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Bring it On!

Bring it On!

Bombs.

School shootings.

Thousands upon thousands of babies murdered before they are ever allowed to experience a breath of air.

Yikes!  Maybe turning on the news isn’t the best idea to start my day on a positive note.

So, so many things happening in our world today that are completely senseless.

Sadly, I can’t say all of this tragedy and depravity is only out there in the world.  It also resides in our communities, schools, and yes, even churches.

Making sense of it all is nearly impossible.  You can quickly find yourself losing faith in mankind.  Even those who walk in Christian faith, strong one minute, can quickly collapse as if shifting sand is beneath them.   Satan is a truly a master destroyer…..and his ultimate goal is to destroy as many Christian lives and churches as he can.

Overwhelming, isn’t it?  It almost seems hopeless.

Last night, as I was driving home from a long and completely stressful day, I was having quite the pity party.  My faith in man was at an all time low.  Troubles have invaded my comfort zone all week long and I was ready to throw my hands in the air, fall in the floor, and throw a fit.  I finally turned the radio up to distract my thoughts, as I was quickly spiraling into a ‘woe is me’ attitude.

That’s when it happened.  One of my favorite oldies came on, “How Can I Keep From Singing Your Praise”,  I was quickly reminded that no matter how man might disappoint me…. no matter how depraved and tragic our society becomes, no matter how much I disappoint myself…. one thing remains true and constant.

don't panic

God is on His throne.  And He is unchanging.  He is the same in the valley as He is on the mountaintop.

Trials and trouble may be ready to devour me and those I love and care about.  But God is on our side.  Though I feel as if I’m on sinking sand, I will find, when the sand has all blown into the wind, that I safely land in the palm of my Father.  He has a firm grip on me and He is NOT letting go.

So what do I have to whine about?  My faith lies in my Savior, my Creator, my Rock.  Man will always disappoint.  I will always disappoint.  We are only human.  We all struggle with temptation and often, we lose the battle.  But we cannot quit.  We cannot let Satan win.  In the book of James, we are told to consider it pure joy when trials are heaped on us.  After all, we are about to be given the chance to grow in faith and perseverance.

So, this morning, as I wake and find my circumstances to remain the same as they were last night in the pit of the most pathetic pity party ever, I will have a cup of coffee with the Lord, put on my big girl panties, and tackle this day knowing He’s got this. Troubles and trials??  Bring it on!!  The world can sink around me, but I am loved by the King.  And it makes my heart wanna sing!!

God is greater than our worried hearts and knows more about us than we do ourselves.   – 1 John 3:20, MSG

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.   –Hebrews 13:8

Only God knows how it all turns out, and for those who belong to Him, it turns out well.   –Romans 8:28

 

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Posted by on April 18, 2013 in Daily Devotions, Scripture

 

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Let. It. Go.


As I was reading my Bible this morning, I came across a scripture I have read many times.  In fact, I went back through four different Bibles and I had highlighted this scripture in each one.  Although I have obviously read the scripture and it apparently stood out to me, this morning….on this day, it was as if I read it for the first time.

 

You see, I’ve had a rough year.  So much has happened this year.  Heartbreaking, life-changing things have happened.  It would be easy for me to look back on all I’ve been through and allow myself to get stuck in the trials.  To throw a big ole pity party.  Nurse those wounds just enough to function, yet keeping them open to the pain, hurt, and anger.

The problem with nursing those wounds, hanging on to hurtful words, clinging for dear life to each and every instance you feel you have been mistreated……….is that it takes over your life.  Your problems and trials aren’t something you are dealing with for a moment.  They become who you are.  They claim your joy and can rob you of peace.  When your spirit is filled with bitterness, anger, and malice, there is no room for love.

And it’s not just the actions and hurts of others that can gain this victory over us.  Often, we inflict these feelings on ourselves.  Maybe we have made poor choices.  In recognizing them, we inflict a punishment of self-loathing and self-condemnation.  We can with-hold forgiveness from ourselves for our poor choices and sin in our life.

No matter the source of your struggle, it’s important to recognize this is not all there is.  Life is about so much more than holding on to hurt.  This verse I stumbled across by chance (I was reading in Psalm and came across it in Isaiah as I was flipping through pages.) tells us not to dwell on the past.  To forget the former things.  I see this as explicit permission, even a command to let it go.  Why?  Because freedom is found in forgiveness.  Freedom for your soul.  It frees you up to move on with your life.  To look forward to a positive, hopeful future.

The scripture then goes on to say that God is doing a NEW thing.  He has something NEW for us waiting.  And I assure you, when God has something for you, it’s something good.  No, something AMAZING.    The key is looking forward, taking a step away from the hurts of the past, and finding hope.  God has something better for you.  Are you ready to receive it?

