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Archive | God’s Word for Today

Is God Still Good When Our Circumstances Aren’t?

God is Good all the TimeI often hear other Christians say, “God is good!” I heard it when the life of a sick child was spared. And when a biopsy returned benign. And when a job in jeopardy was saved. And when a rebellious teen turned back to God. But is God still good when our circumstances aren’t?

But what about when the child dies or it comes back “cancer” or the job is lost or the teenager never returns? Is God good then?

Yes. God is good all the time. The Bible says so. God cannot be good one moment and not the next. He cannot be good in one situation and not another.

A Facebook post I read not long ago caused me to reflect on this truth. The FB friend wrote, “God is good!” And then she detailed all the recent positive happenings in her life as the proof.

This really troubled me. See, we flawed humans tend to declare God’s goodness only when things turn out the way we hope they will. This implies that we believe God is good because our circumstances are easy. But what if our circumstances are hard? Does that mean God is not good? Or that He is good only to those who don’t have trouble and difficulty?

Our circumstances do not dictate or define God’s goodness. God’s character dictates His goodness. God is good all the time. No matter the circumstances.

The Bible says that God is Good All the Time

Here are a few truths from Scripture to help us develop a correct understanding of the goodness of God:

  • God’s will for our lives is good (Romans 12:2). Sometimes – in fact, often – His will includes trials and difficulty that He uses for our refinement.
  • In all things, in all circumstances, our good God is working for our good. “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28).
  • The assurance of God’s goodness enables us to “give thanks in all circumstances” (1 Thessalonians 5:18) and to declare in easy times and hard times, “God is good!”

4 Tips to Help You Live the Truth that God is Good All the Time:

How should these truths impact our daily lives? How should we upgrade the way we live and talk and relate to others? Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Remember that God is good all the time. Not just when things are going the way we want them to.
  2. Thank Him for His goodness in every life situation.
  3. Be sensitive to those around you who are facing difficult and painful circumstances.
  4. Declare His goodness in every circumstance, particularly in the hard times.

Upgrading our attitudes about God’s goodness can change how we approach every circumstance of life and each person we encounter. God is good, all the time!

Let’s talk. Have you ever been guilty of declaring God’s goodness only in times of ease? Forgetting His goodness in times of difficulty? What are some things we can do to remind ourselves of His goodness in every situation?

 

 

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9 Bible Verses to Comfort the Lonely

Bible verses on lonelinessHave you ever been lonely? Perhaps you’re lonely now. You can feel lonely even in a crowd without a close companion by your side.

People leave. Death and distance separate loved ones. Relationships dissolve. Trouble and time tear us apart.

Even the most loving and dependable people will eventually leave us. Christians will face hardship, loneliness, and a multitude of other trials. But there is One who will never forsake us. One who is always for us.

May these Scriptures from God’s Word give you peace and comfort as you draw close to the One who will never leave you.

  1. Deuteronomy 31:6 – God is with you in the midst of any and every fearful and difficult circumstance.
  2. Psalm 118:6-7 – The LORD is with you! He is your Helper and Victor.
  3. Psalm 9:9-10 – The Lord’s sheltering presence is safe and reliable. He will never forsake those who seek Him.
  4. Psalm 68:5-6 – God draws close to those who are lonely and provides for them. He is a “father to the fatherless” and He “sets the lonely in families.”
  5. Isaiah 41:10 – God holds you in His hand. He will help you and give you strength.
  6. Lamentations 3:22-24 – The LORD is all you need. He is faithful, loving, and compassionate to those who wait for Him.
  7. John 14:16-21 – The Lord’s presence is permanent and intimate.
  8. Romans 8:39 – Nothing can ever separate you from Jesus and His love.
  9. 2 Timothy 4:16-18 – Even if everyone else deserts you, the Lord will stand at your side and strengthen you.

Even if you feel alone, you can trust that God is with you. Ask Him to comfort you with His faithful presence today.

Which verse spoke most to your heart today? Why?

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4 Truths the Bible Teaches about Itself

BibleThe Bible was the first book ever printed. It also holds the distinction of being the best-selling book of all time. In fact, the Bible continues to be the top seller of the year – year after year – with about 25 million copies sold annually in the United States alone.

According to a 2006 New Yorker article by Daniel Radosh, research shows that 91% of American households own at least one Bible and the average household owns four. Reflecting on these statistics, Radosh wrote, “…Bible publishers manage to sell 25 million copies a year of a book that almost everybody already has.”

