Facing All Conditions {VOTD}

Today’s Scripture is the YouVersion‘s Verse of the Day –

I have the strength to face all conditions by the power that Christ gives me (Phil. 4:13, GNT).

This Scripture declares that – my circumstances aren’t too much for God to handle. If we were sitting face-to-face in a “bare your true heart” setting, I would have to ‘fess up that I feel overwhelmed by my circumstances.

Weight of Circumstances

. . . And, I am absolutely tired of feeling this way. I am weary in my mountain of circumstances, and ready for “almost any” vacation to spend a few days away. The only problem with the “need-a-vacation” way of thinking is – the eventual return to life as it is now. It doesn’t solve my problems.

As I write and think of my own circumstances weighing me down, I read a message from a former professor regarding a dear friend’s life-giving praise report of being cancer free. Like in hers, God is working mightily in many people’s lives – including mine. 

Focus

Though this life may seem long, I know it isn’t as long as we’d like to believe. Our lives are described as “no longer than the width of my hand. . . just a moment to [God]; at best, each of us is but a breath (Ps. 39:5, NLT).”

My focus needs to be on eternity. If my focus is found glancing around at my temporary life, then, obviously discouragement will surely find me.

As human beings, we need to focus on our Eternal God who is our Creator and the One in whom we find our purpose in life. God is the One who will supply us with life, guidance, and strength.

The “break” we need when life gets difficult isn’t found in a few days “away from it all,” but found in Jesus Christ. Our needed supernatural strength comes only from our Lord God.

Where Do We Turn?

I look to the hills! Where will I find help? It will come from the Lord, who created heaven and earth (Ps. 121:1-2, CEV).

We can seek answers in things, other than the Lord. Just because we have that freedom, it doesn’t mean they will meet our desperate needs. The psalmist is in active pursuit of real help. The pursuit is a deliberate one, and so should ours.

“How are we choosing to make Jesus Christ our Helpmate?” He is the One who will give us the answers we need, as we draw near and ask. He will either give us the answers or give us His peace along with contentment in the waiting.

Application

To whomever is reading this: Let’s draw near to the Lord our God and depend upon His strength.

This Scripture (Phil. 3:13) doesn’t guarantee that the conditions will subside. It says, we will have the strength to face all conditions. Choose today to –

  1. Focus on our great God and the power He holds in His hand.
  2. Realize He is the One Thing we need more than anything else. This relationship of trust through Jesus Christ is based on what God has done for us.

Update | David’s Trustful Prayer

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!

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,

Signature

 

{Summer} Psalm 124

This is where my heart has sat these past few days. While I am in the middle of preparing our home for our all-too-often apartment inspection, I had to take a few moments to write on this.

Click here to read Psalm 124. A short, but meaningful Psalm.

The Psalmist, David, points out one pondering question.

Where would we be – if it were not for the Lord?

The statement “if not for the Lord,” reminds us to take a look at what our great God has brought us through.

Although our lives are difficult, as Jesus promised us they would be, God is in the midst of it. He is working on our behalf, in unimaginable ways.

He is keeping our families safe.

He is providing many essentials in our lives.

He is giving us encouragement and an eternal hope.

He is causing our hearts to draw near to His.

. . . God is doing soo much behind the scenes, and it’s left unseen to the human eye.

When we doubt God’s protection, may we remember this passage and remember the tremendous blessing of following our Lord Jesus Christ.

When we choose to draw near and follow our Lord Jesus Christ, He will act on our behalf.

So, keep drawing near.

So, keep praying.

So, keep engaging in Bible study.

So, keep asking Him questions.

So, keep building relationships with other Christians.

So, keep trusting in Him as your priority.

So, keep worshiping our great God.

Whatever you are going through, my friend, God will have your back – as you place your trust in Him. Allow God to be your number one priority, because that’s when you will receive the most protection from God (also when you will be most aware of His protection and pray for it).

if the Lord had not been on our side when people attacked us, they would have swallowed us alive when their anger flared against us (Ps. 124:2-3, NIV).

If He had not been with us when the villains came for us, When their anger flamed around us, they would have swallowed us up alive! (VOICE)

{Summer} Psalm – 4

I want to talk with you all about Psalm 4. Pull out your Bible, and read it for yourself before we get started. I will wait…

. . .

. . .

The Beginning

Stand before the Lord in awe, and do not sin against him. Lie quietly upon your bed in silent meditation (vv. 4; TLB). From this day forward, offer to God the right sacrifice from a heart made right by God. Entrust yourself to the Eternal (vv. 5; VOICE).

We are taught to sit quietly, self-reflect, and worship God. We have to spend time, where we soul search, and come to God in absolute awe of who He is. This is what quiet meditation {one-on-one time with the Lord} does.

Soul Searching Reflection

Out of all aspects of this Scripture, this is the part I need to wrestle with. Because, I am not good in living out this part.

This is my humanity shows itself in my relationship with God through Jesus Christ. I am horrible with silence, especially when in bed. I generally always have Netflix or music playing as background noise, to have volume, when silence is actually what I need.

With Christ, I can begin to live out this Scripture and allow it to impact my life. It is by faith, that I begin to live it out.

This is the passage I need to:

  • Reflect on.
  • Pray about.
  • Allow into my heart.
  • Allow to further God-given transformation.

The Latter

Lord, many are asking, “Who will make us successful?” Lord, may you do good things for us. Fill my heart with joy when the people have lots of grain and fresh wine. In peace I will lie down and sleep. Lord, you alone keep me safe (vv. 6-8; NIrV).

God redefines success for us. While we may not have this world’s version of success, we are given the better prosperity through our great God. In this passage, we see specific words that can only be understood through the context of a relationship with God through Jesus Christ.

Apart from Christ, we will never experience any of these things. This is why we need Jesus Christ as our Savior and Companion!