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About 16 months ago I posted a blog called  “5 Things God Will Never Say as You Hand Him Your Concerns.”

You were encouraged to find out that God’s response will never be:

1. You’ve got this yourself.
2. I 
really don’t want to hear about it.
3.
You don’t need Me.
4.
Sorry, it’s impossible.
5.
I don’t want to do anything for you

(Click on that link above and you can get the details on why you’ll never hear those responses.)

Now, here are 4 more things God will never say when we trust Him with our problems, rather than worry:

  • I’m sorry. When we tell others our concern, they can sympathize with us. They might even be a contributor to what concerns us, in which case they might apologize. But we have a God who makes no mistakes. All His ways are perfect  (Deut. 32:4). So He is a God who literally never has to say He’s sorry.
  • I had no idea. There is nothing You can tell God that will take Him by surprise. Nothing will shock Him or disappoint Him or change the way He feels about you. Read Psalm 139 – in its entirety — as a refresher course in how familiar God is with all of your ways. (“O Lord, You have searched me and known me.…Even before there is a word on my tongue…You know it all….”) Don’t ever think you’re telling God something in prayer that He doesn’t already know.
  • I’ll pray for you.  This is often a believer’s response when we share our struggles. And it’s great to have friends who will remember to actually pray for us, after telling us they will. The wonderful thing about telling God our concerns is that He is already at work in our circumstances (Romans 8:28-29). So, rather than saying “I”ll pray for you,” God’s response is “I’ve got you!”
  • I wish I could help. Most of the people we confide in really are helpless when it comes to eliminating, fixing, or solving our concern. They can offer comfort, support, and encouragement but that’s about it. God is the Only One who really can help. Listen to the song writer’s words in Psalm 121:

My help comes from the Lord,
    the Maker of heaven and earth.

 He will not let your foot slip—
    he who watches over you will not slumber;

 The Lord watches over you—
    the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
 the sun will not harm you by day,
    nor the moon by night.

 The Lord will keep you from all harm—
    he will watch over your life;
 the Lord will watch over your coming and going
    both now and forevermore (verses 2-3, 5-8).

The Lord really is our Helper. And if it appears He’s doing nothing about your concern, He is either waiting for the perfect time to come through for you or He is working something far better for you than you can imagine.

Can you trust Him with your concerns today?

For more on God’s tender heart toward you, see my devotional  God’s Whispers to a Woman’s Heart, and read a sample page on my website.

There are a few situations in my life right now that could really stress me out. My husband is waiting to hear about three different job opportunities, and to be honest, he needs at least two of  the three!

Now, I can pull out my hair, and lose sleep at night, and keep calculating what we’ll do if he doesn’t get any of those jobs. Or, I can realize it is ludicrous for me to worry that God isn’t aware, or doesn’t care, or won’t provide for us in time.

I choose to not be ludicrous. So I thought of five good reasons not to worry about that or anything we tend to worry about. Those five good reasons come down to five things you and I will never hear God say as we hand Him our worries and concerns.

So here they are. You never have to fear any of these responses when you trust God with what is on your heart:

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Is Our Culture Forsaking God?

Sadly, the answer to that question is “Yes.” That’s what my friend, Janet Thompson, says. She is the author of the newly-released book,  Forsaken God? Remembering the Goodness of God Our Culture Has Forgotten.

Janet says we, too, can forsake God without realizing it by forgetting the good things He has done for us.

I asked Janet to share her insights on my blog this week. Here is what she had to say:

Today’s culture is quickly forsaking and forgetting the goodness and power of our Great God. The Bible describes the potential destruction through all generations to people who forget God. The dangers are paramount.

If we don’t remember what God has already done, we won’t believe what He is capable of doing in the future. Memory builds faith.

We read the Old Testament and lament at how forgetful the Israelites were of God’s goodness. Every time He did something good for them, they started grumbling that they needed something else. And are we any different today?

The Israelites repeatedly rejected God, even though He:

  • freed them from bondage and slavery by miraculously parting the Red Sea for them to pass through on dry ground,
  • provided manna from heaven,
  • guided them with a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night,
  • never let their shoes wear out even after walking for 40 years,
  • and He offered them a land flowing with milk and honey.

God was only as good as the next miracle or provision. A forsaken God.

