A Day at the Hospital {The Prayer Offering}

Last night, I wrote about the goal in trials. My goal, during hard times, is to remember I am a daughter of the Most High God and allow this crucial identity to shape my thoughts, words, and actions.

Today, I was given the opportunity to put this into practice. I had an appointment at the county hospital. Things went right. Things went wrong. But, the biggest achievement? It was simply remaining as quiet as possible, as Trigeminal Neuralgia talked to Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome.

As long as I stay quieter on the rough days, I can avoid saying things that might hurt, rather than help, someone. My ability to control the kind of words – becomes harder, as the symptoms become more intense. The temptation to use hurtful words is definitely there.

The Heart-Felt Prayer

Today was a day of praying for God’s peace and presence. In my life, I have little control over how I feel on a given day (with the exception of my attitude).

What I can do is control how I respond to trials. So I responded, by “trying” to stay quiet. This was both easy and difficult. It was easy, until the moment of leaving the hospital to go home. Then, the overwhelming symptoms and impatience kicked into gear.

The good news is – I survived my long hospital day. I am preparing to have surgery in about 1.5 weeks. We had appointments scheduled for today and Friday, but by God’s grace and faithful prayers of others – I was able to get it all done today.

What We Need

The truth is. . . We need to pray over our souls for His peace and presence. This is what we need more than anything.

We can survive many things, but only with Jesus Christ leading the way. I don’t know about you, but nothing soothes my anxiety quite like the peace and presence of our great Savior, King Jesus, can.

If you are finding yourself in a rough spot tonight, begin praying over your souls for His peace and presence to overwhelm you. When we are overwhelmed by God, His presence, and unimaginable peace, we are in the best place possible to overcome our trials. They will not overcome us, but we will be able to overwhelm them with our relationship with God through Jesus Christ.

Lord Jesus, overwhelm our souls with Your peace and presence. We live in a difficult world. You remind us in John 16:33 that we will face troubles in this life, but You offer to us a peace that is nothing like this world’s. Overwhelm us with Your peace and presence. Thank You, Lord! Amen.

“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything; tell God your needs, and don’t forget to thank him for his answers. If you do this, you will experience God’s peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will keep your thoughts and your hearts quiet and at rest as you trust in Christ Jesus (Phil. 4:6-7, TLB).

I have told you all this so that you will have peace of heart and mind. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows; but cheer up, for I have overcome the world (John 16:33).

Until next time,

signature_v8l23y6i46np7sh2bg

The Goal in Trials

Even on difficult days, I have chosen to operate my life from a place of priorities. I am a child of the Most High King. Even in these days, where life requires much more energy, I am still a child of God. This is what drives me through rainy weather and helps me to put brakes on unwholesome decisions.

And, I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty (2 Cor. 6:18).

As a Christian, someone who has been given their spiritual rebirth by the blood of Jesus Christ, I want to still be able to glorify God by continuing to live out my faith. As I undergo difficult life moments, God is reminding me of the pruning work He is doing.

God is taking the unfruitful layers of my life, like pride and self-sufficiency, and causes me to bear fruit, like love and kindness, that will draw others to Him.

In John 15, we are reminded of two things: abiding in Jesus and being pruned by the heavenly Father as proof we are His (see John 15:1-4; Matthew 7:15-20). Jesus Christ thinks we are worthy of His love and to be continually worked on, because He loves us (see Heb. 12).

Even while we were His enemies, because of our sin, Jesus Christ died on the cross, rose again, and carried us to the Father to have our relationship restored.

I love the “feel good” aspects of being pruned, which is the spiritual fruit that grows in this famine season. Being pruned and hanging on for dear life is difficult, but the benefits make it a bit easier. Even so if I have my chance for a different life, I just might take it.

The Goal –

The goal I have is to act like a daughter of the King.

I want to be a light to the world, and not cause another to be hindered. I want others to see Jesus in me, and to protect my relationships from hurtful words spoken in the midst of suffering.

Being able to act like I belong to Christ is the greatest achievement there is, and it is something only Christ can accomplish in us! It requires us to draw near to Jesus, and keep growing in our relationship with Him. As a result, we become like Him. We become more loving, patient, and yes self-controlled. We act differently, in spite of our temptations and suffering.

