Week 9: 2 Thess. 3:3 (God is Faithful)

Life can be intensely overwhelming and confusing at times. As we go through circumstances in our lives, we will be met with the reality of our faith – as it stretches or shrinks.

| The key is in seeking Jesus with whatever we have to give. |

Lately, I have faced difficult days, but the truth is – those days have forced me to remember God is faithful. He is the One I can truly count on. While I can’t “count on” better circumstances, I can expect God to be faithful – regardless of what I face. He is always available, holy, authentic, and loving.

God is always faithful and true to His Word! God has much to give us as we seek His face. He wants to pour into us His truths and the reality that He is for us!

God has declared His faithfulness and everlasting love, to us, through His Son Jesus Christ!

. . . Praise God for His faithfulness!

God’s Faithful – Even When We Aren’t!

But the Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one (2 Thess. 3:3).

I am thankful for this week’s verse, because life can really beat me down. Yet in today’s verse, we are given the hope found in Jesus Christ.

. . . While I may find myself in a place where I am struggling to just hang on, God is ever-faithful! He is the One who gives me hope and carries me even when I feel like I cannot take one more small step.

The amazing part is – God meets each of us, right where we are, and reminds us He is faithful. He is absolutely for us and pursuing us. I am not sure what you are facing today, but know you are not alone.

God is with you, enabling you to hold on, and remember His hope found in Jesus!

God Reminds Us of His Truth

God reminds me in this place of sticky circumstances that it is about Him. It is about drawing near to Jesus Christ with our whole hearts and receiving what God has chosen to give us.

It is about the relationship we can have with our heavenly Father, because of His amazing love that reconciles.

It’s knowing that God

. . . will light the way.

. . .  offers us His hope found in Jesus.

. . . has made a declaration with His authentic love for us.

. . . stays with us, as we face life. Not only does He make His presence known, He is fighting for us – just as He has always done.

May We Resolve. . .

. . . to stay close to our Savior Jesus Christ and experience His hope and love for our lives. May we resolve to choose Him again and again, even if we are having a rough day. While difficult circumstances are not our preference, let’s allow this time to remind us of the great faithfulness of our God.

Yahweh, our great God, gives us three specific promises in this week’s memory verse –

(1) God is faithful.

(2) God will strengthen you.

(3) God will protect you from harm.

Week 8: 2 Thess. 2:15 {Stand Firm, My Friends}

So then, brothers and sisters, stand firm and hold fast to the teachings we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter (2 Thess. 2:15, NIV). 

I have this week’s memory verse posted in several places of our home. It has continued to serve me with the needed reminder to stand firm and hold fast to the teachings of Jesus Christ. Even though I finished week 8 many weeks ago, I haven’t been able to take it down.

It has provided necessary encouragement, throughout the difficult days, when giving up seems tempting.

Stand firm literally means to keep one standing. In order to stand our ground, we must remember the hope we have found in Jesus Christ. We cannot allow circumstances to cause us to waiver either to the left or right, if God has called us to a specific thing. Let’s trust Him and obey Him in that specific thing.

In order to persist, we need to remember Jesus Christ’s word – which has lovingly been given to us. While in the Bible we are taught many things about God, His Son Jesus Christ, and the life He is lovingly calling us too, this is where the Holy Spirit steps in. In many different scenarios I cannot tell you what God is calling you to do, but God definitely is able to do exceedingly more than you could ever ask Him to do.

He promises us wisdom when we ask for it, gives us the resolve to stand strong, and helps us to continue on. A message we all, including me, need to hear – because we can get weary at times. God is calling us to stand strong in our faith. It is impossible to do this, when we are not allowing ourselves the necessary time spent in His presence and reading our Bible.

Keep listening for His voice, as you persevere and seek Him above all things.

This is definitely one truth we need to hold close to our heart, as we seek to live out the truths we learn in the Thessalonians.

See Psalm 46:1; Proverbs 3:5-6; Eph. 3:20; James 1:5

FMF – Joy

Five-Minute-Friday-4-300x300Welcome to this week’s edition of Five Minute Friday! This week’s theme is “joy”. FMF is a weekly online gathering of writers where we write for five unedited minutes. To learn more about Five Minute Friday, please visit Kate’s blog for more details…

After two decent health days, I am back to any motion of standing trying to bring me down like a deck of cards (which apparently means I rather skip dinner than stand again…). It’s been weeks of feeling like this. Nonstop almost, or so it seems. I could scream. I could verbally share my frustrations with the world, or even manipulate my facebook account into sending out word weapons in effort to share my true thoughts on the subject (of standing).

… But, it will not bring me joy.

Joy isn’t a feeling.

It has to be a heart felt response to – yes- our lives, but more than that. Joy is something God is capable of giving us – even when we feel like we are in a place that is quite rough.

Joy is deliberate.

It is found in my mindset, and where those thoughts wander.

It is found in what I choose to do with my time, mind, and energy level – while I sit in captivity and do anything but stand.

. . .

I started writing out the Word of God. As a chronically ill person, I have quantities of time available. But, that’s not my identity. My identity is wrapped up in my Savior, not these moments where I sit on my bed wondering what to do with myself for the rest of the day… God is where the joy is found.

I have been trying to write out the Word of God, in these moments. It’s a new habit I am forming. It allows me to get to know my Abba Father on a much more intimate level. This is where the joy is found.

While standing is not anything joyful, God is present in the storm. God is the One strengthening my body as I rise, and giving my heart the courage to stand.

God is the One giving me courage and joy, in midst of heartache.

While our trials don’t last forever (imagine that!), my God does. Scripture is clear. God endures forever. It is found in Scripture many many times. Just as God endures forever, so does every single one of His attributes – including joy. This is what He gives, He lovingly offers to those who have believed in His Son Jesus Christ and been called into His beautiful family!

