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

The Sanctification Process

Ohhh my friends, I have missed you all so much!!! While I am still on my break, or Sabbath if you will, I wanted to just take a few moments to write you all.

This time away is needed, yet difficult. While difficult, this is the season of life where I will reap the greatest of spiritual blessings.

It is a time of deepening the relationship I have with my heavenly Father through His Son Jesus Christ – my Savior – the One who rescues me and keeps me safe regardless of my outward circumstances.

My Own Testimony

Today, I have been thinking on a transformative piece of Scripture from the book of Titus. I wanted to share just a bit of that with you all.

Once we, too, were foolish and disobedient; we were misled by others and became slaves to many evil pleasures and wicked desires. Our lives were full of resentment and envy. We hated others and they hated us.

But when the time came for the kindness and love of God our Savior to appear, then he saved us—not because we were good enough to be saved but because of his kindness and pity—by washing away our sins and giving us the new joy of the indwelling Holy Spirit. . .

In this passage, I am reminded of the amazing change I am given through our Rescuer Jesus the Christ. The Lord has taken me so far from the person I used to be. It has been a long journey. But, it is one declaring His glory, goodness, and power.

As I think back over my life, I can honestly say I was the “Poster Girl” for Titus 3:3b – where it says:

“We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another.”

I don’t know the specifics of how the Lord did it, but I do know He absolutely did a mighty work – taking me from this person with much hate and anger

. . . to someone who is learning she has been handpicked and profoundly loved by the God of the universe. Which changes everything for my life.

Solely God’s Work

As I continue to walk with my Jesus – with our Savior Jesus, I am able to surrender more and more of me to my gracious Father so my soul has room for the eternally good gifts of God!

This is God’s work, and nothing we can claim as our own. He is working out everything for His ultimate good – and showing me the abundant life He wants to give His people. And it all starts with drawing near to our King Jesus Christ!

He is very generous and able to transform our entire lives – as we make the choice to follow Jesus for ourselves and see what He has in store for our lives. He has a beautiful life in store for us, but the key is willfully seeking to know Jesus Christ for ourselves.

Blog Sabbath-ing

Stay joined to me, and I will stay joined to you. Just as a branch cannot produce fruit unless it stays joined to the vine, you cannot produce fruit unless you stay joined to me (John 15:4).

And as I think on these truths, this time of Sabbath makes the most sense. This is a season of deepening the relationship I have with God through His Son Jesus Christ. This is a season of meeting and walking with Jesus for myself. This is a season of being sanctified and even “pruned” for His glory.

God is doing so much in this season of my life. While the time away is difficult, it has eternal purposes. I just need to keep remembering the undeniable sacredness of this time with Jesus.

If lacking in the blogging department means a more intimate relationship with Jesus without distractions, then, it is forever worth it. As I focus on intimacy with Christ, I am being amazingly changed!

The difficulties of taking this time away, are eased by knowing the good eternal work our Lord Jesus is doing inside of me. As I learn to enjoy this time, He is preparing me for whatever the future has in store.

Image by Roger Burkhard.

Forever His,

Signature

Exodus 25-27

I have, obviously, gotten off track in my Bible reading (plan). Today, is a new start. I will share whatever I feel led to share. Some days, it just might be a quote or song. Other days, a paragraph on what stood out. On some days, utter silence I am sure.

My physical weakness is debilitating tonight, so no guarantee I will make it to this Bible reading tomorrow. But, tonight I am going to offer myself. And, listen to the Word of God.

Exodus 25-27

The Lord said to Moses, “Tell the Israelites to bring me an offering. You are to receive the offering for me from everyone whose heart prompts them to give (Ex. 25:1-2)… Then have them make a sanctuary for me, and I will dwell among them (vv. 8).”

“Set up the tabernacle according to the plan shown you on the mountain (Ex. 26:30).”

“Make the altar hollow, out of boards. It is to be made just as you were shown on the mountain (Ex. 27:8).”

Worship We Seek

God was so specific on what the Israelites needed to do. God not only expects us to worship Him, but He shows us exactly how we can please Him. God pours His love all over us in His directing. He is our good good Father, and is showing us what worship looks like. For the Israelites, at this time, this is what was expected. God enabled them to do all He asked, and He would be so well pleased!

God is precise in how the Israelites could worship Him. Not only would they be worshiping as they sought after God and His resources, they would worship Him as they carried out His commands.

Don’t Miss This!

The tabernacle and altar are so holy, yet God is using His people to construct it. This is just so important. God uses His people. We willingly give Him our worship, and God does something amazing and beautiful out of it. This is why it is of such great importance to know God’s instructions, and to do them.

Learning to Worship

“According to Your Word.”
Let it be as the Lord has said. Let’s pursue what the Lord has directed us to do.

Reminded of what Mary told the angel, when she learned of God’s plan for her life. Her response is the kind we need.

Mary said, “[Look; Behold] I am the ·servant [bondservant; handmaid] of the Lord. Let this happen to me ·as you say [according to your word]!” Then the angel ·went away [left her] (Luke 1:38, EXB).

May we just obey God. Put away our excuses and fears, and worship the Lord our God from the serving to the giving to the praying for God to grant us the resources needed to complete our worship task. Oh, to simply give ourselves to the King of all kings.

How are we seeking the Lord our God and His Holy Bible (His Word) in showing us what worship can look like in our own lives?

