When Tears Fall {Trials Tuesday}

Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again— my Savior and my God! (Psalm 42:11, NLT)

Today is one of those days, where tears fall easily. Over the last several months, I have become progressively worse in terms of my symptoms. Chronic illness is a tragic thing, but we have to find reason to keep going. We have to find hope that will help us rise above our circumstances, so we don’t despair.

There is hope, even when I wonder where it is.

My mistake in living chronic illness is this: I don’t think I have ever taken the time to truly grieve everything that has happened to me. The failed doctors appointments. The harsh judgments of others. The isolation. The symptoms. The limitations. None of it has been dealt with. Rather, I have sought to just avoid everything – as a way to cope.

Ohh friends, we can only live in avoidance for so long… before everything comes to hunt us down. I am not a medical professional, but it is not safe to live this way (in denial or avoidance) – or so I am learning.

It is a gradual process, but I am being reminded to tell God two things:

  • What I am thinking about.
  • How it makes me feel.

My prayer life is far from where I wish to be, but it is a start.

Opening up about the hard things, even with our Risen Lord, isn’t instant. It will take time and effort.

While our lives are turning out differently than planned, God has a mighty hope to share with us. He wants to continue giving our lives a great purpose. He wants to allow us to shine a bright light in a dark world. He wants to help us through this! ♥♥

Our Lord Jesus has come to save me. Each morning when I wake up, I have to remember He is choosing to dwell with me in the midst of my pain. This suffering isn’t for nothing. He continues to save me on a daily, even hourly, basis. God is forever faithful!

My struggle right now is finding ways to actually open my Bible and dig deep. I know, I am doing a 1 Corinthians study on our Facebook page. But, it is easy to read a verse once and move on. I need to find a better way to connect with our great God – in the midst of the hard stuff.

Today, having my physical Bible and supplies on my bed is what helped. I would pause and write out a Bible verse. As of the last few days, I have been utilizing Sweet to the Soul’s Bearing Fruit Reading List. This is helping me remember that suffering is part of a bigger process.

We are actually bearing fruit and allowing our faith to grow much more than we could ever imagine.

Unsplash photo by Johann Siemens.

Until next time,

Genesis 19-21; Psalms 43-45


Assigned Reading: Psalms 43-45; Genesis 19-21

Psalms –

Chapter 43: “Lord, we need You to rescue us!” Things can seem so difficult and dark. Where will we turn? We are reminded that God can rescue us and our need to praise Him. There is a verse in this passage that always hits home –

Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God (vv. 5).

Chapter 44: God has a legacy. He has delivered our ancestors. He has delivered many others before we were even conceived in our mother’s womb. His love is unfailing, and the reason for His action. Our trust is in Him, because He is where we find our victory. When we are disgraced by the enemy, God is still the same One He has always been. We need to remember that, when we are going through a rough time. God is always the same, and will rescue His people.

I put no trust in my bow, my sword does not bring me victory; but you give us victory over our enemies, you put our adversaries to shame. In God we make our boast all day long, and we will praise your name forever (vv. 6-8).

Chapter 45: God’s Kingdom is forever, and the One that sets our hearts on fire. Our Bridegroom, Jesus Christ, is coming and will rule over all the nations. Let’s allow the joy and presence of the Lord to infiltrate our being, and enter into every area of our lives. God is our Bridegroom, setting out to take care of us, His people, and will come back for His Church!

Genesis –

Lot’s Escape (Gen. 19:14-15)

Lot was urged to leave the town with his wife and two daughters. Slowly you see the family disintegrate due to lack of trust in God. His daughter’s fiancés didn’t believe Lot. Lot’s wife disobeyed God and looked back – turning into a pillar of salt. God’s commands are serious. God wanted to protect them. But, they wouldn’t listen.

Lot’s Daughters (Gen. 19:30-32) 

You can see his daughters’ desperation, which many of today’s single (or childless) women face. It simply manifests itself in a different way. We can easily lose sight of our calling and purpose in Christ, when our fleshly desires try to overtake us. When we look at the struggle, rather than look to God.

Abraham and Sarah

Abraham faced his own desperation repeatedly, when moving to a new town. He feared what the people would do, when they found out Sarah was actually his wife. A mess of things occur when we choose our own desperation over trusting God.

Our fear can take the place of our faith, which is why fear and carrying concerns on our own is such a dangerous thing. Our hope is in God. With Jesus Christ, we have an Advocate who wants to be our everything and to help us. He wants to lighten our load, and carry our burdens.

When we give our burdens to the Lord, we are blessed immensely and see how God will provide. God provided Isaac to Abraham and Sarah – their son.

