My Heart’s Wreck {Trials Tuesday}

Today was the original day for our “Trials Tuesday” post, but something happened. My heart and mind were filled with many thoughts and emotions. Ever been there?

My heart was a wreck. And it took some untangling, before writing could begin.

Over the years, I have learned of my inability to emotionally handle certain kinds of trials. Most of the trials I have encountered have required me to emotionally mature. With each trial, I am required to adapt and grow through the trial. Like most growing, it hurts. . . 


Today, I am reminded we can control our attitudes in trials – even if we cannot control anything else. I may not be able to control how much of my week is devoted to resting. But, I can control my attitude about spending that time resting.

While resting may not be my favorite thing to do when dishes and laundry are piling up, I can celebrate the Lord God and this comfortable bed. Or, I can celebrate having online friends who love having conversations as much as I do. Or, having the ability to read my Bible or blog through the “stuff of my life” – much like I am doing now.

While there are many things I cannot control, I can control a few things such as: What I eat, if I read my Bible, and my attitude.


In James 1 and Romans 5, we are reminded about our attitude in trials. In both of these passages, we are reminded that God can work out some very amazingly good things for us – even when we are being pressed on all sides through a trial.

Dear brothers and sisters,a when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.

James 1:2, New Living Translation

It can seem like the impossible. However, in our lives, we can literally fight through our trials with the joy of the Lord as our strength! We don’t have to complain or become bitter, because we have the Holy Spirit living inside of us – if we have chosen to repent and follow Jesus Christ as our Lord. With the Holy Spirit comes certain characteristics we see in God, things like self control, love, kindness, and gentleness,  But, here is the key ingredient: We need this relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ!

This relationship with our Lord Jesus can be the defining moment for our attitudes. I know, it has been for me.

We need our Lord Jesus! He is absolutely essential in our lives, and as we try to learn how to live despite trials.

There is no one like our God.
Amazing things occur when our Lord Jesus becomes the foundation for our lives.

We cannot control many things, but can choose to seek our Lord Jesus Christ on a daily basis – and seek to have His attitude as we live for His glory.

We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. . .

Romans 5:3

Featured image by Kelly Sikkema through Unsplash.

In Christ,

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Transforming Our Words {Trials on Tuesday}

It has been so long since our James study. These days, I think about our “Trials on Tuesday” series. Now seems like the perfect time to pick it up again.

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Dear brothers, don’t ever forget that it is best to listen much, speak little, and not become angry; for anger doesn’t make us good, as God demands that we must be (James 1:19-20).

Many of us struggle with our words. Words can be such a powerful thing. But, they can also become our downfall.

I can struggle profoundly with my words. And I fall into two extremes: withhold all words or say whatever comes to mind, and the words (or gazes) can be less than godly. Our heart, center of passions and emotions, is where it all begins.

I can become tempted to be angry or careless with my words. But, my fleshly heart has a choice to make: To honor Jesus Christ or be led to sin.


The Difficulty

The words we speak, along with listening, and attitude, are important things that help make a mature Christian. It would be wise if we all did a little self evaluation.

Words are either gifts or thorns.
Words can fill up our minds, and even lead us down many rabbit holes.

Even with the confusion of words, God doesn’t leave us on our own to figure it out. God has given us His Word – the Bible, to help us learn how to speak, listen, and control ourselves.

Thank you Lord Jesus, for knowing our struggle with words!


Seeking God’s Help

God is teaching us to:

  • be slow to speak.
  • quick to listen.
  • slow to become angry.

Jesus Christ died on the cross and rose again, so we might be reconciled to God our Father. And now, we can be a pleasing aroma to God – choosing Jesus and to walk in His wondrous ways.

There are three truths to glean from:

#1) When we learn how to communicate like God is showing us, we see results! Our generous God gets the fame that He deserves. And our relationships are better, because we put God’s instruction into action.

#2) God wants to show us that our circumstances do not have to choose our actions for us. This is where the mighty grace of God steps in.

