Devotion: Did I Cause That?

Whenever something goes wrong and suffering comes, do you ever wonder what you are doing wrong? Or, am I the only one that falls into this trap?

Last few days I find myself asking, “What am I doing wrong, Lord?”

Then if I am blessed enough, the Holy Spirit will stop me in my tracks. I think, it is an easy trap to fall into. But just because we find ourselves in a bad situation, it doesn’t mean we have somehow failed.

I wonder what would happen if I could stop and ask: “What does God want to teach me through this?” Rather than “How is this evidence that I have somehow failed?”


For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

Ephesians 2:8-10, English Standard Version

Based on the Bible’s truth, I can state clearly that this is faulty thinking. And I, as a follower of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, need to speak His truths into my life. I need to replace the lies, with His divine truth.

Today, I watched Priscilla Shirer and her sister Chrystal Evans Hurst talk about identity. As they were talking, they brought up the power of reading Ephesians 1-2 and listening to who God says we are.

When we allow God to define who we are, we will have an unshakable identity.

An identity that will never depend on someone else or our abilities. Our identity will firmly rest on who God is and what He has done for us through His Son Jesus Christ!

In Christ Jesus, we are so loved. We cannot make honest mistakes [keyword focusing on honestly, not deliberate sins], and walk around as though we will be punished or the world will fall apart for our lack of perfection. We are human beings. Human beings who are passionately loved by their Creator, God, and Savior!

In love He predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.

Ephesians 1:4b-6

So, what can we learn from Ephesians 1-2?

In a brief statement:

Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, is everything I am not. He has covered me, so I don’t have to worry about not being enough!

Maybe, you are feeling as though you aren’t quite enough today. Oh friends, if we could only replace this faulty thinking with the glorious truth that we are His! We are Christ’s. We are loved. We are accepted. We are forgiven. We have been completely redeemed. We are no longer broken and incapable of receiving our Creator’s love.

May we run and enjoy tonight’s chapters that remind us of our Forever Identity!

Disclaimer: You can now support Gracefully Overcoming through your Amazon purchases. At no cost to you (and effortlessly), 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 enjoying this title by Charles Swindoll.

Trusting the Artist {Trial Tuesday}

Some days, weeks, or months, life becomes increasingly difficult. To even foresee the next “thing” on our calendar can seem like a daunting task.

I found myself in this exact place, where… looking ahead seems almost impossible. The only way to explain my week is, well “bad week”. Do you ever have those days, where maybe mental illness (or another trial) is too overwhelming to look at what is even in front of you?

Life with chronic illness is hard, particularly during the holiday season. During this six week stretch, one becomes reminded of what they are (or aren’t).

One might even be asked, “Where do we go from here?” Or, “How am I supposed to face people, in the midst of this?”


Unfortunately. Life does not pause until we are well again. Life sort of stops for those of us living under the pressure of trials, while everyone else’s keeps going. All of our friends and relatives’ lives keep going. Maybe, they finally set a wedding date, have adopted their “bonus”  child, or some other absolutely joyous milestone.

Meanwhile, we try not to come unglued.

Maybe, we are too busy trying to just do that one thing: not come completely unglued.

We are deliberately attempting to find our new normal. It may not even be a version of normal we want, but it is what we have been given.

Life keeps going, even when we aren’t anywhere near a “happy normal.” Life keeps going, and we have to discover how to live the life we have been given – alongside the trials.

I know God uses everything in my life. Some days are fiercely more difficult than others. This week was one of those weeks, where there was a lot going on behind the scenes. Not even I know what God was doing behind the scenes during this week.

. . . But, I am choosing to trust Him anyway.


I am choosing to believe that He is working out all things for my ultimate good, even when I definitely don’t see it. My life is sort of like a painting. In the middle of the painted strokes, it may not look much like a masterpiece. But this Artist has an amazing reputation. Imagine if you saw a well loved painting before it was finished. Would you still see it as treasured before it was finished? We are so loved and cherished by our great God.

Even though the painting doesn’t look like a masterpiece right now, I can trust the Artist. The Creator has well proved His capabilities, so this is why I can trust Him.

I know that You can do all things, and that no thought or purpose of Yours can be restrained or thwarted (Job 42:2, AMP).


We are assured and know that [God being a partner in their labor] all things work together and are [fitting into a plan] for good to and for those who love God and are called according to [His] design and purpose (Romans 8:28).

Nothing To Prove {Blogging-For-Books}

Nothing-To-ProveLately, I have been enjoying the writings and teachings of Jennie Allen. Admittedly, I hadn’t heard of her prior to this year when the women’s group at my church began a study using Chase (an amazing study).

Right now, I am enjoying Allen’s Nothing to Prove: Why We Can Stop Trying So Hard. This is a book that will minister to many aching hearts, as we realize our Lord Jesus is enough. . . and we are enough for Him.

As the title says, we have nothing to prove. Our Mighty God has already taken care of it. It is time to remember our good Father is all we need, and is actively taking good care of us.

Allen is engaging, as she teaches the Word of God and shares her life experiences. There are many nuggets of biblical truths found in this book.

God will use this book to meet and minster to many whose hearts ache, because this is the God we serve. He revives and breathes new life into us.

With each page, I find another “something” that resonates with the weight my soul carries. And, it gives me peace as I walk through this book of being taught God’s Word. This is another reason to keep on reading. Friends, this is a book I really want to keep reading. My book is covered in highlights, because it is something I genuinely need to hear. Which, makes this an easy review to give.

We need more books like this one to spur us on, and help us to remember the truths of the Gospel. That our Savior is enough.

It is about our Lord Jesus and what He has done for us. We don’t have to keep trying so hard. We can learn to truly rest in our Risen Lord Jesus Christ who loves us anyway. He came to die on the cross and rose again, so we could be with Him – and enjoy Him.

As I read, I continue to learn that it is about being with Jesus. We can place our hope and dreams in our Lord, and know that we have all we need. We can rest, knowing Jesus has drawn us to Himself.

We don’t have to keep trying so hard, but we can take time to pause and celebrate the kind of relationship we have with Him. We can stop the chaotic rushing of doing, and meet with our King who loves us anyway.

Do I believe God can use this book in the lives of others? Absolutely.
Would I recommend it to others? Yes, I would.

Friends, be sure to pick up your copy of Nothing to Prove!

In Him,

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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,

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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.

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