Advent, Christmas, hope, inheritance, refuge, Oh Lord Help Us, Christian, women, mentor, ministry, nonprofit

Our Inheritance: Promise of Our Present and Future Hope

Our hope and our inheritance are not found in earthly things. Our inheritance is the promise of the Creator Himself.



In the early hours of December 10, my mom took her last ragged breath in this world and took a cleansing, pure breath in the next one. Her mind and body were instantly restored as she was welcomed home by a loving embrace from her heavenly Father. I’m sure my dad was standing or kneeling somewhere nearby and a joyful reunion likely followed.

Our hope and our inheritance are not found in earthly things. Our inheritance is the promise of the Creator Himself. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional | Christian Nonprofit #devotional #scripture #Advent #Christmas #Jesus #inheritance #refuge #hope

Inheritance

My parents were middle-class folks. Any meager savings they may have accumulated was spent on medical bills during the years my dad faced his battle with cancer. An inheritance isn’t something that ever entered my or my brother’s minds.

My father-in-law is 91. He worked in and retired from a factory. He and my mother-in-law had 6 children, so he also worked many odd jobs, in addition to any extra shifts he was asked to work at the factory. They were frugal; she sewed, grew a garden each year, and canned vegetables. As a result, their six children never had an unmet need. However, other than a small, rundown farm, an inheritance of large sums of money is unthinkable.

Since her death, my husband and I have attempted to close my mom’s estate, such as it was. We have chuckled at some of the absurdities of government, (don’t get me started)…such as having to take a $13.67 check from the bank to the nursing home so that Medicaid would not think we were stealing from the estate. Really. Oh! And having to call the Veteran’s Administration twice to inform them of her death only to have them deposit her funds, and then send us a letter to send it back. You can’t make this stuff up…

The Source of Our Future Hope

Inheritance. What comes to mind when you think of the word? The child of a wealthy person? People sitting around an attorney’s desk with an air of expectancy? Siblings fighting over heirlooms or the jewelry? The Jerry Springer show? Interesting where our thoughts initially go when that word comes up.

Recently, I was remembering a favorite passage of scripture I turn to in difficult times. You wouldn’t think Lamentations could give anyone cause for hope, however, these verses always renew mine.

This I recall to mind, Therefore I have hope.
Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not.
They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.
“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “Therefore I hope in Him!”

Lamentations 3:21-24, NKJV

The Lord is my portion…

Today we have a tendency to think of a portion in regard to food, (as in smaller portions, since dieting is such a huge marketing focus.) Not surprisingly, there are other nuances of the word in the Old Testament that have become lost in today’s vernacular. In our simplification of the language for texting, we often lose the richness of word meanings.

For decades the Psalms have given me much solace through seasons of trial, pain or loss. However, the full weight of the meaning of Psalms, such as Psalm 16:5, has only recently been dawning on my spirit.

Oh Lord, You are the portion of my inheritance and my cup;
You maintain my lot.
The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places.
Yes, I have a good inheritance.

Psalm 16:5, NKJV

Let your heart rest on that for a moment, as Asaph finally did in Psalm 73 after feeling jealous of his enemies.

GOD, everything HE IS, is our inheritance when we belong to Him. What does it matter if we have houses and lands? We have HIM, the God of Creation.

Whom have I in heaven but You? And there is nothing upon earth that I  desire besides You.
My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

Psalm 73:25-26, ESV

The Source of Our Present Hope

You might be thinking, “Well, yeah, in the sweet by and by He’s my inheritance, but what about now?”

David answers you…

I cried out to you, O Lord: I said, “You are my refuge, My portion in the land of the living.”

Psalm 142:5, NKJV

God is our inheritance here, too.  He is our strength, our refuge, our deliverer, our fortress.

So, again, from where will your portion come?

Our hope and our inheritance are not found in earthly things. Our inheritance is the promise of the Creator Himself. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional | Christian Nonprofit #devotional #scripture #Advent #Christmas #Jesus #inheritance #refuge #hope

unsplash-logoJoel & Jasmin Førestbird
fear, faith, trust, anxiety, fear not, hope, overwhelmed, Oh Lord Help Us, Christian, women, mentor, ministry, nonprofit

Fear Not: God’s Power and Love Frees Us to Lament

Fixating on heartache invites anxiety. But God commands us to fear not. Understanding His power and love frees us to lament in hope.



Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

Psalm 23:4, ESV

A great deal of life seems to play out in the valley of the shadow of death. As a matter of fact, I am currently in a season of darkness. Why not throw in the towel? How can I continue to take joy in the God of my salvation, when following Him places me on the front lines of battle?

Hope, for one; but not as an afterthought. Because flippantly telling someone to have hope in the midst of a trial is like telling an exasperated man “patience is a virtue.” Yes, thank you; I am aware…

Fixating on heartache invites anxiety. But God commands us to fear not. Understanding His power and love frees us to lament in hope. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional | Christian Nonprofit #devotional #scripture #fear #faith #trust #overwhelmed #FearNot #hope #anxiety

Fear not…

It would be easy to fixate on my current heartache, but that gives birth to anxiety. However, God’s word has a lot to say in response to fear. Over and over in Scripture, we are told to fear not. But it isn’t dismissive in nature like, why can’t you keep it together? I’m God, remember? No; He commands: fear not, and then tells us why we don’t have to be afraid.

FEAR NOT:

  • I am with you
  • I am the One who helps you
  • I have redeemed you
  • I am your shield
  • I hear you
  • I am working righteousness in you
  • I fight for you
  • I go with you into battle to give you victory
  • I am with you wherever you go
  • I give victory
  • Stand firm and see the salvation of the Lord

Lament…

Notwithstanding, neither can I ignore or control the incapacitating sorrow weighing down my soul. I must lament. Because the act of lamenting faces me toward God. While in His presence I am able to share honestly all that grieves and worries me.

Within His capable arms, I can say: This is too much! I feel overwhelmed! Remind me of your faithfulness. Open my eyes to see where You are working this for Your glory and our good. Fight for us! Protect us. Help me to stand firm on Your promises.

