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Tag Archives: trusting in God

Some Days You Have It… Some Days You Don’t

Watching a sporting event can be like a television drama with unexpected twists and turns.  As this presentation enfolds, it won’t take long to determine who is playing up to their potential and who is having a rough night.  Baseball and golf events are prime examples as a hall of fame pitcher will have a night or two where it looks like there are throwing batting practice in a homerun derby.  Meanwhile, David Duval, a former British Open champion started his opening round of the 2019 British Open one under par through six holes.  Twelve holes and 20 over par later, a professional golfer shot 90 for 18 holes.

For the righteous falls seven times and rises again, but the wicked stumble in times of calamity, Proverbs 24:16.

You don’t have to play a sport to experience this strange phenomena.  As a former teacher, some days I was on a roll, coming up with amazing examples to highlight my lesson plan.  Then, out of the blue, I went through periods where I struggled to get my point across as students looked dazed and confused.  Although preparation is necessary for any type of teaching, more time spent planning doesn’t always translate into success.  While there isn’t a Bible verse that contains a direct link, all I can say to explain these occurrences is that “some days you have it and some days you don’t.”

My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever, Psalm 73:26.

Solomon and the Psalmist provide advice for individuals who experience failure on days where they don’t have it.  King Solomon states that the righteous keep getting back up no matter how many times they fail.  Meanwhile, the Psalmist points to trusting in God to help you overcome disappointment and failure.  King Solomon also encourages believers to learn from mistakes so that you don’t repeat epic failures from your past.  No one likes to fail, but when you do lean on the hope in relief of God’s mercy, Lamentations 3:21-23.

by Jay Mankus

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Stronger Than You Think

Like any start to a new year, the longer you make it in fulfilling resolutions on the calendar, confidence and optimism grows.  Those who use hope as a catalyst for change begin to see the fruits of their rededication toward accomplishing goals in life.  Signs of progress make successful individuals appear stronger than you think.

Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord! – Psalm 27:14

Unfortunately, most people don’t make it through the first week before breaking one of their vows.  Diets are ruined by leftover treats from Christmas and New Years.  Exercise programs are put on hold after you pull a muscle, over doing it after your first few work outs.  Meanwhile, those attempting to cease bad habits from their past are lulled back, unable to escape addictive behavior.  These poor souls seem weaker than the rest, plagued by one bad decision after the other.

Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words, Romans 8:26.

According to the apostle Paul, there is a solution for those of us who have already failed miserably in fulfilling New Year Resolutions.  In your time of need or moment of weakness, pray.  As you slow down by crying out to God, ask for the Holy Spirit’s intervention.  When you do, the Lord will replace blank ideas with the right course of action.  This is where blind faith pays off, trusting in God to guide you through failure so that victory becomes a certainty.

by Jay Mankus

 

No Barriers

I was having one of those humbling/trying weeks where nothing seemed to go right.  As I was about to have a pity party for myself, I stumbled upon an article on the top 25 most adventurous men of the last 25 years.  Number 23 on this list was Erik Weihenmayer for kayaking through the Grand Canyon.  This feat may seem relatively obscure unless of course you consider the fact that Eric is blind.

Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed,” John 20:29.

This incredible journey is detailed in the book No Barriers.  While I have had my own eye issues over the past 20 years, I am still able to see the beauty of God’s creation.  As someone who has canoed and kayaked down river rapids, past guides trained me to look for the V.  This is the safest place to enter rapids.  However, down one sense, Erik Weihenmayer has to rely solely on his hearing.  This is where ability and faith meet, trusting in God to get you down stream safely.

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen, Hebrews 11:1.

