Tag Archives: Faith

CHOOSING FAITH OVER FEAR

DO NOT FEAR, FOR I AM WITH YOU

Fear is one of the most paralyzing obstacles we deal with in life. If we’re being completely honest with each other, we all battle with fearful thoughts at times.

Fear can taunt us, but it cannot have any power over us when we are grounded in Christ. I was greatly encouraged in my quest to conquer fear after I had a powerful dream in my sleep last year.

In my dream, I was alone and trying to find my way home late at night after leaving an event. Unintentionally, I took a road that led to the top of a really high mountain. In the midst of the darkness, I could barely see my surroundings, but I kept on driving anyway. Suddenly, I began to get fearful as I realized I had taken the wrong road and I was on the side of a mountain. As I was turning the vehicle around, I could see I had reached the top without even being aware of it. With amazement, I thanked God for helping me make it safely to the top of a huge mountain in the dark. Then I was awakened from my sleep.

In the moments shortly after my dream, I sensed there was a message Christ wanted me to receive. It was as though He was saying: You have no reason to fear the darkness. I am with you. I will help you.

Fear has taunted me at times throughout my life and it has attempted to get me off course, but thankfully it has not succeeded in stopping me from living courageously.

I am determined not to let fear stop me from going after my callings. When I stand face to face with Christ, I want to hear Him say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” I don’t want Him to wonder why I let fear stop me from doing His will for my life.

Are you battling fears or feeling anxious about the future? Do you have moments when fear paralyzes you or prevents you from doing what you are called to do?

If we continually look to Christ and choose faith over fear, we will be totally free from fear’s grip.

As long as we’re on this earth, we’ll be tempted by fear, but it does not have to control our lives. There are a few strategies that help me overcome fear when it tempts me to give into it.

Praying passionately stops fear dead in its tracks. When I am tempted to give into fearful thoughts, I drop to my knees and pray wholeheartedly until Christ floods my soul with peace.

Meditating on Scripture is a powerful way to conquer anxious thoughts. The Scriptures, especially the Psalms, have helped me mightily through the years. Meditating on the Psalms melts away anxiety and fear. If we are keeping our hearts fixed upon Christ and His Word, fearful thoughts cannot penetrate our minds.

Living a life of repentance breaks the chains of anxiety in our lives. Whenever I am feeling fearful, I ask Jesus if there is something in my life that is allowing unrest in my soul. Christ is always faithful to show me an unrealized sin that needs to be stripped out of my heart. Letting Christ sanctify us is a key factor in getting free from our fears. It’s amazing how peace floods into my soul instantaneously as I repent.

Worshiping in Spirit and in truth opens the door to peace. As we remain in an attitude of worship throughout each day, Christ’s indescribable peace remains within us. Worshiping by singing and listening to anointed songs is a powerful way to conquer fear.

Christ is calling us to go deeper in our relationship with Him so that we can crush fear under our feet and never be affected by it again. The deeper we go with Christ, the more of His glory will be released in our lives. No dark force can stand up against the glory and power of Jesus Christ. With Christ guiding and strengthening us, we have nothing to fear.

‘Do not fear, for I am with you; do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you. Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’

Isaiah 41:10

May you live fearlessly and step boldly into the destiny Christ has for your life.

As a side note, please forgive me for neglecting to write for my blog lately. Recently, I have been working hard on another writing project. I am pressing forward in my callings and helping build Christ’s kingdom on the earth. I would be so honored if you would subscribe to receive my posts electronically by entering your e-mail address into the box on the right sidebar. Thanks so much to those who have already subscribed.

XOXO,

Amy

BE STILL AND TRUST CHRIST

THE LORD WILL FIGHT FOR YOU

It was nineteen years ago when I hit rock bottom and needed Christ to pull me out of a pit of doubt. With many questions in my heart about God’s goodness, my faith began growing strong again as my family prayed for me and friends encouraged me not to lose hope.

In March of 1997 while we were at church, a friend of ours approached Michael and shared a Scripture with us. He told us to read Exodus 14:14. I wrote the words in my journal: “The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.”

From that dark season in my life, I began a quest to really understand what it means to be still and trust God.

Through my journey and over two decades of discovering how to trust Christ, my prayers changed from pitiful petitions to a confidence in the God of the universe to guide me and fight for me. I learned to be still and listen for God’s voice in my heart.

It was in the listening and stillness that I began to hear the voice of God guiding me and leading me to the abundant life that Christ promises (John 10:10).

