” What about the pastor who called it quits because the church could only complain, bicker, and demand their way? Or what about the person who drams of finding a cure for cancer? What about the person that struggles with depression?

The danger of discouraging others

We all need encouragers in our lives! However, if you discourage others from what God has called them to do, you’re actually guilty of quenching the work of the Holy Spirit. What if, because of your discouragement, someone gave up on that dream or walked away from a calling? They could have been the one person to lead someone to Christ but because they gave up and walked away that someone never hears how much Jesus loves them.

Or what about that couple who’s marriage could have been saved but fell apart because of your discouraging words? Or that teen who dreams of finding the cure for cancer begins to believe there is no cure and chooses another path because you made them feel like finding a cure was hopeless. But had they stayed true to the dream God gave them, the cure may have been found. Matthew 12:36 says, “But I tell you that every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the day of judgment.”

Sometimes we don’t discourage others with the words we say – but with the looks we give. Or sometimes its in the words we don’t say. You never know what God is saying to a person because God is speaking to them and not you. If He hasn’t let you in on His plan for their lives, then who are you to discourage them? Instead, we need to be a “Barnabas” to others and speak words of encouragement into their lives and pray for the work that God is doing in their lives.

Barnabas and Saul

We need to be like Barnabas and encourage others. It’s not up to us to determine the dream God puts in the heart of another person. Be an encourager. Barnabas not only encouraged the new church at Antioch, but he also encouraged a man named Saul who had been a persecutor of Christians. But then, on his way to Damascus with letters giving him the authority to round up the Christians, he encountered a blinding light and the voice of Jesus. Jesus renames Saul to Paul and from Paul we get the majority of the New Testament.

What if Barnabas had said, “God can’t ever use Saul! He’s known for persecuting Christians. He’ll never be accepted. The Christians will never trust him.” Be very careful who you discourage because you never know the plans God has for another person. Instead, encourage them in their dreams – even the far-fetched crazy dreams because God likes working in the far-fetched and crazy. And He likes using broken people who have willing heart to be obedient to do the far-fetched and crazy tasks God has for them.

Barnabas had purpose

What was Barnabas’ purpose in encouraging the new church at Antioch? To continue with the Lord. God started a work in this Greek, Gentile church and Barnabas’ purpose was to continue that work. In fact, when he saw what God was doing, he left Antioch in search of Saul. He then brought Saul back to Antioch and they stayed there for a year, teaching and growing this new church.

What was the result? A great many people were saved and it was here at Antioch that the disciples were first called Christians. The term “Christians” likely came from Romans who labeled the people who followed Jesus “little Christs.” While they intended it to be an insult, it is actually a title of honor because it meant that the disciples were living Christlike lives. If the Romans were here today, would they label you as “Christian” or “little Christ”? Do we have purpose in our heart to continue the work of Christ? Are we willing to go and get someone and bring them to help carry out that purpose – even if the person the Holy Spirit is directing you to is a very unlikely person?

Barnabas was a good man

Barnabas lived a Christlike life. As Luke (the writer of Acts) penned, “For he was a good man,” he was affirming that Barnabas lived a morally pure life. He was not a thief or the town drunk. Barnabas didn’t cheat on his wife. He did not live habitually in sin. It doesn’t mean Barnabas never sinned, for we all do. However, his reputation was one that identified him as a man who abstained from evil and sin. In other words, he was a good man.

He was also a man who did the right thing. In Acts 4, he sold his property and gave the money to help the poor saints and relieve their suffering. He found ways to encourage others and he was obedient to the promptings of the Holy Spirit – even when the instructions were to take a previous-Christian-persecutor-converted-Christian under his wing. After Barnabas’ appearance in Acts, he isn’t mentioned again. However, Paul would go on to do great and might things including writing the numerous books of the New Testament that we read in our Bible today.

