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Posts Tagged ‘confidence in God’

We have been journeying this month with Ruth.  As she and Naomi set out to return to Judah, Ruth offers us lessons to encourage us. She reminds us that we have a choice—we can walk in faith, placing our future in a God we can trust, or we can turn back to what is comfortable and familiar.

On a recent road trip out of state, I observed that the windshield became covered with bugs that required me to take steps several times to restore visibility; yet, not once did I have to clean bugs off the back window or rearview mirrors. Going forward doesn’t mean life will be free of obstacles or without “bugs,” but we can have confidence that God’s grace is available, abundant and greater than all of our sins and failures.  We don’t have to let the events of yesterday keep us from the blessings God has available to us today and tomorrow.  However, looking behind us may keep us from seeing the blessings God offers us in the future.

Ruth’s step of faith to follow Naomi (Ruth 1:16-18) could not have been easy.  She was leaving everything that was comfortable and certain in her life for a land that was unknown and a people who might well have rejected her as she was from Moab.  Ruth may have had a strong relationship with Naomi and viewed her as a mentor or friend, but it probably was also filled with emotional landmines as Naomi had become bitter, blaming God for the tragedies she felt He had allowed with the deaths of her husband and sons (Ruth 1:20-21) Both women were widows in a country that expected women to be taken care of, not acting independently to provide for their needs.  As widows, Ruth and Naomi may not have had skills or many financial resources.  Ruth took on the responsibility of providing for her mother-in-law and for herself.  She didn’t allow the obstacles to keep her from meeting those responsibilities.

Just as I couldn’t let the “bugs” keep me from driving to my destination, today may each of us remember that handling the obstacles of life are worth it to reach the future God has for us—a future filled with abundance and blessings of grace and peace.

“For I know the plans I have for you – this is the Lord’s declaration – plans for your welfare, not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”

~ Jeremiah 29:11

 

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I’ve heard all about you—about the way you treated your mother-in-law after the death of her husband, and how you left your father and mother and the land of your birth and have come to live among a bunch of total strangers.  God reward you well for what you’ve done—and with a generous bonus besides from God to whom you’ve come seeking protection under His wings.”  ~ Ruth 2:11-12, The Message

Ruth followed her heart and acted with integrity.  Because she did, others noticed and her influence and impact in their lives increased.  Instead of being viewed as an outsider, Ruth gained influence and respect from many in the community (Ruth 4:20-22).

In addition to gaining respect and the blessings of being in community with her neighbors, Ruth also understood she was not a foreigner to God.  The Lord accepted her as part of His family.  Ruth understood God invites us to be His adopted children.  With the confidence that comes from understanding whose family she was a part of, Ruth was able to take daily steps of faith with the assurance she was not alone.

Oh, Lord God, help us today to recognize that others are always looking at us, observing our actions.  Remind us, Lord, that we are not alone.  Sometimes acting with integrity can seem scary; but remind us, Lord God, that integrity is what You ask of all of us and that You honor our faithful obedience to Your Word.  Amen.

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Hope requires a degree of confidence for the potential of a positive outcome. I hope my child will get potty trained soon. I hope I can find a close parking spot.  I hope the car will be able to get fixed.

But in my spiritual life, in the eternal calling God has given me, hope requires a degree of confidence that honestly sometimes feels just out of my reach when real life hits me full force. I hope I can represent Jesus Christ today with this difficult person in my life…but I just know I am going to lose my cool.  I hope I can have the words to communicate what Jesus really means to me to my coworkers…but what if I say something stupid and offend them.  Fear of failing God often lurks in the corners of my mind.

Paul and Timothy, while knee-deep in their ministry, wrote the following powerful words to believers in 2 Corinthians 3:4-6a:  “Such confidence as this is ours through Christ before God.  Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God.  He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant…”

Where are we looking to find confidence?  What is the source of our hope?  Is fear keeping us from grasping on to His confidence and stepping forward?

If Paul and Timothy, spiritual pillars of our faith, looked to Jesus as their hope and confidence in their calling, should we not also follow their example today in our own calling?

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