DayBreaks for 1/16/18 – The Prescription for an Untroubled Heart

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DayBreaks for 1/16/18: The Prescription for an Untroubled Heart

John 14:1(ESV) – Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me.

Troubled hearts are everywhere. My guess is you have something that is troubling your heart. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t. Scripture tells us to not be anxious – but just like this verse from Jesus, that’s far easier to say than to do. So how do we go about getting an untroubled heart?

Believe in God; believe also in me. Seven simple words, the longest consisting of just seven letters and two syllables. So how does it work?

First, think about what is troubling your heart. Is it fear of illness? Loss of job or home? A child who is in rebellion? A marriage that is falling apart? Ability to pay the bills? My guess is that you can come up with several things. It really doesn’t matter what it is, the cause of troubled hearts is found in this passage, this one little verse. Our hearts are troubled when we believe that God doesn’t know, care, or is powerless and indifferent to do anything. It is much harder to believe in someone or something you can’t see (like God), so Jesus makes it much more personal (“believe also in me”). The disciples had seen, touched and smelled Jesus and had seen his care and concern.

The hard part, of course, is always that we do not know what God will specifically do in any given situation. Will he heal? Will be lose our job? Will we go broke? Will someone die? Will the company be sold or go under? I don’t know the answers to those questions in my own life, let alone yours. But if our faith is based on some specific action that God will do, rather than His character and His promise to make all things work for our good, we aren’t really trusting or believing in God.

We need to also believe in His power. If I were to say to you, “Believe in Galen, believe in me for a trouble-free heart!” would you take that advice to heart? I would hope not! I have neither the power to fix what’s troubling you nor the wisdom to make sure that whatever is going on in your life will work out for your good and not harm. God, and Jesus, however, have both the power to fix it but also the wisdom to know whether or not it would be good for you if they fixed it in the way you want them to fix it.

It’s still easier said than done. But the key is to believe in God and in Jesus. Believe in their power, but even more in their wisdom to do what is right. No matter what happens in life, that is the key to a trouble-free heart.

PRAYER: Lord, we all need to heed your advice to us because our hearts are all troubled! Help us, we pray, to believe in You! In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

COPYRIGHT 2018 by Galen C. Dalrymple. All rights reserved.

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DayBreaks for 2/2/17: Should I Pray to be Delivered from this Hour?

DayBreaks for 2/02/17: Should I Pray to be Delivered from this Hour?

John 12:27-28 (NLT) – Now my soul is deeply troubled. Should I pray, ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But this is the very reason I came! Father, bring glory to your name…”

Wow. Just WOW! To place this verse in context, Jesus is in Jerusalem for the Passover. He has just foretold his coming death. He has also just said that his disciples must be where he is. Where would he be? He would soon be in the garden, on trial, on the cross and in the tomb. This is a sobering reminder that if our Master didn’t escape a troubled heart or a troubled life, we should not expect to, either. As David Platt said recently, we tend to think as believers we are guaranteed a safe life. We are not. In fact, if anything, we are guaranteed a troubled life if we are to inhabit all the spaces Jesus did not only physically, but also if we journey with him spiritually and emotionally – and he want to some very foreboding places in his heart.

It is interesting that Jesus shares his thoughts out loud here. Should he pray to be saved from this hour?, he asks. In matter of fact, he did make that very request some mere days or hours later in the garden. Yet, in spite of his deeply troubled heart, even here he resolves himself with the knowledge that God had a purpose for his coming, for this very hour. He came not to be delivered, but to deliver, not to be spared, but to spare others.

How do I view my own life in that regard? Do I have even an inkling of the call God has put upon my life? How often do I pray to be delivered from “this hour” when in fact, it may be that my struggle, even my death, may be the thing that will bring the most glory to the Father. My first inclination is to pray for my own preservation rather than to see my “hour” as an opportunity for his glory.

Jesus refused to pray for deliverance. Maybe I should pray less for deliverance and be more concerned about how God can use my situation and my obedience in that dark hour for His glory.

PRAYER: Lord, I am very self-centered and as I read this verse, it becomes clearer to me. Thank you for the power of your word to show us not just your love and goodness, but our weaknesses and failures, too. Use those hard times and difficult hours in our lives to bring you glory. May we be more like our Master and seek your glory and your purposes above all else! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2017 by Galen Dalrymple.

DayBreaks for 10/29/12 – When You Thought the Worst Was Over

DayBreaks for 10/29/12 – When You Thought the Worst Was Over

From the DayBreaks Archive: October 29, 2002

When you’ve walked through the valley of the shadow of death

When you thought the worst was over

And the worst is what was left

Some things he can’t explain now,

But by and by he will.

Look up through the pain now, and you will find him

Deeper still.

Deeper still you will find him, deeper still than before

Deeper still goes the anchor, deeper still the ocean floor.

Deeper still he has taught you, deeper still there is to go

Deeper still is the Savior, deeper still than we know.”  – from Deeper Still: For Those Who Grieve, copyright 1997 IBS Publishing

There is something inside of us that leads us to hope that our troubles are about at an end.  But what happens when you discover that what you thought the worst was only the beginning, or only a mid-point in the trouble?  I wish I had a silver-bullet answer that worked in every situation for everyone.  But the following I do know:

FIRST: God is still in His heaven and is still on His throne.

SECOND: God still loves you – regardless of the cause of the difficulty (and sometimes it is brought about as a result of our sinful, selfish decisions).

