God Had to Turn Around the Picture!

I’ll never forget a morning when I was really struggling. Then God turned the whole picture around for me!

My picture of life at the time was heavy, challenging, and salted with more than a sprinkle of fear. I was totally off balance and scared from an unexpected and mammoth financial hit. I won’t go into all the details here. But due to an assortment of circumstances and irresponsible people, my stable money picture turned into a bleak condition.

So on this particular morning, I was trying to pray and talk with God. But my mind was racing with thoughts. Plus I was so full of stress that I had a hard time focusing on the Lord. I could sense what was happening in me. So I began confessing. “Father, I am so sorry that I am out of balance right now. I just have so much to do. I have so many responsibilities. I can’t seem to settle down and be quiet with You.”

And that’s when He spoke to my heart. That’s when He turned the picture around for me. He said, “You’ve got it backwards. If you spend time with Me, I will handle the problems. Instead, you are trying to handle your troubles on your own and without Me. Come to Me.”

Whoosh! I immediately saw what I was doing. I was so caught up in trying to figure out how to handle the crisis that had just hit me . . . that I didn’t turn to God and put my trust in Him. And instead of resting in His love and care for me . . . I was laboring and trying to carry the load all on my own!

I’d like to say this was the first time I had reacted this way. But sadly, taking on the weight of life’s challenges was a pattern of mine. Sometimes I stayed in that dark wilderness for week upon week. I was like the Israelites after they fled from slavery in Egypt. God was faithfully leading them into the Promised Land. But they were like yo-yo’s going up and down between faith and unbelief. And their unbelief kept them wandering in the wilderness for 40 years. Meanwhile, the Promised Land was just eleven days away! So close. So near. Yet, their unbelief and trying to solve their own problems their own way kept them drifting from one crisis to the next year after year after year (See Exodus 16 and Numbers 13-14).

That morning pointed me to God’s truth.

gods-love-pin-735x900I praise Him that I now see I don’t need to carry the weight of the world! I don’t have to solve my own problems. Instead, I can trust in His love for me and stay focused on Him. I now declare God’s truth over my life over and over again: “You will keep her in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because she trusts in You.” Isaiah 26:3 (gender change is mine when I speak God’s Word to my heart).

The foundation of everything is trusting that God is who He says He is and that He loves me! And the knowledge of His love must not only be in my intellect. To be effective the assurance and understanding of God’s love has to reside in my heart. Deeply rooted. Grounded. I know that I know that I know kind of understanding and belief.

When we know for sure that God loves us – and when we embrace all that Jesus gained for us through His death and resurrection – then we have the peace and the rest we desire. Just like Jesus offers to us, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

God’s love is the foundation for our successful Christian life. The Bible is God’s “love letter” to His people where He shows us how very much He loves us!

He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. 1 John 4:8

And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him. 1 John 4:16

“‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 22:37-40

This passage, while a little complex, illustrates the power of knowing and receiving God’s love:

“For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3:14-19

This is huge and life-changing! Do you see what Paul was teaching the Ephesians back the? Do you see the vital lesson for us today?

If we want to comprehend (understand so we can live by it) the power of God in its width and length and depth and height – then we must know the love of Christ. And it’s through that knowing that we may be filled with all the fullness of God!

So if you find yourself tied up in knots over the challenges you are facing, I encourage you to make God’s love a priority! Learn about it. Gain knowledge of it. Live it. Be it. Give it. Receive it.

Like Jesus said about the commandments to love God and love others, “On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.” He’s saying everything in the Word and everything about our faith depends on loving God and loving others as we love ourselves. Not some of the Law and Prophets, but all! 

God is love. And you were made in His image. Follow His lead and be love. And God’s promise is that His power will be released in you so you have all your need for a well-lived and faith-driven life.

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13 Comments

  • Sherri Myers says:

    How I want to enter that rest! I am so very exhausted from sleep deprivation off and on for over 5 years. I just want rest. I am trying to fill myself with God. I am trying to care for my husband and 2 kids. It seems too much to bear. How I long for peace. My mind races and I am full of fear. God, I know this is not of You. You say not to fear or worry or be anxious. Trying to be content and bloom where I am planted. Love doesn’t come easy in my marriage-it is hard work. Even though I have a wonderful husband. Why do I take thing so hard? Why can’t I stop worrying and be happy and content and settled?

    • Susan Gregory says:

      Sherri,

      This may seem like odd advice, but my word to you is “stop trying so hard.” Instead, give yourself to the Lord by sinking into His love and grace.

      Here is a book you might want to read (just one chapter a day so you can focus on the truth within): Experiencing the Depths of Jesus Christ by Madame Guyon. The book was written hundreds of years ago and is filled with wisdom and instruction.