Barnabas was full of the Holy Spirit

Barnabas lived out Ephesians 5:18, which says, “And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit.” Galatians 5:18 tell us that we are walking in the Spirit when we are led by the Spirit. We are all full of something. Maybe its sports, work, money, hobbies, family, possessions, fame or love. But if we are full of these things without being full of the Holy Spirit then we’re really just full of bologna. When our lives are full of these things, we allow these things to control our lives, our time, our wallets. But when we live Spirit-led lives, we live in humility toward God, surrendering our will to His and the result is a live of joy and thanksgiving – remember that Barnabas was glad?- he had good reason to be because He was full of the Holy Spirit.

Barnabas was full of Faith

Barnabas had Faith in God

He didn’t have a wavering faith. Barnabas didn’t have faith only when things were going good. Barnabas had a deep faith in God. Hebrews 11:6 says, “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them than diligently seek him” Barnabas was full of faith. He believed and obeyed the gospel. He acknowledged that Jesus was his Lord and lived in obedience to him.

Barnabas had Faith in Others

Barnabas also had faith in his brothers and sisters in Christ. Everyone else would have shunned Saul – but Barnabas took under his wing. He listened to Saul’s conversion experience. He also listened to the Holy Spirit who prompted him to go get Saul and bring him to Antioch to help with the new church there.

Saul wasn’t the only convert that Barnabas had faith in. John Mark was Barnabas’ counsin and on the first missionary journey, they took John Mark with them, but when they reached Perga, John Mark went back home. On the 2nd missionary journey, Barnabas hasn’t given up on John Mark and he wants to take him with them again, but Saul (now called Paul) refused. Still Barnabas didn’t give up on John Mark. Instead, Paul and Silas went one way while Barnabas and John Mark went another. We know that Barnabas continued encouraging and training John Mark because later, Paul writes in 2 Timothy 4:11, “Only Luke is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, for he is useful to me for ministry.” Paul gave up on him, but Barnabas did not. And now Paul says that John Mark is useful to him for ministry.

Who do you need to be a “Barnabas” to?

Someone today is ready to give up. Someone is hurting. There is someone that is questioning God and don’t understand. Today there is a new Christian who needs to be introduced to the church and taken under a wing. There is someone who needs training and nurturing in spiritual matters. Someone is lost and on their way to hell. Will you listen to the quiet prompting of the Holy Spirit and be a Barnabas today?

click here to listen to our daily devotions on Spotify and be sure to follow us.

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Now you can enhance your Bible Reading with the Verse Mapping Template

Our Verse Mapping download is FREE and includes 6 pages: 3 pages of instructions for using the template and the 2 page template, plus the cover page. If you’re looking to go deeper into God’s Word, learn more about God and develop a stronger spiritual life, Verse Mapping will help you dig into the scriptures. As you apply God’s Word to your life, you will develop a more intimate knowledge and relationship with God.

[Download not found]

Download our Free 2021 Bible Memory Verse Plan

We’ve put together 52 memory verses for you to hide God’s Word in your heart! You can download the full document for free and then print a new verse each week and as many copies as you’d like. Each verse prints four times on a page so that you can then cut them into index size cards and place them in prominent places where you will see them frequently throughout the day to help you remember to memorize them. Just because you visited our site, they’re yours for free! Download today.

[Download not found]
Bible Reading Plan Download

Download our Free 2021 Daily Bible Reading Plan

With just 30-40 minutes per day, you can read the entire Bible in one year. The One-Year Bible Reading Plan consists of both Old Testament and New Testament readings for each day of the year. The Bible is God’s personal Word to you. What is He saying to you today? Open your Bible and find out!

[Download not found]

Download our Free Self-Care Wheel

The Self-Care Wheel provides ideas for practicing self-care in six dimensions of yourself: Spiritual, Physical, Emotional, Intellectual, Sensory, and Social. NOTE: You will need 11X14 paper to print the wheel.

Want to know more about self-care? Our Self-Care blog series targets people who serve in any ministry position and takes a Biblical approach to self-care.

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Godfidence

The psalmist reminds us that when our sins are forgiven, God removes them from us as far as the east is from the west.

Godfidence

The slide show below highlights some of our favorite Christian Tees designs available in our Spreadshop and Teespring stores.

  • Revive Us Again, Lord

Canvas art and posters are available in the Teespring store. Many of our Christian Tees are also available at Teespring.

