Tag Archives: hope

Hope in God – Journey Reblog 11

As my journey continued through the distress of almost constant panic, I journaled about my feelings. In mid-January I wrote:

The hours and days pass moment by moment, and I feel faithless and fearful. But I choose to trust in You, Lord Jesus Christ.

            I need sleep! I got very little last night. Lord, You are the One who sustains my body. You know what I need, and You determine how soon the meds will take effect. You are the One who gives sleep.

            I seek You. I need You, Lord! You alone can help me. I don’t feel faithful or trusting, but You alone are Lord, and I’m determined to believe and trust You. Please heal my body and mind. Amen.

When a godly friend prayed for me, I thought that would fix everything. I was disappointed that I still woke up every couple of hours at night and first thing in the morning in panic. I also feared that I would be a disappointment to her—as though it were my responsibility to make the answers come instead of God’s!

Maybe I’m trusting in my ability to believe God instead of trusting in God Himself.

            Father, I don’t know how to change. Please help me focus on You and really trust You. Amen.

The medicine did finally start helping me sleep. I came to the place where I didn’t wake up in panic mode each morning.  By balancing brain chemicals, the medicine also enabled more reasonable ways of thinking. And God is helping me to change my thoughts to healthier patterns (Romans 12:2 “Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.”)*

So I want to encourage anyone who is still thrashing through the forest of anxiety/depression symptoms to hope or keep hoping in God. He will lead you out of your distress at just the right time because His faithful love endures forever.

Psalm 42:5 “Why am I so depressed? Why this turmoil within me? Put your hope in God, for I will still praise Him, my Savior and my God.”*

1 Chronicles 16:34 “Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His faithful love endures forever.”*

 

*Scriptures are from the Holman Christian Standard Bible.

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Hope in the Lord

(Picture from Pintrest)

“I try to take one day at a time, but lately several days have attacked me at once,” so the poster said. I laughed because on some days it does seem like life is like that. On those days, maybe I could take some tips from the Psalms:

Psalm 46:10 “Be still and know that I am God…!
Psalm 62:1, 5 “I wait quietly before God, for my victory comes from Him. Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in Him.”
Psalm 100:3 “Acknowledge that the Lord is God…!”
Psalm 131:2 “I will calm and quiet myself like a weaned child with its mother.”

And I could remember Isaiah 40:31 “Those who wait on the Lord renew their strength….”
Oh, may I remember to put these verses into practice next time I feel overwhelmed!

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Journey Reblog 7 – Guilty or Not Guilty?

Photo in Glacier NP

 

My mind in depression-anxiety mode gravitates to guilt. Past wrongs I’ve done loom large in my life. Even good sermons sound like, “You ought to have been or done better; you should be or do better; shame on you.”

Now I’m not talking about real guilt for which there is a solution. It’s important to face the sin which the Holy Spirit points out. This we can repent of and confess to God. Then we can look to 1 John 1:9—“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (Holman Christian Standard Bible)” God keeps His promises, so that takes care of the real guilt.

False guilt wallows in regrets and manufactures “should-do’s” or “ought-to-be’s.” My mind gets busy with these thoughts, and my spiritual vision gets blurred. Then I don’t see the real and current sins I need to confess and repent of. And that kind of thinking gets my focus off of Jesus and onto me. Then I start expecting me to do what only He can do. So—more burden, more depression, more anxiety.

But there is hope at the end of this valley. And, much as I feared there wouldn’t be, there was an end. When one is down in the valley, though, a prayer from Psalm 86 ministers to the soul: “You are forgiving and good, O Lord, abounding in love to all who call to you. Hear my prayer, O Lord; listen to my cry for mercy. In the day of my trouble I will call to you, for you will answer me. Among the gods there is none like you, O Lord; no deeds can compare with yours. …You alone are God. …Give me an undivided heart…. I will praise you, O Lord my God, with all my heart; I will glorify your name forever. For great is your love toward me…. (From Psalm 86:5-8, 10-13 New International Version.)”

Yes, Lord, an undivided heart, trusting You alone

And seeking Your kingdom, not my own.

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Gather Scattered Thoughts

How many times my thoughts stray from focus during the day! I find myself going over and over conversations or actions, thinking about what I should or shouldn’t have said or done. Or sometimes I’m planning what I’ll do if such and such happens or if so and so does this or that.

But I have hope. Since I’m in Christ, old things have passed away (died), and new things have come (2 Corinthians 5:17). I have received the Holy Spirit who gives me power to put off the old and put on the new. When I catch myself thinking the old way, I can say to myself,

“No, self. Focus on the task at hand. If it doesn’t take much thought (comb hair, vacuum), think about the Scripture you meditated on this morning or heaven or Jesus or God’s attributes or other wonderful things.”

Then as I begin to focus on the good things and let go of the scattered thoughts, I will be obeying  God’s Word by renewing my mind. (See Romans 12:2 and James 1:22.)