During today’s Scripture writing, I came across this verse in 1 Corinthians 1:9.

“God is faithful! God has chosen you to share life with His Son Jesus Christ our Lord!”

I absolutely love this verse. Jesus is my forever companion, and that is where my joy is found!

Jesus is my full-time Companion who walks with me during the storm, and brings with Him joy to be available to me.

I really enjoyed Andrew’s guest post on Five Minute Friday. Be sure to check out his post.

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A Struggling Woman’s Great Faith

Today has been a “roughed up” health day, but I am finding much comfort through one woman’s story. She was a woman who didn’t grow up exposed to God’s law (but likely worshiped many other gods),  but she was coming to know Him – in faith. Her daughter’s suffering would be the one thing leading her to Jesus and His beloved Kingdom. She would experience God’s power in her life.


Read Matthew 15:21-28

The Canaanite woman is an pioneer and example for us all. In the book of Matthew, we find her heart stirring story. We might even find parts of ourselves there, too.

In specific times of our lives, we face devastating circumstances. And, we need to instruct ourselves to run into the arms of Jesus. It doesn’t matter what others say/do or how we have responded to circumstances in the past.

We have Jesus, who stands by our side and waits for us to invite Him to become our ever-present help. He is our Hope and possesses every ounce of strength we need to overcome whatever it is that we are facing!

All that matters is running to Jesus and being wrapped up in trusting Him and knowing He is capable of handling all of the messy circumstances of our lives.

This woman, she kept asking.

Her background didn’t matter, but her persistent faith is her legacy. She was a woman (and mom) who went to Jesus and resolved to not stop trusting Him. She knew beyond a shadow of doubt, that God (through His Son Jesus) was able to heal her daughter once and for all. While doctors couldn’t help her or solve this big circumstance in her family’s life, she knew God definitely was up to the challenge.

I read this passage of Scripture, while I was waiting in a doctor’s office. Her story can be described as “beyond encouraging”. I mean, her heart is shattered. This hard circumstance is like a punch in the gut, yet she chose to keep trusting.

… And, He healed her daughter!

It didn’t matter that the disciples wanted to shoo her away (which is enough to cause me personally to step back, but she didn’t… she stood strong in her faith!). In the light of eternity, all that will be remembered about this encounter with Jesus is – He listened, she trusted Him and kept asking, her focus was on God’s power, and that He would work in her life.

Jesus would touch her life in such a way that she would realize just how loved she was by her heavenly Father. She was blessed beyond measure as she knew Jesus’ power and ran after her opportunity to have her daughter healed.

What would happen if we would have this kind of persistent faith that caused us to continually ask Jesus and go to Him? What if we reached out for the healings no one else is willingly asking for?

He is willing, able, and has the power to heal many things in our lives. We have to reach a place of asking, like she did. I know, I need to grow in my own asking. I love the companionship I can have with my Savior Jesus, and our relationship can be defined by honesty and His grace.

I want to have this kind of faith like this gentile mother did. She crossed over cultural barriers, and displayed bravery in her faith toward Jesus Christ. She knew who He was, and she didn’t miss a beat. God is able to help us become more bold in our asking and seeking out His abundant life!

See Hebrews 4:16; John 10:10; Matthew 7:7

Make the Hard Decision {{Week 5}}

While I may have completed this day’s study exactly a week ago, it offered me a much needed reminder. Friends, we have to keep reminding ourselves to make the difficult decisions – to guard our relationship with the Most High God. He has called us His own. Let’s do whatever is necessary, to protect our relationship!

Even if it seems like a crazy thing to give up, but God calls you to let it go for a season. Listen to Him. Follow His guidance. Watch for the peace that surpasses all understanding, as you give “this thing” to Him. If only we protected our relationship with Christ more diligently, how much better our walk would be…


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 5:29-30; Romans 6:6-7

If your right eye causes you to sin, poke it out and throw it away. Your eye is only one part of your body. It is better to lose an eye than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. If your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. Your hand is only one part of your body. It is better to lose a hand than for your whole body to go into hell (Matthew 5:29-30, NIRV).

We know that what we used to be was nailed to the cross with him. That happened so our bodies that were ruled by sin would lose their power. So we are no longer slaves of sin. That’s because those who have died have been set free from sin (Romans 6:6-7).

Devotion

We need to make the real decision to remove any and every stumbling from our lives. Stumbling into sin – is a big deal, and we have to be prepared for those moments. So, we aren’t caught off guard.

If stumbling is substantial enough to use the example of being physically blind or without limps, then, you know it is not something to take lightly. We need to be on our guard and get rid of stumbling blocks.

Some of our hard choices, can seem extreme to some folks in our “tribe”. A tribe is just another way of saying – the community of people rallied around us. Some of “our people” won’t understand why we would take such an extreme step. However, (and this is a big one) we cannot allow anything to interfere with our relationship with Jesus Christ!

Stumbling drops us into the pit of sin, which brings the cost of death and separation from God. We must ask ourselves – “What are the hard decisions I need to make – to protect my walking with Jesus?”

Don’t concern yourself with how extreme that decision is or what people might say. After all, it is for your Author of Life. Let’s be absolutely deliberate in making sure that we are not causing our relationship with Jesus to be stunted or resemble a roller coaster, because we didn’t have the faith to make the extreme decisions God was leading us to make.

Let’s be deliberate in making Christ Lord over our lives.

Lord Jesus, stumbling into sin is a dangerous game I definitely don’t want to play. Father, I pray You would show me what extreme decisions I need to make – in order to protect my relationship with You. Give me the strength and peace to do whatever it is. Amen.