In my younger years, my own stubbornness and inability to discern God’s voice led to so much heartache in my life. It was not God’s fault. It was my own responsibility for not seeking to know and hear God better.

John 10:27 says: “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.” Jesus is the Good Shepherd and He guides those who will listen for His voice.

Once I began hearing God clearly in my spirit, everything in my life turned around. With my renewed faith, I began praying bold prayers not only for myself, but for my loved ones and for the entire world.

It’s obvious this world is in great need of Christ’s healing power. The recent tragedies in Orlando, Germany, Turkey, and the horrific things that have been happening right here in my community are heartbreaking. However, I refuse to let these tragedies deflate my faith.

Are you in the midst of a painful battle? My heart is filled with compassion for you and I have been praying passionately for the prayer requests that have been flooding my inbox.

No matter what you are facing today, it’s not too big for God. Be still and let Christ do the fighting for you. Place your faith in the One who has the power to heal and restore.

Father,

I am in awe of Your goodness. Thank You for Your healing love. Please strengthen all those who are in the midst of hard battles. Let them be still and trust You to fight for them. Let them know You are a good Father and You have good plans for their lives. Strengthen them today and let them feel Your presence strongly while they wait for a miracle to unfold. I pray in Christ’s name. Amen.

Will you come to the altar and release your problems to Jesus?

 

RESTING IN THE STEADINESS OF CHRIST’S LOVE

Jesus Never Changes

Look at the beautiful sky,” I said enthusiastically. I was in awe as I was telling my husband to look behind us and see the beauty of the sunset. Michael and I were walking at a park near our house where we often see the sun going down in the evenings.

The splendor in the sky reminded me of the steadfastness of the Lord. I love how the patterns in the earth are tangible signs of God’s never-changing character. Every single day the sun rises and then the sun sets during the latter part of the day. Every day the earth rotates and the cycle repeats itself again and again. This alone is enough evidence that God is a good Father—our provider and comforter.

In this world that seems to be falling apart, we can count on Christ for stability.

In a time that’s filled with uncertainties, we can rest in the steadiness of Christ’s love. Jesus never changes. He is the same today and always.

Lord,

Thank You for never changing. No matter what is happening in our lives we can always count on You to be there to listen, to comfort, and to love us without limits. Your love melts stress away. Your love turns sadness into joy. Your love is simply marvelous. Help us spread Your love to those who are mourning. Please, Lord, be with the people in France today in the midst of their pain. Heal and protect the people who are hurting. Surround them with Your presence and be their never-ending source of comfort. I pray in Your name, Christ. Amen.

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.”

Hebrews 13:8

Photo Credit: My husband captured the picture during one of our walks.

OUR UTTER DEPENDENCE ON GOD

Lord, We Need You

A couple of days ago while I was praying in the quiet of the morning, I pondered the needs of my loved ones and the problems in the world at large. As I was lifting up my petitions to the Lord in prayer, my mind shifted to the lack of rain in our area. I remembered the dried-up field of crops I saw the day before while driving through North Georgia. It had been weeks since it rained at my house.

My unenthusiastic prayers for rain in the previous days had gone unanswered, but fervor rose up in my spirit and I began to beg the Lord for abundant rain.

Lord, we need rain so badly. Please, please let it rain today.

Something had shifted in my mind while I was praying. I truly believed it would rain that day. About thirty minutes later—while I was lying still and praying—a big boom of thunder seemed to come out of nowhere. I jumped up to look out the window and saw that it was pouring rain.

I was in awe and rejoicing in my soul over what had happened. To the skeptic, it would appear to be a coincidence, but to a person of faith it was an answered prayer.

I have experienced countless answered prayers, but this was a phenomenon I don’t ever remember experiencing. God was encouraging me in an extraordinary way by bringing rain in the midst of my prayer time.

I was reminded of what Christ said about prayer and faith (Matthew 21:21-22).

“Truly I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ it will happen. “And all things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.”

In those moments, I thought about the fact that we need God for the very breath we breathe and for the food that sustains us. If we have no rain, things begin to die and there is no life.

In our human strength, it’s easy to believe we can sail through life without true dependence on our Creator. The moment we realize we are utterly dependent on God, we begin to pray big prayers and see His power working in our lives in the most amazing ways.

Father,

Thank You for caring about every single detail in our lives. Thank You for sending rain when we need it. Thank You for hearing our prayers and answering them in miraculous ways. Teach us to depend on You more every day. Let us trust You with every ounce of our being. Let us walk in faith every moment of every day. I pray in Christ’s name. Amen.

