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Hope

Let's talk about Hope...

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Let's talk about Hope...

We all need a little hope, right?  In this world we live in, there is enough of EVERYTHING else that can take away our hopes and dreams and replace it with fear and doubt.  Just turn on the news on any given day and this world looks pretty bleak.  Which makes me think of what Jesus said, in John 14:1 "Let not your heart be troubled..."  

That's easier said than done, right?

But then their is this word: HOPE.  

What is hope?  Where does it come from... where should we place our hope.  Let's take a look at that word and what it means....

Here's the dictionary definition:

Hope: a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen.

Here's a couple of my favorite Bible verses about Hope:

 “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11

"We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure..." Hebrews 6:19

Seems to me there is a difference between the worlds definition of hope and God's hope... so how do we get to the biblical view of hope.

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Romans 15:4 "For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope."

Hope through the Scriptures, God's Word.  

Well, if you're anything like me you've maybe misplaced your hope, or forgotten where it comes from.  Instead we hope in many "things" of this world...
~ hope that we have a nice weekend or vacation
~ hope we get that job or house we want
~ hope that those test goes well
~ hope that what that person told us was the truth
~ and the list goes on and on...

When we hope in "things" or people, (Like the Webster's definition of the word) we are/or can be disappointed, which leads us back to that troubled heart. And that is NOT what the Lord wants for us. He wants our trust and hope to be in Him. (like that verse above in Jeremiah 29:11)

So where are we placing our hope?  

And wow do we stop this vicious cycle? 

This year has been a doozy of a year so far.  I have felt "STRETCHED" (my #OLW word for the year) in more areas of my life than ever before.  I think I'm not the only one either... I've heard from a lot of friends that are experiencing this stretching.  Are you as well? But as I realize this is happening, the other day I was reminded of my word from LAST year which was:

HOPEFUL.

 

Oh, that's right... a year focused on this word and I forget it so quickly? How easy it is to loose sight of things.  The enemy loves to distract us and keep us from TRUTH.  He wants us to live in the world and not focus on God's Word.  He wants the distractions of this world to pull us away from seeing the Bible as an instruction manual like Romans 15:4 says above.  That's why everywhere you turn, the media and this world mocks the Bible.  "It's not relevant, it's just a book, it's not real... the list goes on and on.

But God is SO good and He lovingly brings us back...

Back to the ONLY place I can point you or anyone to.  To find peace from those question marks in our lives...

and that is directly to God's Word.  

 

It is the only place we can go, to find the true source of HOPE.

Oh dear friends, I've felt ALL those question marks too... just in this last week alone it's been fighting that troubled heart over and over.  So I'm not telling you anything that I don't need to hear just as much!  I think my emotions could have jolted the Richter Scale, believe you, me.   (I think part of that is my 49+ hormones kicking in...) but also just the enemy telling us lies, because he's good at that.  

 

But, God.

 

I love that.  My dear friend Sheila Atchley wrote that in a IG post a little while ago and I thought... Yes.  But, God.  Sure, everything else can feel messed up and wrong, but God can change ANYTHING.  He's the "SWITCH" that turns life around.

The ONLY true place to find REAL hope & REAL peace is close by Jesus' side.  

I am so thankful He is ever SO patient with our ramblings, our rationalizations, our plans, etc. etc...  Then after we've gone through all those annoying "self help talks" to ourselves,  He gently reminds us to come back to REST by His side.  To step into that place of STILLNESS with Him where He has space to speak to our restless hearts and give us His peace and hope.

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“Be still, and know that I am God.
    I will be exalted among the nations,
    I will be exalted in the earth!”  Psalm 46:10

I'm studying a GREAT YouVersion plan called "Spiritual Disciplines & Evangelism" and it's teaching me so much! (Highly recommend this one)  Here's just one little nugget from the day on Silence & Solitude:

"In solitude & silence is where all our cares are pushed to the background and we are able to rediscover what it means that God has NEVER left our side.  We find God's nearness and BIGNESS simultaneously."

Don't we just LONG for that... Oh how we desperately NEED that!

Why is it then that we make our lives so much more complicated?


