Promises You Can Place Your Life On

Believing Jesus is the Son of God is more than just head knowledge.  It means resisting sin and obeying His commands.  Well, believing in His promises means living fully dependent on them.  This is what I am learning.

I have grown up memorizing Bible verses about God never leaving us and protecting us and being good and all… yet, I am still a very fearful person.  Every ‘leap of faith’ is cautiously calculated and timidly executed as if God will let me down… or as if He doesn’t exist… at… all.  Wow,… I would never verbally admit that I doubt the character or even the existence of God but actions and feelings are more honest than words.

My faith is small.  But God is not small.  The God who created the Heavens and Earth, the God who parted waters and brought cities to their knees, the God who raised the dead, healed the sick, calmed storms, fed thousands with one basket, conquered sin and set us free for eternity is also the same God who says “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.”  (Isaiah 43:2, ESV)  I cannot allow the metaphorical language trivialize the power in this promise.  But rather it should magnify the authority and might in His words.  As I follow Christ, there is nothing, no nothing, that can separate us.  Nothing will stand between me and eternity with Christ.  The victory is already His.

What would my life look like if I truly believed these promises with all that I am?  How different would the day in the life of me be if every step, every decision I made was completely dependent on God?   It would be very counter-cultural, that’s for sure.  It would be a life full of abundant joy, peace, and freedom.  Oh LORD, forgive my unbelief.  Increase my faith.  My hope is in You alone.


Deuteronomy 31:6 [ESV]

“Be strong and courageous.  Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you.  He will not leave you or forsake you.”

1 Samuel 12:16 [ESV]

“Now therefore stand still and see this great thing that the LORD will do before your eyes.”

1 Kings 9:56 [ESV]

“Blessed be the LORD who has given rest to his people Israel, according to all that he promised.  Not one word has failed of all his good promise, which he spoke by Moses his servant.”

Psalm 121:4,4 [ESV]

“He will not let your foot be moved;

he who keeps you will not slumber.

Behold, he who keeps Israel

will neither slumber nor sleep.”


All In

You never see a sheep leading a shepherd.  If a shepherd is running after a sheep, it’s because it’s a rescue mission.

So I got the phone call.  I’m in.  In two months my life is going to change.  Or at least my surroundings are.  I truly believe that over the course of my life God has been leading me on a heavenward path.  We are just crossing a bridge into another territory… literally.

When I first received the news I was overjoyed!  I rejoiced, I sang, I messaged my friends!  It was great!  But a few days later the reality of it all hit me like a semi-truck and fear and anxiety got the better of me.  “What have I gotten myself into and is it too late to back down?” were thoughts that were rendering me immobile.  I was no longer trusting in my Shepherd.  I was wandering off the path and stumbling in the ditch.  But there in the darkness I saw it.  My desperate need for Jesus.  Suddenly nothing else mattered.  I just wanted Jesus.

How foolish I was to doubt the character, the faithfulness, and the power of my God.  But how gracious and merciful my God is to use my stumbling to draw me closer to Him and to sanctify me.  If I believe that God is everything that He says He is, and that He will do everything thing He says He will, then what have I to fear?

When I think about who my God is and what He has done for me, the decision to be “all in” seems so much easier and desirable.  That’s what I want – to be all in.  No holding back.  No looking back.  Jesus is my one desire.  To follow Him, wow, what a blessing!

God knows the way.  No matter how scary or impossible it seems, He knows the way and He knows my needs.  I have no need to fear.  God is in control.  I just need to trust and obey.


Psalm 23:4 [ESV]

“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,

I will fear no evil,

for you are with me;

your rod and your staff,

they comfort me.”

Matthew 6:33 [ESV]

“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”

Philippians 4:19 [ESV]

“And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”


“Wait.”  It’s a four-letter word.  No matter what age you are or how much your teachers and parents tried to teach you this skill, it never gets any easier.  I’m in a stage of waiting.  Waiting on God.  Waiting for a phone call or an email from an admissions office.  I know and I trust that no matter the outcome, it’s in God’s hands.  And though I will be disappointed should I get rejected, I am still content because I only want to go where God leads and what I have here is so good.  But all that said, this waiting for an answer is becoming a real test of my patience and even more so, my faith.  The answer will provide two dramatically different results.  So here I stand at a crossroads.  Waiting.  I feel numb.  It’s like my thoughts don’t know what to think and my heart doesn’t know what to feel.  For one of the first few times in my life I can honestly recognize that I cannot see past today.

This realization, however, is driving me to my knees.  When I don’t know if I should look to the left or to the right – I look up.  Up at God.  I need to choose peace.  The peace that comes only from surrendering my head and my heart into the hands of a loving and sovereign God.  My life is not my own.  It is His.  This is all for Him.  He will direct all my steps and right now He wants me to stand still.

Though I do not know what the future has in store, God knows.  That should be enough for me.  And though I do not know which way things are going to go, I need to remember that as a child of God, I will never be lost or directionless.  God is my shepherd.  So when things seem to be at a standstill, I will take the time to rest.  To be still and praise God for His guidance and restoration and that He is with me – even in the wait.


