May 26, 2017

Mark 5:24-34 ~ Jesus’ Words on Faith

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{This final week of 2015 we will be re-visiting some of my personal favorite themes on which our wonderful writers have shared with us throughout this past year.  I hope that you (as I was, too!) will be encouraged and reminded of God’s faithfulness and loving care through their inspired words.} 

…And there was a woman who had had a flow of blood for twelve years, and who had endured much suffering under [the hands of] many physicians and had spent all that she had, and was no better but instead grew worse.
She had heard the reports concerning Jesus, and she came up behind Him in the throng and touched His garment, for she kept saying, If I only touch His garments, I shall be restored to health. And immediately her flow of blood was dried up at the source, and [suddenly] she felt in her body that she was healed of her [distressing] ailment.
And Jesus, recognizing in Himself that the power proceeding from Him had gone forth, turned around immediately in the crowd and said, Who touched My clothes?  And the disciples kept saying to Him, You see the crowd pressing hard around You from all sides, and You ask, Who touched Me? Still He kept looking around to see her who had done it. But the woman, knowing what had been done for her, though alarmed and frightened and trembling, fell down before Him and told Him the whole truth.
And He said to her, Daughter, your faith (your trust and confidence in Me, springing from faith in God) has restored you to health. Go in (into) peace and be continually healed and freed from your [distressing bodily] disease.

Mark 5:24–34 AMP

*  ~  ♥  ~  ✞  ~  ♥  ~  *

This week here on the Seeking Him daily devotional blog, our sisters have focused on Jesus’ words on faith from this record in the Gospel of Mark…  Oh! So much to glean and to learn here! Whenever I read or hear this passage, I am immediately drawn to the thoughts and the actions of this woman.  She had FAITHand she acted upon it!

Listen to what Tina, Laura, Cynda, Ann, and Ahmee had to share earlier this week….

In Your Faith, Cynda wrote,

“I got to thinking…if Jesus came to give us an abundant, overflowing life, why aren’t we experiencing that kind of life?  I think Mark 5:34a (NLT) holds the key:

And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well.

Our faith must be exercised to have an abundant, overflowing life.  Faith is based on knowing God & studying His words.  Joyce Meyer says “God’s Word is like medicine for the spirit, soul, and body.”  We must apply God’s Word and put our faith into action.  That’s what this woman did.”

Tina reminded us, in Your Faith Has Made You Free, of the courage of this woman who had faith to approach Jesus for healing.

And He said to her, Daughter, your faith
(your trust and confidence in Me,
springing from faith in God) has restored you to health.
Go in (into) peace and be continually healed and freed
from your [distressing bodily] disease.
Mark 5:34

“The woman had heard of Jesus’ miraculous healing power and out of her desperation, she knew she would probably die if she did not find someone to cure her…Getting the courage to touch His robe in the crowd, she knew she could get into trouble if found out.  Women were and are still thought of as property.  But Jesus did not rebuff her…He wanted her to have faith in telling her story to everyone that she was healed just by touching His robe.”

Ahmee reminded us in A Single Choiceof the importance of making choices based upon the guidance of God and God’s Word.

“A single choice can change your life for better or for worse.  Big decisions and small decisions can have catastrophic results.  The choices we make today form our habits for our tomorrows.  The choices we make today influence who will be in our tomorrows.  The choice this woman made (in this passage from Mark chapter 5) changed her life!  For twelve years—everyday—she bled.  She’d tried getting help from doctors, but to no avail.  And she had spent everything she had.   As I read this I wondered if she went to Jesus only because she had run out of other options.  Was it desperation that pulled her to Him?  Is this not so often the case, though? Regardless of why… she still made the choice and that’s the part that matters.

Choose. And make sure they are wise choices.

In Faith That Brings Peace, Ann posed some important questions regarding making good decisions to step out in faith.

“This lady knew that ‘if only I can touch Jesus’ hem of His garments…all will be well for me.’  She took a step of faith and broke protocols of that time by maneuvering through the crowd and found herself amidst the disciples (men) and touched Jesus.