Friends, our God is far more powerful and loving than we could ever imagine. He wants to strengthen and transform us.

#3) Even though our circumstances may not change, our attitude and habits can change. They can change, because of who God is. Because of God, we can begin to take actions to live out this Scripture.

The Son of Man has come to give life to anyone who is lost (Matthew 18:10).

Don’t become like the people of this world. Instead, change the way you think. Then you will always be able to determine what God really wants—what is good, pleasing, and perfect (Romans 12:2).

As I draw near to our Lord Jesus, this is where these transformation – miracles take place.

Image by Nathan Dumlao.

In Christ,

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Noticing the Change {{POTF}}

 

I give thanks to Christ Jesus our Lord who has strengthened me, because he considered me faithful, appointing me to the ministry— even though I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an arrogant man. But I received mercy because I acted out of ignorance in unbelief, and the grace of our Lord overflowed, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus (1 Tim. 1:12-14, CSB).

I needed this truth: our Lord Jesus is the One strengthening us!

While I am a person who struggles with sin, I am absolutely saved by His grace alone. God has shown me His mercy. He has purposely loved me, despite the person I used to be. When my sin nature is in charge, I have the ability to crave being unkind. Yet, the Lord, through the gift of the Holy Spirit, is showing me how I can live a brand new way of life! He continues to deliver me from my old self on a daily, even hourly, basis.

My sin shows me my desperate need for our Lord Jesus who rose from the grave! In Scripture we are given the opportunity to see the difference between drawing nearer to Christ and living for ourselves. Galatians 5 is the number one Scripture that comes to mind on this subject. It shows us the absolute different in our lives when we focus on this relationship with God through our Savior.

For myself, I know our Lord Jesus is the One making the difference! He is doing the work that only He can. Routines, diets, and other things cannot ever change the “inside me.” This is something only our Lord Jesus can do.

The grace of our Lord has been abundantly poured out on me, along with faith and love found in Jesus Christ. The change I need in my personal life is something only Jesus can do. I need the Lord to take my life fully. I need to keep my words and attitude in check, because honestly it is easy to slip up. When life happens, it is easy to fall into the hard place of old ways. Take a look at this encouragement.

take off your former way of life, the old self that is corrupted by deceitful desires, to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, the one created according to God’s likeness in righteousness and purity of the truth (Eph. 4:22-24).”

Friends, let us keep daily putting on Christ.
Let us choose the things of God over this world.
We are given the Holy Spirit to help us in our journey.

How are you making sure you don’t “sober up” from the Holy Spirit?

Just that statement alone, takes a bit to digest – Reading our Bible’s, prayer, and Christian fellowship are all ways to get “drunk on the Spirit”.

Friend, keep drinking in the Lord through coming nearer. We need our Living Water, and drawing nearer is the best way to govern our lives. The Holy Spirit is our tool for every day living, so let us allow Him to strengthen our lives!

Image is by Matt Botsford.

Seeking Him,

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UPDATE + He’s All In!! {Trial Truths}

If there was anything I could say to those who feel lost, broken, or whose hearts feel like they might burst from all the stuff coming at them..,

it would be a simple yet significant reminder of our Risen LORD and the peace that comes from knowing and having a relationship with our Lord Jesus.

While I have endured things in my life, I know the one key difference maker in my life – has a name. His name is Jesus Christ. I have endured difficult things. Some of which I have kept hidden in the depth of my soul. But my Savior and my God knows those deep things. I don’t have to speak of them, in order for Him to see those things.

Eternal Gifts –

He is the One who makes circumstances feel and turn out differently. I can walk through the fiery road of chronic illness, and yet Christ gives me absolute peace and joy in the midst of these almost unbearable things. He offers His peace and presence to us – in the midst of what we are going through. We just have to keep holding on!

Let not your heart be troubled. You are trusting God, now trust in me [Jesus Christ]. . . I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart! And the peace I give isn’t fragile like the peace the world gives. So don’t be troubled or afraid (John 14:1, 27, TLB).”