I just took an inventory of all the Bibles in our house. The result? Twenty-one Bibles in nine different translations.

That inventory does not include the numerous translations I can read online. Or on my phone. Abundant audio versions allow us to listen to the Bible in our cars, at the gym, or anywhere else we can take our MP3 players. Access to God’s Word today has never been greater or more varied.

Unfortunately, the numbers of those who actually read the Bible regularly do not reflect the high level of ownership and accessibility. Pollster George Gallup, Jr. has been widely quoted as saying, “Americans revere the Bible, but, by and large, they don’t read it.” Polls show that only about a third of American Christians read the Bible on their own one or more times each week. How physically healthy would we be if we ate less than once a week?

Are you a statistic? Let’s foster our desire to be in God’s Word by considering four key truths the Bible teaches about itself:

  1. The Bible is literally the words of God – Although physically recorded by the hands of men, every word was inspired by the Spirit of God. God breathed out His Word through humans for humans. (2 Timothy 3:16)
  2. The Bible is alive and active today – God’s Word is working in our lives and the lives of those around us. It is not static or bound by time. It crosses all cultural barriers, language differences, and geographical borders. (Hebrews 4:12)
  3. The Bible is a mirror for our spirits – The Holy Spirit wields God’s Word like a sword to pierce our hearts and reveal our sinful thoughts, attitudes, and motivations (Hebrews 4:12-13).
  4. The Bible is God’s tool for refinement – He lays it out beside our lives as a measuring rod to teach, correct, and equip us in preparation for God’s purposes (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

God longs to lovingly apply His Word like a balm to our souls, to heal our hurts, comfort our grief, and fill us with His joy. Yet often we fail to give Him the opportunity. If we really believe that the Bible is the very words of God to us and for us, then why don’t we read it? Why do we fail to taste its sweetness?

We’ve allowed our fast-food, high-speed internet culture to shape even the way we approach the Bible. I confess, I still sometimes allow the busyness of life to pressure me to get “in and out” of the Bible and on to my full day ahead. Yet to be truly affected by God’s Word, to be transformed by the Holy Scriptures, we must slow down. Linger over it. Savor every word. We cannot experience its earth shaking power on the run.

In Thursday’s post we will consider 3 steps to creating a hunger for God’s Word. Between now and then, let’s reflect on our desire for Scripture. Do we hunger? Do we only take it in when it’s convenient? Do we make time in God’s Word a priority?

Let’s do some honest sharing today. Where are you? How often do you take time to sit down and linger with your Bible?

Note: This blog was adapted from my book “Fed Up with Flat Faith: 10 Attitudes and Actions to Pump Up Your Faith”

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Should Christians Boycott?

“I’m not going to Starbucks anymore,” my friend declared.

“Trying to cut back on the caffeine?” I asked.

“No. It’s because of their stand on marriage.”

Oh. I didn’t bother to tell her that the coffee in our cups was Café Verona. Or that I had just purchased Starbucks gift cards and travel mugs for Christmas presents.

But this encounter highlighted an issue I’ve been thinking about for a while. And with Christmas shopping upon us, it’s a good time to discuss it.

Should Christians participate in boycotts?

What does it mean to “boycott?”

BoycottTo boycott a company means to abstain from buying or using a company’s goods or services in order to intimidate or coerce. Christians often boycott companies that approve of or promote ethics or social issues contrary to our Christian faith.

The primary issues in recent years have been homosexuality and abortion. For instance, some Christians have boycotted companies that offer benefits to the same-sex partners of their employees or that give money to organizations that provide abortions like Planned Parenthood. A few of the companies that show up on almost every “boycott list” include American Airlines, Disney, Home Depot, Target, and Starbucks.

So what’s a Peppermint Mocha loving girl to do?

Some Biblical Guidelines

I have searched Scripture and prayerfully decided what I should do about boycotts. I don’t believe my conclusion is the only right one or even right for you. Faithful believers fall on both sides of this issue. Unlike murder, adultery, gossip and other topics, there are no direct commands regarding boycotts in Scripture. However, there are biblical truths and principles we can apply.

