Tag Archives: hope

The Galatians One

TheFruitOne“Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, self-control. Against these things, there is no law.”
This ornament was received during a present exchange game one year. The game got a little spicy and folks were having a little fun with it. Things were said in the heat of this silly game – about the gifts that were given. This ornament was one of the “unwanted” ones and had been traded around and bantered about. My gift had been “stolen” and replaced with this one. Needless to say, in the passion and comradery, I was not gentle or kind in my joking. My friend gently leaned over to me and quietly said, “I made that ornament.” Immediately I was humble, thinking of every joke that had been said and every silly thing bantered about the room – especially the ones that I said.
My friend, Kelly, and her husband had moved here from out of state a year prior to partner in a business venture. Once here, thru a series of very hard circumstances, the partner took the business and they lost about everything. She daily, faithfully, waited on God’s provision as they walked a precarious tightrope, making sure their 3 small children had food and shelter every day and not knowing always where it would be coming from. I had learned snippets of God’s faithfulness, patience, goodness from watching her each day. I was crushed at my words – at the unintentional slap of my friends handiwork. She wanted to participate in this gift exchange game and couldn’t afford frivolous things, so she made a glass ornament with the fruit of the Spirit painted on it. It’s a beautiful reminder each year of the lessons learned then, God’s patience with me, & a sweet friend that God brought into our lives for a moment that gracefully taught lessons for a lifetime.

I love this ornament and think of her family every year as I set it always high on the tree – where God’s Word should be in our lives.

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guilt

This past weekend, guilt was my best friend. we snuggled up together & gathered my thoughts & figured out the amazing ways that i could feel poorly about every decision that i made. we talked about things that i might say, things, i did say, things i might do, things i might not, we decided that there was guilt to be had in everything. guilt made sure that i knew he was my ONLY friend & reassured me that others would not be close or ever want to be.
Guilt is a very selfish friend.

Allowing this friend into my life makes me miserable, but more importantly, he makes everyone else miserable, chases everyone away, causes arguments, alienates family and friends, and a host of other self-destructive issues that come along with his friendship.

Sometimes i wonder if guilt is a better friend because i allow him more access than the God that i love so much. Guilt makes sure that i know how little we deserve a relationship with the God who created us. Guilt makes sure to keep me alone so that others don’t try to pull me out of his closeness. Guilt makes sure that the only friends that are allowed in are self-loathing, hate, pity, and regret.

Like little minions, they surround the mind. Taunting. Laughing. Reveling in the brokenness of it all.

The only solution, the only way to fight this battle, is to turn to the One. Take the help that He offers. Take up the armour that He offers freely and FIGHT. Actively speak the words of life. Demand that guilt return to the pit from which he arose and take back the battlefield. Quit making guilt comfortable and demand that he leave the property. He will keep trying to return, so this battle will take a lifetime. But the One who battles with you and for you will never lose strength, never lose heart, never lose faith, never lose hope. He is the One who comes to break the chains that bind your mind and tear down the walls of steel and brick to free you from hate, sin, regret and give you hope & life more abundantly.

Therefore, strengthen the hands that are weak and the knees that are feeble, and make straight paths for your feet, so that the limb which is lame may not be put out of joint, but rather be healed.
Pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled. ~Hebrews 12:12-15

Today i pray for those whose minds are riddled with guilt, who are plagued by regret, & those that cannot break free on their own. i pray that God would free their minds and release their burdens and give them life and light in the battle. i pray they would have the strength to put on the whole armor and to speak the words out loud in their own lives and in the lives of others.


anxious

Monday, i woke up
stressed…
panicked…
anxious…
bad dreams had abruptly awoken me at 3am. trying to forget them, the next 3 hours were an attempted failure of sleep.
tossing…
turning…
worry covering the whole brain
like a fog.
it seemed the day would be shot before feet ever met floor that day.
what was the point of even getting up?
i trust God. i believe God. i walk in His truth. i walk in His love.
but the fog would not be shaken.
He beckoned me, as He had at 3am. “Come sit. Converse with Me. I AM the One who can help clear the fog.”
i finally relented, but there was not much time before the day would demand attention. even a short moment. spend time with the One.
One who cares. One who loves.
One who can break thru the loud screaming of defeat.
10330319_454732417995678_1954751774042352048_n
a
friend
sent
this
quote
there is truth within.

i was feeling depressed about things that have happened.

i was concentrating & worrying & stressing about things that have not yet happened. things that might never happen.
anxious about the future.
forgetting everything that God has helped us come thru.

forgetting all the miracles. the blessings. the past. the present.