When we act like we can handle our suffering on our own, we commit idolatry — acting like we are God, capable in ourselves. Lamenting is relearning our humanity. Lamenting is admitting that we can’t handle it, knowing we need God’s power, mercy, and grace. If we could handle our sufferings, we wouldn’t need Jesus, his cross, his power, and his resurrection. Lamenting is how we grieve as those who have hope.

J.A. Medders, Redeemer Church Tomball, TX
Neither can I ignore or control the incapacitating sorrow weighing down my soul. I must lament. Because the act of lamenting faces me toward God. Click To Tweet

Limitless…

Relearning my humanity leads to understanding my limits. Finally, it is there I remember I belong to a limitless God. Furthermore, I can only dream of what God has prepared for the future. But even now, in His mercy, I am seeing collateral blessings rise up out of this dark valley. So I find as I rely on our limitless God, hope is catching like wildfire…

Our hope for you is unshaken, for we know that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in our comfort…For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead. He delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will deliver us again.

2 Corinthians 1:7-10, ESV

Fixating on heartache invites anxiety. But God commands us to fear not. Understanding His power and love frees us to lament in hope. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional | Christian Nonprofit #devotional #scripture #fear #faith #trust #overwhelmed #FearNot #hope #anxiety

unsplash-logoAdrien Olichon
Fear, judgment, afraid, priorities, value, assurance, hope, Oh Lord Help Us, Christian, women, mentor, ministry, nonprofit

Healthy Fear: Identifying Values and Mirroring the Messiah’s Love

Anxiety, worry, and stress all result from an underlying pulse of unhealthy fear. No one is immune and control is an illusion. What are you tempted to fear most, and what does it say about the things you value? How can we tell between healthy fear and an unhealthy one?



Things We Love

What are some important things in your life? You can probably rattle off a few pretty quickly. My thoughts immediately go to my kids, turning in my grad papers on time, and protecting Thursday night quality time with my man.

Now, I did not say the most important thing—just the stuff that instantly springs to mind. Likely, there is nothing bad about these priorities individually. However, depending on the level of passion we display to protect them, healthy fear can be thrown out of balance before we realize it. As a result, we begin to worry.

Anxiety, worry, and stress all result from unhealthy fear. How can we tell between healthy fear and unhealthy? What does it say about the things we value? Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional #devotional #scripture #afraid #assurance #fear #hope #judgment #priorities #value

Unhealthy Fear

It was recently brought to my attention which unhealthy fear sits at the top of my list. It is not a phenomenon. Actually, it’s quite common.

How was I enlightened? Well, among three categories (money and possessions — people and their judgments — death, pain, and punishment) I had to answer which one I am most tempted to fear. Before reading into each classification I assumed it would end up being pain. While that certainly is not appealing, the prospect of pain is surprisingly low on my list of daily anxieties.

A few weeks ago, I would have confidently said I don’t care what others think about me because I know who I am in Christ.

Turns out, I have a persnickety care meter.

Actions Speak Loudly

It is not what we say, but what we do that defines us. For instance, I say I like to go camping—which is very true—but I haven’t been in three years. I like the idea of hiking and being out in nature is extremely soothing and grounding. Yet despite my ultra-hip metal REI coffee mug, no one would classify me as an outdoorsy chick.

When I started thinking about what controls my routine thoughts, it wasn’t fear of getting into an accident or the ravages of cancer. Now, I don’t want to diminish the suffering those circumstances bring. It is simply to say they do not linger at the forefront of my worries. In relation to pain, I have a healthy fear of the Lord. Suffering is an inevitable part of life, but not a thing to live in fear of. I trust to have grace for what will come.

Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

Hebrews 4:16, ESV

What Fear Reveals

Remarkably (to me anyway), fear of people and their judgments crossed my finish line with flying colors. Oddly enough, I sense it the most with strangers.

When I’m in my car I’ll feel myself getting anxious over what another driver might be thinking when I take the right-of-way. I wonder if other motorists get frustrated with me when I fail to go as fast as they clearly want to on a two-lane road. In check-out lines, I tend to hang back so the person in front of me doesn’t feel rushed by my presence. Also, I act overly cordial, even giving apologetic smiles to other patients in waiting rooms when my number is called. But why?

I consider myself to be polite, but I will be honest. I know my overt friendliness toward people, whom I will likely never see again, is for the sake of my own comfort. My fear is betraying me. It has a spotlight on what I crave. It’s screaming what is important to me: My reputation and the respect and adoration of people.

The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is safe.

Proverbs 29:25, ESV

Calming Fear

How do we find a healthy fear balance? We have heard to “Love God and love others.” Amen. But those are thirty thousand-foot directions. God knows we will wrestle with fear. He repeatedly says in His Word, “Do not fear,” “Do not be afraid,” “Do not be anxious.” These are not empty words to get us to be quiet or chill out. God is not annoyed by our anxieties like we may be with one another.

I’ve been guilty of saying something meant to soothe, but I delivered it with a self-serving motive. “Just turn your lamp on and go back to bed. You’ll be okay.” (Please don’t wake me up again.) “You know it’ll work out…” (I don’t want to step into your pain.)

History is proof that human beings are fickle in the help department. At best, they’re unreliable sources of protection. Yahweh, on the other hand, has always proven trustworthy.

God Speaks to Fear

When God tells us not to be afraid or anxious, He always follows up with promises, assurances, direction, and hope.

  • I am with you
  • I will strengthen you
  • I will uphold you
  • I care for you
  • I will give you peace
  • I will guard your heart
  • I have redeemed you
  • I will never leave you or forsake you
  • I will rescue you
  • I will fight for you
  • I provide for you
  • I am the First and the Last
  • I sustain you
  • I will help you
  • I keep you safe
  • I will deliver you

Take some time to meditate on these passages. [Deuteronomy 3:22, 31:6; Psalm 34:7, 55:22, 118:6-7; Proverbs 29:25; Isaiah 35:4, 41:10, 13-14, 43:1; Luke 12:22-26; Philippians 4:6-7; 1 Peter 5:6-7; Revelation 1:17-18]

When God tells us not to be afraid or anxious, He always follows up with promises, assurances, direction, and hope. Click To Tweet

The Way Ahead

There is only one path forward to effectively vanquish unhealthy fear. First, we seek to know the character and power of Jehovah. Then we practice living the way Jesus modeled for us. His love enables us.

