Devotion: Why Do We Suffer?

“When life hurts and our dreams fade, we may express our anguish in different ways, but each one of us knows the sting of pain and heartache, disease and disaster, trials and sufferings.” (Hope Again, p. 11)

Often times, we can ask ourselves, our friends, or our Pastor one question: “Why is this happening? What is the purpose?”

As I rest today, I find myself looking at my graduation tassels from 10-12 years ago. Don’t mind me, but I find myself asking those very same questions that I listed above. Just as some might not see the reason for their suffering, I can’t see the reason behind my college education. I don’t question my suffering, often, because I have this blog ministry. But, I do find myself asking those questions about college.

But just like our suffering, I can’t see the full picture. I don’t know why the Lord led me down the college road – to only to be unemployed and chronically ill. And even though we can see what someone else is doing, we cannot know what our Mighty God is doing. So, we have to keep trusting Him.

The truth is: We all have our own ways of experiencing suffering. In the book of Ecclesiastes, I am reminded of what was said:

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.

Ecc. 3:1, New International Version

Every one of our sufferings are important and matter. Our way of suffering likely differ, but our cries from it still matter. It matters, because you matter! Even though we suffer differently, we all need the same hope – which we can find in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

The Gospel presented to us through the New Testament, gives us a much greater hope than anything this world could ever offer us. We need eternal hope!

Let me leave you with two Scriptures, and we will pick back up on Friday.

But God will never forget the needy; the hope of the afflicted will never perish.

Psalm 9:18

All who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he [Jesus Christ] is pure.

1 John 3:3

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Adventure: Hope Beyond Suffering

Happy Monday to you, my friends!

How are you doing? How can we pray for you? Anything new or exciting happening for you this week?

I have something exciting to share.

An adventure, if you will.

Starting this week, I want to talk // discuss a book I am reading. Or part of a book. It is just a chapter, then we will dive into the next part in our Matthew series (chapters 8-10). I have been sitting and marinating in the truths found, as I read. It is a lot of profound things, I can talk about. And, I think I am ready to step out on the water and follow the Lord in sharing.

The topic is on hoping despite suffering.

This is a topic close to my heart, as you might know. This blog and ministry was laid out for me, because of my own suffering. I didn’t start writing, until I got sick. My life sorta just fell apart, and became something different. Different and hard are not bad, necessarily. I know, these things have really caused me to cling to Jesus Christ.

And this book? It has drawn me in and spoke greatly to my heart, as I face my own suffering.

I need this strong, eternal, hope that is like an anchor, and I know where I can find it. It is found in our Mighty God!


And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

Romans 5:5, New International Version

We need to hope again, my friends! I know, we all have our own stories of brokenness but our Mighty God wants to meet us here.

As we seek Christ, He shows us how to hope in Him – despite suffering.

We need the hope of our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ who has overcame death and calls us to be His own!


If you have a Kindle, the book is really affordable. Then last but not least, the posting schedule.

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. The book we will use.

Devotion: Surrendering My Mind

Whenever I spend time at the county hospital, I am forced to think about how I view people.

My prejudices.
Preconceived notions.
What Scripture says?
Ton and tons to think about. Right?!

But, why think or talk about these things?

. . . Because Jesus loves everyone, despite their appearances, awkward habits, beliefs, chains or burdens.

In my humanness, it can be hard to be as loving. I am not Jesus. I have my limits, but so did He. While Jesus was human as He walked earth, He is fully God. He is perfect.

I want to be like Jesus. So, my ways of thinking about me, about people, about the world, about the sins I used to enjoy. All of that needs to change, so I can become the person the Lord can make me to be!

I am a brand new person, because I chose (and continue to choose) to follow our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Because we are made new when we come to Him, nothing is off limits. The Lord can powerfully move in every area of our lives.

Die to Self

Days like these, where I see people of all ethnicity, prisoners in actual chains, and other things. It reminds me that I could definitely be more loving, because I am not perfect either.

I am reminded of my need to die to my self and to live for Him.