Yet they were warned:

“But watch out! Be careful never to forget what you yourself have seen. Do not let these memories escape from your mind as long as you live! And be sure to pass them on to your children and grandchildren. Deuteronomy 4:9 NLT

We wonder at how the Israelites could be so blind and ungrateful. Why couldn’t they trust that a God who provided and protected them in the past, would do the same in the present and future? But their memories were short. As often as Moses and God tried to help them remember, still they forgot. And at great sacrifice. The original generation freed from Egypt never got to see the Promised Land because they doubted God’s goodness. Even Moses wasn’t able to enjoy its beauty because at a crucial moment, he took matters into his own hands and forgot that God was in control.

We would never forsake God! But wait . . . don’t we forget too? God has done amazing things in our lives, but when the next crisis arises, we panic that He might not show up for us this time. Or when prayers are answered, we might take credit ourselves or offer praise to someone else instead of giving God the glory and recognition He deserves.

We never intentionally forsake God, but if we’re honest, we do unintentionally forget him. So let’s agree that forgetfulness will stop with our generation. We live in a world today that is quickly trying to eliminate God from the public square and even in the private domain. Christians need to help a lost world remember God and that starts with remembering Him ourselves.

In my new book Forsaken God?: Remembering the Goodness of God Our Culture Has Forgotten, there are suggestions for ways to remember all that God has done in your life and, then share that memory in your sphere of influence. One effective way is to share our testimony. As a Christian speaker, I give parts of my testimony every time I speak. “Feed my sheep” is my testimony of a time when God clearly spoke those words to me. When I said an obedient “OK,” He went on to reveal that the sheep were women and feeding was mentoring.

That was 20 years ago, and today God has taken Woman to Woman Mentoring around the world as women enjoy the blessings of being in Titus 2 mentoring relationships. I still stand in awe as I write that story, and every time I tell it from the stage. I will never forget how God used me to start a worldwide ministry, and I give Him all the glory for the blessing it has been to so many.

But you don’t have to be a speaker to share your story. Someone today needs to hear how Jesus changed your life. A hurting world needs the Christian world to tell them the source of our joy and hope. Mentoring is a great place to share our testimony to encourage others to know the Jesus of the Bible.

There are over 50 ways described in Forsaken God? to help remember God. Here are just a few:

  • Taking pictures
  • Journaling
  • Reading our Bibles
  • Receiving Communion
  • Making a thankful list
  • Joining a small group
  • Sharing with children

What are some ways that help you remember God’s goodness?

(You can order Janet’s book at Amazon, Christianbook.com, and signed at her website.)

Janet Thompson is an international speaker, freelance editor, and an award-winning author of 18 books including Dear God, They Say It’s Cancer and Praying for Your Prodigal Daughter. She is also the founder of Woman to Woman Mentoring and About His Work Ministries. Visit Janet at: womantowomanmentoring.com.   www.facebook.com/Janetthompson.authorspeaker,   http://www.linkedin.com/in/womantowomanmentoring/ www.pinterest.com/thompsonjanet  and https://twitter.com/AHWministries

Are you ready for 4  more things you never have to worry about?

I asked you last week to let me know what keeps you awake at  night and, based on your responses (and what I know of God’s trustworthy Word) here is another list of 4 things God can control a lot better than you and I can:

1. You never need to worry about being ignorant or relying on your own thinking. God’s wisdom is there for the askingJames 1:5-6 says:

If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind (NLT).

So,  ask God for wisdom and ask for it by faith in Him alone. And as you apply Proverbs 3:5-6, He will straighten the way for you:

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Blog quote - difficultWhat seems impossible that you are waiting upon God to accomplish?

While we can easily be hating the waiting, I encourage you to embrace the adventure of waiting upon God for your “impossible.” When we are in the midst of waiting, God is often in the midst of doing His best work.

When God told 99-year-old Abraham that his 90-year-old wife would conceive and bear a child — within a year — his wife laughed at the possibility.

But it wasn’t just a possibility. It was a promise. And God wasn’t smiling at Sarah’s reception of his promise as a joke.

God’s response to her unbelief was:

“Is anything too difficult for the Lord?” (Genesis 18:14).

God seems to specialize in doing the difficult, arranging the impossible, accomplishing the unfathomable. The only problem is, we don’t like being in the portion of His project where everything still looks difficult, impossible, and unfathomable. Yet, while we’re waiting, God is building in us a dependence on Him and a better idea of what it means to trust in His timing.

Here are some of the “impossibles” that I’m waiting upon God for right now:

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prayer-on-my-knees4I’m a firm believer that God knows exactly what He’s doing when He says “no” to our prayers, when He seems to wait before answering our prayers, or when it seems He isn’t listening at all.

Psalm 145:8-9 says: The Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love. The Lord is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made.”

