January 6, 2020

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September 18, 2018

What it Means to Be a Child of God

YOU ARE A CHILD OF GOD!

What a precious gift to be called a child of God.

A blood bought daughter.

Fully seen. Fully known. Fully loved by the One True God.

With that title comes amazing promises, one being found in 1 John.

You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.” (1 John 4:4 NIV)

For those who call themselves children of God (those who have accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior), Jesus promises:

We are overcomers … overcoming the false teachings and teachers in our culture. Overcoming the trials, struggles and hardships we encounter in this world. Overcoming the schemes, trials, temptations, and lies of the evil one.

What it Means to Be a Child of God by Wendy Blight. #1John #IAmLoved

Greater is the One who lives in us than the one who lives in the world … we overcome because God’s very presence … His Holy Spirit … lives, breathes and is at work in us.

But, none of this would be possible without the Lamb of God shedding His blood for us.

John’s promises in 1 John are made possible because Jesus POURED OUT HIS BLOOD FOR US.

Take a few minutes, sweet friend, to sit and soak in these truths. These promises. These gifts from our Abba Father.

Through the blood of Jesus, you are redeemed out of the hand of the devil.

Through the blood of Jesus, your sins are forgiven, washed white as snow.

Through the blood of Jesus, you are justified, made righteous, just-as-if-you never sinned.

Through the blood of Jesus, you are made holy in God’s sight, set apart for His purposes.

Through the blood of Jesus, you receive the gift of and are sealed by the Holy Spirit, making your body a living, breathing temple of God’s Holy Spirit.

Through the blood of Jesus and the indwelling power of His Holy Spirit, you are an overcomer. Satan has NO hold on you. He has NO power over you. He MUST FLEE at the name of Jesus.

These are God’s truths.

KNOW THEM! BELIEVE THEM! LIVE THEM!

They will change everything.

If you have a moment, please leave a comment today sharing what God spoke to YOUR heart as ponder the wonder of what it means to be called a child of God and the promises and gifts that are ours simply because we carry that beautiful name.

My study on 1 John, I Am Loved, is for every woman who craves to truly understand, walk confidently in, and live out God’s unconditional, extravagant, lavish love because His love truly changes everything!

August 30, 2018

Time to Cultivate {guest post & giveaway}

Happy Thursday! I’m excited to introduce you to my friend, Jill Beran. She has poured many prayers and words of encouragement into my life through the years, for which I’m so grateful. Jill is a mom and wife and lives on a farm in Iowa. One of my favorite things about Jill are the Bible teachings she shares from life on their farm. Her stories bring God’s Word alive for me in fresh ways.

It’s been a joy to watch Jill grow and develop her gift as a Bible teacher. Today, I’m delighted to share one of her lessons from the farm and share her new Bible study, ReNEWal Road – The Journey of Becoming More Like Jesus.

Jill is giving away a copy of her study so be sure to enter to win below!

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ReNEWal Road – The Journey of Becoming More Like Jesus. A Bible study by Jill Beran.

It’s cultivating time here on the farm. If you were to stop by, you’d find my husband busily cultivating the beans we’ve planted in the field. It’s a task I associate with Iowa soil, and one I know involves work and takes time. Though you may not live on a farm, cultivating is something we all should do! Yours just might not be in a field in Iowa!

Because of the easy access to chemicals and fertilizers, many farmers find they don’t need to cultivate their fields. They take the easier and faster route. But, since we’re raising organic crops, chemicals aren’t an option. My husband must engage in the tedious task of cultivating 12 rows at a time, using equipment that churns up the dirt and removes the weeds, so the crop can grow.

While I watch my husband cultivate our crops, I picture God doing the same with my heart. Cultivating my heart takes time. It involves work and requires effort on my part. It isn’t something that happens with the flip of a switch; it’s hard work, but it brings results!

Cultivating the soil removes weeds from our fields just as cultivating our hearts removes lies, bad attitudes and wrong thoughts from our minds.

