Fearing Bad News (Summer ’17)

Tonight’s verse is written out to meet me where I am. This is not to exclude the men who stumble upon my little blog. Remember: God wants to meet each of us where we are.


[She] does not fear bad news; [She] confidently trusts the Lord to care for [her]. [She is] confident and fearless and can face [her] foes triumphantly (Ps. 112:7-8, NLT).

In our lives, we will face difficult days. All of us will, no exemption allowed. We will face difficult days, even more so as people who want to follow our risen Lord Jesus Christ.

In the Gospel of John (ch. 14-15), I am reminded of this message: Because I follow Jesus Christ, I can expect difficult days. Also, I can experience the Holy Spirit and His peace in every season of life.

“If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you (John 14:15-17, ESV)

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid (vv. 27).”

This is why I can experience difficult days, yet not fear those same difficult days (or worse days). Jesus Christ, our Risen Lord, is the One with whom we have allowed our souls to be intertwined with. It is none other than King Jesus. We have allowed Jesus Christ, the King of the world, to enter our souls and to be one with.

For the follower of Jesus Christ, we have joined ourselves with our Creator in an unbreakable bond that lasts for eternity.

I have chosen to follow Jesus Christ, and allow Him into the deepest parts of my life. Although life is unpredictable, I can rest in knowing He doesn’t change. Although my health and relationships may greatly change from one season to the next, my God never changes His mind about me. He has chosen me to be His very own!

What have I to fear? I have Jesus Christ on my side. He is standing with me, giving me the strength to fight my Goliath’s.

While I may battle anxiety and fear, I have nothing to fear with God on my stand. Through this special relationship, I know Him and that He continues to hold me close through life’s difficulties.

This world may shake me to my core, but it cannot take away my faith in Jesus Christ. My foundation in Jesus Christ is essential. When I allow my life to be built upon Jesus Christ, I will be never find myself in “the wrong place” like I will – when I allow my choices and relationships to be built upon my own heart’s desires that often lead me astray.

In Christ’s grace I stand,

Signature

Through Him we also have access by faith into this [remarkable state of] grace in which we [firmly and safely and securely] stand (Rom. 5:2a, AMP).
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The Ring I Wear {On This Mother’s Day}

I began this Mother’s Day, with a choice. And, I have thought about it – as I continue to walk through this day.

I wear a ring. It is a special kind of ring. I don’t wear it for fashion or accessory purposes, but as a specific reminder. It is a reminder that I allow my faith to be of greater importance than anything else.

Just as people of other faiths allow their appearance to alert others that they are of this or that religion, this is my reminder that God is greater than my desire for other things.

While I may not be a mother at this specific point in my life, I am someone who is choosing to put God above her own human nature. I am choosing Jesus and allowing my faith to impact the kind of friends I pick, whom (or if) I date, and how I allow my body to be used.

I wear a “True Love Waits” ring on my left hand, as a reminder that I am pursuing something and it is for God. I am reminded that I am choosing to walk faithfully with my God (which is something Enoch did). I am choosing to walk closely with my God – instead of the world.

On Mother’s Day, it is easy to feel like I don’t measure up. On Mother’s Day, there are a lot of greetings geared toward women that come with an expectation. An expectation that every woman is a mother. In those moments, it is rather easy to feel defective. It’s then that we are reminded of what we are not.

. . . But, that is not my story today.

I am more rooted in Jesus Christ, as my Anchor and Hope. I spend more moments engaging in the struggle, versus trying to “size up”. In the past, I struggled immensely with this day – because of such expectations.

Today, I am a different person than I was – last year.

A year can change a person in a lot of ways.

I firmly believe God can do a great transformative work, which isn’t limited by any time frame.

This time last year, I was without a couple diagnoses. The biggest one is PCOS, which is the number one cause of infertility. Last year, I wasn’t aware I had it. While there has been a great amount of wrestling with it, I am becoming more secure in who God has made me to be.

Yes my ovaries (and various other parts of my body) don’t work as though they should, but I am still wholeheartedly approved and loved by God. I am growing secure in my identity as a woman who is intensely loved by God.