 

Photo Credit:

(Photo by Paula Satijn, “Mirror.” Found in Flickr Creative Commons, https://www.flickr.com/photos/paulasatijn/79850464800/)

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Pain to Pearls

Pearls develop in an oyster or mussel as a substance called nacre coats an irritant in layers. A grain of sand or bit of shell can act as a pearl starter. As I receive God’s grace in the troubles of life, it can become like the nacre to coat the sorrow and hurt, one layer at a time, creating pearls.
Making pains into pearls in my life takes both Jesus and me. Jesus’ part is to lead, guide, and give grace (wisdom and power) for dealing with life His way. My part is to follow Him step by step, day by day, living for Him and not for myself.


I could choose to go back to my old ways—running from difficulties, wallowing in self-pity, or blaming others. Those and similar actions lead to more trouble, not pearl creation. Or I can determine to humble myself and pray to God, believing the truth that He will hear and help. He will give me more and more grace (James 4:6).
One reason I can count it all joy when I encounter various trials (James 1:2) is that they may be pearl “seeds.” The patience they work in me may be the first layer of “nacre” (grace). The very problem I’m facing may be the irritant that begins a beautiful and valuable pearl.

Save

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Hope in Jesus

psalm-42-11-why-downcast    Psalm 42:11 says, “Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; for I shall yet praise Him, the help of my countenance and my God.” (New King James Version)
This is what I need to tell myself when I get disappointed or discouraged: “Self, hope in God. Let the disappointment go and trust God to work it for my good and His glory. O my soul, don’t look to others nor hope in satisfactory solutions. Let God satisfy you. Trust His wisdom, not your own. Remember, soul, that you find rest in God alone (Psalm 62:1). Hope and trust in Jesus our Lord.
“Jesus can help me, Jesus alone.” (from the hymn “I must tell Jesus”)

O Lord our God, the God who hears,
The only God who loves and cares,
The holy One who answers prayers,
You hear our cries, for You are near.

Omniscient God, God all wise
Your love extends beyond the skies.
Let us see truth with open eyes,
Believe Your Word, reject the lies.

We praise You, Lord. In You we hope.
We trust in You because we know
You deliver us from every foe
And comfort, heal, and make us whole.

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Life Now and Later

I just finished reading another excellent sermon by Pastor Tom: ARE THERE “EXTRA” REWARD IN HEAVEN? (https://revth.wordpress.com/2015/06/30/are-there-extra-rewards-in-heaven/) I highly recommend the sermon.
It reminded me of a book I read a few years ago–LIVING AS IF HEAVEN MATTERS by David Shibley. The subtitle of the book is “Preparing Now for Eternity. It helped me start living more purposefully for Jesus. I got the book from the author’s website (http://davidshibley.com/), but it is probably available from Amazon or other book dealers.

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Link to Sermon Glorious Adventure

http://www.sermoncloud.com/grace-bible-church/glorious-abundance/ This sermon by our pastor Randy Huddleston was especially meaningful to me. One thing he points out is that God is so generous and kind that He invites everyone to share His eternal kingdom–anyone who desires may come and drink of the living water He offers. But we come and drink on God’s terms, not our own. We “wash our robes” in the blood of the Lamb. Again, it’s God’s way not our own way.

That invitation reminds me of a song I’ve heard Carroll Roberson sing: “Without Him.” Here are the lyrics:

Without Him I could do nothing
Without Him I’d surely fail
Without Him I would be drifting
Like a ship without a sail

Without Him I would be dying
Without Him I’d be enslaved
Without Him life would be worthless
But with Jesus thank God I’m saved

Oh Jesus, oh Jesus
Do you know Him today
Please don’t turn Him away
Oh Jesus, my Jesus
Without Him how lost I would be
Without Him how lost I would be

Songwriters
LE FEVRE, MYLON RAE

Published by
Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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Waiting on God

Excellent blog post by Pastor Joe Quatrone, Jr.! Very helpful. I especially liked the part about HOW we are to wait.

Joe Quatrone, Jr.

alone-with-god “Wait for the Lord.  Be strong and take heart.  Wait for the Lord” ( Psalm 27:14 ).

I am in a period of waiting right now. I believe God has a specific reason for telling me to wait. My responsibility is to trust Him. I need to slow down and wait on God to clearly reveal His will to me. A lack of trust is perhaps the root cause behind my decisions to jump ahead. I believe God will give me clear direction, but I must wait until He is ready to give guidance.

In this hurry-up world, waiting for anything can cause us to lose our tempers, tongues, and good senses more frequently than we care to admit. I don’t know anyone who enjoys waiting in line. We don’t like waiting at stoplights. We don’t like waiting for dinner. We don’t even like waiting for good things – like…

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Link to “Why is Good Friday so good?”

This is serious reading in that it expresses very sobering truth. Be sure to read the entire post so you will get the “Good News” of hope as well as the terrifying bad news.

Why is Good Friday so good?.

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