Monday, June 19, 2017

Stop Supposing



Feed on His Faithfulness 
Psalm 37:3 RV


As you might be noticing,  more of my posts have been seeded by my current daily devotional, Streams in the Desert.   I'm amazed that I only just discovered this treasure trove of edifying excerpts last year.  Each day's reading finds me discovering something about myself that convicts, yet brings incredible hope and encouragement.  The entry on June 5th was no different...

"I once met a poor colored woman, who earned a precarious living by hard daily labor; but who was a joyous triumphant Christian. “Ah, Nancy,” said a gloomy Christian lady to her one day, "it is well enough to be happy now; but I should think the thoughts of your future would sober you.

“Only suppose, for instance, you should have a spell of sickness, and be unable to work; or suppose your present employers should move away, and no one else should give you anything to do; or suppose—”

“Stop!” cried Nancy, “I never supposes. De Lord is my Shepherd, and I knows I shall not want. And, Honey,” she added, to her gloomy friend, “it’s all dem supposes as is makin’ you so mis’able. You’d better give dem all up, and just trust de Lord.”

There is one text that will take all the “supposes” out of a believer’s life, if it be received and acted on in childlike faith; it is Hebrews 13:5, 6: “Be content with such things as ye have: for He hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.”"
—H. W. S.
{Excerpt from Streams in the Desert, June 9th}


After I read this passage, I was struck with the harsh reality that I am that gloomy Christian lady!

I spend too much time supposing...

Google's definition of suppose reads...

...assume that something is the case on the basis of evidence or probability but without proof or certain knowledge.

Fortunately/unfortunately, I have the gift of discernment.  The Spiritual Gift website shares this definition regarding the gift of discernment...

"The spiritual gift of discernment is also known as the gift of “discernment of spirits” or “distinguishing between spirits.”  The Greek word for the gift of discernment is Diakrisis.  The word describes being able to distinguish, discern, judge or appraise a person, statement, situation, or environment."

Fortunately, many times my appraisal of a situation has been spot-on and played out exactly as I supposed, protecting myself or the person to whom it was directed.

But unfortunately, whether or not I am spot-on more times than not, I am allowing "all dem supposes to make me so mis'able" - and others too I might add...   I have this gift of discernment, yet I am turning it into a curse because I'm not giving all my supposes up to the Lord and trusting Him with their outcome.  Instead of dwelling on all the supposes, I should be using this gift of discernment to turn those supposes into prayers and petitions to the Lord.  After all, a spiritual gift is meant to bring God glory, not the owner misery.

But my supposing, doesn't just occur during times of discernment.  Too often, I suppose the worst in situations that I am anxious about...

Like vacations for instance where the gloomy Christian lady rears her ugly head and says, "Suppose it rains..."  "Suppose one of us is sick..."  "Suppose we have to cancel and lose all our money..."  

I spend more time worrying and less time looking forward to the vacation.  What's that statistic, 80-90% of what we worry about NEVER happens!  Such a waste of time to worry over something that more than likely won't even happen.

And yet, in all honesty, there have been times, albeit very, very rare, when each one of my vacation supposes has played out.   Thankfully, not all during the same vacation, lol, but different vacations found me experiencing different supposes.  

And you know what, I survived.  I could still see God working in each of those situations, and found blessing through each of the supposes.

A few years ago, we had the blessing of vacationing with my daughter, son-in-law and my brother and his family on a lake in Maine in a beautiful cottage.  I have shared about that vacation and many other wonderful ones in a blog post entitled Snapshots in Time if you'd like to read about them.  

The first year in the lakeside cottage we experienced perfect summer weather!  It was truly a time of fun, relaxation and beautiful family fellowship.

The following year we had the privilege of all of us going to Maine again where we rented two side by side cottages since we now had our precious baby granddaughter with us.  My brother and his family stayed in the other, equally beautiful cottage.   Only this time, it was cold and rainy for a good part of the week.  

Yet I can honestly say, it was equally special because we created new experiences brought on by the rain.  The year before we hung out on the dock and took boat rides all day long.  We were out on the water so much that we still felt like we were rocking and rolling even when inside.  lol.  The rainy year, we enjoyed my brothers cabin which had a beautiful porch where we gathered to play games and most mornings, made big breakfasts.  We also took a day trip to a beautiful seaside town.  

So many blessings that were a result of a rainy vacation.  Who knew??  lol. 

But seriously, H.W.S. had it right when he said...

"There is one text that will take all the “supposes” out of a believer’s life, if it be received and acted on in childlike faith; it is Hebrews 13:5, 6: “Be content with such things as ye have: for He hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.”"

The Holy Spirit impressed something else upon my heart as I pondered my life of supposing --
the verses in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 known as the "Love Passage".  

Normally, when I would reflect on verse 7 of that passage, in particular...

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things...

I would relate it to me loving others, but this morning, the Holy Spirit asked me,  "do you love God in this manner?..."

At first, I thought I must have misheard.   Because I had always saw this verse through the filter of loving a fellow sinner...

Bearing with a sin against myself...

