Devotion: Did I Cause That?

Whenever something goes wrong and suffering comes, do you ever wonder what you are doing wrong? Or, am I the only one that falls into this trap?

Last few days I find myself asking, “What am I doing wrong, Lord?”

Then if I am blessed enough, the Holy Spirit will stop me in my tracks. I think, it is an easy trap to fall into. But just because we find ourselves in a bad situation, it doesn’t mean we have somehow failed.

I wonder what would happen if I could stop and ask: “What does God want to teach me through this?” Rather than “How is this evidence that I have somehow failed?”

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

Ephesians 2:8-10, English Standard Version

Based on the Bible’s truth, I can state clearly that this is faulty thinking. And I, as a follower of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, need to speak His truths into my life. I need to replace the lies, with His divine truth.

Today, I watched Priscilla Shirer and her sister Chrystal Evans Hurst talk about identity. As they were talking, they brought up the power of reading Ephesians 1-2 and listening to who God says we are.

When we allow God to define who we are, we will have an unshakable identity.

An identity that will never depend on someone else or our abilities. Our identity will firmly rest on who God is and what He has done for us through His Son Jesus Christ!

In Christ Jesus, we are so loved. We cannot make honest mistakes [keyword focusing on honestly, not deliberate sins], and walk around as though we will be punished or the world will fall apart for our lack of perfection. We are human beings. Human beings who are passionately loved by their Creator, God, and Savior!

In love He predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.

Ephesians 1:4b-6

So, what can we learn from Ephesians 1-2?

In a brief statement:

Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, is everything I am not. He has covered me, so I don’t have to worry about not being enough!

Maybe, you are feeling as though you aren’t quite enough today. Oh friends, if we could only replace this faulty thinking with the glorious truth that we are His! We are Christ’s. We are loved. We are accepted. We are forgiven. We have been completely redeemed. We are no longer broken and incapable of receiving our Creator’s love.

May we run and enjoy tonight’s chapters that remind us of our Forever Identity!

Disclaimer: You can now support Gracefully Overcoming through your Amazon purchases. At no cost to you (and effortlessly), Amazon will allow you to shop and Gracefully Overcoming get a bit of a benefit from your shopping. It can be any purchase you make. But, I am still enjoying this title by Charles Swindoll.

Immeasurably More in My Days

Some days, I just want to go home. Have you ever felt this way? Sick of this world and ready to receive Heaven in all our Lord’s glory?

Today’s blog post is simply part of my story. My longing for my eternal home, while realizing God still has me here for a big purpose – even when I don’t see it “in the moment”. Because God sent His Son Jesus Christ, I can trust the purpose even if I don’t “feel” it (see Phil. 1:21-24).

Honestly some days, I am really sick of this world and just the stuff of this life. As I reflect on my day, I realize this to be true.

I am so thankful for the things God has got me through today. He has chosen to deliver me from so much.

I saw a new doctor today who shared advice for ailments she didn’t understand. It was hard explaining emotional things to a doctor who didn’t lift her eyes from her notes. Then add in a flare up. There you have my Tuesday.

I need God to do immeasurably more. And I need to trust that He will, because He already has!

“Now to Him who is able to [carry out His purpose and] do superabundantly more than all that we dare ask or think [infinitely beyond our greatest prayers, hopes, or dreams], according to His power that is at work within us… (Eph. 3:20, AMP).”

I want this “immeasurably more” that our generous God has to offer us, as Christ followers!

(1) God keeps leading me, and that too is immeasurably more in my life. He leads me, even when my body and mind make life difficult.

(2) God does immeasurably more, even when doctor appointments with three new primaries in a row – just doesn’t work out.

(3) God works things out, even when my fingers and toes become numb from taking a walk to seek nourishment.

(4) God is working in my storm, even when I am increasingly anxious about an upcoming appointment.

(5) I don’t know what the future holds. I pray God works out our finances and many other unknowns in my life. But, I have to choose to operate based on trusting the God of the Universe. I know only God can control all these things. I have spent a lot of time fighting for the kind of control only God can have. So, I am choosing to put my trust in the Lord Jesus Christ and continue to reread Proverbs 3:5-10.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart.
    Do not depend on your own understanding.
In all your ways obey him.
    Then he will make your paths smooth and straight (vv. 5-6, NIRV).”

Lord Jesus, I need Your immeasurably more in every single area of my life. Please increase Your activity in my life, and help me to see how You are working out everything for my ultimate good. Please, give me hope and keep me well nourished in my relationship with You. Amen.

Featured image by Robin Noguier.

August Announcements

Psssst, stay tuned for the big announcement at the end of this post. You won’t want to miss any of it!

We are on the last week of our Ephesians study. It blows my mind, when I think about how God has taught and strengthened me these past several weeks of study. Ephesians was a great book to study, and I am soo glad you all joined me. We still have two new blog posts to share this week, that go with our study “Walking into the Light”.

If you missed the study and want your chance to grab the journal, please use this Amazon link. Please note: As an Amazon Affiliate, any purchase made is just one way you can offer your heartfelt support to Gracefully Overcoming.

Scripture Challenge

I have a new Scripture Writing Challenge for us –

For the month of August, I will be “hosting” a brand new study, using Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook (with occasional blog posts). So my hope is that – you will consider joining me. Just as I did for a few short studies, I will compile a journal to guide us – as we study this particular chapter in the Bible (to be announced very soon!).

