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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Offering Peace Like Jesus {Inspiring Women}

Hi friends! For the months of May/June, we will be using a reading plan given to us by Sweet to the Soul Ministries. Feel free to stroll through their Facebook page and blog. They even have a journaling kit and Bible study for this month’s plan

Don’t quarrel with anyone. Be at peace with everyone, just as much as possible (Romans 12:18; TLB).

Peace is one of the amazing qualities of an inspiring woman. She can live at peace with those around her, and even offer this gift in difficult relationships.

We can be tempted to believe we have every reason to be angry versus peaceable, especially if we follow the world’s principles for relationships, but God shows us a different and better way. Come, let’s learn the better way!

Defining Peace

In Matthew 5, we are taught a lot about our need for peace with God and others. What is our definition of peace?  Peace is harmonious and free of rage. While we cannot control how others respond to us, we can choose to respond with the gift of peace.

There are times in our relationships, where people purposely set out to push our buttons. They know how to bring out the worst in us, but Jesus Christ is far greater than these moments. As a Christian, a follower of Jesus Christ, our way of working through relationship difficulties can be different – when we choose obedience and allow Christ to step into our messes.

Loving the Unlovable

In Matthew 5:43-48, we are taught to love like Jesus. Even called to love people who truly hate us. This can only be explained by the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We were once enemies of God, and now are called His beloved – His friends and those who are dearly loved by the King of Kings. Because God’s love knows no bounds. He went great limits to declare His love!

God sent His Son Jesus Christ to take our punishment, and show us His sheer grace. Our relationship with Him is restored, which is something we can seek in earthly relationships too. God can help us!

If we think loving others doesn’t make sense, how does it look to know you are deeply loved by God regardless of what you have done? He has come to rescue you and to be with you. Come to Jesus, friend!

His Peacemakers

We can become peacemakers, who act like their Abba Daddy! Our great God is the One who enables us to seek peace in our difficult relationships. Others might not respond as we hope, but God is glorified through it. Not only is He glorified, He blesses us for choosing His way.

God blesses those who work for peace, for they will be called the children of God (Mt. 5:9, NLT).

In our peace-giving, we can become closer to our heavenly Father and see how much He has endured for our sake. May we take on the opportunity to deepen our faith in Jesus Christ and influence others through how we cultivate peace.

My Emotional Breakdown {Inspiring Women}

Hi friends! For the months of May/June, we will be using a reading plan given to us by Sweet to the Soul Ministries. Feel free to stroll through their Facebook page and blog. They even have a journaling kit and Bible study for this month’s plan

Each of us face our own battles, and it’s an ongoing struggle. None of us have enough energy or power to face these struggles on our own. This is why this Scripture is of such great importance {click here for part one of this message}. Even though we may lack every resource needed to fight our battles, God holds the key. God is the key to conquering these struggles. Join me, as we think on God’s ability to tackle our problems.

Finally, be strong in the LORD and in his mighty power (Eph. 6:10, NIV).

Throughout Scripture, we are reminded that God is all powerful. Not only is our great God all powerful, He uses His power to influence our lives – for the better. God wants to help us with the great hardships we are facing.

We face so many things on our own, and the crazy thing is – we don’t have to. I have assembled a small list of Scriptures that have something to teach us, in response to learning about our God’s great power and how He is our Hero who wants to save the day in our lives.

We are more than conquerors, because of Jesus Christ who has loved us. This is what we are taught through Romans 8:37. We can have victory over our circumstances, because of our great God.

God’s Emotions in the Storm

God has been teaching me lately about the truths of Hebrews 4:14-16. I have been going through an emotional breakdown due to the season of life I am in. Life gets unbelievably hard, friends. I know that you know that, but there is something else to add to this.

God is the One who grieves with us. He is feeling everything we are going through. So, we don’t have to endure all the stuff of our lives – all on our own.

There are countless individuals who are struggling and maybe on the brink of doing something big – like taking their own life. Because, life gets hard. And when life gets hard, we become convinced that we are in this all alone. But friends, this is far far away from the truth that we find in the Bible.

See, God wants to pour His strength into our lives. God wants to hold us, weep with us, revive our broken spirits, heal our wounds, and take us to a place of greater heights where we find His joy and peace.

Let’s resolve to stay close to Jesus Christ! Right now, in whatever you are facing, cling to Jesus. We have an amazing God who wants to be everything you need right now, but you have to be willing to seek Him.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart (Jeremiah 29:11-13).”

