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

His Nails {Stepping Into 1 Cor}

A few days ago, we wrapped up week 2 of our beloved study “Stepping into the Corinthians”. We looked at 1:10-17 over the course of the week.

What was your favorite part?
What did you struggle with?

Let’s take a moment to read it here.


For the grace of God has been revealed, bringing salvation to all people. And we are instructed to turn from godless living and sinful pleasures. We should live in this evil world with wisdom, righteousness, and devotion to God, while we look forward with hope to that wonderful day when the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will be revealed (Titus 2:11-13, NLT).

As I went through my week, I was reminded of these truths found in Titus. Our beloved God has brought salvation to all people. Regardless of our gender, nationality, lifestyle, etc, our Lord Jesus Christ is calling us to repent (confess and turn away from our sin) and make the decision to follow Him.

We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are (Rom. 3:22).

My favorite part about this passage is how it demonstrates that our Lord Jesus will help us, as we transform and made Christlike. Even though we have sinned against Him and even welcomed the distraction of division at times, His arms are wide open and ready to receive us. It doesn’t matter what we have done, because our great God and His grace is still greater.

God is amazingly holy, which scares me at times (erm, most of the time). Yet, we are allowed to walk into His holy presence – because of the work of Christ. In 2 Corinthians 5:21, it says we were given the righteousness of Christ. This gives us full access to God.

So while meeting with Him (or prayer) might scare us, it is the place we desperately need to be. Coming away from social media for the weekend – really helped me to get into a good rhythm of simply being with the Lord: Understanding our relationship is one on one.

Our great God is lovingly waiting for us to come to Him. He is waiting for us to realize that He has rescued us from sin, death, and will continue to rescue us from everything that gets in ours and His way. He is not going to abandon us.

For God has said, “I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.” (Heb. 13:5b)

He is in this relationship with us for the long haul, because His pierced hands and feet remind us of His level of commitment toward us. He rose again to give us brand new life, and He wants this intimate relationship with Him to be the absolute center of our new life.

What are we waiting for, my friend?

Featured Photo by Luke Ellis-Craven.

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FMF: Loyalty

Loyalty: faithful in allegiance (Merriam Webster).

In the Bible, God’s Word, we learn a great deal about loyalty.

  1. We see God as loyal to His chosen people.
  2. We are reminded of our urgency to be faithful to God.

What We Need: Faithfulness

Faithfulness is what we need. Unfortunately, we live in a world where faithfulness feels like a thing of the past. We live in a world, where many lack faithfulness. Many today struggle to commit to a phone plan, much less to their significant other, friends, family, or more importantly – to our great God.


The Faithfulness of God

God has gone out of His way, literally, to display His faithfulness to His chosen people. Even though we have ran away from God, He has chosen to send His Son Jesus Christ. He died on the cross for our sins. He rose again on the third day. He came to give us life. Abundant life. {See John 3:16, 19:1-20:18}

Our risen Lord is our best example of what true faithfulness looks like!


Our Devotion

Let’s consider our own lives.

How have we devoted ourselves to God and His Son Jesus Christ? And to our relationships?

While faithfulness is not always easy, it is absolutely blessed by God. When we choose to trust the Lord with our lives, He will guide our steps. God will bless our efforts and give us the strength to stay faithful – as we seek to live out our purpose and seek to obey God in everything!

“And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him (Hebrews 11:6).”

Featured image by FreeStocks.org (through Unsplash).

In Him,

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Transforming Our Words {Trials on Tuesday}

It has been so long since our James study. These days, I think about our “Trials on Tuesday” series. Now seems like the perfect time to pick it up again.

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Dear brothers, don’t ever forget that it is best to listen much, speak little, and not become angry; for anger doesn’t make us good, as God demands that we must be (James 1:19-20).

Many of us struggle with our words. Words can be such a powerful thing. But, they can also become our downfall.

I can struggle profoundly with my words. And I fall into two extremes: withhold all words or say whatever comes to mind, and the words (or gazes) can be less than godly. Our heart, center of passions and emotions, is where it all begins.

