Words from Jesus
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Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust him, and he will help you. He will make your innocence radiate like the dawn, and the justice of your cause will shine like the noonday sun. Be still in the presence of the Lord and wait patiently for him to act.—Psalm 37:5–7 NLT
The purest form of simplicity is this: Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not to your own understanding.1 If you would have simplicity, if you would have peace with no confusion, then trust Me explicitly. In this lies perfect peace.
When you trust Me with all of your heart and with every aspect of your life, you can rest assured that I will lead you to My will. So if you would have perfect peace, then trust. Trust Me. Trust Me with your life. Trust Me with your death. Trust Me for your health. Trust Me for your children.
Those who trust have faith that I have brought forth all that I wish to bring forth in their lives, and thus they have peace.
You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you! Trust in the Lord always, for the Lord God is the eternal Rock. [F]or those who are righteous, the way is not steep and rough. You are a God who does what is right, and you smooth out the path ahead of them. Lord, we show our trust in you by obeying your laws; our heart’s desire is to glorify your name. All night long I search for you; in the morning I earnestly seek for God.—Isaiah 26:3–4, 7–9 NLT
As you face this time of testing, you wonder, “Why, Lord? Why do I have to go through so many heavy battles? Am I not pleasing You? I love You. Why do I have to go through these things?”
Many Christians through the ages have asked such questions. In each case it was My Spirit seizing upon them, because unless they became weak, My strength could not be perfected in them. Unless they became broken, I could not teach them compassion; I could not give them the empathy, the outgoing concern they needed. I could not give them the many beautiful gifts of My Spirit that this brokenness and these battles bring.
Through these afflictions I am teaching you to fight—not in your own strength, but with My strength in prayer, looking to Me for everything in your life. For I love you and I have called you to be one of My disciples. You have asked to be used in My kingdom, and I am answering your prayer. Trust and look to Me.
Every day of my life is filled with immense joy—more joy than anyone ever deserves. I know the joy that comes from knowing Christ died for me and longing to give my whole to serving Him. The joy that comes from standing in the center of His will and watching Him orchestrate everything perfectly. The joy that comes from being able to look into a little brown face that seems hopeless and tell her that Jesus loves her. … But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt to be so far away from the ones I love so much—hurt deep in the pit of my stomach, where Paul’s words “I want to know the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in His sufferings, becoming like Him in death” ring true. … But “the kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold everything he had and bought that field.” Missing things hurts my heart sometimes, but always serves as a gentle reminder that giving up everything is really worth it.—Katie Davis2
Man sees not as God sees, and you do not see yourself as I see you. You see the weakness, the lack of talent, but I see a precious jewel that scintillates with My light. You have the gifts of loving, of listening, of understanding, of comforting—the humble gifts. So be not dismayed, My little one, but develop these gifts.
These are gifts which help to comfort others. These are gifts which require you to step out of yourself and to give to others, to listen to their heart cries and to comfort them. For you are able to comfort others with the comfort that you have been comforted with.
You are as a jewel that not only reflects light but warmth—warmth of spirit, warmth of understanding, warmth of comfort, warmth of love. But understand and remember that the true warmth of God, the true comfort of God and understanding of God and love of God, comes from abiding in Me, in My Word, and letting Me abide in you. For it is not possible to pour forth the love, understanding, and comfort of God without being full of Me.
Come and learn to rest in My arms, to fellowship with Me, to receive of Me, to drink in My Word and My Spirit and My love, so you will have this to pour forth to others in their time of need, to comfort the heavy laden, to understand the misunderstood, to love the unlovely, to help the needy.
You must draw nigh to Me so that you may become full to overflowing, and so that My Spirit will pour forth through you in great abundance. How can you do this? By loving Me, by seeking Me, by drinking in My words, and by believing, by yielding, by enacting and doing those things that I say that you should do. For it is in these little tokens of love, these little acts of obedience, that you will learn to draw close to Me, and you will become filled with Me and My love and My Spirit.
Come unto Me, and let Me hold you. Let Me cup My hands about you, so My warmth can be absorbed by you, so that you can reflect My light, and so My warmth will emanate upon others through you.
Think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you; knowing this, that the trying of your faith works patience. Let patience have her perfect work, that you may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing—whole but broken; in pieces, but one.3
It is for a purpose. It is a test. For as the metal is heated and forged in the fire and put under the hammer and cast into the cold and thrown again into the heat and bashed again on the anvil with the hammer to strengthen it and to temper it, so it is with you. It is the furnace of My love, and the heat of the furnace burns out the dross and the wood and the hay and the stubble. The hammer and the anvil pound out the false strength and independence and pride and self. The cold waters drown the worldliness and the desire for the things of the world. And this process goes on over and over until the metal is forged and strong and fit for the Master’s use.
So if you must fight, fight to stay close to Me, fight to trust Me, fight to have faith in Me and in My Word and in My promises. I will honor you with humility. I will honor you with desperation. I will honor you with closeness to Me. For there is no greater honor that can be bestowed upon a man than that a man is so low that I can touch him, and that a man is so weak that I can keep him, and that a man is so desperate that I will hear him. For the honor of God is different than the honor of man, and I bestow upon you the honor of God.
Grace, truth, and time working together can develop the kind of endurance James talks about: “My brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of any kind, consider it nothing but joy, because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance; and let endurance have its full effect, so that you may be full and complete, lacking in nothing.4 … Jesus, who transcends time, could see the present state of Peter, how he would fail in the future, and how, after his failure, he would mature to help others like himself. And in all of it, he totally accepted Peter.5 The Lord accepts us fully, knowing that we will need time and experience to work out our imperfections. Our failures do not surprise him.—Dr. Henry Cloud6
Consider the trees. I have made many different kinds of trees, but each tree is useful. Each tree has a specific purpose. Some trees are used for shade. Some trees are used for protection from the wind. Kids use some trees to build forts in and climb on or hang a rope swing on or swing from. Trees bear many different kinds of fruit—apples, oranges, grapefruit, lemons. Although they are so different and are created for different purposes, each tree is very important to Me.
As a tree grows and its roots grow deeper and the branches spread out and the tree grows taller, it becomes stronger. Although it takes time, it is becoming a strong tree that will be useful for Me. You can’t see it grow, but it is growing. It is accomplishing My purpose in soaking up the water and absorbing the sun.
You are like trees—each designed for a specific purpose in My kingdom, but each different, with different gifts and different talents. The kingdom cannot be made up of just apple trees or orange trees or pine trees or oak trees. There are many trees needed in My kingdom, for there are many ministries, so I have made you all different.
Sometimes you wonder, “Why have You made me thus?” I have made you with specific strengths and weaknesses—strengths to be used for My glory; weaknesses to bring you closer to Me. But do know that I have made you just the way you are, and the way I want you to be.
You’re a special tree in My kingdom, designed for My purpose. Every tree is important in My kingdom, and is designed for a specific purpose. So be a happy tree for Me!
Blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence. They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they never stop producing fruit.
His delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers.—Jeremiah 17:7–8 NLT; Psalm 1:2–3 NIV
Originally published 1997. Adapted and republished July 2013.
Read by Jon Marc. Music by Daniel Sozzi.
1 Proverbs 3:5.
2 Kisses from Katie, by Katie Davis, 24-year-old founder of Amazima Ministries in Uganda.
3 1 Peter 4:12; James 1:3–4.
4 James 1:2–4 NRSV.
5 See Luke 22:31–34.
6 Changes That Heal (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1993), 41.