That tells me that His graciousness, compassion, and love are at work — even in unanswered prayer. So here are seven reasons to thank God even when you’re not getting an answer – yet:

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When life gets messy, it’s easy to get stressed. Or angry. Or bitter.

But most of the time we’re in the middle of a mess, God wants to sharpen us, mold us, and transform us. So we might as well respond the way He desires so we can get out of the mess, don’t you think?

As I was writing my newest book, When God Sees Your Tears, I realized there’s lots of reasons to trust God in the middle of the mess. Stress kills, so save your health, pass the test, and please God by trusting Him in the middle of the mess.

Here are 6 reasons to trust, not stress, when you’re in the middle of the mess:

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You, too, may have heard it all your life. God is in complete control of everything.

But, oh how that rubs when the crud of life comes your way.

What do you tell a young woman who is pregnant with her first child when her husband of less than a year abandons her?

What do you tell the wife of a pastor who is shot dead on his church campus while serving the needs of his congregation on his day off?

What do you say to the woman who has served God all her life but now fights a fatal cancer that is eating away at her bones?

All three of those women talked with me recently about their unanswered questions. All three of them today have an intimacy with God that I long for. And all three of them are leaving a legacy…not just in their life but in the lives of others. They are proof of what happens when God sees your tears.

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praying_women_blackI’m sure you’ve heard some of these well-intentioned comments:

“At least you have a husband.”
“At least you already have a child.”
“You may not enjoy it, but at least you have a job.
“Well, at least you’re healthy.”
“At least you still have________________
“At least you don’t suffer with _____________”

Oh, the sting of well-intentioned remarks when there’s something more that is burdening your heart. And, oh the sting of those two guilt-ridden words: “At least….”

As I’ve ministered to women over the past 30 years, I have seen quite a few women settle for “at least” in their life. And yet, I believe that if God went to such great extremes to show His love for you and me by having His only Son die on the cross for us, then He did not intend for us to be content with “at least.”

Yes, God’s Word says we are to be thankful “in all circumstances” (1 Thessalonians 5:18). He also tells us that “godliness with contentment is great gain” (1 Timothy 6:6). But God doesn’t want our gratitude and contentment to be a form of resignation (“I guess I should be happy with this, since it’s all I will ever get anyway”). Rather, God wants His children to be full of anticipation for the “more” that He is so capable of giving — to the point that we thank Him ahead of time for all that He is about to do.

This God who tells us to be thankful in all things actually raises the bar when we decide to settle for less or at least what life brings us:

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Are you struggling to know if an open door is from God?

Just because an opportunity presents itself, doesn’t necessarily mean it is heaven sent. woman standing in open door

In last week’s blog, I talked about the faith and courage to walk through the door that God is holding open for you. But one of my readers asked how you can tell if God is the one opening the door. It’s a great question and one worth considering.

Sharing from my experience, and principles from God’s Word, here are three ways to tell if that  open door really is from God:

1. The Door that God Opens will Never Contradict His Word.read more

stressedwoman2These are stressful times we live in. But that doesn’t mean we have to fall apart as a result.

Everywhere I turn I hear of women who have experienced unimaginable heartaches, marriages that are in crisis, families that are financially strapped, and people struggling with cancer and disease.

Stress — whether it be personal, marital,  financial, or medical — takes its toll on us in many ways. And it’s natural for us to reach out to someone — primarily our husbands or those closest to us — to get the relief, encouragement or support we believe we need to get through stressful times. But depending on others during stressful times can backfire on us:

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picture-of-tears1Yesterday morning I interviewed a woman for my upcoming book, When God Sees Your Tears. Amanda is one who has experienced many tears, especially in the last year. She and her 2 1/2 year-old- daughter had to suddenly go on with life after her husband, a pastor, was shot and killed in his own church last year.

Throughout our interview, this 31-year-old woman could have vented about a beautiful life cut short, about a marriage interrupted, about a daughter who will grow up without her beloved daddy. She could have had an edge of bitterness from having her husband ripped away from her  just as they were beginning to realize their dreams together. She could have sworn off service to God for the rest of her days because of what it ultimately cost her, her husband, and their family.

But throughout the conversation her words sounded more like a soft symphony of trust, unwavering faith and….hope.

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woman-rejoicingIf God called us to live safe, manageable lives, and to do only what we could in our own power, then we wouldn’t really need Him.

He often calls us to do something extraordinary that we couldn’t do without Him. Yet, sometimes we settle…for just what we think we can do. And our dreams stay small. Years ago my prayer became “Don’t let me limit myself to just what I think I can do. Expand my vision to include all that I know You can do.”

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