  • Not like the world, but not separate – Jesus sent us out into the world, to spend time with those who need to know Him (Luke 5:29-32), to be light and salt in this dark and dying world (Matthew 5:13-16). He commands us to be in the world, just not to adopt the values and behavior of the world (John 17:15-18).
  • Don’t judge “the world” – Christians must call other Christians to repentance and obedience. But it is not the Christian’s place to judge the behavior of those outside the church (see 1 Corinthians 5:9-13). Paul commands us to separate ourselves from immoral, unrepentant Christians. He said it’s impossible to separate ourselves from immoral unbelievers.
  • Interacting with the world – Scripture calls us to interact with “outsiders” with respect, gentleness, and grace. In this way, we draw people to ourselves, making the most of every opportunity to share Jesus (1 Peter 3:15 and Colossians 4:5-6).
  • Consider your conscience – At the end of the day, when Scripture doesn’t speak specifically, seek the Holy Spirit’s guidance, consider how your behavior will affect others, and then follow your conscience. (See 1 Corinthians 8:1-13 and Romans 14:1-8.) Believers disagree on the boycott issue and that’s okay. We can each seek to glorify God without condemning another Christian’s decision.

How Does a Boycott Impact the World?

Probably the point that’s impacted my decision the most is how boycotts look to the lost world. Do they glorify God and point others to Jesus or do they simply leave a bad taste in their mouths for Christianity?

An article I read by Russell Moore presented a very valid argument on the “no boycott” side. Moore essentially said that boycotts are the way the world fights.

A boycott exposes us to all of our worst tendencies. Christians are tempted, again and again, to fight like the devil to please the Lord… But we don’t persuade our neighbors by mimicking their angry power-protests. We persuade them by holding fast to the gospel, by explaining our increasingly odd view of marriage, and by serving the world and our neighbors around us, as our Lord does, with a towel and a foot-bucket.

We cannot change the world and its ways from the outside in. The Holy Spirit is the One who transforms our thinking and behavior to conform to God’s. Our job is to introduce them to Jesus.

Will a boycott further the Gospel? If I refuse to purchase Starbucks coffee will it help me engage my neighbor about spiritual things or create opportunities to share Jesus? And what about Christians employed by Starbucks who earn their living from the company?

My Personal Decision About Boycotts

Choosing to boycott is a huge can of worms. What are the guidelines? What company policies are “anti-Christian?” Do you stop at company policies or also consider the views of management? The slant of the advertising? What about all the items a store has on their shelves? Would I stay away from iTunes because of some of the music they sell? What about the policies of my electricity provider or mortgage company?

As you can tell from the direction of the post to this point, I don’t plan to give up lattes, burn my Disney movies, or stop shopping at Target. But, I understand why other believers take a different stand. If the Holy Spirit and your heart leads you that way, then that is what you should do. This is one of those matters where believers can differ yet still live in unity.

I do consider the primary purpose of the business before making any final decisions. For instance, Starbuck’s primary purpose is to sell coffee. That’s why I give them money. But, if a company’s primary business purpose is to sell something like pornography, then I would say emphatically that Christians should not give them their money. And I wholeheartedly support Christian-owned businesses with my money and word of mouth. I choose Hobby Lobby over Michael’s and Chick-Fil-A over every other chicken sandwich.

To boycott or not to boycott, that is the question. The answer? Which action best glorifies God and furthers His Kingdom?

What about you? How has God led you regarding the issue of boycotts?

Two related articles to check out:

“Should Christians Boycott Starbucks?” by Russell Moore

“Can Christians Do Business with the World?” by Robert Rothwell

 

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I’m Trying to be Grateful, But I’m a Slow Learner

Reach Out 2014There’s a particular lesson God keeps teaching me over and over again. He wants me to be grateful and act like it. He’s brought it up from multiple directions over the past couple of years. You’d think I’d be an expert by now. But apparently I’m a slow learner.

The lesson is easy to understand. It’s just hard to retain.

God wants me to be a giver, not a taker. He wants me to reach out with full hands, not empty ones. He wants me to store up treasures in heaven, not pack my closet with clothes.

The lessons began a couple of years ago. I had been growing increasingly uncomfortable over not only the excess of our culture, but also the excess in my own life. (See this earlier post.) Then God dropped a life-changing Bible study in my lap called “The 7 Experiment” by Jen Hatmaker. In fact, I publicly worked through the study here on my website and then led it with women at my church.

I know God was teaching me to be more aware and responsive to the needs of others around me. To be far less self-indulgent. To use the vast resources He has given me and my family to help and bless others.

And I did. For awhile. Oh, but old habits are hard to break.

Recently I realized I had taken two steps forward, but then one step back. “Recently,” as in, just this week. And God’s lesson was refreshed in triplicate.

