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Chronic Illness Devotions Journal The Overcomer Life

Devotion: Good Out of Bad

Life is hard.

How often do we allow ourselves to grieve with God about the difficulties of our lives?

We need to be able to weep with our Mighty God about our difficulties, so we can begin to see how He is working, with fresh eyes as we grieve with the reminded that our Savior Jesus is grieving too.

Confession: I don’t like being sick, but there is something very beautiful about how our Mighty God who raised Jesus Christ from the dead – can indeed bring good out of bad.

This is probably why I love hearing Genesis Joseph’s testimony!

“As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.”

Genesis 50:20, ESV

“My Verse” toward chronic illness has been Genesis 50:20.

When, like Joseph, we experience difficulties in our lives, we have to remind ourselves of the good things that can happen – even though we went (or are currently going) through a terrible thing

[This is not to advocate abuse. If you are being abused, call 9-1-1 and get out of that situation. If you are suicidal, call 9-1-1 and find support to find hope again as well as accountability if/when you need it or meds/therapy, because in both circumstances whether someone else is harming you or self harm is happening, you are worth getting out of that kind of situation or mindset. You are worthy of living and thriving. No judgment here. I am both on meds and see behavioral help, so that I don’t self-harm. I don’t want to even get to that point again in my mental health. ]

Jesus Christ cares for you so much, that He died on the cross to carry your sorrows and griefs as well as sins. And He rose on the third day to give you new life. New life, that you can begin living now!

Maybe for you, it is a trauma you wish never happened. Maybe, it’s a chronic illness that you have experienced for years and it hasn’t gone away. Maybe, it is the loss of your marriage. Or something completely different, but equally devastating.

I love the hope of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and He is the Reason I can get up in the morning.

Even in a sea of depressive thoughts and chronic illness, He remains my hope. And our God never changes, regardless of how horrible our circumstances become.

My goal today is simply begin sitting with you. I don’t know if it is your first time here or hundredth. Either way, welcome to Gracefully Overcoming!

You are very loved and treasured first and foremost by God, but by me as well – so if I can pray for you or offer emotional support…

Don’t be shy to leave a comment or head on over to Facebook or Instagram to find me (I don’t check Twitter enough). There is even a Gracefully Overcoming Facebook Group for additional support.

One way you can support this page is through using the affiliated links I use in social media for your any Amazon purchases. It is an affiliated link, which means my blog will benefit at no extra cost to you! Great, right?

Like this one (double donation, since it is my devotional).

Or this one. This link actually is the one recently used in Social Media. It is for a book I am reading about hoping again. Great read so far!

In Christ,
Stace

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Devotions

Fall QT Routine

There are several topics spiraling through my brain for future posts. But, I want to talk a bit about my current Quiet Time Routine. Since I leave for the doctor in 90 minutes, routines is a good place for today’s topic.

What Time?

Typically, I don’t use an alarm clock in deciding when to get up. It is dependent upon my body and different variables. It is sort of dependent upon:

  • Sleep needed
  • Fatigue/pain level
  • Brain fog
  • Distractions

My “Must Have’s”

While there is no “set time” due to illness, I do have my particulars for my Morning Routine. These are things I enjoy making as part of my Quiet Time and how I prepare my heart/mind/body for the day.

My Quiet Time isn’t as complex as it once was, when I was healthier and younger. My time with our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ is the key part to beginning my day. While there isn’t any set order for my day, I love to add three components to it:

  1. Prayer
  2. Bible Study (using index cards for notes to stick in my Bible)
  3. Worship music /// Read a Christ-centered book

Seasons of Life

I miss the amount of “in depth” studying that I once had the energy for. But, I love where I am right now, in terms of my relationship with Jesus Christ. As I come before Him each morning, I get the opportunity to talk with Him (and hopefully listen). As I make this time with Him a daily habit, I can find myself falling more in love with my Savior.

How do you find yourself falling more in love with Jesus Christ, with each day?

While my Morning Quiet Time isn’t where I would like it to be, I am in a wonderful place too. My index cards, made from construction paper, are a huge help in developing a passion for God’s Word and this time with Him. I have struggled to break in my new Bible, but having index cards tucked in my Bible is a huge help in creatively seeking God and His Word.

I need to creatively seek God and His Word!

While I am not who I hope to become, I am not who I used to be either. So, I am enjoying this season of worship. I have to enjoy this season, because we never know when life and/or health will take us somewhere else. This is one thing I know, as I have lived with chronic illness for the past 8 years.

My Quiet Times rarely look the same from year to year. This serves as a reminder to cling to Christ Jesus and not a particular study method. While our health may fail, God remains forever. He is strong and our Portion.

God is good, and able to help us through whatever difficult terrain we find ourselves walking through.

What do your mornings and quiet times look like? Do they vary from year to year? Or, have you been able to stay consistent?

Image: Aaron Burden

Categories
Devotions Godly Living

Stand Up, Unashamed!

This morning, I am reminded of my need to stand up for my faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. I am reminded that I will make choices that reflect my faith in Christ, and I hope it happens increasingly more.

I may stumble and fall, but I will continue to choose our Lord Jesus over the cares of this world!

For I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ. It is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes—the Jew first and also the Gentile (Romans 1:16).

I will refuse to look at anything vile and vulgar. I hate all who deal crookedly; I will have nothing to do with them (Psalm 101:3).

Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand. Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God (Colossians 3:1-4)

New Living Translation

Right now, I am evaluating my choices for entertainment and how they will undoubtedly affect me. Recently, I discovered my need to “lay down” one of the TV shows I have watched in the past. I don’t wish to reveal the name of the show, but surrendering this show was choosing to not compromise. When we watch worldly shows, it will affect us and our faith.

Lesson I Continue to Learn

Friends, we have to stand up for what we believe. I believe Jesus Christ and the Gospel. I believe Jesus Christ came and died on the cross for my sins, so that I could have a reconciled relationship with my Heavenly Father. I believe that as Jesus saves me, He gives me new life.

Each day, we are given the opportunity to fall deeper in love with our God! Isn’t that a far greater thing than anything else?

Let’s choose to focus on our Lord Jesus Christ today. May our absolute resolve be to honor our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. While I know the choices are not always easy to make, choosing to live unashamed of Jesus Christ and righteousness is always the choice worth making!

How are we resolving to make the Gospel and relationship with Christ our highest priority?

Image: Marc Schaefer.

Categories
Devotions Godly Living Scriptures Examined

What (or Who) are We Worshiping?

During my quiet time, a particular Scripture popped up on my computer screen. It wasn’t the Scripture I intended to study, but one requiring my attention and some thought. So, here we go: Let’s think about this passage and how (or what) we worship.

When Peter arrived, Cornelius greeted him. Then he knelt at Peter’s feet and started worshiping him. But Peter took hold of him and said, “Stand up! I am nothing more than a human.” When Peter arrived, Cornelius greeted him. Then he knelt at Peter’s feet and started worshiping him.

Acts 10:25-26, CEV

Cornelius is seen worshiping Peter and requires a rebuke of sorts. I wonder, how many of us require the same rebuke – myself included. I think, Cornelius became caught up in the moment. I mean, this is Peter – the same Peter who walked with our Lord Jesus.

Worshiping the Wrong Thing

In my opinion, it is easier to focus on worshiping, pleasing people, and giving our attention to the things we can see, touch, taste, and smell. I know, it is for me. I love being able to interact with things I can experience on a physical level. It isn’t things that are sinful, either, but Christ is not always valued over all. It is easy to get distracted or caught up in the moment. But, I think that is why this passage is of such importance.

We need to become very intentional and serious about what we worship, for our God is a jealous God!

The Big Commandment

Scripture is clear, though. We are not to give our hearts in worship to anything else. We are taught to have “no other gods before Me” in accordance with the Ten Commandments in Exodus.

You must not have any other gods except me.

Exodus 20:3, ICB

Our God is so amazing!
He loves us beyond words.
He is jealous for you.
He wants to spend time with you, my friend.
He wants to hear how your day is going. Yes, He already knows. But, He wants you to talk with Him about it. He loves you fiercely, so fiercely that He sent His Son Jesus Christ to die on the cross for your sins, and rose again on the third day to give you new, amazing, abundant life!

After all God has done for us, He absolutely deserves to be the only One we worship!

I wonder how our day-to-day encounters with our Most Holy God are though. Do we worship by faith or merely what is in our sight? (2 Corinthians 5:7) Many things compete for our attention and adoration. From the food we eat, to our cell phones, or our community, anything can become something we worship if we are not careful. May we evaluate our lives and choose to worship God alone!

To learn more about this command, I invite you to read Deuteronomy 6:13-19.

Image: James Barr

Categories
Devotions Dreams and Longing My Bookshelf Reviews

Prayerfully Reliant on God Alone [Book Review]

For the past week, I have been able to spend time with our Savior Jesus in prayer. Quality prayer. As I am learning, the fellowship we can experience with our Mighty God is beyond comprehension. This is the relationship I have hoped for. I am beyond thankful for this time.

Fellowship with God

How often are we placing ourselves in fellowship with God? Often we consider fellowship, as something between a fellow believer and ourselves. However, we can experience fellowship with our sovereign God Himself!

The difference is craving this time of sweet intimacy with an even sweeter King Jesus Christ who is our Savior. God desires to spend time with us. Let’s grow in enjoying God!

If you are like most, setting aside and carrying out a daily prayer time is a struggle. Unless you have seen firsthand the outcome of such devotion. Even then, you likely still might wrestle with some aspects of prayer.

I can testify this has been my experience – the struggle it has been to give my worship offering through prayer. However, something has occurred in the last few weeks to change this. Suddenly, I adapted to the act of beginning a prayer session with the Holy One. It isn’t about praying perfectly or for a strict hour. It is about realizing how our Mighty God has saved us through His Son Jesus Christ and meeting regularly with Him.

But, there is one book which has left an impact concerning prayer.

Mr. George Müller

Have you heard of George Müller?

He can be described as a man of persistent faith who truly knew how to operate from a place of prayer. This man crazily enough brought his needs only to God and allowed Him to speak that need to others. God impressed it upon others’ hearts to give, and it was always at the appointed time before the orphanage ran out of food, money, etc.

I say “crazily enough,” because how many of us could be that bold? Far too quickly, we share our needs with whoever will listen even if it is not God’s will for the need to be met. I say this because not every need is within the boundaries of God’s will. To pray more like this, is radical, forces us to follow only Jesus Christ, and develops within us an absolute dependence upon our Creator.

The George Muller book I recommend can be found on Amazon. Best part? It is free! While there, you could even pick up a digital copy of Grace Leads – which is on sale for $0.99 (until Wednesday, 8/7/19).

Image: Aaron Burden

Be blessed, my friends.

Stacey