Job 32-37; Psalms 28-32

Assigned Reading: Psalms 28-32; Job 32-37

Psalm –

Chapter 28: Not only did David declare that God was his Rock, he proved it by crying out when it mattered the most. We need to cry out to God in this way, and seek His mercy. He is our Shepherd and will carry us.

Praise be to the Lordfor he has heard my cry for mercy. The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him (Ps. 28:6-7).

Chapter 29: Let us worship the Lord and give Him the honor due to Him. The voice and hands of the Lord speak loudly over everything. He is good. He is powerful. When the voice of the Lord speaks into our situations, all things can be changed and nothing is off limits.

Chapter 30: One thing God’s people need to fathom is – God will answer the prayers and heart cries of His people. He may not heal us or the circumstances the way we anticipate, but He does heal. So, why are we silent? Let’s sing the praises of our great God.

Chapter 31: When despair takes over our lives, we need to keep our trust in the Lord our God. We are encouraged to stay strong and keep hoping in God. How are we practicing these truths today?

Love the Lord, all his faithful people! The Lord preserves those who are true to him, but the proud he pays back in full. Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord (Ps. 31:23-24).

Chapter 32: God is our hiding place, and the One who forgives our confessed sin. God is that good. He will forgive us, when we have wronged Him. He promises to be our sanctuary right when it matters most. Our Protection and Deliverance is what God is, to us who are called His people.

Blessed is the one whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered (Ps. 32:1).

Job –

I highlighted in my YouVersion app a lot for this portion of Scripture. There is a lot of rich things that we can find, as Elihu talks to Job.

Certain aspects of this talk by Elihu I enjoyed –

  • He is younger and waited until the older men spoke (I need to be more like that…).
  • He is blunt. He isn’t afraid to call Job’s words arrogance.
  • He shares a lot of good truths as he tries to relate to Job.

I couldn’t have predicted the level of struggle I would have with the book of Job. My emotions have even tossed back and forth with Elihu, but I am thankful for the highlighted portions of Scripture – that I can go back and reread this weekend. I am thankful for the truths found here, many of which I need to take to heart.

In chapters 32-37, we find wisdom, truths, bluntness. The preparation we are given, before Job heard directly from God. After all of his storming Heaven demanding God to show him what wrong he has done, God is going to answer him.

Restore the Broken

What is your favorite promise of God? Where is it found in the Bible? Tonight, while exercising, I was thinking and began praying for God to restore what is broken. I need my God to restore what has been broken. Maybe, you need the same. You need God to restore something important to you that was broken.

Mending the Broken

Throughout Scripture, we see God as One who is found mending what was once broken. We see God mending the broken hearted.

In Isaiah, the prophet writes –

For this is what the high and exalted One says– he who lives forever, whose name is holy: “I live in a high and holy place, but also with the one who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite (Is. 57:15).”

The Psalmists wrote about brokenness, too.

“The LORD is close to the brokenhearted;
he rescues those whose spirits are crushed
(Ps. 34:18).”

“My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise
(Ps. 51:17).”

“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds
(Ps. 147:3).”

In these Scriptures, we are reminded that God is not afraid of brokenness. God doesn’t shy away from those who face some sort of brokenness in their lives.

The truth is – we all are broken in some way or another. We all have relationships that seem more broken than whole. We all have our days where maybe it’s not the relationships, but it is our jobs, finances, choices we make, or sins that cause us to be broken.

The Clinging Promise

Yet, there is that promise in Joel 2:25. In this prophetical book, God shows us that He can, in fact, use the brokenness in our lives. He can restore our season of brokenness. 

God promises His chosen people, Israel, that He will do one thing that stands out from the circumstances they would undergo. He is the God who promises to restore!

In the midst of God’s pronounced judgment, there is a plea toward the end of the second chapter of Joel.

When we come back to God, truly repent of our sins, and seek after the will of God for our lives, He will do something wonderful in our midst.

While He lists all these terrible things that could happen, He tells them something that would make the hair stand up on the back of their neck.

“I will give you back what you lost
in the years when swarms of locusts ate your crops.
It was I who sent this army against you.

Now you will have plenty to eat, and be satisfied.
You will praise the Lord your God,
who has done wonderful things for you.
My people will never be despised again.

Then, Israel, you will know that I am among you
and that I, the Lord, am your God
and there is no other.
My people will never be despised again (Joel 2:25-27).”

God can make up for the years lost, due to the catastrophe. Though the catastrophe was brought on by the sins of the people, God would bring them back to the land of the living. In the midst of their most difficult circumstances, God would fill them up and keep them satisfied. Though they went profoundly hungry, God would soothe their appetite. God would fill up their empty cup.

