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

Desperate Cry

While I may not remember what it is that I am reading, I am trusting the Lord God that His Word still is getting into my spirit – and changing me from the inside-out.

Even though I couldn’t tell you word for word Psalm 142:1-2 is about, I do know this chapter is about desperately crying out to the Lord God for mercy when it seems like no one cares. Such a Psalm is home hitting for so many of us. So, I just wanted to share this Psalm today. As I am broken and withdrawing from everyone, I just want to share this Psalm.

Psalm 142

I cry aloud to the Lord; I plead aloud to the Lord for mercy. I pour out my complaint before Him; I reveal my trouble to Him. Although my spirit is weak within me, You know my way. Along this path I travel they have hidden a trap for me. Look to the right and seeL no one stands up for me; there is no refuge for me; no one cares about me.

I cry You, Lord; I say, “You are my shelter, my portion in the land of the living.” Listen to my cry, for I am very weak. Rescue me from those who pursue me, for they are too strong for me. Free me from prison so that I can praise Your name. The righteous will gather around me because You deal generously with me.

This Psalm meets me where I am. I wish, I could explain where I am as far as my mental health. I can’t keep running from everything. And that’s what I have been doing. The Scripture I can hear most right now is: “Do not have other gods besides me (see Deuteronomy 6:14, Jeremiah 35:15).”

My Routine

I have allowed myself to get too comfortable for things within my control. I could spend time with our Lord Jesus Christ in other ways. Ways that do not “cost” a lot of energy –

  1. Worship music
  2. Enjoy His Presence
  3. Listen to the Bible
  4. Listen to a sermon

    Morning Routine is what comes to mind, so that’s where I want to start – as I confess my sins and repent. I want to start over, and make this a week of honestly seeking His beautiful face. I would like my morning routine to begin something like this:

  • Listen to chapter in Bible
  • Journal for few minutes
  • Pray. Really pray and spend time with the Lord asking for His help
  • Memorize Scripture
  • Take a short walk, as you give this day to the Lord
  • Participate as you listen to worship music

    Psalm 142 isn’t where we are in the Reading Plan today, but it’s where my heart is drawing me and I am going to allow the Word of our Lord to wash over my achy, depressed, anxious, PTSD heart.

Fighting Purposeless(ness)

 

We each face seasons in our lives, where life gets. . . well, messed up. Maybe, you are there right at this very moment. And you find yourself wondering how you will fight. Oh friend, I have been there this week!! It is easier to think about giving up or the alternative to this life.

Esther is taught by Mordecai, her uncle and caretaker, that God made her for this precise moment.

If you keep quiet at a time like this, deliverance and relief for the Jews will arise from some other place, but you and your relatives will die. Who knows if perhaps you were made queen for just such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14, NLT)

While our dilemmas often aren’t life or death, God will meet us here regardless of our circumstances and give us a big glimpse of His purpose for our lives!


Many of us are there right now, where we are facing difficult days, trials, deep discouragement, depression, or feeling of purposelessness. We have all been there in some way.

Maybe even facing the reality of suicidal thoughts. So, I know some of us really have faced life or death decisions.


Friend, God created you with a divine purpose in mind, and no situation (or situations) can rob us of that!!

It has taken me 7 years to find some sort of God given purpose for this season of my life (living with life interfering chronic illness).

In all honesty, I think it was something He told me long ago. I just wrestled with it – and maybe even refused to accept its importance. Some days, I still don’t “feel” the purpose. I was there this week, but I think this is when Christian community really can show up. This is when it is the most important thing to seek our Risen Lord through the Bible and prayer.


Our great God, sent His precious son Jesus Christ to save us!

He came to deliver each and every one of us from difficult and frustrating things. And He came to give us hope and be with us through our pain. While sin destroyed our relationship with Him, Jesus came to reconcile us to our heavenly Father.

This is no ordinary thing to be reconciled to God. He is going to do amazing things through you, my friend!

Hang in there, and keep seeking His face. He will show you the purpose He has given you!


A few verses come to mind, as I write this blog.

And I want to share them to give hope. The Lord will hold onto you fiercely, because of His love for you. Come running to Him, while you still can. Even with the trials and desperation we face, God is going to do some marvelous things in our midst – if we will turn to Him!

I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand (John 16:11, ESV).

For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly (Psalm 84:11).

Unsplash photo by Ivy Barn.

In Him,
Stacey

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Surviving Summer Struggles

Lately, I have profoundly struggled. It is in different areas, from mental health to Dysautonomia and others. Combine everything, and it can make or break my focus. By focus, I mean my special time with Jesus.

