Freedom from the Pit

23 03 2010

“I waited patiently and expectantly for the L-rd; and He inclined to me and heard my cry. He drew me up out of a horrible pit…and set my feet upon a rock.” –Psalm 40:1-2

“When the Bible speaks of “the pit,” I always think of the depths of depression. David spoke of feeling as though he were in a pit, calling out to the L-rd to rescue him and set his feet on solid ground.

Nobody wants to be in the pit of depression. Satan takes advantage of your situation by reminding you of painful memories.

When you are depressed, the devil’s goal is to make you miserable and hopeless you will never rise up and cause him any problems or to fulfill the call of G-d on your life.

So if you’re struggling in a pit that keeps you from being all G-d wants you to be, cry out to the L-rd and allow Him to draw you out of the pit and set you free. G-d has a great life planned for you, don’t let satan steal it through depression.” (Joyce Meyer, “Ending Your Day Right”)

Waiting patiently and expectantly sticks out when I read that scripture. “Patiently” reminds me that G-d and I don’t run on the same schedule. I get tired of situations far before it’s G-d’s timing to move me out. I think G-d gives us the waiting time so both of us can see how my patience and faith play out. Will I trust Him when I don’t see the movement? We need to see our reaction and we need to see our faith lacking because then we will learn to trust G-d’s timing and hand. “Expectantly” is vital because it reflects on our view of G-d. If we truly believe in G-d’s love and goodness, we will be expectant about His intervention and blessing. I start freaking out when I let myself forget who G-d is and what is track record is like. It’s so easy when you are not in a waiting time to tell others to wait patiently and trust, but the real testament is when you are in that season yourself—If you are struggling in the “just wait on G-d” phase, I’m right there with you. Some days, this is really tough and I just want to give up, but keep pressing on with me. We are all on this journey together. The L-rd will bring us through and it will be beautiful.

By faith and hope,

Mere





Have an Attitude of Faith

17 03 2010

“Faith is the assurance…of the things [we] hope for, being the proof of things [we] do not see.”

-Hebrews 11:1

“Faith can be described in many ways, but a very simple way to look at faith—even to examine whether or not you are operating in it—is to say that “faith has an attitude.”

Hebrews 4 says that those who have believed G-d—those who have an attitude of faith—enter His rest and cease from the weariness and pain of human labors.

The attitude of faith does not worry, fret, or have anxiety concerning tomorrow, because faith understands that wherever it needs to go, even into the unknowns of the future, Jesus has already been there.

Remember, He is the Alpha and the Omega. Not only is He the Beginning and the End, He is everything in between. So have an attitude of faith as you pray today, placing your trust completely in the one who was, who is, and who is to come.” (Joyce Meyer, “Ending Your Day Right)

Would our faith really be faith if we were not required to have faith? This may seem obvious or like a tongue twister, but I think it’s a legitimate thought. Why are we surprised by circumstances that don’t make sense to us? Why are we whiny and upset when G-d gives us a scenario that requires us to actually have faith? When it comes down to it, I must confess that I’m a fair weather friend of G-d. In the good times, we are great, but when times get tough, I’m whining to Him. Praise the L-rd for His grace! I think I would have gotten tired of my whining if I was Him. I think we have a choice in this. Joyce brought up that there was an attitude of faith. We can’t always choose our circumstances, but we can make a choice to have the right attitude. This is really hard, but I feel a strange sense of joy because I’m in a time that is requiring a lot of faith because the reassurance is not there based upon circumstances or human logic. I think knowing that G-d has something good in mind after the challenges pass brings me the most reassurance. All I can say is what I’m trying to do—don’t try to figure out what the L-rd is doing; just get excited about what He is doing and keep your eyes open to the subtle changes He may be bringing. The L-rd is our defense and He is all the proof we truly need.

By faith and hope,

Mere





A Heart of Flesh

18 02 2010

“I will give them one heart [a new heart] and I will put a new spirit within them; and I will take the stony [unnaturally hardened] heart out of their flesh, and will give them a heart of flesh [sensitive and responsive to the touch of their G-d].” –Ezekiel 11:19

“G-d puts a sense of right and wrong deep within your conscience, but if you rebel too many times, you become hard-hearted. If that happens, you need to let Him soften your heart so you can be sensitive to the leadership of the Holy Spirit.