“I will send you rain in its season, and the ground will yield its crops and the trees their fruit.”

Leviticus 26:4

 “You sent abundant rain, O God, to refresh the weary land.”

 Psalm 68:9   

Photo Credit: My husband captured the picture of my hydrangea flowers shortly after the beautiful rain came on Tuesday morning.

 

FINDING BEAUTY IN MUNDANE MOMENTS

Spring - 2016

The routine things of life can weigh us down or they can be opportunities to find the divine in the mundane. Every day is an opportunity to see God’s beauty and His hand working in our lives.

One of the things I love most about Jesus is that He makes the most ordinary days seem absolutely extraordinary. Walking a dog in the park, a trip to the grocery store, or simply doing yard work can be filled with magnificence because of the awareness of God’s constancy in our lives.

Being aware of God’s presence makes life beautiful no matter what.

During the past week, a young mom began chatting with me while I was standing in the check-out line at a store. She told me several things about her little girl and I shared some things with her about my grown children. It was refreshing to talk with her.

As she stepped away to walk toward the exit, I noticed that “JESUS” was written in big, bold letters on the back of her t-shirt. With a smile, I said, “I love your shirt.” While telling me it was a favorite shirt of hers, she turned around so I could read the words.

With bubbling joy, I said, “Those words are written on the key chain that belonged to my grandmother.” She smiled and it seemed obvious that she knew she had blessed me.

As she walked out of the store I said, “God bless you.” My heart was overjoyed over a short encounter with a stranger.

My beloved ninety-five-year-old grandmother passed away in February. My dad gave me Mema’s jewelry box shortly after her death. Tucked inside with the jewelry, there was a key chain with these words: “The key to my heart is JESUS.” The phrase was new to me and the key chain instantly became my favorite. The words reminded me that only Christ can fully satisfy the heart. He fills the empty hole that’s left when a loved one dies.

I don’t think it’s a coincidence that I was chatting with someone I’d never met—a woman wearing a shirt with words similar to the words on Mema’s key chain. I stopped believing in coincidence many years ago.

I believe things that seem like they happen coincidentally are actually divine appointments to reveal God’s perfect love for us.

God used a woman’s kind heart and her t-shirt to touch my spirit. God says He will never leave us or forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:6). He is present with us always.

If we look for God with our whole heart, we will find Him (Jeremiah 29:13). We can have eternal joy in all circumstances because of His love and presence.

Have you seen God’s hand working in your life lately? Do you realize how deeply He loves you?

No matter what we’re going through in this broken world, Jesus is enough. He is enough to satisfy the longings we have. He is enough when we are experiencing pain. His beauty is waiting to be unveiled in the most unexpected ways in the mundane moments of life.

LORD,

You are amazing. Nothing satisfies the soul like You do. Let us seek You with our whole heart. Help us to look to You and expect You to meet our needs. Let us see Your hand working in our lives every day in the most amazing ways. Let us gaze upon Your beauty today and always. I pray in Your name, Christ. Amen.

“One thing I ask from the LORD, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple.”— Psalm 27:3 (NIV)

Photo Credit: My husband, Michael, captured the picture while we were out enjoying a walk.

RESTING IN GOD’S PROMISES

God Keeps His Promises

I was thinking, “Who’s calling late on a Saturday night?” Michael answered the call and he knew something was wrong when he heard our son’s voice. Thomas called from college five days ago in physical pain, asking for prayer and advice.

Michael encouraged our son, assuring him that he would seek the best medical care for him the next day. The phone call was short because Thomas had friends from Georgia visiting him for the weekend.

As soon as Michael laid the phone down, we discussed the fact that we were going to pray and trust Christ to work in this situation. I thought about the illnesses Thomas had suffered during the past two years. He went to the E.R. and spent a night in the hospital during his junior year of high school and he repeated the same scenario (with a different type of illness) during his senior year. During both stays at the hospital we saw God’s faithfulness powerfully. However, we did not want to repeat the former hospital adventures with Thomas in Oklahoma, eight-hundred miles from home.

Faith filled our hearts, as we prayed for Thomas. “Lord, we know it is Your desire to heal and protect Thomas. I trust You and believe that You want him to be well. Please heal him and take away his pain completely…”

Our prayers continued pouring out of us with fierceness, passion, and an unrelenting strength. We’ve become quite the prayer team. Two people praying together are better than one (See Ecclesiastes 4:9-12).