  • First, on Sunday, our pastor’s sermon was titled “Treasures in Heaven.” Yep, from Matthew 6:19-24. And he challenged us to give to mission work in India our church has partnered with.
  • Second, the team leader of BFF (an advocacy group I’m part of for a girls’ center in Bangladesh) wrote about the possibility of a big endeavor we might take on.
  • Third, I got a message from my writer friend Shellie Tomlinson (The Belle of All Things Southern) asking me to participate in a November gratitude drive called “Reach Out 2014.” This is the one I want to share with you today.

Reach Out 2014

In Shellie’s words, the Reach Out campaign asks “writers and readers alike to kick off the holiday season with a commitment not to simply articulate our thankfulness, but to express our gratitude in a tangible way on behalf of those who could never in their wildest dreams conceive of the type of holidays we’ll soon enjoy. We’ll take the 30 days leading up to Thanksgiving to give and to help motivate our own circle of friends to give with us!”

Shellie not only challenges us to show our gratitude in a tangible way, she offers a great opportunity to do it in a way that supports God’s Kingdom. She has partnered with “Hope without Borders” to raise $20,000 to build a Hope Center for children in Nicaragua.

I’ve already donated. You can find out more, join the Reach Out effort, or donate on Shellie’s site.

Of course this is just one way to show your gratitude. God may lead you in another direction.

But, either way, please join me this month of Thanksgiving to show our gratitude to the Giver of all things by giving to others in return.

In what ways have you been blessed? In what ways could you bless someone else?

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10 Things to Pray for Christians in Iraq

Pray for persecuted ChristiansThis past week, stories of persecuted believers filled social media. As I read still another tragic account, the need to pray overwhelmed me. Yet, I felt so inadequate about how and what to pray for Christians in Iraq.

Recently, God has been shifting my perspective on Christian persecution. I know from His Word that He works in it and through it in a unique way and uses it to expand the Kingdom. Prayers solely for the persecution to end did not seem adequate.

So I asked God to show me. “Lord, how do I pray for your people enduring great suffering for the name of Christ?”

Then the Holy Spirit prompted me to look up passages in God’s Word about sharing in the sufferings of Christ. For that is what our brothers and sisters in Iraq and Syria and other parts of the globe are doing.

These passages give us some direction, some catalyst for our prayers. The following are 10 things I pulled right out of Scripture we can pray for these dear, suffering believers:

  1. That they would experience the overflowing comfort of Christ through the very real and abundant presence of the Holy Spirit (2 Corinthians 1:3-5).
  2. For their lives to produce patient endurance (2 Corinthians 1:6-8).
  3. That they would learn to rely totally on God (2 Corinthians 1:9)
  4. That God would help them maintain an eternal perspective, keeping Christ above all earthly things (Philippians 3:7-9).
  5. That they would know Christ deeply and intimately (Philippians 3:10).
  6. That Christ’s resurrection power would flood their lives (Philippians 3:10).
  7. That their suffering for Christ would be a clear, strong testimony to Christ, bringing Him glory (1 Peter 3:15-16).
  8. That they would experience overwhelming join as they participate in the sufferings of Christ (1 Peter 4:12-14).
  9. That their hearts would swell with praise for God (1 Peter 4:16).
  10. For their ultimate deliverance and glory in Christ (Romans 8:17-18).

Join me in praying for believers around the world who are being persecuted because of Christ!

How have you been led to pray? Voice a prayer in the comments below.

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Extreme Selfies

You’ve heard of “extreme sports,” an athletic activity with a high level of danger involved. Well, “selfies” seem to now have an extreme category of their own. Recently, stories have popped up around the globe of people risking life and limb to snap a photo of themselves in dangerous places or situations.

Extreme selfieFor instance, an extreme selfie craze in Hong Kong has college students climbing the tallest skyscrapers in the city to take their own photo at the top! In July, a man grabbed a selfie while running with the bulls in Pamplona, Spain.  And just last week, a 24-year-old man was arrested after climbing the Brooklyn Bridge to take a few selfies. He risked his life to snap a pic of himself against the New York City skyline.

Sadly, these extreme selfies can end in disaster and heartbreak. A few weeks ago, a family from Poland visited some cliffs in Cabo da Roca, Portugal. While attempting to take a photo of themselves and the view, the parents fell off the cliff to their deaths while their two young children watched.