TRUTH: living in the present. at peace. satisfied. not worrying. confident.

Philippians 4:6NLT
“Don’t worry about anything. Instead, pray about EVERYTHING. Tell God what you need & THANK HIM for ALL He’s done!”
Talk to Him.
Build your relationship with Him.
The stronger the relationship, the easier it is to entrust, be thankful, worry less about the things that have not yet come to be.

Psalm 37 NLT

Don’t worry about the wicked or envy those who do wrong.

For like grass, they soon fade away. Like spring flowers, they soon wither.

Trust in the Lord & do good.

Then you will live safely in the land & prosper.

Take delight in the Lord & He will give you your hearts desires.

Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust Him & He will help you.

He will make your innocence radiate like the dawn & the justice of your cause will shine like the noonday sun.

Be still in the presence of the Lord & wait patiently for Him to act.

Don’t worry about evil people who prosper or fret about their wicked schemes.

Stop being angry! Turn from your rage!

Do not lose your temper – it only leads to harm.

For the wicked will be destroyed

but those who trust in the Lord will possess the land…

Today i prayed for those…


secure

Psalm 22:9-10

Yet You brought me safely from my mother’s womb
and led me to trust You at my mother’s breast.
I was thrust into Your arms at my birth.
You have been my God from the moment I was born.

This verse. This morning. I wonder…

NLT: “Led me to trust You” & “Thrust into Your arms”. 
NIV: “Made me trust You” & “Cast on You”
NASB: “Made me trust” & “Upon You I was cast”
HCSB: “Making me secure” & “Given over to You”
KJV: “Make me hope” & “Cast upon Thee”

Those words. Trust. Secure. Hope. Do you feel them? There is action and life and love that can only be gotten from being cast upon, given over to, thrust into the arms of the One. Only One. He will lead you. He will cause trust, security, hope, in your life. But only if you cast your life upon Him.

Today i pray for those who are struggling to let go and trust. those who do not feel secure. those who cannot find hope. today i pray that the One who has brought us forth will lead them to a place of desire and show His lovingkindness in abundance.


unfailing

Psalm 13:1-2
How long, O Lord? Will You forget me forever?
How long will You hide Your face from me?
How long must I wrestle with my thoughts
and every day have sorrow in my heart?
How long will my enemy triumph over me?

today, we agonize with the many that we know and the many that we don’t, who are going thru financial crisis. So many are hurting. So many are losing their jobs, their homes, their livelihood. So many are scared. Fear creeps in thru the cracks and the crevices. Worry breaks down the doors and bursts thru the windows.

BUT GOD
we will remember the past
we will remember His faithfulness
we will remember His provision

13:3 Look on me and answer, Oh Lord my God

He is a God who does not forget those whom He has created. He is a God who wraps His arms around those who are His. He is a God who provides, who loves, who carries our burdens and gives us hope, purpose, life. we cry out HOW LONG… how long will i wrestle with my thoughts… how long will i have sorrow in my heart… how long…

13:5-6
BUT i trust in YOUR unfailing love
my heart rejoices in YOUR salvation
i will sing to the Lord for HE HAS BEEN GOOD to me…

today i pray that You would clear the minds of the weary and exhausted ones. i pray You would give new hope, fresh thoughts, and freedom from fear. i pray You would give answers and help and be a tangible presence in each one of our lives, Lord. we know that only You can rescue us from the depths of our mind and only You are able to refresh our day. only You, Lord, can make something from nothing and deliverance from hopelessness. we plead and plead for You to deliver us from this agony today and give us joy and peace and life from the depths of Your unfailing love…


trust

Psalm 33:1
“Let the godly sing for joy to the Lord; it is fitting for the pure to praise Him.”