On its own, it was not proper for a woman to be brushing shoulders with men; she didn’t mind what people would say about her.  All she was concerned with was that she would be healed.  I therefore urge each one of us to be a people of vision.  Let us also ask ourselves these questions below:

  • What is it that we want God to do for us?

  • How are we drawing near to Him for Him to help us?

  • How much time do we have for God?

  • Do we believe He can do it?

  • How great is He to heal us and free us from suffering?!?”

And  in Healing Power, Laura shared with us the faith in action of some folks from her home church who are endeavoring to have faith as they go through some hard times.

“One of our church members was involved in a bad car accident this week.  He was in very bad shape.  He was paralyzed from the neck down and was having trouble breathing.  The family asked for prayers….

The power of prayer and faith in God has helped this follower of Jesus to improve.  Faith and prayer is hopefully going to bring this family through this season in their life.  …However, I believe that they have faith like the woman in this record in the Gospel of Mark.  They have been praying, and he is slowly starting to improve (at last update).

To have faith strong as this is a blessing to any family.  Faith this strong can bring the healing power of God to anybody.  This is what Jesus wants from us—full faith in Him.  He wants us to rely on Him.  He died for us…we should all be able to rely on Him no matter the season or the trial ahead of us.”

You Are My Healer

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 Then they came, bringing a paralytic to Him, who had been picked up and was being carried by four men.  And when they could not get him to a place in front of Jesus because of the throng, they dug through the roof above Him; and when they had scooped out an opening, they let down the [thickly padded] quilt or mat upon which the paralyzed man lay.  And when Jesus saw their faith [their confidence in God through Him], He said to the paralyzed man, “Son, your sins are forgiven….”

Mark 2:3-5 AMP

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You hold my every moment
You calm my raging seas
You walk with me through fire
And heal all my disease

I trust in You
I trust in You

I believe You’re my healer
I believe You are all I need
I believe, Lord

I believe You’re my portion
I believe You’re more than enough for me
Jesus, You’re all I need

For nothing is impossible for You
Nothing is impossible
Nothing is impossible for You
You hold my world in Your hands

Singers ~ Aaron&Amanda Crabb / Songwriter ~  Michael Guglielmucci

This Week…Jesus’ Words on Faith (Mark 2:3-5)

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 Then they came, bringing a paralytic to Him, who had been picked up and was being carried by four men.  And when they could not get him to a place in front of Jesus because of the throng, they dug through the roof above Him; and when they had scooped out an opening, they let down the [thickly padded] quilt or mat upon which the paralyzed man lay.  And when Jesus saw their faith [their confidence in God through Him], He said to the paralyzed man, “Son, your sins are forgiven….”

Mark 2:3-5 AMP

This has been the final week of our current series—Jesus’ words on faithhere on the Seeking Him devotional blog.  Each week our devotional writers have shared and reminded us about what our Lord taught on this very important subject.  (If you haven’t had the opportunity to read through these wonderful devotionals, just click above on the Seeking Him button and scroll backwards.  The series began on January 11th.)  We have looked at these four particular records from the Gospels which are just a few examples where Jesus spoke to His disciples as He  taught them the value and importance of having faith.

Matthew 8:23-26

Mark 5:24-34

Matthew 6:33-34

Mark 2:3-5

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In Extended Faith, Ahmee made such a great point about our faith and how it affects others.

“Not only can our faith be of use to the non-believer, but believers can help other believers, too.  Our faith is not just our faith. Our faith can extend to the lives around us.  And sometimes that’s what we need.  We need others to believe for us and with us.  This is why fellowship is important.

Faith—your faith—is for more than just you.
Share it. Use it. It has great power.

In From Paralyzed to Forgiven and Healed, Tina wrote about the value of godly, praying friends.

Friends.  What would we do without our friends?  The man in our Scripture today would not have been able to receive his healing had his friends not put their faith into action…and been willing to get help for their friend.  We are not told whether the man had been paralyzed for a long or a short time; we just know that he was paralyzed.

