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The God of Peace
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Endurance for the Journey, Featured, Trust

“But I am the Lord your God,
who brought you out of Egypt.
You shall acknowledge no God but me,
no Savior except me.
I cared for you in the desert,
in the land of burning heat.
HOSEA 13:4-5 (NIV)



Jan and I have journeyed and experienced many wonderful mountaintops in our lifetime. And we have journeyed through the desolate deserts of life. But it is has been on the journeys through the deserts that we have learned to truly trust God to guide us through – to quench our parched throats along the way. That is why we are able to trust God in the midst of our present desert – our present crisis – the Covid-19 virus.




You will keep in perfect peace
those whose minds are steadfast,
because they trust in you.
ISAIAH 26:3 (NIV)



On the journey with you,
Dave Dravecky

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Endurance for the Journey, Featured, Trust
Y

Yet the Israelites will be like the sand on the seashore,
which cannot be measured or counted.
In the place where it was said to them,
‘You are not my people,’
they will be called ‘sons of the living God.’
The people of Judah and the people of Israel
will be reunited,
and they will appoint one leader
and will come up out of the land,
for great will be the day of Jezreel.
HOSEA 1:10-11 (NIV)



I know I’m a man with a great many faults; I know I’ve sinned. I suppose that’s one reason why I have tended at times to doubt whether God really loves me. No, that’s not exactly right. I’ve always believed He could love me; I’ve just doubted whether he did.


It’s one thing to accept truth intellectually; it’s quite another to get it into your heart. I know that God is God, and that He is who He says He is. I know what He’s done for us through the death of His Son on the cross. But I’ve struggled to connect with this affection that God insists He has for me, to understand His unconditional love, and to respond back in love.


It helps me to read portions of Scripture like this (Hosea 1:10-11), where God proclaims His love for Israel despite the nation’s sin. It helps to remember that He loves me too, despite my sin. And He loves you despite yours. He loves us even on our worst days.



But God showed His great love for us
by sending Christ to die for us
while we were still sinners.
ROMANS 5:8 (NLT)

Then Christ will make His home
in your hearts as you trust in Him.
Your roots will grow down into God’s love
and keep you strong.
and may you have the power to understand,
as all God’s people should,
how wide, how long, how high,
and how deep His love is.
EPHESIANS 3:17-18 (NLT)



On the journey with you,
Dave Dravecky

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Endurance for the Journey, Featured, Trust

Many a man claims to have unfailing love,
But a faithful man who can find?
PROVERBS 20:6 (NLT)



I’ve never struggled with the “giver” side of Proverbs 20:6, but I have struggled mightily with the “receiver” side of it. I’ve always desired to be the kind of faithful friend this verse lauds – but I’ve had loads of trouble accepting the help that faithful friends (and family) have wanted to give me.

In fact, one of my greatest challenges in character development is admitting that I need help and that I will continue to need help.


I need help in many ways from the smallest thing like asking someone to tie my shoes or letting someone cut my meat, to the emotional adjustments Jan and I made with the help of a counselor. When I finally came to grips with the fact that, sooner or later, I’d have to ask somebody for help, I passed a marker on the road to maturity.



A friend is always loyal,
and a brother is born to help
in time of need.
PROVERBS 17:17 (NLT)



On the journey with you,
Dave Dravecky

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Endurance for the Journey, Featured, Trust

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Why are you so far from saving me,
so far from the words of my groaning?
O my God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer,
by night, and am not silent.
PSALM 22:1-2 (NIV)



Most of us can identify with David and his cry of, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” We cry out … and God seems silent. He seems so far away. The key word is “seems.” While our feelings tell us He has abandoned us, our faith insists that He would never do any such thing.


A.W. Tozer helped me understand the roles of feelings and faith. He describes feelings as “the play of emotion over the will, a kind of musical accompaniment to the business of living, and while it is indeed most enjoyable to have the band play as we march … it is by no means indispensable. We can work and walk without music, and if we have true faith, we can walk with God without feeling.”


God didn’t forsake me in the silence. He was teaching me … to have a “true faith” that’s unswayed by emotion. At times I have to walk with Him without the pleasure of music so that my faith will deepen. And when the music returns, its melody sounds all the more sweet.

Dear Brothers and Sisters,
when troubles of any kind come your way,
consider it an opportunity for great joy.
For you know when your faith is tested,
your endurance has a chance to grow.
So let it grow,
for when your endurance is fully developed,
you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.
JAMES 1:2-4 (NLT)



On the journey with you,
Jan Dravecky

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Endurance for the Journey, Featured, Trust

“He will renew your life
and sustain you in your old age.
For your daughter-in-law, who loves you
and who is better to you than seven sons,
has given him birth.”
RUTH 4:15 (NIV)



Ultimately,God brought great,surpassing blessing into the life of this poor widow who had seen so many days of sorrow.Yet her words coming into the land of Israel were haunting: “The Lord has afflicted me” (Ruth 1:21).


How can a good God allow His children to be afflicted? Notice that Naomi never asked this question. She accepted the reality that regardless of the source of her trouble, the sovereign God allowed them.She understood well that nothing slips by the throne of God and arrives at our door “by accident.”


How then do we reconcile God’s great love with the pain and suffering He allows into our lives? We can’t. God’s plans and purposes are too vast, too incomprehensible for our finite minds to put together. As Paul affirmed. God’s paths are “beyond tracing out” (Romans 11:33).