Oh we are so silly... What we need to remind ourselves of is that He is beckoning us to Him.  To rest in Him.  He wants to calm our hearts, to fight our battles and to SIMPLIFY our lives.  Yesterday after I realized I had cried about 1/2 a dozen times, I was just DONE.  But then I felt His presence just call me to Him.  To take that time to spend in His Word, with Him.  So I stopped crying, went out in my backyard and had some "Silence and Solitude" time.  Journal in hand, this blog post is what came from that time, and it's what I wanted to share with YOU.  

Because He encourages us with His HOPE...  Daily, or sometimes moment by moment.  I promise you, we need to get out of the way and let Him simplify our lives.

He is near... and He is so dear.  

I hope this weekend you feel the Lord's presence as you draw near to Him through His Word and through prayer.  Find peace and rest and the HOPE that only comes from Him.

His HOPE encourages us to then go out and help others find this joy of life that can be had in Him.

Hugs,

Laura

P.S. Next week I want to go deeper into this and talk about how this HOPE from God flows through to our lives and the plans we make.  So this weekend just sit in that silence and solitude for a while.  It's where you can always go to find rest.  But it's not where we can stay.  The Lord does want us to plan and work and have lives FULL...

 

 

 

 

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What brings you joy...

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What brings you joy...

Have you ever thought that the things that bring YOU joy, are actually the things that the Lord has given you the DESIRE for?

Right now I am enjoying classical music while I write this blog post.  Tonight I'm alone in the house filled with the scent of Christmas and twinkling lights and all is quiet.  I LOVE my family, but this right now brings me JOY... and it's what I needed at this moment.  The Lord knows our hearts and believe it or not, He wants to bring us joy.

I want you to go back in time and think about the things that brought you JOY as you were growing up.  Well, maybe you still are young... but for me at almost 50 it's hard to think back and really remember what I LOVED waaaaaay back in those "olden days" you know... the 1970's. (hahaha) But I do remember one.

I'm not talking about what games you played or the kids you hung out with.  What were you GOOD at?  What INTERESTED you?  I want to ask you another question.  Do those things that you loved to do as you were growing up still bring you joy? Or did they get lost in "REAL" life.  

I'm going to argue in this blog post that those things that brought you JOY were God-given desires, put there by God for a REASON.

Remember when we were kids and we had DREAMS.  All sorts of dreams, right?  When the astronaut came to school, we dreamed about going to space.  When we watched the olympics we dreamed about being a famous tennis player that would travel the world.  Some were definitely fantasy, but some were actually dreams we REALLY wanted.  I wanted to SING.  I wanted to be a Christian artist like Amy Grant! I sang every chance I could get and it brought me total joy.  Did I pursue it... NO.  You want to know why?  (I'm revealing secrets here... but the truth is two-fold.)  There was a girl at my church that was an AMAZING singer and I didn't think I was that good.  So, when a vocal group came to church to hold try outs, I chickened out.  That girl was trying out so why bother... is what I told myself.  Oh if I could have talked to my younger self and told her to pursue those God given desires and just GO FOR IT!  Don't get me wrong, I absolutely LOVE my life and I'm so blessed to be right where I am in life.  But it makes me wonder how many other people are passionate about something and yet don't think they can go after it because they... well fill in the blank... I'm sure there's so many reasons why people don't go after their DREAMS.

But how do we get past the fear and doubt to hear the Lord speak LIFE into our dreams? 

I think it's in LISTENING.  This last year or two as my faith has deepened and as I have spent more time in His Word, I have learned to "be still" and listen.

I've being learning to LISTEN to God's voice. 

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Proverbs 12:15 says: "The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man LISTENS to advice.

We all know it's wise to listen to advice.  We talk to friends, family, etc... when we need help.  We seek council and talk and talk and talk to everyone who will listen to us go on about our situation.  But are we seeking council and LISTENING to the One who loves us the most and is THE most important one to hear from?

The number one way to hear God's voice is through His Word.  He speaks to us through His Word and that should always be our starting point.

"If you want to hear the heart of God, silence is KEY.  If you want the Spirit of God to fill you, be still."  Mark Batterson, in his new book "Whisper" talks about the power of the WHISPER of God.  