The only way to develop a heart of flesh is to spend time with G-d. You must be in His presence on a regular basis to hear what He is saying. G-d often speaks gently, and those who are busy doing their own thing will not hear His still, small voice. Tonight as you spend time in the L-rd’s presence, ask Him to soften your heart so you can receive His direction at all times.”

-Joyce Meyer, “Ending Your Day Right”

This devotion definitely applies to me and I hope it will strike a chord with you as well. If you are seeking to find the L-rd’s leading and will, take a step back and sit in His presence for a while. I really need this time soaking Him up as well. Everything about this world tells us to plan our lives away and distracts us with a boatload of paperwork to fill out and hoops to jump through. Let’s resist this temptation together. The L-rd will grant His grace to us and lead us into His way, but we need to pause long enough that we can hear Him. How different would our situation look if we spent the same amount of time with Him, seeking His heart, as we do either filling out applications, researching, and worrying about the lack of plan as of yet. Don’t lose sight of the one that is guiding your path. If you will quiet down, you will be able to sense the inklings that He has been trying to give you. He may not give you a ten-year plan, most likely He wont, but He truly will lead you right now, moment by moment.

By faith and hope,

Mere





Expect the Blessings of G-d

20 01 2010

“Wait and hope for and expect the L-rd; be brave and of good courage and let your heart be stout and enduring.” –Psalm 27:14

“Sometimes you may feel discouraged, miserable, and depressed. In those times you need to take a close look at what’s been going on in your mind. Isaiah 26:3 tells you when you keep your mind on the L-rd you will have “perfect and constant peace.”

By focusing on the goodness of G-d and waiting, hoping, and expecting Him to encourage you and fill you with His peace and joy, you can overcome negative thoughts that drag you down.

Think and speak positively. Begin believing right now that you are about to see G-d’s goodness in your life. Wait, hope, and expect His blessings to be abundant in your life.”

(Joyce Meyer, Ending Your Day Right)

I think Joyce is right on about the importance of our words and thoughts. If I allow an anxious thought roll around in my mind, it only leads to me experiencing more fear and anxiety. If I talk about a situation that is causing me worry, it only causes me to worry more about it. A wise friend of mine once told me that it’s important not to give the voice a forum. We need to choose not to entertain the thoughts and to not give the worries power by speaking them out. The Bible tells us in 2. Corinthians 10:5: “We take captive every thought to make it obedient to the L-rd.” This verse implies an active, forceful step. We need to banish the thoughts and words that don’t give credit to the goodness of G-d. He truly is so good and kind, so we should live like that and believe that He gives us no reason to worry or fret. We need to claim this truth over and over again. Keep on pouring the Word into your heart and mind so then the worries and anxieties will seem ridiculous to you and you can dismiss them fast. This is no easy task. It’s a moment-by-moment surrender and faithful choice to believe in the goodness of our G-d.

By faith and hope,

Mere





G-d has NOT forgotten You

19 01 2010

“G-d is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.” -1 Cor. 10:13

“The world is full of people struggling with trials and temptations and looking for a way out. If you ever have felt pressed on every side and couldn’t find an escape, or confused and didn’t know what to do, you know what a desperate and lonely feeling that can be.

The Word tells you G-d is faithful and He will provide a way for you, but He doesn’t always show up immediately. That is when you must wait…and trust.

Waiting on G-d purifies your faith and builds character in you. You may not like the waiting, but G-d’s way is perfect! So be assured G-d has not forgotten you. Trust Him, and in His time He will reveal His perfect plan for you. While you’re waiting, don’t forget to enjoy your life.”

(Joyce Meyer, Ending Your Day Right)

Wait is often the hardest answer to receive from the L-rd. Are you praying and asking for relief and the L-rd is saying ‘wait’? I am currently in a ‘wait’ period and so I can relate to all of you that are in a similar setting. Often, I get impatient waiting on G-d to say ‘yes’ that I almost want Him just to say ‘no’ because that’s more definitive and places me back in control. I’m trying to embrace this waiting time and realize what a sweet time that it is. We need to trust G-d every single day, but during these times of waiting we learn what that truly means. I think G-d likes to place us in situations where all we can do is wait so that we can see His amazing provision. He blesses us beyond what we can ask for, so why not wait in joyful expectation! This is a tough choice to make but I think it’s the most G-d honoring one that we can! It’s choosing to believe in His word and character even when our circumstances don’t give us any reason to believe that He is going to come through. In addition to the comfort that G-d’s provision is beyond me, another source of comfort is realizing that G-d uses the waiting time to prepare us for what is to come. This takes me back again to what Beth Moore said, “Nothing happens in our life that will not be for the glory of G-d, for our benefit and for our equipping. If it’s happening, it is vital to your equipping.” This waiting and testing period may be just the thing to prepare you for the great plan that the L-rd has for you. Let’s try to be patient, but still excited and expectant about what the L-rd will do. Also remember that we cannot always see how the L-rd is working, so who knows, your waiting may end sooner than you think.

