Fear the Impact of Others?

Focused Devotion - Is. 464-5, 9

Isaiah 46:4-5 and 9 (hover over to view verses) Thoughts taken from my devotional time.

Today I want to look at another concern that we get caught up in life and in marriage … the fear that others can thwart God’s good purposes in our lives.

There are so many people in our lives {and spouses are no exception!} who we feel can threaten, harm, reject, control and steal from us. But this begs the question, …

“Does God leave us exposed and open to the hurt others can inflict upon our lives?”

If you’ve lived for more than one day, you know that He doesn’t remove all trouble or hurt from our lives. But if we read further in verse 4, we see that God not only “carries” us, but also “sustains” and “rescues” us! Those are words that go beyond being carried and move into the realm of God’s protection and ultimate redemption of any harm done to us.

Think for a moment about the negative situations you’re facing and the people who you feel threatened by …

Are they really thwarting God’s good purposes for you?

In Isaiah 46:5 and in Isaiah 46:9, we see God proclaiming His preeminence. He is God and no other person or thing is! No one can compare to Him. No one comes close to even being “like” Him.

Those threats we feel in our lives are “puny little men” compared to our great and powerful God!

It’s like me saying that I believe that the ants in the ground beneath my house can move it from its spot {the midwest U.S.}, carrying it clear across the country and dumping it into the ocean!

Now, we know ants are quite mighty for such tiny, little creatures, but come on, people! They sure aren’t moving any houses in my neck of the woods!

In other words, you and I are assigning the amazing and obvious power that ONLY God holds to that of an “ant of a man.”

If we really know the power God holds, then why do we continue to fear these “ants of people”?!

I don’t really know why you fear the people in your life, but I fear them because it seems they can hinder what I think I “deserve or want” from happening. But that’s a lie!

So if I peel back the falsehood, I see that I’m afraid because these “ants of people” can be tools in God’s refining purposes in my life—which might involve (yep, always involves) refinement of my character. At its core, I’m really afraid of God’s refinement, because refining hurts! But …

I certainly don’t want the bad to remain in my heart. Do you?

So why do we fear how God allows people to impact us?

We should be shouting, “Bring it on, Lord! Bring it on!!!”

 

What has helped you to grow in your understanding of God’s power?

 

What fears do you have about a hurtful person or situation in your life that keeps you from trusting in God’s sustainability and ultimate rescue?

 

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I had my last radiation treatment Wednesday of this past week, and have a bit more time to devote to writing/reading now. And although, I may add a “Focused Devotion” sometime down the road, I will be returning to a more specific “marriage” focus for my posts on Sunday/Monday starting next week. Thank you all for your prayers and support during this difficult season in my life! I love and appreciate you all!

Linking up with – Marriage MondaysMaking Your Home Sing Monday, Living Proverbs 31, Sunday Stillness, Monday’s MusingsMarriage, Motherhood and Missions, and Playdates with God

 

 

 

 

 

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  • http://www.creeksideministries.blogspot.com/ Linda@Creekside

    YAY!! Celebrating the conclusion of the radiation!! And I thank you for the recalibration here tonight, Beth. What a good reminder nothing is a surprise to our God. He has the situations we think are just too out of control in His hand. Peace washes over me. I am grateful for your insights tonight, my friend. As always, I am refreshed by my time with you.

    • http://www.messymarriage.com/ Beth Steffaniak

      It’s great to be celebrating this threshold with you, Linda! And I wouldn’t have made it through as well as I did without your prayers and support! You were on the deck of that Prayership every day! Love you sweet friend!

  • http://www.janiscox.com/ Janis Cox

    Yes He goes before us and has the plan before we even know of it. Trusting Him with everything. Our Pastor said this morning: “God is always planning ahead for us”. Love that.
    blessings,
    Janis http://www.janiscox.com

    • http://www.messymarriage.com/ Beth Steffaniak

      So glad that this resonated with the message you’d heard from your pastor, Janis. I love it when God does that! Thanks so much for stopping by!

  • http://fdeanhackett.com F Dean Hackett – Foundational

    Amen! We have to trust Him and know that His plans for us are to prosper us. When we find our Identity in Him, we find that we don’t have to fear others. http://www.fdeanhackett.com

    • http://www.messymarriage.com/ Beth Steffaniak

      Ah yes, Dean, we definitely need to anchor our identity in Him in order to avoid this common human trap. Thanks for coming by and encouraging me! Nice to meet ya!