Cultivating also tills up the soil, so new growth can occur. Just as at times it would be easier for my husband to use chemicals and raise our crops conventionally, it’s tempting for us to pursue an easier way to connect with God. But, God desires a personal relationship with us. A deep and abiding relationship. There’s no quick way to make that happen, and no one else can do it for us.

In order to do his cultivating, my husband needs a tractor and a cultivator. We need two things as well … quiet time and God’s Word. Our Bible is the main piece of equipment we need – it’s our most powerful tool. Hebrews 4:12 tells us, “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” God’s Word can do more work than my husband’s John Deere will ever do, but we have to open it and be receptive to what He has to say!!

Finally, God also brought to mind that my husband cultivated the same field last year, and his dad did the same many years ago. Each new year, the work had to be done again. Cultivating isn’t a task we do once and consider it done, and the same is true for our hearts. Each season, actually every day of every season, we need to cultivate the soil of our hearts. Only then will new growth take place.

Every year my husband’s goal is to produce a better yield than he did the year before. Shouldn’t we do the same as disciples of Christ? If we want to grow closer to Christ and do more to glorify our Abba Father, our hearts must grow closer to His, and that won’t happen unless we get the cultivating done!

The Giveaway

Giveaway now closed. Jill was so blessed by all of your comments that she is giving away two copies of her book! Congrats Vonnie Kronk and Heidi (hamoth). Please check your email for more information from my assistant, Kim Stewart.

Are you looking for a study that will get you into God’s Word and allow Him to do some cultivating? We’re giving away a copy of Jill’s study, ReNEWal Road – The Journey of Becoming More Like Jesus. Leave a comment with a verse that God has used to change your heart or simply say, “I’m in!” and we’ll enter you in the drawing! U.S. Addresses only please. Winner will be announced here on Friday, September 7.

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Jill Beran is a farmer’s wife, homeschooling mom to 5, and Bible teacher. When she’s not picking rocks or pulling weeds, she enjoys coaching basketball, serving in women’s ministry and writing. You can connect with Jill at Titus24U.

August 23, 2018

Back to School Thoughts and a Prayer

Are you like me as the first day of school draws near? A myriad of emotions overwhelm me each and every time. First it was elementary school. Then middle school. Then high school. Now it’s college.

Part of me is ready for my kids to head back to school … to have a routine again … to have time to myself again. But, the other part of me misses the lazy days, trips to the beach, movies in the middle of the day, lounging by the pool, staying up late playing games, and just plain being together.

Yesterday, my youngest, Bo (almost 21), started his junior in college. My oldest, Lauren (almost 25), works full time in Atlanta and just got engaged! I can’t believe I’m the mother of a bride, ya’ll. Really, girls, I don’t feel that old!!

Time has gone by so quickly. It seems only yesterday, I was pushing them around Target in the shopping cart … Lauren in her princess gown and sparkly shoes and Bo donning his Bob the Builder tools.

As September presses in, my heart finds itself divided again. Joy filling one half for the good things that lie ahead for both my babies this year. The other half aching for that which will never be again.

But, over the years, I’ve learned to trust God’s ways. Mama’s sending their babies off  is the way it’s supposed to be. God loans them to us for a time, and then they’re His.

It’s a never-ending cycle for us mamas. Whether it’s kindergarten, middle school, high school, college, weddings or grandbabies.

What brings me peace is knowing our children will never be alone. Our heavenly Father promises He will never leave them or forsake them. He promises He will be with them every minute of every day…

He knows when they sit and when they rise
He perceives their thoughts from afar 
He discerns their going out and their lying down
He is familiar with all their ways.
Before a word is on their tongue He knows it completely…

Where can they go from His Spirit
Where can they flee from His Presence? (Psalm 139)

He is with them.

I read further…

All the days ordained for them were written in His book before one of them came to be!

God is in control. Our God, the Author of Life, the Blessed Controller of All Things, the Sovereign God of the Universe, is in complete control of our babies. Hallelujah!