This awareness and growing process is aided particularly through our “Inspiring Women” Bible study (which I need to try and be more faithful to, which will become easier after Wednesday)

Let’s celebrate who we are as women dearly loved and celebrated by our great God. We are dearly loved so fiercely, and our womb doesn’t have any effect on who we are as women or how loved we are by God!

The Lord your God is in the midst of you, a Mighty One, a Savior [Who saves]! He will rejoice over you with joy; He will rest [in silent satisfaction] and in His love He will be silent and make no mention [of past sins, or even recall them]; He will exult over you with singing (Zephaniah 3:17; AMPC).

We know that God has chosen you, dear brothers, much beloved of God. For when we brought you the Good News, it was not just meaningless chatter to you; no, you listened with great interest. What we told you produced a powerful effect upon you, for the Holy Spirit gave you great and full assurance that what we said was true. And you know how our very lives were further proof to you of the truth of our message (1 Thessalonians 1:4-5, TLB).

The Man I Met {You Can Meet Him Too}

Today, I am met with a man. A man who probably isn’t that much different from me. In Luke 5, we meet a man who is covered with leprosy. The disease has ran its course, and reached its capacity.

. . . And, he is sicker than he has ever been.

The Emotions

 It so happened that, as Jesus was in one particular town, there was a man whose body was riddled with a virulent skin disease. When he saw Jesus, he fell on his face. ‘Lord,’ he begged, ‘if you want, you can make me clean.’ – Luke 5:12

Illness brings heavy emotions, difficulty thinking, and crazy sleeping patterns, which admittedly is on top of the “typical” symptoms of our health issue.

While emotions can be beautiful and exhilarating, it can be a heavy burden to carry as well.

The emotions might be worse than the actual medical condition. It sticks to our side like glue, and reminds us of what we do not have. It reminds us of the past we cannot go back to, where we once had our family/friends and a place to call home.

. . . This is what this leper faced, and the reality for many of us on a daily basis. 

The life we once knew is – dissolved. Our new life is confusing. And, rarely understood by those nearest to us. They know not the debilitating emotions we struggle with. Even if it is suffocating, others often do not see the enormous burden we carry.

. . . But there is One who knows exactly what we face, as He is the only One who can carry us through this mess!

The Jesus I Know

I appreciate this man who is known only by his debilitating condition, because he knew the struggle, experienced the heavy emotions, and went running to King Jesus! He ran until he reached Jesus, because he knew Jesus is the answer.

. . . Jesus loved him {and us} and delights in taking care of us {just as He delighted in caring for this broken man}.

This Jesus is the same one who holds my heart. Jesus came, went to the cross, died and rose again to be with me. So, I may have peace with my Father.

My heart is safely held by Jesus, even on my worst day.

. . . He is my Protector, Comforter, and Friend.


This man encountered Jesus, and was changed.

Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him. ‘I do want to,’ he said. ‘Be clean.’ And the skin disease disappeared immediately. – Luke 5:13

Honestly, this is enough to bring me to my knees. The man ran to Jesus, and was wholly welcomed as he was. We are, too.


Our Invitation

Just as Jesus welcomed this man, we are welcomed and invited to come running to Him right now. We don’t have to wait until x, y, and z resolves itself. We can come to Jesus right now.

. . . Jesus invites us to come to Him. Weariness, heavy circumstances, and all, we are invited to simply come to Him.

Finding Captivating Love {Devotion}

While this post is over a year old, it is worth making sure its contents are shared with all of you – my lovely readers who are dearly loved by our heavenly Father. Allow it to soak into your spirit, help you draw nearer to Jesus Christ, our King, and ponder the truths of our great God and His Word!


Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To God’s elect, exiles scattered throughout the provinces of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia, who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to be obedient to Jesus Christ and sprinkled with his blood: Grace and peace be yours in abundance (1 Peter 1:1-2).

In 1 Peter 1:2, we learn a few interesting things.

  • God has a purpose regarding us.
  • We are chosen.
  • We have been made holy.
  • We have been cleansed by the blood of the Lamb (that is, Jesus Christ).
  • Grace and peace are ours in full measure.

The question I want us to answer today is….