God’s plans for his residence among his people take into account a number of factors relating to our human condition. We need some tangible means of recognizing and celebrating God’s presence; we need beauty and majesty; we need a sense of dignity and worth that genuine involvement in a great undertaking can bring; we need to feel that each one’s gifts and abilities have significance (Ashbury Commentary).

Feature image by Robb Leahy.

Coming in Power {{Week 2}}

Hello, my dear friends!

Just a reminder: For the next couple of weeks, we are studying Isaiah 40. Be sure to check out our journal and schedule, to join in the fun! Click here for other related posts.

The Scriptures – Isaiah 40:9-10; Isaiah 51:5

“Jerusalem, you have good news to tell. Go up on a high mountain. Jerusalem, you have good news to tell. Shout out loud the good news. Shout it out and don’t be afraid. Say to the towns of Judah, “Here is your God.” Look, the Lord God is coming with power to rule all the people. Look, he will bring reward for his people; he will have their payment with him (Is. 40:9-10, NCV).”

“I will soon show that I do what is right. I will soon save you. I will use my power and judge all nations. All the faraway places are waiting for me; they wait for my power to help them (Is. 51:5).”

The Pursuit of Our Generous God

God doesn’t come to us, empty hand. Let me rephrase that statement: God never comes to us, empty handed.

Tweet: He is wholeheartedly pursuing us, coming at us with all He has to offer. http://ctt.ec/a7IJN+ He is wholeheartedly pursuing us, coming at us with all He has to offer.

He has both hands full of amazing things to offer us. In our lives, things may seem crazy now. Bad, even. Some of us may feel, as though, our lives are a bit sideway’s up. But, how is my eternal perspective? How is our eternal perspective? I hope, for myself, that I will choose to see this one thing –

God is coming, bringing His power, and rewards with Him.
(Click to Tweet)

And, these are long-lasting gifts He comes to give us – as His people. God’s generous gifts include seeing His power come to life… in our lives. This is one of the best gifts we are given, to see the handiwork of God (see Eph. 2:10).

A Few Truths to Live Out

Through the Scriptures, we are taught God comes and with power. I have written down four things, that Scripture teaches us to do –

  1. Shout His truths from the rooftops.
  2. Do not be afraid.
  3. Look to God.
  4. Wait in expectant hope.

God is the One who rules the nations.
God is the One who cares for us.
God’s mercy is great.

Before it’s time to head out, let me say this one other thing…

He is working. We don’t see what He is doing, yet. Hopefully, as we continue our Isaiah 40 study, we will take closer steps of realizing a specific truth.

God still works – even when we don’t see the specifics of His handiwork.
(Click to Tweet)

***

I invite you all to join us for our next study. Starting September 11, we will spend nine weeks poring over the temptations of Jesus and the greatest sermon we could ever hear. You will not want to miss this study. Head on over to Amazon to grab your journal. (Please note: As an Amazon Affiliate, my blog is given a small earning from any purchase you make – using this specific link.)

Choosing Our Savior Over Struggles {{Week 3}}

Welcome to week 3, my friends!!

Are you excited? I am looking forward to sharing this week’s treasures with you all, as I think and ponder on what God has taught me during this week’s study!

Let’s Begin! (Dig Out Your Journals and Bibles)

{{P.S. I invite all of you newcomers to join us in our study. It is not to late to join in. The journal is still available to be purchased on Amazon for $8.}}

Walking Into The Light: A Six Week Scripture Writing Experience (SHOP NOW)

(Please Note::: When you use the link above, I receive a small earning – which helps support this lovely blog)

Making The Shift

Today, I want us to shift our focus from our struggles and remember what God teaches us in Ephesians 3:4-6 and Romans 8:17.

Each one of us feel the weight of real struggles that bring discouragement, pain, and emotional heaviness with them. None of us are exempt from them.We can spend our entire existence avoiding struggles and pain, and still experience them. Unavoidable, they are. Jesus faced heavy struggles, on our behalf. This is why we can be pointed to Him – from struggles to our Savior!

Both begin with a “s”. The choice is ours, which we choose. Let me share with you about the big “S”.

The “S” in Savior

In Jesus Christ, we find our loving Savior who wants to hold us through the storm of life.

While our struggles (the little “s”) may leave us feeling suffercated and lifeless, Jesus Christ (the big “S”) comes to give us life – abundant life at that! Jesus teaches us this in John 10:10, where He proclaims an important truth that we need to hear today –

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full (NIV).”

Our struggles, in part, come from the Devil. In some way, shape, or form, the Devil seeks to destroy those who place their hope and trust in Jesus Christ – their Savior, our Savior. Struggles in life can cause our trust in Jesus to waver – at times. But, God is greater.

Because God is faithful.

… And, it doesn’t depend on us (see 2 Tim. 2:13).

This is why we can make the shift from our problems to Savior.

God Gives

As we read in today’s verses, we learn that we have an equal inheritance in God’s Kingdom. Even though we aren’t Jewish. Even though, we led a less-than-holy life than the person sitting in the front-row pew in church.

The gifts God gives are unlike anything we experience in the world today. God gives in a lavishingly fashion. God doesn’t hold back. As a result of God’s passionate love, He makes sure we lack nothing in our lives (see Ps. 23:1).

God is abundant in His rich giving.

It reflects on who God is… and  the kind of God we serve.

An absence of struggles doesn’t reflect back on our relationship with God. This means, we aren’t “less than” – because we are facing a heavy life storm right now.

God is still with us, acting for us, fighting for us, loving on us, and breaking down barriers we can’t even see. Keep trusting Him.