Below, please find a prayer I wrote and shared on my blog many years ago. I thought I’d share it again. Please personalize it for you and your family and make it your own.

Heavenly Father, I praise You as the Creator of every good and perfect gift … the greatest of those gifts is my children. Thank You for Your promises in Psalm 139. Will You keep my mind fixed on those promises as I send my precious ones, Lauren and Bo, to school tomorrow. Father, please hide Your Word in their hearts so that when they need to recall a Truth, it will be there. Will You make it their greatest desire to please and obey you in all they say and do? Father, will You teach them in the midst of pressures at school and with peers to trust in You with all their hearts and lean NOT on their own understanding and to acknowledge You in all their ways. Keep Lauren and Bo pure by leading them to live according to Your Word. Give them thankful hearts. Clothe them in humility and teach them to put others first. Father, will You grow them in wisdom, and stature, and favor with You and with man? Teach them to say, “This is the day the Lord has made, and I will rejoice and be glad in it,” no matter what their days may hold. I ask this all in the name of Your Son, Jesus Christ. AMEN.

I pray this prayer for all of our children!

As tears fall from my cheeks, I’m so thankful for you, my friend! I know that I’m not alone. If you have kids going back to school, I’d love to hear your thoughts and prayers. Leave a verse that brings you comfort or a prayer you pray.

August 13, 2018

4 Scriptures for When You Need a Personal God

Hey friends, I’m SO excited to share my friend Jennifer Rothschild’s new study with you!! Jennifer is one of my favorite Bible teachers because she teaches God’s Word with an intimate, tender voice that I find rare among Bible teachers. Her deep love of God’s Word, and passion for everyone she encounters to know and love that Word, is contagious. So, without further delay, enjoy these wise words from Jennifer as she shares from her new LifeWay Bible Study, Psalm 23: The Shepherd With Me.

Plus, she’s giving away a copy of her Bible study book to one of you (read to the end)!

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Do you have any special memories that come up when you read, hear, or think of Psalm 23?

Maybe it was granny’s favorite Psalm. Or maybe it was read at the funeral of someone you love. You may have seen it on a plaque or memorized it as a child.

This passage stirs up all sorts of emotions, doesn’t it?

David, who wrote this Psalm, tells us in the first verse, “The Lord is my…” He then finishes it with “shepherd.”

Think about the word “my.” The verse doesn’t say that the Lord is “a” shepherd or “our” shepherd. It says He is “my” shepherd. To me, “my” means personal possession.

Just ask any toddler. “My” means that toy belongs to me. It is covered with my drool, practically crushed in my little fist, and treasured as if it is the only toy I have. It is my personal possession.

David talks about God as if God belonged to him and he belonged to God. In other words, the relationship is intimate, safe, and permanent.

Sister, do you, like David, talk about God as if He belongs to you and you belong to Him? Is God personal to you?

When I think of the Lord as my shepherd, I feel safe with Him. I see how He has guided me through green pastures and dark valleys. And, to be honest, when I really lean on Him as my shepherd, I feel the freedom to be as needy and dependent as a sheep.

Psalm 23 is not an arm’s length, past-tense, wouldn’t-it-be-nice kind of passage. It is personal. It is a right here, right now, up-close passage about you and your Shepherd.

But “shepherd” is just one way to illustrate God’s character. There are many other verses in the Bible that also describe how the Lord is a personal God to you.

Psalm 23: The Shepherd With Me by Jennifer Rothschild. A LifeWay Bible Study,.

Maybe today you need to be reminded of how the Lord is a personal God. Here are four Scripture passages to get you started.

1. The Lord Is My Portion

The Lord is the portion of my inheritance and my cup;
You support my lot.
 (Psalm 16:5, NASB)

When you consider the Lord is your portion, you’re reminded that He is all you need. In all the areas of your life where you may feel insufficient or weak, sister, He is enough.