When our goal is to continue in our relationship with Jesus, fruit of being His sons and daughters will bloom throughout our lives.

God can help us to act like Him, even in the midst of dark days. We may find ourselves in the midst of temptation and suffering, but we can overcome the opportunities to do evil – choosing to do good instead.

We may not overcome as gracefully as we’d like, but God is working on our behalf and displaying His power in our lives. At the end of the day, He is all that matters!

{{PSST: One of the most encouraging aspects of this blog is the trials section (or here). Get ready for whatever the Lord brings. When God is orchestrating it, things turn out very good}}

Until next time,

signature_v8l23y6i46np7sh2bg

God Cares {Truth in Trials}

Each of us face a diverse set of circumstances.

There are times, where we can feel like we are all alone.

There are days, when we aren’t sure how much strength we have left.

There are even honest days, where we feel disappointment and misplace the true reason for our hope.

We may all have days where we find ourselves in these very places, but there is a key truth we need to grasp. God is deeply concerned for each of us.

The Often Forgotten Truth

In the lives that each of us lead, it is so easy to miss this truth. It is easy to forget or misplace this spiritual truth, especially so when it seems like there is a lack of concern for our well-being.

Even when we find ourselves there, God profoundly cares for you and me. And, He never stops caring for us either!

Scripture reminds us that God is compassionate and caring for us. Throughout the Gospels, we are given a specific picture of how God acts on that concern.

Before the Gospels even really get started, we are taught about the depth of God’s compassion and concern for us in John 1:14 where God decided to dwell with humanity by coming to earth.

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son (Jesus Christ), who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

Remembering God’s Concern

Even when it seems like we are walking through our ever-present storm alone, let us remember that God is deeply concerned for us. We are not stranded on our own, but He loves us and His heart aches for us. He longs to be with us, and help us with whatever it is we are going through.

I am not talking about some low level or humanistic concern that has limits, but the world-turning-and-going-to-the-cross (and God powered) kind of concern. This is what God has for us. This intense longing and concern about whatever it is we are going through.

This is what God feels for each of us, and He is beckoning us to come to Him and allow Him to be our shoulder to cry on. He wants to help us carry our burdens, even when we feel like it is us against the world.

The Scriptures

I want to share a few Scriptures today, that highlight this truth.

Exodus 3:7-8a
The Lord said, “I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering. So I have come down to rescue them…”

Matthew 9:35-36
 Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.

1 Peter 5:6-7
Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

Also, consider the truths we find in Psalms 91 and Psalm 23. He wonderfully cares for us, enabling our place of safety to be found in Him. God is concerned, and promises to be our resting place. Even, inviting those of us who are weary to find rest in Him (as we are taught in Matthew 11:28-30).

I ran across two articles that help us to continue digesting this special, spiritual truth. He Cares and A God Who Cares seem like both may be helpful reads to us, as we learn that God honestly does care for us.

Not only does He care for us, it is not limited to a short amount of time. God cares infinitely more for us, than we could ever imagine. God is on our side, and His heart aches for us. We can continue running to Him, especially as we face troublesome days. All because He cares for you and me. His concern for us is of great depth and unmeasurable. That is how much God cares for us.

Until next time,

signature_v8l23y6i46np7sh2bg

 

 

When The Holy Spirit Speaks…

A few days ago, I mentioned things have been increasing in their difficulties. While things may seem to get worse before they get better, I am sooo thankful for the Holy Spirit. I have had many “ministering moments” lately, similar to what we see in chapter 4 of Matthew. We are reminded that the Holy Spirit is our Comforter, and that’s the One who is doing a lot of comforting in my life lately. I am so thankful for the Holy Spirit, making sure I know that He is with me in this!

I wanted to share a few truths, today. These are truths I am learning to hold onto in my trials. And, it is my hope that they will help you too – in whatever season you find yourself in today!

  1. Jesus promises to be here with us.
  2. Jesus promises that He knows the weaknesses we face, and that’s exactly why we can come to Him.
  3. Finally, the problems of today mean glorifying God for all eternity. I don’t understand or like my trials, but it is comforting – just knowing that God will use this for something good, something eternal, and this won’t last forever.

