God's Presence · trust · worry

Remember to Remember

On a recent early spring day, my husband and I were strolling on one of the beautiful walking paths near us. There is a little river that runs alongside the path. There are a couple of small waterfalls. There are green pastures and mountains. I was reveling in the beauty of it all when I looked at a woman walking towards me. She was not looking at the scenery. She wasn’t looking at the path or those that were walking towards her. She had her phone lifted up and she was texting and scrolling, totally oblivious to the beauty. Now perhaps she had a good reason to do this, but all I could think was, She’s missing all THIS!”

But how often I do the same thing when I’m overwhelmed with things going on in my life! All I can do is be obsessed with what is happening and how it’s affecting me. I miss what God is wanting to show me or remind me.

It’s so comforting to me to see in Scripture that even great men of God had times when they did this, too. But the blessing is that we also get to see when they got the victory over their defeat and how they did it.

Psalm 42 reminds us of a difficult time in David’s life –

V. 6 O my God, my soul is cast down within me: therefore will I remember thee from the land of Jordan, and of the Hermonites, from the hill Mizar.Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of thy waterspouts: all thy waves and thy billows are gone over me.

8 Yet the Lord will command his lovingkindness in the day time, and in the night his song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life.

. David makes a choice to remember His God. It’s often easier for me to focus on the problem or worry at hand. I remember every detail and tell anyone who will listen! But there’s no victory there! Victory comes when we remember to remember – Who will help us, what He will do and when He will do it.

  1. Who – David said, Oh, MY God. Even though David was in despair, he remembered Who would help him – HIS God would! Spurgeon said “You cannot praise another man’s God.” He was David’s God and He praised him for that fact!
    When we remember Who our God is – Holy, immutable, powerful, merciful, omipotent, omnipresent, and OURS, we don’t have to wonder what He will do! We know that we can trust His sovereign, loving hand to do what is right.
  2. Where – David recounts several places he’d been. Perhaps he was remembering how He had known God’s presence and power in those places. The truth stands that no matter where David went, God was with him.
    It’s easy to forget that when we feel alone in our struggles. But look back and remember that on that little hill of sorrow, God was with you. On that mountaintop of blessing, it was God that blessed you. Those deep places call out to the other times of deep trouble when God supplied and strengthened us there and there and there.
  3. When – David recounts that in the daytime he will see God’s lovingkindness, in the night God’s song would be with him, and his prayer would be to the God of his life. It sounds like David is reminding himself that God is faithful during the day, comforting during the night, and listening to his prayers ALL HIS LIFE.

Oh that we would remember to remember God’s activity in our lives when our heart is overwhelmed. Think about Who, Where and When you’ve been helped in the past. It will make you “put your phone down” and count the blessings that are all around you. God is the same as He was back then. He will not fail you now. Just take a look and see what He’s doing on your behalf even today!

Remember to remember your God!

Eternity · Fear · trust

The Choice That Matters Most

A quick glance at today’s headlines are more discouraging than the wrinkles that reflect in my mirror. With daily reports of violence, inflation, deadly storms and a global pandemic, a person could look around them frantically for a means to protect themselves.

  • A concealed weapon
  • A hidden nest egg
  • A storm shelter
  • Masks and vaccines
    These may all give a person a certain level of security, but we all have to realize that our ultimate protection isn’t from any of those man-made methods, but it is from our sovereign God. The psalmist put it this way…

Horses and chariots are man’s means, and they can help, but how wise to trust even more in the name of the Lord!

Author Johanna Weaver put it this way –

If God isn’t bigger than my life, then my life is bigger than God and that’s when anxiety takes over.

But let’s go a little deeper in this subject of trust. Are we so foolish that we put our absolute trust in any of those methods of protection, but NOT put our faith and trust in the God of this universe?

All around us there are men and women who will accept the plans of people with their whole heart, but then shake their fist in the face of God as they mock Him and deny His very existence. They have turned their back on God’s plan of salvation through the shed blood of Christ. They reject the God Who gave them life, and the gift of His Son Who died to give them eternal life.

Some trust in horses and some in chariots.
Horses die.
Chariots fall apart.
Our resources crumble.
But when you remember the name of the Lord our God and depend on Him for the one thing that matters most – your eternity – then you have a sure and solid protection for both these difficult days and eternity!

What are the “horses” and “chariots” that you are trusting? Are you keeping your faith more in the eternal God or the short-lived fixes? This is Satan’s tactic – to get us so focused on the temporary that we neglect the eternal.