2. The Lord Is My Rock

The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer,
My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge;
My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
 (Psalm 18:2, NASB)

With the Lord as your rock, you learn that He will stabilize and ground you when life feels shaky. And when He steadies you, oh girl, you are steadfast and unshakeable.

3. The Lord Is My Salvation

The Lord is my light and my salvation;
Whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the defense of my life;
Whom shall I dread?
 (Psalm 27:1, NASB)

When you consider the Lord is your salvation, you take refuge in Him. You run to Him and He welcomes you, defends you, protects you, and preserves your life.

4. The Lord Is My Strength

The Lord is my strength and my shield;
My heart trusts in Him, and I am helped;
Therefore my heart exults,
And with my song I shall thank Him.
 (Psalm 28:7, NASB)

The Lord is your strength and helps you deal with the fears that rise up in you. He gives you what you need to make it through whatever the day brings.

When Scripture tells you that the Lord is your shepherd, your portion, your rock, your salvation, your strength … Scripture is shouting the truth with the intensity of a 3-year-old, “The Lord is mine! My shepherd, my portion, my rock, my strength. Mine!”

I love that!

He is a right-now, up-close, personal God to you, sister. And He cares for you.

Jennifer’s new Bible study, Psalm 23: The Shepherd With Me will help you explore the depths of God’s care for you tucked in the psalm you’ve always loved. Through August 31, get a free audio download bundle with purchase of Jennifer’s Bible study book.

 

Psalm 23: The Shepherd With Me by Jennifer Rothschild. A LifeWay Bible Study,.

The Giveaway

Giveaway now closed – 9/14/18 congrats Marilyn (Mgoingone) – please check your email for more details from my assistant, Kim Stewart.

How are these qualities of God’s character personal to you? Do you have any additional verses that remind you how personal He is? Share in the comments below, and one reader will win a copy of Jennifer’s new study. U.S. Addresses only please. Winner announced here Monday, August 20.

July 16, 2018

Praying on the Armor of God & A Giveaway

Hey friends!

Today on the Proverbs 31 Ministries Encouragement for Today, These Things Are Not Supposed to Be, I’m sharing a message God laid on my heart as I spent time with Him in the book of Psalms, specifically Psalm 3:3-4. 

But you, Lord, are a shield around me,
    my glory, the One who lifts my head high.
I call out to the Lord,
    and he answers me from his holy mountain.

Even when we walk through the hardest times, our Abba Father never abandons us. He walks with us. He strengthens us. He weeps with us. He ministers to us. Sometimes, He even carries us.

God also protects, empowers, arms and fights for us. He does this, in part, through the amazing gift of His Armor. Paul writes about God’s Armor in Ephesians Chapter 6. A chapter not to be missed!

And, ya’ll know my heart for prayer and how I love to write prayers. A few years back, when I studied the Armor of God in depth, I wrote a prayer to help me pray on that Armor. I’m sharing that prayer with you today. You can download it to your device or print it out to tuck in your journal or Bible.

Click HERE to download Praying on the Armor of God.

Another great way to pray is to pray to God specifically using one of His many magnificent names. Today, I’m giving away a copy of my Bible study, I Know His Name: Discovering Power in the Names of God. In this study, I share eight of my favorite names of God … where the name came from in Scripture and how each name reveals a different character trait of God and what it means to us as His children.

Giveaway now closed. Congrats Erin Todd please see your email for details.

Comment below to be entered to win a copy of I Know His Name. If you want to move beyond simply knowing about God to really knowing God in a very personal way, I Know His Name is for you!

In “I Know His Name,” I’ve included biblical and historical background insights, practical application questions, and a prayer and memory verse for each chapter. We also created a five-session DVD that provides additional teaching to enhance your Bible study. The Bible study book can be studied individually, or with a small group, and with or without the DVD.

U.S. Addresses only please. Winner will be announced and contacted via email on Monday, July 23.

May 25, 2018

Psalm 121 – A Promise from God’s Word

Adventurous I’m not. But, God gave me a daughter who loves travel and adventure. I’ll never forget the day Lauren called to tell me she and her friends wanted to plan a multi-country tour through Asia, staying in hostels and other places this mama would not set foot.

