God Is Greater Than Whatever We Face in 2018

Are you discouraged or afraid of what awaits us in this new year? Perhaps while others are singing “Happy New Year,” you are entering this year with worry about what’s around the corner for us in this journey of life.

I think being a worrywart is my life’s default mode. It can weigh my heart down so much that I have trouble remembering how strong God is to overcome the giants blocking the way. I compare myself with the giants instead of comparing the giants with God.

I’m learning step by step to trust God and His all-sufficient grace more than the giants. And more than my feelings. My feelings can sway with the wind and can be misleading. They can cause me to cower and curl up in a ball of defeat when the giants overshadow me. They tell me that God has forgotten to be merciful in this world.

Not true! God’s Almighty power, love, and faithfulness never sway or change. God is loyal, constant, and steadfast. He was faithful in the past, He will be faithful today, and He will remain faithful in our future. He still has this whole world and every single heart in His hands.

So does He condemn us when we do worry? Never! There is NO condemnation in Christ Jesus. (Romans 8:1) Others may tell us worry is a sin and we should “just have faith,” making our burdens even greater. But God knows how weak and frail we humans can be. He understands us more than anyone. His patience with us is bottomless. His love for us never lessens when we slip into worry or distrust of His plans.

Isn’t His love amazing?! No matter what we do or don’t do, He just keeps on drawing us into His love and inviting us to surrender our anxiety and burdens into His Almighty Hands and His all-sufficient grace.

“Come to Me,
all you who are weary and burdened,
and I will give you rest.”
Matthew 11:28

We cannot know what will happen this year, and it’s a good thing we don’t. But God always knows. He has plans for each and every one of us. Plans to prosper us and not to harm us. Plans to give us a hope and a future.

Does this mean there won’t be struggles, losses, or pain in our lives? Definitely not. Here we will have trouble. But the wonder is that even when it “feels” like God’s designs are against us, the absolute truth is that He is still working out everything towards our good.

The hope and future He plans to give us may seem a long time coming. But it will come, because He is a faithful Promise-Keeper. Someday our journeys here will end in a most glorious conclusion.

Meanwhile, may we take His hand and follow Him wherever He may lead us in this year, remembering that He has promised to be our refuge through all the storms in life and our Almighty strength in all our weakness. We are safe in His hands. He has proved that in the past, and He will continue to be our help today and in the future.

“God is our refuge and strength [mighty and impenetrable],
A very present and well-proved help in trouble.”
Psalm 46:1 AMP

“You Raise Me Up”
by Josh Groban

“When I am down and, oh, my soul, so weary;
When troubles come and my heart burdened be;
Then I am still and wait here in the silence,
Until You come and sit awhile with me.

You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains;
You raise me up to walk on stormy seas;
I am strong when I am on Your shoulders;
You raise me up to more than I can be…”


Precious Lord, Take My Hand

Do you have a song that often springs up in your thoughts when you feel weary and overwhelmed? One that identifies with the deepest longings of your heart? One that helps you to keep taking the next step forward?

Have you ever heard of the hymn “Precious Lord, Take My Hand?” It was written in 1932 by a man who lost his wife during childbirth. Their child, who seemed fine, died a couple of days later. In the throes of grief and despondency, Thomas Dorsey one day sat down at the piano and began to sing this song that we can identify with and be blessed by yet today.

I cannot count the times, whether I’m weary in body, mind, or spirit, when the words of this hymn bubble up in my heart as a desperate plea to God. The weariness isn’t immediately replaced with energy. The troubles overwhelming me don’t go away. There is no instant light in the stormy darkness of my soul. But there is a quiet strength in my spirit that reminds me God is with me. He will help me and get me through whatever is wearying or stressing me and He will keep leading me on to His light. And someday I will forever be home in His Presence.

“Precious Lord, take my hand,
Lead me on, let me stand
I am tired, I am weak, I am worn;
Through the storm, through the night,
Lead me on to the light:
Take my hand, precious Lord,
Lead me home.”