We love because He first love us.

1 John 4:19, ESV

My fears say I want and expect to be loved by everyone, including people who don’t know me. Jesus was not loved by everyone, even the people who had heard about His stellar reputation. Many were more suspicious of His healing power than accepting of it. His hometown even rejected Him. As His follower, why do I assume I will be treated better than the Son of God?

Healthy Fear

Let us ask the Father of mercies to do a work through His Spirit to create the kind of love in us that mirrors His own. This is not easily won, and we can turn methods of “loving others” into ploys to extract more love for ourselves—I’ve done it—so be alert!

If you struggle with fear of man, practice loving others more than you love yourself. That doesn’t mean befriending everyone, but the things they think—perceived or known—will not hold the same weight they once did. This way won’t be free of heartache, of course. Being dismissed is painful. But it will no longer have the ability to derail your allegiance to Jesus Christ.

And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear Him who can destroy both body and soul in hell.

Matthew 10:28, ESV

If we have a healthy fear of Almighty God, the One who loves us and sent His Son to die for us, what is there to fear more? Our hope and our safety have already been secured in Jesus.

If we have a healthy fear of Almighty God, the One who loves us and sent His Son to die for us, what is there to fear more? Our hope and our safety have already been secured in Jesus. Click To Tweet

Anxiety, worry, and stress all result from unhealthy fear. How can we tell between healthy fear and unhealthy? What does it say about the things we value? Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional #devotional #scripture #afraid #assurance #fear #hope #judgment #priorities #value

unsplash-logoStaffan Kjellvestad
striving, hope, joy, righteousness, peace, glory, Oh Lord Help Us, Christian, women, mentor, ministry, nonprofit

Striving: Focusing on God’s Glory to Share His Love

Striving to show others the love of God is not what was ever intended by our Creator. We often fall short. Focusing on Him alone is the only way to align our hearts and share His love.



Flowers.

I would have never guessed that flowers would be the last straw. You know, the straw that broke the camel’s back?

I might have expected it to be the dress; or maybe even the food, but certainly not the flowers.

In striving to show others God's love, we often fall short. Focusing on Him alone is the only way to align our hearts and share His love. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional #devotional #scripture #hope #righteousness #striving #joy #peace

Striving for the Wedding

Our wedding was quickly approaching. My fiancé and I had been working diligently at planning a simple, yet elegant wedding. It had been really well! There were some stressful moments, sure, but generally, it was pretty easy and enjoyable.

Until it wasn’t…

With a cart full of flowers and one attempt after the other to keep this expense as small as possible, the reality finally set in. Flowers are simply a large cost, regardless of my greatest efforts.

And that’s when things started spiraling.

God’s Love, Not Ours

From Day 1 of our engagement, my fiancé and I have been set on using this special day to display God’s love story more than our own. 

2 Corinthians 5:14-15 has been a bedrock verse for us in this season of life. Constantly serving as a reminder that it is Christ’s love that compels us and not our own. 

For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.

2 Corinthians 5:14-15, NIV

That doesn’t mean the hype of wedding planning hasn’t crowded my thoughts though. Over the last several weeks, from reserving venues to deciding on our bridal party; from wedding dress shopping to premarital counseling, the wedding has been at the forefront of my thoughts.

Understandable as this may be, when I found myself crying over a $20 purchase of ugly flowers that didn’t match my vision but fit the budget, I realized that some things had gotten out of line.

Approaching God’s Word

Sometimes we read passages like 2 Corinthians 5 with the right idea, but still just slightly off from its original meaning. God’s Word is perfect, flawless, and infallible, but that doesn’t mean its readers are. Which is why it is so important we approach the Word of God wisely and with diligent devotion to understanding it correctly.

Thank God for His grace in this though, because we don’t always do this well. 

I realized that I was focusing so much on the ‘no longer living for myself’ part that I missed the ‘living for Him’ part. I’ve been so preoccupied with trying to be selfless with my time and money in the fine details; trying to make it a day that displays Christ more than myself that I neglected the condition of my heart in doing so.

Living for Him

Romans 14:17 tells us that ‘the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit, because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and receives human approval.’

When we consider the context of this passage, Paul is encouraging the believers in Rome to discern religion from relationship. It does not matter if someone eats food that is clean or unclean according to the Law. With Christ seated at the right hand of God the Father in absolute victory over sin and death, it is no longer about following the written code. However, about growing in righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit. And, thus, serving Christ with such a heart.

We could have the greatest, most pure motives, yet if our hearts are not resting in the Holy Spirit and in the grace of Jesus Christ, then regardless of what we do or how well we do it, we’ll be missing the point.

We could have the greatest, most pure motives, yet if our hearts are not resting in the Holy Spirit and in the grace of Jesus Christ, then regardless of what we do or how well we do it, we’ll be missing the point. Click To Tweet

Striving To Do What’s Been Done

I don’t believe that God gets angry or disappointed with us when we get distracted like this. I truly believe He delights in our efforts and our diligence to glorify Him rather than ourselves. However, I believe it saddens Him when we strive so hard to do what He has already done.

Christ is glorious. That’s a fact and it will never change. He doesn’t need us to make Him glorious. He simply is. Yet He invites us to join in the blessing of sharing that with others. But when we attempt to do this in our own strength, we stray from what truly pleases the Lord.

His pleasure is not in the strength of the horse, nor his delight in the legs of the warrior; the Lord delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love.

Psalm 147:10-11, NIV

The greatest attempts at pointing others to Christ or at seeking to glorify Him rather than ourselves, if done without an appropriate fear of the Lord and hope in His unfailing love, remains empty.