Peace filled our hearts as we finished praying. Then Michael sent a prayer request in a text message to Seth, a young man who’s involved in a prayer ministry for the city of Tulsa. We met him by a divine appointment while visiting Tulsa in April. Seth sent a message, saying he’d be praying and offered to pray with Thomas at his dorm. Since Thomas had out-of-town guests, it wasn’t necessary for Seth to visit him. Although, knowing Thomas was with his close friends and that Seth would be willing to go pray with him brought us comfort.

With certainty that God had Thomas in the palm of His hand, Michael and I went to sleep. We both were awakened in the early morning hours and prayed more for Thomas. Shortly after I got out of bed, I noticed Michael was already awake and in the other room.

He walked in and enthusiastically said, “I received a text message from Thomas. His pain
and the main symptoms are both gone.” I sighed with relief.

While praising the Lord for answering our prayers, I thought about the beautiful rainbow we had seen the morning before. It couldn’t be a coincidence that on the same day Thomas called us with the news of his pain, we saw the most magnificent rainbow at daybreak.

I was sitting there thinking about my reaction to seeing the rainbow in its entirety at the
dawn of the day. I had reacted with the giddiness of a child, and shouted, “How can anyone not believe in God?” The rainbow took my breath away as it reminded me of the way God keeps His promises.

Twenty-four hours after I was rejoicing over the rainbow, I was thanking God for what He had done for my son. Suddenly the thought occurred to me that the rainbow came as a symbol, reminding me of how the darkest hour is right before dawn. Then daybreak comes, and if we keep our eyes focused on Christ, a miracle comes, too.

Years ago, I heard a pastor say that spiritual warfare intensifies shortly before God is about to birth something new in our lives. I’ve seen a pattern of this spiritual law in my life and in the lives of those closest to me.

Last year, Thomas was lying in a hospital bed a few days before he received an opportunity of a lifetime. While in the E.R. I said to Thomas, “Something good must be about to happen. I think it has to do with football—a door opening for you.”

When I said those words, I could have never imagined that three and a half days later my son would get an offer to play college football at the division-one level.

Now that Thomas is living out his dream of being on a college football team and taking steps toward his God-given destiny, there’s a dark force trying to stop him. But with Christ, all things are possible, and all resistance is being met with a fierce kind of faith.

After Thomas had several doctor’s appointments this week, he was released to return to his usual schedule of football practices. Michael and I rejoiced over our specific prayers being answered, especially that there was no need for an E.R. visit. We are confident that God will protect Thomas and continue carrying him on the divine path laid out for him. I believe this medical challenge was part of the spiritual battle and just more evidence that Thomas is on the right path with more great things in store for him in the near future.

With childlike faith, I trust Christ wholeheartedly; I know He gave me a rainbow as a sign to assure me of His faithfulness to keep His promises.

Do you believe in the promises of God?

He promises that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life (John 3:16).

He promises whatever we ask will be done for us if we abide in Him and His words abide in us (John 15:7).

He promises He will never leave or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5).

He promises to give us rest for our souls (Matthew 11: 29).

He promises to heal the brokenhearted and save those crushed in spirit (Psalm 34:18).

He promises to sustain us and restore us to good health (Psalm 41: 3).

He promises to watch over and protect us as we dwell in the shadow of His wings (Psalm 91: 1).

His promises are limitless. We can choose to believe they are true or we can choose disbelief and live a defeated life. What are you choosing?

I choose joy and faith. When things get hard, let’s keep focused on Christ, looking heavenward and resting in the the promises of God.

PHOTO CREDIT: Michael captured the photo of the actual rainbow that God sent on Saturday morning, October 31, 2015. I’ll remember it forever.

THE POWER OF KINDNESS

A Few Kind Words

During the years my husband was attending college full-time, I worked at an event facility that specialized in hosting weddings. It was the most physically exhausting time of my life. I was working multiple jobs during the week and I was working long hours and very late nights on the weekends to make ends meet while Michael was unemployed.

Even though it was a season that stretched me, I would relive it all over again because of the spiritual growth and the lessons I learned during that time of life.

One memory from those hard days stands out more than any other. It happened while I was working at the event facility during a night shift. The kind words and actions of a complete stranger encouraged me and left a permanent mark on my heart.

I remember it clearly. I was moving swiftly around the ballroom, dressed in a tuxedo shirt, black vest, and a bow tie as I cleared plates and silverware off the big, round tables. My arms ached from the long hours of hard work during my husband’s season of unemployment.

As I reached down to pick up a plate, I heard a woman’s sweet voice speaking to me. I felt her hand gently nudging my arm as she said, “I know how hard it is to do what you’re doing. I have children, and I’m working a job similar to yours to make ends meet.”

