Truth in Trials: Joy Stealing Comparison

Whenever I am enduring something, I try to keep a Bible verse on hand. So far, I have utilized two particular Bible verses to reach me in my time of need. But, the second one is far easier to remember.

My sister had a baby this week. While it is exciting to know this new life is here, this was the week where my PTSD symptoms were off the charts. While I tried to be physically present, my mind was feeling a little bit sick and needing some self care.

What are those two Bible verses?


I want you to be free from the concerns of this life. An unmarried man can spend his time doing the Lord’s work and thinking how to please him [1 Corinthians 7:32, NLT].

I think it is easy to look at my life, and become depressed. My life, in comparison to others, is different. Most folks are either married, parents, or both. But, what is my role in society at this particular moment? While my mind and body are sick, I am exactly where the Lord Jesus Christ has planted me.

You know what, I don’t have a boyfriend or kids… but, my life still means something. And, I have to fight to believe this truth. At times, it’s quite difficult. But by being single and only an Auntie, I have freedom, time wise, that others likely don’t have. And, this time can be utilized by writing or spending time with my family (even when I am too sick to leave my bedroom).

With PTSD, I have to remind myself that I am not a failure or truly alone.

My Heavenly Father is present and working through me.

He is present in my circumstances.

He is present in the waiting room of life.

He is very present in our lives and acting on our behalf!

Even though I do fear still and am prone to anxiety, I can know He is with me.

And, I can keep reminding myself of His truths.


Yet I am not alone because the Father is with me [John 16:32b].

A sentence of God’s truth can move mountains in our hearts and lives!

The Holy Spirit has given me these specific Scriptures to fix my eyes upon. His Words are truth, regardless of my emotions.

One of the most amazing things is how the Lord can use His Word to speak His truth into our lives and pick us up when we have fallen down.

This past week, I have learned the value of 1 Corinthians 7:32 – because of what I endured last week. If it wasn’t for my “mental health week,” I cannot say that I would have become as intimate with this Scripture.

I have the freedom to be concerned only with the Lord Jesus, His Kingdom, and my immediate family. This is freedom, not everyone has. So while it may feel shameful like somehow I am not measuring up, I can make a bigger difference in the world – because I am exactly where the Lord wants me.

No amount of comparison is worthy of becoming my joy stealer. I want the joy of standing right where the Lord wants me!

As for you, what are the Scriptures that our Mighty God is carving into your hearts and lives?

Image: John-Mark Smith

Trust Habits #8

Last week, I spoke about growing in consistently spending time with the Lord. This is such an important aspect in developing trust and intimacy in my relationship with Jesus Christ. If I want to see my relationship with our sweet Savior Jesus to experience growth, then, quality time with Him is a must.

I don’t know about you, but in my earthly relationships I can’t expect to have a relationship with others if I don’t speak to them (as well as listen when they speak to me). It is very much a two way street. We are urged to speak to our Lord as though we were speaking to a friend. Have you read Exodus 33:11?


Inside the Tent of Meeting, the Lord would speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend. Afterward Moses would return to the camp, but the young man who assisted him, Joshua son of Nun, would remain behind in the Tent of Meeting.

Exodus 33:11, New Living Translation

God isn’t fearful of speaking to us. While He isn’t, we often might be fearful of speaking to the Lord. While we are invited, and urged even, to have a holy fear of the Lord, our fear might not be out of reverence for His holiness. It can often come from someplace else. This begs a question:

What do we need to do, in order to develop this kind of beautiful relationship with our Lord Jesus?

As we consider our relationship with the Almighty God, may we think about the quality of our conversations with the Most High God. May we think about the quality of our conversations with God, and give them to Him. God is good. God is holy. God is all powerful. God wants to be our Best Friend. God wants to have the kind of conversations with us, as we would have with our closest friends – but with even greater intimacy than we could ever hope to develop with close loved ones.

  • God spoke fearlessly to Moses.
  • Moses listened and responded, willingly.
  • Moses conducted business with the Lord.
  • Joshua stayed put, because Moses had a specific plan in place. First to meet with the Lord, and secondly to serve while Moses was gone.

How are you growing in talking with the Lord as one speaks to a friend? How could you grow deeper in this area?