New in the Teespring Store: All Things New

All Things New

We’ve added a new canvas print to the Teespring Store.

When we ask Jesus to forgive us and save us from our sin, He takes our old, sinful self and makes us new in Him. This beautiful canvas is a great reminder of what Jesus has done for us.

To see the collection of Canvas and Poster Prints


Need some music to get you through the day? Check out one of our Playlists on YouTube

Click here for the Contemporary Christian Playlist
Click here for the Southern Gospel Playlist
Or Click here for the Hymns Playlist

You can also watch our animated devotionals on the YouTube Channel


God, Love and Marshmallow Wars by Julia M. Bruce

What’s Inside God, Love and Marshmallow Wars?

God, Love and Marshmallow Wars is a book that includes 365 daily activities and takes you on a guided journey through Biblical principles about Godly marriage that you can then apply to your marriage, as well as helping you talk through concepts that can help you develop a solid relationship. Inside you will find simple, quick activities that include:

  • Scripture to memorize and meditate on.
  • Conversation Starters.
  • Concepts from the Bible on Godly marriages.
  • Romance Builders.
  • Relationship Builders.
  • Personal reflections.
  • Date ideas.
  • Group date ideas for you and other Christian couples.

Available in hardback, paperback and ebook from Westbow Press Bookstore, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble. Click the icons below to purchase from your preferred bookstore. Now also available at WalMart online.

WestBow Press logo

Bible Studies, Bibles, Books & More

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Steps Purposefully Ordered by God

Have you ever wondered what your purpose here on earth was for? God, in His divine knowledge had a specific plan for Esther….one that was specific to that moment in time and one that would save the Jews from being slaughtered. God ordered her steps so that every minute was in the exact place and time for His purpose. In Esther, we find a courageous young woman who recognized God had a plan for her and that her ordered steps had a divine purpose. He has a specific plan for you too and its for this exact moment in time.

Ordered Steps means Just in the nick of time

Esther was born at just the right moment in time to be the right age to be entered into a Bible-day beauty pageant and became the next Queen. Not Queen of Israel. Esther was born during the years of captivity. Her ordered steps would make her queen to King Ahasuerus (also known as Xerxes). The opening verse of the book of Esther that tells us her story informs us that this is the Ahasuerus who reigned over 127 provinces, from India to Ethiopia and his palace was in Shushan the citadel. He was a Persian king and Shushan is located in what is today southwestern Iran. The events of Esther’s life take place around 486-465 B.C. The previous queen, Vashti, defied the king’s summons and she lost her position as queen. Before long the king was looking for a new queen and a nation-wide beauty pageant was scheduled.

Ordered Steps means being Knitted Together for a Purpose

Psalm 139:13 says, “For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb”. As God laid out his plan to save the Jews from genocide, he knitted Esther together in her mother’s womb. He created her so that she would have every single feature that would appeal to the king. And since he knitted him together too, He knew exactly what would catch the king’s eye. It wasn’t chance that Esther was in the beauty pageant. And it wasn’t good luck that had her chosen as the next queen. It was God’s divine plan who had very detailed and ordered steps for Esther.

As God laid out his plan to save the Jews from genocide, he knitted Esther together in her mother’s womb so that every single feature would appeal to king. It wasn’t change that Esther was in the beauty pageant – it was God’s divine plan.

Ordered Steps is providence at work

Our human minds have difficulty understanding the mystery of God’s providence, but Esther’s story is exactly that. God often uses the most “unlikely” of people (at least by our standards) to help accomplish His plans. Who would ever guess that a young Jewish woman named Hadassah (Esther), an orphan, would end up the queen of the greatest empire of the 5th century B.C.? God orchestrated the lives of that day to reverse the King’s decree. And He chose to work through the “weakness” of a young, orphaned, Jewish woman who was willing to be obedient to God’s plan for her life. Even if it cost her, her life.

So hold on to your seats and let’s take a ride in the fast lane. Here’s a summary the story of Esther’s life. As we tell her story, look for God’s ordered steps in Esther’s life that places her in the exact spot and time to save her people from extinction.