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

Galatians 2:20, New International Version

Becoming Transformed

When we give our preconceived ways of thinking to our Mighty God, He can change us from the inside-out. And, it is a total worship experience. In Romans 12:1-2, we are reminded that as our minds are renewed in Christ – that is when we become transformed. We are being given the amazing blessing of becoming like Christ, as a son or daughter of the Most High God!

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Romans 12:1-2

Now I ask you –

Will you lay down your old way of thinking and choose to fully surrender to Jesus Christ? Give Him everything, and just wait to see how He will indeed change you!

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 reading “Hope Again” by Charles Swindoll.

Devotion: His Mighty Hand

16 For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. 17 He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.

Colossians 1:16-17, NASB

The last two days have been amazingly soul filling. I have had two gatherings, where I could just spend time with friends. Quality time with new and slightly older friends. And I loved it.

Am I utterly exhausted? Most definitely.

But see, my love language is quality time. So I feel the most loved when folks carve time out of their busy life for me. It makes me feel valuable. Like the daughter of the King!

It is so easy to see myself as some peasant who is lowly. Not in terms of humility, it is often as I see myself less valuable. “Oh, they wouldn’t want to spend time with me.

But, they did. They carved out time in their busy or painful lives to spend time, quality time, with me.

I am the daughter of the King. I need wear this title well, with my head and heart held high.

When I feel overwhelmed, this is the passage I often run toward. There is just something about Colossians 1:16-17, because it shows the vastness of our Mighty God!

Even though God is so big, mighty, and holy, He cares for us! He cares so deeply for each one of us, and all we need to do is come to Him.

Come worn.

Come joyful.

Come rested.

Come to Him, when exhausted.

There is just something so very wonderful and breath taking about the quality time our Amazing and Mighty God wants to spend with His people. With you. With myself.

As I sit here, I am clutching my Bible, thankful for His promises and who He is, and that He is the One holding everything in His hands. Because if it was up to me, I would most certainly fail at juggling everything.

Each day, I am reminded that this is God’s ministry. It is not about me or the amazing words I could quite possibly write, but it is about Him, His mighty hand, His salvation He comes offering to each of us, and His Son Jesus Christ who died on the cross for our sins, griefs, and sorrows and rose again on the third day – so that we could live with Him forevermore!

The barrier that once existed between us and God has been destroyed, when we come to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and accept His gift of salvation! And friends, it is an amazing gift. The most amazing gift we could ever be given!

Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!

2 Corinthians 9:15

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Devotion: Living Boldly

I have a busy week this week. Honestly, I don’t enjoy going outside of my home. I find it exhausting on a variety of levels. And, it’s not something I enjoy on most days.

But, I also know I am not alone in this struggle.

Other than realistically meeting others who face this exhaustion on a daily basis, the Bible teaches me that I don’t go through anything on my own. Do you know that to be true when you go through your own struggles?


You are Not Alone!

This morning’s blog post likely won’t be as long, because at the moment it is almost 10p on Monday evening. But, I want to zone in on what Scripture teaches us about this fact that we aren’t ever alone. This list is a short version of the one put out by the Odyssey.

1. “Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying “This is the way; walk in it.” Isaiah 30:21

2. “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare, and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11

3. “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13

4. “For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world- our faith.” 1 John 5:4

5. “God is with you – wherever you may go and no matter what life brings.” Joshua 1:9

6. “She is clothed in strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future.” Proverbs 31:25

7. “I loved you at your darkest.” Romans 5:8


Truthfully:

In light of these seven Scriptures, does this sound like we are left to do things solo? It can be the hardest thing in the world to leave the house, knowing what will result physically and emotionally.

Because I trust and follow our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ, it does make decisions easier – knowing I am not in this thing alone. Because between the Lord God Almighty and my community of friends, I can live boldly – despite the challenges I face from my chronic illnesses and depression.

What does living boldly look like, though? That part, I am just not sure of yet. But, I know a key part of it is walking with our Lord Jesus Christ on a daily basis.

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.