  • Andrew Budek-Schmeisser

    I learned very early in life not to trust anyone, especially those society said should be worthy of my trust.

    Didn’t trust God, either.

    Then I came to realize that on this planet, there were four letters I COULD trust…USMC. Trustworthiness wore a Globe and Anchor.

    And from that, the knowledge that there really were people who would never leave me, dead or alive, and that “everyone who goes in comes back, or NO ONE does” weren’t just moto BS…

    I could see God through new eyes. I could see the He, too didn’t leave us, even when He couldn’t stop the pain inflicted by my enemies.

    http://blessed-are-the-pure-of-heart.blogspot.com/2014/03/the-tolerable-marriage.html

    • http://www.messymarriage.com/ Beth Steffaniak

      Interesting, Andrew. I wouldn’t have ever thought that being in the Marines would open a person’s heart to the trustworthiness of God. But God uses all sorts of experiences and people in our lives to draw us to Himself and for that I am so very glad! Thanks so much for coming by and weighing in, my friend.

  • JosephPote

    “At its core, I’m really afraid of God’s refinement, because refining hurts! But …”
    So true!
    God has promised to complete the good work He has begun in me…and that is both a source of great comfort and a source of much discomfort. I want Him to complete the work…and I hope it doesn’t involve too much pain…but I want the work completed even if it does…
    Thank you, Beth!

    • http://www.messymarriage.com/ Beth Steffaniak

      Yes, it’s the best choice to take up our cross and follow Jesus, but it’s never an easy or pain-free choice. Would I trade it for one free of pain? No way! I shudder to think what kind of person I’d become with pleasure and absence of pain being my main goal! Thanks so much for coming by, Joe!

  • Andrea

    I need to be more willing of God’s refinement. I often get angry and turn from what God may be trying to do in my life. If things are not going smoothly, I feel very out of control. I pray for, and need to focus more on, the knowledge and understanding that God is in control of my life.

    • http://www.messymarriage.com/ Beth Steffaniak

      I’m so grateful for your vulnerable and humble heart, Andrea. Little do you know but even small confessions like this are being used of God to heal your aching and broken heart! Love ya!

  • http://www.ugochi-jolomi.com/ Ugochi

    Someone once wrote that “Love cannot be learned or practised in isolation. You have to be around people – irritating, imperfect, demanding, frustrating people.”
    Since I have to grow in love, though it hurts badly, I have to deal with these people whom God is often using to refine me.
    Thanks a lot Beth for always nudging us towards spiritual growth.
    Have a super blessed week!
    Love

    • http://www.messymarriage.com/ Beth Steffaniak

      I love that quote, Ugochi! It’s so true and fits perfectly with this post. Thanks so much for sharing it and for coming by to make me smile! :)

  • http://www.lisanotes.com/ Lisa notes…

    Well, when you put it this way, I see how ridiculous my answer of “yes!” can be. ha.

    “Are they really thwarting God’s good purposes for you?”

    None of us are big enough to thwart his purpose, not others and not ourselves. I find a lot of comfort in this. Thanks, Beth!

    • http://www.messymarriage.com/ Beth Steffaniak

      Nope, Lisa! We’re all a bunch of ants scurrying and scattering when another ant approaches! Thankfully we have a great BIG God who loves us and helps us in our small, scary world. You know, the world? That’s the one He “made” out of the black void. Hmmm, well, when you put it that way … Ha! Thanks for stopping by, sweet friend!

  • Mary

    Yay for finishing your radiation! Now that you have been zapped, I will continue to pray that “zero” is your number- zero cancer cells! I enjoy your focused devotions because they provide an insight and perspective that can look different from mine and give me a chance to pause and reflect what it all means for me. For me, God is refining me in the area of complete trust in Him. I don’t necessarily have people who are trying to bring me down but instead the voice of Satan who can play havoc in my life. Satan’s voice seems to scream and tell me that I’m not good at something and it is much harder for me to hear God’s voice reassuring me that I’m doing exactly what He wants at that moment. Knowing that God carries us but more importantly sustains and rescues us is reassuring to me. Thank you for this devotion and praying that God blesses you in your journey as you move away from radiation to a more normal life – if that is even possible. Hugs my friend!

  • Nannette Elkins

    “Those threats we feel in our lives are “puny little men” compared to our great and powerful God!” I need to frame this! Wonderful post today Beth. Blessings. ♥