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…”


It All Starts With Jesus

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Hi Everyone. I hope you had a hope-filled Christmas, even if you’re in the midst of grief, loneliness, or confusion. Perhaps even burdened with shame or fear. Life isn’t always easy, is it? I have been thinking of you all, whether I know you in person, online, or not at all. I hope each of you may find this place a safe haven and a harbor of hope. Know you are always welcome here. I continue to pray for you, knowing God knows each one of you and not one of you is out of His reach. May 2017 be a year filled with the unconditional love and the sufficient grace of Jesus for each of you!

For three years now, I have chosen a “One Word” and tried to focus on it throughout the year. To trust God more fully. To follow Him more devotedly. To open the broken places in my heart to His healing love and grace. Each action is not confined to a single year but is a continual learning process in life’s journey.

Now it is the beginning of another year, and I prayed about what word I should choose. So many words fought for my attention. As I struggled as to which one God wanted me to choose, questions pummeled at me. Why do I always pick words that involve something “I” need to “do?” Yes, we are called to be active, not passive, in seeking for God, but… Why don’t I concentrate more on just resting in God’s arms of love and grace? Why don’t I focus more on Jesus who is the only source of grace that enables me to do anything at all?

“Not because of who I am
But because of what You’ve done.
Not because of what I’ve done
But because of who You are.”
(Casting Crowns in “Who Am I?”)

So I decided not to pick one word this year. I just want to focus on my life being more about Jesus and His grace. Not about what “I” need to “do” for Him, but about what He has done for me. With John the Baptist, my desire is:

“He must become greater and greater,
and I must become less and less.”
John 3:30

Jesus is the Source of all hope, healing, and freedom. He offers us a bottomless pool of His love and grace. When our hearts are filled with His living water, hope replaces despair. Our wounds are soothed and the ointment of His grace heals our hurts. The chains of shame and insecurity that hold us captive must fall away to the freedom to fly in Jesus.

As I looked back over this past year, I found the most visited post for 2016 was God’s Love Can Shine Through Our Brokenness. We so easily see ourselves as cracked pots that are good for nothing, but we need to remember that more light can shine through a cracked pot than a whole one.

So as we head into 2017, let’s remember God uses the broken. And it all starts with Jesus.

Perhaps you are entering this new year with a heavy heart. So many troubles that overwhelm your soul. Hurting? Rejected? Alone? Does it feel like your hopes are crushed and your prayers go unanswered?

God’s heart aches for you even though He may seem so silent and so far away. He has promised to be with you. It may not feel like it sometimes, but He is faithful to His promises.

“Don’t be afraid, for I am with you.
Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you.
I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.”
Isaiah 41:10
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Courtesy of Darrell Creswell

A Child's Trust

Who Am I?
by Casting Crowns

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My One Word for 2015: Follow

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First of all, I want to wish you all a Blessed New Year. If you are hurting right now, I pray your heavy load will be lifted and you will find peace in Jesus! I wish you all loads of love, peace, and joy in 2015!

Looking back over the past year of writing, I have so much to be grateful for. When I read WordPress’ year-end report for 2014, I was awed to see visitors came here from 93 different countries. Thank you all for taking the time to stop in at my site. Whether you commented or not, I hope you have received hope in Jesus. And thank you for caring thoughts, prayers, and encouragement. They have confirmed to me that God wants me to keep on writing here. May I ask you to pray for me? That I will write only with an eye to His glory and not my own?

My One Word for 2014 was TRUST. As we neared the end of another year, I had to ask, “Lord, have I grown at all in trusting You?” Sometimes I think I do trust Him more to be a loving Father with pure intentions, but I have trouble still with placing my whole heart and life in His hands. I remain a work in progress. One day, when I am with Jesus forever, I will finally come to trust completely – no fears, no hesitations, no reservations. What a glorious day that will be!

As 2014 neared its end, my heart struggled to find a word for 2015. What do I want to focus on? What is lacking in my life? And so many words jumbled together in my mind.

Then I woke up on New Year’s Day facing the uncertainties of what 2015 would bring. I prayed that I would follow Jesus, not always try to run ahead of Him. As I discussed this with my husband, he repeated the phrase we love to remind ourselves of – “I don’t need to understand; I just need to hold Your hand.”

Yes! This is what I need throughout the year. To FOLLOW Jesus! To more and more give up my own way and surrender to His way. To cling to His hand, to not let go to find my own paths.

So easily I make my plan and then ask the Lord to bless it instead of waiting quietly at Jesus’ feet to hear what His plan for my life is and then take His hand and follow.

Then Jesus said to His disciples,
“Whoever wants to be My disciple
must deny themselves and
take up their cross and follow Me.”
Matthew 16:24

So what does the word “FOLLOW” mean for me in 2015?

  1. To surrender to God’s plans and let go of mine. I need to let go of my self-made plans and let Jesus direct me according to His plans for me. To trust Him, to cling to His hand, and follow Him in whichever paths He leads me.
  2. To strive for God’s glory, not mine. I want to let go of selfish desires. I often confuse “selfish” with anything I do for myself. But God’s plan is clearly written in His Word that I should take care of myself. I need to search my heart and sort out what selfish really means. Selfish is anything that elevates myself more than God. Specifically, I want to stop striving for approval and validation from people, longing to be recognized and elevated, and to focus on glorifying God in all I do, say, think, or write.
  3. To focus on the cross Jesus carried for me and be willing to follow His footsteps. To be willing to die to myself out of love for Him and for hurting souls. To accept what happens in my life as guided by His hand of love. To believe that no matter what happens, it is meant to prosper me and mold me more into His image and to His glory.
  4. To swallow Truth and spew out lies. Too easily I am led along by negative voices, either from my own insecurity or from the devil who wants to discourage me. I want to follow God’s Truth with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength and to keep a tight grasp on who I really am in Him.

Do you have a word you’d like to focus on this year? What does it mean for you?

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“You Lead, I’ll Follow”
By Jamie Grace

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Praying we will hang onto Jesus’ hand
and let Him lead us!

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Linking up with: 

Holley – Coffee For Your Heart 

Jennifer – Tell His Story 

Kelly – Cheerleaders of Faith

Bonnie – Faith Barista’s Beloved Brews