Ultimately, we have to trust that the God who created our souls and the limitless universe in which they reside knows what He is doing. And in time, like Naomi, we may even hear those near us praise God for His goodness to us.



Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting,
God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along.
If we don’t know how or what to pray,
it doesn’t matter.
He does our praying in and for us,
making prayer out of our wordless sighs,
our aching groans.
He knows us far better than we know ourselves,
knows our pregnant condition,
and keeps us present before God.
That’s why we can be so sure that every detail
in our lives of love for God
is worked into something good.
ROMANS 8:26-28 (THE MESSAGE)



On the journey with you,
Jan & Dave Dravecky

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Endurance for the Journey, Featured, Trust

Don’t panic. I’m with you.
There’s no need to fear for I’m your God.
I’ll give you strength. I’ll help you.
I’ll hold you steady, keep a firm grip on you.
ISAIAH 41:10 (THE MESSAGE)



Satan is always trying to weaken our faith by fear. He knows that fear is the great enemy of faith and that faith is the great secret of help. If he can get us fearing, he will stop our trusting and hinder the very blessing we need.


When Satan tells you therefore, that some ill is going to come, you may quietly look in his face and tell him he is a liar, that instead of ill, goodness and mercy shall follow you all the days of you life. And then turn to your blessed Lord and say, “When I am afraid, I will trust in you.” (Psalm 56:3)


A. B. SIMPSON



Surely goodness and love
will follow all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
PSALM 23:6 (NIV)

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Featured, Trust

O Lord, you have examined my heart
and know everything about me.
You know when I sit down or stand up.
You know my thoughts even when I’m far away.
You see me when I travel
and when I rest at home.
You know what I am going to say
even before I say it, Lord.
PSALM 139:1-4 (NLT)



Can we be honest with God?


Yes! We not only can be honest with Him, we must be, because honesty opens the doors of communication. Besides, He knows it all anyway! He knows your thoughts as they are still forming; He knows your words before they leave your tongue. Even so, He invites us to pour out the contents of our hearts to Him as King David proclaimed in Psalm 62:8 “O my people, trust in Him at all times. Pour out your heart to Him, for God is our refuge.”



God has great compassion on those who seek Him.



He heals the brokenhearted and bandages their wounds.
How great is our Lord! His power is absolute!
His understanding is beyond comprehension!
PSALM 147:3-5 (NLT)



On the journey with you,
Jan & Dave Dravecky

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Trust, Words of Endurance

Read Exodus 22



I often hear suffering people say they don’t pray about “the minor stuff,” the minutia of burdens that don’t make the front page of conversation. When I ask them why, the answer is always the same. It goes something like this: “God has bigger problems to take care of. He isn’t interested in my little worries and issues …”



My reaction is quick, intense and to the point: “SAYS WHO?” The God of Exodus 21:27 is concerned about missing teeth! The God of Exodus 22:5 has an opinion about grazing rights! In Exodus 22:6 He warns potential pyromaniacs that they could be held liable for damages caused by their dangerous obsession. He goes on to address wounded livestock, borrowing from neighbors and missing garments. You can’t get much more minor than that!



Believing that God doesn’t care about our every burden is like a parent saying to a child. “Only come to me when your injuries require hospitalization. I don’t do slivers, night mares or missing dolls.” If God isn’t interested in every detail of my life, why else would He number every hair on my head?



What is the price of two sparrows – one copper coin?
But not a single sparrow can fall to the ground
without your Father knowing it.
And the very hairs on our head are all numbered.
So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God
than a whole flock of sparrows
MATTHEW 10:29-31 (NLT)


On the journey with you,
Dave Dravecky

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Trust, Words of Endurance

But Moses pleaded with the Lord,
“O Lord, I’m not very good with words.
I never have been, and I’m not now,
even though you have spoken to me.
I get tongue tied, and my words get tangled.”
EXODUS 4:10 (NLT)



Any time I’m tempted to argue with God, question His calling, or suggest He assign someone else to the task, I remember how far it got Moses. God had more than proved to Moses that He would back him up in Egypt. But Moses, like so many of us, didn’t question God as much as he questioned himself. (Verse 10)


I have no problem believing that God can do anything. I have serious reservations, however, about my abilities – or His desire to really use me as His instrument. But I don’t ever want the Lord’s anger to burn against me like it did toward Moses.


All God really asked Moses to do was to carry a big stick and be obedient. God did all the heavy work. I think that’s where we get our wires crossed. We think we have to do the heavy work. We underestimate God’s goodness and provision for us. But I have learned (the hard way, of course) that one of my very favorite quotes is true:


“God will never lead you
where His grace cannot keep you.”



ON THE JOURNEY WITH YOU,
JAN DRAVECKY

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Love, Trust, Words of Endurance

“… I will be with you.”
GENESIS 31:3 (NIV)



When I was diagnosed with cancer my prayer wasn’t for God to take the cancer away. It wasn’t a demand for an explanation. It was simply my heart crying out to God in total helplessness.


I needed a strength beyond my own to deal with what was ahead. The disease that had invaded my body could cause me to lose the things in life that were most important to me and I was powerless to change it.


So my prayers gave voice to my deepest needs and longings – to hold onto life and to keep on being a husband and a dad and ultimately to know that God really did care for me and would be with me.



My health may fail
and my spirit may grow weak,
but God remains the strength of my heart;
He is mine forever.

PSALM 73:26 (NLT)



ON THE JOURNEY WITH YOU,
DAVE DRAVECKY

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