Wednesday, April 18, 2007

God's Providence

I went to Hearts4Home tonight and though it was difficult to concentrate as I was still feeling under the weather, tonight's discussion was very encouraging.

Hearts4Home Notes for 4/18/07:

Define "providence". This is a great old-fashioned word that has fallen out of style. It has been used to refer to the Lord's material provision for those who follow Him, as well as His reliability in preparing our way and orchestrating the events of our lives.

Read through each of the following scriptures and talk through how the principles in them relate to God's providence in the life of a mother:

Isaiah 26:3-4 You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, THE LORD, is the rock eternal.

To whom does the Lord give perfect peace?
Why does He give that peace?
How often/how long are we to trust Him?
Does your trust in Him ever wane according to your circumstances or energy level?
Why do you think He repeats His name in the last part of the verse?

Philippians 4:6&7 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your request be made known to God. And the peace of God which pas passes all understanding will guard your hearts and mind through Christ Jesus.

Are there any exceptions to His prohibition to worry?
Is there ever any true benefit to our worrying?
Have you ever known someone who seems to be happiest when they have something to worry about? Is that person's worrying nature a help to those they love?
Thought: Sometimes worrying gives us a false sense of control in that we think it will remove that dreaded element of surprise should something "bad" happen.

2 Corinthians 4:18 So fix our eyes not on what is seen, but what is unseen. For what is unseen is eternal.

Psalm 18:30 As for God His way is perfect: the word of the Lord is flawless. He is a shield for all who take refuge in Him.

Psalm 85:12
The Lord will indeed give what is good...

Nahum 1:7 The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in Him.

Do you think that perhaps our idea of what is good for us is different from the Lord's?

Do any of these verses promise us that we will be comfortable or happy? Have you ever required your child to do something uncomfortable or painful that you knew was in their best interest in the long term?

If time allows, share experiences in which you clearly saw the hand of the Lord's Providence at work in your life. Who or what did He use to make that provision?

Mental homework:

In what areas have you neglected to make your requests known to God as described in Philippians 4:6&7? Have you been bathing anything in worry rather than turning it over to Him? Lighten your load and do so this week!

-----excerpt from DearLeader's letter-----
Hey You Darlin' Things -
You girls really gave me a shot in the arm to do all that I can to build up the Hearts4Home ministry and try to build up fellow moms who are the hearts of so many homes. I get goosebumps when I imagine all that the Lord might do through humble mommies who freely admit their weaknesses and turn themselves toward the very Word of God for a sense of direction. Can we doubt that our prayers will reach His ears and stir His heart? And when the Lord's heart is stirred to your favor .... well there's no telling what glory might splash out all over everyone around you! I hope you'll bear with me through this absence, because I can't wait to be back with you next week and share in what He's walking you through.

2- Get down on your bathmat! Yes, your bathmat! Okay, maybe you don't have a bathmat, but a thick towel will do just as well I suppose. A number of us referred to having "meltdowns" in the recent past and I have found that when I consistently carve out a few minutes to lock myself in the bathroom and put my knees to the bathmat and start talking to the Lord about WHATEVER, it relieves some of that internal pressure that builds up when I try to go it alone. So this week, try to chat with Him a little bit each day about what is bugging you. HINT: Turning on the shower during bathmat prayer time can dull the sound of family members pounding on the door.

3- Be a blessing fairy! Try to think of something special that only you can do for each member of your family, (especially your man) that shows them you love them. Extra credit for surprises, of course. It doesn't have to be anything monumental; a note sent through the mail, straighten up their sock drawer and leave a treat there for them to find, take a picture of your child's toes and tell them how cute they are, or one of my favorites: a pint of Ben and Jerry's Chubby Hubby ice cream after the kids are in bed! (always good for a laugh!) Have fun with your homework and we'll all report back next week!

I didn't participate much, but it was really encouraging listening to other's stories about God's work of providence in other women's lives.
- There was one woman who told us her funny dating story and how God worked things out, especially in her own heart, to give this man a "chance" and they ended up getting married.
- Or another woman who kept "ducking" her sister-in-law and the husband because they were Christians and didn't want to get witnessed to, but through God's providence all these Christians came into her life and she became saved.
- Or another woman who was having difficulty conceiving and was even given a call that she would never be able to conceive and then miraculously after surrendering her will she became pregnant.
- Or another woman whose sister's husband was called for a second deployment to Iraq when his departure date from the army was so near, but through prayer and perseverance his deployment date kept being pushed back until it was too close for his departure date that he was ultimately excused from going to Iraq.
- Or another woman's friend whose child's memorial service was God's way of bringing others to salvation.
- And many many more stories about God's glorious and wondrous work!!!

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