How I wanted to join in on her joy and excitement, but I couldn’t. My mind immediately traveled to terrorist attacks. Scenes from the movie, Taken. Food poisoning. Plane crashes. Any of you mamas been there?

And, to add fuel to my fire, a week before her departure date, pain Lauren had been experiencing elevated to the point it necessitated a doctor visit. Her doctor sent her to a surgeon who told her she needed to have her gall bladder removed as soon as possible. Because of the months of planning invested in this trip, he gave her permission to travel and scheduled her surgery two days after her return. They prescribed medicine that would give her two days to fly back in the event of a gall bladder emergency. Not words an already fearful and nervous mama wanted to hear.

Fear consumed my heart. I turned to the only One I knew would bring me peace. God led me to His Word.

THIS word.

Psalm 121

I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
    where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
    the Maker of heaven and earth.

He will not let your foot slip—
    he who watches over you will not slumber;
indeed, he who watches over Israel
    will neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord watches over you—
    the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
the sun will not harm you by day,
    nor the moon by night.

The Lord will keep you from all harm—
   he will watch over your life;
the Lord will watch over your coming and going
   both now and forevermore.

God’s promise to me …

God will watch over Lauren’s coming and going.

Through this psalm, God reminded me of His character. He never changes. He is the same yesterday, today and forever.

Just as God did for Israel, He will do for Lauren. For centuries, God watched over the coming and going of His chosen people. He did the very same for Jesus and His disciples. I knew He was asking me to trust Him to do the same for my girl. Every plane flight. Every border crossing. Every train. Every hostel. Every meal. Every interaction. He would be there with her. I could trust Him.

Each day, I rehearsed His promises. I prayed them over Lauren and her friends.

Instead of crying out in fear, I called upon Him in faith.

I truly felt anxious for nothing because I prayed about everything.

I believed that HE was watching over her coming and going because He is El Roi, the God Who Sees.

He had His eye upon her. He had His eye on me.

He was near.

He was in control.

She was safe.

I pray this message speaks to your heart today. Maybe you’re sending a child off to college or a far away trip. Maybe you’re stepping into a new place in life. Maybe you or someone you love has received a diagnosis that terrifies you. Maybe you’re in a storm where the waves are crashing over you, overwhelming you. Maybe fear holds you captive.

Sweet friend, turn to your Abba Father. Turn to Psalm 121. Speak it. Pray it. Believe it. Rest in it.

Leave a comment today and share a promise that YOU cling to in times like this. Let’s fill this comment section with Scriptures that will bless and encourage us in these difficult, fearful, lonely, scary places.

Thanking God for each one of you today. May you know His love, presence and provision is the most sweet and intimate ways.

P.S. The winner of our last giveaway was Katria! Please check your email for more info.

Blessings,

SaveSave

SaveSave

April 30, 2018

6 Steps to Studying God’s Word (plus a Giveaway)

I’ll never forget the first time someone taught me how to read God’s Word. Not just read it and move on, but read it and really hear God speak to me. It transformed how I read God’s Word. Not all in one day, of course, but over time. I thought I’d share that process with you today.

Let’s use Psalm 62:5-8 for our reading today:

Let all that I am wait quietly before God,
    for my hope is in him.
He alone is my rock and my salvation,
    my fortress where I will not be shaken.
My victory and honor come from God alone.
    He is my refuge, a rock where no enemy can reach me.
O my people, trust in him at all times.
    Pour out your heart to him,
    for God is our refuge (NLT).

Step One

PRAY and invite God into your time with Him … to open the eyes of your heart to receive what He wants to teach YOU as you open His living and active Word.

Step Two

READ the passage. Read it through a few times.

Step Three

LIST the facts … not details, not your thoughts … just the facts. Who is speaking? What is the subject? Where does the scene take place? When did it happen? Who are the characters? What is the author saying? Try not to paraphrase. Use actual words from the passage itself.