My prayer life is an area where I desperately need to seek an abundance of grace and growth. As I seek our Lord Jesus Christ, I want to learn how to speak to the Lord as one speaks to a friend. My prayer life can grow much in this area. With each circumstance I face, it is a new opportunity to hear from God and develop the communication abilities to experience my Lord as the Best Friend I could ever have. Just as we do with each name for God, we can experience Him as our Best Friend. He is our Good Shepherd who wants to show us His amazing love and grace in our lives. He is our amazing heavenly Father who wants to intimately watch and communicate with us, as we enjoy the good gifts He gives to us.

Unsplash Photo: Emanuela Picone

In Him,
Stacey

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

Trust Habits #5

A trust habit is anything that causes us to have greater intimacy and trust in our Lord Jesus Christ.

Things have been challenging on my end. There has just been so much going on. Sometimes, we enter seasons of life that is like this. In this place, we learn how much we truly will trust in our Savior Jesus Christ.

There is plenty that I don’t know about life.
And, trials.

But, I think as I live in this new season of painfully experiencing life and relationship – being as close to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ – is the most important thing I can do.

Only He can comfort my soul the way it needs.

Only He can give me a peace that surpasses understanding.

Only He can give me strength to keep going. Because let’s be real, some days – the whole “keep going” thing is hard.

Staying as close as I can to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is how I will get through this.

Running to Jesus Christ is the best of all trust habits. And it could mean many things to many people. Which is why this series is so fun. There is just sooo much we can sit and discuss over a cup of tea in the comment section.

So as we get back into our “Trust Habits,” what helps you trust the Lord more when you are in the thick of life?

Right now, here are my “go to” things:

  1. Allowing myself to seriously just cry and cry.
  2. Allow the Lord to enter those moments of hardcore grief.
  3. Praying. Today, my prayer is for Him to literally just carry me. Everything is just so hard right now.
  4. Allowing myself to rest, not do.
  5. And lastly, I try to put on worship music each day. Lately, I have been enjoying the Kari Jobe station through Amazon Prime.

This is just me, being real right now. I know today isn’t Tuesday. And I have no idea when I will post this.

And I know, my family isn’t the only ones going through the thick of life right now.

I just think, I need to discover what it means to really develop habits that help me trust our Mighty God soooo much more than I am.

On Christ, the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand.

Hymn: My Hope is Built on Nothing Else

Featured image by Toa Heftiba of Unsplash.

Seeking Jesus,

Signature

Fog of Depression

I have greatly struggled with depression this past month. I am not sure it could be narrowed down to any one specific factor. There are many things, which can cause one’s mental illness to “flare up”. When undergoing trials, the holidays can become a difficult season. The holidays can bring up many emotions, regardless of life circumstances.

Wherever you are, I see you. As I face my own struggles, I see you. I see you and I want to encourage each of you, so you don’t go through this time feeling isolated or alone.


Depression can become quite thick around this time of year. I don’t know where you are, but I want to encourage you to press on. All the while, I am trying to encourage my own self to press on.

How so? For myself, I just finished reading the book of Genesis. I seem to do well pressing on in my Bible reading right now. My prayer life is where I seriously need to see growth.

In Genesis 22, God instructed Abraham to give his son Isaac in sacrificial worship. His precious, long-awaited, son needed to be fully given to God. But, would Abraham trust God… love God, even here? Will you and I surrender?


‘Sometime later God tested Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!” “Here I am,” he replied. Then God said, “Take your son, your only son, whom you love—Isaac—and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you.

. . . ”The angel of the Lord called to Abraham from heaven a second time and said, “I swear by myself, declares the Lord, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, I will surely bless you . . . because you have obeyed me.”’

~ See Genesis 22


As I am reminded of Abraham’s great act of surrender, I know, there are many things I need to surrender to the Lord Jesus in my own life. When I willfully give my circumstances to our great God, He will take care of them. I need to give God each day and keep trying to dig into His Word – despite the trials I face. I have been talking a lot about that, in my daily Bible checkup time on Instagram | Facebook.

My goal behind the daily Bible checkup time is: to help each of us to fight back in our battles and read our Bible’s (and pray) – even when it is hard.

But they delight in the law of the Lord,
    meditating on it day and night.
3They are like trees planted along the riverbank,
    bearing fruit each season.
Their leaves never wither,
    and they prosper in all they do.

Psalm 1:2-3, New Living Translation

How about you – dear friend? What do you need to surrender to the Lord Jesus today? How are you struggling and in need of prayer or encouragement?

Featured image: Markos Mant

Forever His,
Stace