How AWESOME is that... that God wants to speak to US!  That He speaks to us through divine appointments and in His divine (a.k.a. perfect) timing.  That God is preparing us... God is ordering our footsteps... God is working ALL THINGS together for good for those who love Him.  Think about that for a minute. How exciting is that to ponder?  I know in my own life how REAL this is.  It still blows my mind that He ordered our steps to go on a crazy road trip from California to Michigan... so that He could stir our hearts in COLORADO!  

But that's REAL and that's pretty incredible that the God who CREATED the heavens and the earth wants to speak to us.

THINK about that...

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Colossians 3:2 says: "Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things."

Yes, the Lord knows we have things to do... every day we have "earthly things" to think about.  But what He's talking about here is getting us to a place in our lives where we THINK FIRST about what the Lord wants to say to us... what the voice of God wants to tell us.  Because God wants to speak to YOU.  And He has ways in which He does that.

In "Whisper" Mark Batterson talks about the 7 "love languages" that God speaks to us through.  (Here's where I plug another Mark Batterson book... yes, next time I promise to read a book by someone else...)  But his new book is so relevant to my life right now and I would bet it would be for you too.  

Today I want to focus on just one of those "love languages" that Mark says God speaks to us through.

This love language is called:  

DESIRES

Yes, you heard that right... 

"Take Delight in the Lord, and He will give you the DESIRES of your heart." Psalm 37:4

And according to C.S. Lewis he thinks "Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak."

Now don't get me wrong... there are the wrong kinds of desires and I think we all know what those are.  I'm talking about the God given desires that HE put in us.  

God DELIGHTS.

Did you know the first emotion in the book of Genesis is God stepping back from His Creation and taking DELIGHT in it?  In His handiwork!  He delights in what He does so why would He want anything less for us?  Don't you think He would want us to take JOY in what we do for our lives as well?

There's a story in Chapter 6 of "Whisper" that just got to me and I want to share it with you.

I'm paraphrasing but here goes...

In the 1930's this mom takes her daughter to the doctor because she's worried her daughter has a problem b/c she will never sit still.  Now days that would be considered ADHD, but back then the doctor took a look at her daughter and then made the most remarkable discovery.  He put the daughter in a room with a radio,  and sure enough... the girl couldn't sit still.  She got up and danced around the room and wouldn't sit down.  He told that mom this:  "Your daughter isn't sick. She doesn't have a problem.  She's a dancer.  Take her to dance school."  That girl became one of the most celebrated ballerina's in all of England!

God PUT that desire in that little girl FOR A REASON.  Not for someone to squelch it, not for a school to subdue it, not for this world to say "she's not normal" and certainly not for someone to tell her to sacrifice her desires for a mundane existence.

I want you to think about that little girl for a moment.  

What is it in your life that you take PLEASURE in? What desires did the Lord put in your heart?  They are there for a reason and I think we can say they are HOLY desires because in them God wants to show you how GREAT His love is and what He can do THROUGH them!  He wants us to DELIGHT in HIM.  To take PLEASURE in the things that He has given us a DESIRE for!

So if it's music, then make music.  If it's building things... then build them!  If it's helping people, then serve.  If it's painting and being creative, then BE AN ARTIST.  "What's the point in trying to be who you aren't.  If you succeed, you is who you ain't, and you ain't who you is.  You're actually less like the person God designed you and destined you to be." Mark Batterson  

Oh all these words would have made my grandmother squirm!  

DELIGHT

DESIRE

PLEASURE

I don't want to throw my "Oma" under the bus... but I'm afraid they got it wrong a couple generations ago.  I think the church felt that if we got PLEASURE out of something that is was sinful.  And desires... well that was just too much, you couldn't even talk about that!  But what a terrible way to live.  (No wonder all those black and white photos of our ancestors show no smiles whatsoever ;)-

Like Mark says... "God Himself would fail that test.  He HAD JOY... He took DELIGHT in what He CREATED... and that gave Him PLEASURE."

Pleasure isn't a bad thing... it's a gift from God!  Remember that verse from above...

Psalm 37:4 "Take Delight in the Lord, and He will give you the DESIRES of your heart."

God delights in what He does, and He wants nothing less for us.  He wants us to delight in His CREATION.  He wants us to delight in one another.  And above all, He wants us to delight ourselves in Him!

So for those of you just starting out in the real world and trying to decide "What do I do with my life?"

Here's the thing... 