To choose Christ is true wisdom. To reject Him is more foolish than anyone you may point at that isn’t using the temporal protection of your choice. It’s so easy to get upside down in what we value most. We can be wise in making good choices for our earthly protection, and totally miss what is truly important. Friend, be sure of eternity. Jesus is the choice that matters most.

Christmas · Hope

Wrapped Up In Christ

Are you all wrapped up on this December day? I’m not referencing your foiled paper and glitter-laden bows, I’m talking about the state of your heart and mind. I’m wondering if you’re wrapped up in hope or fear? Joy or turmoil?

I watch a gal on You Tube that is a very gifted artist, but she often talks about the fear of “something getting ready to happen.” It breaks my heart for her. All that’s going on today keeps the world in a state of panic.

But it doesn’t have to be that way!

I’m happy to say that because I know Christ, I am not afraid My hope is wrapped up in the One who came as a Babe in a manger.

Have you ever wondered what life would be like if Jesus had never come – if He had not humbled Himself to take the form of man?

Without Christ…

  • We would have no hope of heaven, BUT we do!
  • We would be lost in our sin forever, BUT we aren’t!
  • Life would have no purpose BUT it does!
  • There would be no way to know God BUT there is!
  • Sin and suffering would never end BUT it will!

I am sure that list could go on and on. When we consider all we have in Christ, we realize that our very lives each and every day are all that they are because of Christ. Even when we are experiencing the worst day or season in our lives, we know that because of Christ, this is is the worst we will ever experience. This is the only hell a believer will ever know. For one who has not trusted Christ, this is the only heaven they will ever know.

It is our choice to choose what we are wrapped up in –

Hope in Christ

or

Fear and depression

I’m thankful that right now at Christmas we remember that baby Jesus, but more importantly, the Savior who died on the cross and rose from the tomb victoriously! When we feel fear threatening to overwhelm us, we must remember that our hope is not wrapped up in anything in this life, but in the Lord Jesus.

Things are so different for me this year, but my one constancy is Christ. He is my anchor. He is the reason I can press on. He is my hope this Christmas. I pray He is yours, too.

Merry Christmas, my friends.

I posted this last year, in difficult 2020, and I’ll share it again in the midst of all the suffering so many are experiencing today. I pray it will encourage you.

Depression · Fear · Hope · worry

Paralyzed By Fear, Pain or Depression?

This week I have been preparing to teach my grandsons the story of the paralyzed man who had four friends that brought him on his mat to Jesus. As I read through different materials for children, I have been amazed at how most children’s curriculums make the lesson in this story all about the four men who were kind to their friend. That totally misses the real truth in this passage.

The Hero of every story in the Bible is Jesus!

The wonderful thing that happened to that paralyzed man that day was that his great faith in Jesus brought him to the place of receiving forgiveness for his sins! Mark 2:5 When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee.
That’s the best day in ANY person’s life!

The whole issue for each of us who can feel so desperate is looking to Jesus Christ in the midst of our “paralytic situations.”

When we are paralyzed with fear, indecision, pain, loss or heartache, in faith we can “tear the roof off” and make our way to Jesus.

Why should we turn to Jesus in our desperate situations?

  • He is able to bring us to a place of healing. It may not be the physical healing that this man also received, but He will allow us to understand the One from Whom our real peace and joy come. Mark 2:17 When Jesus heard it, he saith unto them, They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. John 14:27
  • He will point us to the real source of happiness. It’s all from Him – not our improved marriage, our fuller bank account or our compliant children. He is always the answer to every paralysis. Romans 8:33-39
  • He changes our finite perspective to an eternal one. Revelation 21:1-5

Friend, how are you doing today? Are you experiencing any “paralyzing situations right now? My heart was grieved to hear of a woman who took her life this week. The pressures that she was feeling were just too great. She had been in despair and thought that the only outlet was death.

In the days in which we are living, it can be easy to feel as desperate as this woman may have felt, but I’m here to tell you that there is hope for each of us today. There’s something better than a bag of potato chips, a pill, a glass of wine or ending your life. That hope is in the One Who healed the paralyzed man on a mat all those years ago. He is able to do whatever is needed to rescue us.

  • Come to Him by calling out to Him.
  • Open His Word in a Quiet place and let Him speak Truth to your heart.
  • Talk to Him. Pour out your heart.
  • Sing. Praise Him. Lift your hands in your worship of Who He is.
  • Then take all that He has said to you, all the comfort He has given, all the hope poured in and share it with someone else.