TODAY I choose to trust God. Not just to trust Him, but to trust IN Him. To rely on his promise and to stand on the past. He is a gracious, loving, generous God who has walked us through many storms faithfully. Not because we have been faithful, but because He is faithful. He has walked us through more storms that we have created through our own poor choices as well as many that have been brought to us to make us stronger.

Psalm 33:4
“For the word of the Lord holds true and we can trust everything He does.”
I WILL rely on His promise
I WILL stand on His truth
I WILL rest in the peaceful moments
I WILL trust in the chaotic moments

It is a choice to stand in faith and remember that He is God and i am not. He is the One who looks down from heaven and sees the beginning from the end. He knows our fate before we arrive. I do not know the outcome of this day, but I trust that He does and I will choose to trust in the promise that He loves us and wants our best. He wants to bring our best out of us and sometimes that is painful.
Psalm 33:5  “He loves whatever is just and good; the unfailing love of the Lord fills the earth.”

Psalm 33:18-21
“But the Lord watches over those who fear Him, those who rely on His unfailing love.”
“He rescues them from death and keeps them alive in times of famine.”
“We put our hope in the Lord. He is our help and our shield.”
“In Him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in His holy name.”

Today i prayed that we would choose to trust God, to trust in His love, in His promise, His future for us. I pray that we will remind ourselves of His work in the past, that we would remember where He has brought us from, that we would remember each situation that caused us fear in the past and how He was there with us always. I pray that worry would be far from our minds and far from our hearts as we take these steps into the unknown future and know that even tho we can not see what’s coming, He can. i pray that we would be patient, learning to wait on His time and not force things out of fear. i pray that we remember to rejoice in Him and trust in His holy name.

Psalm 33:22
“Let your unfailing love surround us, Lord, for our hope is in You alone.”


defeated

I SURRENDER!
I QUIT!
done…finished…broken

There are days where the immediate problems and worries of life weigh so heavily that you feel crushed under the pressure. These are the days where fasting comes naturally. The body has no appetite. The knees are weak and collapse in prayer throughout the day. The pressure is so great. The fear grips the chest like a vise.

I wonder if these are the days that God is forming the diamond in us. He sees so much more than we are able.

Surrendering doesn’t mean resting, idle, stagnant. It is one of the hardest things anybody ever does. It is a deliberate, active, physically exhausting act that takes every ounce of energy in the body and soul to let go. It is why so many do not surrender to Him until they have lost everything they hold on to so tightly. If we force ourselves to let go before the moment of losing everything, He can work in so many miraculous ways.

These are the days that we must not succumb to the lie. These are the days that we must not isolate ourselves. These are the days when we must physically attempt to peel our hands from the things we hold on to so tightly, the things that we think life will not go on without, our security. These are the days that we must cry out from the depth of our soul…

God, my God, where have you gone? Why are you so far off?
Day by day I cry out to you,
Night by night and still I hear nothing

You are enthroned as the holy one
The praise of our fathers, the hope of our sons
You have been known, Lord, to rescue us.
So why are you so far off?

Lord be my strength, Lord be my song.
Lord be my shelter. Be not far off.

{Justin McRoberts, Grace Must Wound: Be Not Far Off (Psalm 22)}

Today i prayed for those in the final stages of the race, those who are crushed and do not think they can take it one more day. Today i pray that You would give them strength to get thru the next minute, the next hour, the next day. Today i pray that You, the God of the Universe – the Maker of Everything – the God who Loves, would surround each one with Your unfailing, unmatchable peace, love, comfort. Today i pray You would bring along those who will help hold the burden for a minute more, that you would give security in an insecure world and safety and protection.

This world has no hope without the One who gave it life and we cannot go on without the One who sustains us each day. So today i prayed for hope in the midst of defeat…


John Wesley Reid

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