How are you at living out these basic precepts that make up the Christian faith? It can take some of us many years to finally grasp the fact that we are –

  • on God’s mind (that He has a purpose for us!)
  • chosen by God alone (and it has nothing to do with our works)
  • cleansed (really cleansed) by the blood of the Lamb (Jesus, the Messiah!)
  • God’s grace and peace are completely poured onto every aspect of our lives, if we will allow God to do it!

What would our lives look like if we really grasped these truths? What would my life look like, if I really knew that I was loved by my Savior? Not a conditional kind of love that is based on what I do or don’t do, what expectations I completely miss by a long-shot, and any other human measure I can concoct in my mind.

Jesus loves, really loves, me and you. To such an extent that He came to earth.

Think about what kind of longing that would take.

“I am going to earth, to redeem them.”

“I will be forsaken, unloved, hated in fact, punished for what THEY did (for our sin, and He did it with such amazing love), and I am going to BRING them back. I am going to FIX our broken relationship, because I dearly love them and created them.”

This is true, friends.
Our reality.

God’s love is passionate. He is absolutely for us! And, this is the kind of love that God has for each one of us.

There is this song I reheard at a conference, but it took on a whole new meaning while there. “Live Like You’re Loved (Hawk Nelson)”. What would it take for me to live like God loves me? Not on some mini-level. We are talking about a football stadium, out of this world, full blown confidence, kind of love that God has for each of us.

The love of God is beyond anything we could ever comprehend.

We could take all of the oceans of the world, line them up next to each other, and it still wouldn’t even come close to the greatness of God’s love for us. All He wants is to be with us. To spend time with us. It’s a relationship!

Week 3: 1 Thessalonians 3:7

Welcome, my friends, to week 3 of our study! I am so glad you are here. Thank you for taking a few moments out of your day to read today’s blog entry in your email or possibly on the website. You will not regret taking this time to invest in your relationship with God through Jesus Christ. He is the source of all hope and comfort.

The Scripture –

While I am limited in sharing at this moment due to circumstances, I want to be able to share with you our new weekly memory verse.

In the middle of our trouble and hard times here, just knowing how you’re doing keeps us going. Knowing that your faith is alive keeps us alive (1 Thess. 3:7, MSG).

The Truth Revealed –

As I face my own troubles, I can relate a bit with Paul. Honestly, the great “longing exchange” (where the longing for a close friend is mutual) is a tremendous comfort in hard times. When you are in desperate need and alone, quality companionship is one of the top desires one troubled friend could have.

When we are going through hard times, we just need someone to be there for us. . . someone who will lead us straight to Jesus Christ. It’s the exact medicine we need.

We learn a few things about Paul and the Thessalonians –

  • Paul’s Heart: Longed for the Thessalonians, and bombarded with troubles.
  • The Thessalonians’ Heart: Longed for Paul, and continually sought Christ. . . resulting in much spiritual growth even during persecution.
  • Resulting in much comfort, especially for Paul in his time of need.

Hearing others’ stories of faith in Christ makes everything much better. While the circumstances may not change, our heart are uplifted versus drowning. Our perspective changes – because we receive comfort from friends. . . friends who treat our friendship in a godly way. Encouraging us to keep pressing into Jesus, praying over our circumstances, and helping us to hold onto our faith in Jesus and His Good News.

Biblical Friendship

While we may not choose our times of suffering, God can use this time to be encouraged (or encourage others) by others’ faith and show us the kind of friends we have (or are).

The Thessalonians and Paul had biblical friendships. They sought the Lord Jesus to be honored in their lives. They wanted to help encourage one another, pray together, and continue to live out their faith in Christ.

Biblical friendships are hard to find, but are what makes the lasting change in our spiritual lives.

Jonathan and David are a classic example of biblical friendship (see 1 Samuel 23:15-18). They loved each other in a godly friendship; Jonathan made sure to be there when David needed him the most (click here to listen to a sermon on the topic). Likewise, the Thessalonians would have send word back conveying how much they care for Paul and miss him.

Biblical friendships make the difference in our Christian walk, and an important tool in our transformation.

“[Thessalonians’] steadfastness was a great source of comfort to [Paul] in his trials. . . In the inevitable trials of the ministerial office there is no source of comfort more rich and pure than this (Albert Barnes Commentary).”