Devotion: Honest, But Desperate

Can I be honest?

If walking out of a doctor’s appointment after 30 seconds wasn’t social Siberia, I would have today. There was just something about this appointment, that made it worse than the rest.

I say all that to say:

I understand having a bad day or the urge to walk out of a difficult situation.

I want to ask you something that my Uber driver asked me on my way home. “What’s next?” Maybe, you aren’t too sure what your next step ought to be in the physical and emotional realm of things.

I want to be that friend who sits and prays with you – as you wait for God’s directive toward what is next.

What’s Next?

” Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God (Romans 12:2).”

After we have grieved our situations with our Amazing God, we need to ask ourselves (or be asked by a loving friend) what is next for us. For myself, the next step(s) are clear. While I would love to run away from my life and ignore all responsibilities, I can’t do that. And, the odds are you cannot either. So instead of living in a fantasy world where I neglect all responsibility, I want to share what is next – for myself.

Your list may be completely different, depending on your circumstances, your relationship, and surrender to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

  1. Make the next appointment with someone new, and keep searching until I find someone who both listens and is compassionate.
  2. Spend the time praying.
  3. Dive into God’s Word – the Bible.
  4. Fellowship with other Christ followers.

Your answer to this question might look differently, I imagine, but this is my written response to such a question. But, I hope you include steps 2-4 in your plan of what’s next.

Choosing God’s Plan Over My Own

We desperately need to hear God’s Plan for what’s next!

Spending time in prayer, His Word, and fellowshipping with like-minded Christians are each important activities, which will help us discern God’s will for our lives!

And I am desperate for God’s direction.

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding; in all your ways know him, and he will make your paths straight (Proverbs 3:5-6).”

I have learned enough to stand on God’s promises, because He never leaves my side. He always is acting on my behalf and even working in ways I cannot see or understand. So, I want to remember the essential need to cling to His Word and Will.

Disclaimer: You can now support Gracefully Overcoming through your Amazon purchases. At no cost to you, 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 quite fond of this title by Charles Swindoll.

In Him,
Stace

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

Get Cozy with God {Part 2 // Diving Into Corinthians}

Welcome to part two of our “Get Cozy with God” message, my dear friends! ♥

In part 1, I bravely shown you what the inside of my Bible journal and notebook looked like from my other morning’s quiet time. I hope you were able to gain some encouragement from that.

Today, I want to focus on some of these key things that stood out to me – as I spent time with 1 Corinthians 1:1-3. Before we dive in, let’s just pray and read through the passage today.

Lord, fill this place. Meet each person where they are at, and let their confidence remain in You and the incredible work You alone do. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

1 Paul, called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother, To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all who in every place call on the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ (NKJV).

Called. . .  by the will of God: We have been invited by God, to His banquet. He has chosen us! We have been handpicked by our great God. How often do we realize the gift we have been given? It is an absolute gift we have received. It is worthy of celebration, that we have been gifted this opportunity to be with our risen Lord forever.

Kletos {Called} is defined as: Being invited (by God in the proclamation of the Gospel) to obtain eternal salvation in the kingdom through Christ.

We have been called by the Lord, and now are able to rest in Him. It is God who has called us to be His followers and people. As we live out our faith in Christ, let us remember this gift of completely depending upon the Lord. It is a complete gift to be led by God.

“The apostle. . . was called . . . by the will of God; he did not thrust himself into that high and honourable employment, but was chosen, called and sent by God. . . (William Burkitt).”

Sanctified in Christ Jesus: We have been called by God, and this changes everything. In this process of becoming His, we are thoroughly changed. We are no longer defeated by our sinful nature, but we now experience victory because of our Lord Jesus Christ and what has been done on our behalf through the cross and His resurrection.

“The word “saints” does not differ materially from the word “sanctified” in the former part of the verse. It means those who are separated from the world, and set apart to God as holy. The idea which Paul introduces here is, that they became such because they were called to be such. The idea in the former part of the verse is, that this was done “by Christ Jesus;” here he says that it was because they were called to this privilege (Albert Barnes).”

In Every Place, Both Theirs and Ours: This letter is to be used for all of Christ’s beautiful bride. “All who profess Christianity, both in Corinth, Ephesus, and other parts (Adam Clarke).”

“Jesus Christ is the common Lord and Savior of all. He is the exclusive property of no one Church, or people, or nation. Calling on or invoking the name of the Lord Jesus, was the proper distinguishing mark of a Christian. In those times of apostolic light and purity no man attempted to invoke God but in the name of Jesus Christ; this is what genuine Christians still mean when they ask any thing from God for Christ’s Sake.”

