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

Abundant God + New Study

God is the God of abundance! He makes a way, even when there seems to be no way. Lately, I have felt empty. I am house confined right now. And, it’s hard. Some days my health allows me to open our window’s blinds to see things like sunshine, birds, and small children at play. Some days, it just doesn’t allow for that. Some days, I am too tired, nauseous, or tachycardiac to do even the simplest of things like – washing dishes or eating a small meal.

Even so, I am learning God is our God of abundance. A few days ago, I was able to sit with this passage and it gave me much needed encouragement!

O God, when you led your people out from Egypt, when you marched through the dry wasteland, the earth trembled, and the heavens poured down rain before you, the God of Sinai, before God, the God of Israel. You sent abundant rain, O God, to refresh the weary land. There your people finally settled, and with a bountiful harvest, O God, you provided for your needy people (Psalm 68:7-10, NLT).

No matter what we have lost due to our choice to follow our Lord Jesus, or perhaps health, relationships, etc, God will replenish. He will not leave us, so we feel the weight of what used to be. He can {and will} fill it with something increasingly better – if we will allow for Him to.

As we draw near to Him, He continues to fill us up with His presence and strength!

In the world we live in, it can be too easy to begin comparing today to yesterday. Each day is a gift. Let’s allow God – our generous God – to show up and surprise us with His marvelous works!


Our Newest Study –

It can be hard to stay encouraged while dealing with chronic illness or other trials life throws our way. It can be harder to sit and read our Bible, with all the details swirling through our heads. This is why I wanted to start a new Bible study through Gracefully Overcoming on the book of 1 Corinthians. This first segment is 6 weeks long and takes us through the first three chapters.

I invite you to join us, as we step into 1 Corinthians starting Monday, October 1st. This weekend is when I will share our “cheat sheet”, so we know where we will be going each day.

This study, my goals are pretty simple:

  • Limit our daily verses to no more than four verses. This makes it easier for those with difficult lifestyles or chronic pain to join in the joy of our study.
  • Make this a Monday through Friday study. This gives us the weekend to get caught up if we find ourselves already behind by the end of the first week. {Anyone else find themselves in these messy spots?}
  • Each week, there will be a discussion question found over on the Facebook page. As well, as the daily threads.
  • Ideally, there will be a weekly blog post {Possibly Tuesday of each week}.

Featured image by Lÿvean Imedecis.

In Him,
Stacey

Living As God Intended {Trial Truths}

Late last year, I set up some boundaries. Social media boundaries. These boundaries were put in place to protect me. To protect my heart. The hard thing about social media is – the reminder of how different our lives can look like from everyone else’s.

My life looks vastly different from everyone else’s. I could sit here and literally count the ways. But, it doesn’t really benefit my soul to do that. Instead of doing this profitless thing, I need to keep my focus on the Lord and His Word.

Looking to the Word –

But be sure in deciding these matters that you are living as God intended, marrying or not marrying in accordance with God’s direction and help, and accepting whatever situation God has put you into. This is my rule for all the churches (1 Cor. 7:17, TLB).

In Scripture, we are reminded that – we can be placed in very different circumstances from others. There is a bigger picture than our circumstances (even the devastating ones), and that is the quality of relationship we have with God through His Son Jesus Christ! Will we allow the Lord to be of greater importance than our painful circumstances?

Some things in my life can make me feel so ashamed, and yet I have to remember it is a “drawing near” tool. While my identity isn’t in my circumstances, these things can help me connect with Christ – who is the Source of my identity.

Whatever your circumstance, I welcome you to my blog. You are welcome here. None of us fit into this perfect box of unbrokenness, for we all face hard things. Let’s just keep coming to our Lord Jesus honestly, and learning how to live for Him.

The circumstances we face can be very tough at times. I love this verse found in 1 Cor. 7, because it honestly shares the truth we need to recite in our daily lives. We need to consider how to live a life for our Lord Jesus, even now. We need to live out the call God has placed on our lives today, rather than waiting for better circumstances.

If you are anything like me, you might be feeling inadequate and broken right now. Friend, this is where the Lord will meet you and share with you His presence as you draw nearer to Him.

While I cannot fix your circumstances or even my own, I am here to offer you comfort. The truth is – you are not alone, neither am I. We are not alone. The Lord Jesus Christ meets us here. In this place. And out of all other places, this is the one where He chooses to reveal Himself the most. . . as we come broken before Him and desperately seeking Him.

Well, that is all I have to share today. But, I will be back soon. Don’t forget to order your journal and prepare your heart – because Monday we begin our newest online Bible study (Press On Toward Faithfulness)!