In Christ,

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Desperate for Jesus

Today, I am reminded that I have allowed my tendency of running away to affect how I pray about and handle my emotions and grief. I have allowed these things to go deeper into my spirit and even unintentionally cultivate my own emotional storage place – just for untouched emotions and grief.

If we were honest, we could say we all have one. But, how are we willfully beginning to “spring clean” in our hearts by the power of Jesus Christ – our great Redeemer?

While emotions and grieving come from living as a human in a fallen world, these are things God wants to help us process. He wants to help us to experience His peace, as we move through the darkest valleys of our lives.

I am reminded of the Mark 5 man who had many needs, and became desperate for Jesus. He knew there was only One who could help him. And, this man’s testimony is one I always need to hear.

Desperately Seeking

We have countless biblical examples of people who became sick of their circumstances and became desperate for Jesus. That’s where we need to be. At that very moment of becoming desperate for Jesus and turning to Him, their lives changed for eternity.

. . . And I doubt they ever looked back – except to say, “Look what Jesus Christ, my Redeemer, has done for me!”

I am finding myself desperate and coming to Jesus. I am letting go of this pretending nature that I am somehow fine with the way my health has acted these past several months.

After my cry of desperation, I am met with peace. The kind that only Jesus can provide. While He promises us that life will be hard, just as it was for Him, we are also reminded that He goes with us. He promises to be our Comforter (see Jn 14:16, 26; 16:33).

God’s Comfort

During today’s infusion, I was able to just sit and read the words of Isaiah 40:1-9.

Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, . . . she has received from the Lord’s hand double for all her sins. . . You who bring good news. . . lift up your voice with a shout, lift it up, do not be afraid; say . . . , “Here is your God!” (Isa. 40:1-2, 9; NIV)

God calls out for His people to be comforted! God wants us to know that He is coming back and making all things new. He is offering to us forgiveness of our sins, through His Son Jesus Christ – the Messiah!

Through Jesus Christ, we all can find our way back to God! My friends, let us rejoice in this. . . as we desperately run to Jesus!

As we run to Jesus, we will see God do such a renewal in our lives. He will make us new in many ways, as we bask in our new relationship with Him. Relationships restored. Shear joy and peace. Overwhelmed by His goodness. Completely satisfied in Him.

Lord Jesus, please fix us. We are all falling apart, and in desperate need of You!

Walking with you,

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“The Privilege of Worship” (BookLook)

Worship Wars

In “The Privilege of Worship,” Stewart Holloway addresses worship in a new vibrant way. We all know the “worship wars” that can happen within our churches and relationships. We spend far more time arguing or sharing our puffed-up opinion about how we want to worship, than we do simply worshiping. And the result of such actions, is destruction rather than peace and brokenness rather than the wholeness Jesus gives to us. There is no beauty in “worship wars”. I have seen its effect on a personal level, and it reminds me of the need to focus on worshipping God (not myself or someone else). What if we worshiped God in all His holiness and splendor, rather than arguing about the way we worship?

Help Wanted: Jesus!

As Holloway stated, many Christians are missing out on the privilege of worship. We get more excited about a football game, than we do about worshipping our Savior. We should be more excited about Jesus Christ and the opportunity given to worship Him. This is why revival is the only word to kindly express our need as the Church.

For many of us, our worship needs a revival. We need to remember what worship is honestly about. These days, we aren’t treating worship with the reverence it deserves. We need to remember the design of worship. Through worship, we get the opportunity to “communion with God” as Holloway states as he describes worship. God has given us a way (worship) to meet with Him and pour all that is building up in our hearts.

Worship is the beautiful communion and celebration between us and God.

Thoughts on “The Privilege of Worship”

As I read Holloway’s book and reflect on its key principles, I am able to gain a clearer picture of worship and its importance in my life. However we worship, it needs to be the center of our lives. Holloway shows his heart for worship in “The Privilege of Worship,” and God will change our own hearts as we read this book. Our hearts will become excited about worshipping the Lord our God. We will have a more intimate relationship with God through His Son Jesus Christ. We will see peace flow through our church lives, as we give ourselves to God, His Church, and choose to not participate in worship wars.

There are many good things God will give to us, as we give ourselves to Him and commit to worshipping Him.

This book has been a blessing for me to read. While I am not done reading or using it in my Christian life, I do think it is a good book for any Christian to read. We all need to remember the amazing privilege we have been given, in Christ, to worship. (Psstt: The book is only $3.99 for the Kindle edition)

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through BookLook’s blogger review program, in exchange for a honest review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.