Immediately, her words began melting my stress, and she slipped some folded money into my vest pocket. Then she paused for a second or two and did something that touched the deepest part of my soul. She leaned over and kissed me on my cheek, treating me like royalty.

My tear-filled eyes locked with her eyes and my voice cracked as I said, “Thank you.” It was obvious she knew I was feeling weary. My tears conveyed the message that she had deeply touched me.

Her kind gesture and words of encouragement caused my spirit to be lifted high in an instant. It was as though Christ had shown her that I, too, was a mother, and I needed to be encouraged.

With the formal setting of the ballroom, I knew it would be unprofessional to show the full extent of the emotions in my heart. So I hurried over to the door that led into the storage room. As I pushed the door open, I burst into a deep cry.

While reaching into my vest pocket and pulling out a twenty dollar bill, the magnitude of what she had done hit me. At a place where tips are not normal, it was obvious that God had nudged her to be kind and to generously tip me.

That evening I went home feeling treasured, and during the remaining years of working at my weekend job, I felt empowered. A woman’s small act of kindness helped me to be invigorated and remain strong through a tough season.

Later on, my husband earned a college degree and landed his dream job, and my long-time dream of being a stay-at-home mom was fulfilled. Looking back, I realize the power of that sweet woman’s kind words and deeds helped to strip away the pride in my heart and helped mold me into a more compassionate woman.

It’s been quite a few years since a stranger at my job powerfully impacted my life, yet I remember it like it happened yesterday. It was the tough season of living paycheck to paycheck—barely able to pay our bills—that I learned the most about kindness and generosity. Now, when I’m out and I see a weary person, I think of the woman whose kindness uplifted me during a hard season, and I strive to be one who shares the same kindness that was bestowed upon me.

A few kind words or a generous tip could be all it takes to change a person’s outlook and make a real difference in the world.

Have you ever been the recipient of a stranger’s kindness? I pray God will convey His love to you through someone’s kindness today or prompt you to share kind words and that you, too, will experience the power of kindness.

Lord,

Thank You for being the ultimate example of kindness and encouragement. Help us to remember to encourage the people around us with gracious words and gestures of kindness. I pray in Christ’s name. Amen.

“Kind words are like honey—sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.”

— Proverbs 16:24 (NLT)

THE GIFT OF STILLNESS

Be still, and know that I am GOD.

Years ago during a very difficult season of my life, I remember praying desperately for God’s intervention. There were intense circumstances surrounding me that drove me to the throne of God.

In the midst of that difficult season, I read the scriptures in Psalm 46.

1 God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
3 though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging.

4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy place where the Most High dwells.
5 God is within her, she will not fall;
God will help her at break of day.
6 Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;
he lifts his voice, the earth melts.

7 The Lord Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.

8 Come and see what the Lord has done,
the desolation he has brought on the earth.
9 He makes wars cease
to the ends of the earth.
He breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
he burns the shields with fire.
10 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.”

11 The Lord Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.

After reading the 46th Psalm, the tenth verse practically jumped off the page.

“Be still, and know that I am God.”

As I focused on those eight words, I knew that the Lord was speaking directly to me through Psalm 46:10. At the time, my circumstances seemed impossible to overcome, but I clung to the hope found in Christ.

Through the trials of life, I learned about the gift of stillness. From that low point, I discovered that God’s presence is the greatest treasure of all, and prayer became the key component of my life. My circumstances did not change instantly. In fact, it took over a decade for me to see permanent change in my life.

Step by step, Christ restored my broken life and turned it into something beautiful. It was a long process, kind of like creating a magnificent work of art. In most cases, beautiful art cannot be produced instantly. Real beauty is created through a process.

Are you waiting for God to turn something bad into something beautiful?  Keep pressing forward in faith and draw near to God.

Be still, and know that Christ will bring beauty into the broken places of your life.

As you wait on God, I pray that you will savor the gift of stillness every day.

DANCING IN THE RAIN

iStock_000003573248XSmall

The rain would start pouring down hard and my children would be energetically bouncing with joy.  Their little voices would beg me to let them go outside. “Mommy, if there’s no thunder, can we go out in the rain?”

I would stand at the door and watch them jump around and dance in the rain. It was full living at its best as they splashed in the puddles. Sometimes they would dance, or they would make a tent of umbrellas on the driveway. Sometimes they would simply stand in the rain on the edge of the street feeling the rush of water flowing between their toes.