So as our desire may be to use our wedding day as a display of God’s greater love story more than our own, by God’s grace He gently reminded me, through tears and a weary heart, that I need to first see Him. See Him as glorious and worthy before effectively displaying that to others.

Proverbs 4:23 tells us plainly that we are to ‘guard our hearts, for everything we do flows from it.’ If our hearts are not resting and focusing on the glory of Christ and His unfathomable love for us, then any attempt on our part to display that to others will be tainted and ineffective.

A Place of Hope

Is there something that you have been trying so hard to do right, but feel like you’re still running in circles?

Do you feel no matter how great your efforts to honor and glorify God are, you still come up short and exhausted?

Sister, this is not how it is supposed to be. Looking at the glory of God through the grace of Jesus and pointing others to it was never intended to exhaust us. It was meant to rejuvenate, refresh, and fill us to the brim (Matthew 11:28-30, Psalm 19:7-9).

Take a moment today and evaluate your heart. Are your attempts coming from a place of hope or striving? Righteousness or regret? Peace or panic? Joy or duty?

God loves it when you desire to serve Him (John 12:26), but He delights even more in a heart that is aligned with His; in a heart that finds righteousness, peace and joy in Him alone.

In striving to show others God's love, we often fall short. Focusing on Him alone is the only way to align our hearts and share His love. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional #devotional #scripture #hope #righteousness #striving #joy #peace

unsplash-logoJez Timms
Suffering, beauty, hope, weakness, weaknesses, disappointment, Oh Lord Help Us, Christian, women, mentor, ministry

Produces: Christ Uses Our Disappointments and Creates Beauty

Disappointments and ugliness we want to be washed away, are often opportunities God uses to create beauty. Our suffering produces a steadfast hope.



…We rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character and character produces hope.

Romans 5:3-4, ESV

Disappointments and ugliness we want to be washed away, are often opportunities God uses to create beauty. Our suffering produces a steadfast hope. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional #devotional #scripture #beauty #disappointment #hope #suffering #weakness #weaknesses

Unruly Ground

There has been an unruly area of ground in my backyard. A tree had fallen a few years ago during an ice storm, causing me all kinds of anxiety. And another smaller tree was leaning over ready to topple at any minute.

I had a college student cut up as much as his small chain saw could handle. But, he had to leave behind the fallen trunk of the tree. Every time I cut our grass, I circle the tree and its fallen stump. I mutter and grimace about the day I finally have my nice yard back.

Need for Peace

This past year, I bought some seed to plant. They were wildflowers- pollinators. The kind I love because they encourage bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds.

In the early morning, I love sitting outside with my coffee and the scriptures to read, think, and pray. I knew these flowers would be just what my yard needed to encourage all of this. A quiet space of restoration and peace.

Need to Dream

I wanted to plant my seeds, but I tend to get overwhelmed when an area is too big. My friend Lisa has been gardening for a long time, so I asked for her input on my yard. I needed some help dreaming. Where did my seed need to go? How could I make it the place I needed to send my thoughts toward God.

I thought I knew the spot, but I was very wrong. Lisa headed for the stump. The one I had brooded and whined over. The one I knew had to go. “Look,” she said, “This is perfect. The stump frames a semi-circle.”

Rich Fertile Ground

She was right, of course. Where the tree had fallen, leaves had covered and nurtured the soil. The ground was soft, easy to dig, and rich. Much richer than the red clay everywhere else. 

However, it still was not an easy spot to work in. There were lots of roots and it needed conditioning. But the very piece of wood I wanted out, was what gave this bed its structure. It grounded the space.

Mind on Truth

I too often see this for myself. The very disappointment, characteristic, or person I want to go, is the very opportunity Christ is using to develop, to sanctify, and to bring beauty from ashes.

I love how God used my friend to point me to the very stump I was despairing, to bring beauty to an area I desperately wanted. I see the body of Christ do this often in my life. They point me to what is true, what is real, what is possible. Christ is showing up in the very areas I want to be removed. He is enough so I do not have to be. I fool myself into thinking I can be. But, even on my best days, I am in need of the One who prepares a way and makes the paths straight.

For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

2 Corinthians 12:10, ESV
Disappointments, characteristics, and ugliness we want wiped clean, are the very opportunities Christ uses to develop, sanctify, and create beauty. Click To Tweet

His Ways are not Mine

What force in your life are you looking at with disdain? What area of your life do you wish would go away and fly right? Could this be the very place Christ is producing rich soil in you? Look to Him who goes before us. Ask for His help and His wisdom.

Disappointments and ugliness we want to be washed away, are often opportunities God uses to create beauty. Our suffering produces a steadfast hope. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional #devotional #scripture #beauty #disappointment #hope #suffering #weakness #weaknesses

unsplash-logoJacalyn Beales
Addiction, hope, hopeful, hopeless, salvation, rescue, devotional, Oh Lord Help Us, Christian, women, mentor, ministry

Hopeful: Sharing the Love of Christ with The Hopeless

When we know Christ, He gives us a hopeful spirit. As believers, we are called to share the Hope of Christ with those who feel hopeless.



Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.

Romans 15:13

Last month marked four years since my mom passed away. When she died, she was at home, asleep in her own bed. I think when most of us picture the ideal way we’d like to go to our Maker, this peaceful scenario fits the bill! But what gave me the most consolation about Mom’s death wasn’t the peaceful circumstances alone. It was the fact that before my mom died, she had regained something of utmost importance: her hopefulness.

When we know Christ, He gives us a hopeful spirit. As believers, we are called to share the Hope of Christ with those who feel hopeless. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional #scripture #devotional #addiction #hope #hopeful #rescue #salvation #hopeless

A Whiskey Addiction…

You see, a few years before she died, Mom had descended into a terrible downward spiral of whiskey addiction. Now, I’m not an expert on alcoholism. And I can’t claim that when she died, she had completely sworn off all alcohol. She did still drink wine and beer, but she wasn’t hitting the hard stuff anymore. In short, she was no longer suffering from the severe hard liquor addiction that had stolen her hope and had nearly taken her life just a few short years before.