Featured image by William Montout.

Until next time,

Signature

Intense Craving {POTF}

Before we reach our “Intense Craving” post, let me first share this week’s memory verse.

“It is he who saved us and chose us for his holy work not because we deserved it but because that was his plan long before the world began—to show his love and kindness to us through Christ (2 Timothy 1:9, TLB).”


Paul “wished to see [Timothy], not only on account of the warm friendship which he had for him but because he would be useful to him in his present circumstances (Barnes, on 2 Timothy 1:4).”

I appreciate how the King James translates this verse:

[G]reatly desiring to see you, being mindful of your tears, that I may be filled with joy. . .

In the Strong’s Concordance, this emotion is described as longing for, pursuing with love, and even intensely craving. If there was anything worthy of intensely craving in the flesh, shouldn’t it be to participate in the body of Christ? To be there for one another? To strengthen our relational connection to God and one another?

It is fairly easy to feel like a fish out of water in today’s social circles. Others don’t seem to intensely crave deep-seated community like I do, or rather the way I do. This isn’t me coming down on others, but loving (versus hating) who God made me to be. Because in today’s passage, it is not only acknowledged – it is accepted to intensely desire Christian friendships and to be around those people.

I am tired of pretending and being silent, while this “violent craving” continues on in my soul. My deepest desire is to cultivate deeper relationships with my Christian brothers and sisters. I want things to finally “connect” – building these relational bridges that circumstances cannot destroy when the next wavy storm comes.

In passages such as this one, we are reminded of our need for deep Christian community – that goes beyond Sunday mornings. Paul craved to be with Timothy in a physical sense, so he could be with his friend. But, there was more. Paul knew through his friendship with Timothy, he had things to contribute – that would help his friend in his circumstances.

I want these kind of friendships. I want close, godly, friendships like this one we see in Scriptures. God wants to hold us and bring us friends who will help us draw nearer, regardless of the fires we might be walking through. We were never meant to live out our Christian life solo. We need our Christian brothers and sisters.

 If there was anything worthy of intensely craving in the flesh, shouldn’t it be to participate in the body of Christ? To be there for one another? To strengthen our relational connection to God and one another? (Click to Tweet)

Just as we have fellowship with God through His Son Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit, we are wholeheartedly invited to have fellowship with other followers of our Savior Jesus Christ. These are the people who will build us up when we are close to giving up, read Scriptures to us in moments of depression, pray over us, text us as we fight through a health flare, and remind us of God’s reputation as the Perfect Healer. This is worship through godly friendships.

Fellowship and relationships with our Christian brothers and sisters is a perfect gift from God. Let’s prayerfully consider how He might be leading us to build closer Christian friendships.

Seeking Him,

signature_v8l23y6i46np7sh2bg

Featured Image is by Clem Onojeghuo.

Community: The Time’s Now

Friends and readers,

I have a wee little announcement to make. For a long time, I have talked about the need for community. The passion for companionship with like-minded followers of Jesus Christ – is something that can drive many of us. It can influence our decisions and lead the way in our lives.

For my own life, I have felt the intense longing for companionship and seen how this longing can drive me the wrong direction if I am not careful. Even so, I have seen how we treat “needing community/companionship” as though something is terribly wrong with us.

The Bible teaches us about the truth. In the Gospel, we see humans with a sinful nature come to know they need Jesus Christ. In learning about our need for a Savior, we learn also about our need for His beloved Church.

We need one another.

We aren’t capable to live our Christian life on our own. We need our brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ, those who are experiencing the Gospel and His powerful transformation.

As disciples of Jesus Christ, we were made for community. And so, I am pursuing a new avenue in connection with this blog.

With that said, my announcement: I have made an online small group for my blog readers and myself to draw near to Jesus together, pray together, search the Scriptures together, and stay encouraged despite circumstances – together!

I want to invite you into a closed Facebook small group. Only God knows the outcome of such a step in faith. But, willfully I come and invite you all to join me too in our online small group. Don’t worry about the “what if’s” or “possibly not keeping up”. I invite you to come and join me. Let’s “do life” together, and just enjoy Jesus Christ – our Savior!

On Monday, we begin a four week Bible study on the book of Philippians. As someone who struggles in her quiet time, I invite you to join me as we dive into Scripture at our own pace and support one another in our walk with the Lord.

Image by Hannah Busing.

In Him,

Signature