Do you have such love for a friend—in which you would go to that much trouble for them?  If not, then we really need to look at our friend list and see who God would direct us to help.”

In Level of Faith, Ann encouraged us to have a high level of faith.

So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
Romans 10:17 KJV

“If you don’t hear the Word of God you will not know what the Word has for you.  These people in Mark 2, had been hearing a lot of things that Jesus did, for Jesus went about doing good.  So, the news that Jesus healed people was all over their cities [Mark 1:29 – 34] and through many testimonies they had been hearing of Him healing many as well as His miraculous deeds.  Their level of faith grew each day by hearing these testimonies and probably many others, too, had followed Him to another place where the miracle took place in their presence.

When you have a high level of faith you can do the extraordinary—this is what we see in our Scripture this week.  Their level of faith did not allow stumblingblocks to the healing of their brother; hence, the opening on the roof.”

In Faith and Forgiveness, Cynda focused on a fundamental truth—

Faith is the key.

In this one verse (Mark 2:5), Jesus makes it abundantly clear what is most important.  It isn’t our physical well-being, our monetary wealth, or our social status.  It is the state of our soul, our spiritual well-being.  Our greatest need is for salvation.  One of the greatest miracles is God freeing us from the power of sin because of faith.  He is the only One who can truly set us free. Four simple words—”Your sins are forgiven.” No qualifiers.  Jesus doesn’t say because you are pretty you are forgiven.  He doesn’t say because you are smart you are forgiven.  No, all that is required is faithfaith in Jesus Christ.  Just like that our sins are forgiven.  Past, present, and future.  Permanently erased.  And sometimes, it is all because someone interceded in faith for us.”

And in Strong Faith, Laura also wrote on the value of faith.

Faith is one of the strongest weapons we have as humans when it comes to facing the different trials of the world.  It can carry us through the toughest times and can give us joy during the good times.  Faith is the best tool we have to face evil in a world that is changing before our eyes. Faith is what gives us the strength to keep on searching for answers. ”

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As always, our heart and prayer to God is that these devotionals will encourage you to seek Him and that you will be drawn closer in relationship with Him.

Extended Faith

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Some men came, bringing to him a paralytic, carried by four of them.
Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd,
they made an opening in the roof above Jesus and,
after digging through it, lowered the mat the paralyzed man was lying on.
When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic,
“Son, your sins are forgiven.”
Mark 2:3-5

When I read this passage, I had to stop and read it again.  A couple of things stood out to me in this passage:

1.  These men that were helping the paralytic were not referred to as his friends.
2.  Jesus helped the paralytic based on the men’s faith.

This passage, even in the other Gospels, is kind of vague. It leaves a lot to question…for instance,

  • Who were these men that had so much faith in Jesus that they were willing to climb onto a roof, dig through it, and lower a man down…when they may or may not have been his friend?
  • Why did they care so much?
  • Did the paralytic have faith?

This passage doesn’t say.  This passage actually focuses heavily on the men who brought the paralytic.  Regardless of the answers to these questions one thing remains a fact—Jesus healed the paralytic because of the four men’s faith.  I’ve read over this passage before, and I clearly remember being under the impression that the man asked to be taken to Jesus and he was healed because he believed.  But upon re-reading this passage, I am very baffled by the fact that Jesus healed the man because of the other men’s faith.

This passage is proof that believers are essential to non-believers’ lives.  We are not meant to be sectioned off.  We are not to be put on a pedestal.  We are not better than non-believers.  We are guides, helpers, and intercessors.  Not only can our faith be of use to the non-believer, but believers can help other believers, too.  Our faith is not just our faith. Our faith can extend to the lives around us.  And sometimes that’s what we need.  We need others to believe for us and with us.  This is why fellowship is important.

Faith—your faith—is for more than just you.
Share it. Use it. It has great power.

*  ~  ♥  ~  ✞  ~  ♥  ~  *

Lord, help us to understand that our faith can reach further than just our own lives and the lives of those immediately around us.  Show us that our faith is potentially useful to all those that we encounter.  Amen.

