Being Renewed While Wasting Away

Today was the funeral of my uncle who passed away about a week ago.  His life was one of physical difficulty.  I heard from his pastor that my uncle had recently shared Psalm 119:71, “It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I might learn your statutes.”  My uncle suffered from the physical problems.  However, he rejoiced that God taught him Biblical truth.  He passed that truth on to his children.  I am watching my cousins working on passing on that truth to their children. What a beautiful legacy.

I do not want to diminish the harsh reality of physical suffering.  I can assure you; I struggle counting my own trials joy.  However, I have seen God use various difficulties to help His people grow.  Growing spiritually is a worthwhile pursuit.

Dear Heavenly Father, please comfort my family as they grieve.  I ask that You wrap Your loving arms around them to remind how much You love them.  Thank You for the spiritual growth You send through trials. Please help us to cling to You.

I pray this in Jesus’ name.

God is so good.

Payback

This verse can be challenging to obey.  We usually want to retaliate or at least see the person held accountable.  However, God’s Word commands us to seek to do good.  This doesn’t mean to reward evil – this just gives us a guideline for our actions when we face evil.  God will hold the wicked accountable (Romans 12:19).  This is His job. 

As we struggle watching the wicked seem to get away with their evil, we need to remember that every knee will bow to God (Romans 14:11).  We should desire that people bow the knee now while they have the chance to accept Jesus Christ as their personal Savior.  Pray and share the gospel while there is time.

Dear Heavenly Father, please help us as we struggle watching the wicked seem to succeed.  Give us the courage and strength to share the gospel so the wicked can change their ways.  Thank You for Your plan to hold the wicked accountable.  I praise Your name.

I pray this in Jesus’ name.

God is so good.

A Good Word

We have seen so many forms of anxiety in the last year and a half.  Life has been challenging.  However, there are many forms of help available.  I have been amazed at how powerful positive words can be.  Unfortunately, negative words can have a strong affect also.

I think if we were to give a “good word” more often, we would be amazed at the affects.  I received several “good words” after I shared my health diagnosis earlier this year.  I still have cards posted on my living room wall.  The sentiments in them are so encouraging.  I recently did some digging to find similar cards.  I want to be an encourager.  I know firsthand how beneficial it can be.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the many encouraging words that I have received.  I pray that You would help all of us to find ways to share good words to each other.

I pray this in Jesus’ name.

God is so good.

When I Feel Alone

Last week I wrote about never being alone.  It is true – when a person places their trust in Christ, they will never be alone.  However, there are tough times when we feel alone.  We need to remember that we should be seeking God on a daily basis.  God holds on to us, but also asks us to seek Him.

The next time you are feeling alone, think about how much you have been seeking Christ.  If you have – keep seeking Him.  If you have not – start seeking Him today.  He will allow you to find Him (Jeremiah 29:13).

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for reminding us to seek You.  Thank You that it is possible to find You.  Please help me to continually seek You.

I pray this in Jesus’ name.

God is so good.

I Am Not Alone

As I faced doctors’ appointments and surgery earlier this year, I heard comments of people worried that I was alone.  Being single, I don’t have a spouse to go with me or support me through a health journey.  While the support of a spouse is comforting, God sent me comfort other ways.  I had a friend who drove me to 3 appointments and spoke up during some overwhelming times.  I had friends praying for me, sending me cards and text messages, giving me hugs at church.  I had the help of my parents at surgery time.

While I went to my second opinion appointments without another person, I know God was with me.  He has been with me for many years through both good times and bad. God doesn’t leave just because I hear a diagnosis that I don’t like.  God’s faithfulness becomes more precious through health issues. 

God promises so many times in His word that He will never leave us.  He is close, so I am never alone.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for being close no matter what is going on in my life.  Thank You that I don’t ever have to be alone, no matter who in this life is beside me.

I pray this in Jesus’ name.

God is so good.

Complete and Total Trust

This last week I have been fighting a different battle.  The company that manages my employer’s disability policy does not have the information they want to process my claim.  I have been confused and felt hassled trying to be the go-between to get this situation resolved.  I have needed the reminder to pray and trust the Lord completely.  God has this situation in hand, just as He had my surgery and recovery taken care of.

Life is full of various challenges.  God has the ability to take care of us through anything He allows in our lives.  I need to rely completely and totally on God to be able to make it through those situations.

