Monday, April 6, 2020

Great Is His Faithfulness

By: Joanne Viola

As the past week unfolded, emotions seemed to ebb and flow depending on the current day’s news. So much of it can be overwhelming.

It can be difficult to see the beauty in the days and as this pandemic wears on, the realization hits that we are going to grow weary. It will get harder to see the beauty. 

The thought of it all brought me to remember the Psalms of Ascent. God’s people were on a pilgrimage and stayed focused along the way. In the coming weeks, I would like to look at at these psalms, fifteen in total, found in Psalm 120 – 134. These psalms can teach us much about praising God for His goodness, even as we are on a pilgrimage. Today we will start with Psalm 120:

“I took my troubles to the Lord; I cried out to him, and he answered my prayer.”
(Psalm 120:1, NLT)

This was a distress call from the psalmist. We have seen how life can change in the blink of an eye and the psalmist also knew this to be true. He called out to the LORD – the covenant making and covenant keeping God. He is God, committed to His Word and to His covenant.

This was a cry of distress and a cry for deliverance.

In this time when our routines and schedules are far from normal, we need to call out to God. Our current discomfort may be the way God moves us in this journey to something, or someplace, new.

As God’s people went on this pilgrimage to Jerusalem, they praised God for His goodness. They did not wait until they arrived in Jerusalem to praise Him. They sang all along the way, remembering His faithfulness in the past.

In remembering the many times and ways the Lord had answered them, they found the confidence to pray again and with expectancy of an answer.

Remember the Lord’s faithfulness.
Find the confidence to pray again, and again,
for in His time, the answer will come.

Photo by Casey Horner on Unsplash 

Friday, April 3, 2020

Having Hope in Troubled Times

By: Sarah Geringer 

Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm,
for God can be trusted to keep His promise.

Hebrews 10:23 NLT

It’s like a blizzard none of us saw coming. 

In a real blizzard, roads are blocked, some businesses close, and life comes to a halt for several days.

However, it’s spring. Here in the Midwest, birds are singing. Flowers and trees are blooming. It’s warm enough to take a prayer walk or enjoy a picnic.

But only if you stay at home.

Everything just feels wrong!

We are in an unprecedented time of history, when the whole world is being rocked to its core with this pandemic.

This unprecedented time calls for unbreakable hope. 

Because we worship the one true God, we can have hope despite the troubles we face.
The lesser troubles: 
Craving interaction.

The bigger troubles: 
Testing positive. 
Losing your job. 
Watching your 401K turn downward.

Here is hope…God is sovereign. 

He saw this coming, even when we did not. He is in perfect control over your health, finances, and relationships. None of this took him by surprise, and none of this is outside of his perfect knowledge and care.

I encourage you to meditate on this verse every time you need hope:

Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm,
for God can be trusted to keep His promise.

Hebrews 10:23 NLT
Spend time every day pouring out your troubles to God in prayer. 
Cling to Him in hope. 
If you do, your faith will be stronger, and you’ll be closer to the Lord God Almighty when these troubles pass.

Heavenly Father,
I didn't see these troubled times coming, but you did.
Because you are sovereign over all, I can trust you.
I confess that my trust has been wearing thin lately.
But I want to trust you more in these unprecendented times.
May my hope in you become unbreakable, day by day.
Right now, I will hold tightly to it, believing you'll keep your promises
I thank you in advance for the ways my hope in you will grow.
In Jesus' name,

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Have a wonderful weekend!

Blessings and God's peace to you,

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Thursday, April 2, 2020

The Importance of Spirituality at the End of Life

Contributed Post
The idea of God and an afterlife are not the sort of things that the younger generation really consider important, after all it is likely to be decades before they have to consider the possibility that they are not immortal. For anyone over 40 I’m sure that will ring true.
As we get older we see the past and the future, then as we age there seems to be more past and less future to consider, that approaching wall over which no one can see can be unnerving.
At some point everybody realises that they are getting older, that it takes longer to drag themselves out of bed in the morning, that mowing the lawn used to be a simple job and now it causes aches and pains everywhere, try that maybe we should get someone in to fix the roof rather than trying to get up the ladder ourselves.
We realise that the best may well be behind us and that what awaits is cramps, arthritis and other age related illnesses as our body starts to fall apart and worse than that, the degradation in our mental abilities.
Have you ever walked into a room and forgotten why you went in there ? then spent the next few hours trying to remember.
It is about this time that most people start to consider that maybe there is something after death, after all if death is the end then why suffer through the last decade of aches and pains just to stop being. This is when people tend to look towards religions and spirituality in general.
If the mind can continue after death, free of the aches and pains of old age then there is something worth fighting for, something that justifies the long drawn out run downhill to the buffers at the end of the track.
There are many religions around the world, one thing they all seem to have in common is the idea of life after death, maybe a good life or possibly a bad life, there are always options as to where the mind will go.
The idea that being a good person, of repenting your sins or making amends for past transgression appeals to us as we age. Nobody is a saint, we have all done things that may have seemed like a good idea at the time but turned bad later. The premise that these bad actions can be forgiven, or written off against our good deeds in determining where we go after we die is the core of many a religion.
Spirituality in whatever form appeals to you is a comfort that makes life liveable as you age, it is the warm comforter on a cold winter's night, the roaring fire as the snow falls, it is what allows you a degree of solace when your partner of decade passes and leave you alone for the first time in years.
Religion and spirituality in whichever form you are comfortable with is what gives us hope and from hope springs eternal life.