Strong Faith

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Some men came, bringing to him a paralyzed man, carried by four of them.
Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd,
they made an opening in the roof above Jesus by digging through it
and then lowered the mat the man was lying on.
When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man,
“Son, your sins are forgiven.”
Mark 2:3-5

Faith is one of the strongest weapons we have as humans when it comes to facing the different trials of the world.  It can carry us through the toughest times and can give us joy during the good times.  Faith is the best tool we have to face evil in a world that is changing before our eyes. Faith is what gives us the strength to keep on searching for answers.

Many people are sick and dying.  Other are living in constant pain or even unable to move.  Yet, for many in this world, medical advances are the only hope that they see as a way to keep living.  They put all their faith in hoping that the medical community will find a cure.

Others, though, put their faith in God. Through prayer to God and their belief in God, some who are sick or disabled have faith strong enough to live their lives while fighting their trials.

The paralyzed man and his companions (mentioned here in Mark chapter 2) had great faith in Jesus.  The four men had to have faith that Jesus would heal the disabled; otherwise, they would not have been willing to bring the man to be healed by Jesus.  Jesus recognized that the men had faith that he would heal the disabled man.  By the power of their faith in Jesus, the paralyzed man was healed.

Jesus can see if we have faith in Him.  He lives in our hearts providing us with the strength to go through good and bad days.  Jesus is the pillar of our faith.  Without Jesus we cannot have faith in God.  As long as we are in a relationship with Jesus, our faith will only grow stronger.

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Dear Heavenly Father: Thank You for Your healing powers and for allowing us to have faith in You.  Without you…we are nothing.  The stronger our faith, the stronger we are.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Faith and Forgiveness

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Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralyzed man,
“My child, your sins are forgiven.”
Mark 2:5 NLT

faith: reliance upon and trust in God
– Lexham Bible Dictionary

“If prayer is the hand that opens the door of blessing,
faith is the hand that receives the blessing,
and not for itself merely, but for others.”
– F. E. Marsh

Sometimes our faith dwindles and we wonder if it can sustain us.  Isn’t it wonderful when friends step out in faith for us?  These four knew they could not help their friend…but they did know Who could.  And though they were not exactly correct about what kind of help was needed, they knew Who had the answer.

James 5:15 (NASB) tells us “…and the prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up, and if he has committed sins, they will be forgiven him.”  And in Hebrews 6:1b (NLT) we are reminded of the “…fundamental importance of repenting from evil deeds and placing our faith in God.”

Faith is the key.

In this one verse (Mark 2:5), Jesus makes it abundantly clear what is most important.  It isn’t our physical well-being, our monetary wealth, or our social status.  It is the state of our soul, our spiritual well-being.  Our greatest need is for salvation.  One of the greatest miracles is God freeing us from the power of sin because of faith.  He is the only One who can truly set us free. Four simple words—”Your sins are forgiven.” No qualifiers.  Jesus doesn’t say because you are pretty you are forgiven.  He doesn’t say because you are smart you are forgiven.  No, all that is required is faith…faith in Jesus Christ.  Just like that our sins are forgiven.  Past, present, and future.  Permanently erased.  And sometimes, it is all because someone interceded in faith for us.

Level of Faith

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Some men came, bringing to him a paralyzed man, carried by four of them.
Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof
above Jesus by digging through it and then lowered the mat the man was lying on.
When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”
Mark 2:3-5

The portion of Scripture we have this week describes the level of faith that we ought to have. The men believed that Jesus was the one to heal this paralyzed person…and they did not allow any stumbling block between themselves and the Healer.

Typical of a determined human being who wants to do some investmenting, whenever you know that there is a profit to be received out of a particular business, you strive to get together the capital either by borrowing from friends or through a bank loan, so as it will aid you to the achievement of your profit.

Faith is like a blank check where we need to feel everyday as we live.

So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
Romans 10:17 KJV

If you don’t hear the Word of God you will not know what the Word has for you.  These people in Mark 2, had been hearing a lot of things that Jesus did, for Jesus went about doing good.  So, the news that Jesus healed people was all over their cities [Mark 1:29 – 34] and through many testimonies they had been hearing of Him healing many as well as His miraculous deeds.  Their level of faith grew each day by hearing these testimonies and probably many others, too, had followed Him to another place where the miracle took place in their presence.