Life is too short to not love what you do!

In the book "Whisper" Mark says "the key is finding the place where your gifts and desires overlap."  I LOVE that!

God has given each of us gifts and abilities and desires....

What are they? I don't know what they are for you, but take some time to WRITE THEM DOWN.  Pray over them.  

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One of my all time favorite verses is Proverbs 3:5-6 "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge him, and He will make straight your paths."

Here's what I'm going to boldly tell you to do:

#1. Seek God first.  He created you and He loves you.  Trust that He will take care of things... even when you don't understand it all yet.  He's going before you and will work things out.

#2. Delight yourself in the Lord... and have HOLY desire.  

Romans 12:6-8 talks about our different gifts and Paul tells us to use our God given gifts in the pursuit of God-ordained desires. 

#3. Talk to Him.  Pray.  

Jesus asked, "What do you want me to do for you?" in Luke 18:41.  He wants to know what we want, so tell Him.

#4. LISTEN.  Then write down what He is speaking to you. It's God's love letter to you.

Then go pray the bravest prayer you've ever prayed and go out there and be the person God is calling you to be! 

 

DARE to be that person.

 

It will bring YOU joy... and It will bring the one who LOVES you the most...GREAT JOY,  because He put those desires there in the first place.

 

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I shared this quote a while ago and it came up on my feed on FB this morning, so I thought it was worth repeating here.

 

Hugs to all,

Laura

 

P.S.  I finally figured out how to splice together two videos!!  (I know, it's not that hard but hey...) So tomorrow I will post my process video on the Art Journal I made last week.

 

 

 

 

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Exchange program...

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Exchange program...

Today we're going to get a little deeper than normal... so grab your coffee and stay a while.

I saw this on IG a few days ago from @lifelivedbeautifully and it really hit me.

Prayer is exchanging our temporary desires for GOD'S eternal vision.

That's powerful... but can we really "let go" of our desires?  I've been trying to do that lately.  It's certianly not easy.  We all have desires for our lives, we want certain things.  Health for sure... to find love and have a family...A good job and enough money to pay our bills, and then some? Peace is a big one... how about wanting our kids to be happy, healthy and find love as well?  The list goes on forever right?   Let me say that these aren't BAD things to want.  I know most all of us want these things, right? 

But life doesn't always fit inside those parameters...

My husband and I have just finished a 40 prayer challenge.  It was HARD.  But is was also sooooo GOOD!  I highly recommend the book:  The 40 Day Prayer Challenge by Mark Batterson.  (Yes, I know I have been reading a lot of his books lately, but they are so great!)

I wrote in a journal each day after we read the chapter for the day and then prayed.  It was such an emotional process and I'm not sure I've ever cried more in 40 days then during this challenge.  But it made me realize how much we have to pray for and how important PRAYER IS!  I am learning this more and more. Not just to pray for us and our kids... but for friends, for family, for co-workers, for our country, for our President, for organizations fighting evil.  During these 40 days we prayed for chains to be broken, for healings to take place, for lives to be changed, for direction and clarity, for miracles to take place and for answered prayers!  

And through it all it reminded me of God's sovereignty!

His VISION.  

I got this old hymnal through Etsy and am using it for as an art & faith journal.  

Be Thou my Vision... oh Lord of my heart...

So how do we get from our own wants and desires to giving them all to the Lord and wanting His WILL, His Vision?

That's the million dollar question, right?

It reminds me of the song by Hillary Scott called "Thy Will:"

One of the verses says:

It's hard to count it all joy,

distracted by the noise,

just trying to make sense,

of all your promises.  

Some times I've got to stop and

remember that you are God...

and I am not.

So, Thy will be done.

Here's the beautiful video of her song:

Didn't that touch your heart? Find the video on the story behind this song that she wrote.  It's powerful.

The Lord has a plan for each of us.  It may look totally different than what we think it should.  But we have to come to a place where we can honestly trust that His will IS best.

Let's not forget that NOTHING is impossible for God.  He can heal, restore, increase... He IS the Creator and miracles are His business!  But sometimes that's not in His plan.

Does that mean that He doesn't love us or is not always good?

I think you know the answer...

God is good all the time; and all the time...God is good!

You've probably heard that saying before, especially if you watched the movie God's Not Dead.