Our human minds have difficulty understanding the mystery of God’s providence, but Esther’s story is exactly that. God often uses the most “unlikely” of people to accomplish His plans. Who would ever guess that a young Jewish woman, an orphan, would end up the queen of the greatest empire of 5th century BC?

An Evil Plot

Mordecai, Esther’s uncle who raised her after her parents death, was sitting at the king’s gate listening for news about his niece. At this point, Esther had been chosen to participate in a nation-wide beauty pageant and taken off to the palace. Two of the king’s eunuchs became angry at the king and devise a plan to kill him. As Mordecai sat in the king’s gate he overhears their plot to kill the king. He sends a message to Esther, who then informs the king in Mordecai’s name. His good deed is recorded in the king’s record, but the king is negligent at this point to reward Mordecai. But don’t worry. The king may be late, but he does get around to honoring Mordecai. If you’re new to Esther’s story, you’re gonna love how it unfolds.

The Plot Thickens

Not long after, the king promotes Haman, placing him over all the other officials. Everyone begins to bow to him by order of the king, showing respect for his new position. Haman likes everyone bowing to him, only Mordecai refuses. So Haman plans to have Mordecai hung and he begins to build the gallows. But he wasn’t brave enough to single handedly execute him. Rather, he devises a plan to trick the king to ordering the extinction of all Jews.

Ordered steps are for “Such a Time as This”

Timing has everything to do with ordered steps – and God’s timing is always perfectly on time. Mordecai had previously instructed Esther not to reveal to anyone that she was a Jew. But when the decree from the king was read, Mordecai hurries to Esther and tells her about the plan. Now he wants her to go to the king, identify her heritage and tell the king what Haman had planned.

Her wise uncle, seems to recognize the hand of God in her life. He says to her, “who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this”? However, for Esther to approach the king, he either had to summon her or risk her life. If she came without a summons he would have to extend his staff to her, granting her permission to come. If she approached him and he did not extend his staff, she would be killed.

Timing has everything to do with ordered steps – and God’s timing is always perfectly on time.

Esther to the Rescue

Esther tells her uncle to have the Jews fast and pray for her. She and her maid will do the same. She decides that she will do as her uncle has instructed. If the king doesn’t not extend his staff, she will die. However, by the king’s order that Haman had tricked him into, she would die anyway. She tells her uncle, “I will go to the king, which is against the law; and if I perish, I perish!”

So she approaches the king and he extends his staff and asks her, “What do you wish, Queen Esther? What is your request? It shall be given to you — up to half the kingdom”! She could have right then told the king what Haman was plotting. Instead, we see wisdom in this young woman and she invites the king and Haman to a banquet. Rather than backing the king into a corner in front of everyone at court, she invites the king to a private banquet. And she includes an invitation to the man who wants to kill all the Jews.

Ordered Steps include a King who can’t sleep

One night the king can’t sleep so he has the records of the chronicles brought in and read to him. Nothing like some boring chronicles to help one fall asleep! The reader comes across the record where Mordecai informed Esther, who informed the king of the eunuchs’ plot to kill the king. The king asks what was done to reward Mordecai and he learns nothing was done. He asks servants, “who is standing in the king’s court?” – Who else, of course, but Haman.

Time for a Plot Twist

So Haman is called in. The king asks, him, “What shall be done for the man whom the king delights to honor”? Haman has such a high opinion of himself and he thinks the king is talking about him. He thinks up this elaborate plan for himself and says “Let a royal robe worn by the king be brought and a horse which the king has ridden which has a royal crest placed on its head. Then let this robe and horse be delivered to the hand of one of the king’s most noble princes that he may array the man whom the king delights to honor. Then parade him on horseback through the city square, and proclaim before him: “Thus shall it be done to the man whom the king delights to honor!'”

Imagine Haman face when the king tells him to do exactly as he has said to Mordecai, the Jew! Now, Haman must put a royal robe on Mordecai and set him on a royal horse. Then he has to parade Mordecai around in the city square.