A question I have the privilege of asking is – “Do you have peace about the circumstances of your lives?” We need to dig our heels in, and seek the Lord’s peace and presence in our circumstances. This is an important question, because the Lord promises us His peace and presence. When we seek Him and surrender, the Lord makes Himself available and will speak through the silence or harsh season.

By inviting Jesus into our situations, we are actually ushering in His incomparable peace that begins to heal our shattered hearts.

The Lord meets us in our difficult situations and cloudy days – and presents good, eternal gifts to us. 

He just knows exactly how to meet us where we are. In the midst of our brokenness.

Where Our Savior Meet Us –

Instead of staying away, that’s the place where He meets us the most. As Scripture says, He came for the lost (see Luke 19:10). He came for those whose hearts are breaking. He has come for us!

The Lord is our loving eternal Father who wants to carry us through the good and bad. He wants to absolutely love us through it, and remain faithful!

If you hear nothing else, hear this. The Lord, our great God, is all in and ready to dive into life with us!

Don’t forget to purchase your eight week study journal! Our Titus and 1-2 Timothy study BEGINS on January 15th. All proceeds go toward helping this ministry.

Also: Find out what Gracefully Overcoming is up to – on Facebook! Several good things going on: Our women’s small group is studying Mark before our new study begins, while the Facebook page is diving into a chronological reading plan!

Image by Joseph Barrientos.

In Christ,

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Leaving an Intentional Legacy {Inspiring Women}

Hi friends! For the months of May/June, we will be using a reading plan given to us by Sweet to the Soul Ministries. Feel free to stroll through their Facebook page and blog. They even have a journaling kit and Bible study for this month’s plan!

Whatever we do, we are urged to do it well. No half-hearted efforts. We are given the opportunity to leave a legacy, while we live as foreigners on this earth.

Whatever you do, do well, for in death, where you are going, there is no working or planning, or knowing, or understanding (Ecc. 9:10; TLB).

This Scripture is one I have never noticed before, but I have seen it in multiple places – as I have initiated my writing break. We are urged to give God our best, and to do our best while we can. All God wants to see is – our best.

What Kind of Legacy?

The legacy I want to leave behind is – a Christ-centered one. I want to make God well pleased with me, which I am given through Christ and His work on the cross. The other goal is to leave behind a life that leaves a pleasing aroma and screams –

“I live for Jesus Christ, because He is worthy.”

Such a legacy is one that will most assuredly lead others to Him with each word {spoken and written} and performed action.

The Life of Joseph

So when the Ishmaelites, who were Midianite traders, came by, Joseph’s brothers pulled him out of the cistern and sold him to them for twenty pieces of silver. And the traders took him to Egypt (Gen. 37:28, NLT)

The Lord was with Joseph so that he prospered, and he lived in the house of his Egyptian master. When his master saw that the Lord was with him and that the Lord gave him success in everything he did (Gen. 39:2-3, NIV).

I am reminded of Joseph. A man with difficult circumstances, but continued to succeed in everything he did. Why did he continually succeed? He was one who sought God’s favor.

When we make our relationship with God through Jesus Christ our top priority, we will want to live a well-intentional life where we do our best. A well-intentioned life means more than half-heartedly pursuing multiple opportunities.

Doing Our Best

We are urged to do well in what we do. It doesn’t mean seizing every opportunity we are offered. There will be times, where we have to decline our opportunities – in order to give our best in what we do say “yes” to (see The Best Yes).

As women, who have been changed by Jesus Christ, we need to be intentional in how we say “yes” to opportunities. In doing so, we can be at our best. This is how we inspire others and maintain a “blessed not stressed” attitude.

Let’s become women of prayer and intentionality, because this is where God wants us to be. After all, every word and action is part of our worship!

What kind of legacy are you leaving behind?

Feature image by Jake Thacker.

In Christ,

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