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When Healing Doesn’t Happen

An honest article about healing by a friend.

CJGodHasAPlanToday is a pain day. Every once in awhile, they creep up. The pain is severe and uncontrollable and obviously, unwelcome. I have had people ask me why God doesn’t heal me. I’ve had people ask me if I have even asked for healing. I have had people ask me if I believe He can do it.

Yes, I do believe He can. But right now, I do believe He won’t.

I don’t believe He doesn’t heal people – I know He does. I have seen it happen before with my own eyes. I just believe it is not the time for me to be healed. Sometimes healing doesn’t happen. But I believe healing doesn’t happen because God has a different plan for you.

When it is just you and pain, you join with Christ for relief. Even if there is no healing. Sometimes He allows the pain to…

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Five Minute Friday: Worth

“In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.” ‭‭1 Peter‬ ‭1:6-7‬ ‭NIV‬‬

In forty-five years of walking with Jesus, I’ve suffered grief in all kinds of trials. Losing our firstborn daughter in an automobile accident. A miscarriage. A severely handicapped son who is totally dependent upon others to meet all his needs. Alzheimer’s touching our lives twice. My own long list of chronic illnesses. None of these circumstances have been easy to walk through.

Yet God’s purposes are being accomplished in and through my life. As I look back over my life, even I can see how much my faith has grown. According to human logic, faith grows as we experience miracles and are blessed. But according to God’s reasoning, faith grows as it is refined by fire. It may not make sense to me, but I know it is true.

And as I reflect back on my life, I can only reach one conclusion. The more I’ve gone through, the more my faith and love for my Lord has grown. Lord, You are worth it all!

 

Winning Over Worry: Betrayal

The following is a short devotional I wrote on Psalm 55, to share with a group I work with. I decided to also share it on my blog today, since it is a subject many ladies with chronic illness struggle with.

 

Few things are more painful than the betrayal of a close friend. The pain of unfaithfulness by someone we trust is difficult to deal with, and though Psalm 55 does not give us any details on what had happened we can feel David’s hurt.

In this situation, David knew what to do. In his distress, he cried out to the Lord for help. Three things stood out to me in these verses.
1. David honestly expressed the pain he was feeling, pouring out the anguish of his heart to God.
2. David also prayed in faith, expecting the Lord to hear and respond.
3. This was not a one time prayer: evening, morning and noon David cried out the his God for help. Apparently, peace did not come the first time David prayed, so he continued praying until he was confident that God was in control and would help him.

Victory over worry isn’t always a quick and easy process. But honestly telling the Lord (and sometimes others whom we trust) what we are facing is a key to winning over worry. Pray in both honesty and trust, and keep praying until you sense breakthrough. No matter what you are facing today, apply these three steps of prayer to have victory over worry.

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Getting through the wilderness

An encoraging article by a friend.

ShepherdessfortheKing

O God, you are my God; I earnestly search for you. My soul thirsts for you: my whole body longs for you in this parched and weary land where there is no water. -Psalm 63:1 NLT

Dry. Hot. Weary. Thirsty. Oh, so thirsty.

I have never been or had the desire to go to a desert. However, I know what it’s like to be really dry and thirsty on a hot summer’s day. All I want at this point is a very large glass of water. Until I get one, I complain about the heat and the thirst and fuss about things until I get that glass of water.

When I finally get a glass of water. I guzzle it down instead of sipping. I don’t enjoy it. I am just desperate to be hydrated. I’m so thirsty, I don’t’ savour the water. I just get it down my throat…

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Five Minute Friday: Expect

According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, to expect is:

  • to anticipate or look forward to the coming or occurrence of
  • to consider probable or certain

That sounds just like the biblical definition of hope, which is my Word of the Year for 2017. And hope is exactly what I’m needing to hold onto today.

This has been a difficult week for our family, a week of problems that in ourselves we have no solution for. But it has also been a week of choosing to hold onto hope. Hope that our problems, while they seem huge to us, are not too big for God.

This has been a week of expectancy, of believing that God is able to meet the needs we have no way to handle on our own. Of expecting His help. It has been a time of wondering how God is going to come through for us this time, but still trusting that He will.

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When we fail to stand in hope in the midst of difficult circumstances, fear and anxiety invade our hearts. My decision this week has been to win over worry and fear by holding onto God’s Word.

“There is surely a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off.”
‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭23:18‬ ‭NIV‬‬

“We wait in hope for the LORD; he is our help and our shield.”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭33:20‬ ‭NIV‬‬

“Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭27:14‬ ‭NIV‬‬

God’s Roadmap for the Future

Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”   Philippians‬ ‭3:12-14‬ ‭NIV‬‬

As I was seeking God’s direction concerning what to write for this week’s Five Minute Friday post, the above words of the apostle Paul came to mind. And along with them, the realization that this is God’s direction for our future.