Isaiah 58:11 [ESV]

“And the LORD will guide you continually

and satisfy your desire in scorched places

and make your bones strong;

and you shall be like a watered garden,

like a spring of water,

whose waters do not fail.”

Psalm 25:4,5 [ESV]

“Make me to know your ways, O LORD;

teach me your paths.

Lead me in your truth and teach me,

for you are the God of my salvation;

for you I wait all the day long.”

Isaiah 40:31 [ESV]

“but they who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength;

they shall mount up with wings like eagles;

they shall run and not be weary;

they shall walk and not be faint.”

He Leads Me

I have always been drawn to the image of people being sheep & Christ the shepherd.  There is something so accurate about that.  It’s a humbling comparison, for sure.  Sheep aren’t exactly known for being intelligent.  They kind of just amble around aimlessly nibbling the grass until something frightens them.  They also make really obnoxious noises.  I don’t actually know that many facts about sheep, to be honest.  My only experiences with them are petting zoos and flannel graphs.  But I still get the picture.

If I am a sheep, I am the sheepiest of sheep (new word!).  So many times I act without thinking.  I stick with the flock grazing on instant gratification.  Then the moment anything startles me, I head for the hills because if I know one thing – it’s that I’m completely defenceless.

I don’t like to say that I have a favourite Bible passage because I believe the book is meant to be taken in its entirety.  But I do have my go-to Scriptures that I turn to in different situations.  When fear and anxiety begin to run through my veins, that’s when I draw on the peace spoken in Psalm 23.  David knew sheep better than me and the imagery in this chapter couldn’t be more perfect.  Green pastures, quiet waters – those scenes alone evoke a sense of peace.  But the best part is:  He leads me!  God takes me there.  He gives me rest!  And then, during the frightening and painful phases of life – He’s still there guiding and growing me!  And as I follow Him, what’s following me?  Goodness and mercy.  That makes for one joyful sheep!

I am so grateful for God, my Shepherd.  He knows me.  He provides for all my needs.  My life lacks no good thing.

Life’s not about the journey – it’s about who you are following after.  As for me, I am following hope.  I am following Jesus Christ.

Psalm 23 [ESV]

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.

He makes me lie down in green pastures.

He leads me beside still waters.

He restores my soul.

He leads me in paths of righteousness

for his name’s sake.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,

I will fear no evil,

for you are with me;

your rod and your staff,

they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me

in the presence of my enemies;

you anoint my head with oil;

my cup overflows.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me

all the days of my life,

and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

My Life Stopped Being Tragic the Day I Died

In my “short” walk here on earth, I have experienced my share of disappointments, slammed doors, and curveballs.  I have spent hours on my knees pleading for dreams to come true only to have them fall flat.  There have been days where I have walked around with sullen shoulders convinced my life was turning into a tragedy.  I was completely unaware that the problem wasn’t my circumstances or the cards I’ve been dealt.  Rather, what was tragic was my belief that life was about me.  That, somehow I knew what was best and if I was happy then that would mean all is right with the world.

I can’t remember when I finally clued in.  Was it a single event that opened my eyes and turned my life completely around?  Or was it a gradual process?  I don’t know.  But at some point, somewhere along the way God, by His mercy and grace, taught me that I am not God, but He is.  All things in this life and the next are for His ultimate glory and not mine.  My life here on earth is short and all my so-called-dreams are even shorter.  Why would or should I put my hope in the temporary when I can live for the Eternal?

When God began to do this work in my mind and my heart it was like a shift in perspective.  Instead of looking down at myself (or naval-gazing as the expression goes), my eyes have been fixed upwards towards Christ.  I stopped asking God to equip me for the life I wanted.  Instead, I now ask what sort of life has He already equipped me to live.

Disappointments remind me of my dependence on Christ.  Slammed doors guard me from stumbling.  Curveballs are merely re-directions.  Do they hurt?  Most definitely.  But amidst the heartache there is hope.  A hope that in all things God works for the good.  A hope that my reward is heaven.  A hope that my God is greater than any darkness I face.  My life, so far, has not been going as planned.  If my younger self could see me now, she would probably collapse on the nearest piece of furniture and begin to weep dramatically like a cartoon princess.  But despite it all, I am full of joy and feel so incredibly blessed!  My God has been so good to me!  He has put to death my sinful heart and raised me to new life.  He is my delight, my strength, and my song!


Psalm 40:1-5 [ESV]

“I waited patiently for the LORD;

he inclined to me and heard my cry.

He drew me up from the pit of destruction,

out of the miry blog,

and set my feet upon a rock,

making my steps secure.

He put a new song in my mouth,

a song of praise to our God.

Many will see and fear,

and put their trust in the LORD.

Blessed is the man who makes

the LORD his trust,

who does not turn to the proud,

to those who go astray after a lie!

You have multiplied, O LORD my God,

your wondrous deeds and your thoughts toward us;

none can compare with you!

I will proclaim and tell of them,

yet they are more than can be told.”

Psalm 42:5 (6a) [ESV]

“Why are you cast down, O my soul,

and why are you in turmoil within me?

Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,

my salvation and my God.”

Romans 8:28 [ESV]

“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”