Seeking God in Difficulties {Summer ’17}

In Psalm 70, we are reminded of our need to seek God – especially in the midst of the most difficult things.

God, hurry to rescue me. Lord, hurry to help me! (Ps. 70:1, CSB)

Therefore, let us approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in time of need (Heb. 4:16).

As followers of Jesus Christ, we have been gifted with this incredible relationship with God through Jesus Christ. Where we can boldly come to His throne, and receive all the help we could ever need.

Let all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you; let those who love your salvation continually say, “God is great!” I am oppressed and needy; hurry to me, God. You are my help and my deliverer; Lord, do not delay (Ps. 70:4-5).

The outcome of seeking our Lord Jesus in the midst of hard times is – life changing. God can give us a joy like nothing we could ever experience. The secret to joy isn’t necessarily in the removal of bad circumstances. It is found in spending time in God’s presence and trusting Him no matter the outcome. Now God could change our situations, but He might choose to change our hearts and walk us through the difficulties of life.

Friends, let’s bring our needs before our gracious God. We boldly come and share with God all we are going through.

This is a message I need for myself, because life can get hard. While I might force myself to carry the full weight of the burden, I will progress at a much slower pace than if I had accepted King Jesus’ help.

Come to me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take up my yoke and learn from me, because I am lowly and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light (Matt. 11:28-30).

God wants to be involved in our lives. He doesn’t want to be merely an observer, but He wants to be actively involved in our lives. While it can seem like our “normal” to go at it alone, it is not part of the way we have been called toward.

Some believe we have to make our own prayers come true. Basically we need to lean not on God, but ourselves.

Proverbs 3:5-6 reminds us of our need to allow God to be the sufficiency we need. God is God for a very good reason. Our strength cannot begin to compare with our great God’s!

As we walk with Jesus, we are invited to lay down our old ways and allow our great God to show us His love, grace, and power!

Friend, I have absolutely no idea what you are personally going through. What I do know is – the God I serve. God sent His Son Jesus Christ to pay the debt for our sin. He came and endured the most unimaginable pain, so we can have a relationship with our heavenly Father. A relationship, where we are His friend versus His enemy.

Image by Jason Blackeye.


The Humble Win {{Week 3}}

Welcome, friends!

I invite you to get out your study journal and Bible, if you have it nearby. If you haven’t had the privilege of ordering your study journal yet, you can do so here (Please Note: It’s an affiliate link).

The Scriptures – Matthew 5:5 and Psalm 37:11

God blesses those who are humble, for they will inherit the whole earth (Matthew 5:5, NLT).

But the meek shall inherit the land
    and delight themselves in abundant peace (Psalm 37:11, ESV).


What is humility?

Humility is known as gentleness. This is where the mild seek God. He is where they glean their attitude (see Phil. 2).

What are characteristics of the humble?

The humble win… because they aren’t distracted by the cravings of this world. (Click-to-Tweet)

Their sights are clearly set on God and His Son, Jesus Christ! They want, only what He longs to give them. I wouldn’t consider myself a humble person, but I can see fragments of this in my thought life right now. I am longing for God to pour His truth into me. I need to see and hear from my great God. Good news too, for the believer!

 In James 4:8, 10, we are reminded that when we are drawn near to God and humble ourselves, He meets with us and will lift us up.

Hold onto His promises, friends. As we lean on Jesus and His attitude, we are reminded that we win in the end. Jesus gives us the victory! By seeking God and remaining obedient, we are carving out space in our hearts and lives to be given the victory. But, it only comes from our relationship with Jesus Christ! There is no other way, except through Jesus.

We are invited to humbly walk with God (Micah 6:8).

As we think about humility, we need to come up with a plan of action.

How can we position ourselves to have an attitude like Jesus?

The key is in abiding with Jesus (see John 15).