Image by Martin Cehelsky.

Signature

Fighting Well When Weary

I have been sick for quite a while. Some days or weeks, are miraculously better than others. Then you have days like these, where there’s just debilitating weakness and nightmares (meaning: lack of sleep). Everything is snowballing. So, the question you habitually begin to ask is. . .

“Would someone else do a better job if they were placed in my shoes?”

You wonder if someone else would have more success, if they were in your exact shoes.  You begin to consider if it’s not your circumstances, as much as it is somehow you.

The Gift of God’s Grace –

Even as I wrestle with this question, there is something I know to be fully true.

I know, it’s by God’s grace that I have accomplished all I have. And I know that this same grace God gives, is why I can remain encouraged and endure through my circumstances. Because of Jesus’ work on the cross, I am not alone and He is carrying me and my grief.

I may struggle with how well of a job I am doing, but I am still here. I am still fighting. I am still staying where I am planted, and trying to be on the look out for something good to spring up from the ground of my circumstances – that makes it all worthwhile.

Even so, I still can’t help but wonder about that thing. That question. “Would someone else do a better job?” The question, I guess, we all find ourselves asking at one time or another. Even if it is not in sickness, we each face our own unique battles.

Let’s resolve to give this to God. May I give this to my God, with whom I have a relationship, because His knowledge and strength are far greater than my own!

I am what I am. I give what I give. I just need to keep my sword of intentionality nearby, so I fight this battle well. I need to be able to fight well.

Be Intentional –

I need to remember to be intentional. While I can’t break from my struggles, I can choose how I fight my battles. And some days, I will lose. But, I need to figure out how to win.

Our circumstances are not our choice, but how we fight is.

Many of us face circumstances, where we cannot pause our circumstances to regroup ourselves. There’s comfort in knowing I am not alone. The struggles are, as I said, unique for each of us.

I need to remember I am doing my best. Even when I am too weak to fight. Even when I am tired of fighting. I need to be careful in how I fight and learn to fight well.

The Tools –

And, fighting well means not giving up. Summer will be difficult on my body, but I can’t give up. I have to continue enduring and learning which weapons are best suited to fight my battles, which includes –

  1. Stay deep in the Word. As for this Summer, I am working toward reading through the book of Psalms and blogging as I go.
  2. Keep praying and fellowshipping with my Lord Jesus.
  3. Trusting myself and more importantly Jesus Christ. I need to trust that I am doing my best with what I have been given and that my Savior is well pleased with me – regardless of my sickness.

Featured image by Konstantin Dyadyun.

God’s Incomparable {{Week 3}}

Friends, we have covered a lot of ground this week. We have plunged into the depths of Isaiah 40. In our week’s study, we have looked at verses 9 through 17.

There is No Substitute for God

 

“All the people of the earth are nothing when compared to him; he does whatever he thinks best among the angels of heaven, as well as here on earth. No one can stop him or challenge him, saying, ‘What do you mean by doing these things? (Daniel 4:35, TLB)’”

This week, we learned that God is incomparable. We have many one-of-a-kind things in this world. I am reminded of a friend with a banana allergy. Bananas are one of a kind. You can’t substitute bananas, for something else. It doesn’t give the same kind of taste. If we think things of this world are unique and unable to find a suitable substitute, what does that say about their Creator?

God is the One who has uniquely designed everything we have! He is incomparable. (Click to Tweet)

Spiritually speaking, God is unique. God is incomparable. We cannot substitute anything else, to avoid having a relationship with God. Only God can fill us up. Only God can provide the necessary strength and steps we need to walk in this life. There is no substitute for God. None. This is the most important truth we could ever learn.

You’re Invited!

I hope you all are enjoying this study. I invite you all to join me, as we continue our Isaiah 40 study. We have a set of resources available to all (journal and schedule). We are half way through our study, but there is so much more for us to learn from this passage of Scripture.

The Schedule {{Week 3}}

Monday
Isaiah 40:18-20

Tuesday
Isaiah 40:21-22

Wednesday
Isaiah 40:23-24

Thursday
Isaiah 40:25

Friday
Isaiah 40:26

Don’t forget our blog posts, for this study, will go out on… Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday!

***

I want to invite you to join us, on our next Bible study adventure. Starting on September 11, we will begin studying Matthew 4 through 7. In this particular study, we will be digging deep into two sections of Scripture: Jesus’ temptations and the greatest sermon we could ever hear. So, be sure to head over to Amazon and pick up your journal! (Please Note: As an Amazon Affiliate, I receive a small earning when you use this link to make any purchase)