Dear Heavenly Father, Thank You for providing secure footing when I rely completely on You.  Please help me when I struggle to trust You completely.  I know You are trustworthy. 

I pray this in Jesus’ name.

God is so good.

All Sufficiency

God’s grace is an amazing gift.  2 Corinthians 9:8 tells us that God’s grace gives us all sufficiency…in all things…at all times.  All is a big concept in a little word.  All or nothing is rarely true – it IS true when talking about God.  Only God can be that consistent. 

When times are tough it can feel like we don’t have enough.  Worry and fear set in and we don’t respond well or do well in trials.  I want to live this verse especially in the next week as I have pre-op appointments and surgery.  There will be plenty of challenges, but my God is bigger than the challenges and my fervent prayer is that God’s name will be glorified through my life. 

Dear Heavenly Father, please show Yourself strong in the upcoming week.  I want to see and show others that Your grace will give all sufficiency in all things at all times.  I know You will as I give my circumstances to You.

I pray this in Jesus’ name.

God is so good.

Taking a Break

This week I hit the proverbial brick wall.  I had been to several appointments in 2 ½ weeks and while I had the blessings of many nice people, I think I just reached the point of exhaustion.  There was so much push to start with I felt I had to make a decision and get going.  While I don’t like crashing, it pushed me to seek a second opinion.  I will be heading to Cancer Treatment Centers of America in about 2 weeks.  I like their integrated approach including working with the patient to help them understand and feel comfortable with the decisions being made.

While it is important to work through medical issues without delay, it is nice to have a break.  Taking time to rest is important.  We tend to hurry through life, and it can take its toll.  I will thoroughly enjoy no appointments for a time.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for a short time of rest from medical appointments.  Thank You for the encouragement from the staff at CTCA.  They have been a blessing.  Please help me to cling to You and show You to others as I face this journey.

I pray this in Jesus’ name.

God is so good.

Do the Next Thing

1. From an old English parsonage, down by the sea,
There came in the twilight a message for me;
Its quaint Saxon legend, deeply engraven,
It has, seems to me, God’s teaching from Heaven.
And on through the hours the quiet words ring,
Like a low inspiration: “DO THE NEXT THING.”

2. Many a questioning, many a fear,
Many a doubt has its quieting here.
Moment by moment, let down from Heaven,
Time, opportunity, guidance are given.
Fear not tomorrows, child of the King,
Trust them with Jesus. DO THE NEXT THING.

3. Do it immediately; do it with prayer;
Do it reliantly, casting all care;
Do it with reverence, tracing Christ’s hand
Who placed it before you with earnest command,
Stayed on Omnipotence, safe ‘neath His wing,
Leave all resultings. DO THE NEXT THING.

4. Looking to Jesus, ever serener,
Working or suffering, let this be your demeanor.
In His dear presence, the rest of His calm,
Let the light of Christ’s countenance be your psalm.
Strong in His faithfulness, praise and sing!
Then, as He commands you, DO THE NEXT THING.

Author Unknown

This poem was popularized by Elizabeth Elliot.  It is loaded with truth.  There are difficulties in life.  We will not be 100% free from them while we live.  God has given us tools to keep moving forward.  He has given us His word and other believers to help us along the way.  All we need to do is cling to Him and “do the next thing”.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for providing a way to do the next thing.  I ask for Your help as many of us are weary and don’t feel as though we can continue.  Please give us strength and help us to honor You.

I pray this in Jesus’ name.

God is so good.

Faith Over Fear

We continue to see negative circumstances dramatized before our eyes in the news, on social media – seemingly everywhere we look.  I was struck by a statement from a minister from California.

“Fear always attracts the information needed to legitimize its existence.” 

Bill Johnson

Fear is a powerful emotion.  If we don’t keep fear in check, we will see through the cloudy lens of that emotion.  Too often we let biases and emotions take over and we don’t view our circumstances through the lens of the truth of Scripture.  In crazy times like ours, we need to cling to truth.  We need the grace and wisdom of God to guide us through the bombardment of information and opinions.

There are scary things going on.  However, God promises to take care of us.  We are more important than birds and flowers, but God takes care of all of us.  Matthew 6 reminds us of that. So, friend, don’t worry about tomorrow.  Allow God’s grace and wisdom to guide your thoughts and decisions each day.

Dear Heavenly Father, we struggle with fear.  Please shape our thoughts according to Your truth. Thank You for caring for even the birds and flowers as well as us.

I pray this in Jesus’ name.

God is so good.