9/18/14

Keeping Focused - Who Is God?

Waiting is hard enough with a due date.  Without an end in sight for our waiting, we tend to focus on so many unknowns.

We focus on:
1. What our daughter will be like.
Will she be younger or older?
Will she be very sick or mildly so?
Will she be anxious or accepting?

2. The agony of the waiting.
How long will we have to wait?
How will I pass the time while I wait?
How do I continue waiting - doing nothing.

3. Our inability to do anything.
We cannot plan too far into the future with so many unknowns.
We cannot think about what our future will be like.
We cannot have a clear view of where exactly God is leading our family.


So many questions haunt us while we wait - with no end in sight. 

We worry, stress, and try to manipulate situations.  

I am going to write a series about "Keeping Focus" for the next few Thursdays. These lessons are for me first. They are reminders of things we can keep our mind focused on.

Part One:
Who is God?
~~~
God is Sovereign - Psalm 33

Psalm 33 reminds us that God created the entire world.  It was through the power of His Word that everything began.  Through the power of His spoken Word, the entire world was formed.  From the tallest mountain to the depths of the sea, God made it all.  He sustains it as well.  Psalm 33 also speaks about God being in control of all nations.  He is responsible for their success and failures.  All of this is in His control.

Psalm 33:20-22 says: "Our soul waits for the LORD; He is our help and shield. For our heart shall rejoice in Him, but we have trusted in His holy name. Let Your mercy, O LORD, be upon us, just as we hope in You."

Our response to God's Sovereignty: Rejoice - Trust - Hope!  We rejoice in the fact that our God is in control.  We can trust and hope in Him, even when circumstances are not going "as planned."  We make conscious efforts to praise God. We chose to not let despair or fear take control of our minds.  

When our minds are focused on God's sovereignty, our hearts will trust.

God is Faithful - Lamentations 3:22-27

Israel was not trusting in God.  Because of their unbelief, God punished them.  He sent armies to defeat them and bring them into captivity.  Yet, God did not utterly cast them away.  He promised them hope!  

We have a God who is faithful.  When the waiting seems hard and long, we can rely on God's faithfulness.  Lamentations 3:23 says "Great is Your faithfulness."  How is God faithful?  He brings mercies and grace every morning.  Every moment we can trust that He is working. We need not fear His wrath for our sins. We need not fear that we will fail. His grace is enough to help us with our waiting.

Our response to God's Faithfulness: Hope and Waiting Quietly. So many times I want to work and NOT wait.  I like to have To-Do Lists and check things off.  When all the To-Do Lists are completed and there is nothing left, it is then that I get anxious and stressed.  God says in Lamentations 3:25-26 "The LORD is good to those who wait for Him, to the soul who seeks Him. It is good that one should hope and wait quietly."  

Every moment that we trust with a quiet confidence, God is saying: that is good.


(Photo credit to Johnson Photography)

God is Loving - Deuteronomy 7:9 
Not only is God love - He is loving.  His actions and motives are all wrapped up in love.  When Moses was telling the Israelites God's laws, he reminds them in Deuteronomy 7:9 why God wanted them to obey His commands: "Therefore know that the LORD your God, He is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and mercy for a thousand generations with those who love Him and keep His commandments."

Our response to God's Love: We obey and love others. We do not obey to get love but rather, we obey because we are loved.  He has me in this season of waiting because He loves me. He is teaching me His commandments and making me more like Christ.  When we are filled with God's love, it overflows into the hearts of those around us. 

We love because He first loved us.

God is Our Father - Romans 8:15-17
One of my favorite passages in the Bible is Romans 8.  Many people quote the passage, referring to the part about never being separated from Christ.  As we began this adoption journey, I found this scripture in the middle of the chapter concerning adoption:

Romans 8:15-17 says "For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, 'Abba, Father.' The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs - heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified with Him."

What truth and encouragement we find here!  We need not fear the unknown, especially in the waiting seasons.  We are adopted in God's family - an heir!  When we bring our little China-girl home, she will be completely ours.  She will no longer be an orphan.  She will be a daughter.  She will have all the rights and privileges as our other children.  She will inherit so much from us - not just physically - but personality and temperament as well.  

Our response to God as our Father: Courage and Confidence.  We no longer need to be fearful about the future with God as our Father.  We also have this confidence: as children of God, we are not just invited to live with Him in heaven, we will join Christ as heirs to the kingdom!  We are not just guests, but family.  Family brings confidence.

We can focus our mind on these characteristics of God when waiting has no due date.


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