Update | David’s Trustful Prayer

Standard

This Summer, I have been sicker than my usual “normal”. In lieu of recent circumstances, I have done the unthinkable (in my world) and merged a few blogs into just one. Want to see any of them? Here’s the list from less activity to current: chronological study, my beloved Psalms, and the Inspiring Women study.

And then a little sneak peek for you, Indoor Outreach will soon have a blog too.

Truth: As long as I am blogging and studying the Bible through writing, I won’t become as discouraged. Through God’s presence and quiet time, my joy will stay. I may not be able to serve in the local church, but I can keep writing through my trials and joys – which is what this blog is all about.

Psalm 56 –

Today, I want to just share a bit of today’s Psalm – which is Psalm 56. Fear is an easy thing to allow into our lives, at least it is for me. Fear is a difficult thing to overcome. Appropriately enough, the YouVersion “Verse of the Day” was 2 Timothy 1:7 – which adds to tonight’s (at the time of writing) Psalm.

God did not give us a spirit that makes us afraid. He gave us a spirit of power and love and self-control (ICB).

When I’m afraid, I put my trust in you {God}. I trust in God. I praise his word. I trust in God. I am not afraid. What can mere people do to me? (Ps. 56:3-4, NIrV)

In this psalm, David was on the run from his enemies and feeling the full weight of this circumstance and emotions. Still, he was choosing to trust God in the midst of a fiercely difficult time.

Testimony

I love what David prays, next. Join me in looking at verses 9-11:

My enemies will turn back when I call out to you for help. Then I will know that God is on my side. I trust in God. I praise his word. I trust in the Lord. I praise his word. I trust in God. I am not afraid. What can mere people do to me?

David’s focus was on the end result. While he had many emotions and questions, he held onto his faith in God.

I want to learn to be prayerful like this. David took his circumstance, emotions, and even tears to God, and laid it at the altar of God. He knew God was the One who could help him. While he ran from his enemies, he also ran to God.

In verse 9, David does something encouraging. He focuses on the testimony this mess will bring. These people, his enemies, will know that David follows and obeys the One True God, and God is on his side. How David turned to God may have encouraged others to draw near to the One True God and to throw away their false gods and idols – because they met and experienced our great God.

At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks or says. It is simply about putting our trust in our Lord Jesus, God’s Son, and knowing He is the One we can trust!

Advertisements

No Perfect Relationship {Inspiring Women}

Standard

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.

Following Jesus Christ and receiving His love should change our interactions with others, but especially with fellow believers. As a part of God’s Church, let’s consider how we respond to one another.

If you’ve gotten anything at all out of following Christ, if his love has made any difference in your life, if being in a community of the Spirit means anything to you, if you have a heart, if you care— then do me a favor: Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends (Phil. 2:1-2, MSG).

This Scripture reminds us that we are being changed. God reminds us that a heart transformation is the result of our meeting and walking with Jesus Christ. We are entering our new life, and these are key things to expect in our relationships with other Jesus-lovers-and-followers.

  • Agreeing with other believers.
  • Loving one another.
  • Becoming knee deep in our friendships with others who are following Jesus Christ with all we have to give.

If we have been changed by the Gospel of Jesus Christ, it is absolutely impossible to stay the same. We have been invited to follow Jesus Christ and enter His life-transforming new life. We cannot allow ourselves to become complacent in our relationships anymore. Let’s start striving for God’s best!

Note: The deeper we get in our friendships, the more likely conflict will arise. But let’s try to strive for God’s best in our responses.

While our friend may act one way, we can pursue forgiveness and reconciliation. The difference between our old life and new is – the Holy Spirit. We are giving God full authority to work in our lives, and seeking to remain obedient.

Our hearts and lives are being changed. In Romans 12, we are reminded of the truth that we are being transformed and renewed by our great God. He has poured out His mercy onto our lives, and His Voice is ultimately the only One that matters. This is why our “in Christ” relationships differ, from those in our “before-meeting-Jesus” life.

My church relationships are far from perfect. I am sure yours are as well. Thankfully, our great God is perfect and able to work in them through His Awesome power!

We have been birthed into new life, because of Jesus Christ who has loved us with an everlasting love and continues to save us on a daily basis. Let’s see how to apply this Scripture in our lives.

Let’s seek to honor Jesus Christ through the gift of these relationships. The Bible teaches us how to do this. I know our relationships will not be perfect, but let us aim for progress. We need to be able to see Jesus working in our Christian friendships. Choose to surrender, and give the Holy Spirit the authority in these friendships.

In Christ,

Signature

The One Goal to Keep {Inspiring Women}

Standard

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.

I bring before you all a special verse for Christian women. This is the verse. It can spark excitement in our hearts, but it can also scare some of us. This is a place, where we can learn to live out our faith in Jesus Christ and allow our sister-relationships to become a greater priority.

These older women must train the younger women to live quietly, to love their husbands and their children, and to be sensible and clean minded, spending their time in their own homes, being kind and obedient to their husbands so that the Christian faith can’t be spoken against by those who know them (Titus 2:4-5, TLB).

Community: Friend or Foe?

I love this passage of Scripture, but sometimes I don’t. My heart chases after deep Christian community, and sometimes it can be difficult to find. Being with my brethren is what my heart wants. In Christian community, we grow leaps and bounds and build lasting relationships. This is why we are urged to seek out godly friendships with other women.

Even if this pursuit takes a little time (or a long time) for fruition, it will be well worth the wait.

Worth Fighting For!

However difficult this pursuit for Christ-like relationships with other women, I feel like this is worthy of fighting for!

When we live out this Scripture in our daily lives, we are placing our trust in Jesus Christ and choosing His way of life over our own. These kind of relationships require vulnerability, feeling uncomfortable, and accountability. But, this is the place of being loved beyond measure, and our faith in Jesus Christ is tested/matures too.