Application step for Psalm 62:5-8:

David is the author.

The subject is the character of God.

Wait quietly before God.

Our hope is in God.

God is our rock. Our salvation.

Victory and honor come from God.

God is our refuge. Our rock.

Pour out our hearts to God.

***This is an example. Your list may not look like mine, and that’s okay.

Step Four

ASK what the verse/passage means. Go back to your facts and look for the spiritual lesson or principle the author conveys through the facts. There may be more than one. It’s more of a general lesson, not necessarily a personal application for you (that comes next). Is there a command to obey? A promise to claim? A warning to heed? An example to follow or not to follow? What do the facts reveal about God’s people? About God’s character? About the culture? About Jesus or the Holy Spirit?

Application step for Psalm 62:5-8:

We need to be still before God and listen and wait.

We find hope in God’s many magnificent names. Rock. Salvation. Fortress. Refuge.

Because of God’s character, we will not be shaken. He is our safe place and protects us from the enemy.

Victory is found in God and God alone.

God wants us to pray and trust Him with our circumstances … fears, trials, doubts, worries.

***Again, this is my example. You may find other spiritual lessons. I’d love to hear yours in the comments.

Step Five

ASK what the verse/passage mean to you personally. Return to step three, take your statements and turn them into questions. What you hear may be for you or for a friend or family member. Sit with your questions and invite God to speak into your heart what HE has for you?

Application step for Psalm 62:5-8:

Do I take time to be still before God? If not, why not?

Where do I turn when I’m weary, overwhelmed, fearful?

Do I let my circumstances shake me to the core, or do I turn to and trust in God?

Where do I place my hope?

Do I know the names of God and what they mean?

Do I entrust God with my heart and my fears, trials and concerns? If not, to whom do I go and does that work for me?

Step Six

RESPOND to what you hear from God. You may not always have a response. Sometimes God is deepening your walk with Him by teaching you more about His character, His people, His history. There may not be a personal action step. But, oftentimes, God will have a personal response for you. He will invite you to take an action step. To put into practice what you have learned.

Application step for Psalm 62:5-8:

If you don’t hear anything, but you sense God is at work, write a prayer. Below is a combination of ways you can incorporate this passage into a prayer.

Heavenly Father, I know You are speaking to my heart, but I’m not quite clear on what You want me to do. Give me ears to hear and a heart to respond. Help me to be still more. Teach me more of Your names, what they teach me about You, and what they mean for me. I am overwhelmed, Lord, but I don’t want to be. I want to trust You more. Teach me how to do that. Direct my steps. My circumstances have me on unsteady ground. I’m afraid of the future. Lord, come to me. Settle me. Set my feet upon YOU, MY ROCK and my FORTRESS. Protect me from my enemy.”

And, if you hear God speaking directly into your circumstances, record the verse, date it and journal what you hear. Ask God to give you the courage to take the steps He is asking you to take or to have the faith to believe what He has told you.

Sweet friend, I pray this has been helpful.

GIVEAWAY – now closed – congrats Katria!

Since we studied several of God’s names today, I thought it would be fun to give away a copy of “I Know His Name,” my Bible study book that studies the names of God. Please leave a comment and share your thoughts on what you learned today. We’ll choose one winner from the comments (U.S. addresses only please).

And, if you have other ways to study God’s Word, please share. We would love to hear your thoughts!

If you are reading this in email, click here to comment on the blog.

P.S. Last week’s winner of the Enough bracelet from Sharon Jaynes is Joyce S.

Blessings to you,

SaveSave

April 24, 2018

When Love Hurts (Guest Post)

Today, I’ve invited my friend Sharon Jaynes to share some encouragement from her new book, Enough: Silencing the Lies that Steal Your Confidence. Sharon has the gift of storytelling. I absolutely love her books because she has the most amazing way of bringing biblical truths alive in ways that make them easier to understand. Whether she’s making me laugh or bringing me to tears, I learn much from Sharon. This devotional is one of my favorites because through her story she provides a practical process to follow when the evil one comes in hard and fast to steal, kill and destroy. Be sure to read through to the end, Sharon has a beautiful giveaway below that you won’t want to miss!