Plot Twist #2

The King and Haman go to the banquet Esther invited them to. The King says, “What is your petition, Queen Esther? It shall be granted you”. Esther drops her bombshell of info to the king. She says, “If I have found favor in your sight, O king, and if it pleases the king, let my life be given me at my petition, and my people at my request. For we have been sold, my people and I, to be destroyed, to be killed, and to be annihilated.”

In Esther 2: 17, we find that the king loved Esther more than all the other women. So he learns that the life of the woman he loves has been threatened. He says, “Who is he, and where is he? Who would dare presume in his heart to do such a thing?” (Can you imagine ol’ Haman trying to slide under the table at this point? Or maybe he’s looking around the room about now for his best exit strategy.)

Esther than informs the king that it is Haman who would dare plot such a thing.

What goes around, comes around

So Esther’s story wraps up with Haman being hung on the same gallows he had built for Mordecai. The king gave the house of Haman to Esther. As for Mordecai, the king gave him his signet ring that was once given to Haman. Esther then appointed Mordecai over the house of Haman. And the story closes by telling us that Mordecai was second to the king and was great among the Jews.

God is in Control

Not one part of Esther’s life or her story is “by chance”. God knew long before Esther, King Ahasuerus, Mordecai, or Haman were born what each one of them would do. He knew about Haman’s plots. He knew the Jews would be in captivity. God knew who would be on the throne at that time. He knew that Queen Vashti would lose her position as Queen. He knew the throne would be conveniently open for Esther to step up to her moment in time. God knew Esther would follow His ordered steps for her life. And so God ordered Esther’s steps so that in that moment of time Esther would win a beauty pageant. Her ordered steps didn’t just make her the crowned winner, it would make her queen. And God knitted together a wise and courageous young woman to go before the king, uninvited, to save her people.

Not one part of Esther’s life or her story is “by chance.” God knew long before Esther, King Ahasuerus, Mordecai, or Haman were born what each one of them would do. And so God ordered Esther’s steps so that in that moment of time Esther would win a beauty pageant, placing her on the throne so she could save the entire Jewish race.

Our Steps are Ordered

Psalm 37:23 says, “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord.” There is not one day of our lives that takes God by surprise. He is always at work to bring about His plan for each one of us. The people that come and go from our lives are there for a reason.

Psalm 37:23 says, “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord.” There is not one day of our lives that takes God by surprise. He is always at work to bring about His plan for each one of us. The people that come and go from our lives are there for a reason.

I think about a specific pastor at a church where I once played piano. A best friend in high school. Another pastor. A co-worker who became more like a sister. My beautiful sister-in-law who I will love into eternity. My son and my daughter, my mom and my dad, my grandmother, and my husband. Each one has played a specific role and part in my life.

Some of these people are still in my life and some are not. Some have gone to heaven and some keep up with me through social media. One spent endless nights on the phone as I talked through and healed from one of the worst experiences in my life. One lets me call to discuss my “hair-brained” ideas so I can develop a plan to turn ideas into ministry. And my two young adult children are my biggest fans, encouragers, and protectors. But my mom — she’s always there. No matter how challenging I am – she’s there. Her knees have gotten to where they bother her now – mostly likely from the countless prayers she’s prayed over me.

Ordered Steps include some “Hamans”

I’ve also had some “Hamans” in my life and they make up my story too. God wasn’t surprised by a one of them and He was with me in the midst of them. And even in those times, God used them to shape me and mold me for His plan for me. Without those events in my life I would not have gone back to college. I would not have dreamed a God-sized dream and allow God to use it however He so desires. There are certainly those who don’t believe in this dream God put in my heart, but God uses even that to teach me to look to Him.

Trace Your Ordered Steps

Take some time today to think back through your life. Who are the people who have come and gone that have had the biggest impact on who you are today? Who are the “Hamans” in your life and how have they contributed to who you are? Take a moment and thank God for each one of them – even the “Hamans”. If you’re trying to figure out what God has for you, consider how these people have shaped and molded you. How have they made you who you are? How can that person you are today be used to expand and impact God’s kingdom? Your steps have been ordered and God is bringing you into His perfect plan for you.


