Never a Panic in Heaven

by Janet Chester Bly

Which of these  statements do you most relate to?

What I see is all there is. I’m governed by chance, ruled by fate. Mine is a bleak, empty existence, leading nowhere. My life is governed by my good choices and happy thoughts. We’re ruled by fearsome forces who can attack at any moment. Or I believe in a loving, powerful God who has a benevolent plan for the world, and for me, and the power to see it through.

Charlie Shedd wrote, “Even when things seem to the contrary, I believe (God’s) universe and my life in it are unfolding as they should, and everything is on schedule.”

Everything’s on schedule? That smacks of a celestial plan. But, why not? We ourselves are great planners. Where did that come from, if we’re born into a chancy, random world?

A look around makes plain that God’s will is largely ignored everywhere. The result is pain and violence, mystery and confusion, atrocity and death. A sovereign planner must be greater than ambitious rulers, the torrents of nature, and plotters of evil. Otherwise, where is our hope? To whom can we appeal?

The eyes of faith can detect order breaking through even the sudden outbursts of events. There’s a flow to history. A bigger plan at play. A serious study of the Bible reveals it, with an outline of God’s divine blueprint, his design.

Everything’s on schedule. Do you believe it? Such a statement recognizes someone in control beyond ourselves and the momentary headlines.

“From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live.” (Acts 17:26)

You and I have been chosen to live in such a time as this. Ask God for courage to embrace your appointed tasks each day. And when you’re troubled, say, “Even so, I trust you, Lord. This, too, is part of your plan.”

Janet Chester Bly

Janet Chester Bly

Beneath a Camperdown Elm, by Janet Chester Bly

Janet Chester Bly is a city girl with a country heart. She doesn’t corral horses or mow her own lawn. “I’m no womba woman,” she says, “but I love to write about them.” She followed her husband, award-winning western author Stephen Bly, to the Idaho mountaintop village of Winchester to write books and minister to a small church. When she lost him, she stayed. Janet has authored, and co-authored with Stephen, thirty-four contemporary and historical fiction and inspirational and family-themed nonfiction books. He also published more than 100 books of his own.

This article was adapted from her book, Awakening Your Sense of Wonder / Discovering God in the Ordinary. Her most recent release is Beneath a Camperdown Elm, Book 3, Trails of Reba Cahill contemporary western romance series, with a zing of mystery. More about Janet at www.blybooks.com.

 

 

 

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By Janet Chester Bly

A wounded friend of mine wept. “I prayed very hard my husband wouldn’t leave. Every day and night I prayed. But he left anyway.”

What kills hope?

Fear or rage will. Guilt and doubt try to. Sin does. Prayer answers of “No” and death of a dream can.

Hopelessness has the ability to make us mentally intoxicated—without reason, moderation, or judgment. Our wits become all spur and no rein. We lose confidence that good things will ever happen again when we hit rock-hard bottom.

The traumas of this world soil innocence and blind our view of a loving God. We become like injured, brute beasts who strike out at or flee from the one who comes to rescue. But God told us He wants to save us. He has our best interests at heart.

“But what if mine’s broken?” my friend asked.

We can’t thrive without hope.

George Bernard Shaw told us, “The life of the human race is a brief discreditable episode in the history of the meanest of planets.”

But Jesus said, “I have come that you might have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10).

Jean-Paul Sartre stated, “Every existing thing is born without reason, prolongs itself out of weakness and dies by chance.”

But Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life” (John 14:6).

Sir James Jeans declared, “Life may be a disease which attacks planets in their decay.”

But Jesus said, “Whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst … [It] will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life” (John 4:14).

Which voice do you choose to believe?

My friend chose to trust in Jesus…despite evil lurking around her and terror that struck at night. Temporary menacing shadows conspire to hide God’s gracious design for her life. But she holds onto blessed hope in Him.

Can’t wait for the unfolding of the rest of her story.

ALT="Janet Chester Bly"Janet Chester Bly authored and co-authored 40 fiction and nonfiction books for adults and kids with her late husband, Christy Award winning western author Stephen Bly. www.BlyBooks.com.  “Voices in the Night” is excerpt from Hope Lives Here: https://www.blybooks.com/books/true-life-stories/. She’s working on another devotional, Grace Spilling Over/True Stories of God’s Tender Mercies, and a novel, Beneath a Camperdown Elm, Book 3, Trails of Reba Cahill Series. Both books available summer 2018.

 

 

 

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