I urge you to search your heart for those old hurts that hold you back.  Pray for freedom and forgiveness so that you will be ready for the new things God has waiting for you.  Pray for me as I set out on the same endeavor.  Victory is found in following Him.  And I’m ready for it!

 

 
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Posted by on August 6, 2012 in Daily Devotions

 

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He is There!


Stressed.

Frightened.

Anxious.

Overwhelmed.

Worried.

Discouraged.

Down-hearted.

Defeated.

Have you ever had a time in your life, even just a day in your life, where all these negative emotions were bombarding you all at once?  Have you ever felt that everything was against you?  No matter how hard you try, something always knocks your legs out from under you?

At times I feel like these things are my forever companions.

Everyday chaos of life.  Bad news.  Tragedy.  Trials.

There are so many things in life just waiting to give you a good punch in the gut.  To grab you by the ankles and pull you under just when you get your head above water.  You are fine one minute, the next you are drowning in the burdens of life.

Often times these feelings, these emotions are screaming so loudly in my ear, they almost drown out God’s voice of comfort and peace.  If I allow the problems of life to take over, it’s very easy to think God isn’t there.  After all, I can’t hear Him with all in my life that’s pulling me in every direction, screaming…

WORRY!

YOU’LL NEVER MAKE IT!

YOU CAN’T TAKE ANYMORE!

HOW WILL YOU EVER SURVIVE THIS?

YOU HAVE TO FIX THIS!

THINGS WILL NEVER GET BETTER.

YOU ARE DEFEATED.

The Bible tells us…..Be still and know that I am God.  (Psalm 46:10)

Be still.

Stop thinking about your problems.

Stop letting anxiety overtake you.

Just be still.

Meditate on Him.

He is God.  Nothing you face in life is too big, too hard for Him.  And He will carry you through it.  When life threatens to overtake you, consume you with pain and worry, seek Him.  The Bible is full of promises.  Promises of love, comfort, and peace.  Even amidst the trials.

Take your fear, your worry, your problems….and lay them at His feet.

Take those promises and claim them.

Stop listening to the screams. 

He is there.  To love you when you feel unloved.

He is there.  With the strength you need to overcome.

He is there.  To help you in your time of need.

He is there.   When your heart is breaking.

He is there.  Whispering…..

I love you.  You CAN do this.  You WILL get through this.  There is hope.  I will give you peace. 

Be still.  And hear His voice.

 

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Posted by on January 31, 2012 in Daily Devotions

 

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He Answers Our Cries


Then you will call and the the Lord will answer.  You will cry, and He will say, “Here I am.”     — Isaiah 58:9

Fear of an uncertain future.  A broken home.  Financial ruin.  Poor health.  Loss of a loved one.  Loneliness.  Anger.  Frustration.  Failure.  Betrayal.  Job loss.  A broken heart.  So many things to bring sorrow and sadness in life.  So many things we don’t understand.  Sadly, I think most can say we have been through at least one of these life obstacles.

No one is exempt from trials in life.  The old question often arises, “Why does God allow bad things to happen to good people?”  I don’t know the answer to that question.  But I do know the only man to walk this earth sinless was burdened with trials.  Was it fair that Jesus was persecuted?  Ridiculed?  Betrayed?  Crucified?  Even He was not exempt.  We cannot escape times of trial and suffering.

But we don’t have to do it alone.

The beauty of Christian living is not that we are free from trials, but that we have the Lord God to carry us through them.  When you cry out to Him, He is there ready to give you comfort and peace.  The Bible tells us that all we need do is cry out to Him and He is there.  He will answer.  The God of the universe, who placed all the stars in the sky.  Created the heavens and earth.  Is there for us as we cry out to Him.

If you are in pain today, if your heart is heavy, if you are loaded with burdens and worry, why not cry out to Him?  Pull out your Bible and read God’s promises.  Cry out to Him in prayer.  He is waiting to hear from you. Let Him carry your load.  Let Him ease your troubled heart.  Let Him bring you peace that passes understanding.

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Posted by on January 7, 2012 in Daily Devotions, It's my life.....

 

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Hopeful


I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.   ——–John 16:33

And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.   —-Romans 8:28

I’ve had a rough couple of days.  I have a child with a chronic health condition that is exasperating.  Although this problem is not new for us, it’s still difficult to deal with at times.  A new round of appointments confirmed that he has taken a few steps back.  This means more meds.  More tears.  More frustration.  Even though we have been through this before and had plenty of setbacks in the past, for some reason, it was harder on me than usual.  Probably because he was taking it hard himself.  It is so hard to see your child go through things that are invasive and difficult when you can do nothing to help.  I slipped into a funk over the weekend.  The dread of getting back into the routines ahead were weighing heavy on  my mind and heart.  The dread of dealing with more problems and watching my child hurt completely overtook me.  My heart literally hurt.  I napped.  A lot.  I cried.  No, I bawled.  The waterworks had been turned on and were flowing as if a pipe was broken.   Considering I rarely cry, this was a big deal.  I threw myself a full blown pity party.  I let the sadness, frustration, and fears completely take over.

