Categories
Trust Habits Truth in Trials

Trust Habits #7

I have been thinking on my inconsistency, regarding certain blog led Bible studies I have conducted over the years. And one day, I want to go back and *complete* the series I once begun.

Normally my Summer season is where it becomes increasingly difficult for me to sit, study, and write. It becomes difficult for many reasons, but this is the place where it seems as though I am being “attacked on all sides.” I don’t expect this Summer to be any different.

Right now, I am trying to spend as much time with my Grandfather as I can – while he is still on this earth. I am thankful for the way he has shown his love for the Lord Jesus Christ and his family. He has always loved us well. As I look to this week’s trusting habit, I want to discuss showing up when life is hard. There is something to be said when we work on our faithfulness, even when times get hard.

How are we prayerfully considering our own faithfulness, in response to the Almighty faithfulness of our great God?

As I prepare for this Summer, I want to be faithful. I want (and need) to keep showing up, even when life gets hard. I am not talking about showing up in a physical sense, but a spiritual one. I want to keep showing up, in terms of meeting with the Lord Jesus on a consistent basis.

Would I love to write this Summer through whatever happens? Absolutely.

But more than that, I want to have quality alone time with our Mighty God. I need to position myself to enjoy the practice of the Lord and all He has to offer me in the process of meeting with Him.

Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.

Mark 1:35, New International Version

This Summer, I want to consistently show up in my time with the Lord. It doesn’t start six weeks down the road though. It begins now. It begins now, as I take the necessary steps to prepare my heart and body for Summer. Even amidst the much heartache occurring in my life right now, I need to consistently show up – by meeting with the Lord.

Tonight, this might look different than it will tomorrow. Tonight, this might mean sitting up to prepare writings. Whereas, tomorrow it means hardcore sleep. In each activity of doing or resting, the necessary thing is to show up in my relationship with God through His Son Jesus Christ.

What is soo amazing about our Mighty God is – He continues to show up. He continues to be faithful. His faithfulness doesn’t depend on who we are, but on His character. Our God is good and faithful no matter what is going on in our lives.

I will share more about our Summer study soon enough. I would like to get a bit of the posts scheduled first, especially since my consistency during hardcore trials could use a bit of work.

Unsplash Photo: Ben White

In Him,
Stacey

Categories
Gleaning from the Heart of Jesus

Discovery of the Better Thing {{Week 9}}

Today (Wednesday, the 8th) is day 59 of our Bible study. We only have a few short days left. I found an error in the journal for today, so I wanted to pop in. This way, none of us miss the key to developing what is called “good fruit” in our lives. While the journal gives a non-existent Scripture reference, our accompany Scripture is actually John 15:4-5.

Even so, every healthy (sound) tree bears good fruit [worthy of admiration], but the sickly (decaying, worthless) tree bears bad (worthless) fruit. A good (healthy) tree cannot bear bad (worthless) fruit, nor can a bad (diseased) tree bear excellent fruit [worthy of admiration]. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and cast into the fire. Therefore, you will fully know them by their fruits (Matthew 7:17-20; AMPC).

Dwell in Me, and I will dwell in you. [Live in Me, and I will live in you.] Just as no branch can bear fruit of itself without abiding in (being vitally united to) the vine, neither can you bear fruit unless you abide in Me. I am the Vine; you are the branches. Whoever lives in Me and I in him bears much (abundant) fruit. However, apart from Me [cut off from vital union with Me] you can do nothing (John 15:4-5).

In Matthew 7:17-20, we are reminded that our lives will either produce “bad” or “good” fruit. Every place in our lives has the potential to reveal the real outpour of our faith. In our lives, our faith in Jesus is put on display as we live out our lives.

One example of good fruit and its possibilities is in how we treat others. If we want to treat others well, we will want “good” fruit that is worthy of admiration rather than “bad” fruit that is diseased and shows we are relying on our own efforts.

In today’s Scriptures, we are taught two important truths.

  1. Our lives will either produce good or bad fruit (see Galatians 5:22-23). There is no in-between. Will we be hot or cold in our remaining (by continuing to sit with and pursue) in Jesus? How so?
  2. Jesus Christ is the ultimate key to experiencing life at its best! He is the One who can open His storehouses, and give us what we seek and could ever need. How are we allowing Jesus to be our complete hope and Source of life?

As long as we stay connected to Jesus, staying in His beautiful presence, we will see good “fruit” in our lives. This is part of finding the new life Jesus promises to give us. If we will sit with Him, if we will sit in His presence, if we will resolve to keep going to Him in prayer, He will continue to work in our hearts and lives.

Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is what makes the difference between living worthless lives and a new life that we can be proud of. It is about Jesus Christ. While our efforts may be a part of it, it is a small part. The more important thing, Mary discovered and we can too. The more important thing is Jesus Christ. The more important thing is to keep our focus on Jesus Christ and learning how to simply be with Him. This is the better thing.

Head over to Luke 10:38-42 to read Mary’s story!

Categories
Prayer

The Gift of Prayer

In this world, we will face hurt. We aren’t exempt from hurt or pain, but we are promised a Healer. His name is Jesus, the Christ! And we have a blessed gift that none can take from us, as believers in Christ Jesus: the gift of communicating with God through prayer. Jesus is our mediator and our way to the Father. We can freely go to the Father, bringing our every care to Him. There are many things weighing us down. Where are we turning?

As we call out to God, asking God and sharing with God our sincere hurt that we face in this world, we need to remember some specific truths.

  • Those who have God’s help are called blessed!
    ‘Happy are those who have the God of Jacob to help them and who depend on the LORD their God (Psalm 146:5, GNB).’ 

  • Our hope is in God alone!
    ‘The psalmist encourages us to put confidence in God. We must hope in the providence of God for all we need as to this life, and in the grace of God for that which is to come. The God of heaven became a man that he might become our salvation… He grants deliverance to captives bound in the chains of sin and Satan… (Matthew Henry Concise Commentary)’
  • The Lord lifts us up!
    ‘What a vast company of these human experience has ever furnished! The burden of care, the weight of responsibility, the crushing power of sorrow,—these are ever at work to recruit the ranks of the bowed down. But it is the Lord’s special office—an office to the fulfillment of which not only the psalmist here, but myriads of God’s people in all ages, bear their testimony, to raise up them that be bowed down (Pulpit Commentary).’
  • He watches over us!
    ‘The Lord preserveth the strangers. God’s goodness leads him not only to protect the righteous, but also to lend his special help to the weak and afflicted classes. “The stranger, the fatherless, and the widow” are constantly mentioned in the Old Testament as peculiar objects of the Divine care… He relieveth the fatherless and widow (Pulpit Commentary).’ 
  • He upholds us!
    ‘[H]e relieveth the fatherless and widow; in their distresses and troubles, who have no helper; a wonderful instance of his relieving a widow, in the most disconsolate circumstances, we have in raising the widow of Nain’s son to life, and restoring him to his mother…[He] will and does come and visit them, relieve and supply them with everything convenient for them; though his church here on earth may seem to be as a widow, he being in heaven at the right hand of God, yet he cares for her in the wilderness, and provides for her support, where she is nourished with the word and ordinances, and will be until he comes again… (Gill’s Commentary)’

Finally, as we remember these key truths, cry out to God – knowing that God reigns! He reigns over all things! He is able to handle all things we face in our lives. He is able to handle all hurts we experience in this life. He is able to handle all the injustices. He is able to handle everything. What is stopping us from bringing it to Him in prayer through faith in His Son Jesus Christ?

See Psalm 146:5, 8b-10

Categories
Chronic Illness Thanksgiving

5/4/15 – What Do I Have to Give?

It’s been a rough evening. Ironic, since I was actually better physically during the day. Much I could agonize over. Much I could cry over. Instead, turning my eyes toward my Creator and thankful for the comforts I do. Though I came home feeling unwell and with a sorta heavy-heart, what do I have?

  • I have God’s Word written on my heart.
  • I have a comfortable bed to relax in.
  • I have a working fan by my bed.
  • I have medicine that helps my body. I notice when I have forgotten to take it. The only reason I didn’t forget to take it tonight, was because I felt unwell.
  • I can watch my tv shows on my laptop.
  • I have food to eat.

My list of thankfulness needs to be just as important (if not moreso) than my list of complaints and struggles. While it doesn’t take away my struggles, it adds to my reality… It adds to my life. It reminds me about what I have been given by my Creator… It reminds me of the Hope I have – that won’t be taken away by circumstances. One struggle I have tonight is, the reality that I can’t have a specific time with God. Some have those appointment times with God. My days are….imbalanced, and I am finding that reality difficult to handle tonight. Tomorrow has the potential to be better. My hope still remains in Christ, even when my days are imbalanced. Even though it’s imbalanced by symptoms I can’t control, God still loves me so much that He sent His Son Jesus to die on the cross for me and rose Him on the third day… just so He can be with me. It doesn’t have to “look” a certain way. I may not have much to offer, but He loves and cherishes what I do have to give.