      You are loved. You are cherished. And you can experience the rest that Jesus offers when you stop trying so hard in yourself and instead depend on Him. I had to go through this myself. And words can’t describe the transformation that is available to us as we put our faith and trust in Him.

  • Thandi Danke says:

    This just enlightened my day. A reminder of how much our God cares. Thank you so much Susan, God bless you.

  • Racheal says:

    I am a young entrepreneur and I have made some pretty bad decisions about my finances and now I am indebted to my supplier who is on my neck. I tried resolving this by getting help from friends and family who I thought I could count on but to no avail. All through this the Holy Spirit kept directing me to go to God, in my mind I thought I was supposed to go to Him and pray to Him to make me get money to resolve this; but as I began fasting today I realized God wants me to take my mind off my current situation and just focus on His love. This brings tears to my eyes because I have held on and don’t know how to let it all go and just focus on Him. I have faith however, that He who has directed me to let go will teach me how to do it. Thank you for your inspiration and for highlighting all the promises made by God to me.

    • Susan Gregory says:

      Lovely message, Rachel.

      A message the Lord gave to me was this, “Don’t look for security in money. Find your security in Me and the money you need will come. Keep Me first.”

      In times of financial stress, it’s easy to focus on worldly things that will give us peace and security. However, we live be a different set of laws and a different reality. Seek first the kingdom of God and His right way of doing things. Then all you need will be yours.

      Be blessed and thanks for your message. I know it will help others, also.

  • Shirley M says:

    Blessed be the name of the Lord forever! He is LOVE & is so Faithful!
    You are absolutely right Susan & so on point. Trials will come, but we have a High Priest that we can ALWAYS rely on, Not on our own time, but in His. But we must trust, however. He so wants to bless us if we just trust in Him.
    I was living in my overdraft for a few good months but decided to lean on His word & out of the blue came a letter saying that I over paid my taxes & so I am due a tax refund. God is faithful & just & righteous & He is who He says He is & does what He says He will do! He’s Awesome!
    Thank you Susan, as ever, for doing what you do to encourage others. God bless you!

    • Victoria khanyile says:

      Blessed be His Holy Name! As I read your story only now at 23:14 PM on the 22nd September 2016. I am so speechless, as this is exactly what iam going thru currently in my life. Have left my job in January this year, am so covered in debts. There are times I don’t have money for bread, I mean bread, so many times I wanted to give up, o so stupid things, my CV’s for jobs don’t get replied, I am just Still for He is God. Hebrew 10:23 keeps me strong! Children of God, all is well, it can’t be otherwise! Praise Him, in sadness , disappointments, with tears streaming Please Just Praise Him! I love God so much. It is well.

      • Susan Gregory says:

        Dearest Victoria,

        Feed your soul on a rich diet of the Bread of Life, God’s Word. Meditate on the promises of God until you find peace for your soul. He is faithful. He has brought me through many times that are very rough in the natural. The key is to keep turning to Him and away from the lies of the enemy.

        This is all part of our faith . . . getting stronger and believing the truth of the Lord. He will see you through.

        You are on your way to the bright future the Lord has for you!

        Proverbs 3:5

  • God truly is love. I had no money last week to pay my excess for someone that bumped my car but God came through for me and provided and then I could go and fetch my car on Friday.
    Always trust and obey God. I love Him with all my heart, soul and spirit.

  • Tshidi says:

    What a coincidence, I woke up exactly in that state and thanks to you because after reading your message the load that was overwhelming my heart left me. We at times think we can do things on our own and forget that Our beloved father who knows us by our names has the power to handle our challenges.

  • Just when I was going to pull the covers over my head again….not saying that I will not but, you reminded me of the Love God continues to have for me. I know that this is the day that God will provide All my needs and I trust Him. Everything will turn around because of my Faith in the Word of God. At the moment we are 2 months behind on our mortgage…behind on our sons tuition…lacking food…behind on everything but God is given me peace because I trust His Word.

  • Destiny says:

    Wow! This was definitely for me on this day!!
    God is love! Look to Him and not the problem. Amen.

  • Min. LaDonna says:

    I love you!
    This is beautiful and I am so…glad that God is working through you. You are sharing the Gospel and delight in the Lord and His Word and this is what it’s really about. God bless you! Your work is the most important work there is because you are working for the Kingdom and the King. You are saving souls and there is no greater work than this.
    As you described what happened to the Israelites standing on the edge of the Promised Land, and overcome by fear depicted the burden of inadequacy that we humans often suffer the second we take our eyes off of God. As a result, in refusal to trust the Lord we suffer and is lead into a bondage. This is what can happen, ( on all levels), to those who do not believe in God’s promises. Therefore, many are left to wander in the wilderness for many years. The ONLY way to know Him and His promises is to get into His word and/or by hearing about it from people such as yourself. (Spirit-driven and anointed who love others as themselves). Praise God!

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