The following is an excerpt from a family memoir I’m writing. I want to use it to paint a picture of the utter hopelessness that I encountered when I arrived at my mom’s little, off-the-grid homestead in southern Indiana in the early summer of 2008.

The Hopeless Valley…

As I looked around the room, I quickly realized that in some ways, the pitch-black darkness of the night before had been a blessing. It had masked the complete pigsty that Mom’s place had become. What once had been a pleasant little one-room country cottage now looked like a hovel where a homeless person was squatting. Surveying the room, I saw trash everywhere. There were countless Styrofoam take out containers with little bits of moldy, rotten sandwiches strewn on stacks of junk mail topped with dried puddles of candle wax and dirty napkins.

And then I saw one of the most sobering scenes I’ve ever seen. Behind the large fireplace– where there once had been a small passageway leading up to a little ladder staircase—now sat a huge pile of large, plastic empty Wild Turkey whiskey bottles. Too weak and lethargic to tote all the bottles outside to the burn barrel, Mom had apparently resorted to chucking them from her bedside into the little passageway. It was not as if I needed any more proof, but there it was: a mountain of sad evidence rising next to the hopeless valley into which she had descended.

Piss Ant…

Low moans and groans began to emanate from Mom’s bed. Any teetotaler would have loved to tout those torturous telltale sounds of a hangover. The repercussions of the last evening’s escapade were making their obvious appearance. As Mom tried to sit up to throw up into a bucket beside her bed, she saw me. It was as if she were seeing me for the first time.

“Hopey! What are you doing here?” Disturbed, I answered, “Mom, I got here last night. Don’t you remember?” “What? You drove all the way up here from North Carolina?! Where are your friends?” “Mom, I told you. I came by myself.” “You mean to tell me you drove all that way by yourself?” “Yes, Mom. I did.” “Oh my goodness! But I told you not to come. You little piss ant! I knew you would though.” Despite its foul sound, ‘piss ant’ actually served as one of Mom’s sweeter terms of endearment. If only she had known the double entendre of that nickname, given the events from the night before!

A Hopeful Commission…

I can’t recall all the things that transpired that day, or the next, or the one after that. Perhaps because I’ve tried to block out some of the more unpleasant details! Suffice it to say that what occurred was an awful combination of a detox cleanse, an ongoing hangover, and severe withdrawal. I helped nurse Mom through this process without the advent of indoor plumbing. Oh, how a flushable toilet, a sink, and a washing machine would have aided the effort!

To fill in the most important blank: Mom got sober, at least from the whiskey. She admitted it had gotten so bad that she had begun to give up any hope of stopping it. She hadn’t been eating. And too weak to go draw up water from the well, she hadn’t had anything to drink for days, besides the whiskey. She said over and over how she had just about given up all hope. But now, here I was, her Hope! And she knew that the Lord had sent me to help her. At first, I wasn’t convinced of this divine commission Mom alluded to, but as the next few days unfolded, I began to hold that same hopeful belief….

Hope Deferred…

Throughout that week I spent with my mom, I truly felt the weight of the name that my parents gave me: Hope. A relatively new believer myself, I was nursing my own mom back to health. And more importantly, back to hopefulness. Mom’s was a classic case of the scripture: “Hope deferred maketh the heart sick…” (Proverbs 13:12). Wallowing in years of regret, shame, and fear, Mom had reached for the bottle to drown her sorrows. But what she ended up drowning was her own hope.

Groping through the darkness in her pit of shame, she had lost touch with the Light. She had lost any hope of rescue. And as she clasped that whiskey bottle, her hope of ever being truly forgiven and loved slipped further and further from her grasp. I thank the Lord for bringing me to my mom’s bedside to minister to her, both in the natural and spiritual. To remind her of who she was and Whose she was.

A Tree of Life…

The second half of that verse in Proverbs—which is so often left off—reads: “… but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.” (Proverbs 13:12). Slowly but surely, Mom got back in touch with her desire to live and to heal. And as she reconnected with that desire, I witnessed the small hopeful seed within her grow into a tree of life. Although the last few years of Mom’s life were by no means easy, I saw her transform into the happiest version of herself that I had ever seen. She became hopeful once again.

Beloved, we are called to be the hands and feet of Jesus on this earth. Whether it’s our own mothers, our friends and neighbors, or complete strangers, the Lord has equipped us to help them see the Light. To help them know the hopefulness that is only truly possible in Jesus Christ. Because when we know Jesus, His hope is ever-present to help us. To rescue us. To raise our spirits back to life once again. He is the Hope that lives inside of us.

To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

Colossians 1:27

Have you ever found yourself in a pit of hopelessness? Is Christ your Hope? Are there people in your life who need to know that it’s possible to be hopeful?

When we know Jesus, His hope is ever-present to help us. To rescue us. To raise our spirits back to life once again. He is the Hope that lives inside of us. Click To Tweet

When we know Christ, He gives us a hopeful spirit. As believers, we are called to share the Hope of Christ with those who feel hopeless. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional #scripture #devotional #addiction #hope #hopeful #rescue #salvation #hopeless

All scriptures are from The King James Version of The Holy Bible.
unsplash-logoAnnie Spratt
darkness, encouragement, devotional, scripture, hope, legacy, light, words, love, Oh Lord Help Us, Christian, women, mentor, ministry

Words: Living and Leaving Behind A Legacy of Love and Hope

Words are the most powerful weapon and have a long-lasting impact. May we live and leave behind a legacy of love and hope through the words we speak.



Have you ever been encouraged by someone else’s words? A friend? A family member? A teacher perhaps?

The word encourage is defined as “to speak courage into”. To speak courage into! How many times have we needed that in our own lives? And what a great comfort when we find it. Some of the best words stick with us for a lifetime. Their power seems only to increase when the one who spoke them is no longer around.