But let me remind you of a couple verses:

"And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose."  Romans 8:28

"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

And the most important verse that shows our God's unfailing love for us:

John 3:16 "“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life."

I'm going to share something with you that happened this week.

If you saw my other posts this week you know that we lost a dearly loved teacher at the girls' school.  Mrs. Story was such a light.  She loved the Lord, loved others and gave of herself to everyone who came into her life.  She was so loved and she died two days ago after a battle for her life in Paris, France after having to be taken off of a flight back home from a missionary trip to Africa over Christmas break.  Our school had been praying for her for months.  So many people have been.  The kids are devastated and this week has been hard, I'm not going to lie.  We know that she is with her Heavenly Father and she is so happy to be there!  Isabella had Mrs. Story as her teacher last year and one of Isabella's teachers this year was a close friend of Mrs. Story and we were talking yesterday and she said to me "She is probably in a beautiful meadow running with lots of children in heaven..."   How beautiful is that image!

But what breaks my heart...

The chapel the High School kids had the day of her death was so disheartening.  I'm not sure if this was also spoken in the Middle School Chapel, but my High Schooler came home just infuriated! The pastor of the church that is associated to the school talked about how "No good can come from this." 

What the what?

I'm heartbroken that these words were spoken to hundreds of kids ranging in age from 14-18 years old!  This is an age group that is just forming their opinions on WHO GOD IS TO THEM!  You're telling them God can't use this for GOOD?  That He can't turn this tragedy into lives changed?  That this can't be a catalyst for those who knew Mrs. Story to give their lives to the Lord BECAUSE of her life testimony?  

Now I don't know this pastor very well and he may have just been overcome with grief and said things he regrets...

But I am so blessed by what happened next...

As my daughter was walking to her car after this chapel, she was so upset.  She saw one of her friends who was also going to his car and he looked SO annoyed!  She asked him what was wrong and he said he was so upset about what the pastor had just said at the chapel too!  GOOD FOR THEM!  I am so proud of these two young adults who saw how wrong those statements were, and wanted to do something about it!  After they talked about it, this young man called the churches youth pastor and told him how he felt about the pastor's chapel!  Well guess what, the next day they had another chapel... and the youth pastor talked!  He was able to correct things that were said, point out the bible verses that DIRECTLY state God IS GOOD, and ALL things DO work together for GOOD, for those that love Him... ( Romans 8:28 ) and Lord willing the kids learned that the Lord loves each and every one of us and desires to show us how GOOD HE IS!

Thank you Lord for these kids who don't just listen and accept what is said, but who have the Word of God in their hearts and can filter what is said through the TRUTH written in God's Word.  Amen to that!

So, how do we then get through tragedy and SEE the GOOD in it?

That's where that "Exchange program" comes into play...

I mentioned this a little bit in my last post.

It's by WORSHIP!

 

I'm reading a book I highly recommend you read:

"In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day" by Mark Batterson

Yup, that guy again.  I promise I read other authors... hahaha

I'm only on chapter 5 and I have to say this book is "perspective changing!"  I say that because that's where the change needs to be! Our perspective in life.

Chapter 4 REALLY got to me.

He talks about Paul and Silas in jail from the story in Acts 16.  They are doing ALL this work for the Kingdom of God and what do they get?  Landed in JAIL!?!  Their circumstances are about as dire as you can get.  I don't know about you, but I'd be pretty bent out of shape at that point!  But what do we read in verse 25?

"About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them..."

Ok...

That's probably not what I would have been doing.

But guess what? Paul & Silas WERE, and BECAUSE they were WORSHIPING the Lord they were "zooming out of their external circumstances and REFOCUSING on the BIG picture."  I love that quote from Mark in Chapter 4!

Like Mark Batterson says:

We need to "zoom out" and WORSHIP.  

"Don't let what's wrong with YOU keep you from worshiping what IS right with God."

Stop focusing on what is wrong.  Make the choice to worship God... in spite of external circumstances!

I know... this isn't easy to do.  I am learning this daily and I think it may be a life long lesson we are learning.  "But it is one of the purest forms of worship to praise God IN THIS STORMS of life, because it proves that your worship isn't CIRCUMSTANTIAL."    

