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.

 

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My Pursuit of Forgiveness {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.

In Colossians 3, we are reminded of the glorious hope found in Jesus Christ. We are made spiritually alive, through our Risen Savior. There is excitement in our new life, but we can become hesitant on topics like “forgiving others”. We are kind of like the Israelites in that sense, learning we can’t take our old life habits with us.

Be gentle and ready to forgive; never hold grudges. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others (vv. 13, TLB).

Why We Forgive

This isn’t something we can dance around. Forgiving others is an important struggle to endure, especially as we look to Christ who is our Source of hope. God has forgiven us of so much. He has gone through unimaginable pain to fix the relationship we have with Him. This is such a gift, friends.

We are given the opportunity to experience God’s power as we trust and obey Him in forgiving others.

While the world teaches us to hold a grudge, God has a very different take on forgiveness. We are commanded to forgive others, even when they have badly hurt us. God’s way is much different than how we likely used to think. God urges us to forgive and even tells us that “our heavenly Father won’t forgive us, if we don’t forgive others.”

The forgiveness we have received through Christ, should prompt us to forgive others. How can we experience the tender mercy of God, but not share it with others? A changed heart is what happens, as we experience the Gospel.

Friends: Keep fighting to honor God in your relationships. As we obey God by forgiving those who hurt us, we are choosing to put our faith in Jesus Christ before our pride (or emotions). In the Bible, God teaches us how to handle difficult relationships – which brings many blessings with it.

My Story

As I look back at relational conflicts, I am reminded of the heartache and pressing need to obey God by choosing forgiveness.

If we want God’s blessing and protection over our relationships, we have to be willing to obey His Word.

Partnership with God is what made the difference in my life. Things can get so messed up, but God is the One who restores as we continue following Jesus in the hard things. Forgiving others isn’t something I can do, but is made possible with Jesus Christ. He is the One who forgives and shows us how to really love others – with His strength.

God has responded to me in forgiveness – at the moment when I needed it the most. God’s grace isn’t based on our actions, but the heart of God that lovingly pursues us no matter how far we run. This is why we can forgive, with the help of the Holy Spirit.

The Shepherd Who Protects {Summer Psalms ’17}

I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep  (John 10:14-15)

We are reminded in Psalm 23, that the Lord is our Shepherd. More than told, we are given specific ways God reveals Himself as our very good Shepherd.

For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless (Ps. 84:11).

Through our Lord Jesus Christ, we are protected and have every need met. He is the One who faithfully cares for us no matter what is going on in our lives.

He gives us everything we need (vv. 1). I heart the “God verbs” as I call them, where we are able to see how God, our Shepherd, moves for our benefit.

He gives us rest (vv. 2). Not only does He provide physical rest for us, He gives us all the rest we need. He rejuvenates and offers peaceful rest we need to thrive. He is our God and makes sure we lack no good thing (see Ps. 84:11).

He leads us (vv. 2). God makes sure we get to the right place. He is the One who goes before us. He isn’t going to abandon us, half way through His leading us. Our great God leads us the whole way!

He gives us new strength (vv. 3). God is faithful to supply us with strength. Remember Isaiah 40:30-31, where we are taught that God renews our strength. Let’s pray for God to do this for us.

He guides us along the right path (vv. 3). He will lead us on the right path, where we are exactly where we need to be. One way He guides us, is through the Bible. As we seek Him, He will show us which way to go.

He is with us (vv. 4). Take heart in this promise that we find throughout the Bible. When we choose to follow Jesus Christ and diligently seek to obey His commands, He promises to be with us (see Mt. 28:18-20).

He prepares a feast for us in front of our enemies (vv. 5). We aren’t given mere leftovers, but God has thoroughly prepared a table for us. Knowing God’s protection and provision, we can sit down and enjoy our great God – even in the midst of the battle.

He pours oil on our head, giving us an abundance – which includes His favor and rejoicing (vv. 5). We see this lived throughout the New Testament. Despite all we have done, Jesus Christ came, has saved us and restored our relationship with God. In this new life, we are given much favor poured into our lives.