Finding Our Willingness

Now “older woman” doesn’t necessarily mean you have to be 80 years old, but I wholeheartedly believe they have a wealth of spiritual treasures to pass onto the next generation. Women of all ages would greatly benefit from these distinctive relationships. We just need to be willing to obey God, as we come alongside someone else in the faith.

Far too often, we have stepped aside and ignored this Scripture – to avoid “interfering in another’s life”. Truth be told: We need for another woman, who is following Jesus, to come alongside us and lovingly interfere. We need to grow in our willingness to allow  (even invite) another to step into our lives. 

Speaking as a younger woman, but older than some, I know my need to be –

(1) Taught how to apply my faith in Jesus Christ to specific situations

(2) Reminded of biblical truths

(3) Prayed over

(4) Given Encouragement

 

Let’s cling to the truths of Titus 2. We won’t be able to live it out perfectly, so if you feel like you are failing – take heart, you aren’t alone. But, let’s remember the grace of our great God and focus on obey God in living this thing out – no matter what it looks like.

Healing a Broken Spirit

Standard

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!

Today’s verse cuts deep, because I have experienced its truth. I have days, where my heart is filled with joy. A joy-filled spirit that puts me in an exhilarating place. While this is true, my spirit is met with much grief too.

A joy-filled heart is curative balm, but a broken spirit hurts all the way to the bone (Proverbs 17:22; VOICE).

A broken spirit is one of the hardest things to face. I don’t think there are many words which accurately describe this place I get stuck in – where my soul is almost paralyzed {only I feel too much}.

Note: As we talk, just remember the struggle involved in these times. Celebrate the small steps, because it’s victory.

Take heart, God is with you! Keep trusting Him and relying on His strength!

Step One: Prepare for it. Knowing one’s triggers helps – immensely. You can avoid some of the moments of brokenness.

This Summer, I knew the need to prepare for what was coming. I didn’t want to be unprepared for the rough moments of Summer. So I am studying the book of Psalms, and using this group to help stay encouraged!

I invite you to come and join us for this time of seeking Jesus and His joy!

Step Two: Pray, pray, pray. Prayer is the weapon we need to utilize. Remember, prayer is a conversation between us and our Lord Jesus. Prayer is where we can “let it all out” and be built up. God wants to be the One helping us through this!

I want to take a moment to just share something with you.

God is real and loves you sooo much. If you haven’t met Him or talked in a while, pull up a Bible and just take time to sit with Him. Share with God what you are facing and feeling, because He wants to hear from you.

Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully (1 Peter 5:7, AMPC).

. . . present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:6-7, NIV).

As you spend these moments focused on God. Put on some praise music. Keep reading your Bible (or Bible app). God wants to help us during these difficult moments, and these are tools.

Worshipping God is our greatest weapon against a broken spirit. Let’s give our broken spirit as a worship offering, and watch Him give us joy and heal our broken spirits.

Step Three: Stay connected to Christ’s church. These dark hours are when it is most difficult to reach out for support. Everything can seem like too much effort. Give it a try, as you are able to. Text a friend, and be honest. Find support within your spiritual family, the church, where you can be guided closer to Jesus and have your needs prayed for.

. . . And if you need someone, I am here for you too. It can be difficult to find support, where we can share honestly how we are. And truthfully, I am still learning how to apply step three. It’s an ongoing struggle, too.

In Christ,

Signature

Week 4: Prepare For An Energetic Week!

Standard

Few things get to me like this topic, as far the church life goes. Welcome, I am your “equally messed up” tour guide. I cannot help but read 1 Thessalonians 4, and be reminded of the ways the Church is… far from where we could be. I love the global church; we are the beloved body of Christ. His bride. His treasure.

Yet we settle for so little, when God wants to lead us to much more – even in this life before we reach Heaven and all its glory.

My Honest Heart Struggle

I made it my mission to go through “Meeting the Thessalonians” before this course was set to begin, which I mostly was able to. I can honestly say, week 4 was without any doubt one of the most difficult weeks. While I had weeks of surprising affliction that made it hard to reach for my Bible and notebook, this week has challenged me greatly based on the content in 1 Thessalonians 4.

It touched me at my core, as a single woman. Some excitement. Erm, much frustration. Plenty of moments, where I was reminded of where I want to be as part of the Church.

Join Me!

I invite you in joining me for the reading of God’s Word, where we will hear God speak in 1 Thessalonians 4:1-12.

As a single woman, I am bombarded with temptation – often. I am not alone in this struggle, though. I know, many readers are right there with me.

This passage of Scripture is important for all believers, regardless of our relationship status.

As we take the time to focus our attention on our Lord Jesus Christ, He will work in our midst. While we may face many temptations and struggles in this area, we are not alone. Girls and Guys, you are not alone. I am looking forward to the chance of going through this passage of Scripture together.

This week’s blogging might look drastically differently than the past three weeks have been. Because this passage of Scripture is of such great importance to me, I want to try and pop in whenever I can – to share my thoughts on a particular verse or share a quote from a Bible commentary. This week, in terms of blog posts, might look crazy different than this past week. Or, it might look exactly the same. Only the Good Lord knows!

We simply have to wait and see what God decides to do, because this is His blog.

I may have many passionate things to say, and He may have to offer a strong, yet gentile, reminder of “No Stacey, you cannot write that. It is not useful to build up others in the Church.” (I actually have a good set of moments like this. I, too, am a work in process. . .)

Whatever happens on the blog or your personal study this week, keep digging into God’s Word! I am excited to see what God shows us. Here is the reading plan for this week.

Until next time,

Signature