Finally, I decided it was enough already.  All this crying, all this sadness, made me feel hopeless and helpless.  I opened my Bible and this verse in John is what I found.  I spent the better part of two days feeling sorry for myself.  Feeling sorry for my child.  Wallering in my misery.  I allowed my pity party to steal my peace.  My joy.

Opening my Bible changed it.  Reading God’s word changed my perspective.  Yes, I have troubles.  Yes, my baby boy has more difficult days ahead.  But God is there.  He is in control.  He has overcome the world.  Surely He can handle my problems.  He will carry us through. I know I can trust that good will come from this somehow.  I may be fighting hopeless feelings, but I can be hopeful through Him.  His love never fails.

It was time I stop worrying and hand over my fears, my hopeless feelings to the one who holds the world in His hands.  When we face challenges, trials, troubles, and heartache, it is so important to cling to Him.  In His word.  In prayer.  In worship.  He is a reason to hope, to believe, to sing.  Praise Him!

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Posted by on November 14, 2011 in Daily Devotions

 

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Spilled, But Not Swept Away



 

Our lives are like water spilled out on the ground, which cannot be gathered up again. But God does not just sweep life away, instead, he devises ways to bring us back when we have been separated from Him. ——–2 Samuel 14:14

Don’t cry over spilled milk.

I’ve heard this saying more times than I care to count. It’s easier said than done.Often times, the messes of our lives are worthy of tears. Often the tears are spilling themselves. The Bible tells us there is a season for all things. There is a season for sadness and mourning. We may be mourning the loss of a loved one to death, divorce, addictions, or even to pure selfishness. We may be mourning the consequences of bad decisions made in our lives. Often we are forced to live with the consequences of the bad choices someone else in our life has made. Sadly, those we love often hurt us the most.

The Bible compares our lives to spilled water on the ground. We cannot go back and change what has happened in the past. What’s done is done. If you need to mourn the loss of that season in your life, do so. If you have made mistakes, learn from them.

The awesome thing about God is no matter the mess we make of our lives, no matter the mess someone else makes of our life….He already has a plan to bring you back to Him. He always provides a way. Look for it. Reach for it. And hang on to HIM.

So, today, I’m going to tell you…if you need to cry over the mess of your life….do it. But don’t stop there. Don’t stay there. The future is not found in perpetually grieving over what you have lost or in past mistakes.

The future is found in Him.  Have faith.

Shed your tears and look to Him. Reach for Him. Lean on Him. Hang on to Him for dear life in your desperate moments.

He will hold you, heal you, and prepare you for the great things He has ahead for YOU!!

 
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Posted by on October 8, 2011 in Daily Devotions

 

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Stay Calm….. Let HIM fight!


 

The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm. —–Exodus 14:14

I was reading a favorite old book last night when I came across this verse. I actually stopped reading, and went and picked up my Bible. It had been so long since I had read this verse, I had almost forgotten it was there. Such a short verse carrying a such HUGE promise.

I was in awe of my creator all over again. This was spoken by Moses to his people amidst panic and fear because Pharaoh had sent his army after them. They were trapped between the enemy, the mountains, and the Red Sea. What a hopeless situation they found themselves in. Moses was right. The Lord had this. No worries…he parted that Red Sea long enough to allow them an escape.

I was thinking back on how many times in my life I have panicked…..looking all around me for relief, while carelessly forgetting to look up. The Lord will fight for me. Just stay calm.

Oh, how my problems in life can become mountains surrounding me, armies trying to attack me, and a sea of problems I cannot cross. The Lord will fight for me. Just stay calm.

I must keep my eye on the One who ‘has my back’. He knows the problems and trials that will bombard me before they ever reach me. He loves me enough to allow His son to die a painful death for ME. The Lord will fight for me. Just stay calm.

He has a plan. And His plan is what’s best for me. It will bring me joy, peace, and contentment. It might not be MY plan, but I can’t see all things. My faith and trust in Him need to take over and KNOW that if I follow HIS plan, it’s going to be okay. The Lord will fight for me. Just stay calm.

Today, as you face the mountains, the raging seas, and Satan’s attack on your life….remember…The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm.

 
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Posted by on October 7, 2011 in Daily Devotions

 

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