His goodness and love follow us (vv. 6). In whatever we are facing, God’s goodness and love is following those who are genuinely seeking Jesus Christ. Let’s put away the sin, seek His forgiveness, and allow Him to be the One whose love and goodness we are chasing.

5 Minutes with Jesus: Quiet Time for Your Soul

Quiet Time 4 Your Soul - 5 MinutesI want to share with you all a wonderful devotional that will fit into any type of schedule you could possibly have.

As a person with chronic illnesses, this devotional, 5 Minutes with Jesus: Quiet Time for Your Soul, is perfect for my life. It fits in with whatever kind of day I am having. This is a devotional I can use in my quiet time with Jesus, because it is just five minutes.

While each devotional is only five or so minutes, it is packed with much truth. Each day, Sheila and Sherri meet with us and share heartfelt truths. After this time of devotion, we met with a few Scriptures to help carry us through our day. These Scriptures share with us God’s truth about what we are learning. Truths we can hold onto. Truths that remind us God is greater. Life changing truths, that we can build our lives upon.

As the authors share with us in the introduction, our lives need a pause button. We need just a few minutes to catch our breath. Our time with Jesus is that time to breathe in and be given the strength to carry on.

God loves you. He never intended for you to live a frenzied, exhausting life. . . Jesus longs to give you the gift of rest, and it can begin with five minutes a day (p. 4-5).

Oh friend, let us come to meet Jesus. Maybe we don’t have much to give. Jesus Christ, the Living God, has much to give us. He wants to pour into our spirits and help us in our daily lives.

Even if you only have five minutes, this is more than enough time for you to meet with our Lord Jesus and find refreshment for your soul. I love this devotional, and look forward to the many treasures I will find in it. I absolutely recommend this devotional!

The 5 Minutes with Jesus series is the perfect way to start your day with a replenished heart.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive 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.

God-Given Assignments {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.

Friends, it’s far too easy to give up. For a lot of us, we can spend our whole lives running from one thing to the next. But, there is also another way. God is working greatly in ours and others’ lives, and He is inviting us to join Him.

So let’s not allow ourselves to get fatigued doing good. At the right time we will harvest a good crop if we don’t give up, or quit. Right now, therefore, every time we get the chance, let us work for the benefit of all, starting with the people closest to us in the community of faith (Galatians 6:8-10, MSG).

Let’s think about where we are in our lives, and see how to stay encouraged in our God-given assignments. In these assignments, we are given the opportunity to obey God and bring the hope found in Jesus Christ to many in need of His love and grace.

God has big things in mind for us. He wants to take our personality, spiritual gifts, talents, heart, and lead us into telling others about the Gospel of Jesus Christ – where the sinner finds peace with God and a brand new life. This is where lives are forever changed!

What does a God-given assignment look like? It is anything we are asked to do by our Most High God. From obeying His Word, to going where He is leading us.

Joshua’s Work

I have been reading a bit of Joshua lately, and am reminded of God’s urging Joshua to “be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people“. Joshua needed to be brave and trust God, in order to do this big thing. It was a big thing, but would be taken one step at a time.

God has assignments for us, too. Sometimes they either seem too big or too small. Each assignment requires us to trust our Lord Jesus to strengthen us and do His good work behind the scenes.

Our Assignment

What is God calling you to do? We have many things that could be labeled an assignment. Here is a small list –

  • Help {or sit with} someone in need.
  • Serve in your church.
  • Talk with someone about Jesus Christ and His saving power.
  • Continue a specific ministry (perhaps even, a blog).
  • Lastly, perhaps your assignment right now is to rest.

We don’t choose our assignments. God chooses them, but we must choose to trust and obey. As the song says, there is no other way to happy in Jesus.

Remember This –

May we remember that we are doing something of significance. This is important work we are doing. While it may be easy to trade where we are for somewhere a bit more fun or less labor intensive, this is where God has placed us and He will strengthen our hearts and hands.

Trust His heart, when you cannot see where He is taking you

In Christ,

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