Comfort Like None Other

“Who comforts us in all our afflictions, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction.”  (2 Corinthians 1:4 ESV)

My eyes met her tear-filled eyes as we both stood at the door of the hospital room of her sweet daughter.  I could feel the gaze of discomfort on her face.  Her girl child was lying hooked to every machine that medicine could offer to keep her alive.  Her gaze made me stop in my tracks and reach out to here.  She said, “My heart goes out to the family in the waiting room.  Their mother is dying.”  She had spent time with them in their grief and distress giving comfort.  Her situation was dire but her heart for that time was focused on the comforting of others.  She had spent time with Jesus in deep sorrow and distress yet remained hopeful.  She had graciously received that soothing hope from God and could now come outside of her own discomfort and soothe another grieving soul. 

Sister, we can go through some tough times in the scheme of life.  In our difficult circumstance, God will comfort so that we can give comfort to others.  Be willing to receive comfort from Jesus.  It is in that place that we can extend to others the comfort that God has given us.

Prayer

Dearest Father, Thank you so much for your gracious love.  Your comfort in difficult times is sweet in the midst of bitterness.  Help me to receive that comfort and in turn comfort someone in need.  I bless your Holy name.  In Jesus’ name I pray.  Amen.

Well Met Challenges

“Therefore, lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees , and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed.”  (Hebrews 12:12-13 ESV)

We are forever met with challenges that test our faith.  No matter what season we are in, I am sure we are navigating challenge.  Some of these shake us to our very core and leave us crippled and without strength.  It can leave us mentally and spiritually exhausted.

The writer of Hebrews chapter 12 gives us remedy and encouragement when we are depleted.  First, he encourages us not to faint.  Sister, once you faint, you can’t do anything.  We are encouraged to lift our weak hands.  Reach with new purpose while praising Him that gives more might.  We must strengthen our knees and stand firm.  God sees.  Contemplate the path that is set before you and me. What is it to accomplish?  With belief in what God is doing, with intention and purpose, we must put one foot in front of the other.  As we step in faith, the path will become clear.  Isaiah 42:16 declares that God will bring those that are blind in a path that they do not know.  Let the difficulties accomplish what it is supposed to.  Remember, let’s keep our eyes on the cleared path so healing can be achieved.

Prayer

Father in heaven.  Give me courage to face the challenges in life.  Help me to be strengthened through your power.  Help me to see with clarity the path that is set before me.  In Jesus’ name I pray. AMEN

God in the Middle

“The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love, he will exult over you with loud singing.”  (Zephaniah 3:17 ESV)

God sees you.  That is a simple enough statement.  We say it all the time.  When we are going through a difficult time and we need to encourage ourselves we whisper it in our hearts.  When we want to encourage others, we declare it as a fact.  Sometimes, even when we question if God truly does see what is happening in life, we say it with a twinge of doubt.  How is it possible in our world of 7.7 billion people that God sees you? 

Let me tell you!  Our God not only sits on the throne and his eyes run to and fro throughout the whole earth, (2 Chronicles 16:9) our strong and mighty God positions Himself in the very midst of His faithful children.  And while He is centered on you, He delights and rejoices in who you are.  Envision that!  The presence of the King of Glory right in the middle of your joys, difficulties and just plain old life.   When He sees you in trouble, He is ready to deliver and settles your heart just because He loves you.  Our mighty God sees you and He sings over you.  Imagine what that heavenly music sound like!

Prayer

Oh Lord in Heaven, thank you so much for keeping your eyes on me.  I praise your Holy Name for being in the midst of my everyday life.  I ask that you give me the courage to separate myself from anything that separates me from you.  In Jesus name. Amen.  

Confident Hearing

“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)

One thing in life that causes me much apprehension is questioning whether I have heard from God.  It can stop me dead in my tracks.  It can bring out all kinds of bad habits like procrastination, wavering or just not doing the thing.  How many of you go through that same song and dance?  I knew that I needed to address the issue of my heart and I wanted to share with you what God laid on my heart.  And yes! It was Him speaking. 

The Bible says, “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) God has given you and I an opening into receiving guidance from Him. We have been promised the Holy Spirit to guide us. (John 16:13) Ask for guidance and believe in the promise. When we set up the barriers of wondering if God is speaking to us, we open the door for doubt and close the doors that give us the benefits of being an ambassador of Jesus Christ.  Anticipate with confidence that God will guide you.  

Prayer

My Father.  Thank you so much for offering the gift of the Holy Spirit.  Please help my heart to be tuned into what the Spirit reveal.  Forgive me for ever doubting your goodness of revelation.  In Jesus name we pray. Amen.

Resting in Sweet Forgiveness

Have you ever thought, “Am I actually forgiven”?  Has forgiveness been an aloof concept that we just can’t seem to get our hands on?    In the scheme of our lives, most of us have done something that didn’t quite jive with God.  Whether through hurting someone with our words or deeds-intentionally or unintentionally.  Or some act that has affected our own lives.

 Our heart’s deed flashes before our consciousness and there it is! 

Heart Conviction.

Confession seems right for the soul.

“Lord, I confess.  Please forgive.”

For 20 years, I sat in the dark abyss of uncertain forgiveness. This was a place that gnawed at my very spirit.  It seemed that everything that went wrong in life pointed to that moment where I had failed God.  What a way to live.  No freedom.  I didn’t recognize this as the voice of condemnation from the enemy of souls.  If I had only been hearing and seeing past my own self, I would have seen and heard the voice of God calling me by name and telling me that I am redeemed.

The foundation of forgiveness is found in 1 John 1:9.  “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” The simple yet elaborate “pardon plan” is consistent with the abundance of overflowing grace.  This was a design that only the sovereign God could devise. 

There you go!  Here is the plan!

I need you to get this!

Redemption.  Sweet deliverance and liberation through His precious blood.  The old rugged cross placed as a way of undeserving pardon.  A fountain that opens up, cleanses and refreshes the pleading soul each time you and I come before God in confession and asking for pardon. 

Yes, forgiveness is within our reach.  “In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace.”  Ephesians 1:7.

Be Still

Deep breath in.  Deep breath out.  I have got to get myself still.  My heart was feeling hurried and rushed.  I needed to get some words on paper and it just wasn’t happening.  My commitment to “just write” once a week was becoming quite the ordeal.  An ordeal over the past couple of weeks that usually turned into nothing.  Nada.   A blank computer screen.  What was I thinking when I considered this off the wall idea as part of my goal-setting?   “Just write!”   Write about what?

Getting still was becoming hard to pin down. Quite frustrating actually.   Within 15 minutes, I had fretfully reviewed my writing goals on my phone app. The aroma of the food that I had simmering in the pot overtook my attention and I was off to have a taste.  I sat back down and then scurried off to floss my teeth.  Where is the focus here?

Have you ever felt where you just could not get yourself to find that point of focus?  What about that place where you could settle your thoughts and actually get a task done?

I finally sat and bowed my head in quiet surrendered prayer.  My heart soon settled and my thoughts became more clear.  I just waited with the assurance that He would soon reveal Himself.  In the moment, I began to realize my dependence on Him.  His voice, as I was busy striving with Him was to simply “get still”. 

We are commanded in Psalms 46:10 to “Be still, and know that I am God.”  We are instructed to stop striving with God.  Relax.  He will reveal Himself.  Simply be in His presence as we wait.

God has proven himself each time as I have sat down in front of a blank computer screen with hands poised and ready to type.   I have learned to just be with Him.  Not even for the singular purpose of “getting something on paper” but simply just to know Him in the moment.