Devotion: Good Out of Bad

Life is hard.

How often do we allow ourselves to grieve with God about the difficulties of our lives?

We need to be able to weep with our Mighty God about our difficulties, so we can begin to see how He is working, with fresh eyes as we grieve with the reminded that our Savior Jesus is grieving too.

Confession: I don’t like being sick, but there is something very beautiful about how our Mighty God who raised Jesus Christ from the dead – can indeed bring good out of bad.

This is probably why I love hearing Genesis Joseph’s testimony!

“As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.”

Genesis 50:20, ESV

“My Verse” toward chronic illness has been Genesis 50:20.

When, like Joseph, we experience difficulties in our lives, we have to remind ourselves of the good things that can happen – even though we went (or are currently going) through a terrible thing

[This is not to advocate abuse. If you are being abused, call 9-1-1 and get out of that situation. If you are suicidal, call 9-1-1 and find support to find hope again as well as accountability if/when you need it or meds/therapy, because in both circumstances whether someone else is harming you or self harm is happening, you are worth getting out of that kind of situation or mindset. You are worthy of living and thriving. No judgment here. I am both on meds and see behavioral help, so that I don’t self-harm. I don’t want to even get to that point again in my mental health. ]

Jesus Christ cares for you so much, that He died on the cross to carry your sorrows and griefs as well as sins. And He rose on the third day to give you new life. New life, that you can begin living now!

Maybe for you, it is a trauma you wish never happened. Maybe, it’s a chronic illness that you have experienced for years and it hasn’t gone away. Maybe, it is the loss of your marriage. Or something completely different, but equally devastating.

I love the hope of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and He is the Reason I can get up in the morning.

Even in a sea of depressive thoughts and chronic illness, He remains my hope. And our God never changes, regardless of how horrible our circumstances become.

My goal today is simply begin sitting with you. I don’t know if it is your first time here or hundredth. Either way, welcome to Gracefully Overcoming!

You are very loved and treasured first and foremost by God, but by me as well – so if I can pray for you or offer emotional support…

Don’t be shy to leave a comment or head on over to Facebook or Instagram to find me (I don’t check Twitter enough). There is even a Gracefully Overcoming Facebook Group for additional support.

One way you can support this page is through using the affiliated links I use in social media for your any Amazon purchases. It is an affiliated link, which means my blog will benefit at no extra cost to you! Great, right?

Like this one (double donation, since it is my devotional).

Or this one. This link actually is the one recently used in Social Media. It is for a book I am reading about hoping again. Great read so far!

In Christ,
Stace

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

Heavenly Achievements

At times, I feel overwhelmed. Like somehow I have “missed the mark” as a thirty-something year old. While on social media, I am reminded of the accomplishments I didn’t succeed in. The ways, I didn’t do so well. It is easy to play the “comparison game” – when we find ourselves on social media or stumbling upon a former classmate’s achievements.

Here’s the problem with the comparison: It neglects the fact that I have chosen to accept our Lord Jesus’ love offering over accomplishments. Like Paul, I am reminded to count my “pedigree” [background] and accomplishments as sheer rubbish, compared to knowing and walking with our Lord Jesus Christ.

I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done. Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake, I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ and become one with him [Phil. 3:7-9a, NLT]. . .

I may not accomplish things in this world, but it’s far more than okay. We each have to focus our lives upon our Lord Jesus Christ and do what He is leading us to do. This is the far more important thing: to know, to love, and to wholeheartedly serve our amazing Lord Jesus Christ.

Our ultimate accomplishment is to surrender our lives unto our Lord and be faithful to the One who has given us life and purpose.

When we look upon others’ achievements, we may find ourselves more than overwhelmed with our lack of visible ones. But, the truth of the matter is: we are strangers in this land, and live for a Kingdom that isn’t of this world. We are choosing to live for and honor our mighty God! We are living for a Kingdom that will not pass away, for our actions will make an eternal difference.

And remember that the heavenly Father to whom you pray has no favorites. He will judge or reward you according to what you do. So you must live in reverent fear of him during your time here as “temporary residents.” For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And it was not paid with mere gold or silver, which lose their value. It was the precious blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God. God chose him as your ransom long before the world began, but now in these last days he has been revealed for your sake [1 Peter 1:17-20].

Oh friend, allow your greatest achievement(s) to be found in our Lord Jesus Christ and His eternal Kingdom. Accepting our Lord Jesus Christ as Savior and welcoming this relationship we can have with Him is the best decision we could ever make. Let us come running to our Lord Jesus and depend on Him. Trusting Him may not earn us praises of others, but His praise is the only One we need.

Knowing and walking with Jesus Christ is the greatest achievement we could ever have the privilege of partaking in.

Featured image is an Unsplash photo by Rawpixel.

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

DLRB Goals – 11/26-12/1

Do

Learn

Study 1 Corinthians 4:8-13 [Daily posts sent over to Gracefully Overcoming’s Facebook page].

Read

some of Genesis
Book: Starts with Praise
Book: Made for Pleasure

Be

. . . Restful. Above all else, what I need most this week is authentic rest. Physically, emotionally, spiritually – in all areas, I need to experience God’s rest this week.

“Be still, and know that I am God!
    I will be honored by every nation.
    I will be honored throughout the world.” [Psalm 46:10, NLT]

Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” [Matthew 11:28-30]


I normally have a memory verse set up for the week. I am not sure where I will “land” this week. My ultimate goal is to be steadily in the Word of God, so I am “tuned in” with what the Lord God has to say. So often, I get distracted or feel too unwell to read my Bible. Even though I don’t feel well, I need to make sure I stay in the Word of God.

So, that’s my goals for this week. Nothing too big. This new week requires recovering from Thanksgiving break on my end. How about you? What are your goals for this week? Share with me in the comment section below, and I look forward to hearing from you. Also: Feel free to share any prayer requests you have, so we can pray for one another.

Image by Naomi Suzuki.

Seeking Christ,