It’s only fitting that I discovered No Barriers while waiting to see my eye doctor.  Despite my fears of glaucoma, I experienced a divine appointment with the Lord this afternoon.  Instead of feeling sorry for myself, this article was like a kick in the butt to persevere.  If Erik Weihenmayer can kayak blind through class four rapids on the Colorado River, then the Lord can still use my decaying body to bear spiritual fruit.  The only barriers that exist are seeds of doubt which cause many individuals to give up before obtaining your dreams in life.

by Jay Mankus

Uncommitted

Depending upon who you are and where you live, expect to come in contact with various individuals.  Some will appear confident, others lost and a few wander aimlessly throughout life wondering what to do next.  As you watch people, there will be visible signs of a lack of commitment.  For reasons unknown, passion is missing influencing souls to drift, float and abandon dreams before experiencing the fruit of their labor.

Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established, Proverbs 16:3.

As a former cross country runner, the first day of practice revealed who put in the hard work over the summer and who didn’t.  When you have to run between 6 and 10 miles each day during this initial week, you can’t fake it.  You’re either in shape or struggling to survive.  Until your body gets conditioned to twice the amount of a typical race, 3.1 miles, even great athletes will have a battle a mind telling you to slow down, stop or quit.

Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act, Psalm 37:5.

If you take the running illustration above and apply this to life, how you invest your time reveals your degree of commitment.  On the other hand, those areas you avoid, forget or neglect, speak volumes of their importance within your life.  Unfortunately, I currently find myself living a lie, stuck in a rut void of production.  Thus, I need to re-evaluate my steps by turning my attention to the Lord above.  When my commitment fueled by trusting in God takes hold, I expect the chains of uncommitment to be broken.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

The Runner’s Guide to Life

If you have ever run in a 5K, race officials usually offer one of two options: a walk thru to see the course or provide a map that highlights the route of the path you are going to take.  Without one or the other, there is always a chance of getting lost along the way.  Therefore, if you don’t know which way to go, you either have to catch up to the participants in front of you or slow down to follow runners who pass you.

I run in the path of your commands, for you have broadened my understanding. – Psalm 119:32

This same principle applies to life.  When you hit a fork in the road, decisions have to be made regardless of whether you are sure or uncertain.  According to the Psalmist, those who remain teachable throughout life will stay on track until the finish, Psalm 119:33.  On the other hand, individuals who lean on their own understanding often end up on the wrong course, Matthew 7:13.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us – Hebrews 12:1.

During his years as a shepherd, David learned the importance of good footing, Psalm 18:36, achieved by trusting in God.  The apostle Paul takes this one step further, relying on the Holy Spirit to guide his steps, Galatians 5:25.  While visiting the avid sports town of Corinth, the apostle Paul began to understand that mindset necessary to become a successful runner, 1 Corinthians 9:24-27.  Whether you choose to support a local 5K as a runner or walker, make sure you are seeking after a crown that will last forever to ensure the runner’s guide to life.

by Jay Mankus

The Cure to Nightmares

Gone are the days of the Boogie Man living beneath your bed.  Hollywood has devised more sidious figments of your imagination such as Freddy Kruger, Michael Myers and Hannibal Lecter.  All it takes is a scary movie, darkness and isolation to invite nightmares into your dreams.  This is where fear turns an ordinary evening into a terrifying experience.

When you add fuel to this fire by indulging in graphic images on television, the degree only intensifies.  Although dreams come and go, anyone who opens the door to demonic activity, Ephesians 4:26-27, will need a spiritual remedy to set their mind free from nightly horror.  Thoughts such as,” its just an R-rated movie, what harm could possibly come from this,” will likely dig a hole that can haunt souls for years.

According to the Psalmist, there is a cure for nightmares.  Sleepless nights will come to an end as you begin to dwell in the shelter of God’s wings, Psalm 91:1.  This isn’t a casual relationship, coming and going as you please.  Rather, Psalm 91:2-4 suggests a devout faith, trusting in the Lord, not your own strength to overcome obstacles, snares and trials in life.  As your commitment level breeds spiritual disciplines, God promises to protect you from Satan’s flaming arrows in the day and conscience from fear at night, Psalm 91:5.  Applying these principles lead to sweet dreams once again.

by Jay Mankus

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