  1. Stay in the Word of God on a daily basis. In Joshua 1, we are taught to meditate on God’s Word day and night (verses 7-9) . When we meditate on His Word, we know Him more. As we meet with our beloved Savior, He begins to change our hearts by His Holy Spirit. Remember gentleness is a fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23).
  2. Be prayered-up. I need to make sure that I am praying throughout my day,even about the things I feel too broken to share.
  3. Be watchful of my attitude, as I go about my day. I know, I make less wise choices if I am tired. So, I need to do what I can – to make sure I get enough rest.

In order to stay humble, we need to keep seeking Jesus on a daily basis! (Click-to-Tweet)

Lord God, grow me in humility please. Protect me from an attitude of pride. Uproot it , and make me a person after Your own heart and attitude. A person of gentleness. That’s where true victory is found. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Poor and Desperate {{Week 2}}

Welcome, friends!

I invite you to get out your study journal and Bible, if you have it nearby. If you haven’t had the privilege of ordering your study journal yet, you can do so here (Please Note: It’s an affiliate link).

The Scriptures – Matthew 5:3 and James 2:5

God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for him, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs (Matthew 5:3).

“Listen to me, dear brothers and sisters. Hasn’t God chosen the poor in this world to be rich in faith? Aren’t they the ones who will inherit the Kingdom he promised to those who love him? (James 2:5)”

Devotion –

We can be considered poor in different aspects of our lives. Yet, there is only one mattering more than most. When we are spiritually poor, this is where it matters the most.

It isn’t until we realize we are in need spiritually, that we can come to Jesus. We have to reach this special place, where we realize we can’t do it on our own. Matthew 5:3 has become a special Scripture in my heart, this week. While I haven’t been able to study as much as I would like, this Scripture continues coming back to my mind.

It is what happens after realizing we are spiritually poor. When we recognize that we are spiritually poor, we are in the place of access. Before we can confidently enter His wonderful place of being forgiven and given a full out all access pass to the Father (see Hebrews 4:16) – something needs to happen.

Before we come to Jesus, we have to realize our need for Him. We are spiritually poor. (Click-to-Tweet)

We have to realize our spiritual need.

We have to realize the place we are in.

We have to realize that we have nothing to offer.

We can never be “good enough” to earn God’s favor on our own.

It is fully through the blood and resurrection of Jesus Christ. This is why we always always always place our trust in Him, for He is our Savior, Mediator, and Friend.

Knowing our own spiritual poverty is crucial. It is when we recognize our spiritual poverty that we can receive what we are in desperate need of.

Listen to the Easy English translation of Matthew 5:3 –

“How happy are those who are poor in their spirits. They know that they must depend only on God. They belong to the Kingdom of Heaven.”

While it can be devastating to realize our poverty, we have a mighty Redeemer who is ready to save me (you too). You and I cannot neglect the necessity of depending fully on God.

While it may be difficult to realize our poverty, this is where we find Jesus. (Click-to-Tweet)

In Christ…

In Christ, we find life and every need is met. The key is Jesus Christ. We must not forget that God has indeed chosen us and is giving us access into His Kingdom! God has given us the tremendous opportunity to be rich in faith.

The transition from spiritually poor to rich in faith begins with our realization of just how desperate we are for Jesus. We need our Beloved Savior. We have to place our trust in Him for our righteousness. While we aren’t enough, He is more than enough!

While we are not enough, Jesus Christ is more than enough. He is all we need! (Click-to-Tweet)

Lord Jesus, I need you! I know, I am not enough. Be my Savior, for You are more than enough. Your grace is all-sufficient.  Help me to keep drawing my strength and hope from You, where it never ends.  Amen.

See Proverbs 3:5-6



Encountering Jesus in Sickness {{Week 2}}

Welcome! Welcome! Welcome!

Today is day 11 of our “Gleaning…” study! I want to invite you to open up your study journal and Bible, if you have them nearby (If you haven’t had a chance to order your study journal, the link can be found at the end of today’s blog post).

The Scriptures – Matthew 4:24-25; Mark 1:32-34

“News about him spread as far as Syria, and people soon began bringing to him all who were sick. And whatever their sickness or disease, or if they were demon possessed or epileptic or paralyzed—he healed them all. Large crowds followed him wherever he went…. (Matt. 4:24-25)”


“That evening after sunset, many sick and demon-possessed people were brought to Jesus. The whole town gathered at the door to watch. So Jesus healed many people who were sick with various diseases, and he cast out many demons. But because the demons knew who he was, he did not allow them to speak (Mark 1:32-34).”

