What’s Next, Lord?! {{Trials Tuesday}}

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Earlier, I read something that struck a chord with me.

My times are in Thy hands. I’ll always trust in Thee. And after death at Thy right hand, I shall forever be (Hymnist William Lloyd).

Like a child, I need to come to our Abba – Father, our great God, asking deep questions. I am pondering the future and what it may include. It’s hard. I don’t know what the rest of this year holds in store, but I wish I did.

Thankfully for us, there is a Scripture on this exact thing –

My times are in Your hands; Rescue me from the hand of my enemies and from those who pursue and persecute me (Ps. 31:15, AMP).

God’s Word even tells us that our days. . . our lives are lovingly placed in His hands. He is the One who can turn everything out for good. He is the One who needs to lead us.

Choosing to Draw Nearer

Friends, let’s keep drawing nearer to our King Jesus and see what He tells us. Very much, He wants to speak to us one on one about our difficult situations. I don’t know what you are facing, but thankfully our Risen Lord does!

Let’s recall what His Word says –

Your eyes saw me when I was formless; all my days were written in your book and planned before a single one of them began (Ps. 139:16, CSB).

We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God, who are called according to his purpose (Rom. 8:28).

You yourself have recorded my wanderings. Put my tears in your bottle. Are they not in your book? Then my enemies will retreat on the day when I call. This I know: God is for me (Ps. 56:7-8).

Our grace filled heavenly Father is for us, and knows what is going on behind the scenes. He sees us in the midst of our trials, and He knows the good things He has planned for our lives. He knows how the trials will bring out good things in the long run, even if we are utterly convinced that no good can come from it.

Come, Friends

Come to Him as His dearly loved children, my friends. God is our good Father. He absolutely sees us and has great purpose for us. He loves us and wants to experience an intimate relationship with us – through His Son Jesus Christ. This is why He came.

I don’t know how God will turn out things for my good, but I do know that He is good. Even if I get tempted to think He won’t work things out, deep down I know He is good. Sometimes, I just need to take a step back and remember He is good. He is really good, and knows what He is doing.

Friend, just keep drawing nearer to our Lord Jesus. Don’t be afraid to ask Him the big questions in prayer, but ask the seemingly small ones too. Our God is a Mighty God, and He is able!

Asking Him,

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Healing a Broken Spirit

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,

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When Honesty Hurts {{Week 5}}

I invite you all to join me, as we kick off week 5 of our Walking Into The Light study! This study is very rich of God’s goodness, grace, and power. Actually, that brings me to today’s topic. I want to discuss something that we might want to overlook in one area or another.

Honesty.

God calls us to be honesty. So, I encouraged you to join me by reading Ephesians 4:25-28; Psalm 15:1-2. You can even get out your journal, to be reminder of any truths God might be stiring in your spirit {{still available on Amazon for $8. Link is at the end of today’s post to find out more//purchase a copy}}.

Digging In!

In both of these passages, we are reminded that…

God wants us to live out our lives with sincere hearts.

… But, sometimes, honesty is hard. Maybe, we are good with being honest in all areas of our lives – but that pesky little one. Perhaps, it is in your health circumstance, financial situation that you don’t talk about, or how you are doing emotionally as you move in this “hustle and bustle” workload you are carrying.

The Choice

For each of us, we face the choice – How do we remain honest and carry ourselves with a sincere heart, when it is hard to do so? When the fear overtakes us, the temptation to hide our sincere hearts is present. God sees our hearts and will reveal those areas to us. He knows our hearts. In fact, He knows us better than we know ourselves.

As I went through my time of study this afternoon, the Holy Spirit used a fumbling moment to reveal to me a truth. A truth I needed to hear.

Knowing God’s Insight

In Jeremiah 32:27, we are reminded that God “is the Lord, the God of all the peoples of the world.” In this place, He not only reminds us who He is. God says something else. Something impactful. “Is anything too hard for Me?”

You know, I forget how big my God is. I forget that He is bigger than that embarassing thing I don’t want anyone to know that I face.

While I wrestle to be completely honest with God, myself, and others, this is what He is calling me toward.

God is not inviting us to continue in the way of deception, but He is inviting us toward real life. Community with God and His people is built around honesty. How are we chooing to lead with sincere hearts? 

The Altar Call

Imagine this is the point of service where the altar call is given. This is a time to go and sit before the Lord our God. To sit in stillness, and just be real with God. We need to get honest with the Lord. Push past the tendency to lie or deceive others. Remember, the Church is one. Let’s push the filth of deception away from our midst, and choose to live with pure lives.

When we are honest with God, ourselves, and others, God is glorified!

Circumstances may not turn out, as we expect, but God will be glorified through our every word!