Our culture promotes self-centeredness, selfishness, and even extreme narcissism. It’s all about “me,” all the time. From over-indulgence at the all-you-can-eat buffet to “look-at-me” social media to “do whatever it takes” to get ahead at the work place values, our society pushes us to put ourselves before everyone else. Even to our own harm.

Even Christians have a hard time not drifting with this cultural flow. And while a few pics on Facebook may be harmless enough, the attitude saturates everything and before you know it we’ve become an extreme “selfie,” putting ourself first in everything, all the time.

How do you know if you’re an extreme selfie? Here are a few characteristics:

  • Greedy and Self-indulgent – An extreme selfie may appear to do all the right things but the inside of us is far different. We want and want and give into our selfish desires (Matthew 23:25).
  • Loves self first – An extreme selfie will love herself more than anyone else and it will show in her actions (2 Timothy 3:2-5).
  • Overly ambitious – An extreme selfie will be so driven by the desire to get ahead and succeed, they will use and even harm others in the process (Galatians 5:20).
  • Selfish service – An extreme selfie may even “serve” Jesus merely for what’s in it for them (Philippians 1:17).

When we put ourselves first and selfishly seek to fulfill our own desires we really harm ourselves in the long run. We end up so full of ourselves we miss out on Jesus and His best for us. We miss the joy of humbly serving and doing life together with a body of believers. And we miss the blessing of joining God in what He’s doing in the world.

Here’s a quick summary of God’s call away from extreme selfishness:

  • Deny ourselves and follow Jesus – It’s in “losing” our life that we truly find life (Luke 9:23-25).
  • Look out for the needs and interests of others (Philippians 2:4).
  • Love others unselfishly (1 Corinthians 13:5).
  • Serve others rather than indulging self (Galatians 5:13).
  • Lay down our own life and let Jesus live His life through us (Galatians 2:20).

When we come into a saving relationship with Jesus, our life is no longer our own. Jesus wants to use us to serve others. He wants to use our time, energy, resources – our very life – to fulfill His plans and purposes. We are no longer our own, we belong to Him.

In what areas do you struggle most with giving complete control to Jesus? What areas of selfish seem to have the biggest hold on you?

 

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Finding Strength

I’m excited to have Heather Strickland as my guest today! Her passion is to encourage women with the truth of God’s Word!

Strength in God's WordI’m Mama to three small boys. Some nights I’m so tired I can’t think straight. Cooking meals, washing dishes, teaching school, and folding laundry can overwhelm me. Sometimes, it feels like there isn’t enough of me to go around and I’m burdened with weariness.

But, God’s Word reminds me I don’t have to do it all on my own. He urges me to call on Him for strength and the ability to do my work. He waits for me to come to Him. He longs to help me. I don’t have to be overwhelmed when I lean on my Father.

God waits for you, too. Humble yourself before Him. With His help you can complete your tasks and fulfill your calling. Like a tired child who climbs up into her father’s lap to rest, come to God to find your rest.

God wants to encourage you and fill you with His strength. Go to His Word and find spiritual renewal. Humbly ask for His help and give Him the glory for accomplishing what only He can.

God calls us to tasks beyond our ability, so we’ll rely on Him. I have never felt like I could be a good mother, but God works through me to be the mother He desires me to be. It’s amazing to feel His presence working in and through me.

The words written in the Bible are effective and can have such an impact on our lives. They can carry us through hardships, guide us in making decisions, and encourage us when we are burdened. Our Father loves us and wants to see us succeed so we can give Him the glory and praise. Get in His Word and let it fill you up.

What verse or passage of Scripture has encouraged you recently? In what way?

Heather StricklandMississippi born and raised, Heather Strickland is a stay-at-home wife and mother with a Heather Strickland coverpassion to encourage others through writing. She enjoys sipping coffee on her front porch, flipping through the pages of a good book, and holding hands with her love. When she isn’t serving her family, Heather blogs regularly at Becoming Titus 2 Women, Laced with Grace, and The Imperfect Wives. But her primary ministry is to her husband and three boys. The encouragement Heather receives from God’s Word gives her a desire to help other women experience the same thing. Her new devotional book, At the Master’s Feet, is the result. Whether you are in the midst of trials or joys, triumphs or defeats, good times or bad – Heather encourages the reader to turn to God’s Word for encouragement. Sit at the Master’s feet and learn from Him. You may contact Heather on Facebook at Becoming Titus 2 Women or email her at the.stricklands06@gmail.com

 

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Spiritual Power Walking: Learn & Apply God’s Word

I’m honored to welcome my friend, author Poppy Smith, to the blog today. Poppy gives us a glimpse into what it looks like to not only learn God’s Word by to also strive to apply God’s Word!