By faith and hope,

Mere





Receive G-d’s Healing and Restoration

10 01 2010

“The Spirit of the L-rd G-d is upon me…to bind up and heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the [physical and spiritual] captives and the opening of the prison and of the eyes to those who are bound.”

–Isaiah 61:1

“If you are struggling with emotional distress or a broken heart, G-d wants to renew your mind, restore your soul, and give you a fresh start.

I don’t know your circumstances, past or present, but you may have hurts that are holding you back and keeping you captive.

I know firsthand how that feels. But I also know what it’s like to be healed and restored. As I received the truth of G-d’s Word and began to understand that I didn’t have to stay trapped in my past, I experienced emotional healing and deliverance from bondage.

G-d loves you unconditionally and He wants to do the same for you. So learn how to receive from G-d…and be made whole.” (Joyce Meyer, “Ending Your Day Right”)

I must echo Joyce Meyer. I know how the captivity feels and I know how the restoration feels too. The only thing that can free you from the bondage of pain is an encounter with G-d. G-d is ready to encounter you; He is ready for you to lift up your hands and receive His healing. His healing comes out of a place of surrender; for me, this surrender came when I was desperate and without any further solution of my own. You don’t have to wait till you get hopeless, the sooner we surrender the better. Let the L-rd minister to your spirit. He wants to reassure you of His love, acceptance, and plan for your life. I have never had such joy and hope about the future before. The L-rd freed me from my fear and I have become like those that dream again. Circumstances may not change right away, but the L-rd can change you and how you face it. I know He has done that for me.

Surrender. Healing is in His hands.

By faith and hope,

Mere 🙂





Choose G-d’s Secret Place

9 01 2010

“He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall remain stable and fixed under the shadow of the Almighty [whose power no foe can withstand]. I will say of the L-rd, He is my Refuge and my Fortress, my G-d; on Him I lean and rely, and in Him I [confidently] trust!”

-Psalms 91:1-2

“This scripture holds the key to overcoming worry, anxiety, discouragement, disappointment, depression, despair, and disease. It is simply trusting G-d.

Perhaps you want to trust G-d, but it seems you just don’t know how. Trusting G-d requires knowing Him—knowing His character and having experience with Him. Going through trials with G-d by your side builds your faith.

So when you face problems, you can choose trust or torment. Choose to trust G-d and dwell in the “secret place”, enjoying divine provision in the midst of attacks and walking through dark times in His presence.” (Joyce Meyer, “Ending Your Day Right”)

Surrendering to G-d and coming into the secret place is the best decision that you can ever make and you probably will have to make it over and over again. I know that I constantly have to keep laying down my struggles before G-d and asking Him to be the covering. The L-rd is waiting and ready to take you into a place of healing and hope, but we have to choose to let go and trust Him. What a wonderful gift it is to know that our G-d is in control even in the times when our lives make no sense to us. One of my favorite scriptures is Romans 8:28—“for we know that in all things, G-d works for the good of those that love Him and are called according to His purpose.” This verse has brought me comfort in the midst of confusion and turmoil many times. The L-rd is not surprised by the trials that you are facing. I heard Beth Moore speak recently and she reminded me that everything that happens is either caused by G-d or is allowed by Him. Based upon this knowledge, she gleaned this truth from Romans 8:28—“Nothing can happen that will not give glory to G-d and be for your benefit and equipping. If it was permitted, it is vital to your equipping.” Beth has seen throughout her life how the trials have prepared her for the big plans that the L-rd had for her. The L-rd has big plans for each one of us and the trials might be getting you equipped and ready to face the exciting plan of the L-rd G-d.

Walking in faith and hope,

Mere