Resting on the Hope {{POTF}}

In the book of Titus, we are reminded that our beliefs are important. Trusting our Lord Jesus is so important. Our relationship with Christ really does affect every area of our lives. One thing to consider today is the level of importance we have given our Lord to spend quality time with Him. This is something I am considering for myself.

My Commitment –

Today, my day started much later than it normally does. I knew I had things I wanted to read and study through the course of today, and yet I spent the time somewhere else. The problem isn’t resting, but in how I chose to rest. Somehow, I have believed the lie that I need to be “entertained” in order to rest.

Friends as I think on my own life, I want us to just consider the level of commitment we are given our Risen Lord. I mean, how much time are we giving to simply spend with the Lord? 30 minutes is my goal in terms of my uninterrupted quiet time, which isn’t much time in the span of things. Yet distractions can even keep me from doing this precious thing in my mornings.

Resting on Jesus –

This is like “the verse” I have been drawing strength from lately. I love this Scripture, where we are reminded that we can rest on the hope of eternal life. Rest on the hope of our Lord Jesus.

That faith and that knowledge come from the hope for life forever, which God promised to us before time began. And God cannot lie (Titus 1:2, NCV).

Faith and understanding rest on the hope of eternal life. Before time began, God promised to give that life. And he does not lie (NIRV).

I needed the word “rest” to meet me where I am. We are given the abundant privilege to trust and walk with our Creator through His Son Jesus Christ. We can fully trust and rest in our Lord Jesus and not have to worry about a thing!

This is a kind of hope that will never fade away.
We are given the opportunity to soak up quality time with our great God.

How are we taking advantage of this precious gift? Don’t let it slip by. Being with Jesus is such a precious gift!

We can sit in His presence and soak up His joy and peace. Our Lord Jesus is waiting for us. I know how easy to get caught up in the things of this world, even when we know the Lord Jesus wants to hold us and have quality time with Him.

It isn’t a legalistic thing, but a genuine relationship thing!

Let’s rest in our Lord Jesus. For me, “quality time” is something that fills my soul. And to know the Lord wants to meet me in that way, is mind-blowing. He wants to fill our souls. He wants to meet us where we are, and fuel us with excitement for Him and absolute joy – despite circumstances.

We can actually rest and just trust the Lord to take care of things fully. We can draw nearer and take delight in the Lord who has chosen to rescue us.

Resting in Him,

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UPDATE + He’s All In!! {Trial Truths}

If there was anything I could say to those who feel lost, broken, or whose hearts feel like they might burst from all the stuff coming at them..,

it would be a simple yet significant reminder of our Risen LORD and the peace that comes from knowing and having a relationship with our Lord Jesus.

While I have endured things in my life, I know the one key difference maker in my life – has a name. His name is Jesus Christ. I have endured difficult things. Some of which I have kept hidden in the depth of my soul. But my Savior and my God knows those deep things. I don’t have to speak of them, in order for Him to see those things.

Eternal Gifts –

He is the One who makes circumstances feel and turn out differently. I can walk through the fiery road of chronic illness, and yet Christ gives me absolute peace and joy in the midst of these almost unbearable things. He offers His peace and presence to us – in the midst of what we are going through. We just have to keep holding on!

Let not your heart be troubled. You are trusting God, now trust in me [Jesus Christ]. . . I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart! And the peace I give isn’t fragile like the peace the world gives. So don’t be troubled or afraid (John 14:1, 27, TLB).”

A question I have the privilege of asking is – “Do you have peace about the circumstances of your lives?” We need to dig our heels in, and seek the Lord’s peace and presence in our circumstances. This is an important question, because the Lord promises us His peace and presence. When we seek Him and surrender, the Lord makes Himself available and will speak through the silence or harsh season.

By inviting Jesus into our situations, we are actually ushering in His incomparable peace that begins to heal our shattered hearts.

The Lord meets us in our difficult situations and cloudy days – and presents good, eternal gifts to us. 

He just knows exactly how to meet us where we are. In the midst of our brokenness.

Where Our Savior Meet Us –

Instead of staying away, that’s the place where He meets us the most. As Scripture says, He came for the lost (see Luke 19:10). He came for those whose hearts are breaking. He has come for us!

The Lord is our loving eternal Father who wants to carry us through the good and bad. He wants to absolutely love us through it, and remain faithful!