Poppy SmithA couple of weeks ago I went for an hour’s walk, determined to not only exercise my “temple” but also my brain. I decided to memorize what the Apostle Paul said in Acts 20:24 and consider how I could apply God’s Word to my life.

“I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me-the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace.”

As I mulled over each part of this verse, heart-probing questions filled my mind.

Four questions I wrestled with:

  • Do I really consider my life worth nothing to me? Or do I want and go after what pleases me?
  • Am I still eager to finish the race, or am I being side-tracked and enticed to take it easy?
  • Do I know what task the Lord Jesus has given me? Am I taking it seriously? Do I sincerely long to complete what He uniquely designed for me to do? (Eph:2:10)
  • Am I testifying to the gospel of God’s grace in the ways God has equipped and called me? At home with family, through words, hospitality, generosity, acts of kindness, staying in touch with unbelieving relatives and friends?

Spending an hour with these questions and asking the Holy Spirit to search my heart unveiled a lot of stuff I needed to acknowledge. But you know, and I know, that merely acknowledging our failings with humble repentance is not the end goal of times like this. God wants us to make changes—otherwise our repentance is merely sentimentality.

Keep Going. Don’t Stop.

To further emphasize His point that we are called to complete the tasks He has for us, God declares through Paul:

“Be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 15:58 NKJV).

I need that message every day. My mind needs challenging when I dwell on the obstacles, pressures, stressors, and negatives. It needs reminding that inertia, laziness, self-indulgence, and faithlessness is not the way of Jesus nor of His followers.

Paul challenges us to “run the Christian life with focus, train, compete with passion, fight with purpose, master the flesh, and work to receive an eternal reward” (1 Corinthians 9:24-27, Leadership Bible).

Are you challenged by these verses? Are you convicted as you look at your priorities? Will you take time to pray over what the Spirit is saying to you about your view of living the Christian life?

I’m glad God’s Spirit is “working me over,” speaking to me through numerous Scriptures, prayer, and other books that challenge me to live fully for Him.

Do you need to ask Him to work a changed heart and perspective in you, too? What perspective of yours doesn’t line up with God’s?

Poppy Smith is funny, warm, and passionate about helping women grow spiritually and personally through her speaking and writing ministry. She is a former BSF teacher and has a Masters in Spiritual Formation. Her most recent book is “Why Can’t He Be More Like Me?” For more information, visit PoppySmith.com. Connect with Poppy on Facebook and Twitter.

 

 

 

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3 R’s for Life’s Trials and Troubles

I get motion sick very easily. Cruise ship. Park swing. If I move too fast, I can even get a little queasy unloading the dishwasher.

So a few years ago, when I flew on a small puddle-jumper plane from Shreveport to Houston during a thunderstorm, I didn’t stand a chance. Even though it was only about 45 minutes from wheels up to wheels down, it was a two-airbag flight. I “lost” everything.

The flight attendant could have opened the door and tossed me out and I would have been relieved. There were moments I didn’t think I was going to live through it. Other moments when I wished I wouldn’t. Of course, I did live through it, but not with grace or dignity.

3 R's for life's stormsHave you ever felt like you wouldn’t survive one of life’s storms? Has there been a time when a trial was so intense you wondered if you would make it through? Jesus clearly told us trials will come. We will have trouble in this world (John 16:33), but we can take heart, because Jesus is greater than the trouble!

When trials and troubles come – and they will – here are 3 R’s to help you weather the storm:

1. Reflect on God’s purposes – Trials in a believer’s life have purpose. God wants to use them to refine our faith, to transform us into the image of Christ. The trials themselves may cause grief, but we can rejoice in the truth that God will use them for our good and His glory! (See 1 Peter 1:6-7.)

2. Rest in God’s promises – The Bible is full of promises God makes to His children. Many of them are promises to help us, strengthen us, walk with us, and guide us in the midst of trouble. We can rely and rest on God’s promises because He is a promise keeper! (For more on God’s promises in trouble see this post and this post.)

3. Rejoice in God’s presence – God does not promise a life without trouble, but He does promise His presence in the midst of it. Even if we lose everything, we have God and that is more than enough (Psalm 23:4; Habakkuk 3:17-19).

Which of these R’s comforts you the most? Which one do you have the most trouble hanging onto? Why?

 

 

 

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