I can become tempted to be angry or careless with my words. But, my fleshly heart has a choice to make: To honor Jesus Christ or be led to sin.


The Difficulty

The words we speak, along with listening, and attitude, are important things that help make a mature Christian. It would be wise if we all did a little self evaluation.

Words are either gifts or thorns.
Words can fill up our minds, and even lead us down many rabbit holes.

Even with the confusion of words, God doesn’t leave us on our own to figure it out. God has given us His Word – the Bible, to help us learn how to speak, listen, and control ourselves.

Thank you Lord Jesus, for knowing our struggle with words!


Seeking God’s Help

God is teaching us to:

  • be slow to speak.
  • quick to listen.
  • slow to become angry.

Jesus Christ died on the cross and rose again, so we might be reconciled to God our Father. And now, we can be a pleasing aroma to God – choosing Jesus and to walk in His wondrous ways.

There are three truths to glean from:

#1) When we learn how to communicate like God is showing us, we see results! Our generous God gets the fame that He deserves. And our relationships are better, because we put God’s instruction into action.

#2) God wants to show us that our circumstances do not have to choose our actions for us. This is where the mighty grace of God steps in.

Friends, our God is far more powerful and loving than we could ever imagine. He wants to strengthen and transform us.

#3) Even though our circumstances may not change, our attitude and habits can change. They can change, because of who God is. Because of God, we can begin to take actions to live out this Scripture.

The Son of Man has come to give life to anyone who is lost (Matthew 18:10).

Don’t become like the people of this world. Instead, change the way you think. Then you will always be able to determine what God really wants—what is good, pleasing, and perfect (Romans 12:2).

As I draw near to our Lord Jesus, this is where these transformation – miracles take place.

Image by Nathan Dumlao.

In Christ,

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Craving Fruit {VOTD}

But I say, walk habitually in the [Holy] Spirit [seek Him and be responsive to His guidance], and then you will certainly not carry out the desire of the sinful nature [which responds impulsively without regard for God and His precepts] (Gal. 5:16, AMP).

Life can become wearisome and difficult. Those same things can either draw us nearer to our Savior Jesus, or make us run away from Him. He is all powerful, and can radically change our situations. He can even turn us from a person whose anger is flared to someone who is captivated by His peace.

 Knowing He can change our hearts and situations, how are we running to Jesus as Lord?

This afternoon held a hard, yet beautiful moment. In the midst of “nurturing” a child’s attitude, I didn’t have much to give – especially patience. My heart was in desperate need of Jesus and all the spiritual fruit He has to offer someone like me.

So, I had to choose to mentally walk away, grab my earbuds, and praise God. . . Sometimes, walking away to praise God and allow His fruits to invade our soul – is exactly what we need. We need to do something in these hard moments, to help us – allow God to guide us.

Today, I wasn’t trying to teach some sort of grand spiritual lesson. I was just trying my best to allow Him to be my fuel and watch my words. I just needed to get through the moment.

In the process of me trying to seek God, this child did something similar and began to praise God using a tablet set on YouTube. Whether we realize it or not, others are watching our response to life and circumstances. Just keep seeking our Lord Jesus, and allow Him to lead you.

May we habitually come, seeking. The seeking makes room for us to hear directly from God. To allow our relationship to be nurtured. Not only does this time keep our relationship with Christ alive and active, it keeps our relationship with Christ fueled – so it can keep on growing.

Have you heard about the man, Enoch? This was a man who is noted in the Bible for walking with the Lord. We only know about him, through a few verses. He wholeheartedly sought after the Lord. The results are soul shaking. God can do anything in our lives, and He has amazing things in store for us.

22 After the birth of Methuselah, Enoch lived in close fellowship with God for another 300 years, and he had other sons and daughters.23 Enoch lived 365 years, 24 walking in close fellowship with God. Then one day he disappeared, because God took him (Gen. 5).

How are we choosing to live in close friendship with our God, allowing Him to cause our souls to soar – regardless of our circumstances?

Featured image is by Santiago Gomez from Unsplash.

In Christ,

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