Devotion Time

The reality of sickness is scary. Yet these people pushed past their fear and were motivated to go see Jesus. They didn’t know what would happen, once they got there. They had no idea what this encounter with Jesus would mean for their lives, but they were led by faith.

The sick were led by faith, to seek out an encounter with Jesus! (Click-to-Tweet)

Faith in God and His Son Jesus Christ is the only way to approach illnesses. God may very well decide to heal you – or He might allow the illness to continue for some divine purpose. In John 9:5, we are reminded that God can use our affliction to work in His Kingdom. It’s not for us to decide.

Keep seeking Jesus with all you have. (Click-to-Tweet)

We need only to keep seeking Jesus – bringing all we have! This is what the crowds did. They brought all they had, to offer. They didn’t  allow their fear to cause them to shrink back. Rather, they lived by faith.

This is what we get the opportunity to do, today. To live by faith. I have a quote by Joni Eareckson Tada to share with you all.

“If God chooses to heal you in answer to your prayers, that’s great. Thank Him for it. But if He chooses not to, thank Him anyway. You can be sure He has His reasons.” – Joni Eareckson Tada

Lord Jesus, sickness is hard. But like these you healed, I am putting my trust in You today. Help me to bring all that I have to offer. Build up my faith, as I keep my trust in You. Amen.

Sickness puts us in a place, of learning to bring to Jesus all we have. Keep encountering Him (Click-to-Tweet).

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You can find the study journal over on Amazon. (Please Note: This is an affiliate link.)


“The Longing in Me” Review

One of my favorite authors and teachers is Sheila Walsh. She is one who follows after God’s heart, even bringing “the stuff” life has handed her. “The Longing in Me” is absolutely no exception.

About Sheila

Sheila is a woman who loves Jesus, teaches well, and pours her heart out in her writings.

About the Book

There are three key aspects to this book.

Wrestling with the Past

Sheila uses this book, as a way to share her past. As she wrestles with hers, we can experience the freedom to consider our own. We can begin to take out those painful memories, and allow the healing process to begin.

The Human Longings

This book is all about the longings we experience, as human beings. While our longings may look differently, we all experience them. The question becomes, “how do we respond to them?” In order to change the course we are on, we must understand the longings. This book helps us to understand them.

The Bible Study

As we consider these two things, we are reminded of God’s Word. There is a particular man in Scripture who experienced deep longings and a past. King David experienced successes and failures. Yet, he is still known as a “man after God’s heart”. The longings left their imprint on his actions, yet he had a yearning spirit for God alone. Like David, we learn as we grow and seek God.

My Reaction

To be honest, I have been blown away by this book. She has vulnerably shared her past and testimony, which brings healing and truth to many.

I didn’t realize how much I needed this study, until I had it in my hands. It’s helped me, as I face my own past and intensely felt longings. I am learning God can bring freedom, as we begin to process these things. She offers up a “me too” attitude. I am actually not alone in my longings. Many others face the same way I do, which is a blessing to know.

In Closing

We each long to be chosen, protected, in control, and have longed for God alone. In her book, Walsh shows us how to connect our longings to God’s Word. As we study the life of David and his testimony, we are able to see the freedom and grace God has in store for us.

To learn more about Walsh and her book, click here. This particular book has a DVD and study guide companion, which makes it a wonderful choice for any small group. I have chosen to step out in faith, purchase the study, and am excited to have my small group join me on this journey. (Please Note: As an Amazon Affiliate, I am given a small earning when you use the above links to make any purchase.)

Below are two additional reviews concerning Sheila Walsh’s work –

The Storm Inside
Good Morning, Lord

Just a reminder, I was given a free copy by the publisher, Thomas Nelson, through BookLook Bloggers Program, in exchange for a honest review.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through BookLook’sblogger 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.