Walking Into The Light: A Six Week Scripture Writing Experience ((Shop Now!))
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Finding the Power Source {{Week 3}}

Yesterday, we began talking about how we can fearlessly enter the Lord’s great presence. Without fear or any hesitation, we can enter the presence of the Most High God. God wants us to come before Him.

God wants us to seek Him out.

That truth really hit home in today’s devotion time. Turn with me to day 18 of your Scripture Writing Journal. Read today’s Scriptures, and meet me back here (Ephesians 3:14-16 and 2 Corinthians 12:9).

In Our Lives

We are most certainly fueled by something. The question is – how are we allowing Jesus (our King of Kings) to fuel our lives?

I find it interesting that God speaks to us on prayer, as we are reminded of God’s power.

God wants to fully empower us, friends!

Our lives could be fueled solely, by God’s great power – if we would allow Him to do so. We could be fueled 100% by God and His power.

We lack in our lives, because we aren’t coming to God. It’s not because God is not good… but, that, we aren’t seeking Him out. We need to keep seeking Him more and just stay ever-so-close, as we face trials in this life.

What are you and I doing to make sure we spend today ‘bow[ed] in prayer”?

Other Power Sources

We lack God’s evident power in our lives, and how we respond to things because we seek out other “power sources”. We aren’t finding ways of being ‘plugged in’ to God (through fellowship with God, the reading of His Word, and prayer).

We have stopped seeking after God, when it comes to finding ways to ‘deal’ with the stuff of our lives.

What are you seeking out? What is fueling your life? I wrote down a few of my own, but it is not a full list of things that I seek out instead of God.

  • Google
  • Entertainment (Netflix, Facebook, Instagram)
  • Friends//Family
  • Myself

Then when I go to all these things, I feel helpless and wonder why.

Fueled by the Right Source

We need our lives to be fueled by Jesus and Him alone! We have God dwelling inside of us, ready to arm us with His power. So, what is stopping us from seeking Him wholeheartedly?

If we remain prayer-less, we will remain powerless.

When Overwhelmed

We need to look for moments to spend in God’s presence, versus feeling overwhelmed by life. So, God can carry us through. God does have a much better way in store for us.

To receive His power, keep pressing into Him! Continue seeking Him – daily.

So, how are you staying connected to your true Power Source (Jesus Christ) today? How are you staying connected to the Father through all the high’s and low’s of your day?

Pretend to be Okay {{Reasons and Reflection}}

Often when we are in the midst of a trial, there is one game we all seem to do fairly well at. And that is, pretending to be okay. Today, was quite simply – “that kind of day.” Maybe, it was for you also.

While we may pretend to be okay, there is one fact we forget. Pretending doesn’t make us closer to being okay.

The Pretending

While, at church today, I did the performance dance. I listened to a beautiful message on
“pride” (I know, right??), and tried to muster up the strength to look okay on the outside. I want to focus on three reasons why we (or I) might do this little dance.

  • Pride.
  • Sparing loved ones of our burdens.
  • To not allow others to mourn with us.

The View From God

God looks at our hearts. He doesn’t want us walking around in our circumstances all on our own. God wants His people to open up and share diligently, so others can be there for us! In all honesty, I shared with a few trusted folks. We need those kind of friendships, where honesty can be utilized. The sharing, much like the illness, can get a bit complicated.

The Reason Why I Share

While man looks at outward appearances, it isn’t the one that ultimately matters. As the Word of God teaches us, God looks at our hearts. That’s what God cares about.

In the Bible, we find these words:

“… God does not see the same way people see. People look at the outside of a person, but the Lord looks at the heart. (1 Sam. 16:7b, ICB)”

Three Thoughts to Share –

Who am I excluding from seeing my hurts? Granted, this is a hard question to ask. Why? It gets into the issue of pride. A lot of times we keep on the mask, so, we look “normal” or more put together. But, that isn’t the real us. I want for us to learn how to tread this road of being honest with people, yet carefully.

“You know what, I have been better.”

Honest, yet limited detail.

My goal in these situations is to love others (and myself) by making these moments memorable. Memorable, because of the trust existing between them and me. Where encouragement and prayer can dwell. (Even alongside joy and gratitude!)

How am I allowing God to use my circumstances, to encourage others? Or, to teach them compassion? By sharing our difficult days, God can use us and the trials we may face. God wants to use us to speak to His children. Maybe, they need to hear your story – to deepen their own relationship with Him through Jesus .

How am I making the choice to be more concerned about my heart than appearance? God wants us to care more about our hearts than appearance. I know, for myself, my heart needs to take priority over making appearances.

God is far more concerned about my heart. That’s where my offering is.

We can each put our foot forward with trusting God goes before us. We don’t have to share everything, but we don’t have to hide everything either. We can be honest. Let’s start with being honest with our great God about how we are honestly doing. Let’s settle it in our hearts to be real with God about how we are doing.