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Enough: Silencing the Lies that Steal Your Confidence by Sharon Jaynes.

“Mommy, Mommy,” Steven cried. “Don’t let them hurt me!”

My son, Steven, was about 3 years old when he contracted a severe case of the flu. His slumped body snuggled listlessly like an old, worn rag doll.

When I carried him into the medical clinic, the doctor quickly diagnosed dehydration and immediately sent us to the hospital.

My heart ripped apart as the nurses strapped my little boy onto a table and began placing IVs in his tiny arms.

“Mommy, Mommy,” Steven cried. “Make them stop! They’re hurting me.”

“No, honey,” I tried to assure him. “They’re going to make you all better.”

“Mommy, help me!”

Steven cried. I cried. The nurses cried.

I could only imagine what was going through Steven’s little mind. Why are these people hurting me? Why doesn’t Mommy make them stop? She must not love me. She’s not protecting me. If she loved me she wouldn’t let them do this. She must not care about me.

Standing in the corner watching my little boy cry, I wondered if that’s how God feels when I’m going through a painful situation that’s for my ultimate good. I cried out, “God, why are You letting this happen? Don’t You love me? Don’t You care about what’s happening to me? Why don’t You make it stop?

It was a picture I wouldn’t soon forget.

I envisioned God speaking to me in my pain. You don’t understand the reason for the pain. You might think I’ve deserted you, but I will never leave you. You might think I don’t love you, but I love you to the height of heaven and the depth of the sea. You might think I don’t care about what’s happening to you, but I am orchestrating your days and care about every hair on your head. My ways are higher than your ways, and My thoughts are higher than your thoughts. Yes, I do care about you and what’s happening to you. In the end, this will make you better.

C.S. Lewis, who watched his beloved wife die of cancer, put it this way: “God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: It is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”

Because God loves us, He desires our conformity more than our comfort. Allowing troubles, trials and pain is one way our loving God makes that so. No one likes getting stuck with a sharp needle, but if the needle brings healing or prevents greater suffering, it’s just what we need. Faith in Jesus Christ does not guarantee an easy life but a perfect eternity.

I don’t know what difficulties you’re facing today. It could be the toughest time of your life. But I do know that during tough times, the devil will tell you (falsely) God doesn’t love you, doesn’t care about you or isn’t doing anything to help you. Don’t listen to him. Satan is a liar—an opportunist who looks for vulnerable times to convince you to question God’s power, provision and promises.

Here’s my process when those lies wiggle their way into my thoughts:

Realize the enemy’s true identity: He’s the father of lies.

Recognize the lie: God doesn’t love me.

Reject the lie!

Replace the lie with truth: “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39).

When we feel like a little kid, thinking our heavenly Father’s standing in the corner not doing anything, we can know He is. Jesus said, “My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I too am working” (John 5:17b, NIV).

No matter what you’re facing today, remember this:

God loves you.
God is good.
God wants what’s best for you.
God is always at work on your behalf.
You can trust Him.

And that’s the truth.

Heavenly Father, sometimes life is just hard. I’ll be honest, sometimes I feel like You’re standing in the corner watching and not working. However, I know deep down that’s not true. Thank You for never leaving nor forsaking me. You always work for my good even when I can’t see it. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Giveaway now closed. Congrats Joyce S., please check your email for details!

Share this post with 5 or more people, then leave a comment that says, “I did it!” We will randomly pick one comment to win an Enough bracelet made by the ladies of Fashion and Compassion. U.S. addresses only please. Winner will be announced on the blog on Monday, April 30.

If you are reading this in email, click HERE to join us on the blog.