Words are the most powerful weapon and have a long-lasting impact. May we live and leave behind a legacy of love and hope through the words we speak. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional #devotional #scripture #words #legacy #hope #love #darkness #encouragement

Legacy of Love

This year has been one of those years where I have visited the funeral home far too many times and the newborn nursery not nearly enough. The world has lost a lot of good men. But when I begin to think back on some of the truly great people I have known in my life, I realize they are never truly gone. Their words still linger long after their physical bodies have left this world behind. They have left a legacy of love and light that inspires the rest of us to be better.

Listening to all of these eulogies got me to thinking, what do I want to be remembered for when I am gone? What do I want to leave behind?

Words Matter

While words can be used to bring people together, they can also be used to rip them apart. Just one quick glance on social media tells you that words are oftentimes used more like a sword to cut people down than a hand to lift them up. If you want to see just how hateful and vile man can be, look no further than the comment section of any news post.

Words are the most powerful weapon any of us have. The words we speak to others, the words we speak to ourselves, have a long-lasting impact that will persist long after any physical injustices have healed.

The most useful piece of advice you learn in any writing class is the significance of the first and last sentence—this is the main impression you will leave your audience with. In the beginning of the Bible, the very first official act, God speaks light into existence. What greater example could He leave us with?

And God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and He separated the light from the darkness.

Genesis 1:3-4

Speak Light

Our words have the power to build people up or tear them down. They have the ability to encourage or inhibit. Our words can promote peace or harbor hate. Each moment, each breath, each word we speak. We only get one choice, so what will it be?

The tongue can bring death or life;

Proverbs 18:21a, NLT

Each day is a new chance to choose, choose wisely. While things are stronger where they were once broken, if not allowed to heal properly, they leave scar tissue that never fully heals. Be the balm that soothes the weary soul, the cast that helps strengthen someone’s broken areas.

Use your words to build people up, so they can rise up!

Speak Life

Not only did God speak light into existence, but He spoke life into existence.

Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness.”  

Genesis 1:26

But God did not just create life, He created us to live that life fully and with purpose.

I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.

John 10:10

And there is no greater way to live a life in abundance than by giving to others. There is no greater purpose than to love others and bring them to the One who is Love. Sometimes we may have nothing more to give than our kindness–our kind words, our kind deeds. Currency is not only made of green paper.

In my job, we are required to take a CPR class every two years to learn how to resuscitate someone if the need ever arises. Luckily, it hasn’t. But I wonder, how many times have I come across someone in need of emotional resuscitation? Someone who needs me to breathe life back into their situation? Or someone who needed me to circulate fresh air—a fresh way of seeing things—into their lives? How many times have you? And how many times have we been too busy to even recognize the warning signs?

Words Pierce the Darkness

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God… In Him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. 

John 1:1,4-5

May our words be used to build others up, today and every day. Let our words be the balm that soothes the weary soul. Let our words be the light that leads people out of the darkness. Finally, let our words be the light that leads others to salvation through Christ.

There is no greater way to live a life in abundance than by giving to others. There is no greater purpose than to love others and bring them to the One who is Love. Click To Tweet

Words are the most powerful weapon and have a long-lasting impact. May we live and leave behind a legacy of love and hope through the words we speak. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional #devotional #scripture #words #legacy #hope #love #darkness #encouragement

unsplash-logoAnita Austvika
Doubt, fellowship, devotional, scripture, foolish, hope, hopeless, love, Oh Lord Help Us, Christian, women, mentor, ministry

Doubt: Eliminating Foolish, Hopeless Lies from Our Lives

It’s easy to allow doubt to clog our minds. We must eliminate foolish, hopeless lies that distract us from living for Christ.



My dad manages an auto mechanic shop and he can tell you some crazy stories about clients and their cars. I heard this story about a car and a squirrel the other day on the radio. A lady took excellent care of her car and did all the proper maintenance, however, she noticed her car would not run over 40 miles an hour. 

She took it into the shop to see if they could solve the problem. When the mechanic looked under the hood you will never believe what he found! A squirrel had packed her air filter full of nuts!!! The air filter was clogged and the car could not run properly. After the squirrel’s nuts were removed, the car ran like new!

What squirrels do we have in our spiritual lives that are keeping us from living for Christ? Squirrels–I am going to be honest–are one animal I really do not care for. There are so many of them and they are so annoying! Now, I know every animal serves a purpose according to God’s plan, but today we are going to talk about getting rid of the metaphorical squirrels in our lives. 

It's easy to allow doubt to clog our minds. We must eliminate foolish, hopeless lies that distract us from living for Christ. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional #devotional #scripture #doubt #fellowship #foolish #hope #hopeless #love

The Foolish Squirrel

The definition of a fool is a person who acts unwisely or lacks judgment. Now I am sure all of us have fit into this category more than one time in our lives. But a fool is also someone who seeks to trick or deceive someone. The foolish squirrel is there to trick us into taking our eyes off of Christ. 

A fool has no delight in understanding, But in expressing his own heart.

Proverbs 18:2, NKJV

If we allow the foolish squirrel to trick us, then we become foolish as well. This keeps us from pursuing wisdom and happiness with the Lord.  

The wise in heart accept commands, but a chattering fool comes to ruin.

Proverbs 10:8, NIV

I do not want to become a fool and have my life in ruin as I am sure none of you do as well. Let us keep our focus on Christ and let His words bring wisdom and discernment into our hearts and lives.

Remember, when we fear the Lord (reverent obedience), then we begin to have knowledge. The foolish will always despise His wisdom and instruction. The book of Proverbs discusses the foolish and the wise. Get rid of the foolishness and seek wisdom instead.

The Hopeless Squirrel

There were days not too long ago when I felt hopeless. My heart and my life were broken and I felt no hope of ever being happy again. If any of you suffer from depression, then you understand this ache.

On those dark days, you think ‘why bother’ or ‘why should I try?’ This is when the hopeless squirrel comes to fill our mind with chatter. He feeds on our worries and doubts. This is when we know the devil is lurking and must not give in to his lies.

The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.