THIRD: God still sees you (Psalm 10:14): “But you, O God, do see trouble and grief; you consider it to take it in hand.  The victim commits himself to you; you are the helper of the fatherless.

FINALLY: Whether your mind and heart can grasp it or not, you will still win – because your Father God will have His way when all is said and done.

PRAYER: Father, it is tough not knowing if we have seen the worst and things will get better or not.  We try, Lord, to hold on to your certainties, but it is not easy.  Give us the courage and the strength for each day to face whatever it brings, and help us to know that you truly are in it with us!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2012 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

Want to help us save children and give them a life?  Donate now through I Am 2 Partners, Inc., where Galen serves as director of operations: http://www.iam2.org/donate   Thanks!

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DayBreaks for 06/08/12 – The Three Kick Rule

DayBreaks for 06/08/12 – The Three Kick Rule

The Texas Three Kick Rule

A big city California lawyer went duck hunting in rural Texas.  He shot and dropped a bird, but it fell into a farmer’s field on the other side of a fence.  As the lawyer climbed over the fence, an elderly farmer drove up on his tractor and asked him what he was doing.

The litigator responded, “I shot a duck and it fell in this field, and now I’m going into retrieve it.”

The old farmer replied.  “This is my property, and you are not coming over here.”

The indignant lawyer said, “I am one of the best trial attorneys in the U.S. and, if you don’t let me get that duck, I’ll sue you and take everything you own.”

The old farmer smiled and said, “Apparently, you don’t know how we do things in Texas.  We settle small disagreements like this with the Texas Three Kick Rule.”

The lawyer asked, “What is the Texas Three Kick Rule?”

The farmer replied, “Well, first I kick you three times and then you kick me three times, and so on, back and forth, until someone gives up.”

The attorney quickly thought about the proposed contest and decided that he could easily take the old codger.  He agreed to abide by the local custom.

The old farmer slowly climbed down from the tractor and walked up to the city feller.  His first kick planted the toe of his heavy work boot into the lawyer’s shin and dropped him to his knees.  His second kick landed square on the man’s nose.  The barrister was flat on his belly when the farmer’s third kick to a kidney nearly caused him to give up.

The lawyer summoned every bit of his will and managed to get to his feet and said, “Okay, you old coot, now it’s my turn!”

The old farmer smiled and said, “Nah, I give up.  You can have the duck.”

The moral of the story: be careful when running after things you think you desire.  You may eventually get what you want, but it’s not worth the pain.  Far better to run after the things that God says are best for us!

PRAYER: Lord, we think we know what we want and we are prone to want things that aren’t going to be good for us.  Please, keep us from the inevitable pain that comes from chasing our dreams for our lives instead of your plan for our life!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2012 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

I Am 2 has just launched another project: to put in a water system for what will be the only pediatric hospital in all of Rwanda!  If you are interested in learning more, go to our blog: http://iam2.org/blog to read about it and learn how you can help! We are trying to raise up a massive army of compassionate people who will each contribute whatever they can – even $5-10 each, to help us deliver this water system through our partner, BeyondPoverty.org.

Also, don’t forget our other project, Bright Future Children’s Home.  You can read the latest update about them at the blog, too, and can help us move forward with the feeding, clean water and protection these 37 kids in Kenya need to not just live, but grow!!!  Donations are tax deductible for 2012.  If you prefer to send a check rather than give through PayPal, write it and mail it to: I Am 2 Partners, Inc., c/o 3678 Creekstone Drive, Norcross, GA 30092.

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DayBreaks for 03/21/12 – The Trouble With You

DayBreaks for 03/21/12 – The Trouble With You

Trouble indeed...

14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in him may have eternal life. John 3:14-15

Brian P. Stoffregen shared this illustration: “Lucy once said to Charlie Brown, “Discouraged again, eh, Charlie Brown?” “You know what your whole trouble is? The whole trouble with you is that you’re you!”

Charlie asks, “Well, what in the world can I do about that?”

Lucy answers, “I don’t pretend to be able to give advice…I merely point out the trouble!”

The symbol of Jesus on a pole indicates that the problem with us is us — and that Jesus is the solution. However, another conversation between Lucy and Charlie Brown indicates another part of the problem/solution.

Lucy speaks, “You know what the whole trouble with you is, Charlie Brown?”

Charlie answers, “No, and I don’t want to know! Leave me alone!” He walks away.

Lucy shouts after him, “The whole trouble with you is you won’t listen to what the whole trouble with you is!”

Stoffregen drew the perfect observation, one that we need to pay attention to: “The solution begins with listening. If “you” are the problem, “you” can’t be the solution. The solution has to come from outside yourself.”

We want to trust and believe in ourselves and our abilities to resolve the issues that come our way.  But when it comes to solving our most crucial problem – our sinfulness – we are powerless.  We can’t solve it precisely for the reason Lucy pointed out: we are the problem and we needed an external agent to show us the solution.

PRAYER: To You we give glory and praise for being truthful and honest with us.  Help us to see that we are not the answer, Jesus is the answer!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2012 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

DayBreaks has always been free, but if you wish to help Galen raise his support for his work with iam2.org (an organization committed to helping bring food, clean water and protection to children wherever they are in the US or overseas) please mail checks made payable to “I Am 2 Partners, Inc.” to this address: 3678 Creekstone Drive, Norcross, GA 30092, or go to http://www.iam2.org to donate (one time, or recurring).  Thank you!

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