Believing in a loved one rather than jumping to a conclusion based on appearances...

Hoping that a loved one would come out from under a sinful hold...

Enduring for the sake of peace, as long as it is in my power to do so...

But the more I reflected upon what the Holy Spirit was impressing upon me, I realized that with God, 
I don't bear all things, {that He has lovingly ordained...}

I spend more time supposing and not enough time believing.

I walk around like a gloomy Christian lady rather than a daughter of the King whose hope is in Christ Jesus.

Rather than enduring for the sake of Christ, I complain, and complain, and complain...

Through these attitudes, I am not loving God as I should.  By not loving God as I should, I am destroying His testimony through me and dishonoring Him.   I am also suffering needlessly by missing out on the blessings He has for me through bearing ALL things, believing ALL things, hoping ALL things and enduring ALL things.

Does any of what I have shared in this post resonate with you??

Thanks be to God He loves this gloomy Christian lady unconditionally!  He continually draws me close and loves me with an everlasting love.

The LORD your God is in your midst, 
a mighty one who will save; 
he will rejoice over you with gladness; 
he will quiet you by his love; 
he will exult over you with loud singing.
Zephaniah 3:17

What is the antidote to a life of supposing?  A life lived Believing!

How do we grow this life of Believing?   By feeding on His faithfulness...

Trust in Jehovah, and do good; Dwell in the land, and feed on his faithfulness.
Psalm 37:3 ASV

Feed on all the times He has been faithful.

Feed on those times when a suppose actually did become a reality and remember how the Lord did not forsake you, but blessed you.

Feed, feed, feed, on His Word and allow all of His promises to become as natural as your breathing, your first go-to in any given situation.

Feed on prayers - prayers to the One who hears, provides, protects and loves.

When you partake of this bounty daily, gloomy Christian lady will  become joyful Christian lady, she will step out of misery and enter into calmness, contentment, hopefulness, and cheerfulness.


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19 comments:

  1. I loved the story at the beginning. What a great lesson for us all to "stop supposin'and just trust de Lord." Thanks for challenging us to look for the ways we're doing too much thinking about all the "what if's."

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    1. Donna, It was good! And a good lesson for sure!

      You are very welcome, on both counts.

      Thank you so much for faithfully hosting Soul Survival. :-)

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  2. Karen, thanks for linking up on Mondays @ Soul Survival, too!

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  3. Fortunately, I am not a supposer or worrier but take life as it comes with a lot of prayer. But many need this and this is a great post to help them see that it is not God's plan for them. #sittingamongfriends

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    1. Stephanie, Praising God you face life with only prayer and don't allow supposing or worrying to enter in.

      Blessings,

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  4. It's hard to break the cycle of supposing! But, with God all things are possible - thankful He keeps working on me. :) Thanks for sharing your encouraging post at the #LMMLinkup!

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    1. Brandi, Indeed and Amen!

      You are very welcome! :-)

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  5. This is just excellent for me today. I am a worrier by nature and strive to balance that with a life of trust in God. What's the antidote to supposing? Believing in God. Yes!
    Thank you! #InspireMeMonday

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    1. Carol, Praise God!

      You are welcome! :-)

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  6. Dank je wel / thank you so much for your nice post. I love that you are using this Scritpure: Hebrews 13:5 God bless you!

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    1. Ariella, You are very welcome!

      Praise God!

      Blessings,

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  7. I want that devotional!! I'm a worrier. In some irrational way, worrying makes me feel more prepared for whatever may come. I'm in a season where God is showing me that trust may be scary but it's more "real" than worry.

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    1. Jamie, I know EXACLTY what you mean!! And to add to that, it makes me feel like I am being "pro-active" which is so foolish since the Lord tells us in His Word that worrying isn't going to add a single cubit to our lives!

      Praying the Lord blesses your obedience as you seek to trust Him.

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  8. Karen, this was so encouraging--so many times I worry about the future when I know that the Lord wants me to trust Him and know that He holds all of my times in His hands. This made me think of a sermon from Charles Stanley where he mentions the Psalm that repeats the phrase "fret not" three times--and therefore, must be important!! :-)

    I miss you so much, Karen--I'm hoping to write to you in the next few weeks--you are in my heart and prayers always. Love, Bekki

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    1. Hi Bekki! Sounds like that was a very encouraging sermon! I'll have to go over that Psalm! :-)

      I miss you too! I look forward to it!

      You and your family are as well.

      Love, Karen

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  9. I have loved that devotional for more than 15 years probably! I was just recommending it last Sunday to a woman with a hurting heart. Great post!

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    1. Gretchen, I can't believe I had never heard of it until a couple of years ago. It really is a gem!

      Thank you for your kind words.

      Blessings,

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  10. You are inspiring me to make Streams in the Desert my devotional for next year. I know it's sitting on my shelf somewhere!

    Thanks for sharing this at Booknificent Thursday on Mommynificent.com this week! Tweeted!
    Tina

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    1. Tina, You won't be disappointed!! I pretty much have every page dog-eared. :-)

      You are welcome!

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Thank you for taking the time to comment.