If you hear nothing else, hear this. The Lord, our great God, is all in and ready to dive into life with us!

Don’t forget to purchase your eight week study journal! Our Titus and 1-2 Timothy study BEGINS on January 15th. All proceeds go toward helping this ministry.

Also: Find out what Gracefully Overcoming is up to – on Facebook! Several good things going on: Our women’s small group is studying Mark before our new study begins, while the Facebook page is diving into a chronological reading plan!

In Christ,

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{Summer} Psalms – Introduction

Okay, here’s the deal: I have decided to scribe my way through the Psalms this Summer. Part of any Bible study journey, for me, is blogging. Versus starting a brand new blog for what could be a short or long term adventure (because let’s be real: I am not always super consistent for one reason or another).

. . . Thus, this post.

Brand New Journey

This is the start of a new journey. Same writer, just a different way of studying. Ideally, I will write out the Psalms on a daily basis. But, I have chronic illness and Summer is where it is at its worse. So, daily may not happen. There may be days or weeks, where there is this aching gap between thoughts jotted out by me – concerning the Psalms or perhaps even the Chronological Study.

One of my monsterous reasons for this Psalms journey is – I don’t want to waste this Summer. I want to be able to look through my notebooks and blog, to see how God has moved in me – during a rough season.

I need to be able to see that something good has come out of my Summer. God teaches us that He is able to bring goodness out of fiercely difficult seasons of life.

Basically, I need to see God do a Genesis 50:20 kind of miracle on my behalf. Joseph had been sold into slavery, put in prison for a crime he did not come, a high leader in Egypt, and reconnected with his biological family. Still, Joseph proclaimed that it was for the glory of God!

You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives (NIV).

The good I seek, in these days, are found through my relationship with God with Jesus Christ. I want to focus solely on Jesus, and allow Him to take a joyless and depressive situation and bring an explosion of joy along with His Presence and Power!

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,

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Week 7: Friday Five (2 Thess. 1)

Originally, I was turned onto this mode of carrying out the “Five Minute Friday,” by a dear friend. Marie faithfully carries out this Friday series, on her own blog. The idea is to offer five bold points, that you may read within five minutes.

Five Truths on 2 Thessalonians 1

(1) As we continue to follow Jesus Christ, we are kept safe (1:1). This is perhaps one of the greatest treasures I have found. As a woman, I crave protection. So to know that my Jesus, my King, is protecting me and keeping me safe – is comforting beyond words! It makes me okay with the difficult days, when I stop long enough to realize I am being protected and kept safe by the King of Kings!

. . . To: The church of Thessalonica—kept safe in God our Father and in the Lord Jesus Christ (1:1, TLB).

(2) We are given rich blessings, which are found through our relationship with Jesus (1:2). In my digital Bible, it is translated a bit differently which helps to understand the Bible more clearly. Because of God the Father and our Lord Jesus, we have been given rich blessings and peace-filled hearts and minds (1:2b, TLB).

Does it get any better? In the world we live in, peace – filled hearts and minds are one of the greatest gifts we can be given. In a day where our minds and hearts run like they are on a treadmill all night long, the peace Jesus gives is enduring and ever-loving!

(3) We have the opportunity to do three specific things based on the knowledge of those God has placed in our path, who continue to be an encouragement to our faith (1:3-4). We can pray for them, share with others about lessons we are learning through their example, and give thanks.

Each of these things are growing points for me. I believe they are for each of us. We live in a “me first” world, which causes us to forget or neglect others, their faith, and the privilege of praying for them or sharing things we learn through their example.

(4) God can use our sufferings to make us ready for His Kingdom (1:5-6). This set of verses will cause us to give James 1 a second chance, where we are urged to count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.  But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing (James 1:2-4, NKJV).

We need to trust that God will use our sufferings for His ultimate good. He is preparing us for something greater. His Kingdom is worthy of our suffering (see Prov. 3:5-6; Rom. 8:18).

(5) As we face suffering, God will provide us with quality rest through Jesus’ second coming (1:7, 10). As we come into His Kingdom, we will forever know God as He honestly is – with no holding back. 

One day, we will stand in His presence and will never again be distracted by the circumstances we are facing or the things of this world. We will stand in His presence in utter awe and overwhelmed with joy. We will be fully satisfied in the Lord.