Fear Not

FTI Fear not quote pic

Fear not. Fear not. Fear not. This is what the Lord keeps saying to me. However, to say yesterday was a distressing day is an understatement. There were multiple conversations with doctors, by phone and in person, with me asking as many questions as I could to help me decide whether to pull the plug or not on my next recommended surgery…which happens to be today.

Did I let fear overwhelm me? Yes. In a major way.

But, as God does, He spoke again. I came home and just wanted to collapse from the weight of it all. But before I settled into the couch, I picked up the open Bible on the table nearby and settled into His word.

I had it opened to the Psalms but there is a devotional text in this particular Bible that had a quote from Isaiah which seems to be finding it’s way to me through various sources. My eyes landed on this:

“For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.” Isaiah 41:13

So, I’m holding onto His hand today and trusting He will help me. If you are going through a trial, this is for you too. God always keeps His promises.

Here’s one of those ways God sent this message to me. This video teaching from Andy Stanley is worth a watch.


Can We Trust God Enough to Say “Thy Will Be Done?”

Thy Will Be Done PicI hope what is written here and the song that follows will encourage you today.

 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!  Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:4-7

That’s exactly what I need. Peace. A safeguard from dark, negative thoughts and a gateway to joy.

Matthew Henry, in his commentary of this passage, writes:

“Observe, It is our duty and privilege to rejoice in God, and to rejoice in him always; at all times, in all conditions; even when we suffer for him, or are afflicted by him. We must not think the worse of him or of his ways for the hardships we meet with in his service.”

I’ve been thinking about the statement at the end of that video I shared in my last post…the part about how if he loses his sister, he knows he will get angry with God, but that basically God would understand. (I’m very much paraphrasing and summarizing here.)

I think he is trying to express his belief in God’s relentless love for us in spite of our doubt-ridden hearts. I get that. At the same time, in case anyone is unclear, I think we all understand that turning away from God in our despair is never a real option, because He is our ONLY hope.

I’ve heard it said that our suffering does not nullify the goodness of God. He is unchanging, after all. So, may our grieving cause us to hold tight to Him, to the truth of His word and to the faith He has given us. May we trust Him enough to say, “Thy will be done,” just as Jesus taught us to pray.

This journey the Lord has me on right now is not easy. My surgery is scheduled for this week and It seems fear and anxiety are popping up at every turn. But Jesus promised that he would never leave me and, with His help, I can do this.

Rejoice. Pray. Ask. Give Thanks. Find Peace.

Life is hard but God is here and He is my hope. I’m thankful that, even when things look bad, I can choose to dwell on the good.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
Philippians 4:8

I’m listening to and loving this new song by Hillary Scott! It’s a timely message for me and anyone else out there who is facing a challenge in their life. If that’s you, take a moment to watch this and be blessed!

Part of the lyric says this:

I know you see me;
I know you hear me, Lord.Your plans are for me;
Goodness you have in store.
So, Thy will be done…

Are you discouraged? I pray the Lord gives you the peace you are seeking right now. Reach out to Him. He sees you. He hears you. He loves you.

Praise Him

After some recent days (more like a lifetime, really) of ups and downs and worry and striving, God once again showed Himself faithful.

And when you’ve seen His power and grace revealed in so many ways, you tend to fall to your knees in thankful praise.

Just like the multitudes of angels and all creatures, great and small, who are sending up an anthem to our great God and King this very minute.

Let’s all join in!

“Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.” Revelation 4:11

Joining Sharing His Beauty link up.

Are you singing God’s praises today? Maybe you’d like to share a testimony in the comments.

By the way, don’t forget to come back for Harvest Party Wednesday and subscribe to enter my giveaway which ends on Nov. 19th.

It’s Not Over ‘Til It’s Over!

“Come on! You can do it!” That’s me. Shouting at the television screen again.

My husband shakes his head and grins, marveling at my naivete.

I grin back and remind him that “It’s not over ’til it’s over.”

You see, I’m one of those people who believes that an underdog team can come back to win. Even if it’s in the last few seconds of the game. Even if it looks hopeless.

Because, no matter what the odds are, miracles DO happen!

And I wonder why this sort of optimism and confidence is so hard to consistently apply to my own life.

After all, I believe the promises. I do. I read the scriptures and see where Jesus healed the sick and raised the dead and walked on water and I know I can put my trust in the Maker of Miracles.

 “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
2 Corinthians 12:9a

But if I’m not careful, I start focusing on my imperfections instead of His perfection. Seeing my weakness instead of His strength. And, before you know it, I’m fearing the wind and sinking in waves of insecurity.

Just like Peter. The ultimate underdog. The disciple who was as famous for his bold faith as he was for his epic failures.

Once known as Simon, it was Jesus himself who changed his name to Peter, meaning “Rock”.  When Jesus declared, “On this rock I will build my church,” it was an acknowledgment of Peter’s extraordinary faith. Wow!

However, even though he was the only one of the disciples who was courageous enough to get out of the boat and attempt walking on the water, he was overwhelmed by the storm and his bold burst of faith was soon drowning in a downpour of fear.

Peter certainly knew the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat. His story is full of ups and downs, just like ours. But, the thing is, he never gave up. He was quick to repent of his sins and learn from his mistakes. He pressed on. He persevered.

Maybe that’s because he had walked with Jesus. He wasn’t perfect but, each and every time he stumbled, he stumbled into grace. So he kept going. And he kept growing.

Compassion cultivates confidence. When someone else believes in us, we find it easier to believe in ourselves. And we don’t worry so much about our own sufficiency when we know that HIS grace IS sufficient. Like Peter, we just keep going because we know that God will never give up on us.

So let’s not give up on ourselves. After all, “If God is for us who can be against us? (Romans 8:31b)”

He is able to coach us all the way to victory. And when we listen close, we can hear the roar of the crowd, all of heaven cheering us on. How can we not join the rallying cry of all the saints who have gone before us?

Say it with me…
“It’s not over ’til it’s over!”
“For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:6

How To Fix What’s Broken

I thank God every day for my long-suffering husband. He doesn’t let it rattle him when I get into one of my bad-hair-day-life’s-unfair-and-no-one-love’s-me rants. 
And he’s pretty much learned that what I need during those times is just to be heard. I don’t need Mr. Fix-It.

Besides, when it comes to the deep down wounds, there’s only one place to go for mending. 
Only One who can fix a life.
“For the Lord is the great God,
    the great King above all gods.
In his hand are the depths of the earth,
    and the mountain peaks belong to him.”
Psalm 95:3-4 

Are you singing with me? 
“He’s got the whole world in his hands…”

Did you notice the scripture says that God’s hand holds not only mountain peaks but “the depths of the earth”.

And that’s how it is with our lives.
He holds us through the ups and downs and everything in between.

I have to trust Him to hold me together because, when I try to do it myself, I unravel.

I read a great post about this over at Scooper’s place, A la Mode. (Don’t you love that name?) 

 The truth is, we are human. But in the midst of our mess, bad hair days and all, God is faithful. 

And that is something worth singing about.