When you have a high level of faith you can do the extraordinary—this is what we see in our Scripture this week.  Their level of faith did not allow stumblingblocks to the healing of their brother; hence, the opening on the roof.

If we want to succeed in life, we have to do extraordinary things through Christ Jesus.  And so coupled with our faith we shall be given whatsoever we desire (Mark 11:24).  Extraordinary things like:

  • Praying more
  • Meditating on the Word more
  • Giving alms more
  • Loving more
  • More charity, etc.

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Our Lord and our Father, hallowed be Thy Name.  We thank You for the measure of faith that was allotted to us when we were being created as Your Word tells us in Romans 12:3.  Thank You that You have also given us an opportunity to grow in this faith by hearing Your Word.  We pray, Lord, for the grace for our faith to grow more and more; so much that we would be able to scale mountains.  We are blessed as we move from one level of glory to the other, in Jesus’ name we pray, AMEN!

From Paralyzed to Forgiven and Healed

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Some men came, bringing to him a paralyzed man, carried by four of them. 
Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd,
they made an opening in the roof above Jesus by digging through it
and then lowered the mat the man was lying on.
 

When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man,
“Son, your sins are forgiven.”
Mark 2:3-5

Friends.  What would we do without our friends?  The man in our Scripture today would not have been able to receive his healing had his friends not put their faith into action…and been willing to get help for their friend.  We are not told whether the man had been paralyzed for a long or a short time; we just know that he was paralyzed.

Do you have such love for a friend—in which you would go to that much trouble for them?  If not, then we really need to look at our friend list and see who God would direct us to help.

As we walk through life we will have many friends…those who we went to school with, those we make through work, and those we make through just simply living.  Some of us have friends we have made through our life experiences.  And often, our best friend is our spouse or our siblings.

And then we have those people in our lives who do not make friends easily and keep everyone at arm’s length—who do not let anyone close due to life’s struggles.  That is a painful way to go through life and is not what God intended for His children.  He wants us to love others and bring them into a closer relationship with Him.  This cannot be done if we continue to put people off. We have to learn to trust and use the discernment God gave us to know who to let get close.

Our friends are those who are by our side no matter what the season.  They may not be able to be there physically, but still are there as they pray and submit requests to God on our behalf when we are going through suffering or a time of testing.  We are also to be there for them, lifting them up and being honest with them when needed.

But remember, our earthly friends are human.  They are subject to the pulls and tears of this world.  Our true Friend is our heavenly Father.  He will never leave us, never forsake us…no matter what we have done, said, or thought.  When we confess with our mouth, repent, and turn away from our sins, God is sure to show us mercy through His Son Jesus.

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Father, thank You for Your mercy.  Thank You for Your grace.  Father, teach us to be better friends, better wives, and better daughters.  Teach us to be intercessory prayer warriors on behalf of our family and friends.   Thank You for giving us great examples who we model our prayers after. Thank You!  In Jesus’ name, Amen!

I Know Who Holds Tomorrow

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So do not worry or be anxious about tomorrow,
for tomorrow will have worries and anxieties of its own.
Sufficient for each day is its own trouble.
Matthew 6:34 AMP

I don’t know about tomorrow
I just live from day to day
I don’t borrow from the sunshine
For it’s skies may turn to gray
I don’t worry o’er the future
For I know what Jesus said
And today I’ll walk beside Him
For He knows what lies ahead

Many things about tomorrow
I don’t seem to understand
But I know Who holds tomorrow
And I know Who holds my hand

Ev’ry step is getting brighter
As the golden stairs I climb
Ev’ry burdens getting lighter
Ev’ry cloud is silver-lined
There the sun is always shining
There no tear will dim the eye
At the ending of the rainbow
Where the mountains touch the sky

Songwriter: Ira Stanphill ~~~ Singer: Alison Krauss

Week Three…Jesus’ Words on Faith (Matthew 6:33-34)

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Therefore do not worry about tomorrow
for tomorrow will worry about itself.

Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Matthew 6:34 NIV

Jesus’ words…such the good thing to remember!!!  He spoke these words along with other instructions as He taught His disciples to not be anxious or filled with worries and fears.  He directed them to seek God and that God would take good care of them.   He was teaching them about having faith.

This is our third week of looking at Jesus’ words on faith here on the Seeking Him devotional blog.  Our bloggers, Ahmee, Ann, Cynda, Laura, and Tina, have shared their hearts about concerns for tomorrow, worry,  and faith.  Please listen….

 

In One Day At a Time, Ann encouraged us with the lyrics to a great song!

“This Scripture reminded me about a song I know (and I know most of you know it)…

♫ ♪ ♫  One day at a time, sweet Jesus
That’s all I am asking from You
Help me today to do everything that I might do
Yesterday is gone, sweet Jesus; and tomorrow may never be mine
So, for my sake, teach me today, one day at a time   ♫ ♪ ♫

This is very encouraging.  As God knows everything we need and so we need to know that He won’t deprive us.  And the Word says “And who of you by worrying and being anxious can add one unit of measure (cubit) to his stature or to the span of his life?” (Matthew 6:27).”

Ahmee made a great point about planning in Not Worrying Doesn’t Mean Don’t Plan:

“Worrying often comes from us depending on ourselves instead of the Lord. If we are depending on the Lord in every area of our life, then there is no need for us to worry!  Planning, on the other hand IS something we can do.  Here’s an example:  if you know that you make “X” amount of money each week and you have “X” amount of bills to pay each week, then making a budget for the upcoming weeks is not worrying; it’s called planning.

Planning is essential to our well-being.  God said in Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you…”  God thought it was a good idea to have a plan for us; so we, too, should have plans in our lives.

Notice I didn’t say ‘plan our lives’…I said, ‘plans IN our lives.’

Only God can plan our lives.  The Bible says, “Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails” (Proverbs 19:21).

Cynda directed us to the importance of Staying In the Presence.  

“How many times have you heard the phrase ‘One day at a time…’? Hundreds, maybe even thousands?  It sounds trite but it is exactly what we need to do—take one day at a time.  But HOW do we do that?  By staying in His Presence. Philippians 4:6 gives us the best advice and provides step-by-step instructions for staying in His Presence.

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything.
Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done.

As we begin to thank God for all He has done, it causes us to reflect back on our life.  Psalm 77:11 (NLT) encourages us to recall what He has done and remember the miracles He has performed in our lives.

But then I recall all You have done, O Lord;
I remember Your wonderful deeds of long ago.

When we remain in His Presence, we have no need to worry.  He knows the plans He has for us…plans that give us hope (Jeremiah 29:11).  So let’s stop the worry and enjoy this day in His Presence.

Laura reminded us in Tomorrow Is Another Day of Scarlett O’Hara and her penchant to put things off ’til tomorrow.  Far more importantly Laura also reminded us of this Truth:

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.
Hebrews 11:1

“For those of us with strong faith in God, we do not have to worry about today or tomorrow.  God has everything in control.  We cannot see what tomorrow will bring.  We do know what will happen tomorrow if we have an appointment or something else scheduled.  However, we do not know what will happen around those planned parts of our day. We cannot control what will happen during the day.  Only God can.  Through faith we know that tomorrow will be there. Through faith, we hope and pray that we will see tomorrow.  Faith gives us the certainty that what we can’t see or touch really does exist.  Unlike Scarlett, we do have to live in the here and now.”

And in Trust Do Not Worry, Tina gave us the example of her parents who were always able to provide for their family…just like our God does.

“Dad worked at a saw mill while Mom stayed home.  She worked part-time at a veterinarian clinic which she truly loved!  They were poor and worried how to make ends meet. Mom and Dad always were able to provide for us.

Likewise, God provides for us.  All we have to do is trust Him.  As our parents provided for us, and we provide for our families, God will provide.

All we have to do is ask and trust that God will be there.