John 10:10, NKJV

The Doubting Squirrel

When we give in to the hopeless squirrel, then we allow the devil to place seeds of doubt in our mind. If we are not careful, then we will start to doubt God. We will doubt His love, His will, and His plan for us. 

Doubt is Satan’s sharpest arrow. Throughout the Bible, the devil has shot arrows of doubt in the human heart. I think back to the Garden of Eden where Eve doubted God’s warning. The children of Israel doubted God and ended up wandering 40 years in the desert. Sarah and Abraham both doubted God could provide a child in their old age, they even laughed at God. 

I encourage you, not to give in to your doubts and fears. Is it easy? No! Is it worth it? Yes! 

If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is doubleminded and unstable in all they do.

James 1:5-8, NIV

Wow! Do we want to be double-minded and unstable, or do we want to seek wisdom from God?   

Hopelessness leads to doubt, which can lead to doubting God. But we will not be double-minded or unstable, we will seek His wisdom! Click To Tweet

Keeping the Squirrels at Bay

Now that we know which squirrels are so destructive to our lives, how do we keep them at bay? Let your faith roar so loudly you cannot hear what doubt is saying!

Saturate your mind with God’s word and His promises. There are many wonderful promises in the Bible that are like gems waiting to be discovered. Hold His words in your heart and recite them when needed.

There are many days when I am driving down the road and the devil brings horrible thoughts to my mind or images that he knows will hurt me. During those times I recite the verses I have held in my heart over and over again. The doubt begins to lessen, the grip of hopelessness fades, and the foolishness goes away. 

Stay faithful to the house of the Lord and the fellowship of believers. God reminds us of how important this is in Hebrews.

Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.

Hebrews 10:25, NKJV

We need the fellowship and camaraderie we find in our brothers and sisters in Christ. We need accountability, mutual friendship, understanding, support, and trust we find in God’s people. But, we also need the instruction and guidance we receive when we are faithful to the church. Do not let the foolish, the hopeless, or the doubting squirrels distract us from living our lives for Christ.

Until we meet again…Gracie 

It's easy to allow doubt to clog our minds. We must eliminate foolish, hopeless lies that distract us from living for Christ. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional #devotional #scripture #doubt #fellowship #foolish #hope #hopeless #love

unsplash-logoYannick Menard
Endurance, endure, hope, salvation, love, struggles, perseverance, Oh Lord Help Us, Christian, women, mentor, ministry

Endure: The Key to Gaining Hope from Our Struggles

Everyone faces struggles. Some things we can avoid, but others we must endure. This is how we are able to find hope from pain.



A few years ago there was a Target commercial that really ticked me off. It was this woman who got up, made her children this beautiful, healthy breakfast, got them dressed and off to school. Then she got herself ready for her professional job where I’m sure she was incredibly successful. And, of course, she then went to the gym and worked out while beautifully sweating, only to come home and spend the evening laughing and playing with her kids.

What a load of crap. It irritated me because this is the pressure put on women. It isn’t fair! I can’t compete with that, and trust me – I’ve tried.

Now, there is another commercial that is irritating me. It’s for migraine medicine. This woman (because she isn’t hindered by migraines while taking this medication apparently) is so happy to play dress-up with her daughter. But it isn’t just simple silly dress up. It’s pirates and princesses. And then this grown woman is dressed up as a robot chasing her daughter. Seriously, it is a box robot costume like I made for my son when he was three. But her’s says “mom bot” on it. It is so obnoxious.

I mainly hate this commercial because it makes me feel like I am missing something. Or I need to be a different mom. Or I’m ruining my children because I don’t want to play with them. I know lots of moms who do love playing with their children. At least I feel like there are lots. I feel like I’m the only one who doesn’t. I feel like I’m wrong because there are many times I honestly hate being a mom.

Everyone faces struggles. Some things we can avoid, but others we must endure. This is how we are able to find hope from pain. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional #devotional #scripture #endurance #hope #struggle #perseverance

An Honest Struggle

The real struggle is that I don’t feel like I can be honest about this. Especially in Christian circles, where the role of motherhood is so honored. The moms who stay home are applauded for sacrificing for the needs of their children, but this attitude implies that women who work are selfish.

Honestly, I want to be a working mom. For years I was. I had my work-thing, then I came home and did the mom-thing. It was a good balance. Now I don’t know where I fit in. I’m home and I work which leads to constant distraction and aggravation. I want to be there for my children when they need me. I want to work. Sigh. I feel like I’m failing at all of it.

So here is my honest… I do hate being a mom at times.

I hate the constant noise, the disciplining, the toys and messes. And then I hate myself. I feel like crap because I know there are so many women who desperately want to be a mom. There are women who would love to work from home. There are women who would love to have a migraine free day to play dress up.

And so the downward spiral begins.

What can I do?

I can literally beat myself up. Numerous times I have left my legs bruised from hitting myself hard and repeatedly. I have punched a solid wood door – only once. That left me hurting for more than a week. I have hurled insults at my reflection I would never dream of thinking of anyone else.

I can distract myself. Typically it is work, but it can also be exercise or alcohol.

Or I can go to the Lord. And I do. Over and over. I pray, I read, I listen to encouraging messages. And still, motherhood does not get easier. I get angry, I get desperate, and I spiral around again.

Honestly, I hate writing about this. I would much prefer to talk about something I have already walked through and share how the Lord came through. I love those messages! But that is not this message. Because, let’s be honest, some of life’s messes take a long time to walk through. Sometimes God’s redemption seems a long way off. Sometimes we are hanging on by a thread. But I can’t just say “life is crap, good luck!”

Endure

What we do when there seems to be no end is ENDURE.

We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.

Romans 5:3-5, NLT

Trials

For me, right now, this is motherhood. I’m struggling in it right now. For you, it may be finances, or chronic pain, or in your marriage, or any other multitude of life situations that are difficult to navigate. But we are to rejoice? Y’all, I don’t know if I’m ready for rejoicing just yet.