Sometimes He does use friends to bring us to Him, and perhaps this blog post was sent to your path today to give you the hope you need. If I can pray for you or encourage you, I would be so happy to do so. You can leave a comment here or you can email me using the email address in my contact information at the top of this page.

You’re never without hope for your paralysis…turn to Jesus.

Fear · Stress · worry

Winning Over Anxiety

Photo by Retha Ferguson on Pexels.com

So you’re sitting there mindlessly twirling your hair while your stressed out thoughts are also twirling through your head.

Your anxiety level is up.

You sigh again.

You pick up the cold cup of coffee sitting beside you and mindlessly sip its contents.

These anxious thoughts have become a pattern during the daytime and they plague your thoughts in the night and rob you of sleep.

I don’t know the reason of your worried thoughts, but I do know that we all have them from time to time, and perhaps now more than ever. What are we to do as believers in Christ when anxious thoughts plague us 24/7?

Recently I picked up my Bible to read the Proverb for the day. It was Chapter 7 – a familiar chapter about how the adulterous woman lures men into sin. I then asked God to show me what I needed to hear from this chapter that truly seemed to have no significance in my own life at the moment. The Spirit of God arrested my attention when I read the first five verses!

My son, keep my words, and lay up my commandments with thee.

Keep my commandments, and live; and my law as the apple of thine eye.

Bind them upon thy fingers, write them upon the table of thine heart.

Say unto wisdom, Thou art my sister; and call understanding thy kinswoman:

That they may keep thee from the strange woman,

Though I wasn’t dealing with the subject of infidelity mentioned in this chapter, the Lord showed me that obeying the first four verses of this chapter is how we overcome any sin that is overwhelming us…including the anxiety that seems so prevalent in our world today.
Here’s what I learned about winning over anxiety according to this passage:

  1. Obey God’s Word and commands. Just do it. What you know to do, what you are challenged to do…do it. Instead of sitting and fretting, get up and obey what you know you’re to be doing.
    Read His Word.
    Pray.
    Serve the Lord in your home.
    Give the Gospel to others.
    Fellowship with believers.
    Do the work God has called you to do…laundry, meals, your day job. Be faithful.
  2. Keep God’s commands and live! Love God’s Word as though you cannot live with out it, for indeed we would be lost without His counsel! He has the Words of life!
  3. Keep God’s Word as the apple of your eye. The most tender part of your eye is the most beautiful and vulnerable part of your eye. You must guard it against being neglected. We may be shocked or horrified when we read of Bible burnings that are taking place, but are we truly valuing God’s Word as we would guard the apple of our eye? We must value God’s Word and see it as the most precious part of our life. If that were true…
    ~How often would we read it?
    ~How much more value would we give it?

    ~How much more would we speak it and share it with others?
  4. Bind God’s truths on your fingers. This is speaking of treasuring Scripture like you would a precious gem on your fingers. Maybe it would help us to keep God’s Words at our fingertips!
    This made me think of my Memory verse cards – these should be dangling more often from my fingers as I treasure the Truth written on them, study them, and obey them.
  5. Write them on the table of your heart. We can only do this by memorizing verses and passages. In the middle of the night when darkness prevails, the passages we’ve “written on our hearts” become a light in the shadows.
  6. Call wisdom your sister . Recently my husband was trying to reach a friend of ours and her number was busy every time he called. Then finally she called him and said, “I was on the phone with my sister, but I saw you kept calling. It takes someone really special to make me hang up on a phone call from my sister! This verse is saying, more than an earthly sister we love and take delight in, we must love the wisdom we receive from God’s Word. We need to read, to listen, to glean from it’s pages.
  7. Call understanding your kinswoman. A kinsman is a near relative. We must make the Word of God familiar to us, consult it, and consult its honor, and take a pleasure in conversing with it as we would a close relative. 

In the middle of the night when darkness prevails, the passages we’ve written on our hearts, become a light in the shadows.

Verse 5 then says if we do these things it will keep the man from the strange woman. But I have it written in my journal like this:

That they may keep me from ____________________________.

We need to put our besetting sin on that line, because God’s Word can keep us from it. Is it…

What anxious thoughts are plaguing you today? We can win over them if we will apply these simple Truths from Proverbs 7.

Which of these truths do you need to ask God to help you do today? He will help you if you ask!

Refresh your heart and win over anxiety!