After I work out the little details, I will be back to share the official details with you all. Until then, join me in prayer for our new scripture writing study.

Saving the Best for Last!

This is truthfully the big announcement!

I am so excited to share this announcement with you all. I have found another place in the blogging world – to share some of the things God is showing me in my journey of life. I am very stoked about this new experience and season God is allowing me to enter into. I have joined Servants of Grace, in what they are doing to proclaim the Gospel to all nations.

Today, I am over on SOG discussing community, the longing for it, and how the Gospel has impacted the version of community we have. You won’t want to miss it. This article is a sequel of sorts. I wrote about my struggle for community earlier this month. You may remember community is a big heart struggle of mine. I crave community. I invite you to join me over there, to discuss God’s design for community. There is much more God has in store for us. We shouldn’t have to settle or starve for community. Click here to read “The Gospel and Community”. 

I will write back later this week, to share specific details about our August study! So, you will want to stay tuned

~ Stacey

Identity Meets Living His Truth {{Week 5}}

Please note, friends: I have been dealing with some knocked-down health days. So, this is the last of my scheduled posts. I hope to get back on track asap, but bear with me. We are on week 5. So thankful for our Ephesians journey, to keep our spirits encouraged this Summer!

~ Stacey

Gleaning From the Heart of Jesus: A Nine Week Scripture Writing Experience (This is the link for the new study (on Mt. 4-7) – which will begin in Sept/Oct. As an Amazon affiliate, Gracefully Overcoming receives a small earning when you use this link for any Amazon purchase.)

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

This week, God has really been stirring my heart about my identity. In Ephesians 2:1-10, we learn about our change in identity. I encourage you to read along and join me, as I discuss things God is teaching me through Walking Into The Light Bible study on the book of Ephesians.

We are on the last few days of the fifth week. It is crazy to think that the study is, almost over!

The Truth of Our Identity

There is something our hearts and minds need to realize –

Our identity in Jesus is a precious thing.

Our identity is far more than just our name. Our identity determines the path we will take in life. What we believe about ourselves, determines the path we take. This makes our identity in Jesus Christ, one of the most important things we could ever grasp. While life situations will always try to dominate our identity, there is a better identity God is just begging us to grab ahold of.

The God of the Universe has chosen you!

While so many things try to be our identity, there is only one place to find our real identity.

And, His name is Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ wants us to realize why He came.

Jesus wants us to realize that – while others have rejected us, He has chosen us. While others have let us down, He never will. While others have intentionally tried to hurt us, He is the One who is forever working on our behalf and showing that He has good favor on us.

Realizing Our Identity

If our identity is firmly rooted in Jesus Christ, we will delight in Him, His Word, and enjoy all the best benefits of being a child of the Most High God!

As I study today’s lesson (see Eph. 5:16-18), I am reminded just how important it is – to know my identity in Christ. See, when our identity rests in Christ. Something wonderful happens. It makes it easy (or easier) to follow the standards God has set for us. Realizing our identity changes our perspective and everything else that goes along with it.

When we grasp our identity is in Christ, we will stop trying to earn others’ approval or letting other things hold us back in our Christian life. This is why it is such a struggle to proclaim our identity is in Him.

If we could grasp our identity is in Christ, it would literally change everything!

Ephesians 5:16-18 is Significant

Our days do matter. 

But, somehow, I think – we all have a bit of trouble with this one.

How about you – do you find yourself struggling to make the most of the opportunities given to you each day? Do you struggle with acting thoughtlessly? If so, this passage is for you too.

There is something miraculous about our identity in Jesus Christ. There has been a complete shift in our identity. But, until we grasp this identity, we will come to our wit-ends when we read passages like this one.

Ladies and Gents, we have to begin the process of bringing ourselves face-to-face with our holy God, acknowledging our sin, come to know the salvation provided for us by Jesus Christ’s love sacrifice, and realize how He has forever changed our identity – for the better!

How can we step into God’s Word, soaking up His truths as His sons and daughters?

The Option God Offers Us {{Week 4}}

In Ephesians 4:20-24, we are met with the reality of our sin nature. We are reminded that, it is is gross and reeks. Yet, then, we find something in the Bible that can soothe the weariest of us.


See, the God we serve. While we could continue to be entrapped and tackled on by the team of our entire old evil nature, something else happens.

Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God, offers us another way!

Each day, we make choices on whom we will serve. Will we do this, or that? Will we go here, or there? Most of these choices, we don’t think about. Most of them, we go through the motions – not giving much thought as to what we are doing. We just do them.

But, what if… we took a different path today? What if, we deliberately sought after Jesus today? What if we took His path more seriously today than ever before– and intentionally lived our lives centered on pursuing Him (who first pursued us)?

“Instead, there must be a spiritual renewal of your thoughts and attitudes… You are a new person created in God’s likeness (see Eph. 4:23-25).”

Yesterday is gone, my friends.

Today is all we have.

Today is what is sitting in front of us. We may be intensely struggling with routines, habits, addictions, and sins we have struggled to overcome, but let today be the day where you press into Jesus – letting Him hold you and direct your thoughts/attitudes.

Because Jesus is the key!

Everything we are fighting to overcome, Jesus is that key we have long time been searching for.

Jesus is offering Himself to you and me at this very moment.

Let’s not delay in turning to Him, seeking His Presence, and pouring out our hearts to the One who has made them. He knows every single thing about us (see Ps. 139). He is just waiting for us to come close, so He can whisper to us (see James 4:8).