Develop endurance…”

I can totally relate to this; I know what it means to train. There are 19 marathons, 4 half marathons, and 3 triathlons on these legs. Believe me, I know how to endure so that I can become stronger and faster.

To endure is to continue even when we are uncomfortable. And half of the battle is in the mind. When running a marathon, you cannot think about the fact that you have 21 miles to go at mile 5. You will panic. Right now, I need to not think about the fact that my daughter is not yet 4. I have too many years to go for that to feel helpful! And when our mind begins to shut down, our body will follow. 

Last weekend, my 11-year-old son was mowing. It was hot, he was tired, he wanted to quit. But he told himself that he would get the front yard done. And he did. Then he pretty much collapsed and had a complete meltdown which is rare for him. But he did it because his mind told him to endure. Even though he was miserably uncomfortable.

Endurance is when we don’t stop when it’s hard. It requires the mind deciding not to give up.

But how do we continue when our bodies and minds have nothing left to give. This is when we acknowledge our limitations, surrender, and believe God’s strength will get us through.

“Endurance develops strength of character…”

This is where we begin to put the fruits of the spirit into action. It is where we learn to love when we don’t feel it, to have joy in the middle of struggle, to have peace in the middle of chaos, to be patient when we are frustrated, to be kind when we are treated unfairly, to do good in a world full of evil, to be faithful when we don’t understand, to have gentleness when we are angry, and to have self-control when we are tempted. This is the Character of God, and we have the ability to live like Jesus when we have the Holy Spirit within us.

Character strengthens our confident hope of salvation…”

When we live out this character, our confidence grows in who God says He is. We know we have received the ultimate miracle of salvation. To be rescued from an eternity separated from God. Everything else… is icing.

For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.”

Love. Over the past several years the Lord has taken me on a journey to believe His love for me. It is His love for me that has given me the confidence to take risks. To keep putting myself out there, exposing my vulnerabilities, pursuing the visions He has placed inside me. But it was not until earlier this year I began to believe that God actually likes me too.

Don’t Give Up

Therefore, because of these struggles, I have hope. Hope that one day, I can rejoice with my children and celebrate all of the traits God has given them, and enjoy them.

Endurance is deciding in the mind to remain faithful even when we don’t feel it. Christ endured in obedience, and ultimately gained victory in defeating death. 

It is ok to struggle in your struggle. It is not ok to give up. So endure on, dear sister. There is hope for victory in perseverance.

Endurance is deciding in the mind to remain faithful even when we don’t feel it. Christ endured in obedience, and ultimately gained victory in defeating death. It is ok to struggle in your struggle. It is not ok to give up. Click To Tweet

Everyone faces struggles. Some things we can avoid, but others we must endure. This is how we are able to find hope from pain. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional #devotional #scripture #endurance #hope #struggle #perseverance

unsplash-logoJonathan Cooper
Heaven, home, travelers, faith, pain, suffering, hope, Oh Lord Help Us, Christian, women, mentor, ministry

Travelers: Resting in the Truth, This World is not Our Home

Whether we move around or stay in one place, feeling at home can be difficult. As Christians, we are travelers passing through this perishable world, trying to reach our true home.



I am a traveler and an exile. This is not my home, but I can still live in the confidence that my Father is good and just.

Whether we move around or stay in one place, we are travelers passing through this perishable world to reach our true home...Jesus. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional #devotional #scripture #home #heaven #earth #faith #travelers #hope

Where is My Home?

This year I will celebrate a milestone. It is the longest time my husband and I have lived in any one location. 8 years and as I think about what it means to have a home and to be a part of a place, I keep coming back to the time I spent in 1 Peter. The exiles, sojourners, and the travelers he wrote to knew what it was like to be in a country that did not want them. Where the political climate felt unnerving at best, and unsafe at its worst.

I have lived away from home in the sense that my husband and I have lived in a few states- Georgia, Kentucky, Indiana, South Carolina. So, I learned really quickly to make a home wherever he was and wherever my children slept. I was often “not from around here” and learning the systems spoken and unspoken has taken some time to understand. Some I never did pick up on.

This is not My Home

I am not just a traveler in the earthly sense, though. I am a heavenly traveler too. This is earth not my home and Peter reminds us of this truth over and over again in 1 Peter.

Since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God;

1 Peter 1:23

Why do we forget? Why do I make this earth and all that it has to offer so valuable? I think Jesus knew our flesh would be tempted to depend on what we could see, touch and contain. He reminded His disciples…

I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.

John 16:33

I Forget

Jesus knew we would face temptations and trials. He knew our frame –that we were dust and frail and prone to give up and give in. But, He still called us…

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.

1 Peter 2:9

He Reminds Me

Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

1 Peter 2:10

No matter where I lay my head, I am His and I have an eternal home in heaven. As I have gotten older, I long for heaven more. I grow weary of seeing people I love suffer through illness and fear. I see sadness and overwhelming grief. But, I have also seen God’s hand move in ways I would have never dreamed was possible, in spite of me and my unbelief. How can we find hope in the midst of such uncertainty? I think we trust in the example that our Savior gave us…

When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly.

1 Peter 2:23b

While We are Travelers, We Can Trust Him

Jesus had every right to demand better treatment. He was God. He had every reason to want obedience and worship. But, He knew that He had a good Father that He would trust with His very life. And so do I. When my life is not making sense, I can lean into Him. I can trust that He sees the whole picture and knows me and knows best.

This is not blind faith. It is faith informed by His word. What do you need help releasing that is really just perishable, won’t last, can’t satisfy? He bore our sins so we could die to sin and live to righteousness. Jesus is our home.

No matter where we lay our heads, we are His and have an eternal home in heaven. What do you need help releasing that is really just perishable? He bore our sins so we could die to sin and live to righteousness. Jesus is our home. Click To Tweet

Whether we move around or stay in one place, we are travelers passing through this perishable world to reach our true home...Jesus. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional #devotional #scripture #home #heaven #earth #faith #travelers #hope

All scripture references come from the English Standard Version.
unsplash-logoGabrielle Rocha Rios