Amelia Evans is a freelance writer and works as a content manager for various international brands. 
When Amelia is not researching and writing she loves nothing more than heading out into the country for some downtime. Amelia is currently writing for Be in Health.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

He Chose You

By: Jenifer Metzger

I chose you before I formed you in the womb;
I set you apart before you were born.
I appointed you a prophet to the nations.
But I protested, “Oh no, Lord God! Look, I don’t
know how to speak since I am only a youth.”
Then the Lord said to me:
Do not say, “I am only a youth,”
for you will go to everyone I send you to
and speak whatever I tell you.
Do not be afraid of anyone,
for I will be with you to rescue you.
This is the Lord’s declaration.
Jeremiah 1:5-8

If you are following along with the Woman to Woman reading plan, today we are in Jeremiah 1. Jeremiah had the call of God on his life. However, he didn't feel he was ready because he was young. He felt like he was not equipped.

How often do we feel like we are not ready? Not equipped? God tells us to go and minister to a hurting friend, we don't know what to say. God tells us to go and witness to a stranger, we feel unprepared. God puts us in place to suddenly homeschool our kids, we feel like a fish out of water.

Just as God told Jeremiah, He is telling you. He choose you. He set you apart for this. He is giving you the words. If God called you to it, He will get you through it. God didn't bring you to this place in your life to leave you alone. He doesn't lead you to a situation and walk away. He is there with you.

Whatever it is you are facing, push out those feelings telling you that you can't do it. Remind yourself that you are His and He has chosen you.

It's time for Share A Link Wednesday! Each Wednesday we invite you to leave a link to your latest blog post in the comments. We still desire to connect women of God with one another and encourage each other in Christ. So grab a cup of coffee or glass of sweet tea, sit back and visit a few blogs. Be encouraged and share your own stories.

Monday, March 30, 2020

A Stream In The Desert

By: Joanne Viola

The first day of spring was last week. The time of year when everything planted comes back to life. Nothing remains dormant.

A quick walk around the house recently and I noticed the trees were budding.To my surprise, there was new growth beginning on some of the plants. Seeing the new growth brought this to mind:

“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.”  (Isaiah 43:19, NIV)
  1. God is doing a new thing. “Doing” means He is making or creating a new thing. His reason? To show us His faithfulness.
  2. We need to perceive what God is doing. The NASB words it a little differently: “Behold, I will do something new, Now it will spring forth; Will you not be aware of it?” The problem lies with our lack of awareness of His activity. May He give us eyes to see and ears to hear. His reason? He desires to be in relationship with us.
  3. God is making a way. His reason? To bring about a change – a change in circumstances; and a change in us.
God is in the habit of causing new growth to spring up in places we do not expect to see growth. Notice that the place in which He makes the way is “in the desert” and “in the wasteland”. In neither place would we have high expectations of growth or production. Yet our God chooses those very places to demonstrate Himself to us. Perhaps good questions to ask ourselves today would be: “Where is the desert in life? Where is the wasteland?”

We need to be aware that it is in those very places our God is fully able to work …
in the midst of pain,
in the midst of no hope,
in the midst of uncertainty,
in the midst of rejection,
in the midst of loneliness,
in the midst of unmet desires.

In those very places, He desires for the answer to spring up. He desires to bring about a new thing in our lives. He is able to make a way where there is no way. Scripture tells us the very reason that He responds to us in this way:

“That they may proclaim my praise.” (verse 21)

Today may we perceive Him. Today may we see what He is doing around us. Today may we see the way He alone is making. And today may we proclaim His praise!

Today may we see His stream in the desert.

Photo by Alex He on Unsplash