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Joy in Trials

by guest writer: Fran Coffield

When Trials Come

The year 2020 was a year of struggles, trials, doubts, and fears. Like many of you, I often felt confused and questioned “where is God in the midst of my pains?” There is a plaque on my desk that reads, “When life gets too hard to stand, kneel.” So, I knelt in many earnest prayers, and the more I prayed, additional trials arose. I sought answers from God’s Word.

Count it all Joy – even in the trials

James 1:2-3 says to “count it all joy when [not if…when] you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. However, my patience was so thin it could snap at any time. Should life be so hard for a Christian?

Lacking Wisdom

James 1:5 says, “If any man lacks wisdom, let him ask of God…” This I did and immediately John 16:33 came to mind where Jesus said, “In this world you will have tribulation.” Not very encouraging to a hurting soul! However, the end of His statement says, “but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

Still, there was little cheer to be found when each day brought a new dilemma. The husbands of two different friends died, a friend was in ICU with Covid 19, my sister was diagnosed with breast cancer requiring a mastectomy, a family member with multiple medical conditions was put on dialysis which put a strain on each family member in the household, and the list continues…

Trials of people in the Bible

I recall the lives of many Biblical persons called by God for specific tasks and the trials each faced in their daily lives:

  • Joseph was sold into slavery, falsely accused of a crime, thrown into prison.
  • David was anointed king as a young shepherd boy but spent years hiding in fear from King Saul.
  • The apostle Paul was shipwrecked, bitten by a deadly snake, beaten and left for dead.
  • Naomi was left alone with no income after her husband and three sons died.
  • Mary was hailed as “highly favored,” yet had to witness the crucifixion of firstborn child.

Every Bible “hero” faced days of trails, doubts, and fears.

Is peace and joy possible in a world of trials?

So, is it possible to find peace and joy in this troubled world? Jesus said in John 14:27, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you.” Worldly peace is not the absence of trials. God’s give is peace in the midst of trails, heartaches, and confusion.

The Purpose of Trials

I found the answer to my questions while reading the MacArthur Study Bible. 1 Peter 1:1-9 reveals the purpose of God in allowing us to undergo difficulties, sorrows, and trials of many kinds is for me to test the reality of my faith. These verses say:

Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ,

To those who are elect exiles of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in the sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and for sprinkling with his blood:

May grace and peace be multiplied to you.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you,who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 

In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 

Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

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Five things to remember about trials

Once I come through the trial by trusting in God alone, I have the assurance that my faith is genuine and God’s word is truth. There are some points to remember that will give strength while the trials are present:

  1. Verse 6 reveals that troubles are for “a little while.” It may seem like forever, but the trouble will end.
  2. Every trouble has a purpose. Verse 6 says, “if need be.” There is a lesson to be learned in every trial.
  3. Verse six also tell us the trial will bring grief.
  4. There are various forms of trials. Not every person has the same trouble, nor need to learn the same lesson.
  5. The trouble should not lessen our joy. Joy is a gift of God that is possible for us even in the midst of sorrow and trials.

Our Testimony to the World when faced with Trials

The eyes of the world are upon the Christian. We have a great testimony when we can find joy through the grace of God in the midst of life’s storms. We can find strength by knowing Jesus is in the storm with us and will carry through it. I cling to the words of Isaiah 41:9b-10 which state, “Thou art my servant, I have chosen thee. Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed, for I am THY God; I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.” (KJV)

Do you have the eyes of a friend, a neighbor, a relative or a co-worker upon you to witness how you handle the storms in your life?


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God, Love and Marshmallow Wars by Julia M. Bruce

What’s Inside God, Love and Marshmallow Wars?

God, Love and Marshmallow Wars is a book that includes 365 daily activities and takes you on a guided journey through Biblical principles about Godly marriage that you can then apply to your marriage, as well as helping you talk through concepts that can help you develop a solid relationship. Inside you will find simple, quick activities that include:

  • Scripture to memorize and meditate on.
  • Conversation Starters.
  • Concepts from the Bible on Godly marriages.
  • Romance Builders.
  • Relationship Builders.
  • Personal reflections.
  • Date ideas.
  • Group date ideas for you and other Christian couples.

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