Oh boy.. that is a zinger.  Mark... you got me there!  

Am I "praising" the Lord when all is good?  Sure I am!  But am I still praising and worshiping Him when life sucks?  When cancer comes back to a loved one?  When you have a bill to pay and not enough money to cover it?  When you watch your child in pain and don't know what to do about it?  We've all had these "circumstances" in our lives.  I'm not so sure I can say that I praised Him every time something like this has happened in my life.

But Paul & Silas were worshipers.  Their hands and feet may have been chained, but no-one could chain their spirit!  

Its a CHOICE we have to make.  We can choose to complain... or worship.  

As Mark says in Chapter 4 "Your internal attitudes are far more important than your external circumstances.  Joy is MIND OVER MATTER.  Worship REFRAMES our problems and refocuses our lives.  It helps us get through bad days by reminding us of how good God is.  And when you are WORSHIPFUL, your eyes are more open to notice the miracles that are happening all around you, all the time."

"One way or the other, your FOCUS determines your reality.  The outcome of your life will be determined by your OUTLOOK on life."

Powerful words.  

There is so much more just in this Chapter!  so go get the book, and read it.  

I WANT to be the person that WORSHIPS the LORD in ALL circumstances.

Let us Sing songs of Praise:  Psalm 97:1-6

1 The Lord reigns, let the earth rejoice;
    let the many coastlands be glad!
2 Clouds and thick darkness are all around him;
    righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne.
3 Fire goes before him
    and burns up his adversaries all around.
4 His lightnings light up the world;
    the earth sees and trembles.
5 The mountains melt like wax before the Lord,
    before the Lord of all the earth.
6 The heavens proclaim his righteousness,
    and all the peoples see his glory.

 

Worship is KEY.

I love Romans 1 where Paul is so thankful.  So thankful for the people the Lord brought into his life through sharing the Gospel with them.  So thankful FOR the Gospel.  That he is NOT ashamed of the gospel...  and that Jesus is his EVERYTHING! That is WORSHIP.

I want that to be my mantra!  Thankful.  That Jesus IS my all and all.  That I can worship Him in every circumstance!  And that I can share what He has done in my life with others.  

Going through the "40 Day Prayer Challenge" has been a journey.  I think part of why I cried so much is just hearing the stories in the book of other peoples faith!  GIANT FAITH. Amazing things happen when you give ALL of you to the Lord.  When you ask the Lord to give you HIS VISION for your life.  He so greatly wants you to step into His plan for your life.  No matter what pain you have had, no matter how many "bad days" you have had.  No matter the circumstances your life has journeyed...

He can RECYCLE that pain to HELP OTHERS.

I have seen this over and over again.  I think of present day hero's like Victor Marx and his All Things Possible Ministry. God used such tragic circumstances in his life to eventually help so many people, to this day!  God is Good people!  And he has a way to "recycle our pain for someone else's gain."

I was talking to my daughter about this recently.  Sometimes the Lord allows us to go through the "bad days"  to appreciate the "good days" and to let Him USE them for His glory!

What about you?

What adversity have you been through?  Can you turn it into your ministry?

 

I am convinced that the Lord CAN & DOES & DESIRES for us to turn our adversity into our ministry!

"God comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others.  When others are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us." From In the Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day"

And that gives me SO. MUCH. HOPE.

Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful."  Hebrews 10:23

I pray that we can all "exchange" our desires for the Lord's VISION for our lives!

That we can have hope that through ALL of it... the good, the bad and everything in between... He is working things out for our Good!  That He can restore us, fill us with hope and use us to help His vision be fulfilled!

Here are a few points that Mark Batterson ends Chapter 4 with:

- We should stop asking God to get us out of difficult circumstances and start asking Him what He wants to get out of those difficult circumstances.

- Prayer is less about changing our circumstances and more about changing our perspective.

- God wants us to learn to see bad experiences through the good we have gained from them.

- God is in the business of recycling our pain and using it for someone else's gain.

 

Please remember this:

The Lord IS good.  

Let Him work in your life to help you see that good.

"Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!" Psalm 34:8

Have a beautiful day,

Laura

P.S. Tomorrow I promise to be a LOT lighter!  We just got the video back from our daughters wedding and I'm going to try and post it here!!  

 

 

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