Truth in Trials

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,

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The Overcomer Life, Truth in Trials

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.

 

Truth in Trials

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

Temptation, Truth in Trials

Rising Above Temptations {{Trials Tuesday}}

((Friends, don’t forget to ‘tune in’ this Saturday – as we kick off our online Bible study right here on Gracefully Overcoming))

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Temptations are a fact of life, and affect the best of us. Often times, we don’t want to face this truth that – temptations are real. Temptations are, indeed, very real. Even the best people faced temptations. This is why we can face our temptations head-on, versus pretending like they are not there (hello Stacey, understand this!).

Temptations We Face

As we sit with our friend, James, I want us to remember that…

While temptations are part of the human experience, it does not mean we have to give into them.

Because, they are destructive.

Because, there is a way out! (see 1 Cor. 10:13)

Through Jesus Christ, we can rise up and conquer the deadliest of temptations.

Before we can rise up and conquer temptations, though, we have to be willing to do something.

We have to admit that we are one who struggles with sin. And, realize how temptations affect us (leading us to death).

Does anyone else find it peculiar that the craving thing we face, promises life, but in fact brings death?

That thing you crave, is not going to deliver its promise of life or satisfaction. Thanks be to the Lord Jesus Christ, He will satisfy and bring life!

Grab Your Bible, Friends!

I invite you to join me, as we take a closer look at James 1:13-15. Read the selected passage, and then join me back here – so we can sit and talk.

What temptation are you facing right now?

We often think of sexual temptation when we hear the word “temptation” thrown around. But, temptations come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Money, relationships, and keeping a busy schedule are just a few temptations we might face.

Craving

In Ephesians 2:1-3, we are reminded that, before Christ, we chased after everything we craved.

If there is anything we know, it’s temptation. We experience it every day. From the moment you get up out of bed, temptation will find you… especially if you are a follower of Jesus Christ.

We need to get honest right now, with whatever temptation we are facing; see it for what it is. We need to let these words of truth be sown into our spirit right now.

Lessons From James

Temptations are…

1… real.

2… not of God.

3… coming from our own desires.

4… dragging us away from Jesus, our loving Savior, and the things of God.

5… gonna destroy us (and others), if we do not put them in their proper place.

Call to Action

Today, I want us to do something – as we look this temptation in the face. Whatever your struggle may be right now, look it in the face and see it for what it is.

“_________ does not honor God. It does not bring me closer to God. Whatever it is promising to do for me, is a lie. I am going to choose to trust Jesus to help me with this.”

Our desires, if not subdued, will carry us away from God. Our desires will try to get us to compromise, in order to soothe whatever the longing is for. They will seem subtitle and like they aren’t a big deal. But, they are.

How can you confront the lies of your current temptation, and accepting the truth of God and His Word?

Chronic Illness, Single Living, Truth in Trials

Stay The Course

“You’re blessed when you stay on course, walking steadily on the road revealed by God. You’re blessed when you follow his directions, doing your best to find him. That’s right—you don’t go off on your own; you walk straight along the road he set. You, God, prescribed the right way to live; now you expect us to live it (Psalm 119:1-4, MSG).”

On the rough days, we would be wise to remember what’s at sake. What’s waiting for us?

If we stay the course, we win the prize. We get the reward. Simply put, we win.

This can apply to any area of our life.

In how we live out our own faith in Jesus Christ on a daily basis.

Encouraging others in their own walk.

Teaching others His truth.

In Dating/Waiting (Yes, even this!)

Even in the physical aspect of our life through nutrition and fitness.

In Scripture…

the Christian life can be likened to that of a physical race (see 1 Cor. 9:24-28). We need to keep running, continue in our training, knowing that “in due season we will reap our reward” (see Gal. 6:8-10).

This marathon of faith we are running, let’s just give it all we got. We may be weary. I know, I feel ya – my friend. I am too. But when we get a glimpse of what is waiting for us on the other side, it is far more than worthy of all we are enduring.

The Most Encourage Thing We Could Read…

Read 2 Cor. 4:16-18.

In 2 Cor. 4:17, we are reminded that these earthly things we face – can’t compare to eternity. It can’t compare to the eternity that we will spend with our Savior Jesus – for those who have placed their faith in Jesus Christ! I love the encouragement just before this statement in verse 17, where the Apostle Paul encourages us as believers to…

“not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.”

We can keep our eyes focused on Jesus (verse 18), and be encouraged – knowing that Jesus – our Great Redeemer will renew us in the process of being pressed.

This is exactly why we can live out this imperative – this command to “fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”

Let me say it again:

When we get a glimpse of what is waiting on us on the other side (eternal perspective), it will be soo worth it!! Just hang on, dear reader. Hang onto JESUS – our Redeemer!

As I Write This…

I am munching on a freshly sliced apple (minus the stumbling block of Sunbutter that I can’t have in a self-controlled manner), thinking over my day (it’s been a dozey), yet this reminder reminds strong. It isn’t the first time the Holy Spirit (God-given) thought have taken me over..

IF I CAN stay the course, I will find abundant life.

More abundant than if I try to take a short cut in a nearby field (unknowingly, attracting the beast of the field – who stand ready to attack). In my life, I will face attacks. Spiritually attacks. By the enemy known as the devil. As John 10:10 says, he comes for three purposes – to steal, kill, and destroy. I have experienced this in my circumstances. Maybe, you have too.

We need to consider how we are living our life. There are three target areas I have – to combat the enemy. Maybe, you have your own choice areas that you know to focus on – to avoid these sudden attacks.

My Quiet Time –

This means I need to get serious about my quiet time with the Lord. This is one thing I have become convinced of these past few days. I need to get serious about drawing to closer to the Lord. I need to get serious about my 5 am (or another appointment time) wake up call, so I can be alone with my Savior. So, I can bring the needs of myself and my family before the Lord – before I begin trying to work through my day. Right now, I am going through the Armor of God – which is helping me to see just how much I need to begin my day spent in His Word of Truth. I need to begin my day with worship.

My Spiritual Health –

The brink between “just a quiet time” and overall well-being. The intrinisic part of my life is where spiritual health is found. It is composed of my mind/thoughts, emotions, my desires (my will), and much more. Here’s the thing: I want to glorify God with all I am! There are a lot of areas of my life that can disturb my spiritual health. IE) The shows I watch – affect my mind, thus affecting my spiritual life.

Proverbs 4:23 teaches us to “Keep vigilant watch over your heart; that’s where life starts (MSG).”

My Physical Health –

This means making sure I stay on the plotted course. Late last year, the Lord revealed to me through the Holy Spirit specific foods that hinder my well-being. So, I have taken those things out of my diet. Like anyone would, I am getting weary with the new diet (on top of avoiding food allergies). It is a huge blessing to stay walk the plotted course, knowing this is where the blessing is. This is the plotted course, I have to stay on – as I continue to pray and seek God’s healing for my overall well-being – which includes my mind and will.