Make A Change

Let’s not forget the essential aspect of receiving healing for the broken pieces of our lives. We need to surrender to God.

We need to come before God, admitting we are sinners in need of His amazing grace through His Son Jesus Christ, and He will do wonderful things in our midst.

We need to have peace in our relationship with God first, before we can expect Him to fix what is broken.

The greatest priority is for our relationship with God to be restored. We need restoration in many areas of our lives, I am sure, but this stands out as the greatest area in which we need healing.

We need healing, and God is on standby – ready to begin to heal us in every aspect of our lives. It begins with us realizing the greatness of our God, and how much we need Him.

Our Treasure

God wants to turn our years of famine into something different – something beautiful. But, it hinges on us coming before God. In order to stand in His Presence, we need the greatest Advocate we could ever ask for – Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is our Advocate, and He is ready to intercede on our behalf before the Father.

I don’t know about you, but I stand in desperate need for Jesus to turn my years of famine and locust into something beautiful. I need God to take my utter foolishness moments, and turn them into something He can use. Despite the great shame of my sins, God can still restore. All I must do is come. Just come to the Heavenly Father.

How are you choosing to seek after the Lord your God today in the midst of your circumstances? How is He making Himself known in your midst right at this very moment? What are you facing that feels broken, beyond repair, that needs God’s precious touch?

Prayer: “Heavenly Father, I have sinned against heaven and earth. I pray You would forgive me. Thank You that Your forgiveness is instant, without any grudges. If anyone had a right to hold a grudge against me, it would be You. Thank You for the love and grace You readily extend to me – instead. I pray You would turn the ugly into something beautiful, into something You can use. I pray You would restore the broken in my life, and use it to display Your glory. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”

Sunday Strength: Overcoming Darkness of Depression


We all have heard about it.

Likely, we have experienced it ourselves. Maybe, we haven’t been depressed ourselves, but have known someone who has.

Psalms: Anatomy of All Parts of the Soul

This Sunday Strength, I want to discuss depression. According to one source, the Bible has 1,189 chapters. They are not solely chapters found in an ordinary book, rather these are the places where we can hear from God. Think about how many words from God, that is.

 In the book of Psalms itself, it has a word count of…

Nearly 45,000.

Psalms is known as the book of “An Anatomy of all the Parts of the Soul” by John Calvin. John Calvin is a popular theologian, who spent much time gleaning from the Word of God. Calvin goes on to say:

“for there is not an emotion of which any one can be conscious that is not here represented as in a mirror. Or rather, the Holy Spirit has here drawn to the life all the griefs, sorrows, fears, doubts, hopes, cares, perplexities, in short, all the distracting emotions with which the minds of men are won’t to be agitated.”

Our Caring God

God cares for us. This is the truth learned from Psalm 34:18. In this small nugget of a verse, we learn that God cares for the broken. God cares for us, even when we feel the most broken and fragile. When we feel profoundly hurt by life and circumstances, God reveals He deeply cares for us.

His desire is not to leave us in this place, but to be our Refuge and yes – even our strength. He desires to save those who are “crushed in spirit.”

God’s Power

One of the most remarkable truths is – God isn’t afraid to step into our pit of darkness. When we are in despair, God isn’t afraid to step in. God longs to caress us, and be our strength! He longs to be our resting place, and to bring our hearts out of such a rocky place and place us on solid ground (see Psalm 40:2). He invites us to experience His magnificent power in our lives.

As we think about our own lives and swimming emotions that can make us feel as though we are drowning, I encourage each of us to read and meditate on this passages below.

“In the beginning God (Elohim) created [by forming from nothing] the heavens and the earth (Gen. 1:1, AMP).”

“The Word was first, the Word present to God, God present to the Word. The Word was God, in readiness for God from day one. Everything was created through him; nothing—not one thing!— came into being without him. What came into existence was Life, and the Life was Light to live by. The Life-Light blazed out of the darkness; the darkness couldn’t put it out (Jn. 1:1-5, MSG).”

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell… (Col. 1:15-19, ESV)”

Designed to Overcome


I want to highlight one aspect of these words from God – our Creator. He is all-powerful. There is nothing we cannot overcome, when we have God on our side. I know the depression may be crushing you right now, but seek God. Scripture reminds us that “when we draw near to Him, He draws near to us (James 4:8a).”

“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome [His light] (John 1:5, TNIV).”

Reflection –

How can you invite God into the hardest aspects of your life? Perhaps it is something other than depression, but you stand broken. Our brokenness is not too great for God to handle and enable us to overcome.