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About the book

Do the voices in your head tell you that you are not good enough, smart enough, pretty enough, or just not enough, period?  If so, it’s time to stop listening to the lies that sabotage your confidence and start embracing the truth of your true identity in Christ. Order Enough: Silencing the Lies that Steal Your Confidence and receive 24 printable Truth cards FREE. Click here for details.

Enough: Silencing the Lies that Steal Your Confidence by Sharon Jaynes.

Sharon Jaynes is an international speaker and best-selling author of 21 books. For those who know her best, she is a simple southern girl who loves sweet tea, warm beaches, and helping women live fully and free as a child of God and co-heir with Christ.

 

 

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This post previously appeared as a Proverbs 31 Ministries devotion.

April 12, 2018

Thank You! And, What God Has to Say about His Word

First, may I just say ya’ll are THE BEST! Thank you for taking the time to share your questions on prayer. And, even more, thank you for your honesty and vulnerability. I have created a notebook compiling your questions and can’t wait to begin the adventure of answering them one by one in preparation for writing this book. Ya’ll I gathered nearly 70 questions!! Who knew? I’m so thankful ya’ll love prayer as much as I do!!

Many of your questions talked about praying God’s Word. So today, I thought I would share precious truths and promises about God’s Word. God has much to say in the Bible about the purpose and value of His living and active Word. He gives us powerful truths. Life-changing promises. All to incorporate into our prayers!

IN THE BEGINNING WAS THE WORD, AND THE WORD WAS WITH GOD, AND THE WORD WAS GOD.  HE WAS WITH GOD IN THE BEGINNING. THROUGH HIM ALL THINGS WERE MADE; WITHOUT HIM NOTHING WAS MADE THAT HAS BEEN MADE. JOHN 1:1-3

Man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord. Deuteronomy 8:3

Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Deuteronomy 6:6-9; 11:18-19

How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to Your Word. Psalm 119:9

Your Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path. Psalm 119:105

As for God, His way is perfect; the Word of the Lord is flawless. 2 Sam. 22:31; Proverbs 30:5

My Word that goes out from My mouth: it will not return to Me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it out. Isaiah 55:11

Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. Colossians 3:16

Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the Word of Truth. 2 Timothy 2:15

For the Word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Hebrews 4:12

Do not merely listen to the Word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.  James 1:22

And we have the word of the prophets made more certain, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. 2 Peter 1:19

When your words came, I ate them; they were my joy and my heart’s delight. Jeremiah 15:16

Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will never pass away. Matthew 24:35

If you remain in Me and My words remain in you, ask whatever you wish and it will be given you. John 15:7

Put on the full armor of God … Take the … Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God … And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. Eph. 6:11; 17-18

I would love to hear YOUR favorite verses about God’s Word. Please share them in the comments.

Blessings,

March 12, 2018

What Do You Want to Know about Prayer?

Hey friends!

I’m posting today because I want to share some exciting news with you, and I’d like your help.

I feel God calling me to write a book on prayer!

If you’ve spent time with me here, you know I love to pray. I love to write prayers. I love to teach on prayer. I love to study prayer. In fact, many of you have encouraged me to write this book for years!

So as I embark on this journey, I can’t think of a more amazing community of women to help me get started than YOU my faithful Bible study friends because I know so many of you love prayer, and I value your thoughts.

SO, I’d like to hear YOUR thoughts and questions about prayer.

I’ll keep this post up for a week or two and invite you to leave any and all questions about prayer that come to mind. NO QUESTION IS A DUMB QUESTION.

I won’t answer any questions time, but I will use them to help me choose what topics to cover in the book.

GIVEAWAY NOW CLOSED. THANK YOU THERESA MASON, YOUR COMMENT WAS DRAWN AS THE WINNER. PLEASE SEE YOUR EMAIL FOR MORE INFO.

Thank you in advance for helping me!! I’ll choose one name from the comments to win a copy of my new book “I Am Loved” and the “I Am Loved” bracelet especially created by Fashion and Compassion. U.S. Addresses only please.

Giveaway of #IAmLoved and Fashion to Compassion "Loved" bracelet at wendyblight.com.

Blessings,

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