The rain didn’t stop them from simply enjoying the day.

Children hold the key to a happy life. They are innocent in their thinking, and they know how to enjoy life to the fullest instinctively. A downpour of rain doesn’t hinder a child’s ability to embrace the moment and live fully.

This is how our Father in heaven wants us to live out our lives. When He created us He never intended for us to grudgingly endure life. His original idea was for us to see Him in the midst of the rain showers and enjoy life to the fullest.

God knew life wouldn’t be perfect or easy. I believe His greatest desire is for us to rely on Him in the midst of the rainy days. When we’re dependent upon Him, He continually pours out His grace and love onto our lives in the most unimaginable ways.

Years ago while praying, I heard words in my spirit that changed my perspective.

If you stay on the path with Me, you will not be disappointed.” God whispered those life-giving words to my heart.

At first I was thinking, “How can that be possible?” But I soon understood what the Lord was trying to get me to understand. He wanted me to know that if I followed Him and stayed close to His heart, He would turn my mourning into dancing instantaneously in the midst of disappointing circumstances.

His words have proved to be true in my life. I can honestly say—because I have been so wrapped up in God’s love—that disappointment has not lingered in my heart, nor has anything been able to rob me of my joy during the latter years of my life. Not any setback or loss or shattered dream can take away the joy that comes from Christ. His joy is eternal. When we have Him—we have everything.

Life is full of difficulties and challenges for everyone. No matter how much a person tries to put on a facade, nobody’s life is perfect. No human is immune to pain. Pain is not our enemy when Jesus is the center of our lives. His love overshadows everything and we can fellowship in His sufferings (Philippians 3:10).

My grandmother Mimi lived fully alive until she passed away at ninety-five years old. She had every reason to be bitter and unhappy. Her six-year-old brother died in an accident when she was a young girl and her father died when she was a young teen, leaving her in a state of poverty with a mother who wasn’t very affectionate.  Yet she danced in the rain.

My friend and mentor Bonnie had a gift for expressing what it means to live fully. She said, “With Christ, there are no disappointments. The challenges in life are HIS-appointments.” Bonnie passed away in 2008. Her faith in Christ lives on in my heart.

Leaning on our own strength leads to more disappointment. It’s when we lean on Jesus that we see His glory in our lives.

Life is undeniably hard. Every day we have a choice. We can either focus on the troubles in our lives or look toward Christ and live in His presence and glory. Why not choose the latter and see God’s Glory in your life? Choose joy. Choose life.

When the rain pours down, choose to turn toward Jesus and dance!

“You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; You have loosed my sackcloth and girded me with gladness.” — Psalm 30:11 (NAS Bible)

“Children of Zion, celebrate! Be glad in your God. He’s giving you a teacher to train you how to live right—Teaching, like rain out of heaven, showers of words to refresh and nourish your soul, just as He used to do.”

Joel 2:23 (The Message)

This article has been revised from a piece originally written in March, 2008.

The photo was downloaded at istockphoto.com.

A NEW SONG

grandfather and grandson with cloud

It was during the early morning hours. I felt weak and restless as I was facing a challenge in my life that seemed impossible to overcome.

With tears rolling down my cheeks, I bowed down at the feet of the Father. I cried out for strength. I prayed, “Father, the obstacles on the path laid out for me feel too big.” His warm embrace enveloped my heart as His love washed over me. His Spirit soothed my soul and the sweetness of His presence encircled every ounce of my being. His words flooded into my spirit.

 “Child, nothing is too big for Me. I’ll never ask you to do more than I created you for. Rest in Me. Rest in My love, rest in knowing there is nothing I’ll ask of you that will ever be too big. My grace is sufficient for you. In your weakness, My strength is made perfect. Arise my child. Let me put a new song in your heart. Let My love lift you up and carry you.”

As His loving words permeated my heart, my soul was restored in an instant. He breathed new life into my spirit and strengthened me. Joy replaced the tears. Peace covered me and made me ready to begin a new day with a new song in my heart—a song of joy for celebrating the love I had found in my Father’s arms.

With the love of God, and His strength—life is made beautiful. He carries those who completely depend on Him.

Lord, 

I lift up each one reading this prayer. Surround her with Your peace and give her a new song in her heart today—a song of joy and a song of hope for all the great things You have in store. I pray in Your name, Christ. Amen.

“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”

— Corinthians 12:9 (NIV)

 “He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God”

— Psalm 40:3 (NIV)

 This post has been revised and edited from a piece I wrote in 2009.