I feel the weight of my trials in my focus. I find myself in a whirl of distractions – keeping me from our Risen Lord. Things that keep my heart from wanting to seek Him. The sin? From wanting to seek Him. This realization is a big step – the most important one.

Confessing my sin to my Beloved Savior Jesus Christ and trusting Him – is what will bring forth the healing.

The Spiritual Truth Behind It

These troubles come to prove that your faith is pure. This purity of faith is worth more than gold, which can be proved to be pure by fire but will ruin. But the purity of your faith will bring you praise and glory and honor when Jesus Christ is shown to you (1 Peter 1:7, NCV).

Our troubles will show us where our faith is. We each face this struggle of seeing how close our struggles bring us to Christ, or draw us away. How will our circumstances be impacted by our faith in Jesus Christ? Or vice versa?

As I pull my heart, mind, and body toward pursuing Christ, I want to share some of the best ways to fight through these Summer times. Each spiritual activity will help build up our faith when we need it the most.

How to Fight Through My Summer Struggles?

Being prayerful.

Prayer is essential. Connecting with God is the glue. When we pray, God absolutely shows up and touches everything. While He may not remove our situations, He will give us strength and peace to carry us through.

In this song, When We Pray, we are reminded that the world is changed by the Church’s prayers. Prayer is a needed ministry not only for others, but for our own lives too!

Listen to the Bible.

Let’s actively listen to God’s Word, making Him our “go to” for Someone to listen to. Many of us hate being alone, so listening to God’s Word is the perfect sound!

Using YouVersion has helped me to simply listen to the Bible. I am reminded that I can choose to listen to the Bible, versus Netflix for a hour or so. But as I listen, my heart is turned closer to my God.

Two recommended reading plans:

Listen to praise music.

Like many, I spend a lot of time on YouTube. and recently discovered some encouraging videos. This discovery helps me worship as I listen and utilize the on screen verses. Also: I have my own playlists.

Christian Support.

We need followers of Christ to confide in. We need people who will pray for us, and check on us. Understanding individuals who will love us where we are, and help us when we are weary.

Featured image by Aleksandr Eremin.

Immeasurably More in My Days

Some days, I just want to go home. Have you ever felt this way? Sick of this world and ready to receive Heaven in all our Lord’s glory?

Today’s blog post is simply part of my story. My longing for my eternal home, while realizing God still has me here for a big purpose – even when I don’t see it “in the moment”. Because God sent His Son Jesus Christ, I can trust the purpose even if I don’t “feel” it (see Phil. 1:21-24).

Honestly some days, I am really sick of this world and just the stuff of this life. As I reflect on my day, I realize this to be true.

I am so thankful for the things God has got me through today. He has chosen to deliver me from so much.

I saw a new doctor today who shared advice for ailments she didn’t understand. It was hard explaining emotional things to a doctor who didn’t lift her eyes from her notes. Then add in a flare up. There you have my Tuesday.

I need God to do immeasurably more. And I need to trust that He will, because He already has!


“Now to Him who is able to [carry out His purpose and] do superabundantly more than all that we dare ask or think [infinitely beyond our greatest prayers, hopes, or dreams], according to His power that is at work within us… (Eph. 3:20, AMP).”

I want this “immeasurably more” that our generous God has to offer us, as Christ followers!


(1) God keeps leading me, and that too is immeasurably more in my life. He leads me, even when my body and mind make life difficult.

(2) God does immeasurably more, even when doctor appointments with three new primaries in a row – just doesn’t work out.

(3) God works things out, even when my fingers and toes become numb from taking a walk to seek nourishment.

(4) God is working in my storm, even when I am increasingly anxious about an upcoming appointment.

(5) I don’t know what the future holds. I pray God works out our finances and many other unknowns in my life. But, I have to choose to operate based on trusting the God of the Universe. I know only God can control all these things. I have spent a lot of time fighting for the kind of control only God can have. So, I am choosing to put my trust in the Lord Jesus Christ and continue to reread Proverbs 3:5-10.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart.
    Do not depend on your own understanding.
In all your ways obey him.
    Then he will make your paths smooth and straight (vv. 5-6, NIRV).”


Lord Jesus, I need Your immeasurably more in every single area of my life. Please increase Your activity in my life, and help me to see how You are working out everything for my ultimate good. Please, give me hope and keep me well nourished in my relationship with You. Amen.

Featured image by Robin Noguier.