Living As God Intended {Trial Truths}

Late last year, I set up some boundaries. Social media boundaries. These boundaries were put in place to protect me. To protect my heart. The hard thing about social media is – the reminder of how different our lives can look like from everyone else’s.

My life looks vastly different from everyone else’s. I could sit here and literally count the ways. But, it doesn’t really benefit my soul to do that. Instead of doing this profitless thing, I need to keep my focus on the Lord and His Word.

Looking to the Word –

But be sure in deciding these matters that you are living as God intended, marrying or not marrying in accordance with God’s direction and help, and accepting whatever situation God has put you into. This is my rule for all the churches (1 Cor. 7:17, TLB).

In Scripture, we are reminded that – we can be placed in very different circumstances from others. There is a bigger picture than our circumstances (even the devastating ones), and that is the quality of relationship we have with God through His Son Jesus Christ! Will we allow the Lord to be of greater importance than our painful circumstances?

Some things in my life can make me feel so ashamed, and yet I have to remember it is a “drawing near” tool. While my identity isn’t in my circumstances, these things can help me connect with Christ – who is the Source of my identity.

Whatever your circumstance, I welcome you to my blog. You are welcome here. None of us fit into this perfect box of unbrokenness, for we all face hard things. Let’s just keep coming to our Lord Jesus honestly, and learning how to live for Him.

The circumstances we face can be very tough at times. I love this verse found in 1 Cor. 7, because it honestly shares the truth we need to recite in our daily lives. We need to consider how to live a life for our Lord Jesus, even now. We need to live out the call God has placed on our lives today, rather than waiting for better circumstances.

If you are anything like me, you might be feeling inadequate and broken right now. Friend, this is where the Lord will meet you and share with you His presence as you draw nearer to Him.

While I cannot fix your circumstances or even my own, I am here to offer you comfort. The truth is – you are not alone, neither am I. We are not alone. The Lord Jesus Christ meets us here. In this place. And out of all other places, this is the one where He chooses to reveal Himself the most. . . as we come broken before Him and desperately seeking Him.

Well, that is all I have to share today. But, I will be back soon. Don’t forget to order your journal and prepare your heart – because Monday we begin our newest online Bible study (Press On Toward Faithfulness)!

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Our Kind Father {VOTD}

Praise the Lord, my soul! All my being, praise his holy name! Praise the Lord, my soul, and do not forget how kind he is (Ps. 103:1-2, GNT).

The past 24 hours was somewhat enveloped in chaos. Things were crazy. Even so there were plenty of moments, where I was reminded of the Holy Spirit. You know, it’s enjoyable to see the Holy Spirit and His fruits (like self control) in action. My faith is not empty, because I could see the result of trusting Jesus and the way He changes how I respond to a tense situation.

In today’s verse, we are reminded to praise the Lord with all our soul and to remember His kindness. The Lord has been abundantly kind toward me. No matter how I have acted, the Lord has chosen to love me through every bit of it. He has shown me what patience and kindness really looks like!

The Lord has been kind to me and allowed me to experience His grace. There have many times in my life where I have acted foolishly, but the Lord protected me in those moments. He has protected me in many ways and displayed His costly love.

The Reminder

While He has taught us through the Bible that He loves us, we can know these aren’t empty words. The Lord has lived out His love for us every moment of our lives. He has chosen to love us and intimately walk with us – even when we make bad decisions.

That’s where my mindset needs to be.
I need to remind myself of the Lord’s love and amazing grace.
The kind of grace that saves, regardless of what we have done.

The Lord Jesus loves and has handpicked us to be His forever treasure. Let’s fix our eyes on Him, and continue to offer Him our praise as worship. His kindness is far greater than we could ever imagine!

Run to the Father

Even when you are going through a tough situation, remind yourself of how the Lord has been faithful to you in the past. The Lord is our loving Shepherd, our Father, and Mighty One. He will lovingly act. As hard as it is, we need to remind ourselves of these truths.

God is described in the Bible as our Father. I know many of us have a rocky history when it comes to fathers, but He is our good good Father who takes thorough care of us. Our heavenly Father won’t leave our side for a moment.

He is the One who is always available and is actually waiting for us to come. He is waiting for us to draw near and be reconciled through His Son Jesus Christ. He is inviting us to come and see who He truly is!

If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him! (Luke 11:13, ESV)

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,

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