As frail, broken children, we need God’s constant reassurance that He is leading us by His precious hand further on this journey to hope, healing, and freedom. It is a journey of pain and sadness, but it is also a journey of hope in Jesus. This same Jesus who had the power to rise from the dead has the power to hold us up. He descended into the darkest depths of despair and yet rose out of it. This same Jesus has the power to pull us up out of the pit of despair and despondency. He who has the power to walk on water and calm the raging seas will get us through every storm and night in our lives. Thank You, Jesus!

What song has special meaning to you?
Why? Will you share with us?

 

Opening Our Hearts to the (Son)shine

sunofrighteousness
Have you ever taken time to close your eyes, hold your face to the sunshine and feel the strength of its rays penetrate through your skin? Deep enough to wrap your heart in a warm, cozy blanket?

I love to see mourning doves and robins sunbathe outside my office window. They stretch out their wings and tail and expose them to the warm rays of the sun.

Why do they do this? For the warmth? I was curious, so I researched and found there are various reasons birds sunbathe. I was especially awed by the most important of them. They stretch out their wings and fluff up the feathers on their backs and heads so that as much of their plumage and skin as possible will be exposed to the sun’s rays. There are tiny parasites that can infect their feathers and cause problems with their flight and insulation, thus affecting their survival. The heat of the sun drives these insects out of their hiding places so birds have easier access to them when they preen. Amazing how God created these survival skills, isn’t it?DSC_0094

Parasites get their food from or at the expense of another. What parasites do we have in our lives? What parasites eat away the life and energy of our spirits and infect us with negative feelings and lies?

There are so many of them, so I’ll only mention two of them that especially settle in deep and infect my spirit, that inhibit me from flying free in Jesus.

Insecurity eats away our confidence and pulls us back into a shell of “I can’t. I’ll never be good enough.”

Shame poisons our perspective and degrades us with “Something is wrong with you. You are nothing but ugly scum. You’ll always be deficient, defective, and worthless as a human being.”

It seems a lifelong process to get rid of them and keep them out. But we can learn so much from sunbathing birds. Like the heat of the sun dislodges the parasites, so the sunshine of God’s love can drive out those latched-on parasites that unsettle our spirits.

If birds don’t expose the parasites to the sun’s heat, the pests will devour their ability to fly and to survive. Likewise, if we don’t expose all our parasites to the (Son)shine of God’s love, we will remain miserable. Merely existing. Not thriving. Not feeling the fullness of His love. Not flying free in Jesus.

After the sun’s heat dislodges the parasites in birds, they further preen them out or they will slip right back into their hiding places again. So we need to keep on preening ourselves with God’s promises of who we really are in Him, always on alert for the devil who loves to send insecurity and shame right back into the deep recesses of our hearts.

Yes, our hearts can get so weary. Our spirits are willing, but our flesh is weak. We long for deeper healing, for the extermination of those parasites, but we can feel so helpless and hopeless.

But Jesus cares. He knows our weakness and longs for us to grab onto His strength. The sunshine of His love is always shining with warmth and healing. He yearns for us to open our hearts, to expose all those parasites to the (Son)shine.

Godwhispers

My precious child

In Me you are

Always enough

Always capable

Of great value

So beautiful

Trust me My beloved

Open your heart

To My love

My grace

My healing

My love has power 

To heal you

To give you

Freedom to fly

shame no longer has you

“His brightness is like the sunlight;
He has [bright] rays flashing from His hand,
And there [in the sunlike splendor]
is the hiding place of His power.”
Habakkuk 3:4 AMP

“But for you who revere My name,
the Sun of righteousness will rise
with healing in its rays.
And you will go out and
frolic like well-fed calves.”
Malachi 4:2

And [I pray] that the eyes of your heart
[the very center and core of your being]
may be enlightened [flooded with light by the Holy Spirit],
so that you will know and cherish the hope
[the divine guarantee, the confident expectation]
to which He has called you, the riches of
His glorious inheritance in the saints (God’s people)”
Ephesians 1:18 AMP

A Child's Trust“Who I Am in Christ”


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Linking up with: 

Holley – Coffee For Your Heart 

Jennifer – Tell His Story 

Kelly – Cheerleaders of Faith

Barbie – Weekend Whispers

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