Well.... we are back from our vacations! South Carolina and Georgia were great, but it's sooooooo nice to be back HOME!
CONFESSION: Last week my goals were a bit much for me! I thought I would have more time away at the cabin to read and listen to my Prayer studies. Then I looked at how many sermons I have on this topic-- there's at least 10 hours of sermons! And I have to take notes... plus, I just added about four more sermons to the list!
So hopefully this week, I will get started on this new topic!
Here's a pic of me working in the back of Poppies' vehicle while Trav drove us to South Carolina. It was about a 12 hour drive. I brought my laptop, turned my cell phone on as a "hot spot", and worked on these posts, as well as read some of my bible studies!
REFLECTION: Before I get into my reflection... I know I've said that the Lord is probably speaking to me about "prayer".... well I think the other topic He wants me to reflect on is "beauty" and pretty much how I feel about myself. I think this has been a struggle for me as far back as I can remember... so maybe after the Prayer series I can start one on Beauty or Approval or something like that!
Ok--- back to my reflection, I finished the ENTIRE book of When Life Is Hard. LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE it! James MacDonald is awesome! I highly recommend his books and listening to his radio program, Walk in the Word, or finding him on your TV listings for Sunday service!
The last chapter of the book was a review and hit 16 lessons all around 4 principles and scriptures that include: 1 Peter 4, Hebrews 12, James 1, and 2 Corinthians 12. The best part about this chapter is that Trav and I have the sermons that match it! I downloaded them last year or so. We've already listened to them, but I think I need to listen again! LOVE it! Here's what I learned and want to apply to my life (and future situations): **These lessons are too good not to share--- sorry this is another long post!
- Principle #1: Every trial I face is allowed by God for my ultimate good.
- Trials vs. Consequences- there's a difference. Consequences are from sin that was planted, but a trial is a painful circumstance allowed by God to change my conduct & my character. Apparently God wants me to change my conduct and character through this trial. 1 Peter 4:14
- Good means "all I need" NOT "all I want"- God will make sure I have everything I need. So I have everything I need to get through this trial. James 1:4
- It's for my ULTIMATE good not immediate- I need to be patient. The good that God is bringing will only come through the perspective of time. It's like the farmer planting the field-- the harvest comes after a time. Hebrews 12:11
- This trial is allowed not caused by God- God has allowed this trial to come... I need to acknowledge and embrace this trial. It's for MY GOOD! If I do this, then the superiority of the life lived in God will be demonstrated by ME! 2 Cor. 12:7
- Principle #2: Trials need NOT steal my joy.
- It brings me to the power of God- When I am weak, He is STRONG! In my hard/unhealthy/hurting times, God shows up strong and my weaknesses are revealed. God will give me sufficient grace and strength in my weakness- I just need to embrace this trial and see Him working in me. 2 Cor. 12: 9-10
- Trials prove I'm God's child- James MacDonald states that "if we are going through difficult days and we are not bitter but love the Lord more... this is proof that I'm God's child!" I need to remember this! Hebrews 12: 5-7
- Trials increase my endurance- This is exactly where God has me.... this is where I will make a difference. It's going to take this trial. My BEST and MOST FRUITFUL days are ahead--- keep going, Sav! Endure! James 1:12
- Trials build my intimacy with Jesus- isn't that what I want!?!?! To dig deeper!? I guess this trial is what I needed to get to that point. Jesus is also very close to those going through hardships- he suffered so much more than me! 1 Peter 4:13
- Principle #3: God is never more present than when His children are suffering.
- He is an experienced sufferer, fellowshiping with me- this trial has been HARD! No doubt about it. But Jesus is an experienced sufferer. There's a unique intimacy with Christ when I'm suffering for Him. 1 Peter 4:14
- He is an attentive counselor, listening with me- God knows exactly what's going on in my life, and He listens to my prayers. I need not shut Him out--- I need to draw nearer to Him! James 1:5
- He is a loving Father, chastening me- His discipline is for my good. This whole trial is for my growth and good. Enough said! Hebrews 12:7-8
- He is a faithful Friend, sustaining me- James MacDonald asked the question, "Do you meet with God everyday? In a special place? How many times have you been there and then got up and left God's sufficient grace there?" WOW! I need to remember God's promise "Sufficient for today is the grace of Me". 2 Cor. 12:9
- Principle #4: Until I embrace my trial in unwavering submission to God, I will not reap the good.
- The good doesn't come until I embrace my trial- kind of what I stated before... I can't resist this anymore because I won't see God working in my life and I won't see any good. The choices are: embrace or resist. I need to embrace. 2 Cor. 12:10
- I can't embrace my trial without submitting to God- I need to remain under this trial (my choice) but I also need to willingly yield myself to God. Remaining under this trial will bind my heart to God-- I'm committed! Hebrews 12:9
- I can maintain my submission only through believing prayer- I guess God really is talking to me about "prayer"! I need to get on my knees, on my face- give it back to God. I need to be there in believing prayer until I don't take it back. James 1: 6-8
- I will not reap the good unless I persevere- God will put up boundaries in my trials... He will not allow me to be tried beyond what I can take. This trial won't last forever (unless I resist and don't embrace!). So I guess.... I need to have hope that there is an end and that God won't let me go through something I can't handle. 1 Peter 4:19
Lord, I am beginning to see that this trial has been allowed by You and You will bring good from it! I'm sorry that I was resisting for so long! I am going to keep doing the things You've called me to do. I will continue to believe in YOU! My goal is to dig deep, even in this pain. I want to be closer to You. I will embrace this trial because Your Word says that You will bring me through! You will also give me sufficient grace and that in my weakness You are strong! I am holding on to that--- I feel so weak (and sometimes lost). I will move forward because I don't want to go backwards. Please turn this trial into good and bring me forth as GOLD! This is for Your glory! In Jesus' name, Amen.
My goals for this week:
- Start Prayer sermons and series
- Make video of Prayer book
- Continue to pray/read my devotions daily
THANKS so much for stopping by today! Be blessed:}