Psalm 23 teaches us about the sovereignty of God and how He meets us – even caring for us and pouring blessings over us in the presence of our enemies. Let’s listen to a small portion of this Scripture –

The Lord is my shepherd. He gives me everything I need… He guides me in the right paths for the honor of his name. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid. You are with me. Your shepherd’s rod and staff comfort me (Ps. 23:1, 3b-4, NIRV).

Hebrews 4:14-16 proclaims the truth that King Jesus knows exactly what you are going through right now. None of your family or friends may know, but God knows it all. In Psalm 139, we are reminded that God is our Creator. He made us. So, it makes sense to us – as believers in Jesus Christ – that He would know the exact trials or times of weaknesses that we are going through right now. And, He is interceding on our behalf. He is going to love us through it! He is going to make sure we know that He stands on our side! This is our blessed encouragement and a good reminder of why we can keep the faith, even in the middle of trials. In 1 Peter 1, we are reminded that trials show us where our faith is. Keep on believing, and trusting Christ!

We have a great high priest. He has gone up into heaven. He is Jesus the Son of God. So let us hold firmly to what we say we believe. We have a high priest who can feel it when we are weak and hurting. We have a high priest who has been tempted in every way, just as we are. But he did not sin. So let us boldly approach God’s throne of grace. Then we will receive mercy. We will find grace to help us when we need it.

2 Corinthians 4:16-18 reminds us why we can keep going and not give up. Our trials are not for nothing. Because we are in Christ Jesus, they can be used to bring glory to God!

We don’t give up. Our bodies are becoming weaker and weaker. But our spirits are being renewed day by day. Our troubles are small. They last only for a short time. But they are earning for us a glory that will last forever. It is greater than all our troubles. So we don’t spend all our time looking at what we can see. Instead, we look at what we can’t see. That’s because what can be seen lasts only a short time. But what can’t be seen will last forever.

 

Be Not Deceived {{Trials & Temptation}}

“God cannot be the author of temptation, which thus leads to sin and death, because all good and perfect gifts, and these only, come from him (Pulpit Commentary).”

Deception

In James 1:16-18, we are reminded that God is a good God. Quite bluntly, James tells us – “Don’t be deceived, my brothers and sisters (vv. 16).”

Oh, how we have been deceived! The world we live in, tries its hardest to convince us that God is out to hurt us. This is why most of us seldom think before asking “If God is so good, then, why is this happening to me?”

All the Devil has to do is get us to ask the wrong question. We have no answer, because we often ask the wrong question.

* * * * * *

In Genesis

… we find Eve in a dialogue with the temper himself (the Devil). It is important to note that he is “crafty beyond any other wild animal God has made” (Gen. 3:1). The Devil entered with a question. A question is posed to Eve, and there it starts.

Sin is born from giving into temptation.

In Our Lives

How can we, as God’s people, cling to His truth – even when our desires are for something else (maybe even sin)?

Knowing God’s Word in these moments are so crucial. As we face our own heavy trials (and accompanied temptations), we need to remember what God teaches us through James 1:16-18.

“So, my very dear friends, don’t get thrown off course. Every desirable and beneficial gift comes out of heaven. The gifts are rivers of light cascading down from the Father of Light. There is nothing deceitful in God, nothing two-faced, nothing fickle. He brought us to life using the true Word, showing us off as the crown of all his creatures (The Message).”

Trials alone can throw us off-course in our faith walk with King Jesus. But when we add in the temptation to sin, we can doubly enter trouble we have never imagined before. We are urged, my brethren, to not be deceived. Let’s not underestimate the power of Jesus working on our behalf – as we draw near and resolve to know the truth!

In our trials, we need to stand guard. This is where victory in Jesus is found. He wants to help us in our circumstances.

God is good and does good. God will equip us. God will carry us through the storm, even when it feels like we are losing. That’s why we can place our hope in Jesus Christ and hold onto His truth, friends.

Running to Victory

I want to suggest three ways to put today’s message into action, which are as follows –

  1. Deepen your walk with Jesus Christ, by making your relationship with Him a priority, through time in the Word and prayer.
  2. Focus on your fellowship with God.
  3. Remove stumbling blocks that take your eyes off of Christ.

Jesus resisted the Devil, by being totally prepared. How can you begin to prepare yourself to resist the Devil? 

Read Matthew 4:1-11; James 4:7; 1 Peter 5:7-9; Joshua 1:8-10;  1 Corinthians 15:58