  • Leave Behind.  The first thing God calls us to do as we look toward the future is to let go of the past. We usually think of this in terms of leaving behind our failures and regrets, and that’s a part of it. But in context of Philippians 3, Paul was referring to leaving behind the good things too – the things he had done that made him appear righteous according to the law.
  • Press On.  We are to press on with understanding of God’s purpose for our lives. As Paul said in Ephesians 2:10, we were “… created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” We are to press on with the goal of fulfilling those good works.
  • Keep Our Eyes on the Final Destination. Know we are on our way to heaven, and turn our eyes and heart in that direction. Keeping an eternal perspective is an important part of moving forward through the difficulties of our current lives. It helps us to keep our eyes on living to please God on every step for the journey.

So today, let go of what lies behind, whether good or bad, and press forward into the future God has for you. And all the while, keep your eyes on our end destination, our ultimate future when Christ returns for His Bride.

 

 

Waiting for God: Four Keys to Waiting Successfully

In our technology-rich society, having to wait for anything goes against the grain. We have grown accustomed to sending a quick text and having an immediate answer. To sending an email instead of a letter and receiving an answer the same day. But this isn’t how God’s kingdom works. One thing I’ve learned in almost forty-five years as a Christian is that God seldom works on our timetable.

Are you in a season of waiting for God? If so, you are not alone. Our family has been there as long as I can remember. The thing we’re waiting on changes, but the object of our waiting remains the same. We are waiting for God to work on our behalf. So when I saw the following quote from a Bible study I’m currently doing it caught my interest. Such a concise definition of what it means to wait on the Lord!

The underlying truth of this discipline of waiting is the Lordship of Jesus Christ: we are “under command” so we are not free to live anyway we want. To wait on God is to wait for His next command, asking Him to speak to us and doing nothing to resolve our current problem until we hear from Him.

Yet, while we leave the issue of our wait in God’s hands, this doesn’t mean a time of waiting is a time of inactivity. During our current time of waiting on the Lord to provide a dependable vehicle for our family, I’ve been asking God what He wants me to do. I believe He was shown me four steps to take, the first three coming from doing a study of the Hebrew word qavah, usually translated wait in the Old Testament, which gave me a deeper understanding of what it means to wait on the Lord.

  1. The root word for qavah means to bind together, as the fibers of a rope are twisted and bound together. When I read this, I saw it as a picture of our lives under the Lordship of Jesus. As the fibers that make up a rope are twisted together to the point where separating them is nearly impossible, we are to be similarly intertwined with the Lord Jesus Christ. This is especially important during times of waiting.
  2. Another meaning of this Hebrew word is to wait expectantly or with hope. Waiting on the Lord is to be done with an attitude of expectancy. As with most attitudes, this begins with a choice, a decision to hold onto hope regardless of what our emotions are screaming. The natural tendency for me during times of waiting is to give place to worry and fear. To wait expectantly is to stand against these emotions by frequently reminding ourselves of God’s character and the promises of His Word.
  3. A third meaning of qavah is to be strong, robust. I don’t know about you, but during prolonged periods of waiting on God to act, I don’t normally feel very strong. In fact, the opposite is true. My faith feels shaky, even though I’m trying to hold onto the sense of expectancy described above. This brings to mind the words of the apostle Paul,  “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” (‭‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭12:9‬ ‭NIV)‬‬ Recognizing my own weakness, I lean on Christ’s strength!
  4. In addition to understanding what Scripture really means when it says to wait on the Lord, another thing that has helped me is meditating on Scriptures about waiting on the Lord. The following verses are some of my favorites.

“In the morning, LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly.”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭5:3‬ ‭NIV‬‬

“Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭27:14‬ ‭NIV‬‬

“We wait in hope for the LORD; he is our help and our shield.”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭33:20‬ ‭NIV‬‬

“Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; do not fret when people succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes.”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭37:7‬ ‭NIV‬‬

LORD, I wait for you; you will answer, Lord my God.”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭38:15‬ ‭NIV‬‬

“I wait for the LORD, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope.”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭130:5‬ ‭NIV‬‬

 “I say to myself, “The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.” The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD.”
‭‭Lamentations‬ ‭3:24-26‬ ‭NIV‬‬

As we wait on the Lord to provide a dependable vehicle for our family, I am daily approaching God’s throne of grace with confidence, asking for His mercy, grace and help in our time of need (Hebrews‬ ‭4:16‬ ‭NIV). ‬‬And I’m also applying the above four keys to walking victoriously through this season. I still don’t know how God is going to answer our prayers, but my confidence is in His character and His promises.

Are you also in a time of waiting on the Lord? If so, remain under the command of our Lord Jesus Christ. Pray and apply the above steps, which will help you walk victoriously through this season. The thing you’re waiting for may be totally different than my current need, but no matter what is the subject of your wait, make the Lord the object of your wait.